Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013n First draft poem: Joanne


Part I:

My shopping cart is filled to the brim
with desires and fancies:
sourdough slices, shaved parmesan
root beer and Kettle chips
raspberries and plums
goat cheese, granola
I grab Advil and Tums.

Bisquik and Nestles Quik
brown eggs and sea salt
Free ranging chickens  
peppercorns to be ground
I grab a sweet treat as I’m standing in line
If I walk away from these bags, nothing changes for me
I still will be fine

Part II:

Joanne’s shopping cart holds her worldly belongings
Full, overflowing, and yet nothing much in tow
Folded cardboard, a sweater
three rough but clean blankets
sheets of plastic and tarps for the wind and the rain
A gallon of water and a few magazines
Recyclables gathered until enough to reclaim

A box full of what
she really must carry
from hard bench to alley or on a good day, 
an alcove with shade and a breeze
but she still wears a cap and a jacket
though it’s eighty degrees

Part III:

Each Sunday she makes her home
in the same garden courtyard
at my office building
she lies in the sun, reading,
her sunglasses stay on so I can’t see her eyes
Her unlined face mocha, could be 40 or 65
humming a low tune I can’t recognize

I am ashamed to be surprised she is lucid, well-spoken
possessed of a quiet dignity and grace
that allows me small kindnesses -
a key to the bathroom
and pillows, which she returns to my suite
with a thank you note - and though she gets food stamps
I wonder when she next will eat

I give her some chocolate and my Sunday paper
and later I ask what she’s reading about
The new health care law, she says
she still can’t afford it
hopes she won’t get in trouble, that no one will tell
she’ll just do without doctors
and try to stay well


Joanne has no home.

But Joanne has a name.

Joanne is my sister.

And Joanne is my shame.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 10, 2013 A Politically Incorrect Poem

So I was in the butcher shop the other day and both amused and horrified myself with the thought:  I am tired of the same old meat.  Thus the inspiration for this poem/punk song.  With a nod to Jonathan Swift.  To all my vegan/ish friends:  please forgive me this silliness and I hope it does not offend you.  I admire your values greatly in this regard, and find myself woefully lacking, hence the self-mockery.

The Politically Incorrect Paean to Meat

My friends have all gone vegan,
gluten- free, no GMO’s
but I feed my addiction
with those hint of lime Tostitos

They all eat kale and quinoa,
whatever the fuck that is
but me I want some onion rings,  
and gimme gooey cheez whiz

         But the thing that I like best of all is meat, yeah I said it, meat
         The only trouble is there’s just not enough of it to eat
         Flesh from cows and pigs and chickens is all I ever see
         There’s a whole wide world of animals,
         Just waiting for a fricasee

Yeah, I love tritips, breasts and thighs
I like my burgers rare and thick
Can sink my teeth into a pork chop
Enjoy that corn dog on a stick

But I’m tired of the same old thing
I want something new to masticate
An emu, or a leopard
Put a panda on my plate

Let me deep fry up a dingo
Add a lemur to my stew
And on my shishkabob
I’d like a meerkat, maybe two

       Yeah the thing that I like best of all is meat, I said it , meat