Monday, February 28, 2011

Parenthood is ...

One of the longest running shows, on or off broadway … playing at a mall, a supermarket, a playground, or a theatre near you.

Neurotic Photo

I’m a bit neurotic
But even I don’t give much thought to posterity
When I write most things
Even when I’m writing on
Something that might actually stick around a while
Like
A yearbook
A guest book at a wedding or
The back of a picture
So
I too might have written
“This is a picture I had taken 2 years ago
As you can see
I am no longer slim”
I might even have underlined slim
As my Granddad did
Though
I wouldn’t have included a cigar in the picture
Jutting out of my mouth Churchill style and
I wouldn’t have handed out a picture
With said cigar or
With me reading a book
But cigars and books are passé
I probably wouldn’t have had the picture taken at all
I don’t even want professional photos taken of my kids
Who are far cuter than me or my Grandad
Why would I
I have the internet and a digital camera and
I can write and rewrite captions on digital photos
Which
I would do
If I was motivated to communicate in that way
But as you can see
I am no longer so motivated and
Am as neurotic as ever

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What is Parenthood? ... Parenthood is a cacophony of love

Lawrence Ferlinghetti has a book called "What is Poetry?" On the back of the book it is described as an "ongoing project which he is constantly revising and expanding." This project consists of a collection of very short poetic descriptions of poetry. Again referring to the back of the book, "[h]aving an aversion to the idea of discussing the 'craft' of poetry or the 'process' of creating a poem, Lawrence Ferlinghetti usually mumbles something about 'It's a trade secret' when pressed on the subject. 'What is Poetry?' is the closest he has come to formulating an ars poetica."

Here are a couple of examples:

Poetry is the anarchy of the senses
making sense

Poetry is news
from the frontiers
of consciousness

I don't have a problem discussing parenthood, or poetry for that matter, but I like the idea of coming up with my own version of "What is Poetry?" for parenthood ... my own attempt at an ars parentem ... so I'm going to give it a try. My thought is to post one of these one or two liners every day, we'll see if it actually happens. What will happen is the first ...






Poetry is a cacophony of love

Friday, February 25, 2011

Water Damage

Bad stuff lurks beneath the surface
In places you can’t go
Can’t see and
Wouldn’t understand if you could and
Just about everywhere
If you think about it
Is someplace you can’t go or see
The inside of your own body
The inside of you child’s mind
The inside of a wall
She might scream about the density of chicken nuggets and
Hit her brother because he wanted her to identify a color and
There might be cracking paint up and down a wall and
You might have chest pains when you eat tomatoes or pineapple
But that’s what you know
It’s all you know
There’s no crawling in her ear and
I probably know less about walls than I do about child psychology
I do know
However
That the shark’s fin isn’t the real problem

Windy Day

Branches sing and dance
Within the wind’s rough embrace;
Naked and exposed



By: Daddy (with Seren's help)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The End of February

Rain in the forecast
Patches of snow on the ground;
The space in between

Hasheem Thabeet for Governor of Wisconsin

Hasheem Thabeet
It’s what I have started saying say when I tickle my son
He thinks it’s hilarious
But he laughs hysterically when I rinse with mouthwash
So I could probably say Kirk Hinrich or
Jeff Green and
As long as I played it up a little
Get the same reaction but
I enjoy saying
Hasheem Thabeet and
Neither of us care that he’s been traded
From Memphis
To Houston
As long as he doesn’t go back to the Dakota Wizards
I’ll keep saying it
Maybe it’ll be our pretend alternative name
I have always used Obama with my daughter
Whose pajamas are these?
I think they are Obama’s
Who is my favorite daughter?
Is it Obama?
Someone’s calling
Who is it?
Obama!
Who is going to get some candy?
Obama!!!
I think Hasheem Thabeet will be a lot more fun
Besides
He really was born in another country and
He is a Muslim
He really is a basketball player and
For now
Not just in the D-League
If he’s a fascist or
A socialist or
A Communist or
All three
Then it will be beyond perfect and
We will both be laughing
When I say it
Actually
We’ll both laugh as it is
The only problems is that
I actually like the name and
Feel a little bad about using
Hasheem Thabeet
In this way
So maybe we’ll go with
Scott Walker
He can’t play basketball and
He isn’t even rumored to be a Muslim but
He has the best chance of being a fascist and
I don’t feel bad about using his name
He’ll never be in the same league
Even if it is the D-League
As
Hasheem Thabeet

