The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

By Ron Koertge

When I was young and we were poor and I used to
gripe about the food, my mother would say
"Eat what's in front of you and be thankful you

ain't worse off." That didn't make much of an
impression then and after I left home I didn't
think any more about it except to make fun,

you know how that goes. Then a few months ago
I had a lot of trouble, nothing that most
people couldn't handle but I'm not most people

and it wigged me out all but for good. The
only way I held my junk-shop life together was
by remembering all the good old rules: So now

I honor my father and mother like crazy, go to
bed really early, take hundreds of stitches
in time but most of all I eat what's put in front

of me. Lately I've eaten a lot of forks and
things and right now there's a nice waitress in the
hospital just because she didn't move her hand in

time. It's too bad but I've just got to have the
rules to keep my arms and legs from flying off, so
whenever I sit down I think them over and chew 50

times and say thank you thank you thank you thank
you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank
you thank you thank you thank you thank you.


When I was in tenth grade, I went to a summer theater program at Catholic University, the High School Drama Institute. I was in a play called Memories that was actually a dramatic reading of a bunch of poems, song lyrics, excerpts from short stories and plays about recollections and how they get distorted and changed over time. That was where I first heard yesterday's poem, "My Papa's Waltz"; my first reading was the absurdist one above. My second was a poem by William Dickey that began:

The scars take us back to places we have been,
Cities called masochism or inaccuracy.
This little one between the finger and the thumb
Is something that my brother did to me

and I don't remember any more, and can't find it on the web anywhere or in any anthology that I have...and although I have copies of everything else I recited in that play, I can't find this one. Does it ring a bell? Anyone have a copy?

Had a relatively quiet day, met gblvr for what will probably be my last child-free lunch for awhile, wrote a couple of articles, folded laundry while watching Vertical Limit with the kids because we could not bear another moment of Michael Jackson coverage. (I sincerely hope that he is, in fact, not guilty of the charges, and that the poor kid is the victim of a greedy mother's scheme rather than sexual abuse -- I don't see how he's going to have a normal life at this point anyway, which is very, very sad.) My kids had not seen the film before (it's tough -- beautiful mountaineering cinematography and a couple of fine performances by actors I like but some very unrealistic elements and a high body count). Afterwards we watched the National Geographic special that I had never realized was on the DVD, and there was an interview with Rick Ridgeway, a writer and climber who wrote a book that I enjoyed very much: Below Another Sky, his account of taking the daughter of a friend who died climbing to her father's grave in Asia.

At bedtime my older son had a rash all over the right side of his body -- raised red bumps, he said they don't itch, it doesn't look like chicken pox (which he's been inoculated against) or any plant reaction I can recall...we gave him Benadryl but I hesitated to call his pediatrician so late when he didn't seem to be uncomfortable or in any distress, and now I am somewhat freaked out about this, since if it's an allergy I have no idea what it's an allergy to and if it's a virus I can't tell what kind, since he has no fever or swollen glands and appears to feel fine otherwise. (Note: reading medical web sites about what a rash might possibly be is a very good way to make oneself panic and believe it's meningitis or scarlet fever when there is absolutely no evidence of this being the case.)

muscadinegirl wrote a cat filk to "I'm Too Sexy" based on this conversation that some of you probably saw. Hee! Quiz gacked from gblvr:

You scored as The Granola Dyke. Your love for the environment and passion for your beliefs can be a bit overwhelming at times, but your friends and family know you mean well.


The Granola Dyke


The Student Dyke


The Pretty-Boi Dyke


The Bohemian Dyke


The Vaginal-Reference-Making Dyke


The Sprightly Elfin Femme


The Femme Fatale


The Surprise! Dyke


The Stud


The Little-Boy Dyke


The Quasi-Gothic Femme


The Hipster Dyke


The Magic Earring Ken Dyke


What Type of Lesbian Are You? (Inspired by Curve Mag.)
created with

This is not fair because I own an Earring Magic Ken...well, okay, I don't dress like him, but I would wear that earring if I took it out of the box!

We had a thunderstorm in the late afternoon. This was the view down the street afterward.

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