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Short Story: A Poem

“For my pleasure I had as soon write free verse as play tennis with the net down.”
—Robert Frost

I. The Boxer Rebellion

Your turn of that page
has opened a drawer.
My home. I am his underwear.

He’ll always show you
the contents of his drawers
but never what he’s wearing.

He’s that kind of fellow.
But I’ll give you a clue:
I am his only pair of boxers.

To put it briefly,
he suffers a shortage.
Why only one of me?

Why only one day
of freedom per week
when he could have seven?

That is the question
I once heard
his girlfriend ask.

He replied like Robert Frost
that a little freedom
is almost too much

and went home and
put on briefs.
Short changed.

II. A Brief History of the Work Week

Briefs #1 (Sunday)
Freedom’s just another word for lost
In funhouse laundromats where dreams are tossed.

Briefs #2 (Monday)
You’ve got to work to make a living wage,
You’ve got to button up your daily rage.

Briefs #3 (Tuesday)
You’ve got to count your syllables and keep
Your cock and scrotum snug and fast asleep.

Briefs #4 (Wednesday)
You’ve got to keep your humpday hopes pressed down,
It makes no difference if you smile or frown.

Briefs #5 (Thursday)
You might love her, she might love you, but then
Your Adam’s apple bulges up again.

Briefs #6 (Friday)
Thank God? Well, maybe in the morning light,
But Eden’s underwear gets torn at night.

Briefs Chorus (all together)
Like Frost said, don’t play tennis without net.
Don’t let your balls fly free from match to set.

III. The Girl Who Was Saturday

I like it when my man is frisky
But when he drinks too much he gets so frisky
Like a shooting star on a Saturday night
He shines so bright but then he passes out.

I like it when he takes me out dancing,
I like it when he cuts loose a little bit, you know,
On a Saturday night after a long week of work,
When he takes off that tie, loosens up his collar, and swings like a birch tree.

I like it when my man gets frisky
And I like to drink and have a good time
But if he drinks too much too fast he passes out too soon
And when I’m ready for the fun to continue on, he’s gone.

He’s lying there in his boxer shorts. I love those boxers,
The ones with the palm trees and the Christmas lights,
He looks so peaceful sleeping there, like an angel, like a fallen soldier, like a child,
But I want my man to wake up and take me to the promised land.

I like it when my man is frisky, when he’s had just a little whisky.
But when I see him on a Wednesday or a Thursday,
He never has those boxers on, he’s wound up tight and white,
But I love my man when he gets frisky on a Saturday night.

IV. The Naked Poet Speaks

O boxers, I hear the siren call
Of your easy-open fly
And your free and airy ways.

O briefs, you’ve
held me close and kept me
Safe since childhood.

O Adam, O Eve, O Fruit
Of the Loom, what have you wrought?
Who told you you were naked?

Since childhood, I’ve been
Burdened and blessed with the words
For the days of the week.

I’ve been clothed
With the fabric of toil and dread,
Of yesterday and tomorrow.

But now I stand undressed
Before the dresser of my shame,
I stare into the abyss of my drawers.

In this present moment
I ask of you, O Robert Frost: speak
Your will and testament to me.

V. The Shorts Not Worn
(with apologies to Robert Frost and his underwear)

Two shorts submerged in a yellow drawer
And sorry I could not model both
And be one wearer, long I wore
The tighter briefs till I was sore
And then I bent and scratched my undergrowth.

Then took the boxers, just as fair
And having no doubt the looser fit
They were the ones I wanted to wear;
So easy to whip it out and piss anywhere,
The opening truly being made for it.

And both that morning equally lay
In my drawer with shirtsers and socksers.
Oh, I kept the briefs for another day!
Yet knowing how freedom has to have its way
I doubted if I should ever change from boxers.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
On ages and ages hence.
Two pairs of shorts in a drawer, and I—
I wore the ones more loose to thigh
And that has made all the difference.

VI. Whose Woods These Are

We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief exposé.
The frost is coming, so bundle up, okay?
Be it brief or boxer, boxer or brief,
Relax, unwind, get some relief.

VII. Epilogue

The page has turned, the drawer
is closed. The leaves are
falling from the trees.

One brisk fall morn, in the middle of the week,
whistling a carefree tune, he put me on,
slipped on some pants, a shirt, socks and loafers.

I said, Man are you puttin’ me on?
He said: Well,
I’m taking the day off.

And we went shopping
over at that dress-for-less place
and bought a bunch more of me.

Two packs of three, to be exact,
and that’s enough to form a tribe,
for seven days of freedom every goddam week.

The woodchucks and squirrels
are squirreling away their nuts
in the backyard as daylight declines.

