30 One-Liners (Joe Brainard).

WINTER
More time is spent at the window.

SUMMER
You go along from day to day with summer all around you.

STORES
Stores tell all about people who live in the area.

WRITING
Others have already written what I would like to write.

TODAY
Today the sky is so blue it burns.

IN THE COUNTRY
In the country one can almost hear the silence.

THE FOUR SEASONS
The four seasons of the year permit us to enjoy things.

RECIPE
Smear each side of a pork chop with mustard and dredge in
flour.

BOOK WORM
Have always had nose stuck in book from little on.

THAT FEELING
What defines that feeling one has when gazing at a rock?

COSTA RICA
It was in Costa Rica I saw my first coffee plantation.

HAPPINESS
Happiness is nothing more than a state of mind.

MONEY
Money will buy a fine dog.

OUR GOVERNMENT
A new program is being introduced by our government.

EDWARD
On the whole he is a beautiful human being.

LAKE
A lake attracts a man and wife and members of a family.

THE SKY
We see so many different things when we look at the sky.

A SEXY THOUGHT
Male early in the day.

POTATOES
One can only go so far without potatoes in the kitchen.

MOTHER
A mother is something we have all had.

MODERN TIMES
Every four minutes a car comes off the assembly line they say.

THE OCEAN
Foamy waves wash to shore “treasures” as a sacrifice to damp
sand.

TODAY
High density housing is going on all around us.

REAL LIFE
I could have screamed the day John proposed winterizing
the cottage and living there permanently.

ALASKA
I am a very cold person here.

THE YEAR OF THE WHITE MAN
The year of the white man was a year of many beads.

LOYALTY
Loyalty, I feel, is a very big word.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Perhaps in our mad scramble to keep our heads above water
we miss the point.

HUMAN NATURE
Why must we be so intent on destroying everything we
touch?

COMPANY
Winifred was a little relieved when they were gone.

brainard

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“I Should Know Better” (poem with candy in it) (mine).

I Should Know Better

I grow my own food
& make my own pickles

I make my own yogurt
I make tomato sauce from scratch

but every time I leave a hardware store
a video store a country store a magazine shop

I want to put a quarter
into that crusty candy dispenser

selling Mike & Ike’s (which I don’t even like)
or peanut peanut M&Ms or Skittles

I know that candy has been in there for years
But I just want that one small handful

of cheap & attainable sweetness
I can’t help it

I want those candies
I want them bad

Sprung (poem) (mine).

The lilacs will be here any minute

Forsythia is happening and so is coltsfoot on the roadsides

Daffodils are happening and little blue flowers I don’t know yet

Breakfast & dinner outside is happening

as the roosters chase each other inside their fencing

Grass is greening fast with full moon energy

The tomato starts are waving at the brassicas in the porch breeze

It is time for a hat with a brim that goes all the way around

It’s time for dandelions for dinner & ramps for lunch

The violets just showed their shy purple faces yesterday before the rain

The marsh marigolds are practically everywhere

Spring is touching us all with the a wand invisible & bright

fairfield porter

“Schwenk” by Fairfield Porter, 1959.

We Are Older; We Float, We Sink, We Sleep When We Can (poem) (mine).

We Are Older; We Float, We Sink, We Sleep When We Can

I’m nearly thirty and capable of commanding my body
inside a vehicle. The car and I, we go places together.

I drive south and then west, four hours plus one coffee
stop, to see Scott and his brand new baby. We meet

at a French cafe with “vintage gas station” as its theme.
The baby is strapped away against his chest, silent

and unseeable. We drink white wine and eat Frenchly
-titled meals by the window. Scott covers the baby’s head

with a napkin while he eats, which I both notice
and don’t notice. He is exhausted & he is a father

& I’m so proud of him. He looks natural with a baby.
He looks like someone related to me. Maybe this is why

I love him, or maybe it’s his excellent taste
in wall clocks, or the sandy fields & shifting days

we survived together in laughter. His husband is away
that day, working in the city. When he arrives home,

his face is nearly yellow from exhaustion. I want to feed
them both: applesauce, keffir lime leaves, matzoh ball soup.

At Scott’s birthday dinner party the next evening, there is wine,
deeply chocolate cake, and lentil soup with a pad of floating butter

on top like the raft we each contain inside us, each of us
the fat, the proteins, the flavor, the impending melt.

Ugly Ole Sweater poem (mine).

I bought this scruffy poet cardigan
with a big ole stain on the cuff
because it has a professorial pattern
and because it already had a big ole stain
which means it’s safe from spoiling by me,
having already been spoiled by someone else.
Does this sound defeatist? To me it’s relaxing,
the stress of ruination removed by the simple
presence of a big brown smudge. I love you,
big brown smudge! Were you car grease or paint
or pigsweat? Who cares! I’ll eat my stew
with you, I’ll sit at work & cast no sweat
upon this perfect, ugly, poet sweater.

Frozenpoem (mine).

It’s so cold today I’m wearing a sweater vest

over a sweater. And it was so cold yesterday an egg froze

underneath my chicken’s butt! Plus one hen won’t go home

and now lives beneath the porch; it’s so cold she might

be dead, and if she’s not: props, sister. Tonight

the temperature will dive so low it’ll limbo underground

and after that, who knows: maybe the freeze will set

so deep into the ground the earth will send a message

to the moon that reads: that’s it, I quit, I’m comin’

over for a visit. Inside the house, one of our windowpanes

is covered in ice cuz it’s our first winter here & not everything

is sealed all nice & tight. Oh, well. Oh, hell. Maybe

we’ll shave that window ice with a razor blade and use it

for our cocktails! Maybe I’ll scoop the moonlight off

the frozen snow and add it to my hair! I’m wearing too many

sweaters to care what anyone thinks of me & my windows.

Suffice to say: winter’s landed like a bigass prehistoric bird

and I will stay as far from her beak as I’m able.

vest