Cocking A Snook Too!

Independent, Irreverent Unschoolers – or at least one – Take On the Universe

Poetry Day! February 14, 2007

Filed under: College Stuff,Literary Stuff — Meredith @ 3:46 am

So, despite having a sub-par creative writing class this morning – I’ve never had a substitute teacher mispronounce the word ‘homilies’ – I found this awesome poet Barbara Hamby. She teaches at my local big-time university, and is coming to speak to my class on Thursday. I’m psyched, as the kids say.
So I thought I’d share these two poems that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with, both by Hamby. Just do me a favor – It’s pronounced HOMM-ill-ease

Trigger Tries To Explain

Aw, Dale, he didn’t mean it when he said I was the
best thing that ever happened to him. If he even said it,

chalk it up to the RKO publicity machine. I’m a horse, a
dead one at that, mounted in the museum with glass

eyes and looking a little ratty as the tubby former fans
file by with their bewildered bored kids, who are thinking,

Golden palimino, my ass, I can’t believe he brought us
here instead of Disneyland, the boys looking like overgrown

insescts and the girls like prostitutes in their halter tops,
jean short-shorts and platform sandals. It would have

killed Roy to see them, being such a goody-goody, always
Leonard Slye just beneath the skin with his Oklahoma homilies,

making everyone feel safe and sound. Oh, sure the big bad
Nazis were gone, but there were plenty of villans left:

on the left the Commies, on the right the McCarthyites.
Poor Dale, you had a horse too, what was her name? You were

Queen of the West until you gained a hundred pounds on fried
rashers, doughnuts, Wonderbread, and bakery cakes. Okay,

so it couldn’t last forever. Get over it, Trigger, I tell myself,
television is fickle. Now it’s hospital shows, blood and angst

undercut with tawdry sex. I blame the French, frigging cinema
verite. Where’s the story, the hero, the beautiful girl?

Where’s the horse? The other dead horses say, Whoa, don’t get
excited, Trigger. Nothing’s the way it was. That’s the truth. Ah,

youth, I try not to be bitter, but sometimes I dream about
Zorro, now there was a guy who could make a horse look good.

Noli Me Tangere, Stupid

Are we all clear on the differences between the sexes,
sociobiologically speaking?
Boys want beauty because they can spill their seed anywhere;
girls want brains, because their impulses
center on a baby surviving, but this is no help
when we begin the mating ritual, a/k/a
dating, and the boy is only interested in one thing,
while you (the girl) are
enraptured by movies, books, art, theater, clothes, dancing,
and there you are with a boy, his
focus scrambled by hormones, and you go to dinner
and he says nothing.
Girls, you know this is true, you get in the car with a
boy or man and six
hours later you surface as if released by terrorists,
weary but happy to be alive.
I remember being dropped off in front of my parents’ house
and walking to the door,
jaw aching because I’d been talking nonstop for four hours,
and then my date would want to
kiss me. Forget it, my face hurt too much, I couldn’t pucker
even if I had wanted to and I didn’t.
Lysistrata had the right idea, there’s no something for nothing
in this world or so
Mr. Willis Moore said in his lecture before taking our eighth
grade drama class to see the play,
not something that would happen today in any classroom
of fourteen year olds,
or perhaps it does in some corner of the universe where
conversation is not a lost art,
perhaps in a rarified pocket of Sweden or Nepal,
nothing like our present
quagmire of bloodsports and acquisitive redistribution
of consumer goods – microwaves, espresso machines,
radios – where speaking to one another is an unpracticed
art. Take the example of my teenaged
son: dining with him is like eating with Charles
Bronson in a prison movie,
twenty questions gets you twenty answers and not much else,
except the sound of a Hoover,
until his plate is clean. This is a boy who once upon a time
and not so very long ago had a decent
vocabulary, smiled, did not look as though he were auditioning
to be part of the Aryan Brotherhood.
What happened to him? Will he suddenly turn sparkly
and vivacious, and
exactly when will this miracle occur? Until the great god of
utterance rains down mercy on
young men’s heads, I want a war, I want young women to be furious,
militant, I want then to scream,
Zip up your pants, Romeo, and talk to me, in sentences,
and I mean right now.

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3 Responses to “Poetry Day!”

  1. […] 14th, 2007 Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Favorite Daughter’s latest dispatch presents two quirky love poems overflowing with cultural referents that SHE got, but which seemed […]

  2. […] pm } · { Uncategorized } Look closely at the two Barbara Hamby poems I mentioned previously (Trigger Tries to Explain and Noli Me Tangere, Stupid) and see if you notice something I didn’t (at least not until it was pointed out to me – as my […]

  3. […] was born playing with words and ideas so the major is no surprise. See her blog. And see the calibre of faculty member she’s positively vibrating like a tuning fork to […]


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