The Perfect Enjoyment: A Lesson for John Wilmot

Fair Corinne,
Let us lay our lines together in a poem.
Let me lay my bilabial plosive
On your sweet rhyme,
And time, and we united,
In strophe and antistrophe,
Shall sing and dance into the climax of our air.

Free verse and metered lines we'll use,
And undulating rhythms too will fuse
With metaphor, the motive and the music,
And what's more, like a sword thrusting

Tirelessly, ever true and keen,
In the vast redeeming underbelly of the sea,
Received in constant motion, rising
And falling onward to the shore of ecstasy.

In spume and froth sweet Aphrodite come
Naked on your clam shell, and once again
Repeat the long lost words of love and lease
A moment of your tide to our soft charge,
For when those sounds we've married to our own,
Our poem's complete, and we, though emptied,
With your rhyme replete. 

by Robert Witmer

Read more Parody


Robert Witmer's life is reflected in one of his haiku: 

returning home
from home. 

This aging émigré seldom knows if he's coming or going. Resident of Tokyo, fortunate in family, friends, occupation, and creative vocation, he often prefers to play pétanque. He has recently published a book of haiku: Finding a Way.


Death Rides USAir at Night

The wings of Death are de-iced now,
He shakes his hoary head.
He waits for me to settle down
Amongst the newly Dead.

Unlike a hundred years ago
When Death took carriage rides,
When Civil was the final word
With never snark asides.

We spit our greetings 'cross the Aisle,
Complain about the Seats.
No leg room, drinks at quite a cost,
And no more funeral meats.

We taxi to the Runway where
Planes idle in a row—
We pass the fields of grazing geese,
We've nowhere else to go.

The Clock ticks off our final seconds,
We take off at last—
The seat belts buckle in our Coffins,
Hold us dear and fast.

I hear the Engines all a-roar,
As we fly out of sight—
Into Eternity, I guess,
Or into endless Night.

by Jane Yolen

Read more Parody


Jane Yolen has published over 360 books. She writes a poem a day and sends them to subscribers. To subscribe: http://eepurl.com/bs28ab. Of her many prizes for her work, one set her good Scottish wool coat on fire. She takes that as a warning.


The Woman in the Viagra Commercial

She is meant to make men feel like having sex:
a flower in her hair, idle in a tree house
in some distant, tropical paradise where men get
and keep an erection. When she speaks she barely

moves her face and afterwards she saunters
through an evening in which she is giddy and flirtatious,
lounging in a dress that clings. The woman in the commercial
is supposed to make men more comfortable talking

to their doctors about Viagra, though she also mentions
the possibility that the pill will cause them to lose
their hearing or vision, the chance that their erection
will never cease and they will end up in

an emergency room, their excitement clinically ridiculous.
Crickets sing in the Viagra commercial and the treehouse
is too beautiful for children though it reminds me
of the summers when I climbed into a leafy green

canopy and forgot the world below, summers
when I refused to descend though the night
deepened. The commercial makes me
sad for men and women, for the way women stand

around in short skirts, with blossoms in their hair,
the way men get old and find themselves
in need of a pill, or at least contemplating one,
in the thickening foliage of time, sad for the way

sex becomes another kind of medical emergency,
another reason to talk to your doctor.

by Faith Shearin

Read more Parody


Faith Shearin is the author of The Owl Question (May Swenson Award); The Empty House (Word Press); Moving the Piano (SFA University Press); Telling the Bees (SFA University Press); and Orpheus, Turning (Broadkill River Press). She lives with her husband, her daughter, and a small, opinionated dachshund, in a cabin on top of a mountain in West Virginia.


Runaround Sue Time Travels to 1559

Sorrowful, I lament while yet I can,
the hour I kissed her first on dance hall bench—
the laughing, flirting, cocktail-sipping wench
Suzanne, who stole my loyal heart, then ran

the streets of this corrupt and vicious town
to her eternal shame, with other men,
bestowing favors meant for me on ten
or twenty peasant rogues and rural clowns.

How could she trade my pledged and ardent love
For backseat grappling or a doorway kiss?
My fierce and fervent only wish is this:
To look on purgatory from above

while Suzanne howls in pain. Her only goal,
To let the cleansing fire restore her soul.

by Patrick Cook

Read more Parody


Patrick Cook used to work for the post office. Nothing so glamorous as carrying mail or serving customers at the window. No, he drove the forklift on the loading dock, emptied elevators, sorted letter trays. The mundane nature of the work is what inspired him to write poetry. It's the same instinct that drives a prisoner to cultivate a flower. Of course, parodies are a fairly low form of poetry, but who cares?