This is just poetry. It won't save you, but it may locate you so that a rescue party can be sent out. — Dean Blehert

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The loud drunk on the corner
thinks he's wise
because of all he's been through.

He'd be wise if he ever got
what he's been through.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Where Dreams Take Us

Reentering the bedroom unexpectedly,
I surprise my wife in bed
with my body.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mort, Al and Tim

"Be careful!"
"Don't be silly!"
"Just who do you think you are!"

Intimidations of immortality from
recollections of early childhood.

Note: The last two lines are my variation on Wordsworths ode on "Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood." For Wordsworth, childhood was full of a glory hinting at immortality. For most of us, childhood is when parents and friends remind us (helpfully) that we might grow up to be somebody (or some body) if we ever realize that we don't quite exist yet.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Four Brief Meditations

If cockroaches could talk,
we wouldn't listen.

There are heroes among us--
a perfect hiding place.

It's an old movie trick:
First (with close-ups of anguished eyes)
they get you inside a head.

Then the camera backs away
to place the tiny body
in a vast reach of red sunset,

but the whole thing is still inside
that head, which is, of course,
inside yours, which is inside

wherever you are or maybe are not,
all of it, maybe, inside (now)
that little imaginary TV head.

Saturday morning, men mow with motors
sunny suburban lawns, no children
on the street. How easily fooled!
Just because, when we get to suburbia,
we are each given a power mower
and a jogging outfit instead of harp
and halo, we don't know we're dead.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


The sweetest human smile
consists, for the creatures
who run from us,
of sharp teeth.

What's Behind Door B?

Just when you think you're safe,
even safe enough to exchange pleasantries
with strangers in elevators,

you hear that someone has been upset with you
because of something stupid
you are supposed to have said
15 years ago.

And elsewhere perhaps someone you've
utterly forgotten (or remember only
a smiling face in a crowd briefly

someone daily cherishes
the rosary of your misdeeds
and hones a dagger.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hold Your Breath -- 15 Seconds of Fame is an Aeon

Lime: That's what you put corpses in.
It eats them up. What, then,
is the effect on artists
of limelight?

Photo of Andy Warhol:
Impressive enough that savages
can shrink heads, amazing
to see one recovered to lifesize.

Note: I put these poems together because both deal with the liabilities of celebrity, especially celebrity for its own sake. Also, the celebrities in poem one are apparently already dead, which particularly seems to me to fit Warhol (I mean when his body was still slouching about).

The first is simply a pun, since the "limelight" associated with fame is not literally "lime" (lye). The second is a bit more complex: Warhol is a fame-aholic of note, made a personal industry out of it. Looking at a photo of him, I realized his face had characteristics of shrunken heads I'd seen -- the sunken cheeks, flat slab lips, dead eyes -- squinty enough to suggest the sewn-up eyes of the heads. If that's not too alien a thought, then it leads to the idea of his turning himself into an item of merchandise (like a Campbell's soup can), which, somehow, fits with the promotional wording of the last two lines ("Amazing...lifesize"). If you can't visualize Warhol as an enlarged shrunken head, this poem is pretty stupid. I don't want it to be stupid, so please go to and scroll down to near the bottom of the page, where you'll see a small photo of Warhol that should persuade you.

Three silly puns

If all my words from you I've nipped,
O muse, am I the man you script?

Envy is a disturbed state,
and so, in short, is NV.

Kinky sex saps an artist--you can see
the craft ebbing.

Notes: Re the first one -- one day I realized that I'm the one who writes my poems. I've eliminated the middlelady muse. I'm not the "man you [muse] script" -- and not the manuscript, but the writer of this script tease.

Re the second, maybe too obvious to mention, but NV is "in short" because it's two letters shy of ENVY.

Re the third: Some of you may not have heard of Baron Richard von Krafft-Ebing ("craft ebbing" -- though that's not how "Ebing" is pronounced, alas), a German Neurologist (1840-1942) who wrote a notorious book (or books?) detailing the oddities of sexuality. It's a "serious" work, but also, for many, a source of exotic erotic items to leer about.

TIME for Milkbone

Hollow "CLOQUE!" The dog's teeth
glom a milkbone from my hand.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Four poemlets (or proselets with short lines)

(Note: Probably my poemlets are really proselets, because I'm always proseletizing.)

(Note: Missed a few days, so will make it up today)

The movie critic says it's a bad movie,
inane, one-dimensional, infantile, etc.
Before I read this, I saw the movie and,
alas, enjoyed it. Please don't tell
the critic.

