I’m a patriotic husband,
you my patriotic wife,
lemme book into ya camp
and manufacture life.
Only financially secure adults
in stable, committed, long-term
relationships should participate.
Shining Pots and Pans
In The Parlour
In The Kitchen
In The Factory
Let us also recognize
our own native
our rangy legs,
our educated feet.
Our arms and fingers
wave and snap
in a special way.
Our shoulders hang
as no other people’s
Taken from ‘Musical Myths of the American West’, by Stephen Brown, a review of two books in the Times Literary Supplement, 9 November 2012. The poem is a quotation from the writings of Lincoln Kirstein. Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.
Let the nation’s doormen do their jobs without smiling
Let waiters at suburban restaurants leave their flair at home
Let the janitors at Princeton mop no vomit from the dormitory stairwells
Let retail greeters of every description call in sick
Let the first-class passengers board at someone else’s leisure
Let the nation’s limo drivers require their passengers to open their own damn doors
Let the production interns at CNBC send the on-air “talent” to fetch the coffee
And, for just one day, let the talent ask their interviewees hard questions
“Eatin’s Cheatin’” echoes around the office on a Friday afternoon.
Women pick over their naked salads and extra extra light low fat
Philly on Ryvita. The preparations for ‘Rosé o’clock’ are well
They’ll grumble through the afternoon and suppress the urge
‘naughty’ whenever anyone offers a biscuit, sweet or chocolate.
On your tombstone
you’ve got your birth date
and the day of your decease —
and you’ve got your dash.
Live your dash.
Hold still and watch the birds.
Like the hummingbirds —
why are there so many of them?
All who could help or hurt at Court,
ministers, mistresses, priests, were
kept in good humour by presents
of shawls and silks, birds’ nests and
attar of roses, bulses of diamonds,
bags of guineas.
Once she was born
I was never not afraid:
afraid of swimming pools,
lye under the sink,
aspirin in the medicine cabinet…
rattlesnakes, riptides, landslides,
strangers who appeared at the door,
unexplained fevers, elevators without
operators and empty hotel corridors.