August 06, 2007


          The Spondee

No such foot exists in English,
     SOME SAY.
Tell them otherwise? They’ll whistle
     NO WAY.
Even if you’re heading north to
     GREEN BAY--
Driving through a freezing blizzard
     ALL DAY
Stuffed inside a green and purple
Fighting off a virus plus a
They will still be adamant-- but
Don’t insist their hocus pocus
Even though they know that they are
     ALL WET,
Don’t expect that they’ll admit it—
     NOT YET.
Just relax, and it’ll happen,
     NO SWEAT.
Could it take another decade?
     YOU BET.
They will say, How silly of me,
     HO HO!--
(Will they add they’re very sorry?
     HELL NO.)

—Marilyn Taylor

Posted by dwaber at 01:13 PM

August 05, 2007

In Memory of the Nissan Stanza Wagon, 1982-1996

                                   —for Ron Wallace

You hardly ever see one nowadays—
they’re nearly gone. Endangered, anyhow,
because of the intensifying craze
for S.U.V.s, the industry’s cash cow—

but some of us remember how it felt
to climb into that barren, boxy space,
yank and snap the fraying safety belt
and dream of glitz, and speed, and careless grace—

all the things our Stanzas never were,
by any stretch. But as we chugged
along the same old road, year after year
(handicapped, some said, by what we dragged

behind us from an unenlightened time),
we could sense a subtle turnabout:
our Stanzas were acquiring some acclaim
in circles with considerable clout.

Perhaps it was because we knew our beat
so well, the basic letter of the law,
while improvising several ways to cheat
a little, cut some corners, raise the bar

on all the disagreements, groans and whines
about what Stanzas could or couldn't do.
So if one comes your way, check out the lines
and brakes. Make it yours. And make it new.

—Marilyn Taylor
previously published in SUBJECT TO CHANGE (David Robert Books, 2004)

Posted by dwaber at 01:19 PM

August 04, 2007

Cover Letter

Dear Sir or Madam: In this envelope
please find some poems that I have written.
I send them to you in the earnest hope
that you will read them and be wildly smitten.
In fact, you’ll jump up, cheering, from your chair
And holler out, Hey, get a load of these!
We’ve got the poems of the decade here,
we’d better print them in our journal! Jeez,
is this a little miracle, or what?

And then you’ll fax or phone me right away
to tell me that you’re breaking out a split
of Taittinger, to toast your lucky day
     and call me back to say you might as well
     FedEx my check this minute, what the hell.

—Marilyn Taylor
first published in the journal FREE VERSE

Posted by dwaber at 02:00 PM