Poetry, Poetics, Po-business, Stuff Like That


The Alchemy of Worse Alternatives

The kids in the alternative school
are mad because Bill the Director
won’t let them
explore storm sewers,

so they write BITE ME, SHUT UP,
and DIE BILL on the walls
in colored chalk, and draw Bill
with a bullet hole in his head.

“Make the blood look real,”
one of them says.

Then a teacher laughs, “Hey
you want a sewer, we could
send you back to Main Campus.”

So the bullet hole gets
covered by a hat, DIE BILL
becomes a green cat, someone
hides BITE ME in flowers,

and SHUT UP becomes a big
fat peach in which nestles the moon
holding in her arms the sun.

(C) 2006 by Rick Stansberger, published in Expelling Trelnitz, TJMF Publishing, 2007.


Raven, Raven, Raven

You can’t hide
in that yellow tree.




She spits out
the pills because
they make her dopey,
but without
the pills, she
can’t walk.

Every day
when they bring
the pills, she
asks when
she can return
to her home.

“When the medicine
makes you better,”
they tell her.

She listens,
takes the pills,
spits them out.

When I die and

go to the heaven of the poets
if there is such a place
and if they’ll let me in
and if I actually want to go there,
knowing, as I do, so many,

I’m going to ask the Muse
why she’s so perverse.

I don’t expect an answer,
or one that I can understand,
but on the other hand,
she’s so perverse
she might give it to me straight.

Song of the Dissipating Anxiety

Where the candle smoke goes
where the red of the leaf goes
and the color of dawn.

I have the choice
of a bowling shirt
or a waistcoat to wear

when I go dancing there.

It’s Back

The girl waiting tables
boogies to the tune
she was conceived by.

Disco’s here again.

And again and again.

No politics to scare,
no philosophy to confuse.

Bringing the pancakes,
she shakes her booty
as her mother did

and her daughter will:

ah, ah, ah, ah,
stayin’ alive.

Raven, Raven, Raven

You can’t hide
in that yellow tree!