Strangely brilliant and altogether weird

he dabbled in esoteric calculations

dreaming of controlling the weather.

Shunned by peers, a born again bible thumper

he skulked about, a scrawny scapegoated

doppelganger of Ichabod Crane

with a mad cackle that raised the hackles

on the back of your neck.

He was almost thirteen when he saw the Rockettes

flashing their privates in a bouncy Can-Can.

Incredulous each morning thereafter

at his sticky pajamas, possessed by the devil

he thought as he struggled to strangle,

choke or beat to death the enemy within.

As a well trained Baden-Powell Boy Scout

he was good at stalking, tracking and camouflage,

sworn on his honor to be clean, reverent, mentally

awake and morally straight, sadly failing

at the handbook’s prohibition against self abuse.

Tormented by losing to demonic persistence

he one day held fast to a tight tourniquet.

When his gangrenous member was finally excised

his laugh could be heard down the hospital corridor

celebrating his victory, a winner at last!

Milton P. Ehrlich 199 Christie St. Leonia, N.J.