D*C
You know you’re a fraud, don’t you?
Your license expired, you haven’t paid
your insurance since God knows when,
it’s just a nickname now isn’t it?
The fact you dispense medical advice,
minor first aid, isn’t really a crime,
but that scrip you write each week
for Dopey sure as hell is. You do
remember your oath, don’t you?
No, don’t tell me about a higher power.
Yes, I know about your diamonds,
you can’t bribe me, they’re mine too.
Besides, I’m a poet, not a cop.
No, I’m not going to call the AMA.

D*PEY
You are so visible it is risible you fool anyone.
Why are your sleeves so long? Sure as Hell not
so you can stumble over them, that shtick is older
than the diamond mine. No, you wouldn’t want
anyone to see those arms. Something hidden
under the skirt? Oh, how that smile says search me,
with at least three meanings that I can think of,
and at least one that must be ignored. One
smile says I forgot about the mechanism taped
to my thigh, the one that ends in a syringe,
alongside the glassine packet of white powder.
Who the fuck cares? That’s America’s favourite
past time, and you’re their poster boy.

GR*MPY
I’m the poet. It suits me to tell the story
in verse. The guy next door started cutting
down trees at 6 am using a chainsaw.
Dropped a couple into our yard, trimmed them
there, left the slash. He has this yappy little dog
that runs into the yard and craps everywhere.
I lose it. I yell at him to get his crap and
his dog’s crap outta my yard. He says Fuck you
midget! That’s when the fireworks started.
Let me sum it up this way: never mess with
a dwarf named Grumpy. Bad things happen.
Except I stop myself from bashing his brains
in with a pickax and stomping on his little dog.
I tell myself, the guy ain’t worth it. Let Dopey
and Happy clean this up. Why do you think
they’re named that way? They’ll whistle
while they do it. I tell myself, the best part of
revenge is served cold. I write a poem about
what an inbred, knuckle dragging, snot nosed punk
the bastard is. And that little dog, the bitch he owns?
She sure walks funny, like her ass is being pushed
into next week far too often. I send the poem out.
It gets published. The guy next door shows
up a week later and threatens to sue.
Who knew the idiot read poetry?

B*SHFUL
Bashful was a dog in a previous life.
He told us about it.
Life was better then.
All he knew was big eyes,
not saying much,
belly rubs and warm fires.
Then he tells us he wants to eat out of a bowl,
on the floor. We say he can eat outside if he does that.
We say he can forget the belly rubs
but we’ll get him a dog tag if it makes him feel better.
Because we live outside city limits
a license wasn’t required, so we couldn’t get one.
When we said that was all we were
going to do for him, he said
“I feel like you were my friends once.”
He doesn’t say much anymore.
He never looks into our eyes like he used to.

H*PPY
Happy should be miserable,
like a guy named Curly has to be bald,
or a guy named Tiny is the biggest man you’ve ever met.
But not Happy, he is what the name says.
You’d think a guy named Happy should be as dumb
as a post just to balance out Nature,
but our Happy is the smartest, no argument.
He’s probably the only reason Doc hasn’t killed Dopey yet.
He’s the one who figured out the shoring in the mine,
which is probably the only reason we’re all alive.
He’s the one who always starts whistling, so,
aside from the fact I’d like to strangulate the guy,
he’s got something I just can’t figure out.
It’s a good thing I love him like a brother
otherwise, I’d have to hate him because
he’s so goddamn happy all the time
and I can’t figure it out to save my life.

SL**PY
Let’s see, you slept through Reagan busting the unions.
Thatcher busting the unions. The end of the mines,
the factories, the slow death of the working class,
yet you shuffle along with the rest of us
pickax, shovel in hand, asleep on your feet
oblivious to everything happening around you
pretending you’re still one of us.
Do I need to remind you who your shop steward is?
God, it’s like talking to a wall with you,
you just stand there with that vacant stare.
Between you, Dopey and Bashful I just want
to look into someone’s eyes that look back,
you know lights on, somebody home.
Let’s consider the evidence: despite the diamonds,
you still buy a lottery ticket every week,
you voted for Trump and you don’t hear
a single thing I’m saying, do you?
You fucking class traitor.

SN**ZY
God I love Sneezy. That dwarf is dedicated to everyone
who blurts out something they really shouldn’t have said, but did,
something they really would like to take back, but couldn’t.
He is the muse of those who fart at dinner tables,
crinkle candy wrappers during the opera,
the guy who laughs out loud when someone trips and falls.
There is no occasion he cannot change abruptly
with nothing but the loudest blast of spit, snot and noise
possibly imaginable. The man is a genius of disruption.
Seriously, he should have his own TV show.
People would pay to watch him interview movie stars,
the high and mighty, and coat each one
in his vital bodily fluids as ejected through that grotesque
mouth and nose permanently attached to his face, which
by all rights should have been blown clear off by now.
I’m telling you, the guy cracks me up on a daily basis.

(I present the manuscript with no comments. It arrived on my doorstep with the enigmatic note, ”You’re not the only poet”. The always loveable dwarves first appeared in the smash hit Snow White in 1937, marking them as true pioneers, survivors, legends. GG)