Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 poems

by horace p sternwall

illustrations and introductory note by rhoda penmarq

some apology might be deemed necessary for the first poem, an early effort of horace p sternwall's. it was in extremely poor taste even in its own day, but is far more so in these more enlightened times. it was written in an attempt to tap the "real american vernacular", and as a reaction to his own period of infatuation with the poetry of lovecraft, robert e howard, and - most unfortunately - lord dunsany. how the attempt at "real american" speech compares to the similar efforts of his bete noir ezra pound, i leave to the reader to judge. but surely a little bad taste can be countenanced if it helps to free the poet from the thrall of lord dunsany? - rp


i saw your mom at fourth and main

the clock struck twelve and it started to rain

she didn't hurry to get indoors

but kept on walkin with the rest of the _______

i kept on walkin, the rain didn't stop

a few blocks down i saw your pop

in front of the pet store where they sell canaries

with his hand on his hip with the rest of the _______

i saw your girl friend sitting all alone

eating horn and hardart out of house and home

now maybe some people like it like that

but she'll never get to heaven because she's too _______

i saw your grandpa, the poor old fool

dressed in his coffin like he's ready for school

the undertaker said, i don't know what he did

but he's so ugly i can't close the _______


i talked to the wind
and the wind died down
i talked to the trees
and they all left town

i talked to the stars
and they faded away
i talked to the night
and it turned to day

i talked to a flower
on a windowsill
i called it bob
and it said, i'm bill

i talked to a bottle
lying in the gutter
it looked up at me
and its eyelids fluttered

i talked to the drops
that were still left in it
they looked up at me
and said, hold on a minute

i talked to the glass
when the bottle broke
when it fell on the sidewalk
through a cloud of smoke

i talked to the smoke
as it drifted away
and then -
i had nothing more to say


Dan Leo said...

Even the most dubious of Sternwall's poems would assure his place in Literary Valhalla.

kathleenmaher said...

Thanks more to dim wit than poor education--at least in poetry--I can never judge what's good or bad.
I like the early poem. I love the second.

human being said...

wish i'd written 'talkin'...

rhoda said...

thanks to all.

perhaps the first poem would be best left out of the library of america edition of horace's works.

human being said...

no way, timmy.. why should that gem be left out?!

it's a very thoughtprovoking and innovative poem... leaving a blank at the end of each stanza to be filled by us makes this work so heavy with meaning...

think the problem is that you should never publish more than one poem in a post... even if it is a two liner...
each of your works carry lots of meaning that deserve pondering upon...