Posts Tagged Poem

Daybreak

Two mangy dogs down by the Claverack Creek

Insist that, on early spring mornings,

County Road 25 belongs to canines,

Not cars, silence or jogging poets,

So each morning they come at me

 

In all their dirty, furry little anger,

Balancing their pace with their courage,

Until I turn and jump toward them, arms out,

The sudden star of an Off-Broadway musical,

A move any crackpot poet knew was coming.

 

I’m no man of headaches and this one took three days

To take off, lifting like a flock of geese,

Clucks and double clucks,

A retired steam locomotive on the Fourth of July,

The coughing and whispering of pressurized air.

 

My furry henchmen, having exchanged glances,

Steal away, bewildered, as many an audience.

Then, conquering the moment, I stand by the river

Where the other morning I stepped in

And swam against the current, moving and not moving.

 

Writing is what happens while you’re sleeping

And at daybreak, it all comes floating by —

Familiar voices, a missing paragraph, this poem.

All the poet has to do is the living, the loving,

The exhilarating loneliness of typing.

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Nobel Limerick

Honorable Nobel Committee
When you award me for being witty
Don’t share the prize
With three other guys
Or my mother will say, What a pity!

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Spring in New York

I thank Thee, Lord, for spring in New York
And for sidewalks scattered with gloves
For three new construction sites down the block
And for strangers to piss me off

For neighbors smoking on fire escapes
At three o’clock in the morn’
Life in a city that never sleeps —
A life of kind-hearted ignoring

I thank Thee, Lord, for the BQE
For buses of tourists hoping to see
Authentic Brooklyn
Which it would be
Were it not for them
(not for me)

Oh, I thank Thee, Lord, for spring in New York
Where writers in their 30s write memories
Eating 30 dollar sustainable pork
And drink Pinot Noir out of Ball jars

I thank Thee for the kids in Underwood Park
Who cry, “Let’s play Barack Obama”
I wouldn’t have experienced that today
If my neighbor had been a dirt farmer

Oh, Lord, one more thing, before I forget
I thank Thee for aerodynamics
What New Yorkers need, time and again,
Is to fly off and assess the damage

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Twelve Bar Blues

Feed the cat
Feed the birds
Glance at poem
Change a word
 
Boil some water
Grind some beans
Brush your teeth
By all means
 
Turn the dial
Morning news
Lover’s kiss
Twelve bar blues

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Umbrella

Umbrella

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Sonnet 1

The Great Molasses Flood of 1919
Killed twenty-one men and a closet queen
It was ten years before the stock market crash
But stuck in molasses, you don’t think about cash

Horses were trapped in the sticky mess
And very nice people shot them to death
Even the elevated train was destroyed
What a let-down for Sigmund Freud!

The tank was filled just to spite Prohibition
The country, like the booze, was in bad condition
It’s amazing what a population will entertain
To keep their supply of fermented grain
But the lesson to be learned is that tacky goo
Should be in kept in small jars labeled “George W”

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Sonnet 2

It’s a blind date, and they say lovers don’t eat
But I buy crustaceans and bake bread, whole wheat
I cook a stew in this huge oven of mine
While you’re on your way, taking your time

And then I see your face—you’re a vegetarian!
So I whip up a feast quite unbarbarian
Made of the choiciest organic ingredients
Just to show I adhere to experiments

I may not be the man of your dreams
But I know how to sizzle ‘em Boston baked beans
I may not be tall and handsome enough
But I serve Champagne Pierre Leboeuf
And if this night doesn’t end as I planned
At least I’ll have won your digestive gland

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