Les Gore

Lesley Gore sang songs of empowerment.
She said she’d cry if she wanted.
She told us not to tell her what to do
and that we didn’t own her
at a point when we needed to hear it
but Lesley Gore is dead
and I don’t know
if I want to be empowered

Maybe you should tell me when to cry.
Maybe you do own me.
Maybe it’s your party.

Tell me what to do.

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The Redundancy of Repetition

If you ask what a poem is about,
do not be surprised
to receive an answer like,
“it is about the spectral wind”
or “have you ever experienced
an autumn melancholy?
It very much like that
– but in boysenberry”
or maybe “it’s about two
and a quarter minutes”

for poets are a suspicious and cowardly lot,
ill-suited to describe their own art,
much as they love to speak of themselves
– for what subject should be a poet’s favorite but “me?”
A poet will want the work itself
to do the heavy lifting
of explication
and not require the poet to get any further involved.
Poets are lazy.
Poets are efficient.
Poets seek economy in language
and don’t wish to have to repeat
if it can be avoided.

Because poets wish to avoid
the redundancy of repetition
they’ll provide some dumbass answer
to get you annoyed enough
to leave them alone
so you will have to dig deeper
to understand their work.
Or maybe they don’t really understand
what they did at all.

I can’t tell you how often that is the case
for some poets.

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You’re a fucking idiot
if you think you can keep drawing
from the same account indefinitely
and expect never to receive
some sort of penalty.
Everyone suffers from withdrawal

How did you think
that account would continue recouping
and reconstituting value,
month after year,
for an endless eon?
Why would you suspect
that could go on forever?
How blessed did you believe
you actually were?

No, your good fortune
ain’t eternal
and you won’t be able
to call upon any of the amounts you thought available
There’s nothing left,
which you should have seen coming
long ago,
fucking idiot.

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Kool, Gang?

If you have a father, happy Father’s Day.
If you have a mother, thank her for her part.
If you have a sister, go in on a gift for that mister.
If you have a kid, accept their finger-painted art.

If you’re born with a twin, pretend that you’re him.
If your dad’s got one, confuse him for yours’,
and if you’re one of those identical cousins…
share all the rest of the best hors d’oeuvres.

If you celebrate things, then celebrate well.
If you have a good time, then try that today
but if it is your preference to just sit and whine
and suffer for hours, then get to it, OK?

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Gender Stereo

I wish I’d known more
about what you were going through
so I could have helped you
(so I could have saved you
{so I could have appeared
in the nick of time
as the Big Strong Hero
and protected you,
offered you all the Big Strong Man things you needed,
and you could look at me
with Big Sweet Doe eyes
and swear that I was your hero
and you would say
you’d do anything to thank me
and I’d say anything?
and you’d say anything
and then I’d get a slightly dumbfounded
slightly creepy look on my face
and the scene would fade
before I did anything really wrong}).

But we both know
I don’t really subscribe
to those misguided old school gender stereotypes
(not really)
and you don’t need me to
(not at all)
since you’re so strong and capable yourself
but I know you were having trouble then
and I wish I was around to help
and maybe get to be there
if you ever
(at any time
{at all})
felt helpless.

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The Vagaries of Fate

When we first met
I was more interested in your blonde friend
but when you first massaged my cock
my priorities sort of shifted.

You were so warm and friendly
and smart and pretty
and willing to do interesting things
in more interesting places
than your friend was
so I’m kind of glad things turned out
the way they did.

Thank you
for shifting my priorities
so deftly
with just a flick of a wrist.

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I live on the rags and bones
of other people’s lives
perhaps because it is easier
than finding things of my own.
Choosing takes responsibility
and it is certainly easier
in this land of opportunity
to take the opportunity
to cede responsibility
and let passivity be my guide.

So I let the dumpster decide
where my next meal comes from
or what fashion I shall wear
the next season
just as I let the season decide
what sort of activities
will accommodate my active schedule.

I dine on the carrion left
of other’s choices.
Like a willow
I bend
and form
as whatever around me may wish.

And how does that work out,
blowing like a speck in a storm
surviving on scraps
doing the best
with whatever remains?
How is this simple sort of life?
What do YOU think?

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The Story of Tonight

Is it possible
that you’ve drunk enough tonight
to forget this conversation tomorrow?
Might you perhaps be so generous
as to lack the memory
to recall yesterday
when next you wake?
Is this a reasonable request?
Is it something you could consider?

I’d be forever grateful
and inconceivably appreciative
if you could remove today from your mind,
simply excise all these events
we’ve just now experienced
and run them through your erasure unit.
Please tell me you’ve got one of those.

Please tell me
you still remember
how to forget

and if not
is there any way
I can coerce you
into drinking another round
or maybe eight?

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He said, This is a song about my cat,
but then, when you think about it,
aren’t all songs really about our cats?
We, the audience, thought about it,
and finally came to the conclusion that
No, we’re afraid not.
Not all songs are about cats.

Bohemian Rhapsody is not about cats.
Creep is not about cats.
Del Shannon’s Runaway isn’t about cats
and neither is Kanye’s.
Most of the Runaways’ songs aren’t about cats, either,
even though they are sometimes about pussy.
Hell, Memory from Cats isn’t even about cats.

To be honest, we had to admit,
we the audience are not very clear
on what you were trying to say.
May I sing my song?
The artist asked testily.
We let him.
It was, indeed, a song about his cat.
So was the rest of his set.
We didn’t understand what was going on
at all.

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Alien (or Not)

Believe it or not
she’s getting better.
The tears and tantrums
are signs that she’s processing through
some of this, at least.
Angry as she seems
she’s beginning to understand
the gravity of the situation
and is closer to addressing the weight of it all.

She yells and screams, surely
but each arch action
is an opportunity for her
to realize what’s wrong
and a chance to fix it.
After she throws something
she apologizes.
When she’s done berating the driver
she sleeps easily for the first time
in months.

It’s all signs of some improvement, really.
Even if it doesn’t quite seem like it.

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