POEM: A Mythical Child of the Corn

Whenever I tell anyone that I grew up on a farm,
I get a certain reaction,

“REALLY?”

As if, of all the lies I could tell, that’s the one I’d pick.

You believed me when I told you I’d met the original Hamburglar,
but not that I grew up on a farm?

[Incidentally, I did meet A Hamburglar, but I’m pretty sure it was a sweaty teenager with limited job prospects.]

I don’t really think these people think I’m a liar.

Perhaps they thought farms are like Conestoga wagons and cave paintings,
quaint reflections of simpler bye-gone days.

Maybe they thought their corn chips were grown in petri dishes in a subterranean factory.

[Bad example. Maybe corn chips are manufactured that way, but I’m pretty sure somewhere there is a hose through which good old Hoosier-grown corn is fed in; maybe it’s just defective kernels that weren’t salable to the makers of feed for hulking Angus cattle, but still…]

Anyhow, I suspect they are just excited to come across someone so rare — if in a workaday way.

It’s nothing like meeting Neil Armstrong or Beyoncé,

but rather like meeting the guy who did Neil Armstrong’s tire alignment or who cleans Beyoncé’s fish tanks.

A mundane superstar.

A mythical child of the corn.

Ninja Nursery Rhymes

Public Domain image from Wikipedia

Ninja be nimble,

Ninja be quick,

Ninja knock you on the noggin with a big stick.

***

Ninja be stealthy… healthy… and wise,

Ninja snatch like a snake, pull out your eyes.

***

Biscuit in a basket,

Ninja put you in a casket.

***

Heading home from the archives,

I met this cat who had five lives.

He’d met four ninja in lives past.

One life was lost in a big blast…

two were stabbed,

and the last one gassed.

Reaching home, ninja at his door,

his lives remaining numbered four.

***

Uh, oh, Ninja,

Have you any heads?

Yes, sir, yes, sir,

Three over in the shed.

One for my Lady,

One for my Lord,

One for the practice,

’cause I got a new sword.

***

Eeny, meeny, miny, egg.

Catch the Shogun by his leg.

If he hollers, make him beg.

Eeny, meeny, miny, egg.

***

Hey, Willie Winkie, you’re making too much noise.

Running around town, checking on girls and boys.

If you’d have done your job, and shut the kid up.

I’d not have had to put Ambien in his juice cup.

***

POEM: The Destroyer



Mighty Fungi, the destroyer,
rending like a divorce lawyer.
There are no bonds you can’t dissolve.
It’s by your graces our world revolves.
Your rap is bad, but we all know,
the pile of stiffs would ceaseless grow,
if you weren’t breaking down the dead.

Plus, we love your work on beer and bread.

POEM: Some Clichéd Advice

Steer into that dizzy skid.

Don’t pop the top, blow the lid.

Life happens: while making plans.

No plans? Just kick that can.

Dance, like they ain’t watchin’ you.

Buy a vowel, get a clue.

Yesterday is history,

Tomorrow is a mystery,

Today is a gift, like socks.

Which you should grab, after dropping your…*

______________________________________________________________________

[*Note: I caught “Full Metal Jacket” on TV last night.]

POEM: My Theory on the Long Shadow of Hitler’s Mustache

People once saw in it great panache,
but Hitler killed the toothbrush mustache.

Now no one would dare to wear it.

Except that groundskeeper from Magnum P.I.

who turned out to be the mysterious millionaire.

Maybe, his wealth was Nazi gold?

But that isn’t my theory of the long shadow of Hitler’s mustache.

My theory is that when the short mustache comes back in fashion,
great evil will sit upon our doorstep.

For it is more than a choice of facial hair,
it’s a barometer of remembrance
that lacks an indicator of the half-life
of evil’s stain upon our collective consciousness.



Or, maybe, it just looks stupid on your face.
As if you made a dreadful razor error
and tried to play it off as a plan
through use of symmetry.



In which case, someone should be charting
the rate of application for name change by
Hitlers, Himmlers, Goebbels, and Görings.

An Introvert’s Poem

Please don’t take this the wrong way,
but I wish you existed fewer hours per day.
 
It’s not that I don’t like your company.
 
It’s just that I wish your dosage were smaller.
It’s not like I wish you thinner, prettier, or taller,
 
I just wish there were less of you — temporally speaking.

POEM: Dad’s Strange Lexicon

My father had a strange lexicon.

In second grade, we were playing a word-guessing game like the game show Password (if it were in a classroom of spastic 2nd graders.)

The word was: “BARN.”

I offered the clue: “HAYMOW.”

You can imagine the puzzlement in a classroom of mostly “city” kids raised on Richard Scarry vocabularies. I almost got beat up when my team — the losing team — decrypted my clue into “hayloft,” a clue that would’ve easily won the game.

Our house had a DOG-TROT. I know it was toward the middle of the house, but have no idea what its defining characteristic might have been. I do know that I never saw a single dog trot through the middle of our house because of the policy of “Outside for Animals – Inside for Humans” that reined in our household, except when a wily field mouse snuck in through the basement or a wood duck — distinctly lacking wiles — snuck its way down the chimney and into the wood stove.

I was told, with great conviction, that a “HAN-YAK” was second cousin to a “POT-LICKER.” As a child, I missed that these were terms of derision, and — I fear — I may have hung a slander upon my cousins by licking some marinara off the lip of a piece of cookware once upon a time.

POEM: Running

Botswanans have a saying:
“only food runs”

I wonder how much that sentiment holds sway in India?

Because, as I was running in the park today
a man looked at me
and then looked back behind me
and then looked at me
and then looked back behind me

and then, smiling, he shouted something in Kananda
that could only have been:
“Whatever was chasing you is gone!”

A Conversation of Mutual Disenchantment

“I remember being born.”

“No. You don’t.”

“How would you know?”

“Well, let’s start from the assumption that you’re human…”

“I’d like to think so, but what are my options?”

“I don’t know. Humans don’t have that neural machinery at birth… So nothing from Earth remembers its birth.”

“And yet, I do.”

“Mightn’t you have cobbled together the scene from your mom’s stories, the family photo album, et cetera?”

“Nah! It’s too detailed. Feels too real.”

“I find your ignorance exhausting.”

“I find your certainty perplexing — not to mention irritating and slap-worthy.”

“Let’s agree to be mutually disenchanted.”

“Agreed.”