Eulogy for a Dancer

My friend shine
Pound your fast forest beat
Think near day sweet purple sky
The breaking afternoon waxes delicate
May vision fly and soar for life above it
Esssential love a garden now felt mist to music
A flood that some dreams have one gift
As sleep must fall and trip from dancing feet.

Assembled by Jean A. Fowler from a magnetic poetry kit around the dawn of the current Century. Appears daily on the face of my refrigerator. Title originates here.

Nonsense Poems

Nonsense Poems
for the Apathy Generation


Intensity of passion’s heat
Liquid rhyme from severed purpose
Hands failing to fulfill such hopes
Cannot see that forever is one day
And cannot taste a drop of sand
In your nose.


These words are all I have to see you with, my dear, she said. My what big eyes you have despite the fact that you never shared a word with your Uncle Felix who sits charred by the fire you set last Wednesday night without thinking (you never do) that gas explodes when you light a match. Where was your head? I ask you to put on some burgers for the fryer, but you couldn’t kiss a leaf if you bought a tree.


Seldom do we find a specimen with this integrity to tell all say all even if some of the shards tell one more thing, he said fondly without a large shake and a plastic cup too? When will your insistence on disobedient persist to the point of orange dots on your face? Here let me wipe them off for you. Were you ok back there? Or is that just saying you’re glad to see me? Maybe someday we can get a house by a lake somewhere where we can see the purples too. What do you say? Maybe they’ll be out dancing today? Who knows?


Glorification of this sort gets us caught with a tyrant who will not shut up his trap. This case, however, is different to the point of cozy custard sometimes drops from the sky if you can
find one. Usually they just sit, but if you’re careful, you may be able to kiss some warm ones with raisins are good if you like them but pastry sometimes melts in your mouth not in your crotch
is where the zipper is and when this happens you may want to call your local surgeon who specializes in such cases for he too is not immune to large cupcakes when baked separately in small plastic containers and a microwave batting practice at 365 degrees Fahrenheit full circle. What do you think, my friend? Is this really calling the trick or is Walden Pond coming to Aunt Em’s swimming pool or is the chlorine bothering you? Your eyes are red.


Were you thinking about buying that red balloon folks? I hope so. Rubber is inexpensive these days, especially when you think about how many are actually speaking to each other anyhow in
public. You know, if any of this gets out we could all be up that creek is not quite clear. Perhaps we need to add turpentine to this batch to make it a bit more loosely fitting clothes make
the man. Is that better? I hope the collar sees fit to tighten the grip on the screws of your hopes I think are seeping into a mist of glowing embers help the moist fish are swimming up stream
in this puddle. Look! Right here! They seem to be staring straight at you! Maybe they’re trying to say something peculiar seems to shake our safety pins hold up to the test of time only because snaps are so hard to install a car battery like this model when you have no earthly idea who he was or where he came from or how blood could’ve gotten on that pillow.


I’m not buying it, whatever it is. You keep the $50.00 and keep it to buy your crock pot if the price is right. I’m sick and tired at this time. I’m sorry gentlemen, but you have received ample notice of this long before now and it is time that we say goodbye to all our company. Do you see that little bit of comedy in his smile? Perhaps he wasn’t trying to mean anything by it at all. It could’ve been a tramp who just decided to throw a bottle through the window. Could be. Anything is possible. You saw that man the other day who could never keep his hat on straight even though certain sources indicate that you see certain people when you least expect a light bulb may last a longer time if you can manage to touch the switch off whenever you’re not in and even in the right seat, sir. I’m afraid you’ll have to move. Will Rogers? I haven’t seen him in ages. Maybe the man in back of me would like to stand up and I could replace him with profundity Geritol.


Ok, so those weren’t pimples. But in this light I’d have to say that even in this area I can have bad effects on him when he sees you alleviate you’re too bad when it comes to this sex business all of a sudden you think you can plug alarm clocks in the windows are in need of repair as well and I’m afraid all of it is going to cost us plenty, even if we can knead through the dough properly. This isn’t even what I asked for in a jury. I ask you, do you see this man? He is not a murderer. He’s just some tramp who threw a bottle through several windows, accidentally set fire to his Uncle, and got involved in a thing much bigger than any one of us could handle in better circumstances. Now let’s review that last question. Men who are seen somehow – don’t ask me why, just keep on doing what you’ve been doing. Some things are just more interesting when you really don’t know where they’re headed.


Rue these clams, sir! For these are not fish, but prepared by the same louse who stole my lint and copied his book report from a review of it in Time Magazine. I saw him microfilm that moist
fish seems to be moving as if it had no head to lean on. You think buyers could see turnips as a good investment? Maybe. But you can’t sell used cars without fishing in a stream of salamanders and live bait. You know that. Now go back to bed. Only this time, put some muscle into it. You can’t have everything, you know. The bigger the bear the higher the climb for such as these, I always say. Maybe if we hurry we can catch a small crab and then see if there is any candy left on the shelves. Or are you sure that was even his real name? I’m not convinced of any of what you just said.

(edit 4/12/92)

Poetry Archive: Thin LInes

Thin Lines
Collapse as the brain slowly drifts into varying degrees of
uncertainty and disease spreads like paste over a child’s craft
done with multi-colored finger painting whilst we check our
underarms for any moisture, for to see if Capital has failed us
now. We shall see, she said with a wisp of smoke fom out going
the lips wore a tortured expressionless eyes pasted to her makeup
it seems. I couldn’t tell which, but I believe this is killing
me in case there were others and then some. But maybe the real
developments will come in the mailroom sickness has really spread
us thin.

Used as lyrics in unreleased recorded works by The Odd. Earliest recording: Spring 1993

Poetry Archive: Old Horn

Old Horn

Opening up the grooved, black case
Yellow thread unstitched from leather trim
I reveal
The dented metal
–scratched and dull.
The kerosene smell of valve oil.
The smooth of thinning black velvet.
An old, dirty blue washcloth
To catch spit.

I pull the cold metal to my lips
And inhale whispery memories of
Marching band days
Of half-forgotten names
Of furry white, Q-tip hats
And half-time formations
Fight songs and flying toilet paper rolls
Flung from the stands
Gleaming electric lights
Reflected in golden, glowing brass
The BOOM rata-tata BOOM
Of the Osbourn Park Rock-n-Roll Drum Corps
The shake of pom-poms and sweatered chests
And playing ‘Taps’ for the Rockbridge Raiders
As the Yellow Jackets
Sit on the ball
To the cloudy-breath cheers
Of the Homecoming crowd
As the scoreboard clock gently ticks to zero…

I look over the old fight song
Fumble valves with uncertain fingers (A, D#, G?)
Stuff the mute into
The unpolished brass bell
And with a heavy sigh from aged lips
I blow the sound
Of crazed tin elephants.

Winner of the 1991 Margaret Haley Carpenter Prize for Poetry at the University of Richmond

Nearly 18 Years Ago…

Oh the memories… The Starke Option was the first band I every played in, back in college. Joe is now my brother-in-law. Jeff M. was the best man at my wedding (over 10 years ago) and still lives in Richmond (married last July to Denize).

I ran across this article from The Collegian, the University of Richmond student newspaper. I remember we took about 25 photos and they picked the most boring one to publish. There was one of us that the photographer, Karen, took just as a fire truck with its lights blinking passed by behind us. I was hoping that would have been the one.