Selections from The Book of Exclamations

          —after Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions


The requirements say bunches!
No take-backs, carnival!
Postpone your acceptance!
No consolation prizes from guidance counselors!
O farther, farther, farther, farther sail!

Have at it, alpaca!
But it’s a small jackal!
Hibiscus!
The buffet must not die!
The fat lady wants more steamed milk!

Don’t tell me you didn’t hear the barking locust!
I needed the bennies, so I applied!
Calligraphy!
I don’t understand your knitting, Grandmother!
Good! Good! Let it out!

You knew that pattern would beguile me!
My voice coach warned me about this!
He gave me a noogie just before he died!
Some charmer, that crippled squirrel!
Wisdom, your trophy is too heavy!

Look out! Falling leaf!
Just cleanin’ my gun!
I told you that was a beehive!
I was just too high on Hi-C and breast milk!
Well, shuck my bald spot and call me Narjuna!

Shiny ghosts of Potowotomi!
You’ve got to get an implement!
It swirled right!
But I really worked hard on those anti-war posters!
Now I’m going to surf through the trough!

Gypsum, my ass!
Death to the centipede!
Adverbs, to your jetpacks, quickly!
At least keep the window cracked!
Don’t disturb the onion patch!

Roadkill is so obvious!
We’re still workshopping our poetics of presence!
Your mission: confound the tomatoes and their blasphemous cheeks!
Those shapes are too philosophical!
Strong words for a desklamp!

I like ‘em sloppy!
Fierce thimble!
I’ll take the gewürztraminer!
Down, down papillae!
When I said, “the darkness gripped me,” that’s not what I meant!

Guess again, toewebbing!
Fetch me my eyeliner!
Then I realized it was just a baby carrot!
Another bunch of towers, stat!
The pig took my suspenders!

Look, cultivation needs these distances!
This exclamation is moving backwards in time!
Sing it with me: a unionized undead!
Not in my front yard, either!
The appliances, Genevieve! The appliances!

He went to the game preserve for some R&R!
Next thing you know, the disgruntled penguins had them surrounded!
The fear was like a rancid slaw!
Go cry to your godhead!
Get me another—this one’s all syrupy!

I told you it’d be hard to find!
2:20 and the gerbil still hasn’t turned over!
Sweet intervention, bro!
No! Twitch this way!
Amass the chicken cutlets!

If you get new wallpaper, my jungle will disappear!
Hair on the dog!
You can keep warm by the crash site!
Oh, that’s just metonymy’s trickle!
We are so there!

The grinning raccoon actually died!
Your gaze, too, is a part of the scene!
Poor bridge! Still groping for it’s beyond…!
The principal is coming! Disinfect the tweezers!
This pillow is warm on both sides!

But if we get that one, I’ll lose my hiding spot!
America, o my!
Let them eat menus!
As if the dream itself could come to!
Hammertoes, grip!



Copyright the author(s) ©2007–2014