Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Vote For Me Is A Vote For Strippers and Chickens!

So inspired because my friend nominated me for Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere(R)! Go to this link and vote today because this is your only chance! Vote for me, Maria Padhila, vote for one of the other nominees, check out today's poem about chickens! You will just love it.

Shadow Floyd

He didn't know the word
Shaudenfreud, he thought he'd heard
Something else, under the music, and he looked around
Wondering who I was talking about. That guy
With the powder clinging to his pornstache? The glowering one,
Or the old man wheezing through the plastic tubes,
One hand twitching, in a weak, repeated beckoning?
No, they are themselves, not enemies,
Not projections, not paper targets, not yet
Beings of light. The young man has, like me,
Wanted the curve of her hip under his hand,
Wanted the music to go on all night.
The old man is not like my
Father, who will have the grace
(And let's not forget the money)
To vanish quickly and at some distance removed.
This old man, this young man, will go on and on,
Peeling off bills for the strippers,
With every huff getting thin enough
To pass through the eye of a needle.
A wave goodbye would knock them over
And yet here comes the force of the whole sea--
Overkill. This is where I defy god and say:
Let the angels sing. The song
Is a beautiful mercy, a gift
As they are rocked away.

Image: A detail from Fred Folsom's famous Shepherd Park painting used completely without permission. If you know and love this one, you should check out his recent work on his site. I wish I could buy one. Maybe if I become Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, fortune will follow.

Update: That old subject/verb agreement thing. Correction made.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Desert Island Dicks

Dag, should wake up early for yoga, nope, writing this instead.

"It's easier if I pretend you're on a mission in Antarctica." --Christopher des Sots

I have cultivated a smile that smoothes time over,
Glosses the inevitable awkwardness in the shuffle
From you to you, the span when I am on
My own. I compose a way to face
Not knowing, and hope this calm mien
Will someday be mine, naturalized, spreading
Bright serenity like the daffodils on the lake shores.
Stupid flowers. Tinny little bobble heads. I could sob
And lie down in the mud. But I will frame kind words
And thank you notes, something I never write
Enough of, my gratitude, truly, profound enough,
These days, to shock me, to give the sense that it
Grows outside myself, yes, it dwells in a hole
In the center of the deepest part of the lake
And a stone tossed there would never be recovered.
This is how much I love you (and you, a plural pronoun)
For what you have done. You must know.
I run the caged ramp, around and around,
Up to the caged bridge over the train tracks--
Fences surround me, and looking back,
Well, there's the lake, small and far away.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tea Party, Donner Party, Hurricane Party

For Preventing the Rich from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to the Public

It is a source of sadness for those who walk our cities or travel in the country when they see the streets, the sidewalks, and the buildings crowded with people wearing Louboutins and Armani and driving Mercedes and BMW cars and SUVs. These people, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in aimless shopping, cell phone nattering, and bribery to protect what they believe are their entitlements.

The numbers of the rich do to the present deplorable state of our country a great additional grievance; and therefore, whoever could find a fair, cheap, and easy method of making them sound, useful members of society would probably end up with a building, or an airport or two, named after him or her.

The problem of the rich has proven singularly intractable and has only worsened in recent years. First, there is the matter of their children, who should probably be removed from rich families at birth, if it cannot be that sterilization is applied before the fact. The children of the rich, neglected as their parents pursue their whims and addictions, are uniformly warehoused in a series of schools whose administrators seem to care little how well children are educated. The only concern in our country's schools for the rich is to move the children on into the next class, and the next, on into college, regardless of how they might have failed to earn such advancement. They then emerge to become a drunken menace on our streets, a burden to our hospitals, and spawn more generations of profligacy with their indiscriminate, promiscuous breeding out of wedlock. They rarely excel in any area, from science to athletics, but continue as a drain and burden on society. We who work--in the government, in services, in small and large businesses--can no longer carry these bloated, irresponsible sons of CEOs.

Not only the children of the rich, but the spouses and the rich themselves seek constantly to further enrich themselves through schemes that suck our government dry. Two of the most prominent of these are the establishment of the "clothing line" and of the "foundation." While there are honest tailors and charitable organizations among us, the rich have been permitted to evade paying their fair share through these types of "make-work" enterprises, sucking money away from community organizers, fair housing organizations, family planning clinics, and others who are actually trying to improve the world, not simply putting up a show in order to avoid taxes.

If the money the rich thus procured were put to any decent use, their schemes might not be so galling; but it has been shown throughout history that most rich people simply don't know how to handle money. Much of what they have appears to vanish. They are like children, stuffing themselves and their homes until they are sick. Our government shows its foolishness in giving money to the rich. The rich promise, over and over, that they will spend the money to make jobs for the many, but again, like children, they forget these promises or slyly lie, spending the money on handbags.

And the burden on our health care presented by the elder rich is greater still. We pay over and over for their surgery and transplantations and tucks. Rare is the rich person who has the will and strength of character to work for better health--they look first to the knife, and ask us to pay for their mistakes and poor decisions again and again. It is not unusual for a rich man to have had three or four heart surgeries--not due to any inherent weakness of the organ, but only to his own weakness for food and drink and cigars.

For this reason, the first proposal and the one that seemed most fitting, that rich people be used to avert the coming food shortages among us, had to be abandoned. They simply are not fit to eat. Their bodies are crammed with toxins; they would, continuing true to form, do more harm than good, even as fodder for animals.

Nevertheless, something must be done with them before they ruin us. I now humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection. As global climate change continues--a fact rich people also foolishly spend money in order to try to deny--and the waters rise, entire nations are at peril of destruction. But the rich of each nation and their possessions can be removed to the shorelines, forming levees to protect the land of the interior. I have been assured by a very knowing American that the tiles and granite of a single McMansion can easily protect a mile of shoreline, and doubly serve as mausoleum.

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, not myself being rich.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Painting the Roses Red

Lugol's Iodine

First, I trim and paint her toenails,
A coat of sparkle white covering
A coat of sparkle blue varnish. Her choices.
Then, while she's still sitting in the big chair,
Her legs stuck out straight, legs still
Too short for her knees to reach
The bend in the chair, I kneel to her feet
And paint her soles with what I am told
Is the right solution. It smells so clean.
I remember the painted gash
Across my own belly where I was
Opened up twice, once to save my life,
Once to save hers. The stain
Is a soft sepia, the tint of nostalgia,
Of spilled tea, of the evidence
Of a leak in the ceiling, something
You watch spread a little bit each night
As you fail to fall asleep. Is it getting worse,
Or are you just imagining it? You really should
Do something about that, it looks bad, but what?
She wriggles as I hold her
Foot and laughs that it tickles.
She tries to pull away from me,
And I let her foot slip easily from my hands.