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May 7, 2013 | Poetry

2 Poems

Mike Young

2 Poems photo

 

NUNS OF THE U.S.

None of us have those cats who go
viral meowing Springsteen songs,
but we all remember giving Bruce material.

None of us are discussed
by basketball stat nerds,
but LeBron James likes to wear cardigans.

None of us have ever seen the inside
of a plantain chip factory,
but we’ve all licked salt off someone else’s teeth.

We all have details (pickles in a Delaware rest stop
that taste like lipstick) nobody cares about
except Tom Waits.

Thank you for your participation in our
sustainability. Bridge subject to crosswinds.

One thing I ask everybody is if they’ve been robbed.
One person’s favorite part was to pantomime
the gun under her nose again and again.

Dunkin’ Donuts has devised a different
promotional item for every last one of us.

Some of us have driven the mobile
police R/V. A lot of us have tried those
five hour energy things, but that’s how
we put it: tried.

For everyone it’s either very hard
or very easy to picture them
dancing. For any once it’s pretty fun
to pretend you’re asleep.

I don’t know how you deal with anxiety attacks,
but what I tell myself is: OK. OK. It’s OK to feel
you’re about to vomit. Let yourself feel
like you can’t breathe. Don’t scold your
feelings just because you know you’re not
actually having an aneurism. Slash heart attack
slash dengue fever. Let that feeling try itself.
Pretty soon it will melt
from boredom.

None of us have that “all they needed
to do was talk with each
other” like they have at the end
of the episode.

Finding someone to love on you
couldn’t hurt.

 

UNFORTUNATELY WE CAN’T TAKE THE BOAT OUT AT NIGHT

The email is so long but I am reading it sideways
so it looks like those text waterfalls in The Matrix.

“I can’t even begin to say what it says,” she says.
A woman—I believe the word is “swathed”

is swathed in a white sheet, only the face peeking out,
sheet billowing behind her, navigating the on-ramp

near Whole Foods. She steps carefully over a railing,
holding the sheet up so it doesn’t catch.

A man sits at his laptop, staring at a tent for sale.
He sits like this for hours. He didn’t enjoy karaoke last night.

You only need to buy a muffin and you can sit there all day.
A very old woman wrote a column for the paper about

how much she enjoyed reading a child’s guide to Ramadan.
If you do a good impression of someone, you will be asked

to do that impression over and over again. It is more
than a little erotic to do an impression of someone

right in front of them. Remember when it was important
to snap up the same handle in all the different online services?

Last night I had a dream where I was in a very epic
community theatre production, except we never

seemed to rehearse. We seemed only to engage in
buffets in large banquet halls. No one was planning

on telling you what’s in the hot dog, silly. The deer tick
is rarely photographed at its happiest moment. 

 

image: Andromeda Veach


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