Friday, April 09, 2021

SAFE DISTANCE EDITION - Stone Soup Croutons, 4-7-21: Joe the Poet Researches Healthcare Options

Stone Soup Croutons is a weekly poem I write using lines and impressions picked from Stone Soup Poetry's open mic readers and features. I figure out a title (and sometimes the rest of the poem) later. You can read the other ones I've done since 2015 here.

I also have an award nominated book out now collecting the best of my first year of poems. Click here to purchase it.

John Roche took to Stone Soup's stage on Wednesday and kicked off National Poetry Month in style.  I got to know Joe through his book The Joe Poems: the Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet. For his feature, he read from that book and his new book, Joe Rides Again. Years ago, I contributed some pieces to his project The Mo'Joe Anthology. I guess it was only inevitable that I wrote a poem in the Joe the Poet vein. 

It fails as a Joe poem, because John's Joe poem only uses one hundred words. I couldn't do the word limit, because that would have left an open micer out. maybe next time, I'll do two poems. Thanks for reading.

Joe the Poet Researches Healthcare Options

Joe wonders what the copay is
for an exploding head.

In what time zone would it need to be 
for the condition to count as preexisting?

What novel has to be entered online
just to be turned down for an off rhyme?

Is there a code you can put in if your injuries
were directly from being drafted by love gods?

Should the internment camp who held him
for dissent be responsible for his lost teeth?

Was his time at the Augean stables
what caused his occasional chronic fatigue?

While in bed, the growing random Randians 
cry out for him to grow his own garden

then open a supermarket, the next big thing,
more gates for the rabble to pound at,

the Bukowskis, Larkins and Whitmans left
to write poems on receipts from bought beer.

trying to turn their howls into whines.
Screw that. It's time for Joe to think of his health. 

No more skipping stones off the heads of giants.
An attraction to death is a symptom of poetry.

Joe wonders if this can ever be cured. But then
there are fates worse than his ten thousand deaths,

like a lifetime of being medicated 
by the school bully all grown up 

ready to take your healthy resentment away,
near death just enough to never write again,

like singing a song about revolutions 
when you're on all the losing sides,

hugging a tree not to show love
but to keep entrails form taking root.

If his actual demise went as quick 
as rumors, it would all be so painless, 

fleeting like a paid bar tab on a first date
lining his condomless money purse.

From now on, Joe rides his wooden horse
It doesn't get him far, but it's less accident prone.

He will pick only dormant volcanoes 
to wander, though it's hard to keep track.

To save his ankles and shoes, 
he'll hibernate just after fall,

sleep after a final walk with another lost friend, 
rise in time for the first writing prompt of Spring.

So many new names!

Special thanks to John Wesick, Nancy Dodson, G.E. Schwartz, Scott Norman, Jules Nyquist, Carol Weston, Ed Gault, Jan Rowe, Ethan Mackler, Chris Fitzgerald, Paulette Warren, John Hicks, Bil Lewis, C.C. Arshagra, Jason Wright, James Van Looy and John Roche.

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