Prose Poetry by Pal LaFountain / by Pal LaFountain

A Lapsed Applause

An apprehensive comic. 
A boondoggle to the entertainment sphere. 
An emphatic crowd, a boon to this, the entertainment titan. 
The first joke trickles from the stage and into the ears and amygdalas of those who’d spend $30+ on a Night Out at a Comedy Club to chuckle at the words 
“Everyone fudges figures in the clerical sweets shop.”

The den’s light sustains its staid and nonjudgmental glow and before the crowd reacts the light continues to hue the place as a purpled center of cultural feed. Laughter resounds but backstaged, crossarmed contemporaries pile their remarks. How his hair so fits his dress. How his cadence mirrors Hicks. How the inept fillers who’ve infused the den with their staleness  know nothing of the tough roads trekked to craft such auditory mood alternators. They smother and sully their closers. They nibble nails to quell the distant froths of expiration.

Compact pills of marginal relief go swallowed by a personage who’d drive thirteen blocks, circle three more for a Spot, and pay $33 to giggle at the words 
              “When I shop for new pants, I always trust Jean-Clad van Denim’s.”

In a review posted a week later to a Relevant Website, the material is praised for its honesty and visceral collar-grabbing velocity, and the words “erupt” and “laughter” are joined in tight proximity as a summation of the night’s tone.

Comic & Crowd journey home, 
each to perform rites of differing intensities 
in step with the sparked chords of a twisted carol.
Boredom & Bedroom sums the crowd, Replay & Refine, the comic.
In the still latitudes before sleep, both parties weigh the night’s value, their place in the coming closer, and snicker at the words
              “We could cut pallbearer fees if we held deadlift competitions in the graveyard.”


Electric Eye

Adjusting the furnace’s electric eye I caught my thumb in its guard’s rusty hold. Observing the mess, I saw its squeeze had yanked my pad in reverse. Quickening with a stale mind and the wit of a dolt, I forced the effort and detached the turgid stub from its place on my hand.

Hearing my pain, the customer’s daughter entered. Acknowledging the pooled mash and my gunky shirt a surgical cheesecloth, she made a motion to aid. Mistaking the finger’s strength with a brawny boulder’s, she bent it swift and I hollered. Gasping the action, she retreated.

Pondering my state alone, I solved she would return with the others. Jogging from the land lot, I questioned if the customer would note what I made my own that day: three hundred paper towels and a lesson in cautionary motion.


Pal LaFountain lives life in threes. This explains the number of capital letters in his name.