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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

They Sperm Men On--And What Eggs THEM On?

[I will be off email for about a week--tomorrow too busy, and for 5 days following, out of town, so here are poems for the next week.]

An orgasm is the cummulative
of their entire lifetimes
before the eyes of three hundred million
drowning sperm.

[Note: Hmmm--seems kind of sexist, since it would apply best to a male orgasm.]

I'm eating so much fiber
I've become a bulk male.

[Note: For the pun-challenged, bulk male/bulk mail, and fiber is said to provide bulk.]

TV ad cameramen--masters of the art
of showing clothes coming off
or soap slathered on, but not
what they're coming off of
or being slathered onto.

[Note: Don't feel guilty, guys, if you started to get turned on by soap sleeked onto what turned out to be the fold of an elbow or the bottom of what turned out to be a baby. And if you had some warm thoughts when the camera showed silken stuff being kicked off calves and feet, hey, that's what the sponsors wanted!]

Puberty is when the children sound like
an old banal situation comedy,
their laugh-track so frenetically inept
that you wonder if they've become
oozy and hairy yet.

[Note: Kids emotionally stressed and laughing at the wrong places are here compared to old TV sitcoms (which had wildly unreal laugh tracks, with uproarious laughter at the lamest jokes), because I wanted to get to the final pun on "Ozzie and Harriet," one of the lamest sitcoms of all time, on which, for example, the allocators of taped laughter apparently thought that little Rickie Nelson, saying week after week, "I don't mess around, boy!" was hilarious. Oddly enough, lame as it was as comedy, the show was around, it seemed, forever, on radio, then TV, I think mainly because the characters were so pleasant and "wholesome" in their bland way. For the pun-impaired, puberty is when kids get hairy (crotches, arm pits, etc.) and oozy (various "vital fluids"--for example, menstruation starts for women...); hence, one wonders if they are "oozy and hairy yet" -- or Ozzie and Harriet.]

Alcohol, drugs--people trying
to open up their heads
and let the sunshine in...
with a can opener.

[Note: I think lines 2 and 3 are based on the chorus of a pro-psychedelic song from the musical "Hair." (I say "I think" because I wrote this long ago, and don't recall for certain.)]

What happened to education?
It was killed by the Dewey Dewey fog.

[Note: There's an old folk song in which someone is killed by the foggy foggy dew. I turned that around to give John Dewey his just deserts. Dewey descended upon our educational system as a sort of toxic mist. He ran (many decades ago) the Columbia University Teacher's College. I've forgotten the details (some Googling may turn them up, or look for a book called The Leipzig Connection by Paolo Leonni--it may be online), but Dewey was part of a campaign, largely funded by Rockefellers to turn the American educational system into a means of constructing a new social order where kids weren't educated to make them literate and flexible and able to think and to bring out their abilities, but instead to encourage them to lower their standards and keep their proper place in society. The idea was that most should be put on a track to be laborers and not distracted by anything that might encourage bigger dreams. Dewey was a major proponent of the idea that education should be aimed at teaching children to be "well-adjusted." Go along to get along, conform to the environment. Don't adjust the environment to suit yourself. Much that has followed in the degeneration of our educational system was pioneered by Dewey.]

The "science" of psychiatry is mostly guesswork,
having no proven laws nor formulas. For example,
they are not certain if doubling the number
of psychiatrists would double or quadruple
the number of mentally ill people.

Psych-iatry means "healing the spirit,"
or perhaps it is "heeling, as in
"HEEL, Spirit!"


Homelessness is where the
heartlessness is.

[Note: I hope no one is unfamiliar with the old adage this is based on: "Home is where the heart is."]

[And just to get away from that string of socially bristling poems...]

Pardon me, green bug.
I meant to scoot you from the page,
not to crush you.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Friday, May 29, 2009


Life is a lingering disease.
I've grown accustomed to despair.
Don't confuse me, silly breeze,
Running swift fingers through my hair.

[Note: I wrote a much longer poem, based on that same moment--out for a walk, feeling the world sucked, then feeling mildly irritated with the breeze's trying to console me--but feeling consoled, nonetheless. This shorter version seems to say it best.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Hello, tongue!--I'm a tongue too!

[Note: Maybe not the world's shortest love poem....]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Monday, May 25, 2009


Her poem had a dull refrain:
Each time she got to it,
I wished she would.

