Larry Ate a Little Ham

Larry ate a little ham,
it had no cloven toe;
and anything that Larry did
his guilt just wouldn't go.

He went to synagogue one day,
poor Larry broke the rule;
the rabbi just sent him away
'cause he was skipping school.

And when the rabbi threw him out,
he still had ling'ring fear.
So, Larry prayed and was devout,
and just what did he hear?

"Why does the ham bug Larry so?"
Moishe asked of G-d.
"He is reformed, so I don't know,"
the LORD said with a nod.

by Will O'Brien

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Will O'Brien currently lives, works, and writes in Cairo, Egypt. A self-avowed dog person—and cat allergy sufferer—Will is learning to cope with a number of stray cats who have made a game out of trying to sneak into his apartment every time he opens the door.


For a Special Someone

I gave her a ring as a birthday present,
told her the amethyst reminded me
of the way her eyes glowed
when she talked about Mozart
or the paintings of Dali,
that it once belonged to an aunt of mine
who died of cancer last year,
an aunt who always hoped
I would find the right woman.
We made love that night to Don Giovanni.

Our relationship lasted four months.
I let her keep the ring
in the hope that breaking up with me
would make her feel guilty.
Plus, my deceased aunt was a hoarder
and I have ten more rings,
with assorted semi-precious stones,
waiting in my nightstand
for the next ten special someones.

by John Muth

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John Muth is a reluctant resident of central New Jersey and a reluctant employee of Rutgers University. Satire is his favorite coping strategy. His first book, A Love for Lavender Dragons (Aldrich Press) is available online. Order ten or twelve copies today!


The Oral-B Toothbrush Question

My mind reels, I have questions, I do wonder:
Are they ranked first to last, low to high?
Can you find just the best without blunder?
I'm not sure how to choose but I try.

1 is better than 2: that we know.
D's no good, C's ok (so we say).
I have found Oral-B... but oh no!
Where oh where can I find Oral-A?

by John Mudge

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John Mudge studied English at New York University and now lives near Seattle. He believes the human soul is filled with all sorts of things, not the least of which is humor. His favorite authors include Kafka and Vonnegut. He is a recovering Catholic with Buddhist leanings. He used to be a Republican, but now fancies himself a Libertarian. He is half German, one quarter English, and one quarter everything else including (it is rumored) an Indian woman. He has been married almost 30 years to his first wife.


For They

In perfect rhyme and strictest meetah,
I sing in praise of Annelida.
(If high school Latin made you squirm,
You may not know that s/he's a worm.)

To turn the pebbles into soil,
S/he plies hir lowly, mighty toil
Dissolving dirt, digesting loam.
No light nor air, s/he's quite at home

In hardest clay or rain-soaked bed
To burrow forth without a head.
S/he bores a path for future roots
So nimbly, though s/he has no foots.

To compensate this lack of legs,
Her fore makes sperm, his aft lays eggs!
What biologic elegance—
Two tickets each to Darwin's dance.

Some folks are fond of clear, bright lines,
They take affront at androgynes—
But why should they be made uptight?
Earth's crawling with hermaphrodites!

Their bodies compass two in one,
So copulation's double fun.
Slugs and grubs and flowers, too,
They pack both sperm and egg; what's new

Is separation.     Such a fuss,
Such rigid norms from brutes like us!
And thus this poem finds its ender:
Celebrate diversive gender!

by Josh Mitteldorf

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Have you ever met a 9/11 Truther with a sense of humor? Have you ever met a scientist who can talk about his research without making you yawn? (To learn more, Google, "mitteldorf cracking").


Stopping by the Institute for Widget Studies Annual Conference

This work's been done before I know.
The speaker is a student though;
he has a script he reads too fast.
I wish I could get up and go.

If only this talk were the last.
I feel like hours and hours have passed.
Another conference session blown
in wastelands barren, bleak, and vast.

I noticed I was not alone
when reading email on my phone.
So how much longer can this take?
Just now I heard a stifled groan.

The coffee's bad the cream is fake,
but I just want to stay awake,
with hours to go before the break,
with hours to go before the break.

by Bruce McGuffin

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Bruce McGuffin has been writing light poetry for years, despite the long-ago urgings of his high school English teacher to give it up. His children do not look forward to being mentioned in poems, but his wife and dog are okay with it. He lives outside Boston where he works as a radio engineer at a laboratory full of coworkers who tend to agree with Bruce's former teacher.