Page 52: Impounding the Overflow

I think it was during National Book Week that people on facebook used to post, say, the 3rd sentence on page 52 of whatever book was closest at hand. This is a found poem from 2012, cobbled together from a bunch of those sentences.




Methanogens, red paper hearts, 

white paper lace, cartoon cupids, 

grey seals, are archaea. 

The central brainstem stands up

like a fist on an arm, renowned 

for many haul-out sites

over and around it, 

dominating it both physically and mentally..

Every computer fits easily on the page

by impounding the overflow 

from the spring into a reservoir.

Besides being a theological dilemma, 

it is also a judicial one–

think about it critically.

I think it was this line of reasoning 

that roused me or maybe 

it was my desperation that made 

me unconsciously pound the door 

with the back of my head.

That was, ‘I love you.’


Obtain title to “desert land” 

by irrigating twenty acres.

As you begin, understand 

that the Indians’ new homes 

are ‘settled, fixed, and permanent.’

as a product of their metabolism. 

Lounge in the sun and enjoy 

the abundance of fish

Consider the Indians friends and neighbors. 

Produce the flammable, odorless 

gas methane. Explore flash 

content on other webs.

Go to sleep now like a good child.


Cooper treads through the darkness, 

enters the tent, and is asleep instantly.

Winter Prompt #15: DOTE

(and then this happened)



Winter Prompt #15

Today, the given word is “dote.”

Perhaps I’ll write about a goat?

Or something I wrote about before?

A Dr. Suessy sort of note?


I will not write about a goat.

I will not write about a stoat

or a note in Dr. Suess’s style.

How about a winter coat?


Is a stoat anything like a weasel?

Do weasels eat oats?

People make winter coats from weasel fur,

but only when it’s white.  In winter.


Maybe weasels eat groats?

This is ridiculous. A kind of compote

of rhyming words on this white page.

Don’t quote me, please.


Compote, compose, compost. . .

Take the mote out of my eye,

and don’t quote me, unless to say,

“It’s all she wrote.”


With the mote removed, I can see!

Do you know that anecdote?

Anyhow, “It’s all she wrote.”

I’ll end this with an antidote.


This needs work.


I’ve found the ultimate source for Found Poems.


Kari #2:  found words


~Found in the Reviews section of ARTnews, February, 2014

A meditation on the nature of time,

morphing gradually from one mode

to another without giving up its own past.

The way time can never be absolute,

ordering the mundane details of existence.

A new spiritual age is on the horizon

using a variety of intermingled tongues,

seven pedestrians with peculiar gaits,

human beings resting atop ethereal pods

that resemble clouds or stylized islands.

The figure eight on its side is the symbol

for infinity, resounding with existential

wisdom and enduring hope. Celebratory,

yet born of a certain solemnity.  Curious,

but nevertheless arresting.

A fixation with axolotls and subsequent

metamorphosis:  uncanny and matter-of-fact,

premeditated and spontaneous.

A sense of déjà vu, largely sardonic.

Mouths took over entire heads.

The beyond is a titillating, prurient

world of masks, the unlikely oddly askew.

Race, culture, the unreliability of signs

can downshift into impiety like

an extra-large, cold-weather onesie.

(This could go on infinitely.)


If you aren’t connected,
come to my kitchen.
It is blue,
full of big people.

This world is alive,
as good as rain, so
talk like a motionless eagle
eyeing the valley.

Build a chapel
in your mind in your hour
of inactivation. Fetch me
black pepper and
spheres full of god.

Sometimes it’s as if I am
a large part of your hands,
your primate finger,
your clapping palm.

I shall never end
in irrepressible springtime.
Give thanks.
We are already tired, yes,
my birding friends.

You can defend
painting the summer,
managing some sort of time.


