The Top O’ My Head Blues

The front of my face has a lump and some holes
The front of my face has a lump and some holes
My mouth, eyes, and nostrils, they all know their roles
They’re windows to five different sides of my soul
The front of my face has a lump and some holes

The side of my head has two tunnels with flaps
The side of my head has two tunnels with flaps
There’s also some hair but I hide it with caps
Songs slide inside through my ears and get trapped
The side of my head has two tunnels with flaps

The back of my skull funnels into my neck
The back of my skull funnels into my neck
I cut off the mole when it tried to infect
There might be some freckles but I’d have to check
The back of my skull funnels into my neck

The tip of my top is uncluttered with fur
The tip of my top is uncluttered with fur
I picture my features the way that they were
What does my wife see? You’d have to ask her.
The tip of my top is uncluttered with fur

The front of my face has a lump and some holes
The front of my face has a lump and some holes
My mouth, eyes, and nostrils, they all know their roles
They’re windows to five different sides of my soul
The front of my face has a lump and some holes

Petrified Shirley

English majors, oddly, study
Greek and Roman myths a lot
But just tonight I learned a name
That, if I knew, I’d quite forgot.
King Midas had a daughter
Whom he turned to gold in error (oops!).
I’d heard her name was Zoë (life)
In some retellings, but she troupes
Through story after story of
The Midas Myth unappellated;
Rendered statuesque
(Or statuary) by her dad, she’s fated
To adorn a corner of the palace
And be buffed and dusted
By the household staff like
Any other sculpture, ’til she’s busted
Or, in times of hardship,
Melted down by Cash4Gold.com,
And all without a name that’s known
To anyone but Dad and Mom.
Tonight, however, there she was,
Onstage in Metamorphoses
By Mary Zimmerman, Act I, scene 2,
Which ends just after she’s
Been carried off by two stage crew
In golden statue form, and Dad
Is told he might reverse the curse
If he atones for being bad
By [yada, yada, yada]… Anyway,
My point is, in scene 3,
We meet Alcyone [al-SEE-uh-Nee]
And Ceyx [SEE-icks]. He
Is headed off to sea; Alcyone’s
Afraid that he’ll be lost;
She says these words, which by themselves
(For me) were worth the ticket cost:
“Now I am petrified. Surely….”
The line goes on; I didn’t hear
The rest ’cause I was thinking, “No,
Your name’s Alcyone. It’s clear
The golden statue woman in scene 2’s
To whom that name refers.
Come on, Petrified Shirley?
If that’s anybody’s name, it’s hers!”

Medford

Take a walk and stretch your jaws
Break a couple local laws
Pop your top and drop your drawers
Howl like the moon is yours
Run naked through the empty park
Beside the river in the dark
They’ll talk about us on the news
But we’ll have crossed the Siskiyous
Bound southward toward the fruits and nuts
In SoCal where they flash their butts
At every opportunity
And won’t look twice at you and me
And life will be a bore again
Until we’re back in Oregon

Get A Life

Because I could not stop for Death,
He calls me night and day —
Leaves messages on my machine —
Not interested, okay?!

I stoop to weed the carrot patch,
He’s there between the rows,
Smiting snails with salt from widows’ tears —
(He’s flush with those)

I fill my shopping cart with fruits
And vegetables and fish —
He points out all those things are dead —
That makes you cool? You wish!

Restraining orders — pepper spray —
Nothing seems to work.
He flipped his middle finger to my dog —
Death’s such a jerk.

I quit my job — went underground —
Permed and dyed my hair
Closed the door on my old life —
Next morning, Death was there

And yet, if Death stopped stalking me,
I’d think I’d sorta miss him.
He’s creepy, but dependable, you know?
But I won’t kiss him!

Context

“I love you.” Always nice to hear,
Unless the speaker reeks of beer
And wears an artificial wig–
That is, her real hair, just too big
To fit her head–and fake mustaches
Over both her eyes, like lashes,
And she’s talking to her thumb,
Not you; In that case, it’s just dumb.

Now There Be Dragons!

Rabbits in the undergrowth
And perched in trees (that’s right, in both!)
Are packing up their travel gear
And hopping transport out of here.
Where yesterday they gazed upon
Their rabbit-run domains, they’re gone.
Tomorrow to your carrot-call
No rabbits will respond at all.
Twitch your nose with all your might,
Summon bunnies morn ’til night,
But finding even one’s a feat:
They’re out of stock for pet or meat.
How come our lapine cupboard’s bare?
How came we to be shorn of hare?
Unlike hobbit Bilbo Baggins,
Rabbits don’t do well with dragons.

Food For Me?

Whimper, whimper, grovel, beg
Flop down flat against my leg
Tail tucked under, chin extended
Flush against the floor, intended
To entice an early treat
(At nine p.m. she gets to eat
A cookie if she’s cleaned her bowl;
To fetch her said dessert’s my role)
She’s clever, and she knows the time,
However, she has hopes that I’m
Distracted by my writing tasks
And might just give in if she asks
So, ask she does, with soulful eye
And doleful body language. Why
She thinks I’ll cave and cede the win
I couldn’t say. (I did. Again.)