Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Poem

My favorite blog of all time (Photographer Alec Soth's Blog) stopped being updated years ago, but I often return to its archives to bask in the awesomeness it once was. One of the best recurring posts was his Friday Poem. I'm terribly unfamiliar with poetry and am quite positive I can't tell the difference between good and bad poetry, but I do respect the art and hope to become slightly more familiar with it. So, since Alec is off raising a family and taking spectacular photographs (click here), I am going to attempt to reintroduce myself into the world of poetry with a weekly "Thursday Poem". We'll start off with a native son of Kansas city, James Tate. Tate was first introduced to me by my friend Chris Nelson (he has a great weekly newsletter aptly entitled This Week In Nelson), and I actually own a few of his collections of poetry. His poems are kind of surreal.

Yeah Buddy!

-Billy Gay Cyrus

The Motorcyclists
by James Tate

My cuticles are a mess. Oh honey, by the way,
did you like my new negligee? It’s a replica
of one Kim Novak wore in some movie or other.
I wish I had a foot-long chili dog right now.
Do you like fireworks, I mean not just on the 4th of July,
but fireworks any time? There are people
like that, you know. They’re like people who like
orchestra music, listen to it any time of day.
Lopsided people, that’s what my father calls them.
Me, I’m easy to please. I like ping-pong and bobcats,
shatterproof drinking glasses, the smell of kerosene,
the crunch of carrots. I like caterpillars and
whirlpools, too. What I hate most is being the first
one at the scene of a bad accident.

Do I smell like garlic? Are we still in Kansas?
I once had a chiropractor make a pass at me,
did I ever tell you that? He said that your spine
is happiest when you’re snuggling. Sounds kind
of sweet now when I tell you, but he was a creep.
Do you know that I have never understood what they meant
by “grassy knoll.” It sounds so idyllic, a place to go
to dream your life away, not kill somebody. They
should have called it something like “the grudging notch.”
But I guess that’s life. What is it they always say?
“It’s always the sweetest ones that break your heart.”
You getting hungry yet, hon? I am. When I was seven
I sat in our field and ate an entire eggplant
right off the vine. Dad loves to tell that story,

but I still can’t eat eggplant. He says I’ll be the first
woman President, it’d be a waste since I talk so much.
Which do you think the fixtures are in the bathroom
at the White House, gold or brass? It’d be okay with me
if they were just brass. Honey, can we stop soon?
I really hate to say it but I need a lady’s room.

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