April 12, 2010

National Poetry Month 2010, Days 11 and 12

A spring poem and a found/assembled poem.

Seige Mentality

Forsythia, tulip, japanese maple,
dandelion, lilac, dwarf pear:
bright colors of the enemy.
The fresh breeze swarms with bullets aimed
at my sinuses, and the golden sun
is no friend to my skin.
But sometimes you weary of skulking, sometimes
you have to dare the world to do its —
no, not worst, not near.
It’s just hay fever, not war.
The elements don’t care if I cower,
Nature holds no malice.
No forgiveness, either. Later
or sooner, something will bring me down
for good. And there’s an end
to yellow, red, purple, white,
sun and moon, night and day, pollen-smeared windshields,
ants in the sugar bowl, spiders in slippers,
sunburn, fleabite, mosquito welt;
and since I’m not ready to lose them,
it’s a good day for a walk.

— Carl Bettis, 4/11/2010


Dialogues overheard in the audience before a Ted Kooser reading

That guy over there? He has a thing for me. So does she.
— Let me have whichever one you don’t want.

Ted Hoosier’s one of my favorite poets.
— Did you know he was married to Sylvia Plath?

I heard the earth’s magnetic field is going to flip.
— What will that do?
Electricity’s going to run backwards.

People need art. I mean need, like, to survive.
— It’s an acquired taste, that’s for sure.

He’s not from Kansas? I thought he was from Kansas.
— Well, his poetry is.

— Carl Bettis, 4/12/2010


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