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

Friday, March 6, 2009


[Something's come up -- something good, by the way, that will take me out of town for about a week, so this is the last daily poem until I get back. I'll add a few more poems to today's to prevent withdrawal symptoms.]

Saturday morning, men mow with motors
sunny suburban lawns. There are no children
on the streets. How easily we've been fooled!
Just because, when we get to suburbia,
we are each given a power mower
and a jogging outfit instead of a harp
and a halo, we think we're still alive!

Here are the extras -- all recent poems:

I'm a poet,
"poet" from Greek for a maker.
I don't make a living,
but I live a making.

On the Goggled Not Being Ogled

Men who don't make passes
At girls who wear glasses
Often commit sexist offenses
Against girls who wear contact lenses
And conduct panty raids
Against cool chicks in shades;
Men have little to sez
To Duchesses in pince nez –
En-may end-tay oo-tay ince-way
At a sour snob in pince nez!
But the fates of femmes monocled,
Have never been chronocled.

[Note: My riff on Dorothy Parker's lines about men not making passes at girls who wear glasses. "Pince nez" is French for "pinch the nose." These are glasses held over the eyes by pinching the nose -- no support from the ears. In French, it's pronounced more like "pance nay" but one of the English pronunciations is "pince nay." I figured if "nez" can be "nay," "sez" can be "say." The next line ("En-may end-tay oo-tay ince-way" is, of course, Pig Latin for "Men tend to wince").

A Familiar Spirit

He realized that he was not flesh, but spirit,
So sought, among his family, kindred spirits.
His parents, brothers, sisters wouldn't hear it.
They looked askance at him, for kin dread spirits.

It's hard to talk
with my tongue in your mouth.
Odd – it's easy to talk
with my tongue in MY mouth.

Last night, as I was eating popcorn,
a filling popped out. My tongue
discovered this. My tongue
is so proud!

If I sit very still,
the world fills up
with motion.

A distant airplane
paints itself onto tiny nerves
deep in my ear.


Her ruby lips
rue the bee
that stung them.

[Written as a game: I wanted to show someone how to combine two cliches into something that was not a cliche. In this case, the two cliches are "ruby lips" and "bee-stung lips."]

The Artist Imagines Himself Mortal, His Work Immortal

Immortal lies:
"I'm mortal. Lies

[Note: Art has been defined by many as a kind of lie, a fabrication of life. So the poet who expects to be immortalized by his art is arguing that lies immortalize.]

Freed, the mouse quivers on the toe of my shoe,
hanging on, though I shake my shoe gently.
Finally, as if just realizing where he is,
he tumbles off, at first unsteady, then darts
into the woods where last night
a fox barked.

Ageing Ricola cough drop – honey lemon in its rumpled
yellow wrapping – someone left it in a bowl
of pennies, paper clips, a rubber band and a box
of Trident chewing gum on a table near the front door.
The cat noses over it, paws at it like a golfer hitting
out of a sand trap, pops the cough drop over the edge
of the bowl AND the table, leaps after it
to play hockey with it on the floor...briefly,
gets bored (for it doesn't try to run away),
leaves it. I pick it up, put it on the bowl,
and, a few hours later notice it
on the floor, put it in the rest
for the cough drop..

[Note: What a game. She's talking to me by leaving messages in cough drops. Every time I see that cough drop somewhere on the floor, I crack up.]

Dean Blehert

Thursday, March 5, 2009


It's an old movie trick:
First (with close-ups of anguished eyes,
alternated with flashes of what those eyes see)
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, as we experience
that character's taking in
that sunset,

which is, of course,
inside YOUR head,
which is inside
wherever YOU are
or maybe are not,

all of it, maybe, inside
that little imaginary TV head,

where, perhaps, you've been
ever since.

[Note: Probably those readers who didn't get this one won't get as far as this note, but here goes: It's a kind of math exercise: The camera (or the use of pronouns!) gets you into a viewpoint (into someone's head). You're seeing the world from that viewpoint. Then the camera zooms out, and, still caught up in that viewpoint, that head, you're including that body in your viewpoint. It's concentric -- an aesthetically created viewpoint contains you containing that body on the beach, and the viewpoints we thus occupy can get further contained in new ones, or we can back out to what contains "our own" viewpoints (that is, who or what is being "us"?) -- quite a game of nested Russian dolls we play, all the identities we've ever assumed still there -- until we become sufficiently aware of them to dispense with them. Or to have some choice about them. It fascinates me how easily this is done. I say "you" to you, and instantly you are enlisted. Join a pronoun, see my world. We are shown a cityscape -- perhaps a helicopter view of sky scrapers, then a sign in front of a building, then a name on an office door, then what appears to be an office with a desk, then a face, and we have the idea that we are in that city and in that building in that city and in that office and even in that head. Magic! I'll bet some of you, right now, imagine you're in a body.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


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

[Note: We tend to identify heroism with heroic postures of bodies. But it's hard to find heroism among beings who feel dependent on meaty mechanisms that can be tethered on a short leash of food, shelter, climate and all the other circumstances that permit bodies to survive. So "among us" is a great hiding place for heroes. Occasionally, disguised as a body, we find someone who only pretends to be meat, while pursuing higher priorities, for example, integrity. Who would suspect it? Shhh! Ain't nobody here but us bodies.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Don't Crush Me! I'm A Great Philosopher!

If cockroaches could talk,
we wouldn't listen.

[Note: And maybe they do!]

[Every month or two, we put a long poem on as the latest featured poem. We put up a new one (it starts on the home page) a few days ago. It's probably the best and funniest poem ever written about senior citizen skinny dipping, time travel and a few other themes. I highly recommend it. Just go to the home page. There's also an archive you can access with all the previous featured poems.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dream On, Sucker!

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

[Note: Possibly I have my heart confused with the Internet, where, often, as I hold forth at length, I imagine someone --no, EVERYONE--cares.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)

-Bigger Than Life For 15 Minutes

Photo of Andy Warhol:
Impressive enough that savages
can shrink heads; amazing
to see one recovered
to life-size!

[Note: If in doubt, just do some googling and look at Andy Warhol in his prime, then look at some shrunken heads. (I wonder if he ironed his cheekbones.) Interesting that we call psychiatrists "shrinks" (from "headshrinkers"), since I've seen studies that showed most psychiatric drugs literally shrinking the brain.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)