Bob McKenty


Puppet Show

A small boxed stage contained the puppet show.
Suspended from hands of hidden puppeteers
A Punch & Judy or Pinocchio
Performed to kids’ enthusiastic cheers.
The little ones along the Great White Way
In greater numbers than in days of old
Crane necks to see a show Thanksgiving Day
That Broadway’s barely broad enough to hold.
Dwarfing the puppeteers who ply their strings
Shivering in the shadows that they throw,
These marionettes aspire to fly sans wings,
Straining to break their ties to earth below.
Just once a year when Macy’s owns the town
We revel in a world turned upside down.

The Untouchables (1987)

(from “Cinematic Sonnets”)

Chicago’s ruled by ruthless Al Capone
With iron fist, hot lead, and baseball bat.
The cops take graft to leave the mob alone
As bootleg liquor flows and Al grows fat.
When good Ness comes, the picture isn’t pretty,
With tommy guns rat-tatting in the fray.
It’s open warfare in the Windy City,
Where good and bad alike get blown away.
The man who cooks Al’s books will testify
(Unless the poor accountant’s life’s cut short).
In scary Union Station bullets fly.
The witness lives to have his day in court
As Justice triumphs. On this proud occasion,
A brutal killer’s nailed for tax evasion.

Bob McKenty still hasn’t written as many Shakespearean sonnets as Shakespeare, but he’s getting closer.