Monday, March 9, 2009

Rejection #2: From Poetry Magazine

Cockroach Poem

I broke down and cried
Because a South American cockroach
Crawled under the door.
I didn't cry at once;
First, I gasped; then stomped, scooped, and flushed
It (or him?) down our shiny nouveau toilet
To the corroded pipe beneath.
Then I started crying
Because he (or it?) was the chink
In my Anglo-Saxon armor of superiority.

Before he came in, I was content;
Sitting in my clean and modern
Asian-inspired home (the Japanese don't have bugs- do they?)
Watching football (with an "oo" not a "u")
On television and drinking imported beer.
But with him, muddy-brown and robotic,
Sneaking in under my door,
Came a flood of doubt and insecurity formerly held in check
By a partition solidly built of avoidance.

Spiders don't do this.
We admire spiders, wise and hardworking,
They inspire pigs and kings of Scotland.
Spiders accomplish things- intricate webs-
And they bite people, so we treat them with respect.
They have eight legs, not six-
I suppose that is what makes all the difference.

But the South American cockroach
Is sneaky and passive-agressive,
Invading my home with realities.
The crack in my nest-egg,
The poverty sitting on the sidewalk
Outside my front door.
United States-ians are filled with hope and change these days,
But the market is faltering,
Liars are crawling out from under rocks,
And some say the world will end in 2012.

Except for him.
He will still be here, of course.
Inspiring doubt in the next generation
Of those who think they have control.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rejected by the New Yorker

Poem for an Anniversary

Marriage is marriage.
So solid you can see it.
It's the picture on the mantel.
The matching china.
The Mr. and Mrs. SameName
On the back of an envelope.
We have rules for fighting
(Like the magazines say we should),
And rules for making time
For each other (more advice),
And talk through the troubles,
And stay together.
And Love each other.
No. Matter. What.


Marriage is not marriage....
It's passion-turned-roommates
turned-CTO and CFO of SameName Inc,
and allthewayaroundagainitneverstopsonone-
i t ' s a l l e m p t y s p a c e b e t w e e n .
quarks and anti-matrimony,
try to pin it down
what is the one thing that holds
it all together?


Marriage is Marriage

It's both the china
And the empty space between.
Away and home at the same time,
Separate and together.
It's all an act of
Improvised truth.
We are Mr. and Mrs.
Not because it should be so,
But because we make it so.
We could have been anyone,
But we ended up being each other.
And so.
Years, days, hours, moments,
Come to this.