ephemera

“Yo-yo”, “Ephemera” and “Bowels of Nursery”

In Poetry Issue 12 by Gerard Sarnat

Yo-yo

Epic refereed over-the-moon contests

were sponsored by Duncan Toys Inc

outside the best local movie theater

where we saw twenty-five cartoons

for a quarter. Plus the raffle winner

with the luckiest ticket got to bring

a box of chocolates home to mother.

String fully extended from its spool,

my youngest did not experience that

but instead was sacrificed to the gods

of Yo-Yo Ma wannabe cello teachers

who took little girls and boys hostage

[with the tacit assent of their parents]

to draconian weekend ur-competitions.

Ephemera*

Active engagement in random circumstance

creating some spawns on almost a daily basis.

Flurry out of time busybody restlessness swirl,

primitive pleasure traipsing curious mindwilds.

Done with stressful lapidary honing drudgery.

Just mucking about intensive but mercurially.

A child looks at things: you can’t really describe

trying to work out sorta what life is as naïve.

Shooting stars screaming through digital galaxies,

many unkempt kids will find publishing planets.

Too much energy – another UFO dispatch waits

just around the corner – too superficial, hurried

-- unevenly bold -- dramatically engaged at best;

inconsequentially glib or decorative at his worst.

Convulsively spontaneous, endlessly enthusiastic,

extraordinarily prolific flow, change, mortality…

All well and good (though provisional, complacent),

reverse snobbism in pseudo-Buddhist impermanency?

* riff off The Pencil of Nature

Bowels of Nursery cum Nursery in Five Movements

i. Loose Lips Lackadaisia

Oh micro-mini-soul, you, my shirking ego,

your quotemarks would just hang there in the air

like wings without a bird.

-- Bill Knott, "Quote Unquote"

daisy-chain industrial-strength investopedia cunning lingua franca,

infamous anti-Goldwater advert

aired only once during LBJ’s ‘64 Presidential campaign,

filthy hydrogen

bombs

while peroxide or sunlight or Agent Orange proves

Lady Bird’s best shrink-wrapped nutsack dick-porn dis

infectant.

ii. To whom it may concern

To whom it may concern,

I now choose not to address

directly, but you who can read

me should by all means feel free

to convey these feelings to my wife

of a half century: Dearest-dearest,

would it be okay to reconsider

cremation instead of our plots

between both sets of parents?

iii. Hickory Dickory Anonymouse

Incy wincy spider

climbed up the water

spouting poetry

Humpty Dumpty --

good egg once – his/her

yoke’s wheeled in.

iv. Septuagenarian Nursery Rhyme

alright ahem er yes sir

let’s try to zoom that perfidious makeshift

bedroom kitchen (microwave, mini-fridge

but no sink) into shape

hide teabags, rice cakes, bread and swizzlesticks

get some essential amino acids plus salad days

in the old Sunbeam Mixmaster before our suspicious kids’

or theirs' Shabbes visit jumping jack flashes

over Bubbe’s tarnished candlestix, my adult diaper tumult.

v. Once Pert (Hyperbolic) Geek

"...envy being best understood as empathy gone wrong..."

— quoting Martin Amis from Thomas Mallon’s Style Supremacist, 5Feb18 New Yorker

Termagant gobsmack, Nabokov fantasy’s nympholepsy

slud to post-menstrual mind’s mildewed mangy

samey slapdash pedophilic mess

I spent off–hours depilling rugs, sweaters or dancing shoes

bugged by generations of his fave felines

with terminal cat scratch fever

which distorted that ignoramus’s grand unified field theory:

unlike novels, poetry’s near-quiet nastyism

is a fundamentally irrational form.

About the Author

Gerard Sarnat

Website

Gerard Sarnat has been nominated for the pending 2022 Science Fiction Poetry Association Dwarf Star Award, won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in 2022 Awakenings Review, 2022 Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County Celebration, 2022 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology, Washington Square/NYU Review, The Deronda Review, Jewish Writing Project, Hong Kong Review, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Hamilton-Stone Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, North Dakota, McMaster, Maine, University of British Columbia and University of Chicago presses. He is a Harvard College and Medical School-trained physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with progeny consisting of four collections (Homeless Chronicles: from Abraham to Burning Man, Disputes, 17s, Melting the Ice King) plus three kids/ six grandsons — and is looking forward to potential future granddaughters.