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seren's Summer Poem

It’s still winter
It’s still cold
There is snow on the ground
But
Summer’s coming
After Spring and
I want summer to come
Because it’s warm and has
Playgrounds that aren’t covered with snow and
Pools and
Sesame Place and
Shorts and
T-shirts and
Sandals and
Flip flops and
Ice pops and
Longer days
It’s still winter now
But
Summer is coming and
I can’t wait to play

By Seren and Daddy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Daddy

A week or so ago
I started hearing daddy
Now I’m daddy
I was dada
But dad’s gone
I don’t know how long daddy will last
Maybe longer than dada
But probably not forever
Although it was only a few years ago
I heard my father in law call his wife mommy
So anything is possible
But before the teenage years hit
I’ll probably be dad
And although there may be an asshole interlude
I’ll probably remain dad
No child of mine will be calling anyone father and
It’s hard to imagine me being a papa
So I’ll be dad
I don’t need to be dad now
I’m not yearning for it
Or needing it
It’ll come and
It’ll be around a long time
On the other hand
Daddy won’t
And I’ll probably never be dada again
So I’m daddy now
And I’m going to try to hear that as often as possible

Daffodil Delayed

The snow has returned
Covering everything up
Even the daffodils
And the tulips
Leaving them in a purgatory of sorts
Between dirt and sky
Sometime denizens of both
Truly destined for neither
But certainly on a journey
That hopefully
Has only been delayed

Monday, February 21, 2011

Parenting is like ...

I’ve never sailed
At night
In the Gulf of Aiden
During a storm
Blindfolded
But I do have a four year old daughter and
A two year old son
So
I’m sure the storm is on the horizon
I wonder what color of blindfold I should request

Thursday, February 17, 2011

America's Last Supper

To me
It feels like
We’re trapped in a diner and
The blob is outside and
Slowly oozing in
Except we haven’t just run in with Jane’s brother
After he shot at the blob with a cap gun
We haven’t been trying to convince the town that it exists
We haven’t even noticed that the doctor and
The mechanic and
The janitor in Mr. Andrew's grocery store
Are missing
Eaten up
We’re just sitting in our booths
Eating an omelet or
A club sandwich
With a frilly toothpick stuck in the middle and
Sipping on a milkshake
Probably vanilla
We’re not going to discover that the thing hates cold
We won’t use the fire extinguishers on it
It won’t get flown to the North Pole
To wait for a sequel
We’re just going to be consumed
Sitting in our booths
Talking about the weather
Arguing about the bills
We’re trapped in a diner
Eating our last supper or
Lunch and
We may never know it

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Linda Cohn and Happiness

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl in a bar with the boys
I watched it with my kids and
My wife and
Someone else’s kids and
His wife and
Him and
I didn’t miss the
Multiple big screens or
The beers or
The Eagle jerseys and
I think that’s because
If I didn’t have a wife and kids
I would choose Linda Cohn
Over anyone in the recent SI Swimsuit Issue
Which I probably won’t read
For about the twentieth year in a row
In fact
I think that if most of us were offered our choice
We’d choose Linda Cohn and
It wouldn’t matter if it was for a one night stand or
Until death do we part
She’s Linda Cohn for God sakes
She was on the boy’s ice hockey team
She knows sports
She’s on ESPN
She’s funny
She’s fun
If you’re a happily married dad
She’s the equivalent of
A big screen television in a friend’s basement
With toddler’s running in and out of the room
She’s the official sportscaster for
Dad’s who enjoy watching the Super Bowl with their families

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday

Monday
Daughter awake and chatting
Singing
Screaming for mommy
Screaming
Singing
Talking
At us
Right through the monitor
At 5:30 in the morning
Son awake and chatting
Happily
Rattling his crib
Talking to his stuffed turtle
Humming a combination of
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and
Jingle Bells
All indirectly for our benefit
Delivered to us through the monitor
At 10:00 at night
In between
Laundry day
Grading day
She’s early to work
I’m out of acid reflux medicine
We’re out of cat litter
Out of patience
Out of time
It’s definitely
Monday

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My mother's love

It was love
Before I knew or
Worried about what love was
It still is

I want a Gatorade bath

Moms and Dads are like coaches
In that they shoulder a lot of blame
When things go wrong
They don’t, however, get to look like geniuses
When things go right
The things get more credit
There isn’t even a Gatorade bath
But there should be
Of course the good ones aren’t looking for credit
They are happy with a hug
They’d like a nap
They’d love to be able to slow time down
At least once in a while
With the probable exception of the hug
Those are the same traits a good coach has
But he or she gets a whistle and
Gets to wear a hoodie
Most of the time
Which helps to make up for the heavy burden
Personally
I’d settle for just one Gatorade bath
Even if my wife had to give it to me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Midnight Reunion

