On A Reaction to My “5 Times” Poems

Yo, dude —

What the hell is up with these low-T stories? You had a girlfriend in college, and never slept with her? I think I might know why she left you. Seriously.

You know, it ruins poetry
To have to explain it.
But —
I didn’t recount the story
To make myself look good,
Or make her look bad, or good,
Or anything.
I was trying to describe
A thing that happened.

You see,
Everything we do, as human beings,
Is dictated by either instinct (at worst)
Or emotion (at best).
It was the emotions I was
Interested in reliving: how it felt.

Our tendency, in these times,
Is to put things in some sort of
Bizarre moral context:
The “you-should-have-done-this-instead-of-that” world
You apparently live in.

When it comes to recounting events
The only thing that matters
Is truth:
Although I won’t deny that
When it comes to learning from them
A viewpoint something like yours
Comes into play.

What we learn from any relationship is always
Half about the other person
And half about ourselves.

Believe me:
Low testosterone
Was not the issue;
Negotiating the desire to be
In control of my own feelings was.

The biggest issue I see with relationships —
Mine and everyone else’s —
Is the desire to be in control of the other person.
How to carry on relationships
On equal footing is always the real task.

But I appreciate your concern for my wellbeing,
And will consider your critique of my artistic choices
As time allows

Why I Can’t Be Batman

Not all that heroic

The way other people feel about sleeping in
Is how I feel about going to bed early

Not really that much into revenge

I’m short of being a billionaire by roughly a billion dollars

In terms of being a world-class
Inventor-detective-athlete-martial artist,
I’m 0 for 4

I won’t look nearly as good at age 80

I’ve never had any desire to turn
Orphaned children into sidekicks

I’m terrible at strategy:
I not only can’t play chess,
My checkers and even “go fish” games are lacking

I would waste too much time
Figuring out what Wayne Enterprises does.
Licensed merchandising is my guess.

Because the Joker sucks,
And Batman is forever running into him

Because it’s all I can do
To do 20 minutes of yoga in the morning

I drive too slow.
And I wouldn’t want a house that big

Because spending all my time in a cave
Is a way-too-stereotypical male thing to do

At Syzygy

This poem’s ending happily,
I’ll tell you right up front.
It’s when the moon’s at syzygy
You question if that’s quite a word:
It is. And there’s the brunt

Of what I mostly meant to say
Today, tomorrow, yesterday —
For there are words that you can see
Like apogee, or perigee,
Of doubtless authenticity.
But this is like a stunt:

To use a word without a vowel,
And “y’s” slapped on it with a trowel:
I see it now – you’re doubting me –
That there’s a word like syzygy.
This seems like poem overdose
And not just that the moon is close.

Or better yet, that it’s in line
With earth and sun. All that is fine:
But Owen, really, must you flounce
About with words we can’t pronounce?
But I say we can plainly be
In harmony at syzygy.
And this is how my poem ends.
You see? We still are (mostly) friends…

A Country Autumn – 6

Pumpkins: we place them with Halloween
By season and tradition,
But I could not help but wondering,
And had a faint suspicion
That something more sinister may be there,
Though their patches might look sleepy —
In autumn, do pumpkins use human spice?
‘Cause that would just

Be creepy


fiddle-faddle, that’s my name:
spouting nonsense is my shame.
drove me from my lands and nation,
here to live as a crustacean,
without followers who follow
in a shack in sao paulo,
til the man says, “you skedaddle!”
i’ll indulge in fiddle-faddle.

stuff and nonsense, that’s my life:
if you doubt, just ask my wife.
with brazilian clams i’m dwelling,
both miswriting and misspelling,
hating air and breathing water,
envious of eel and otter —
til the man says, “that’s enough!”
i’ll have nonsense with my stuff.

linguacide’s my undertaking:
bending words until they’re breaking.
try this next one on for size —
seven tulips are the prize —
it’s my right and heritage
to mismangle verbiage.
bye for now. enjoy the ride.
you just witnessed