Wake up you sleep shop heads. Wake now sleep stop.
Make with morning songs sung second to none.
Get up. Get up. Good god, get up a ton.
Stick socks and shoes on feet–sans the holdup.
Last warning. No snoozing here. Coffee’s up.
Don’t zizz on like hell on a hot dog bun
–a blanket sausage/pillowed concoction.
God bless everyone but get the hell up.
Window look, out, toward the sun. Rub your eyes
or whatever you do in the morning.
Sun’s an early riser so so must you
blow a so long kiss to your slumber selves.
And then stretch–sing like a sun a-shinin’.
Suns do sing, sleepsters. And, oh, don’t argue.
God, I did try again to transcend culture
this Thanksgiving–-by not doing it. I knew
it would be difficult with all the fare
FROM FRIENDS, FAMILY,
and well-wishers. Yet, I did intend to amend
myself by not remaining so controlled by
irrational programming of surroundings
AND MY UPBRINGING.
So by throwing out ritual and parade,
I’d have done it. Yes, I know, I KNOW, culture
functions as a foundation for clustering
based on our customized characteristics
–-our false instincts that distinguish us from them
and rests on dissimilarities seen in
OTHER PEOPLE WITH
their cultural characteristics. In our
world, the question has been colliding cultures,
which tend to be more the source of conflict than
Our cultural discrepancies often tend
to be nuanced at best, yet can still end in
disaster. Indeed, Lord, holidays seem to
BE THE BEST OF TIMES
to disallow the shards of Western cultured
dependence. I wanted to deny its grief
this Thanksgiving-–a small but first step–-by not
EATING THE PRESCRIBED
holiday foods, which should have been transcendence
enough for one year, yet it didn’t happen.
And though I have surrounded myself with ritual
humanity so, I did try transcending
Thanksgiving. But you know there’s pumpkin pie?
Still, I tried to better myself. So let me try
AGAIN ON CHRISTMAS.
Wild Songs: Joy Love and Loss by Sam McMichael
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Oklahoma, more often than in any other place, everything is a symbol; can’t help be anything but–milkweed, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wild geese, sky, chickens, coyotes, cows, iambic pentameter, sonnets, pronouns, (even Dylan Thomas here) Fort Cob to Anadarko, Binger to Cache, Albert Camus, yep, monarch butterflies, too. Whether it grows here, flies in, or stumbles in, it is something. Sam puts it this way, “Of course you must use the unrelenting wind and the heat and the cold, the dust storms, the blue northers, the tornadoes…and do it in the rhythm and inflection that Bob Dylan picked up from Woody Guthrie and exaggerated.” In Wild Songs: Love Joy and Loss, Sam reminds us of all that.
Over the years, I have heard Sam McMichael’s poems in venues around Oklahoma and wondered if ever a book was in the works. If prayers are ever answered in Oklahoma, that one has been.
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Filed under books, Poetry