Under the covers
Motionless in a dark room;
I slip under too

Valentines Basics

Back in the day
Real sports cars didn’t have
Fancy stereos or
Seat warmers or
Ashtrays
Nothing extra
Because it wasn’t about
A warm ass or
A convenient smoke
It was about
The car and
The driver
Being together
Enjoying doing
What cars and drivers were meant to do
Our Valentine’s Day won’t be about
Diamonds
Sapphires
Dozens and dozens of roses
Fancy expensive meals out
Weekend escapes or
Surprise serenades
We will have
Homemade valentines
Take out
Eaten at 9:00
If we’re lucky and
Maybe
If a coupon lines up with a sale
Candy
We’ll also
Have and
Want to have
Each other

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beethoven and Me

Beethoven directed the first performance of the ninth symphony or
At least he was on stage at the same time as
Someone else
Who thought he was directing
History isn’t clear as to the truth but
What matters is that Beethoven
Bravely ignored the disconnect between mind and body
He was deaf
Completely deaf
But he didn’t let it stop him
I know why
I designed a cave for my children
Out of bed sheets
A train table
An ironing board
A futon
My daughter’s piggy bank and
Other assorted possessions and
Repossessions and
It was a huge hit and
I conducted its premier
From inside for
There was no where else to be at that moment and
I was blissfully unaware of my age
My hip
My shoulder
My leg with the surface wound that could
Explode at any time and
Has
Not to mention
The new injuries I acquired
Trying to keep up with
A Two year old and
A four year old but
It didn’t matter because
I could see that
I was conducting a masterpiece

Life as subtraction

The Azalea
Still half hidden, branches bent;
A lingering chill

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Morning Mourning

A funeral can be a party
A wedding can be a wake
The elements are always there
To make whatever out of whatever
Parenting is no different
A parent could wear black
All the time
Every morning
Because the child that goes to bed
Is never the one that wakes up
Yesterday’s child is gone
Never to return
Of course the person wearing black
Every day of their life with young children
Is the football fan
Who is already worried about salary cap limitations or
The potential impact of a work stoppage
The morning after a Super Bowl victory
The sun doesn’t stay set
It doesn’t stay risen either
Which is a damn good thing since
I like sunsets and
Sunrises and wearing black
I even like to acknowledge
Things are changing
It helps me to remember
Everything
They used to be and
What they are right now

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Monday, February 07, 2011

Monkeying around with discipline

Currently
Giving her a
Time out
Means
She clings to me
Like a howler monkey
To a branch loaded with ripe figs
In an attempt to avoid being left there alone
She sounds the part too
I can’t imagine a monkey is easily pried from her figs
But in the wild lots of different monkey species
Share a fig tree
So they have to leave the figs behind
Which means I have to
Keep peeling her off
Shaking her off
Pulling my foot out from
The full body hug she gives it for
Someday soon
She might have to share
Hopefully her brother is one of the quieter species

Friday, February 04, 2011

Waiting For Love

You came out of the house
Met me in the driveway
House dress flapping around on your skinny legs

You hugged me

You didn’t look like my Grandmother
Didn’t act like my Grandmother
Certainly bore no resemblance to my mother’s mother

I think of that moment
Nearly every time I think of you

You have become that sunny day in the driveway
Nonetheless
I’ve opted not to wait
Until I have a grandchild

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Obama waits for the Lord, maybe my kids can too

My son wakes up laughing
My daughter wakes up screaming
Obama wakes up and
Waits
On the Lord
When he wakes in the morning and
When he goes to sleep at might
He waits on the Lord
My kids need to find the Lord
If the Lord can make a busy man like the President
Then maybe he can do something
With a two year old boy and
A four year old girl
Because as of now
They wait for no woman
Or man

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mubarak and Parenting

I feel for Mubarak
In a way that I never would have felt
For a dictator
Before I had children
I haven’t yet sent one of my children
Undercover
To stone the other
But I understand
What the burden of
Responsibility
Can force you to do
I’ve forced my son kicking and screaming into his car seat
I’ve lied to my daughter and
Eaten her candy and
I’ve resigned
Myself
To quite a bit
I feel for Mubarak as
A young day laborer
Feels for an old time NFL player
Who hobbles around on a cane and
Is addicted to pain medication
I’m frighteningly familiar with his pain

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Rationalization

The day will come
Soon
When I won’t be able to carry both of my children
Down the stairs
At the same time
And that will be fine
Because they are pretty cute
Going up and down those stairs and
I won’t miss the back pain
Besides
Maybe we’ll move into a ranch house