Occasional Verse

Occasional Verse 6: Your Six Year-old Daughter Asks How the Penis Gets Into the Vagina

Posted in Occasional Verse on February 8th, 2021 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

What do you say? Do you tell her?

I told her.

And now your wife

wants to know why.

So does your therapist.

Maybe it’s because you remember

the day you figured it out

in fifth grade,

a full three years before

it was revealed 

in junior high health class

by a football coach 

that said puberty 


You were riding your bike

home after school,

puzzling it out.

You knew that somehow

the penis had to 

get into the vagina

for babies to get made.

But it just didn’t seem possible 

that the penis, 

a squishy little piece of flesh,

could be pushed against a vagina, 

and do anything but crumple.

If only it could be made firmer,

if only it had another state.

Wait a minute, 

I stopped the bike for this.

I remembered that the penis 

almost has the desired properties

when you wake up in the morning.

What your mom sometimes calls a flagpole.

Yes, that might just work,

a flagpole penis.

Oh my God, a flagpole penis! 

If you don’t take into account my age

at that moment, 

you might be unimpressed,

but remember this was pre-poo-ber-dee.

An erection was in no way connected

to desire in my mind.

I was like a man who’d never seen water,

trying to figure out how a fish swims.

I was an anatomical engineer 

that deduced the solution from first principles.

It was my on-the-road-to-Damascus moment.

Okay, not everybody gets to be Paul.

But when the great engineer in the sky 

has called your name, 

you go out and you preach the word.

And that is why I told my daughter.

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Occasional Verse 5: Trying to Find Your Underwear After Sex

Posted in Occasional Verse on January 11th, 2021 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Do I address the underwear 

or do I address you, 

now naked pair,

whose underwear disappeared

into that oblivion of bed clothes,

as if to say there is no way

to put that apple back on the tree?

Maybe there is someone approaching,

a child that needs sparing,

or a lover betrayed?

But that, of course,

only makes the underwear hide harder.

Could you close your eyes

you might be able to see yourselves

just five minutes before,

in a tangle of elbows and feet, 

pushing your underclothes 

back in time, almost to the first day.

And now the price of that pleasure 

is an eternity of search.

Nothing free in indulgence

is quite free of consequence.

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Occasional Verse 4: When Your Favorite Band Mainstreams

Posted in Occasional Verse on December 14th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

It’s tremendously gratifying. 

You were right.

This band is great.

But the very same moment they legitimize your taste,

they no longer serve as its marker.

You are a bit like a revolutionary

that suddenly finds himself in power.

It’s a little embarrassing.

What do you do now?

Who is left to convert?

There is no argument to make,

amazingly everyone agrees.

The only answer

is to find another backwater band

with which to bother your unlistening friends.

The guerilla needs to go back to the jungle.

If you don’t, you’ll find yourself 

saying silly things like

I liked them before this or that important concert,

waiting for your early adoption 

                              to count for something.

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Occasional Verse 3: Reading Nietzsche Before Watching It’s a Wonderful Life

Posted in Occasional Verse on November 16th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

These spirits do not mix.

All it took was a 30 minute dose of Nietzsche

on the herd mentality, mobbing, 

and the perversion of the ubermench’s spirit, 

to make George Bailey’s wonderful life a Greek tragedy.

Prior to this encounter, I had seen the movie

over 15 times, usually during holidays,

and it always touched me.

But this was the first time I saw 

George’s family, friends, and townspeople

ply that combination

of guilt, shame, and sex 

(not to mention some angel dust pyrotechnics)

to level George Bailey, man of talent.

And on this viewing, surprise of surprises,

Mr. Potter turns out to be the only man

trying to save poor George,

even if it is

only out of self interest.

And all those gut-wrenching moments 

coming so close to escaping:

the board meeting,

the bank run,

the train station with Harry,

the call from Sam Wainwright,

(if that idiot can make it anyone can).

If only Ernie the cabbie

would just chloroform Georgie-boy.

Just so he could get out of his own way 

for a half an hour. 

The real dagger in the soul is the end

when he’s wet, disheveled 

with tinsel matted on his head, 

looking out as an imbecile on all proceedings,

as he is made

to feel grateful for it all.

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Occasional Verse: Series Descriptor

Posted in Occasional Verse on October 19th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Occasional Verse is an attempt to reimagine that genre of poetry around smaller events. Events that are still meaningful in a life without being the major threshold events that are the mainstay of occasional verse: birth, marriage, death…

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Occasional Verse 2: Driving the Wrong Way Down a One Way Street

Posted in Occasional Verse on September 21st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

You entered the do not enter

and there is no way out but through.

You will learn that the usually effective

embarrassed/apologetic wave has its limits.

Even the church-going mother

in the hatchback

taking her children to school 

can be seen muttering

a few non-biblical epithets

under her breath.

Her stare is enough to wish for the end times.

You have screwed this up for everyone

and will have to keep screwing

because backing up is worse than continuing.

You can only manage your level of wrong here.

Driving the wrong way down a one way street is like

putting a roasted potato in your mouth

at a dinner party that is way too hot

but you can’t spit it out.

So take the honking,

take the shrugs,

take the fingers.

This is an exercise in humility.

It is spiritually cleansing.

Remember Elliot’s words

Nothing dies harder than

the desire to think well of self

and know that today,

if just for a little while,

you killed it.

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Occasional Verse 1: Arguing About Whether You are Arguing

Posted in Occasional Verse on August 24th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

You are discussing a movie with your wife.

Talk has circled around various interpretations,

and now you find yourself debating, rather vigorously, 

whether you agree with each other. 

You maintain that with minor exceptions you do.

Your wife is quite certain that you don’t.

Don’t be surprised. 

For if there is an acorn through which 

to glimpse the forest of marriage, 

it must be the argument about whether you are arguing.

And so, here we have

in this discourse 

the inability of two to be one,

coupled with the relentless determination

that quite simply two equals one.

It’s a very real physical impossibility, 

a duality of states

as in superposition

not as one, not as two

but, for lack of a better term,

a one / not one.