Corduroy Day

On November the eleventh Koreans

present one another with tall, skinny snacks

made of things that will not make you short

but very well may make you fat, as if to say

“To be like these snacks, leave these snacks be.”

 

By contrast, a small number of Americans

give and wear corduroy items on 11.11. You shouldn’t

eat corduroy either, but you don’t have to try very

hard not to. Instead, you wear it proudly,

like a king: Cord-du-roy. Kings can be as fat

as they please, and often have the power to

make being fat cool.

Advertisements

Fire Extinguisher

fire009-extinguisher-flames

By the time you are through saying

‘Grab the fire extinguisher!’ you have pretty

much extinguished your chances of extinguishing the fire.

 

Who can count the number of neatly stored

birth certificates, family heirlooms, and beloved cats

that might have been saved over the years,

 

Had someone named the fire extinguisher a ‘clorp’ or a ‘dorb’,

or any number of under-utilized monosyllabic grunts.

Things could have been quite different.

Left Sonnet-less

“Death, be not proud,” said John Donne of old.
But whether or not it reckons
squarely with its own certain demise,
for the time being–proudly or humbly,
it matters little–

it snatches away what is not its own,
and leaves us bereft of sons and lovers.
And who among us would not prefer
a thousand haughty benefactors
to one perfectly humble, mortal thief?

Penelope

“Maybe iPhones have feelings, too,”
I replied, in a last-ditch effort
to plead my case, my lost

cause, my losing battle not
worth fighting, my stubborn
resistance to those who, like

you, self-righteously insist that
persons should talk to other
persons when in their presence.

“But let’s suppose they did,” I
continued. “I could put mine down
on this restaurant table and fix

my eyes and my desires squarely
on you instead, but Penelope—
let’s call her Penelope, provisionally—

could, through her one ear located
on the bottom of her long face,
still hear us arguing about my

priorities and begin to despise you
for wedging your way between us.
She would still take in at least the

ceiling and perhaps the occasional
especially demonstrative gesture
from one of her highly-evolved eyes,

either the one perched atop her radiant
face or—let’s not forget—the dominant
one peering through her helmet

on the back of her head. When
the bill arrives and it’s time to
calculate the tip, you can do

the math, I will presume, and she and I
will watch and listen as we drum
our digits on the table with justified,

spiteful impatience. And when it is that
time in the midst of our riveting conversation
to turn our attention to Ohio Sports

teams, I’m looking forward to hearing
your incisive analysis of the Cavs’
offseason trades and whether you

think the Tribe has the right elements
and chemistry to win it all this year. But
we both know that Penelope here is

the Michael Jordan of baseball conversation
and you’re more like our eldest son
insisting on the contemporary relevance

of castle sieges and pressing your case
that Minecraft counts as a STEM activity,
both of which are fine topics for conversation

for fine people, of course, given the proper
time and place. And I think we’d both agree
that this fancy restaurant on this, the

occasion of our fourteenth anniversary, is
by any estimation, neither the time
nor the place.

Diary Space

Would you mind terribly reading
to the children for perhaps five
minutes? I have a space in my

diary upon which I’d like to write
the words “Read to the children
for five minutes,” next to which

it would please me to place a check
mark denoting the task’s completion.
Another thing you might consider

doing is buying me flowers and
commemorating our fast-approaching
anniversary with a romantic dinner

and perhaps some French kissing,
for I have space in my diary also
available upon which I could chronicle

a surprisingly memorable evening
spent with a surprisingly thoughtful
husband. Alternatively, said diary

space could certainly be filled with a
list of various desiderata easily
purchased from the kinds of stores

which stock goods commonly
associated with wives whose husbands
are slow to read, flower, dine, and/or kiss

 

 

What’s the deal

What’s the deal

What’s the deal with everyone
always asking what the deal is
with strange things?
As though all oddities could be
explained by underlying
economic transactions.
Are we to believe Grape Nuts are so-
called, despite their lack of both,
because the numbers were right?
And you can’t tell me that
German Checkers became “Chinese”
and Ecuador’s hats “Panama”
to sell more games and headwear.
I’m simply not buying it.