I have no idea what the inspiration for this was. It has a Translation Party ring to it.


in the medium saucepan you bought at the fair, melt
one block of yellow Irish butter
one cup of coconut cream

smooth in
a smudge of Greg’s crystal clover honey
the scent of lemon
several costly saffron threads dissolved in sherry wine
allow to cool


in a marble mortar with a porphyry pestle crush:

find a big brass bowl and fill with:
fine farina flour
sifted semolina
coarse French sea salt

use your father’s ash-handled carpenter’s hammer to crack:
black walnuts from the farm on the hill
butternuts from the library tree
discard the shells

with a sharp German chef’s knife on a Vermont Maple table chop:
the black walnuts from the farm on the hill
butternuts from the library tree
and canned macadamia nuts an old enemy mailed from Madagascar
set them aside in a blue clay bowl

With a wire whip whisk quickly into the fine farina flour,  salted semolina and coarse French sea salt the crushed cardamon, cinnamon, cumin, cloves.  Pour the melted, cooled yellow Irish butter and coconut cream with Greg’s crystal clover honey and scent of lemon, costly saffron and sherry wine over  the fine farina flour, sifted semolina and coarse French sea salt.   Mix well.    Oil your hands with coconut cream and knead the crushed cardamon, cinnamon, cumin and cloves, the cracked chopped black walnuts from the farm on the hill,  the cracked chopped butternuts from the library tree, and the chopped canned macadamia nuts an old enemy mailed from Madagascar into the melted and cooled butter and coconut cream with Greg’s crystal clover honey and scent of lemon, costly saffron and sherry wine, fine farina flour, sifted semolina and coarse French sea salt.

roll into small balls
place two inches apart on un-greased cooky sheets
dry in the sun
store in a tightly covered clear glass jar


From 2013

ROAD NOT TAKEN: Translation Party

Two roads in a yellow wood, I stood,
could have looked for one.  I know of one–
please turn down the bush
where a long branch of one person

is just as fair–
It probably has a better claim,
the grass is worn with other.
But to do so, just as I wore in passing, really.

Both that morning
had taken steps like leaves.
I have to be exactly as if I believe I am
still far from Ohio.

To my knowledge I have defended
the lead in a different way.
There are somewhere ages and ages
breathing a notice:

Two roads, one by one
what is the difference between my trip,
one of my little ones
to two single branches.


Tweaked, to clear it up somewhat.  I love the randomness of being “far from Ohio.”


(He) is not one man.
He is many men.
Only thus is (he) to be explained.

He is the South Pole of idealism,
the North Pole of realism,
and the Equator of humanitarianism
come together in a single human entity.

He is the deflator of human conceit,
the escalator of the meek.
He is the trumpeting brass and yet
the soft strings of the human orchestration.

He is the gentle rain upon the dry grass
of man’s frustrations, nurturing them into hopes.

He is the cultivator of man’s spirit,
the stimulator of the weary,
the catalyzer for the wicked,
the ennobler of the good. . .

He is The Voice
of those who have no other voice. . .
he has watched humanity pass
before him, as he sat by the road
and looked upon them all, appraising,
gently chiding, sharply criticizing,
philosophically suggesting,
rising in crescendo against what he thought
were wrongs practiced by the strong
against the weak, soothingly inspiring. . .
the tired and the weary and the fearful.

. . .he is a landmark, an institution,
a by-word. . .
In physical stature tiny,
thin, academician in presence, in philosophical
stature big, universal, geometric in his
audience. . .

(He) fears no man,
except himself. (He) respects all men,
but those who are struggling against odds
most of all. (He) loves people.

He is not one man.
He is many men.
He is all men.

He is humanity itself,
with its chameleon colors, its oddities,
its goodnesses, its hopes, its fears.

(He) is them all. . .
We hope everyone will . . know (him). . .
and knowing him. . will love him.
(He) is, indeed,
“what this world needs.”

Found in Louis B. Seltzer’s Introduction to “What This World Needs” by John W. Raper, a perfectly dreadful book of “inspiration”  that my mother gave to my grandmother in 1945, when Mom was 24.  If I had Mr. R’s last name, I’d change it.