I sent Easter Island Humor to The New Yorker back in 1996. Needless to say, it didn’t meet their current needs. But it seems to meet their current needs now.
to the tune of “Be Thou My Vision”
The helicopter in my head hovers
like a hummingbird, like a big fat Q
over/above the eternal word,
its muffled dubba-dubba-dubba-dubba
beating back everything underneath:
a field of grain, weird waves on water,
newspapers, hats, even the satellite dish
—the swirling all of everything—
on top of that thing we call “a building.”
Men with briefcases come running.
The Maharishi, the Dalai Lama
and the pope approach, dresses flapping
as our star appears in sunglasses,
shielding her eyes from a still mighty wind.
Yeah, it’s a comedy! Or a tragedy,
whatever you want … just sign here for me baby,
You know I’m your biggest fan.
Lickona and JOB in college – who is which depends on the following question: Is it our right or your right?
So here’s the edge of summer’s moment cutting deep
Into protracted memories like sharpened blades of grass
You’d again taken for granted, cow-spittle-glazed,
And cutting up the crickets’ measured elegy –
Their legwork of liquid notes evaporate all sound
As land’s early greening trades out its clothes for brown.
The rainy soil’s luster only gains a dulling, tired brown,
The remnant spring in swaths – distant, distinct, deep
In mind, part of what you would clothe out with grass,
With lordly lawn, its tailored fabric, soft and glazed
With the shine of wear, emblazoned for daily elegy
As a farmer weaves his tractor through afternoon’s sound
Of balanced borders. All totaled, summers sound
With sunlight bolts box-stitching hay into barn shadow’s brown.
The country road between is your way out, up, deep
Beyond the quilted blanket-thoughts of fleshy grass.
The day’s departure leaves your traveled eyes tear-glazed.
Your tires chew away at shoulder gravel’s hard elegy
Like a sewing machine unspooling its chattering elegy,
Appalled at its own insistence. Summer seeks a ripe sound
Until autumn’s minor, inflexible, but expectant brown
Begins dragging the apple bough down, down… and pierces deep
The childhood that furs its small feet with fresh-cut grass.
Let Fate travel fast by dusty rural route. A mailbox glazed
With morning hours, here, now, awaits a friendly farewell glazed
With the come-and-go of September’s scissoring elegy.
As crickets compose life’s counterintuitive sound –
Even so, your ceramic mind will glaze with brown.
The packeted letters of June, July, August recall: deep
As sleep was, new as birth is, lasting as the grass
Will be, so you go. Sewn into the sad scent of mown grass,
You roll your dew-threaded window down, bleared and glazed
By your own eyes, fit, shaped, and draped in elegy
Like yesterday’s news, its darkness delivering sound
Judgments with junk mail. You open the latch at dawn and brown
Yawns with reminiscent light, hints from its night-deep
Throat what allotted secrets whisper deep in the grass –
What this glazed morning addresses: prepackaged elegy
Writ in sound hand, tied with baling cord, wrapped in grocery sack brown.
“Once each couple enters the sex box, our experts discuss their initial observations, ranging from what they think is happening inside the box to whether or not the relationship will survive,” read a statement by WE tv. “Immediately upon exiting the sex box, each couple sits down for a heart-to-heart with the expert panelists to discuss what just happened, how they feel, and how they’re planning to overcome their issues.”
Something very important is happening in that box, but we can’t see it…we’ll just talk about it…because it matters. People doing things…to each other…sex things…sexy time things maybe. Then you can talk about it with Dan Savage, who is a sex expert. I would have performance anxiety, personally. This might be more my style (if you judge by the comments, it might suit millions of other men. Good luck with that feminists)
Awful, yes. But really, what’s taken so long. Coming soon, “Death Box”.
FYI, this is not to be confused with Dick in a box
“Too, I found emotionally-charged debates between writers of reviews and their readers, who would fire off vituperative rebuttals of the ignominious stance the reviewer had taken earlier in the pages of the magazine or journal. These rebuttals fairly smoked with high dudgeon, and I could see that the readers had read Walker Percy’s books as if their very lives depended on it (which, of course, in one important sense, they do). These exchanges took on a real-life, win-or-lose significance for me.”
— from the author’s Foreword to Walker Percy: A Comprehensive Descriptive Bibliography, by Linda Whitney Hobson
God is not mocked. Nor is He bargained with. But the man who loves his neighbor as himself might just walk through the valley of the shadow of death and make it to the other side.