Monday, April 21, 2008

The Messed-Up CD Drive on my Computer

The Messed-Up CD Drive on my Computer

I push the button and it doesn’t open.
I push the button again and it doesn’t open again.

(Can you not do something twice?
I don’t do things all the time.
Currently, I am not cantaloupe shopping.
Look, see, there, I didn’t do it again!
And now I’m not frolicking.

Non-action is continually occurring, infinitesimally.)

Mr. Flipper's Zipper Collection

Mr. Flipper’s Zipper Collection: a poem adapted from a lecture given at the 47th Annual International Conference on the Proliferation and Classification of Zippers titled, “Zipper Happy: the Unilateral Condition and Station and Stipulation of the Relationship Betwixt Contralateral Zippers and Detectable Joy.”

Mr. Flipper collects zippers.


All kinds of zippers:
zippers on jackets
zippers on packets
zippers on cases for tennis rackets


zippers on suits
zippers on boots
zippers that’re ugly
zippers that’re cutes


zippers zipped
zippers unzipped
zippers in various stages of zipation
zippers he bought on a zippy vacation


But Mr. Flipper had a little house
and there were so many zippers that
all the zippers made everything explode!


Then Mr. Flipper said,
“Yippers! All my Zippers!”

But he didn’t really say that
because he was exploded, too,
but he thought it when he was a ghost.



home insert page up scroll lock escape
Turkmenistan cybernetic lions roaring
fifty thousand seventy thousand forty
nine seventy two basket weaving mud
rectangular monitor silkscreen milkscreen
Captain of All Courage- crunchy morality
hepatitis fungus humungous firefighters-
Samantha! Samantha!- very thin fingers
rabbit racing pacing making jelly beans
in a factory designated for the manufacture
of mousepads my house is haunted for sure
X bananas Y oranges Z lesser known fruit
too: zahnyeeshes, mannterlims ripe jont
all in a basket on top of another basket
suck the frothy juice of yappy-yip-yaps-
Samantha! hearts of brave boys running
to battle 4:15 PM discarded snake skins
dolphins land-sharks one mountain path
all in a basket on top of another basket

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Dullest Carpet

The Dullest Carpet

Afternoon sunlight and shadow
cause a sea of flowers to be born
from the bowels of the dullest carpet;

the plain white wall, now a painting.

The Moon

The Moon

After dinner, in a still backyard,
or park, alone, I will not talk,
my periphery will not be invaded
by the noisy heads of other men.

Strolling and quietly breathing,
I will go to the moon to stare at her.

She'll be round tonight.
Buxom and perfect.

I know what will happen. After a
few glances, I’ll sit on the ground,
my chest will nervously rise with
the incoming night, and I’ll recline,
Adam’s apple to the sky,
ready to receive her.

I hope she likes it when I stare at her.

The moon is shining on other men,
no doubt. This world is huge,
and the men are like ants.

But beneath the moon tonight,
I must hope that I am unique,
that my devotion and virgin
appetite are singular, that
other men do not feel her
illustriousness and severity to
the extent that I do. I must hope
that they are sheep and I
am wolfish, tearing at them
with my teeth.

The other men in her light look
at her; they take in her light- sloppy
men, ill prepared, underdressed,
looking at her, lacking proper restraint,
letting the light haphazardly fall.
They regard her as though she
were a sandwich, or a turtle.

They do not love the way that I love.
They are whores.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

great poems that I did not write

Here is a non-exhaustive list of my favorite poems:

Title: the man inside the chipmunk suit
Author: Thomas Lux
Comments: Any aspiring actor should read this poem. It’s so funny and so true.

Title: A song in the front yard
Author: Gwendolyn Brooks
Comments: The speaker of this poem is a good little girl who wants to be bad.

Title: driving to town late to mail a letter
Author: Robert Bly
Comments: This is one of my favorite Bly poems. Like many of his others, it’s reflective and simple.

Title: a study of reading habits
Author: Phillip Larkin
Comments: Fantastic. I found this one during my senior year in high school.

Title: When I heard the learned astronomer
Author: Walt Whitman
Comments: Talks about the difference between artistic and scientific appreciation of things. It reminds me of a lot of the thoughts expressed in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.

Title: Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out
Author: Shel Silverstein
Comments: Reading this poem aloud is a pleasure.

Title: Love Is Not All: It Is Not Meat Nor Drink
Author: Edna St. Vincent Millay
Comments: This is a lovely sonnet about a universal human need: love. The first time I read it, it made such an impression on me that I decided to memorize it. I can now recite it at request. It’s got a rhythm that sticks with you.

Title: What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why
Author: Edna St. Vincent Millay
Comments: Another beautiful sonnet. A reflection on past lovers.

Title: Song of Myself
Author: Walt Whitman
Comments: I don’t know if I’ve actually read the whole thing. Song of Myself is long and thick. But I’ve spent many hours starting, skimming, and thinking about it.

Title: Fork
Author: Charles Simic
Comments: Read this poem and you won’t look at forks the same way.

Title: To My Dear and Loving Husband
Author: Anne Bradstreet
Comments: A pure poem from a Puritan. If this poem were a true representation of Mrs. Bradstreet’s character, any husband would be happy and proud to have such a woman as Mrs. Bradstreet for a wife.

Title: Jabberwocky
Author: Lewis Carrol
Comments: I feel a kinship with Lewis Carrol; we both make up words.

Title: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Author: Robert Frost

Title: Howl
Author: Allen Ginsberg
Comments: Yes, it’s vulgar. And yes, this poem runs absolutely contrary to my sense of morality, but this poem is just awesome. It’s epic.

Title: The Unknown Citizen
Author: W. H. Auden
Comments: Proponents of socialism should read this poem. That is not to say that this poem is political in nature. It’s also about families.

Title: Those Winter Sundays
Author: Robert Hayden
Comments: A beautiful poem about the relationship between a father and a son.

Title: Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump
Author: David Bottoms
Comments: What I love about this poem is the subject matter. Generally speaking, poetry gives off a pretentious vibe. So sometimes it’s refreshing to read a poem about shooting rats at a landfill.

Title: Chicago
Author: Carl Sandburg
Comments: I’m tired of making comments. Just go read the poem.

Title: The Murder of Two Men by a Young Kid Wearing Lemon-Colored Gloves
Author: Patchen Ferguson
Comments: See my previous comments.

Hello April

Here's a poem I wrote about April:

Outside Sinagua High School, April 2008

Here I recline on a bench around
noon, in sunlight and breeze. Dozy,
I could drift nicely into a nap.

All slows.

With the swaying of branches, with
my incoming and outgoing breaths,
I know this day is more comfortable,
more pleasurable than memories
of my childhood- that idiotic boy,
dazzled by rapidly flashing lights,
enamoured of alien images
protruding from gigantic
electronic screens. That stupid,
misguided boy, lacking natural affection.

But thanks be to God for
the passing of seasons, for youth
blooming into manhood, for
the embarrassments of puberty dimming,
joining wrinkles in an old forehead.

Thanks be to God, the father of my
spirit, the creator of this day, for turning
my eyes from the dark to the light
on the ground and trees before me.

This day is as good as any bird
that flew, and better - this day is
better than yesterday, or tomorrow,
or any coyote that howled or caught
a rabbit. This day is better than
any humpback whale that will breach.

Chatter floats to my ears from
the parking lot. Muffled, unimportant
chatter, meaning no more to me than
any other sound. And there is
beauty in the chatter.

Soon, when the bell sounds,
I'll walk into the darkened
school and enter the classroom
where I teach English.