By George Starbuck
for Arthur Freeman
Pigfoot (with Aces Under) Passes
The heat’s on the hooker.
Drop’s on the lam.
Cops got Booker.
Who give a damn?
The Kid’s been had
But not me yet.
Dad’s in his pad.
Margaret Are You Drug
Cool it Mag.
Sure it’s a drag
With all that green flaked out.
Next thing you know they’ll be changing the color of bread.
But look, Chick,
Sevennyeighty years, we’ll all be dead.
Roll with it, Kid.
Give it the old benefit of the doubt.
I mean leaves
You sure you aint just feeling sorry for yourself?
Lamb, what makes you tick?
You got a wind-up, a Battery-Powered,
A flywheel, a plug-in, or what?
You made out of real Reelfur?
You fall out the window you bust?
You shrink? Turn into a No-No?
Zip open and have pups?
I bet you better than that.
I bet you put out by some other outfit.
I bet you don’t do nothin.
I bet you somethin to eat.
Daddy Gander’s New Found Runes
Rain, rain, grow the hay.
Grow the weeds another day.
If I die before I wake,
Little Boy Blue come blow.
Can’t Man; learning a new instrument.
What’s with the old one? Where’d you get the new one?
Found it in a haystack Man.
Old Mother Hubbard,
Went to her final reward.
She had to laugh.
Manger was half
Empty and half kennel.
Ol’ Shep. At it
Again. Livin’ on
I fired a missile up.
It came down maybe.
Maybe it stayed up.
Things aint much like they used to be.
George Starbuck, “Translations from the English” from The Works: Poems Selected from Five Decades. Copyright © 2003 by University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). Reprinted with the permission of The University of Alabama Press.
Source: The Works: Poems Selected from Five Decades (2003)
More By This Poet
Fable for Blackboard
Here is the grackle, people.
Here is the fox, folks.
The grackle sits in the bracken. The fox
Here are the fronds, friends,
that cover the fox.
The fronds get in a frenzy. The grackle
Here are the ticks, tykes,
that live in the leaves, loves.
Virgin, sappy, gorgeous, the right-now
Flutters its huge prosthetics at us, flung
To the spotlights, frozen in motion, center-ice.
And the first rows, shaken with an afterslice
That’s bowled them into their seats like a big wet ciao.
O daffy panoply O rare device
More Poems about Arts & Sciences
The Racist Bone
I know this is a real thing, because
When I was a kid, my big sister took me
To the Capitol Theater, in my hometown
Of Rochester, NY,
And there was a movie that afternoon,
The Tingler, which starred Vincent Price,
And what I remember best...
The Last Word
I am a door of metaphor
waiting to be opened.
You’ll find no lock, no key.
All are free to enter, at will.
Simply step over the threshold.
Remember to dress for travel, though.
Visitors have been known
to get carried away.Illustration by Shadra Strickland