Funny Business
A Special Edition of The East Village

Gabe Gudding


The duck is attacking Humpty Dumpty. She
	is brutalizing him.

The oasis is filled with their shouts.

Realizing he must fight for his life,
	Humpty Dumpty begins 
	to roll vigorously about the oasis,
	attempting to knock the duck over.

Every so often the egg stops rolling, gets
	his bearing, beats his chest fiercely
	(but not so hard as to crack himself)
	and begins again desperately rolling,
	trying to knock the duck over.

Of a sudden, Humpty Dumpty stops
	and shrieks, "Mother?! 
	Is that you?"

For who would have considered what kind of egg
	was Humpty Dumpty?
	I always assumed large chicken
	goose, once I thought, "Oh he's
	pteradactyl for sure."
	But never, "Duck."

"Mom! It's you, isn't it!"

And as the duck fumbled for an appropriate response,
	and just as Humpty was gathering himself
	so that he could articulate 
his rage and confusion and resentment 
	at his mother's behavior,

a duckling's head burst through Humpty's shell at his shoulder.

And Humpty watched shuddering with nausea
	as the slim protruding head 
looked around, saw the smooth white face,
	and began murderously to peck at Humpty's eyes
until there was nothing but a hole where once was Humpty's face.
Then the duckling kicked the bottom out of Humpty

and by a series of furtive, excited shivers,
shook itself from the destroyed egg 
and faced  its mother.

And the mother, in an arpeggio of duck-noise,
ran to embrace
her true child.