But his are hanging loose now
as he kneels and asks his girl
if she’ll tie the knot with him next summer.

So it seems that just when he found
his freedom, he gives it up.
I’m not surprised. He’s that kind of fellow.


Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 9.50.15 AM

Rally, Korrektiv, rally!

Take up our struggle to print books;
To you, from failing press we look.
Some cash? It’s yours, so spend it well.
If ye break fifteen grand, that’s swell!
We shall rejoice. By hook or crook
Shall Wiseblood last.

Rain on the Wing


The gold of Mexico is at the airport, the sticks
Of Cortes in my basement. We are free

To call the words of wisdom what a fool
Would warn us against. Ignore the rusty hook.

I don’t farm and history is a field I walk
With icons and trinkets in hand, lures and bobs.

The grey coat of heather and haggard face of coal
Conspire patterns in acres of mud-born puddles…

The myth of the trout I never caught is the net
I never set. It pulses with muscles, gills, scales

And the rainbow memory of a river – caught
Instead. We could have never been friends —

I never learned to fish and Cancer dried out
Between the stinging constellations. Religion

Was kissing the claws of my secret cowardice,
Letting Christ off the hook and stilling the plow

While foolhardy farmers, who know better than me,
Take their tools to the city – asking,

“Where’s the rain?” The hawk and wolf ask too,
And find their answer in the tombs

That false spring makes of fallen boughs
And rocks pushed around by thaw and freeze.

Blood between your teeth, you took wing one day,
Despite the rain, because of the blood,

And never looked down, not even once:
What Cortes had between the pages I’d never have.

What Montezuma wanted, crossed sticks
And shiny stones and savannahs spreading out

Beneath us, I could never break.
But the river broke the trout that broke

The river.

Everyone’s a…

How does a comedian know there’s no God?

Because it’s funnier that way.

Birthday poem: “Son of a Gun”

When I was young, my verse was true
My derringer shot derring-do
I livened up the “I love you”
And so I wed at .22

Time passed, my love made bold to state
“You’re like a slug that’s put on weight
But there’s still hope you will be great
Despite your age of .38”

Now when I talk of love – amor
I hear my love begin to snore
I have become a larger bore
Here at the gauge of .44

Five Tanka for Creation


Ὅταν οὖν τι σῶμα κατὰ μηδὲν ἐξαλλάττηται
τῶν προϋπαρχόντων, ἡσυχάζειν αὐτό φαμεν…. -Galen

Before there was anything
To kiss or embrace,
Before our bed was warm with
Your soil or my seed — hunger.

Caress of plasma,
Hydrogen and helium —
Touches my face as
My giddy hands graze your thighs,
Heaven’s dizzying columns.

Tectonic spangle
Of plates on the lithosphere;
Your soft surf of breasts
Against my trembling shoreline;
You alone, tsunami’s love.

The original
Hertzsprung-Russell diagram,
This random order
Constellates your dark features;
Your fuse burns a comet’s tail.

Trout scales, clade branches,
Ascend in rainbow patterns —
Your body pulses
Shallows beneath coral cliffs;
Your eyes glitter dark, seaward.

The foundation of all flesh,
Dante’s (h)O-M-O
Draws me to your deepest earth —
Creative, an act of love.

The cool part of day,
A sort of post-coital
Tristesse setting in;
For you walk in my garden—
So perfect, so incomplete.

Easter 2017

I asked my mother, “What is love?”
And she said, “Sacrifice.
Lay down your will, forget yourself
And your service will suffice
To gain precisely what you give — 
The pearl without a price.”

I asked my father, “What is love?”
And he replied, “Desire.
Gird up your will, seek what is good
Obtain what you admire.
For heaven is a gift that’s given
To those who dare aspire.”

I asked my child, “What is love?”
And she thought it was a test
And so she answered, “God is love.”
And her account was best.
The Son laid down, and then raised up
So that we might be blessed.

Everybody! Everybody! Part One: Alanna Boudreau

Korrektiv Press hardly seems like a real thing any more, and yet…poetry contests! SO. While I writhe under the feverish desire to take off work, buy a bowlful of Adderall, and pound out the zine version of Gaga Confidential in time for the release of Alien: Covenant next week, I will use this nervous energy to post about a few things that are actually happening in the religio-aesthetic sphere.

First up: bluesy chanteusey Alanna Boudreau is doing another album (following the budding Hands in the Land, the blooming Hints & Guesses, and the sap-rising Champion), and she’s looking for funds on Kickstarter. She’s hooked up with a quality producer, it sounds like, and I, for one, am eager to hear the results. But first, she’s gotta get the money: for musicians, for studio time, for production, etc.

So rally, Korrektiv, rally!

