The pirate jumped-off the bookcase

and swung his sword in the air, like a veteran corsair.

The morning light, was hours away.

He knew to stay away

from the astrology section

because the witches, would be out

and about

and they didn’t play with swords—

They put men to work with broomsticks

sweeping the floors.

Charles was a poet, forced into piracy

because of his creator’s boredom

Perhaps, God created

when he had nothing better to do—

The writer played by his own rules

the way Charles was supposed to—

He left his cover,

out, in the open

like a bad character, caught in the act.

Charles was going to throttle

Luke Skywalker—that 70s punk, who stole Cinderella

on a whim—

Skywalker, was a chronic womanizer

that boy, who kissed his sister

Charles was going to do something about it

because

Character is Destiny

There was the fire extinguisher

and the box of matches, from the owner/operator

who smoked

two packs a day.

The pirate picked-out a torch

and scratched it, like a syphilitic itch

until it caught fire.

He lit the cover of Star Wars

until the book was burning bright.

“No more, Skywalker,” Charles muttered. He pulled the pin on the extinguisher, like a grenade

and punched down on the trigger

but

it didn’t fire.

“Not up to code.”

More books burned, like a Nazi funeral pyre

as the characters screamed

off the pages

and the pirate laughed

at his revenge.

It’s true

what the Chinese say,

“Before vengeance, dig two graves.”

Now, the New York book exchange

was ablaze

because the characters

went unread.

So, go to your neighborhood bookstore

and liberate the pirates, witches, and bitches

inside,

before they play with fire.

They might just

change your character

before burning

your house down.

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