after Kenneth Koch
Ode to Someone
The thought of you sticks to my mind
Like a dustbunny to Velcro, O postmodern
Earth-goddess, woman whom I love!
I am in this chair and not in this chair,
My thoughts so errant and arrant
That I cannot write like me tonight.
I assume the voice of Enrico Thornburgh, a prize-winning poet
From Yonkers and Cincinnati. And I praise
All your attributes, your eyes behind octagonal spectacles,
Your hair unstreaked with grey (although you are forty-seven),
Your belly so eminently pokeable,
And your feet shod in fluorescent running shoes!
I am manic with coffee, colourful with images!
I almost typed "ruining" instead of "running"
And almost left it there! My love for you
Is absurd, like male chauvinism in the 1970s.
I am already that old: I remember when sexism was
Called "male chauvinism," racism was called "prejudice,"
When feminism was "Women's Lib." I remember kindergarten
With Miss Wilhelm, and Mom was surprised when I
Drew, as she put it, a Negro policeman. I remember Roy's Cold Cuts
And the Boston Phoenix. I hadn't yet met you:
This was 1975 or so. You would have been three
Or pre-embryonic. A twinkle in the eye of your dad.
I remember stickball in the asphalt
Yard around the Otis School. The bigger kids did that.
I drew maps of Europe and emulated Robert Frost.
I remember doing five-line stanzas in practically
The first poem I ever wrote because Frost did five-liners
For "The Road Not Taken." My poem was called "Duo Mundi"
("Two worlds" in Latin); I rhymed "stars" with "Mars."
Addictive personality already at eleven, on New Year's Eve 1980,
I guzzled orange soda until I had to heave. It was like getting drunk,
Which I would do many times in subsequent years.
But this is supposed to be a poem about you, my goddess,
My queen, and as usual, egotistical schmuck that I am,
I'm talking about myself. Let's talk about music
Or the boulders in the woods of Ponkapoag.
Let's talk about that copper-brown jacket I had
Until I lost it somewhere on the campus of UMass Amherst.
Let's talk about God, who is either a loving mother-figure
If we listen to Julian of Norwich, or an intolerant chode
If we listen to Franklin Graham. Let's forget about the fact
That democracy is in peril. You are my monarch
Sempiternal! Not even Delmore Schwartz
Could sing your praises with adequate panache!
If I were a male chauvinist, or a tough guy from the film
Noir era, I'd call you a classy dame or a dollface.
I'd say you were easy on the eyes. As matters stand,
You make my myocardium do the macarena.
You're the cat's meow, you are, and I don't even care
Poetry by Thomas D
Read 29 times
Written on 2020-10-17 at 07:05
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