[A rather dull note (for most readers): So how does "refrain" come to mean both "hold back or rein in" and a bit of verse or music that is repeated, a chorus? Two different words, actually. Both have "back" ("re-") in them. One holds back a response (refrains) and one goes back to the same chorus again (to the refrain). But the frain part in the first is from a Latin word for "to curb" (frenare), which comes from frenum, rein. In the second "refrain," my dictionary says it's from an old French word, meaning to restrain or modulate (hmmm--"restrain" sounds like the first "refrain"), which is from Latin "refringere," to break back, "frangere" meaning "to break." I suppose the song's refrain is a break in the song's forward progress to go back to the chorus.

This makes me suspect the words are joined again at some deeper root, since one uses a rein to "break" a horse, but I don't have time to track it down. In any case, that poet's dull refrain would not go away (as in "Frain, Frain, go away...", a pun that makes more sense now that I know Frain is rein, which, to make sense in the nursery rhyme, we would write as "rain", and that would be right as rain.]

[Will you cease this dull refrain
You've been etching on my brain,
Or forever in this vein,
Repetitiously insane,
Go on forging this steel chain,
This excruciating bane,
Rendering all my pleadings vain?

Quote the poet, "Evermore!"]


Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Babble of Bloggers?

A pride of lions, an ecstasy of larks,
a preening of starlets, a clutch of fans,
a privy of poets,
a carping of critics,
a quibble of scholars,
a scarcity of readers,
a courtesy of applause,
a reality of silence.

[Immodest Note: In recent years I've seen many witty people inventing variants of this sort--a [fill in the blank] of lawyers, a [FITB] of psychiatrists, etc. Newspapers run contests for this sort of thing. But I wrote the poem, above, around 1990, at which time, I do NOT recall seeing others doing this little exercise. Who knows, maybe I was an "influence."

Silly Note: "Scarcity"--a city where everyone is scarred?

Serious note: I do NOT suffer from an extreme scarcity of readers, but many poets do. I'm a fortunate poet. (Though "a scarcity of book purchasers" might apply. A Victorian Mother would scold me: "Why should they pay, when you're giving it away!")]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Friday, May 22, 2009


[Note: Two poems today, Thursday's and Friday's.]

Guests have co-opted our queen-sized bed,
so we share a single. It's easy--
we're so used to twisting carefully
around sleeping cats we haven't the heart
to disturb--avoiding them
as two contortionists in a box
avoid swords.

[Note: I hope you've all seen that circus act, one or more contortionists get into a box, and then someone thrusts swords through the box in enough places that it seems impossible that those inside it are not skewered. The swords are real, and they ARE pushed through the box through pre-made slots. The contortionists know where these slots are, and manage to twist their bodies out of the way of each sword-path. (For a while we had three cats--and one was quite a swordsman!)

Perhaps a clearer comparison would have us be streams winding around rocks.

It's silly, this concern about disturbing a sleeping cat, since the cats themselves move so simply and quickly from apparently deep sleep to wakefulness, but when they sleep, they do so with such an intensity and apparent abandon that I feel, if I wake them when I get into bed, as if I've violated a trust. But there are times when I don't hesitate to shoo--or rather barefoot--them off the bed (see next poem!).]

I am in favor of marital sex:
We merit all we can get.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Gray day, everything wet,
a world full of dark, empty mirrors:
Come out, Sun, and
see yourself!

Note to readers: If you know others you think would enjoy these poems, please let them know. You can either give them my email (maybe forward a few poems to them) and suggest they get in touch with me, or you can give me THEIR names and email addresses. If you do that, I won't add them to the list immediately. I'll send each an email stating that [your name] said they might enjoy receiving my daily poem. I'll include a few examples, and ask them for permission to add them to my daily poem list.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The girl in the loose blouse
and no bra walks past looking
straight ahead with no smile,

but I smile, and her boobs
bounce their laughter in reply.

[Note on form: This happens to be, roughly, in a Japanese form called "tanka."]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Saturday, May 16, 2009


[Due to time crunch, here, yes HERE, Ladies and Gentlemen, I offer you THREE, count 'em, Three (3) genuine Dean Blehert poemlets for the price of one, your poems for Friday, Sat. AND (last, but not least) SUNDAY!!]

The tiny screen says this and that,
Flows in my eyes and turns to fat.
It's deep as a magician's hat--
How could I bulge from something flat?

[Note: Are images from a flat screen fattening? I think it's the bowl games, by which I mean the games of nibbing stuff from bowls as I watch TV.]

The elevator fills up
with cheery music
and dull backgound

I like Bach's music,
but the best part
is the background universe.

[Note: These last two offer twists on the notion "background music"--what makes it "background" and something else "foreground"? The elevator poem is pretty obvious, I think. Perhaps "cheery" should be "cheesy," since it's often mediocre, limp instrumental versions of lively songs rendered by someone's 10,000 slack strings, superficially cheerful, but basically music designed not to jar anyone's hangover.

