9 responses

  1. This is my first post-election poem. I had just read a couple of poems by John Clare when I wrote it. Too doggerelish? Thanks

    Blank

    I’ve lost my country
    I’ve lost my wife
    I’ve lost my child
    I’ve lost my health
    I’ve lost my job
    (A hundred times)
    I lost my mind
    To blank.
    But with only pain
    To fill it in
    I found myself
    The earth.

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  2. I dropped the serial past participles in this version to make it sound more direct.

    I lost my country
    I lost my wife
    I lost my child
    I lost my health
    I lost my job
    (A hundred times)
    I lost my mind
    To blank.
    But with only pain
    To fill it in
    I found myself
    The earth.

    Like

  3. And after the above poem this one–like 5 minutes later. Any better? Thanks

    Star Study

    The solitude of stars
    Is just their distance set
    But I’ve seen that distance
    In a face and felt it
    In my soul, a wonder
    Of the faraway beyond
    A voice or touch.

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  4. Thanks. I agree. I also had a reservation that its serial morbidity looked too contrived. So how about this one–I wrote this morning–my 3rd in 24 hrs. Any impressions?

    For my high school students

    What I remember is myself as you
    So I try not to judge (but do)
    Because I did avoid drink & sweets
    And friends playing chicken with locomotives
    “You asshole! Stop this car now!”
    And always preferred to live another day
    For my bizarre sexual fantasies
    While voting Republican. And
    So I judge but never unjustly
    And start at the top, beheading
    Only those who pump you full
    Of shit, the Hollywood pimps, some
    Columnists for the Washington Post,
    And New York Times and so forth.
    Truth be told
    You’ve made quite a Hitler out of me
    But it’s always in your behalf, in your
    Interest when heads roll, something
    Good I can do now that I’m old and uncool.
    Meantime you stay healthy and fit,
    Enjoy fucking your wives, do a good job
    And, unlike me, keep your mouth shut to keep it
    While even more heads roll
    And I do the work of love.

    Like

  5. Slightly adjusted line 14. I used to teach high school and may yet again when my money runs out. Think they’d hire me in Vermont?

    For my high school students

    What I remember is myself as you
    So I try not to judge (but do)
    Because I did avoid drink & sweets
    And friends playing chicken with locomotives
    “You asshole! Stop this car now!”
    And always preferred to live another day
    For my bizarre sexual fantasies
    While voting Republican. And
    So I judge but never unjustly
    And start at the top, beheading
    Only those who pump you full
    Of shit, the Hollywood pimps, some
    Columnists for the Washington Post
    Or New York Times and such.
    Truth be told
    You’ve made quite a Hitler out of me
    But it’s always in your behalf, in your
    Interest when heads roll, something
    Good I can do now that I’m old and uncool.
    Meantime you stay healthy and fit,
    Enjoy fucking your wives, do a good job
    And, unlike me, keep your mouth shut to keep it
    While even more heads roll
    And I do the work of love.

    Like

  6. This poem was hilarious to me—even with its rough edges—so I tried to smooth it out some. Maybe it has achieved the level of literature, maybe not. Or maybe it’s good enough at least that I can still count on you for a letter of recommendation for my next high school teaching stint—in Vermont.

    To My High School Students

    What I remember is myself as you
    So I try not to judge (but do)
    Because I did avoid drink & sweets
    And friends playing chicken with trains
    “You asshole! Stop this car now!”
    That is, preferred to live another day
    For my bizarre sexual fantasies
    (While voting Republican). And
    So I judge but never unjustly
    And always start at the top, beheading
    Just those elites
    Who pump you full of shit:
    The Hollywood pimps for one, a
    Salt mine for The New York Times,
    The Washington Post et alia.
    Truth be told
    You’ve made quite a Hitler of me
    But it’s always in your behalf, in your
    Interest when heads roll, something
    Good I can do now that I’m old and uncool.
    Meantime you stay healthy and fit,
    Enjoy fucking your wives, do a good job
    And, unlike me, keep your mouth shut to keep it
    While even more heads roll
    And I do the work of love.

    Like

    • I ran this poem by a couple of my homeboys, certified MAGA men, and got only blank expressions and crossed arms. The two most problematic lines for them seemed to be “For my bizarre sexual fantasies” and “Enjoy fucking your wives.” (They all have wives.) Perhaps, as Wallace Stevens put it, this poem should remain in a “gallery of one’s own.”

      Like

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