Sunday, July 10, 2005

4 Poems Rachel M Simon


One thing about human nature is that nobody
wants to know the exact dimensions of their small talk.
I can’t imagine good advice.
If every human being has skin
how come I can see all of your veins?
Clicks and drips target my skull.
Important voices miss their target.
Some cities are ill suited for feet.
I’d never buy a door smaller than a tuba, you never know
what sort of friends you’ll make.
In the future there will be less to remember.
In the past I have only my body and shoes.
The gut and throat are two entirely different animals.
My hands don’t make good shoelaces, but I’m going to stay
in this lane, even if it’s slower.
The trick was done with saltwater and smoke
and an ingredient you can only find in an
out-of-business ethnic food store.
It all comes down to hand-eye coordination.
Once it took all my energy to get you out of the tub
we had converted from an indoor pool to a house.
I ended up on snorkeling spam lists inadvertently.
It is all inadvertent.
If you don’t believe me ask your mom.


One must have imagination
in the kitchen, and a wooden bowl
large enough to layer every element
of pleasure. Those ingredients
are not only garlic and butter.
Some are seasonal and cannot be found
in retirement communities.
The residents remember when gluttony
was a sin. Do not ask them
to dirty their hands.

The only important etiquette guideline
is to put your napkin on your lap.
Controlling the amount of food
that actually makes it into the mouth
can be the responsibility
of your dining companions.
If there is no serviette available,
use the right shoulder portion
of your shirt. Dining shirtless
is strongly discouraged.

The impatient burn their tongues
at every hot meal as the honorable mention
ribbons are distributed for the
allergic, picky, and clean plate club.
Countertops should be kept clear of
these indulgent awards.
Formica formica. For my portion
omit all traces of onion.
For your complexion—
cucumbers over the eye.

The gratification of home cooking
ends with a bulldozer.
Unbroken dishes and
indecipherable paprakash recipes
may be passed down to youngsters
disinterested in any nostalgia
lacking a self starring role.
Do not chop them into a sauce of the ungrateful.
Nobody likes the flavor.


My blood is completely cheese.
If you peel back the layers
of this week’s dreams a smart
fourth-grader could tell you I feel
out of control of my life.
Cars drive themselves in opposition
of my steering instructions
until giant black bears set my car
down on the safe side of a mountain.
Plungers only make the problem wetter.
There are only four words in my
vocabulary, all adjectives.
I cannot describe the sound splash
down the wall of your childhood
bedroom. I cannot tie my shoe
by any non-bunny ear method.
I am straightforward or I sleep in.

First Aid

When submitting to peer pressure
ignore any mature inclinations
listing the burn degrees.

First: submerge in a cool river
and follow with ice. Soothing beverages
may be poured over the ice, beware the porous.

Second degree: leave the identifying information
of your internet date with someone you trust.
Screen name alone is inadequate. Set a panic time.

Third degree: a high school physics teacher might
cite factual examples of spontaneous combustion
only the rubber soles remain. Char, smoke, poof.

The Red Cross warns: the saved
will sue in a litigious culture.
Clear the airway. Clear the airway.

If you can’t spell tourniquet
don’t bother coming to class.
Your skills are better suited to the surf.

When weaving a garment out of grass blades
remember to consult the pesticide schedule.
Eye wash of the damned. Eye wash organism.