April 02, 2007

Two Arts

My old last name
nearly rhymed
with taxidermy.

Rhymes with “attorney”
my mother would say
to anyone who asked how
to pronounce it.

& If my sister’s life
had been hers
to draw up
she’d be a lawyer

today, not just someone
who meditated for twenty
years in the middle
of a forest never making

a name for herself. She should
have used her head for something else
besides a hair garden
, mother says.

My sister’s name still rhymes
with attorney. If you take out
the “t” in the word poverty
and put an “n” in its place

that’s how you spell it.
It’s not that hard
to change your name.
You fill out some forms

& they put an ad in the paper
in case you’re changing it
for the wrong reasons.
The rest is like blowing

air through a pipe & making
a glass bubble.
Or that other art,

bringing back to nearly
life some dead form,
performing that act
of animation.

—Rick Benjamin

Posted by dwaber at April 2, 2007 04:12 PM