Judy In The Sky With Toxic Masculinity

CL Bledsoe, Michael Gushue

Judy invented this sport where she loaded

a herd of cattle onto a cargo plane

and took it up to 18,000 MSL. All

the cows had little parachutes

and matching helmets she crocheted herself.

Judy opened the bay doors; she and the cows

dropped. The object was to rope the steers,

turn her paraglider into a chariot,

and challenge the sun to a race across

the sky. Halfway across, Apollo pulled up

beside her, matching speed. Sneering,

he called her a dryad with a resting pornai face.

This was back before people told him what

they really thought of him, which is not

very often. If he was trying to psych her out,

it didn’t work. This is the Judy who deliberately

defaulted on her business loan, her student loans,

and her credit card. The banks seized her autonomy

as collateral; she got to keep herself but lost

the title. The bank would loan her self out

to weddings, barmitzahs, and Republican

conventions. So Judy did a hostile takeover

of the world’s banking industry through leveraged

buyouts, hacking, blackmail, and a media frenzy.

With Judy in charge, ATMs begged passersby

to take they money they were spitting out

in a continual stream. The Cayman Islands

and Panama were turned into public parks.

Capital gains were paid out in Meals Ready to Eat.

It took seven years to put everything right, but Judy,

worn out and covered in flags, was always

sentimental when it came to herself and her good name.

Sun Racing and Sky Roping never caught on,

though, mostly due to right wing chicken PACs

lobbying against the dental and vision benefits

Judy negotiated for the cows. We’ve all been there.


CL Bledsoe is the author of seventeen books, most recently the poetry collection Trashcans in Love and the novel The Funny Thing About… . He lives in Northern Virginia with his daughter and blogs, with Michael Gushue, at https://medium.com/@howtoeven. Michael Gushue is co-publisher—with Dan Vera—of the nanopress Poetry Mutual. His most recent book is I Never Promised You a Sea Monkey, a collaboration with CL Bledsoe. His other books are Pachinko Mouth (Plan B Press, 2013), Conrad (Souvenir Spoon Books, 2010), and Gathering Down Women (Pudding House Press, 2007).