Ronald. Fucking. McDonald.

Ronald. Fucking. McDonald.
–by Derek Alan Wilkinson

I don’t like sharing this story, and I don’t think I’ve done it justice.  But, here it is.

When I was three, I remember sitting in an otherwise vacant driveway—peeling off the brown, rotting skin of a walnut. By the time I was done, my hand was covered in maggots—which I found fascinating, just because I didn’t know what they were.

“Hey, there buddy!”

The shrill voice shot out of nowhere, while this gaunt, dark-haired, thick-eyed glasses guy paced his scrawny gait down a chipped sidewalk, and made his way toward me from the apartment complex behind where my mother, her mother, and her mother’s mother and I all lived. “Whatchu got there?”

“None of your business!” I squealed.

“Oh, it’s okay. I’m not a mean guy. My name’s Ronald—you know, like Ronald McDonald.” He smiled.

He had this…body language…about him. Like he’d done this before.

Mind you I didn’t think any of that at the time. My hands were covered in maggots, and I was only three. You wouldn’t think my memory would scratch that far back, but—

“Hey, why don’t you come wash off your hands! You’re mom’s not gonna like it that you got all filthy!”

And he talked to me all the way up the windy stairs, into his apartment.

And this guy…he was good with kids. He had stuffed animals, and candy, and turned the television on to Sesame Street.

And then, he began his speech.

“You know, I like kids! I wish I had some of my own! Where is your mother, now?”

“At work.” I said, “she works all the time.”

“That’s too bad,” he frowned. “I’ll tell you what: While she’s gone, we’re gonna have so much fun!”

And then, he talked about things I didn’t quite get. And he smiled that same smile. And then, he said:

“What color are your underwear?”

I didn’t answer him.

Then, he proceeded to pull down his pants, “See, these are the kind I wear. I like them because they’re so comfortable! Do you like Fruit-of-the-Loom?”

Which is the part where I wish I could tell you that I was smart enough to run for my life. But that’s not what happened.

I think you know what happened—which, in my three-year-old mind, was normal. After all, this person was an adult—and adults knew everything.

“You shouldn’t talk to strangers!” My grandmother warned me.

And then, she met him.

And everybody in the neighborhood loved Ronald-Fucking-McDonald, because he was friendly, and loved children.

“You probably liked it, didn’t you? You child-molested faggot!”
And those words would ring out their own dirge in my skull for the rest of my life. Some of the neighborhood kids found out, years later.

I just stood there while they hurled insults at me.

Eventually, I’d learn the hard way: “This is where you went wrong. Never trust strangers.”

And I haven’t trusted them since.




Suicide no. 81: Cupid is Helping Us Pay the Debt

Suicide no. 81: Cupid is Helping Us Pay the Debt

–by Derek Alan Wilkinson


Cupid’s arrow struck a vein:

a token-Prozac stimulant to heartache and pain.

Death’s defining moment is the moment it struck:

pitiful and sinful, we’re all out of luck.


Fuckin’ suicidal, homicidal, we’re just having fun.

Don’t let what they say about young lovers

make you draw out your gun.




Never mind the parents’ protests:

they’re one in the same.

Evolution, mishaps, genocide, or incest:

It’s all part of the game:




Evolution’s what we’re not yet,

we’re part of the debt.

Suicide or homicide,

we’re not done yet.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cupid’s Arrow.”

Suicide no. 80: In Love or Hate

Suicide no. 80: In Love or Hate
–by Derek Alan Wilkinson

What difference does it make?

My loved ones will be inspired to become slaves
unto the world in which they were made.
My survival? An ode to their servitude—their destitution.

Their own form of self destruction.

My death? An omen that forbids them from seeing things as they wish them to be—forever.

Is it their delusion, or mine, that keeps me alive?

Maybe love really does keep us all interlaced.

Or in shackles.

In either case—in love, or in hate—the time has come to be free.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sliced Bread.”

Suicide no. 77: The Poet

Suicide no. 77: The Poet

–by Derek Alan Wilkinson


With my father’s entry into the grave, my inheritance he gave:
a mansion full of things literary: fiction, prose and poetry.
The latter I abhorred, the nature of which I found obscured—
pointless syntax strewn, storm-tossed words into the sea
with no meaning that my eyes could see.


My father must have found it soothing, or at least somewhat amusing.
He kept collections by his bedside, dogeared pages marked his stride.
Reading them filled me with confusion, finding nothing but delusion!
No character or plot, like music with no sense of melody—
at least, none that my eyes could see.


Deep into the night I pondered, through endless pages I wandered,
making notes as I kept watch—thirsty for meaning, drinking scotch.
Are these adjectives, or suggestions? Answers, or merely questions!?
Simile, or oddity, maybe a poet’s musings just weren’t for me;
no stanza held meaning that my eyes could see.


Free-form, or centos, my father kept these books as mementos.
For what reason I thought I’d never know, for a man so slow to show
any emotion whatsoever. He was a con-artist, and clever:
taking from whom he could every ounce of their identity.
My father bore no conscience that my eyes could see.


Yet he marked pages in books of lore, marking lines that made me bore:
from “dandelion tiger tails” to “ion-Geiger prison cells.”
Is this sterility, or erotica? Hawaii or Antarctica?
I spent hours on my knees, begging meaning with every plea—
yet I found no meaning that my eyes could see.


While storm clouds outside persisted, the rain had insisted
that there was nothing else worth doing, nowhere else to be going.
That I should get to know my father, but why should I bother?
A braggart and swindler now dead, from his deceptions, he’d flee.
And both he and I became nothing that our eyes could ever see.


And that’s when epiphany struck—tyranny, not luck;
for poems, I found, while reading them aloud
produced such a sound that threw every human emotion around!
Yet, I discovered, now I’d uncovered, deep within me
nearly no resounding emotion that my eyes could see….


This, my father must have also felt: playing the hand he was dealt.
Feeling dead beyond dead, treading the pages he read,
the only feelings he faced were in the nothing white space.
I found that same emptiness staring right back at me:
that white became everything that my eyes could now see.


Feeling uninspired, I threw books into a fire,
and went to watch chimney smoke cover the moon like its lover.
Poetic sentences were only real for those who could feel,
and I knew right then that all I could ever be
is that great expanse of nothing that I would always see.


I went to the garage, and found a rope—my means which to cope
with the vacuum of a hole that had become of my soul.
I’ve already tied a sturdy noose, and before I kick the chair loose,
I wrote but one poem: my one and only!
To show the nothingness that has become of me:


That nothingness to be all that I’ll ever see!