POETRY
Death Star Halloween
by Al Ortolani

for William Trowbridge

The Death Star Complex was one big party.
My wife and I walked from apartment
to apartment for free drinks. Yoda
shook an 8 ball and reversed his syntax
in the elevator. We drank Cilona Death
Sticks from long, colorful tubes.
They were distributed by Slythmongers
like Pando Baba and Jabba the Hutt.
Later, Princess Leia slapped an ape
in a Chewbaca Goes Down t-shirt. It was
a full blown trick or treat fiasco.
I clicked on my light saber, swinging
like a real bad ass in my Darth Vader mask.
We returned to our apartment; the kitchen
vibrated with crazies from the Cantina.
The Ewoks appeared with plastic
jack-o-lanterns and uninspected candy.
We dumped it on the Millennium Falcon
bedspread and left them to squabble and sort.
I took three Advil and drank a bottle
of Evian. A band of Jedi
begged for a nightcap. I considered
two fingers of my cheapest,
but ended up giving them a hand. 


Al Ortolani’s poetry and reviews have appeared, or forthcoming, in journals such as Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, and the New York Quarterly. He has published six books of poetry. His newest collection, Francis Shoots Pool at Chubb’s Bar, was released in February of 2015 by Spartan Press. Currently, he is teaching English in the Kansas City area and serves on the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Writers Place. His poems been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.