Eight For Eight For Nothing

It’s hard to swim fast.
It takes hours and hours
And hours to fully
Develop your powers,
And then when you make
An Olympic team? Wow!
You’re on top of the world!
Mom, look at me now!
Then you get to the Games
And meet dozens of others
Who’ve just come from shouting
Out loud to their mothers
Back home in their countries:
The best of the best
From the whole world over
Are here for the test.
And it’s not even like
You can jump in the pool
Swim your best in one race
And go home. No, the rule
Is you have to swim prelims
To qualify just
To move on to the semis,
The true upper crust
Of the world’s mom-hollerers,
And, even then
You have eight more to beat
To compete for the win!
To recap: You swim miles
And miles and miles
In practice to train
For a place in the trials
That sort out the two
From your country who’ll get
The great honor of showing
How fast they are, wet,
In the one meet that most
Of the world ever watches
(From home on the sofa
With crumbs on their crotches).
And then, when you get there,
The sorting begins
With the heats, where defeats
Mean you can’t try for wins!
It all boils down to
Eight swimmers whose spinal
And mental resilience
Leads to the final.
And there, after all that,
You finally race…
And your “fans” think you’ve failed
If you’re worse than third place.
And if you’re the favorite?
You’d better take first
And confirm you’re the best,
Or they’ll call you the worst!
And that’s one event,
Over one or two days
When your race can go sideways
A number of ways.
Now, double that stress
And swim two events. Whoo!
Now add relays, where teammates
Are counting on you
To lift them to the top
Of the medallists’ stairs;
Next to that, solo pressure
Just barely compares!
Now, pause for a second:
Imagine a Games
Where eight winners of golds
Had identical names!
That’s right: Eight gold medals,
Eight triumphs of fitness
And speed to which, oh,
Half the world bore witness!
And then, four years later,
The world checks in
And you’re still in the pool?
Cool! Now, do it again!
It’s hard to swim fast
And to win takes some luck,
But win eight, wait four years,
Then come fourth?
Man, you suck.

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Anything Else

A is for Anything
N, well, it’s Not
Y is for What the hell?
T…I forgot
H is for Hug me and I’ll go away
I is for I’m out of cash, can you pay?
N is for Nothing (we did this up top)
G is for Gimme a kiss and I’ll stop
Space is the place where they park all the stars
E’s for Epiphone’s Les Paul guitars
L is for Let me have one little squeeze?
S is for Stop that! Quit hitting me, please!
E’s an Epiphany, too: I struck out!
ANYTHING ELSE? No, I think I’ll just pout.

Don’t Say Bears

Bats eat pancakes.
Snakes eat cheese.
What do bees eat?
Tell me, please.

Crows eat foie gras
Then deny it;
Geese, perversely,
Want to try it.

Flying mammals,
Swift and squeaky,
Bathe themselves
In syrup. Freaky.

Lactose-loving
Serpents slurping
Liquid cheese
Lay eggs while burping.

Geese and crows, though,
Get a grip!
That foie gras stuff’s
A nasty trip.

One more thing,
Before we go:
Just what do bees eat?
I don’t know.

Arch Nemeses

The arches of my feet are there.
It’s hard to sleep when I’m aware
Of where my feet go up beneath.
That grinding noise you hear? My teeth.
I’m lying there, not quite awake,
Not thinking of the giant snake
That lives beneath my futon bed
When suddenly it fills my head:
My feet have arches! There’s a spot
On each that’s higher than it’s not!
An aqueduct from ancient Rome
Would see my feet and think of home.
The concave portion of my sole
Is empty, like a half a hole
Was pasted to the bottom side
Of where my foot becomes less wide.
The hollow soon expands until
It fills my room. (It can! It will!)
The flesh that’s absent from my foot
Becomes that up with which I put
Reluctantly, with much distress.
Would I prefer an earworm? Yes!
The Disney “It’s A Small World” theme,
Compared to this, is blissful dream!
I press my feet against the floor
And rub the rug until they’re sore
And I’m so sleepy I’m in tears,
And as the Underserpent jeers
(The footless beast can’t comprehend
My misery), I sleep. The End.

No One’s Coming

No one’s coming for your guns.
The bad guys are the other ones,
The ones who have the guns you love.
Are you confused? Please see above.

No one’s coming for your gat.
In fact, the guy accused of that
Just opened up Yosemite
To pistol-packing tourists. Whee!

No one’s coming for your piece.
Amendment II will never cease
To be the law of this great land.
Which part do you not understand?

Everyone who wants a gun
Can have one, both for work and fun.
AK-47s for
Your hunting trip? Take two! Take four!

No one’s coming. Save your breath.
No matter who gets shot to death
At school, the movies, on the street,
Your right to bear won’t meet defeat.

What scares me more than guns would be
Huge swaths of our society
With shoulder holsters packed with chips.
No one’s coming. Read my lips.

No one’s coming for your guns.
The bad guys are the other ones,
The ones who have the guns you love.
Are you confused? Please see above.

The Times They Were a-Changin’

Today in 1965
The hottest folk/pop god alive
Bestrode the Newport, R.I., stage
And prompted in the crowd a rage
That nearly 50 years have yet
To fully explicate. The set
Was shortened due to time constraints
Which may have led to some complaints
From those who loved Bob Dylan’s sound;
What may have made their grief compound
Was that the band played “Maggie’s Farm”
Electrified!
The grievous harm
Inflicted on le mouvement folk
Would cause all Maggie’s clan to choke!
Bob sang, “I try my best to be
Just like I am,” and yet, when he
Attempted to be plugged-in him,
The crowd cried he should be like them.
The booing crowd made Dylan sore.
He ain’t gonna play that stage no more.