Losing Our Shirt

Rasmus has asked me for a new reprise of a poem involving gambling. I think this might be it:

Losing Our Shirt

We hired a limousine
to go gambling at
the House of Cards
in an Earthquake Zone.

They told us house rules:
we’d be playing strip poker.

We were big losers
and we lost all our clothes, but

the earth moved for us, and
we ran out into the street naked
escaping with love and happiness

Partial Laughing


Grad students are known to have wacky research projects
some worth trying, some succeeding, some deadly.
Teaching language is always good.

Teaching mountain Gorillas in the dew
all about guerrilla tactics using
American sign language worked well
except for a primate’s risible plot
to get a seat at the UN, and
oust the poachers

Still, language projects are good.

But the Lions at the zoo
weren’t so amenable to gestures

Their beck was misunderstood by a student
and he got eaten

I Hate Poetry

I claw through words
growling to rip the meat,
add a soupçon to
a consommé, but
don’t make me
eat my soup in the woods

Like a bear
I hate poetry, because
it’s senseless to be dense
letting forest rangers throw
huh words in a campfire.

What would I want with dense description:
it makes my soup too thick, and
if I burn my tongue,
emotions will be hot
without corn indigestible.

Don’t make me
eat in the woods. My
kingdom for a kitchen table.

Can I just have my
Parmesan cheese, nutty and fine,
not looking for
patterns
in the wallpaper, equations for space travel,
’cause I can stare beyond the stars
some other time
after I’ve had
my soup with a spoon that need not be silver like the moon,
a simple spoon, only

large enough not to stew me,
not vaporize ineffables like vegetables

Never-mind

Sometimes when I go fishing
I catch fish. Last time
a lot.

decided to sell, so
I went to the fish market
to see how they do it.

He said, “How many pounds do you want?”
I said, “None. I’m selling not buying”
He said, “Stop fishing.”

I went to the market to sell books.
She said, “Go fishing.”
He said, “Go fly a kite.”

What am I supposed to do
with books on how to
fly a fish, and
fish a kite out of water
with a catfish and a hook?

Bearing Witness Bearing Burdens

Bearing Witness Bearing Burdens

Savages in the cabin
ripped its heart apart,
left nearly nothing
but sorrow and dregs.

Savages in the cabin
smashed to pieces
every stick of stove
strut of bed, left

nearly nothing but
honey-chocolate-marshmallow
spread in beer and urine,
footprints on the windows.

Oh Mother of infamy
with children in crime

in drinking my
100 autumn beers,
could you have
at least left a bed.

Though Norwegian krones are dear
you and your cronies scouted my cabin
for marshmallows
for honey and for beer

Infamous deeds
I will testify
to these indeed:
costly damage
smashed appliances

How sad to see
footprints on the windows
and honey on the beer

Oh dear,
Mothers in Finnmarken
have you taught your
cub scouts how to find beer?

My cabin in Jarfjord is destroyed
for honey and for beer, so I ask:
why don’t bears carry money
or manners or bear credit cards

If I must bear witness I will
until there is bare justice

Bacon

Bacon

Because I’m so hungry for bacon
I’ve put a fatty strip of words in a pan
to remember the slathering of mayonnaise
that made me toasty when
no one told me
about excess, and
tomatoes were like heaven
absorbing smoky pleasure
pork cured palate unquestioned

Oh to eat my sandwich in the parade
and taste it before the rain.