(Which reminds me that Handel, a German composer, Bach's contemporary, wrote music for the court in England, a dynasty from Hanover, in Germany. No doubt he didn't want his music to upset the Georges or jar anyone's Hanover.)

(That's correct, the English royalty--which, during 20th century wars with German cousins, changed it's name from Hanover and it's longer 1901-1917 name, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (a larger section of Germany), to "Windsor"--that dynasty is from Germany. For a couple generations of Georges the kings spoke German, not English, and until they ran out of male heirs to the throne, they remained the rulers of Hanover. The laws in Hanover required a male ruler. The laws of England did not, and England's most distinguished and long-lived monarchs have been women--the two Elizabeths and Victoria. It's the males of the dynasty who've been more likely to die nasty.) (Yes, I know, the first Elizabeth was a Tudor, an earlier dynasty, not of German extraction, but that's not germane to my point about England's great ladies.)

The Bach poem is trickier: It's not just that Bach (and some other composers) are so powerful that they demand "foreground" billing. It's also two other factors: The first is that Bach is kind of annoying if you don't pay attention. Usually I'd prefer silence to background Bach, especially one of his complex fugues, musical devices of torture if you don't engage with them. The trick is to pick out a theme and align other themes and developments to that theme and then KEEP UP, and if you do that (and it's a bit like keeping up with varied and syncopated movements of tall grass in a breeze), it does something to your preception of time and motion, so that the universe starts to dance. The trees are moving to the music, and even star-twinkle seems to dig it.

Lots of music has this capability--maybe ANY music, since it's really OUR capability, music being a facilitator. But some music seems to demand it, like Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Beethoven's Late String Quartets, Bartok's String Quartet's 3 thru 6...and if you can do this yourself with no music (and no drug), but just your own intention, if you can make the universe dance (and you CAN), Bach won't object, and Time will have no dominion. You'll be the "different drummer" to which your universe moves.

If you depend on someone else's music for your time, that's Bachwards, and may lead to thirst when the pump don't work cause the vandals stole the Handel. (There's a bit of Bob Dylan Haydn in that last sentence.)]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Who gets money from a PAC?
Guys in office never lack.
Nice to be an incumbent,
With campaigns thus income-bent.

Notes: A PAC is a Political Action Committee, a means of raising funds for election campaigns. In campaigns these days, the candidate who can raise the most money usually wins, especially at the federal level, where campaigns are extremely expensive. Usually this favors the incumbents (those already in office) over the challengers. The big contributors want to bet on the right horse, and feel safest backing the guy already in office, unless he has badly offended them. A campaign that's "income-bent" is both inclined (bent) toward or aimed at bringing in money and perhaps perverted ("bent") by the process.

Even if I didn't believe in the views implied (and I do), I'd have written this poem just as a setting for the pun (incumbent, income-bent). That's just the sort of poet I am--pun-bent. How sad!

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


We stop walking, stuck in silence.
Instantly a cloud of flies descends,
lured by the stench of
what we didn't finish saying.

[Note for a poem about vampires:

Do the eerie undead
Speak our words left unsaid?]

I was busy saying nothing
when your silence
interrupted me.

[Note: Ever been holding forth to someone at great length, when you notice the other person's silence (and unresponsiveness) and are brought up short by it?]

I savor snow and silence.
Over the hill buzzes a helicopter,
behind it the giant shadow of my hand
clutching a fly-swatter...

[Another reason why we don't let our wishes come true! Too many squished helicopters.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Sunday, May 10, 2009



If that's what desire has come to,
the world will end, not in fire,
but plastic.

[Note: The first line was an advertising slogan for MacDonalds back in the 80s--maybe still in use? The remaining lines refer to a poem by Robert Frost about how some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice, and (says the poet) from what he's seen of desire, he can see how it might well end in fire, etc. My take is if "WHAT YOU WANT..." is something you can get at MacDonalds, your desires are burnt out.

The complete Frost poem (it's very short) can be found at]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Saturday, May 9, 2009

OD'd on Poetry

Such a racket of feelings:
Clearly this poet lost her mommy.
That one lost his daddy.
This one needs a good cry.
That one is a good lay.
This one is hungry and that one
feels guilty that others are hungry.
This one likes having loved ones,
but isn't sure about always having them,
and if not, how that changes the feeling
of having them. That one is gaga
about something I never heard of before,
but it's purple, and I think
it's some sort of flower. That one
would like to break windows until
everyone (or whover THE SYSTEM is)
knows that he is not one of THEM
and to have THEM admire him for it,
but not too much. These poets
could be anyone, but significantly,

[Note: One way to read this poem is to treat it as notes taken at a poetry reading, where each line or two describes one of the readers and also a popular type of current poetry, reducing it to its basic communication.

