The Dead
Susan Mitchell
At night the dead come down to the river to drink.
They unburden themselves of their fears,
their worries for us. They take out the old photographs.
They pat the lines in our hands and tell our futures,
which are cracked and yellow.
Some dead find their way to our houses.
They go up to the attics.
They read the letters they sent us, insatiable
for signs of their love.
They tell each other stories.
They make so much noise
they wake us
as they did when we were children and they stayed up
drinking all night in the kitchen.

I thought this poem was very creative, and I thought it was an interesting idea on what the dead do. It was a little creepy when she talked about them coming in your house. They are people you know, but they are still ghosts and that’s a little freaky. I’m pretty much the ultimate skeptic when it comes to stuff like ghosts. I believe they exist, but I would need some pretty convincing evidence to make me believe it was real. I would never take someone’s word for it.

Dorianne Laux
We put the puzzle together piece
by piece, loving how one curved
notch fits so sweetly with another.
A yellow smudge becomes
the brush of a broom, and two blue arms
fill in the last of the sky.
We patch together porch swings and autumn
trees, matching gold to gold. We hold
the eyes of deer in our palms, a pair
of brown shoes. We do this as the child
circles her room, impatient
with her blossoming, tired
of the neat house, the made bed,
the good food. We let her brood
as we shuffle through the pieces,
setting each one into place with a satisfied
tap, our backs turned for a few hours
to a world that is crumbling, a sky
that is falling, the pieces
we are required to return to.

I liked how this poem compared a puzzle and all its pieces to the real world. With a puzzle, it is broken at first, but you have the ability to put the puzzle together and make something whole again. One piece of the puzzle may be a plain green color, but when you put it together with other pieces, it may become a tree. When our world is broken it’s harder to put the pieces together again and fix it.

Hate Poem
Julie Sheehan
I hate you truly. Truly I do.
Everything about me hates everything about you.
The flick of my wrist hates you.
The way I hold my pencil hates you.
The sound made by my tiniest bones were they trapped
in the jaws of a moray eel hates you.
Each corpuscle singing in its capillary hates you.

Look out! Fore! I hate you.
The blue-green jewel of sock lint I’m digging
from under by third toenail, left foot, hates you.
The history of this keychain hates you.
My sigh in the background as you explain relational databases
hates you.
The goldfish of my genius hates you.
My aorta hates you. Also my ancestors.

A closed window is both a closed window and an obvious
symbol of how I hate you.

My voice curt as a hairshirt: hate.
My hesitation when you invite me for a drive: hate.
My pleasant “good morning”: hate.
You know how when I’m sleepy I nuzzle my head
under your arm? Hate.
The whites of my target-eyes articulate hate. My wit
practices it.
My breasts relaxing in their holster from morning
to night hate you.
Layers of hate, a parfait.
Hours after our latest row, brandishing the sharp glee of hate,
I dissect you cell by cell, so that I might hate each one
individually and at leisure.
My lungs, duplicitous twins, expand with the utter validity
of my hate, which can never have enough of you,
Breathlessly, like two idealists in a broken submarine.

I never knew they were so many ways of telling someone you hate them. I thought this poem was super funny. It’s basically line after line of saying I hate you. My favorite was when she said her ancestors hated this person also; it’s just so random and unexpected. I would love to recite this poem to Eddie Murphy. He’s the perfect candidate. I can’t think of anyone I hate more in this world.

The Death of Santa Claus

Charles Webb

He's had the chest pains for weeks,
but doctors don't make house
calls to the North Pole,
he's let his Blue Cross lapse,
blood tests make him faint,
hospital gown always flap
open, waiting rooms upset
his stomach, and it's only
indigestion anyway, he thinks,
until, feeding the reindeer,
he feels as if a monster fist
has grabbed his heart and won't
stop squeezing. He can't
breathe, and the beautiful white
world he loves goes black,
and he drops on his jelly belly
in the snow and Mrs. Claus
tears out of the toy factory
wailing, and the elves wring
their little hands, and Rudolph's
nose blinks like a sad ambulance
light, and in a tract house
in Houston, Texas, I'm 8,
telling my mom that stupid
kids at school say Santa's a big
fake, and she sits with me
on our purple-flowered couch,
and takes my hand, tears
in her throat, the terrible
news rising in her eyes.

I think this poem is every child’s nightmare. I can just see this poor kid’s face as his mother is describing this to him. I must hand it to the mother though, that’s quite clever telling your child that Santa Claus has died. If you take out all the elves and North Pole bits, it’s actually kind of sad. But then when you remember that this poem is about Santa Claus, you can’t help but laugh.

Mac Hammond
The man who stands above the bird, his knife
Sharp as a Turkish scimitar, first removes
A thigh and leg, half the support
On which the turkey used to stand. This
Leg and thigh he sets on an extra
Plate. All his weight now on
One leg, he lunges for the wing, the wing
On the same side of the bird from which
He has just removed the leg and thigh.
He frees the wing enough to expose
The breast, the wing not severed but
Collapsed down to the platter. One hand
Holding the fork, piercing the turkey
Anywhere, he now beings to slice the breast,
Afflicted by small pains in his chest,
A kind of heartburn for which there is no
Cure. He serves the hostess breast, her
Own breast rising and falling. And so on,
Till all the guests are served, the turkey
Now a wreck, the carver exhausted, a
Mere carcass of his former self. Everyone
Says thanks to the turkey carver and begins
To eat, thankful for the cold turkey
And the Republic for which it stands.

I liked this poem mainly because I never thought anyone could write a whole poem just about carving a turkey. This guy makes it sound so full of action and excitement. It sounds like he wants to write some great adventure novel, but the only thing he can think to write about is carving a turkey. If I didn’t know this man was carving a turkey, I would’ve thought he just murdered someone. Perhaps that was the whole point of the poem.
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