One Word: Checklists

The sample shampoo fried my hair
My toothbrush somehow wasn’t there
Despite the fact you said you’d packed it
What you’re going to say, redact it
I don’t want to hear the why
What was this, like, your eighth “last try”?
I’m sure there’s things you do quite well
Next time, I’m choosing our hotel


Giving thanks for words that rhyme
Not once or twice, but all the time,
For phrases whose internal rhythm
Make me glad I’m working with ’em.
Thankful, too, for people who
Bring joy to me and cheer to you,
Who make Thanksgiving Day so nice
I wish we’d killed the turkey twice!
Not really–you know what I mean:
When food’s all gone and dishes clean
When T-Day football games are done
And nothing’s left but everyone
We love–in person or in mind
Including those who’ve left behind
Their imprint on those gathered here
But occupy no chair this year–
When all’s erased but we and they,
I’m thankful for Thanksgiving Day.


If I were a clown
I’d eat breakfast alone
I’d be friendless on Facebook
I’d not need a phone

If I were a clown
I’d wear makeup in bed
I’d have shoes like canoes
Tiny hats for my head

If I were a clown
I would terrify me
When I looked in the mirror
I’d hate what I see

If I were a clown
I’d hide laughter within
I’d paint anger and chaos
And pain on my skin

The tears I’d provoke
Would cause toddlers to drown
I’d be lonely and like it
If I were a clown

Are You Going To Finish That?

It seems I mostly note my lack
Of dog when I prepare a snack.
Syd had a most exquisite sense
Of how to beg without offense:
She wouldn’t whine or make a fuss,
She’d simply sit, like, Look at us,
Two friends together. One has food?
Well, how ’bout that? Her attitude
Was something on the order of,
You eat. I’m happy just to love!
Departed Sydney, Canine Martyr,
Still fulfills her wistful charter,
Which explains what I just did:
I cut the cheese, and thought of Syd.

Depth Perception

Depth perception comes, I know,
From viewing things in stereo
And thus a two-eyed creature’s rich
In capabilities of which
He’s justly proud: Discerning whether
Distant objects stand together
Or in nonadjacent spaces.
Lenses twinned upon their faces
Help them tell foreground from back-,
A knack which cyclopeans lack,
Which may be why we rarely see ’em
Painting in the Louvre Museum,
Copying the classicists
(Picasso, though, might make their lists).
It must be hard to face resistance
When your critics keep their distance
‘Cause they’re scared, while you, poor guy,
Can’t tell because you’ve just one eye!
Cyclops artists have it rough,
Don’t you agree? (One “aye’s” enough.)


The words you use are yours to choose;
A mis-tensed verb should not be news
Or cause the underclothes to bunch
On colloquists with whom you lunch.
Knowing who from whom is nice,
But if you’re understood, suffice
To say, you chose the proper word.
To argue otherwise? Absurd.
There’s things I can’t and things I shan’t lick.
Stating either’s not pedantic.*
Who’s the pedant? She who shares
That there’re’s more correct than there’s.
She’s right, but if my drift was caught
A public reprimand should not
Be leveled; that my meaning’s plain
Should trump the English major’s pain.
Do I have grammar peeves? Why, yes!
Employing fewer ‘stead of less,
For instance. Still, that’s less a crime
Than proof of who you are, and I’m.
Respect my choices, please, and I’ll
Permit you your linguistic style.
Thusly, our communication
Must improve, a consummation
Which is to be wished devoutly.
Though we inward cringe, and poutly
Expurgate each other’s speech,
Let’s leave to those employed to teach
The madding crowd the finer points
Of grammar, displaced nasal joints.
The fewer folk who disagree,
The less they’ll rate this rant from me.

*Nor is pointing out I shouldn’t
Lick things Willie Nilly wouldn’t;
Willie’s taste in public licking
Forms a base of rules worth sticking
To in order that your tongue’s
As useful when you’re old as young.

Object Impermanence

November 22nd
(Just the second one for me)
The black-and-white world beckoned
Through the vacuum-tube T.V.
But the tragedy in Texas
Didn’t register. You see,
That’s how politics affects us
When we’re not halfway to three.