The Poetry Project

Three Poems

Dorothy Friedman August

Hermaphrodite Garter

The ducks attacked Gale again at Grant Park.
She calls the leader a gangster duck
and claims he looks like Edward G. Robinson.
If she’s happy daddy let her do what she wants.

Rhoda has rheumatic fever and cannot go to the dance.
Rhesus monkeys have sad faces necessary for research.
Women are predisposed to certain diseases like Cedarhurst and Woodmere.
If these gyrations are habitual I had better use this hammer.

When I went to the candy store for a Coca-cola
everyone jumped on me at once.
All these teenage hoods. The Marine Corps.
They lined up my shoes and socks.

It is sometimes easier to climb the Matterhorn
than protect a dyke from erosion.
My surface has roughened. It is not as glossy.

How People Are Born

People are born muddled
in dreamscapes and trashcans.

It was his coffee and her cup.
The one she brought to his L. E. S.
apartment from Crate and Barrel.
It was the afternoon she murdered
yet another set of parents and installed
a new tin foil liner in the trash can.

Next time people will be born
securely fastened

to their share of the weather report.

The Secret of Success In Life

Parts of a city are always dropping off the ledge
along with my glasses, which makes you think

it’s difficult to see clearly but if you are an art historian

it’s all in the frame. In an act of faith take responsibility
for everything, including yourself. Something worthwhile

will surely turn up as we work at everything,

because children come and go with childish breaths.
And that’s all we have you know, these bi-sexual training bras
these bi-sexual training bras and traumas, birth parents here,
parabolas there, one another’s organs and paradoxes
dropping in like landlords from the sky.

Issue 14