Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Call of the Wild (revised)

This is polished up a bit from the earlier draft. I'll be reading this and a few others at poetrySPARK in the humor program on September 19 in Raleigh.




The Call of the Wild
For Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina

It is springtime and a young man’s fancy
is seized by the call of nature, the call of the wild,
a force beyond his control,
a force he pretty much thinks about all the time,
that in springtime shuts down all other thought,
the urgent need that can be slaked by one thing only,
by hiking the Appalachian Trail.
No time for notice to family and friends,
for itineraries left with the secretary,
for out of office notifications on the email.
Apologies to anyone trying to reach me,
but I am hiking the Appalachian Trail.
It’s as old as man,
snaking through plump mountains
and lush curves for two thousand miles.
Even a young man lacks
the stamina to do it all at once,
would have a hard time getting up
the steepest hills time after time after time,
would surely get blisters,
so I will periodically leave on short notice
to grab a piece here or there.
I beseech your understanding
when a whiff of floral cologne
drives me to thoughts of bushes
of rhododendron in bloom,
to desperate day-long hikes that climax al fresco
on moonlit mountaintop meadows,
camping in the wild, days and days and days at a time,
hiking the Appalachian Trail.

&&

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Death, Taxes, Muzak

This poem was published in the Spring 2009 issue of Main Street Rag. I've been waiting for MSR to fix the link to the table of contents for this issue, but it's been several months and it's still not fixed. You'll just have to trust me. The poem is in there.


Death, Taxes, Muzak

It’s been a long time since rock ‘n’ roll
scared middle-agers in Cadillacs,
since sarcasm was understood
by Mercedes drivers and execs,
since punk anarchists in leather jackets
snarled at corporate greed.
Now stooges have a lust for cruises
and baby got backpack at Tarzhay.


I remember the first time I saw a rock (or punk or rap) song used on a TV commercial. A commercial that was not aimed at MTV viewers. A rock song that was noise to the over-30 crowd at the time it was recorded.

Led Zeppelin selling Cadillacs?!! My grandparents would have been the target audience for Cadillacs back in the early 1970s when that song was recorded. One way to guarantee they would not buy a Cadillac would have been to have it come with Led Zeppelin on the 8-track tape player. Now that's the soundtrack to commercials aimed at people in their 40s and 50s.

This poem includes references to specific songs used in TV commercials, even directly quoting a phrase from the lyrics of some of them. I was thinking of five specific songs/commercials. Four of those should be clear. The fifth reference might be a bit vague. See whether you can identify them. I'll post the references in the comments later.

&&

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Poked

A second poem inspired by Facebook.


Poked

I’ve never been poked before,
and didn’t even know it was possible to do that,
wasn’t aware of that special
poking place down there near the bottom.
But now I do since you
cared enough to poke me.
I had been thinking about you,
looking at your page just last night.
How wonderful it was to wake up
to you poking me this morning.
I’m thinking about you now,
and your sweet poke,
as I walk about town.
People on the street smile at me.
They see the sparkle in my eye
and can tell I’ve been poked,
there’s just no hiding it.


True story: a month or so ago I was looking at the website for a publishing company that's run by a friend in Illinois. The next day Facebook informed me that she had poked me, and I was inspired to write this poem. After I emailed it to her she replied that I had actually poked her first several months ago and she had just taken a while to poke me back. I think I must have been playing around with features on Facebook when I first joined and came across the poke then and forgot about it.

&&