A few videos to remind y’all of what she sounds like:

And a personal favorite:


Thank you all for participating in this year’s sonnet contest. Suffice it to say everyone was up for the challenge who submitted and suffice it to say that it wasn’t an easy decision to make regarding the winners. (Judges always say it, but that doesn’t make it any less true.)

First, here are the three Honorable Mentions – in no particular order.

Rose Thorn

Within the night’s expiring hour we lie,
Together, still yet sundered as by miles –
Unwitting, was it word or deed that I
Unfolded too ungently, joy defiled?
Tis true, they say: that every blooming rose
Doth hide beneath its blush the piercing thorn –
That every swain who guards the ambling cows
Singeth sorrow to the beckoning morn.
I feed my love upon thy favorite song –
The minstrel says that love is but a game
An easy guest, who bids farewell ere long –
And wonder, hath he entertained such pain?
And in my heart I know: thou’d not have fled
If this in time might I to thee have said.

Poison, “Every Rose Has its Thorn” – By Rebecca Bratten Weiss


oops beer again

This sin I do to you in shame confess
That made thee sure this more than friendship be
And knowing not thy poor heart’s sweet distress
Did’st yet again make light of constancy
If now I can beweep thy outcast state
Mine own love’s strength thus to subside
No prayerful petition could abate
The wilting of what hidden in me lied
You played with me, thus I with thee dids’t play
And from thy catechizing looks I learn’d
By rote the bookish glances that today
Your gull’d heart thinks it has by spending earn’d
Forgive me for bending thy thoughts in pain
O cold conclusion! I did it again

Britney Spears, “Oops!… I Did It Again” – by Roguish O’Leary


mercury beer

At dawn when I arise the sun to greet
With forbidding dread its sovereign eye,
And tread my course with ever-failing feet,
My heavy soul doth seem content to die.
I hie me to the glass to there confer
With mine own visage, who cries out perforce
To heaven, and, as weeping boughs of myrrh,
The bitt’rest tears his pleas to thus endorse.
O, Lord, thou knowest well I have kept faith
With thee, this long and empty run of years,
Though weary time hast made of me a wraith,
Love’s ledger sadly fallen in arrears.
And so, I crave a boon from Thee above,
Canst Thou not find me somebody to love?

–Freddie Mercury, “Somebody To Love” – Courtney F.



Third Place:

Should I conceal myself ‘neath bluebird wing
As she gives song, and should the bird of dawn
Forsake his office – what a glorious thing!
Alas, he calls. I rise, I blink, I yawn.
I hie myself unto the lavat’ry
To shave. The razor, like ingratitude,
Is cold, and like a sometime friend gone by,
It stings; yet gladsome is my attitude.
Thou thought me once a brave and horsed knight
In habit white, but since discover’d me
A man, no more; an ordinary wight
Who spends not money, but good times with thee.
O be ye blithe and merry, sleepy Jean!
Believe thy daydreams, my homecoming queen!

The Monkees, “Daydream Believer” (written by John Stewart) – Father Richard Libby


ain't no mountain

Second Place:

Recall when I emancipated thee
Thy trust in me thou could’st enumerate
I vowed that day to ever faithful be,
If thou should wist, in somewise be there straight.

Nor wind nor rain nor winters bitter cold
Mayst stop me if you feel yourself travailed
Thou art my destination and my goal
E’en if I’m cabined, cribbed, confined, assailed.
My love lives in the chapter of my bosom
Though miles might keep us both so far apart
If e’er thou need’st a hand to help thy dorsum
To answer in the method of the heart…

No mountain’s high enough, no valle so low
No rill so wide enough to keep me from you.

–“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye – William Lasseter


can't get no...

First Place:

Alas, no satisfaction cans’t I receive
Though the attempt repeatedly I make
Whilst rambling in horseless carriage, without reprieve
Some gentleman drones counsel I shan’t take
Say I, I cannot find contentedness
Though heartily do I endeavor more
The flashing box promotes dementedness
Of a launderer whose tobacco I abhor
Again, bereft, unsatisfied, I cry
Whilst I bemoan the maid with eyes so fair
Who to answer my entreaty doth deny
Even a fleeting glance with me to share
Cheerfulness eludeth me ever
In delight I shall indulge myself never

-The Rolling Stones “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” – Karen Ullo

Congratulations to All the Winners and Many Thanks for those who participated!

And Happy Shakespeare Day!

p.s. I will be contacting the winners soon to find out where to send their prizes!

‘… Still With You.’

From the Armadio degli Argenti of Blessed John of Fiesole, OP (Fra Angelico), c. 1450

‘… I rose up and am still with you.’

Psalm 139: 18