INTERVAL 2: EIGHT EIGHTS

L.A. Mereoie: Immoveable Feast?

Is winter not sufficient hell −
All darkness, rain, fog, sleet, snow, gales,
And then New Year and heaving sales –
Without the horror of Noel?

The festive season’s not a boon
If in the year it comes so late.
One hemisphere should change the date
And make it 25th of June.

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Daniel Galef: By a Poet at Twenty-Two

When I was one-and-twenty,
And you were twenty-one,
You told me “Stuff that Housman
And go and have some fun!”
You swiped my book of verses,
Began to riffle through.
Now you are two-and-twenty
And I am twenty-two.

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Paul Fraleigh: Grey Aliens

Grey aliens work the whole year round
With frightened abductees,
At stressful jobs on UFO’s,
Examining those they seize.

To let off steam, each Halloween,
They slyly make as if
They’re kids dressed up for trick or treat ‒
And no one knows the diff.

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Jane Blanchard: Poetess

The Muse has come to visit me,
So I must entertain –
If she should be dissatisfied,
I shall write verse in vain.

Some English tea and ginger cake
Might suit her taste just fine –
Perhaps she will not notice that
The silver needs a shine.

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Thomas Tyrrell: In Marrakesh

There is always a cat at the end of an alley,
For they know every backstreet and archway and door.
It is only the cats know their way through the city,
And no matter how well or how long you explore

The souk's winding ways or the crowded medina,
While the sunlight beats down or the moon's on the wane,
There is always a cat at the end of an alley
You did not see before and you won't find again.

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Robin Helweg-Larsen: Friendship, Not Passion

I had a friendship, more than passionate love, for you;
we could have been so good, easy, together.
But there’s that issue of your strong religious thoughts,
whereas I let my thoughts change with the weather.

I . . . well, and who’s the I you think that you address?
I ramble, googly-eyed, my arms elastic.
There are so many sweet but, sadly, firm believers.
I’m ‒ more than atheist ‒ iconoclastic.

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Max Gutmann: How To Use Chopsticks

“Another Ross illusion was that he
understood Chinese food.”

‒ E B. White in a letter to Groucho Marx

Construing Chinese food, one frequently stumbles.
Chop suey is cryptic. Chow mein often mumbles.
Mixed messages fly without reason or rhyme.
Something’s sweet and it’s sour at the very same time?
Soon it all becomes tangled ‒ can’t pick it apart.
Not like burgers and fries. They go straight to the heart.

A confoundingly subtle and fishy cuisine,
Chinese food is tasty, but what’s it all mean?

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Pat D'Amico: No Thanks For The Memory

If I should forget myself
And do something rather dumb,
It will be a certainty
That in the years to come
There will be some person
In whose brain-pan glows an ember ‒
And it will be his mission
To be sure that I remember.

(First published in The Wall Street Journal)

 

Person on table wearing lampshade and embarrased guests