Humidor of human filth by Zac Dunn | Art by Jack Grupe

JackGrupe_Serpent_Bestof026_Humidor of human filth by Zac Dunn
Serpent by Jack Grupe | Best of Birdy Issue 026

Humidor of human filth
By Zac Dunn
Art by Jack Grupe
Published Issue 099, March 2022

Humidor of human filth 

Escape artist with no thumbs hitchhiking 

Blackened Batman summarily summoned

The goblets all brimming with crimson glow

The Mollys all grinning and stepping below

Cold calling the crisis line 

Pretending to be flush 

While all the merry naive men 

Race to the bottom in a rush 

The voice crackles from across the phone 

Please hold while I connect you 

Two clicks and two ticks 

Many steps to the left 

Right across the chest of the albatross 

Coriander lavender mustard cumin 

Clutching the bone facing the monolith 

2001 years later alligator teeth

Unleashed a puppy dog heart and 

Coat dipped in guided Broomhilda  

Cast the flask to the depths 

Left to face the man in the iron mask

One on one 

Colossal understatement interned and

Burned, indelibly dealt directly

Underhanded upon a light base of 

Purée confit feelings frozen in time 

All the people stand up 

No one looks left but steps right instead

Then right once more 

The man in the moon 

Looks on with wide-eyed amazement 

A gasp and laugh and another 

Step across the path

Holding hands but running apart 

The gate closed behind them 

The earth shook and the trees danced 

Mud crept closer still as feet trampled further toward the barrier 

That was not there

The inside of the cigar room was sublime 

All shoes shined and crests waxed 

At the tips 

A broad chested brute 

Donning a full Buffalo head upon 

His frame approached and extended 

Gracious invitations to run wild across 

The expanse

Some time would elapse and others joined

All would disrobe 

Sizes and shapes of every variety 

Glistening and sweaty 

A voice calls out from out of the silence 

No one wants to see what happens next 

A thunder crack of terror shrieks and 

No one has been minding the many 

Tubs full of deadly serpents

The doors are locked but everyone is home 

A child swaddled and barefoot 

Rises from the slithering horde 

Clutching a pit viper in one hand 

And fur-de-lance in the other 

King cobra coiled on top of 

His crown 

Eyes closed as he spoke in tongues

But made time to spit woo 

At everyone 

The house fell to its knees

The copper voiced liar 

Stood up first only to be stuck in the cheek 

By a diamondback hissing profusely 

Another would break ranks and cast volley of speech only to be drilled with the fangs 

Again and again 

But then the child stepped forward once more 

To the left and the right 

Deep into the still of the night

Young ladies cried out not knowing 

The child would grow to be a man 

Zac Dunn is a psycho-social mechanic, father, musician and dreamer. Check out his music and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Jack Grupe is a Denver-based artist and designer. He is the Art Director at BrüMate and the owner of Trash Taste. Statement from the artist: “I have small handwriting & big ideas. I’m a designer who isn’t afraid to write. And a creative who isn’t afraid to strategize. New York Times Crossword subscriber. Exquisite rollerblader. Obscurity lover. Cat father. Let’s party.” See more of Jack’s work on his site and on Instagram.

Check out Zac’s March Birdy piece, GRASSHOPPER, or head to our Explore section to see more of his work. Snag copies of the first few years of Birdy to Jack’s published contributions.