The Earl of Rollercoaster

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The Earl of Rollercoaster found
It inconvenient to expound
On why it was he loved to race
Continually from place to place
Whilst whirling rapidly around —
Now here, now there, now soaring high,
Now falling freely toward the ground,
And screaming all the while.

That’s why he built those crazy trains
That bear his name:
It’s easier to experience
than to explain.

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U, u: Unassuming Unicorns

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The unassuming unicorns united underground
Upthrusting their umbrellas with an ululating sound;
Their umbrage unassuaged, they undertook an upward run
Emerging all unbidden underneath an umber sun.

 

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No magic, child

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There is no magic, child.
No mysterious stranger
awaiting the proper stormswept night
on which to introduce you to your destiny.
Your mother and father
are really your mother and father.
There are words for everything.
Behind every bookcase is only a wall,
and the walls are solid walls
and behind them only two by fours
plaster and pink insulation and thick wires
through which ordinary currents pulse invisibly.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely usual
to have been born to people
about whom you know nothing
and who have secrets they themselves will never fathom.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely mundane
to live side by side
with the passionate electricity
that lurks behind your bedroom walls.

There is no magic, child,
since the world is just the world
and there are words for everything
even if the ones you will someday require
may be in a language no one living speaks.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely ordinary
for entire peoples to spring up
and sing for a hundred years
only to vanish with their only traces
to be found in a bookcase
with a solid wall behind it
while within the wall seethes
the invisible electricity
that powers the screens and machines
that belong to the parents
who are really your parents.

There is no magic, child.
The stranger who will appear
some unexceptional day
and make truths of wishes
you never even knew you were capable of

is no more mysterious than you.

 

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All Quiet for the Queen (a prequel)

(Being an account of the Peculiar Events leading up to the Monstrous and Notorious Tragedy of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds who were martyred by being baked into a pie; and of the Warning previously issued to all Fowl within the Royal Earshot, which these aforementioned Blackbirds roundly ignored, to their own Detriment and Ultimate Demise; written by one, Witness to the Aforesaid Events.)

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Go quietly, quietly! Quell every sound,
You geese in the air and you quails on the ground!

You ducks with your querulous ducklings in tow,
You may go as you like; only quietly go.

No quacking; no quarreling; quash every cry;
Not a chirp from you blackbirds who quarter the sky!
The queen is asleep:
If you cease not to peep
She’ll awake and demand you be baked in a pie!

 

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Against Alphabet Picture Books, the Gods Themselves Contend in Vain

abc2 Capture

Alphabet books – cease doing!
Everybody’s fails, goes headlong into
jangling, klanging lines.
Meaning no offense, please quit.
Readers’ll say thanks, ultimately.

Very warmly,

XXX,

Yours —

Zeus

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The Prince Who Succeeded in Slaying the Giant (A Cautionary Tale)

Danger - Falling Giants
The Prince was bold, the Prince was brave,
The Prince was young and strong,
All of these things he was, and yet
He did not live so long.

The Prince sought the Princess’s hand;
The King, to try his skill,
Commanded, “Slay the giant!”
And the Prince, he said, “I will!”

The giant’s name was Fumblegrunt
The largest of that race –
Full thirty yards he measured,
From his feet up to his face!

All night they fought, and then all day;
All afternoon as well;
Until at last the brute was slain
– And then, of course, he fell.

For Fumblegrunt was huge and strong,
And ugly and appalling;
And heavy, too, as the Prince found, who
Reckoned without his falling.

So once you’ve slain the giant –
Though your heart be filled with pride –
O once you’ve slain the giant,
Don’t forget to step aside.

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One day this

Free Spirit
One day this
will be recalled (if
at all) by you
as a golden
day a beach of pure
sand and flocks of
majestic white birds that
spreading curved wings
rose at first
imperceptibly then
inexorably into
aching flight as
we watched them knowing
all would be well and

no one will be left to say
that’s
inaccurate
since my present vision of
this will perish
lacking the heft and
polish of history but

for the record here
is what breaks my present heart this
little girl now running across
low tide’s litter now daring
those greasy waves now
scattering the dirty gulls that are
yammering and (I can
see it all
now) about to
take off
clumsily into an
implacable
future.

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10 Poems Written with a Found Pen

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Between the gray sky and gray
earth the darkling crowds
of those who
don’t and won’t look up
swell the concrete streets but
no cement can hold back time
no built thing can support the sky and
the earth holds me, but
I hold nothing:
holding nothing
back, again,
still.

 

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I can’t even
get lost just once, I
got lost then
right away
did it again. Later
that place I was headed for
changed into another, so
I never found it.

 

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Hip hooray for the Brooklyn Bridge!
A comic book for the Bowery Kids!
Nobody’s lost, nobody jumps,
We all stand up & take our lumps.
From here to Brooklyn, never back!
And into the great wide world at last!

 

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Never can remember
the endings of movies
quite right and then
I’m afraid to watch them
a second time
since what if the whole world
could come undone
just like
that?

 

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I used to love rocks and
talk about them. Now I don’t
remember why
I thought I knew so much, why
I thought the world was all
about the rocks.
Kids, huh?

 

choppy PS6.

If the bay froze – right now, right away –
I bet those sharp gray
waves would fetch a pretty penny
you could cut up the bay, not have any
thing left but sunken wrecks and fish
skeletons, and everyone would wish
they’d bought a piece while they could
yeah, you best believe it would be a good
deal while it lasted, buddy

 

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I have this friend
let’s call her Chris I
haven’t seen her in
a while and I
forget if I owe her
a call or if
she owes me so
anyhow it’s pretty
late now
maybe in a day or two
I’ll remember
again

 

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She got her world from
Headlines, so was always in
Despair, or shopping.

 

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That creek meandering through
the grass doesn’t want
a thing and moves
always. That bird poised like
death on the bank
wants what it can
get; it doesn’t move
but once.

 

bird on coffeepot with red bg10.

This morning she was up
before me, who used to be
my slug-a-bed, my slow waker.
This morning she has
opinions, who used to
wait and see what things
would be like.
This morning as
I reached for my
coffee cup I realized
wait
this is no dream
this thing is real.

 

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