I went for a long walk in my heart.
Everyone I met was eager to know
my opinions and
my reasons for them.

"It's an amulet -- it protects my spirit."
How can she have a spirit? Didn't we
outlaw slavery. No wonder we meet
so few free spirits --
everyone HAS one.

God, help us help those
in whom God has ceased
to help Himself.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

SPEAK! Peace, Good boy, Peace!

Peace Talks?
Peace is a puppet.
the ventriloquist,

Here's a one-liner related to the above, a battlefield variant on Gerard Manley Hopkin's line in his poem "To Margaret" in autumn:

...and fields of wan men warmeal lie.

[Hopkins said "...fields of wan wood leafmeal lie."]

I'm Sorry, But I Can't Do That...

before you worked for a
when you thought evil
was passionate and intense?

Sunday, May 6, 2007


At last Disney solved the inner city crises
by building walls around ghettos
and charging admission

where tourists can cruise
in bullet-proof cars,
buy plastic bags of harmless white
powder and perform drive-by shootings
with blank-loaded pistols.

Comment on Friday's poem

On Friday I posted the following:

Suicide is murder.
When you killed yourself,
you were not

For title I put "Self's Laughter". A couple readers have since asked me how that title fits the poem. Answer: It doesn't, really, just a silly bit of wordplay, the sort of temptation to which I readily give way, which has led some to tell me my puns "trivialize" my "serious work". But perhaps I think suicide it taken a bit too seriously these days. After all, we only many million times?

Anyhoooo..."Self's Laughter" spells out "Self Slaughter" (suicide), and isn't suicide often an attempt to have the last laugh? (Is a daughter dafter?) (Who is she ofter aughter?)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Self's Laughter

Suicide is murder.
When you killed yourself,
you were not

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Adult books,
adult magazines,
adult movies:

All deal with what
fascinates little kids.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Office Building at Night

Towers of lights,
each light a cubical
someone who worries.

Oops! House Guests

"Shhh!" cuts me off
from the head of the stairs:
"They're still sleeping upstairs.
MUST you talk to me
from across the house?"

Forgot again.
Hard not to: I use my voice
in the alien morning
as a dog uses piss:
To lay claim to spaces.

Sleep Faster!

Nights I'm fast
asleep, mornings
slow awake.

[Note: Isn't "fast food" an oxymoron?]

Take My Opinions, Please!

Arguing, pfeh!
Not the disagreement,
but being left in such solid agreement
with what someone else disagrees with.

(Note: Hmmm, I think "pfeh!" is Yiddish for "Ugh!" Or maybe I made it up myself.)

Friendly Feet

Blackbelts pulling their savage kicks:
No mean feet.

(Note: In Karate the fighters "pull" their kicks and punches -- at least in practice and most tournaments. The idea is to score with a blow that WOULD have been damaging had you not stopped it just in time. Thus the kicks and the kicking feet are, literally, not "mean," just menacing.)

Metal Gets Lonely

Rust and tarnish:
metal trying to be
less standoffish.


Under cover of darkness
the rain smuggled in
billions of beads of light.

The Spirit Bird

Most birds flap their wings
to stay aloft,
but the spirit bird flutters frantically
to hold itself near the earth.
If you shoot one,
it falls into the sky.

Wild Geese

an arrow of wild geese
talks to itself.

Daze of Deses and Doses

Note: The following variations on a Julie Andrews song in "Sound of Music" would be better sung by someone like Jimmy Durante (except someone still alive as well). The last line refers to "Flatbush" (nickname for Brooklyn and name of its main drag), but the dialect in the poem (for which I'm indebted to the works of Damon Runyan) is found in all sections of New York City and much of neighboring New Joisey.

Daze of Deses 'n Doses

Does is deers and dames is dears.
"Dis" is when youse don't respect.
Dese is "Rep.", but dose is "Dem."
Which a' dem should we elect?
"Day" is when dey sees da sun.
Dere's a boid! A goil! Some Hon!
Dee's da grade I got for dis.
Dis me if youse dare, ya wiss!

"Dose" is what da doctor does:
Two a' dese and one a' dose.
Dats da data to recall.
Udderwise youse overdose.
Dough dey hates to interrup',
Still dey tries to wake youse up...
When dey sees it ain't no doze,
Den dey hangs tags on yuz toes.

Youse is useful when youse helps.
Dis sun shines; Datsun's a car.
U's is turns youse should not make,
But youse does -- dat's how youse are.
Doze is what youse done in school.
Dats why youse is such a fool.
Dese is woids what people use,
Which in Flatbush bars buys booze.