When Glutens Run Free

Where do glutens go when they set them free?
This, of late, has been a mystery to me.
Is there a gluten preserve out in the Great Plains?
I’m being serious—can someone explain?

I imagine the looks on the glutens’ faces
When they let them out in the wide open spaces.
After living a life of oppressed confinement,
I bet there’s joy at their brand new assignment.
Although at first things must seem strange
After being cooped up, then suddenly free range.

If glutens run free, from the hills to the sea,
Will there be room for you and me?
I suppose it could get like the buffalo,
Who used to stampede both to and fro.

Like the man who didn’t know he’d been speaking prose
I hadn’t realized I’d been eating glutens
But now I’ve discovered, like a latter-day Newton,
I’m full of them, from my head to my toes.

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What’s a Man For?

It’s an age-old question, that defies analysis,
and leads to a certain mental paralysis.
One I ask myself as I stare out the door:
“What, after all, I am here for?”
If the wife’s within earshot, she’ll promptly respond
With an answer that won’t strike most ears as fond:

She says, “That’s simple, there’s no mystery
about your purpose in life, what you mean to me–
You’re here to take the garbage to the dump
and when you get back, hook up the sump pump.”

Sometimes when she’s bought a brand-new appliance
My purpose in life is legal compliance:
She asks me to fill out the warranty card–
“You like that stuff–I find it hard.”

Other times her message is more subtly sent,
Writ lightly instead of scrawled in cement:
And so I find a note on a carton
of food she’s rejected–that much is certain–
She’s eaten some, and now is quite candid:
“Please finish this stuff–I really can’t stand it.”

The Object of Her Affectation

There once was a girl, and I briefly dated her,
who treated each moment as if it were the-atre.
Ordinary reality was much too quotidian
Whether you were together ante or post meridian.

Each time we’d sit at noon a-munchin’
We didn’t eat lunch–we’d had a luncheon.
I always wondered what possible leverage
she got from calling her drink a beverage.

She was something, all right, quite high falutin’-y,
Your clothes, your manners, all came under scrutiny.
“You’re wearing blue socks?” she’d ask with alarm,
as if that antic hue would do her great harm.
“Or course not, my dear,” you’d reply with assurance,
“They’re black,” she’d back off, but would try your endurance.

She wore tailored outfits for tennis and sailing,
though fashion’s not great for salt water bailing.
You wondered finally what you’d ever seen in her
(this before you’d ever, um, actually been in her)
and then recalled, she batted lashes first at you–
and thus was the woman so well deserved by you.

She apparently thought highly of your frozen demeanor
Your excessive reserve must have brought out the queen in her.
Your stiff upper lip, among other body parts,
Seemed to her the perfection of the Creator’s arts.

And so, when we parted, when I said we were through,
And she started sobbing, once we were no longer two,
And she asked me “Why?” and I gave her the news,
She squealed “Me stiff? Good Lord—what about you?”

Where Are the Karens of Yesteryear?

The Megans, the Caitlins, the Courtneys
come blissfully marching along.
I know if I wait then shortly
they’ll be followed by a Siobhan.

Where are the Nancys and Deborahs
I knew so long ago?
I seem to recall lots of Barbaras
and a Karen or three or mo’.

Somehow these names have faded
into memories of the past.
At the time, before we were jaded,
we assumed that they would last.

But they turned out to be merely fashions
that now are out of date.
They once were spoken with passion
but have met a mortal fate.

I suppose it’s all for the better
if it keeps fading gigolos
from penning vapid love letters
and taking off all of their clothes

for there’s no surer sign to a winsome young lass
that she’s dealing with aging men
than to hear these words as they make a pass:
“Er, what was your name again?”

To a Prolific and Prurient Authoress of Flash Fiction

Darling, believe me, we’re all getting sick
of reading about your boyfriend’s dick.
I’m sure the thing can spring to glory
but must you include it in every story?

If your intent is to shock and awe
by revealing the thing that he likes to paw,
frankly, my dear, I find it a bore.
I’ve seen its like many times before
each morn as I stroll through the locker room-
hence my air of cranky gloom.

Take the word of this poor bard–
darling, you’re trying much too hard,
and if that advice has a punnish sound
consider the company you’re hanging around.

In sum, in my mind there is no doubt
you’ve better things to write about.
You’ve made his organ of generation
the singular object of your veneration.
You make me feel like a party crasher
and I get the sense you both are flashers.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Place

Her:

The first time ever I saw your place
With furnishings of orange and blue, oo oo oo.
I thought perhaps, this guy likes the Mets,
Or he hasn’t got a clue, my love–
Or he hasn’t got a clue.

Him:

The first time ever I saw your place
With pastel pillows all around—ow ow ound.
And a Streisand album on the turntable
That produced such maudlin sounds, my love–
That produced such maudlin sounds.

 

Together:

Now we live together, in a joint-owned space,
Where the work is split in two—oo oo oo.
Her decision rules as to furnishings
And the music he doth choose, my love–
And the music he doth choose.

Love Among the Sporks

In Clinton, Mass., there’s a factory,
straight outta the Industrial Revolution.
It cranks out product merrily
while it spews foul air pollution.

It was there while walking the streets one night
I spotted a wan factory girl;
her skin bleached white from lack of light,
her face the saddest in the world.

I couldn’t be a witness to such tragedy
without letting my heart have its say;
I stopped her right in front of me
and asked “Are you okay?”

She sniffled a bit, then began to cry,
I felt like a helpless dork;
The tears began to fall from her eyes,
and she told me about the spork.

“I work all day from dawn to dark
on a fiendish dining tool;
it’s not a spoon, it’s not a fork,
and the bosses are so cruel!”

I asked what kind of instrument
might this strange object be?
Was it a bowl-like implement?
or did it have tines of three?

She said “It’s neither fowl nor fish,
it’s betwixt and it’s between;
it cuts by a third the silver on your dish,
it’s something you’ve never seen.”

And then she reached into her purse
and from it drew a sight,
that shocked my eyes from bad to worse
on that dark starry night;

It was—a spork! A hybrid thing
that you could use to eat with;
It would pick up soup or anything–
It’d work to chow down beets with.

My joy worked wonders on her mood,
she brightened up a bit.
I guess she saw what it meant for food
and how people struggled to eat it.

“So you don’t think it’s the work of the devil,
This cross-bred thing of plastic?”
“Why no,” I said, and I was totally on the level.
“Au contraire, it’s a godsend, it’s fantastic!”

And so she linked her arm in mine,
we’ve been together since that day;
we went and bought a bottle of wine
and sporked the night away.

Moral: If you love what you do it’s not work.