The rhino is renowned for his horn, and is often a target of poachers.

They haunt the jazz clubs, acting all normal, when in fact,

Their minds crawl with evil.

The rhino wears a pork pie hat and a thin black tie.

He plays "Poor Butterfly" and everybody cries.

He plays standards and experimental pieces;

The work of the masters and his own compositions.

His eyes are like cotton balls behind his dark glasses,

And he never met anything fried that he didn't like.

To save him from poachers, the city council has him placed behind a moat in the zoo, expecting that he will eat hay, swat flies with his absurd little tail,

And crap great mountains of rhino shit on the hard-packed bare dirt of his enclosure.

His friend the lesbian sneaks in at night and lies on her back on top of a big fake boulder, smoking a cigarette.

"You're an artist." She gestures with a sweep of her arm, as if she were Cleopatra idly sending a million sailors off to some stupid foreign war.

"What's all this supposed to be? Where is your horn?"

He has it,

But he cannot play it.

He is too sad even for "Lush Life" or "Am I Blue."

Days go by.

The month ends.

She smuggles him a file inside of a lopsided birthday cake.

It is a useless gesture, but a pretty one, and kind.

Finally, there is a full moon.

She describes it to him.

He takes up his horn and plays "That Old Black Magic."

If it were up to her, the poachers would be hung by their heels over a teeming colony of porcupines.

If it were up to her, the rhino could shed his skin as if he were just a ginormous old baked potato,

And his steaming white fluffy soul would fly straight up into Heaven.

If it were up to her, she would meet her Princess Charming tomorrow,

And the rhino,

In resplendent angel robes,

Would play at their wedding, held in some hip club in the quarter.

Instead, she beats out a rhythm on the outside bars with the useless file,

And pretends it is church bells;

Dreams it is Lady Justice, kicking off her shoes, picking up her skirts,

And setting the floor on fire

With moves like she

Never had before.



Joanna Jenkins said…
"She smuggles him a file inside of a lopsided birthday cake."

Love this one Shay.

Cheers, jj
Ileana said…
The lesbian, drumming the outside bars like they're church bells, dances her ass off like she's on fire?? Where else but in Shay's Bible would you find a verse like this?? lol

¡Ave Maria purísima, you struck gold with this one, mi'ja!
Lydia said…
I can see everything you describe in your poetry! This is a scene from a play I just enjoyed in my mind. :)
Loved this:If it were up to her, the rhino could shed his skin as if he were just a ginormous old baked potato,
And his steaming white fluffy soul would fly straight up into Heaven.

btw, I love Mayhem too (and I think that actor is appealing).
Kay said…
only your imagination tickles my insides so :)
Bubba said…
Nice one, Shay! I'm glad the rhino got to play his horn again. (Was he horny? LOL!)

I also wrote a piece about Lady Justice: Her Name Is Justice

Hope you enjoy it.
Mojo said…
A rhino that plays Coltrane is okay in my book. Point me at them thar poachers... I'll fix they asses
Fireblossom said…
I'm laughing on the inside, Eric. Honest.
Fireblossom said…
Woohoo. Mojo...my hero!
Lynn said…
It's like one of those dreams you have when you're half awake, half asleep. Love it.
Tess Kincaid said…
Oh, gosh I love this. LOVE it. Your mojo is smokin'!!!
Anonymous said…
This is great fun. Thanks,

All the best, Boonie
ellen abbott said…
I do love these stories, your modern fairy tales.
Daryl said…
I love this ... and those poachers need to be poached and served on toast points
Riot Kitty said…
And then he goes to Danny's?
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Your mind is the funnest place to hang out in! I loved every line, as always, and you have some especially cool unexpected treats in there, like the baked potato. I so enjoyed this story. You should so be published!!!!!!!!
Jannie Funster said…
Stands with slack jaw mouth open at the wonder of your words.

Holy cow! What a treat to partake of the gift of your talent.

Thank you, Shay.

TALON said…
Poor poor rhino...and what a visual - the pork pie hat and the thin black tie.

Awesomeness as per your usual, Shay!
Cloudia said…
Some amazing lines.

Just amazing.


Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral
Brian Miller said…
smiles. i like rhinos...i feather sad for him trapped tel rhere in the zoo...unable to play the horn except it seems the occassional sad song...glad he has her to at least give him a beat...smiles.
Maude Lynn said…
I wish that it were up to her!