Two Poems by James Arthur Anderson


Size Matters

Size Matters. Small isn’t small anymore.
If it’s coffee at Starbuck’s, it’s tall.
If the egg is tiny they call
It medium, or large… or

Let’s take shrimp; they fall
Into three sizes onshore:
Large, jumbo, or colossal, a true oxymoron
To beat them all.

                   Size matters.

Small isn’t small anymore.
Now a woman’s clothes all
Market themselves as small
No matter what her hips confessed she wore,

Unless, of course they’re super-small,
The supermodel size we all adore.
Those are petite according to the mirror
And the size chart on the wall.

                   Size matters.

Small isn’t small anymore.
If you’re a man then all
Your clothes are large, or XL, or tall—
Triple XL makes it easy to score.

You can’t buy a drink that is small.
It’s at least a medium or more.
The fries are the new metaphor
Of the way they will supersize us all.

                  Size Matters.

Small isn’t small anymore.

Web Cam from Hell

One day Satan thought that if there were a web cam in Hell it would make for a great reality show, much more popular than the one in heaven that nobody watched (who wants to see a bunch of angels flying around wearing halos and carrying harps or lutes or whatever the hell you call those things with all the strings attached). But they’d tune in for fire and brimstone and to compare notes with Dante to see how much the old sadist had gotten right—they didn’t know that Satan had given him a press pass and free access to the place and things hadn’t changed much in the last six hundred years or so. But the devil hesitated for a moment and wondered if seeing Hell live and in color might not be bad for business and act as a deterrent to sin. Then he remembered how perverts are caught and exposed on TV all the time and everybody knows it and it doesn’t seem to stop perverts from being perverts or from getting caught and let back out on probation. So what the hell, he thought, and signed an exclusive contract with Fox and HBO. Of course old Lucifer’s instincts proved right: ratings went sky high and so did the number of new recruits lined up like ants outside the gates anxious to abandon all hope and enter so they might get their fifteen minutes of fame and be a reality TV star. The home audience couldn’t get enough until it played 24x7 and took over all other programming and put the other networks out of business, even the web cam in heaven on the Christian network. Satan was happy for awhile; he was rolling in cash and carry and had put the one up on the guy upstairs who was about to hold a going out of business sale on halos and wings. But as the weeks went by, enrollment began to drop. People were spending so much time watching Hell TV that they didn’t have time to commit sins of their own, (the Pope hadn’t declared watching the inferno cam a sin—he couldn’t stop watching it long enough to sign the bull), and so the masses were making it into heaven by default. So faced with the dilemma of ratings or recruitment, the admissions office won, and the plug was pulled on the web cam from hell. And people returned to their sins, both petty and grand, and all was once again right with the world.

James Arthur Anderson