January 7, 2006
Light Verse Poems About Places:
The Inuit Knew It
How sad to be a Minnesota poet -
As lost in snow as any Eskimo, yet
Of it can say but little - or ignore it,
Poor Anglo, with but just the one word for it.
When Kim saw glazed-eyed Haight,
She cried out "This is hippie?!
Excuse me, I've a date
East of the Mississippi..."
Don't dam the Colorado there!
The rift without the river is bare.
[Note: Refers to James Russell Lowell's line, "The gift
without the giver is bare."]
Recipe for an Ocean
Roll it and roll it out; add in fin item -
Little ones first, then the big ones to bite 'em.
The beams grow rotten, year by year,
Till Yankee Stadium sheds a tier.
Aladdin, the Mermaid, et. al.
Dreams that lived on the page --
we could hear 'em, BE 'em --
Now preserved in a plastic
A Flight of Fancy
Looking up from the endless arid plain,
For a little romance, he
Sips fine champagne on a fancy plane --
Fancy that! A plain fancy.
From Plain to Fancy Free
Dear Elmer, I tried to be true,
But a farm on the plains raising PORK...!?
Dear, I once took a fancy to you;
Now I've taken a plane to New York.
I'll bet that's a Minnesotan--
That one, there, without a coat on.
A mile deep and a mile wide,
It will take a while to fill,
But human nature's on our side:
Where there's a hole, there's a will.
If The Stones Remember, Can We Please Forget?
Israel is so steeped in history, said the poet,
That even the stones know it;
Through this land swept prophets, sages, bloody suppressors;
The rocks have memorized it all like a committee of professors.
The stones remember in Israel,
Scholars without parallel.
It must be pleasant to step on tedious pedagogues all the way to
Pausing to watch a know-it-all rock get pissed on by an old skinny
Who'd rather chaw on a dry bone
Then have all the memories of a stone.
Pushed back to Saigon, we
Nit-Pickers in Nashville
Afraid to rhyme?
Don't be bashful.
It's no crime --
Just be Nashful.
No, not Nashful,
Which none can more zanily transmogrify...
Yet who can, with
And vinegar and pith,
So don't be bashful --
Over line length, meter and spelling, which is the Nashful
Nashful, not bashful
(Are you glad to see me or is that a pen I see?) --
And no, not Nashful,
(You just haven't lvd!)
Mainly in drag;
Mainly a drag.
An Assimilated Jew Visits New York
Roses are reddish,
Violets are bluish,
And (curious fetish)
Some Jews are Jewish.
Near the Corner of Tobias and Hateras Streets,
Van Nuys, Van Nuys Indeed!
A few doors from Hateras
We bounce on our materas,
Then watch time go by us
From our bed on Tobias.
[Note: I lived on Tobias Street a few house from Hateras Street
in Van Nuys, CA, 1979-82. It seemed a shame not to use those rhymes.]