For example, many poets, usually young, sexy women all in black, including short skirt and panti-hose, intone in husky voice what amounts to "I'm so hot--make love to me!" (As the poem says, "that one a good lay." And any number of poems basically say "I've lost my mommie" or "I've lost my daddy." The "rebel" seems to be slinging his words as if they were bricks aimed at the establishment's windows, but he seems to expect those he is addressing (and tends to lump in with the establishment) to admire all this, but he doesn't want to much admiration, since that's selling out -- and all this comes across in every word and every gesture, all his push-pulls against the world.

As the poem says, these various postures are not restricted to poets/artists, but poets make a bigger thing of them, puff them up with fancy language. All I've done is stripped away the added ornamentation that most people mistake for poetry.

I've added this long comment, because I've found that, while the above poem is immediately clear to most people who've hung out in poetry circles, it may be obscure to those who have not. And also because I like the sound of my voice on the page -- can you hear it? How?]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Thursday, May 7, 2009


When I enter the room, the dog
beats her tail on the floor:
I wish I could do that.

p.s. I just added three new poems/essays to the dearreader08 blog (see below).

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at


We decorate time
with each other.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at


Young soldiers go off to war buoyant,
as if it were their own idea.
Probably the pawns don't realize,
when they are leaping two squares ahead
on their first move, that they can only
keep going in the same direction.

[Note: I suppose this is one-sided, that there are some "good wars," not based on lies, that brave young people shouldn't be called pawns and that they know exactly what they're getting into. I'd like to be able to believe that. This much I can say for the soldiers: if they are pawns, so are most of their fellow citizens, believing what they are told to believe, doing what they are told to do, whether it be going to the doctor to demand they be prescribed the latest wonder drug or voting for the candidate who says exactly what (as surveys show) they want to hear. Meanwhile the soldier (by shifting two letters) becomes "solider".]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To An Old Friend

I stroke his head. His tail wags wildly,
pink tongue flicking up at me, politely
begging to touch my face. Yesteray
he met a baby bird that puffed up its feathers
in fear before his solemn curiosity.
When I dawdle too long before our walk,
he talks to me, a deep sweet questioning lilt.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan
men slaughter each other. At home lies
burrow termite tunnels beneath social smiles.
Old dog, it is outrageous, it is intolerable,
your sweetness.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lost and Profound

I'm sorry, but I can't help you,
says the bureaucrat
from the Depts. of her heart.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Sunday, May 3, 2009


We Can't Go On Meeting This Way

If my voice, my smile seem
as intimate to you as your own
(yours seem my own), it's because
you and I met long ago in a dream
(which is where first meetings happen),

a dream I'd thought my own
until the day my setting sun
surprised me
with a tint of airy blue
I'd never put there.
Thus the game began:

I put forth Romeo and Juliet. You
covertly took over Juliet, and
when my Romeo's avid lips drew near,
your Juliet's tiny teeth nipped off his nose.
I did a quick fade out (stifling
an earthquake of giggles, thinking--
one of us thinking--"Will Romeo
be rebuilt in a day?"--

fade out to a long white beach
with palm trees and crashing surf.
You turned into an old airplane
and sputtered across the sun,
dragging a Coca Cola sign. I became
an ack-ack gun, you an elegant finger
plugging my gun barrel. I became a
crocodile, jaws closing over the finger,
which became a stick thrust crossways
to prop open my jaws--

Go back to the, the finger, no,
just play it out (I said, you said, we...)--

and so into the soft sky rises our
crocodile, trailing a Coca Cola banner,
and, flaring to lurid orange,
sets slowly in the Western sky.

[Note: What sorts of games would we play if we were immortal beings capable of creating things to be and being those things (bodies, trees, cars, oceans, planets, suns)? And even capable of creating universes? It seems to me our games would be aesthetic. And often they'd be silly. We wouldn't go around being nothing but sublime. Our Jonathon Livingston sea gulls would crap on lovers. Our serene sunsets would surprise us with farts. We'd have fun. And maybe we did. Maybe under cover of the agreed-upon solidity of "reality," we still play these games, calling them "mere imagination."]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Friday, May 1, 2009


The clouds break open.
Sunbeams streak up each tree
like golden squirrels.

[Note: Though spots of sunlight (still infiltrated by cloud shade) remind me of squirrels as they dart up tree trunks, the squirrels spiral around the trunk as they "streak" -- trying to evade our viewing them. And by name, they are shadows, not sun: "Squirrel" derives from two Greek words meaning "shadow tail."]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at