Robert Laughlin

Robert Laughlin lives in Chico, California. He has published 100 short stories and 200 poems; this is his second appearance in Quantum Poetry Magazine. His website is at http://www.pw.org/content/robert_laughlin.

The Ballade of Past Fads

A book whose purpose was to show
the uses for a cat that’s dead.
A way to sleep above the flow
of rocking waves—the waterbed.
A dog you couldn’t see was led
on a rigid leash that served to steer
the empty harness up ahead.
Where are the fads of yesteryear?

A pet whose maintenance was low;
a rock can’t run away or shed.
A public foot race, fast or slow,
by people wearing not a thread.
A ring that changed from green to red
as feelings changed from hope to fear.
A coontail dangling from your head.
Where are the fads of yesteryear?

The craze of CB Radio:
a movable feast for those who fed
on chat with truckers on the go,
while others fed the bears instead.
A hoop you swirled around your spread,
and Kilroy’s sign that he was here,
and Creepy Crawlers in your bed.
Where are the fads of yesteryear?

Diverting vogues have gone and fled,
this mirthless age has made it clear.
Is all frivolity now dead?
Where are the fads of yesteryear?

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