Pager romance

7734 <td> hello </td> 14 <td> hi </td> 193 <td> miss me? </td> 123 <td> i miss you </td> 143 <td> i love you </td> 423 <td> call me </td> 77 <td> friends forever </td> 477 <td> best friends forever </td> 345987 <td> i’m horny </td> 42 <td> fuck me </td> 43 <td> fuck you </td> 7735 <td> sellout </td> 606 <td> bitch </td> 304 <td> hoe </td> 7 <td> just kidding </td> 303 <td> stop playing </td> 99 <td> night night </td> 45 <td> goodnight </td> 56 <td> sweet dreams </td> 35006*17715 <td> silly goose </td> From a list of 1990s teen beeper codes found in an article in Harper’s magazine.

Stopping by a Web Site on a Sunny Afternoon

(poem for Eric Whitacre) Whose words they are I think I know. His poem’s copyrighted though, With words you’re not allowed to hear About the dark woods in the snow. The man would maybe think it queer; His family dead for many a year, No heirs in need of royalties, Yet companies still profiteer. Ignoring other artists’ pleas The publisher alone decrees: None can set Frost’s words to music, None can share words such as these.

The Taliban of Swat

“A large Pakistani flag flaps in the wind atop a tree-covered mountain… In the past two years the army has twice failed to defeat the Taliban of Swat.” — BBC News, 2009-05-23. The Taliban of Swat (with apologies to Edward Lear) Who, or why, or which, or what, are the Taliban of Swat? How did they get where they are today? Were they funded and trained by the CIA, or NOT,

National Poetry Month

One of my favorite poets is Laurence Lerner. Here’s a belated seasonal example: Three poems for Lent For forty days, rain. Death of cattle, mud, Drowned birds, torn trees, dead reptiles — the sky dark And mankind dead. Weather or sin, the flood, The hidden mountains, and above all, the ark. For forty days, Christ in the wilderness, Tempted, and hungry: stones, still stones, not bread. Kingdoms, but not for him.

The song of one-foot budgie

One-foot budgie only needs one foot, To sit on his perch all day. One-foot budgie only needs one foot, To relax in an avian way. He’s got two feet, He can climb and tweet, Chew on his toys and play; But one-foot budgie only needs one foot To sit on his perch all day. He wakes up every morning, Stretches out his wings. Stuffs his face with bird seed, Sometimes even sings.

On prohibition

We should legalize drugs, and make poetry illegal. The Mafia would have to make money by running speakeasy underground poetry slams, smuggling Faber & Faber books from Europe, and offering schoolkids a free stanza or two to get them hooked. Kids would all be writing poetry in order to be cool.


there is too much everything filling our lives like a barricade against the door behind which stands the simplicity we fear the most


In the Boston Public Gardens there’s a row of metal ducks They live off iron filings that they peck from passing trucks. They never need to preen themselves as other ducklings must but once a month with wire wool they polish off the rust. They never waddle to the pond to stop and take a drink. It’s just as well ’cause if they did they might fall in and sink.

Pager Haiku

alphanumeric in my pocket, it vibrates another message