Date Night with William and John
Two poems: A free verse poem inspired by Shakespeare and a sonnet inspired by Ashbery.
As You Like It
Let’s review from the start
of the molecular autocracy,
which has forced us to conform
to the laws of God, Nature,
and Universal Studios in the heart
of sunny Orlando
the man who became an immortal woman
and a hunky movie star
This is when we were all still virgins
though no one thought to insult us for it
for we were but blobs of matter
trapped in dark sacks with lousy food options
and nothingness the touchstone of our existence
Then one day
without a knock
our wombs were entered
by doctors wielding surgical daggers
shepherding us into the world
and informing fathers
(mothers are asleep for these procedures)
that we were either a Pretty Rose or,
if more fortunate,
Jove’s Own Page
Perhaps you are wondering
wherefore our births were unnatural
but one must only consider
the inequality of a woman’s
pre and post widths
measure for measure and,
here’s the freebie, Phoebe,
you will understand
no man likes it after
Sonnet for Rebecca Ashbery
“Tomorrow is easy, but today is uncharted.”
Her breath tastes of cigarettes and mid-afternoon naps,
though not unpleasant on the tongue.
How can I capture this
without trapping her?
I think, while dumping Barbies in a blender—
delicious pink smoothies—
and redefining my relationship to breasts.
Another ingredient to all this.
Before bed, I tell her to stay away from the bar–
I worry of her getting goofied by a ghost
still banking from beyond.
None of this would happen if my father’s curry
didn’t make me dream in color.