Yesterday was our Labor Day reading, and Tom Daley returned to us. Throughout the night, I kept feeling this week's crouton would have a lot to live up to given the caliber of both the open mic readers and the feature. I added a lot more wordplay than I would normally have been comfortable with. Thankfully, I had a killer first line from Lee Varon that lent much to the imagination. Only I now feel the need for another disclaimer.
I keep half-joking that if I ever do a collection of these poems, it will be titled Confessions of a Stone Soup Chef. I emphasize again that the Stone Soup Chef in most of these poems is not me. Now, if only I could just as easily dispel all the other things people think about me. Here's the poem, and many thanks to everyone who attended last night.
Before You Begin
Work reminds you tomorrow is
Take Your Girlfriend to Detox Day.
For years she has failed to kick
her terminal longing for you.
This time, she left her you-colored glasses
back in the suburbs.
The pauses in-between listing
her reasons for loving you
are as long as the time
between Disney re-releases.
It's Truth or Dare with nothing
but hard truth after truth. Dare go on?
She rubs your romans à cleft chin
and tells you to wait longer.
Time is a a mansplaination anyway,
your ideas of length exaggerated grossly.
Does life make less sense when even
your doggerel rebels against you?
Even the angel of death avoids
clasping your throat You settle for a handy.
Your trip to Morocco is cancelled.
They know you wouldn't last a day.
Crickets on trampolines brave more than you.
Homeless steer from your recycle bins.
Back to her (God, yes). She wants a twelve step
medical plan to remove your you-rash.
She keeps both your sleep from the dark
while she gives diagnosis to every symptom,
each decades old and spanning
several boyfriends and fathers.
She wills your stench to set free
throw fan blades still spinning in autumn.
Even Sinatra can't quicken his tempo
over your prison-like lack of prospects.
|Apologies to Erik Nelson for not writing down the name of that fly in your poem fast enough. I'll get you in next time, sir.|
Special thanks to Lee Varon, Thomas O'Leary, Steven Riel, Chris Fitzgerald, Neal Katz, Reece Cotton, Carol Weston, Martha Boss, David Miller, Jonathan Joseph, Tom Daley, and James Van Looy.