“The madness goes on your lap”

Script Frenzy starts today! No, wait,
It ends today. We’re kinda late,
Again, but that’s our usual
Condition, ’cause our plates are full.
My daughter and I run around
Until the clock is counting down
The final minutes to the end…
And that’s the time we’ve just beginned!
This year, we tried to keep it neat
And tidy, give ourselves a treat
By writing just two characters.
There’s Cedric (mine) and Maida (hers),
And both of them are sure that they
Are in the place they’re s’posed to stay
Because they pay the rent and such…
The premise doesn’t matter much,
In fact, because the length is key:
A hundred pages means we’ll be
Included on the Frenzy’s list
Of playwrights whom the Muses kissed
And blessed with sweet completion’s song…
Although, in our case, they were wrong
Because three hours is too short
To write so much. Our last resort
Was copying our one scene (one!)
To Google Translate, where, for fun,
And on the flimsiest of plot
Devices, we transformed the lot
From English to Italian,
And then from English once again
To Catalan, and finally
Back into English, which, you’ll see,
Beginning on page 88
Takes oddly dumb to freakin’ great!
It isn’t good, but it was fun,
And we’ll still both pretend we won!


Hubristic poet, wracked with angst,
Yanks hair by fistfuls from his scalp
And guzzles soda like a burp’ll
Make him magically a more in-
Genious rhyming whiz, but thanks
To too much caffeine, his heart palp-
Itates erratically as, purple-
Faced, he cries, “What rhymes with orange?!?”

Thought Experiment

Here’s the premise: Dogs wear hats.
Does that affect their views on cats?
Would perros con sombreros still
Be Sluggo to cats’ Mr. Bill?
Or would les chiens dans les chapeaux
Relax and let their cattacks go?

The answer, I suppose, would seem
To hinge on canine self-esteem:
If dogs are “ruff” on cats because
They’re envious, I’d say it does
Seem plausible that dressing up
Would make a much more mellow pup.

If pit bulls fitted with fedoras
Look on cats like Lukes on Lauras
In that eighties daytime soap,
The prospect fills my heart with hope
Republicans and Democrats
Might someday shed their Harpy Hats.

Let’s do it! Slap a lid atop
A dog, and make the madness stop!
Worst case, the tricked-out pup’s still mean:
At least we all could say we’d seen
Some cani in capelli chew
On gatti. I’d take that. Would you?

Inscription in a Book Given for No Particular Reason on the 24th of April

As William Shakespeare liked to say,
“When is my birthday? Yesterday?
I don’t remember eating cake.
When was I born, for heaven’s sake?!?”
It might have been the twenty-third
Of April, which would be absurd
‘Cause that’s the day he also died–
He couldn’t have planned that if he’d tried,
Because, as we’ve already seen,
He didn’t dig the birthday scene,
Perhaps because he never knew
Just when he’d joined the world. Who
Can say how that distressing fact
Informed the plays that we now act?
To be, or not to be, was not
In question–when’s what he forgot.

Not much of this has aught to do
With giving this new book to you,
Except that, maybe, it’s a gift
That balances the shortened shrift
That Willie must have got each year
Because he had no birthday.


Playoff Mea Culpa

I’d like to take this opportunity
To beg the pardon of those Blazer fans
Who would have gestured angrily at me
If they weren’t sitting dumbstruck in the stands.
I switched the game on late, in time to see
About ten minutes pass without a shot
By any Blazer count for two or three–
Their free throws were the only points they got.
From only two, the Dallas lead had grown
To twenty-three before I headed out
To mow the lawn. Now, how could I have known
That I had caused the Blazers’ shooting drought?
A 40-15 run to close the game
And win by two. Too close! And I’m to blame.

Living The Dream

An elderly man
With a fistful of flan
Hollers something in Spanish
(Or French) then he’s gone

A column of preschoolers
Tied to a string
Shriek The Wheels On The Bus
But their leader won’t sing

The tables and chairs
From the outdoor cafe
Shed their cushions and cloths
As they gallop away

A car on the sidewalk
A tree in the drive
Those tourists are frozen
That statue’s alive

If this is a movie
The popcorn is burned
I pinch and feel nothing
So what have I learned?

I don’t hear the roar
‘Til it’s suddenly gone
There’s dust in the air
And I’m hungry for flan

Earth Eve

On Christmas Eve we hang our socks;
On Earth Eve we hang Birkenstocks.
They’re not as good at holding treats,
But who’d eat sweets from hippies’ feets?
This year we have no Earth Day tree–
We bought one, then we set it free!
The children took it kind of hard.
They see it lying in the yard
And ask, “Why can’t we bring it in?”
We tell them that’s an Earth Day sin.
“That’s cruel,” we say. “Trees live outside!”
“Most do,” say they, “but that one died.
You probly shouldn’ta cut it down.”
They have a point: It’s turning brown
And contemplates its manumission
From a prone (supine?) position.
Still, tomorrow should be fun.
We’ll rise at dawn to greet the sun,
Exchange our Carbon Credit Cards,
Then fertilize the neighbors’ yards
With soil from our vegan pup–
That is, if we can wake her up
(She sleeps a lot on this new diet).
Then we’ll fry a kite and fly it
Near the budding cherry trees;
The greasy smell excites the bees
And stimulates their pollinating.
(Don’t look, kids! The trees are mating!)
After that, it’s pretty much
The same as every year: We touch
Our foreheads to the compost heap
And pray the Earth our soil to keep,
Then off to work–a major bummer…
Glad I fueled up the Hummer!
(Such a sturdy S.U.V.
Defines sustainability.)
Happy Earth Day! Have a blast!
Here’s hoping it won’t be our last.

Submitted to Thursday Poet’s Rally 42