Burned in effigy,
yesteryear goes up in smoke,
fouling new year's air.
Yet as time goes by,
sit cluelessly around town
waiting for the fun.
Little do they know
they are the
El Pase del Niño Viajero
Cuenca's children walk,
just like their grandparents did,
Hop on a bus here,
Get your ass bounced around town:
Cuenca feels like home.
Take the grand
We can feel it now,
Jesus and merch in the air:
Christmas in Cuenca.
"Hark!" the angels
Sunset in Cuenca
teaches us that nothing lasts
longer than it should.
Time to turn on
Sunrise in Cuenca
makes the world seem regular
and perfectly round.
Here you start to
en tres de noviembre.
Todo es libre.
Cuenca del está lleno
bring out all the bands in town,
sell a lot of stuff.
Hallowe'en creeps in,
a candy-coated monster
A dog this morning
Must be Auto Dog.
It ran down the street,
Rain and dust and noise,
gringos clinging to their toys:
some of Cuenca's joys.
Kids and sun
Sent for my ballot.
I want my voice to be heard
by the deaf back home.
Voting is a right,
They wake you at night,
composed by sadists.
Pretending we're not
waiting for the furniture,
we sit and watch birds.
Feel it in your bones,
and in homes with no heaters:
It's cold in Cuenca.
Helping us look
Fifty pounds of soil
Up three flights in my Kate's arms:
She sure loves her plants.
The rains bring you down to earth,
then rinse and repeat.
Waiter, there's a fly
flying around in Cuenca:
Have you seen it yet?
Cuenca street dogs trot
right past me on the sidewalk,
seeming not to see.
Pigeons on my roof,
cooing and pacing at dawn:
Do they know something?
Rains came yesterday,
washing away my haiku,
Sundays in Cuenca
Cuenca knows the truth:
All that really matters is
are you dry or wet.
Seasons are a prank.
Illusions of constancy,
like day after night.
Cuenca does not have
Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter.
We have Dry and Wet.
to the biggest and baddest:
Darwin's Rules prevail.
Like urban leopards,
taxis stalk and terrorize
heedlessly through Cuenca's streets
searching for the gold.
In Cuenca we walk
in the perfect zen playpen,
dancing in the now.
clever sidewalk tourist traps
like a mountain goat.
Walking in Cuenca
you take your life in your hands
and enjoy the game.
A hug in Cuenca
is more than just a gesture.
It's a way to live.
They did not invent
the hug but the Cuencanos
have perfected it.
Cuenca wraps itself
around you like a warm hug.
Hug it back for life.
when I no longer make noise
about car alarms.
Water flows from taps
courtesy of four rivers
that converge in you.
Cuenca cafés put
honest food on the table:
Let it become you.
This is not Third World.
Cuenca is where culture lives.
This is the Old World.
Hoping for the best,
expats mingle warily,
Nothing happens here
until it is ready to.
Here, time knows its place.
Car alarms go off:
in Ecuador they're singing
every kind of song.
America's keeping in shape:
We carry a measuring tape --
Not being thin
Is our National
I'm just a young kid, it is said;
But I'm really a grownup instead:
Mom says that she loves
At last I have the time to spare to write,
to wit: I, witless, sit and dream up verbs,
which, in a
As you advance into your chamber d’art
to toy about with torture’s soothing pain,
I, too, do move
As night begins to drop its dusky hood
and restless workers slip inside their homes,
The time it takes to type a poem with heft
does not depend so much on when I start,
nor on how
I’m off to write a poem to you tonight,
to coax a smile and have a little fun;
I hope to find the
Upstairs you lie upon our bed to sleep,
perchance to snore and flip and sweat and flop;
I sit here
Today’s the day that you will age a year,
becoming older than your ageless spouse.
We’ve lived a life of cushy country kids,
where air is fresh ‘neath mother nature’s wings
To write a sonnet takes its toll on one:
syllabic torture chased by rhyming rules;
a very special
“Go write the poem!” you spake as I took flight,
preparing to concoct a sonnet true;
“And make it
To have an honest hour now to kill
would bring me closer, my kind Kate, to thee:
I’d write a
Alas I spoke too soon t’other night:
the goo remains and takes its poopy toll,
so energy escapes
Tonight you’ve given me a task to do,
requiring me to digitize my thought
and put it in a sonnet
A sonnet oughta do what sonnets do,
not mess around in circles full of naught;
instead a sonnet
Whew, you and I have smoked a lot of cloud –
and, yes, we’ve dropped a lot of sizzling
I didn’t know you when you were sixteen
but sat by speakers blasting through my brain –
I met a guy today who showed me verse;
to be specific, sonnets was the form.
(I figured I could
While you’re out there in search of Uighur dope,
I’m smoking up the keyboard writing verse.
Italian sonnets should be easy stuff
because their rhyming schemes can dance like fools
At last we’ve moved from very bad to verse,
allowing me the luxury of beat
without the chore of
Instead of friend or partner, spouse or squeeze,
I rather call you hookup jellyjam,
I stagger up the stairs and stumble in –
at last I’m home where it is safe to puke.
You listen to
I limp along and write these loopy lines
in hopes that you will call me Clever Guy;
I polish words
Today when Patchen popped upon the scene,
a peachy screechy squirmy lump of love,
he took his time
From deep within my many folds of fat
a sigh erupts when I catch sight of you;
I gasp and cry and
I wonder why I’m wandering around
and why the sky up there is high
and how come rainbows dare to
So you think I can’t crank out a sonnet
just like that in a just a few minutes
but think again
My work is done, so I am free to write
a sonnet to my favorite artist gal;
I wonder what will show
Last night we had a visit from a witch
who claimed her touch could cure and fix and heal
I’ve got to give up writing all these rhymes:
it’s driving me to claw my eyes at night
Today was full of fools who found themselves
such celebrated, imitated ones --
I want to give you all the things you ask
including poems sans numbers in their names,
but now I
It isn’t easy being your big jerk,
but I am doing pretty goddamn well;
at times it really takes a
Computers lived to make our lives complete,
improving our existence bit by bit;
but Windows turned
The sonnets in my bonnet are for you,
syllabically, significantly yours.
These poems I pen amidst
With parcels full of goodies off our backs
and happy that the seats we're on are foam,
I'm sorry that I drank too much last night
and passed out in our fancy Hilton room;
my plan did
I've sat here typing, just to kill some time
while students finish all the crap they
You've given me some time to write a poem
a box in which my feelings must be true;
no time to fill
I know these poems should talk of love and such
so here goes nothing: what else can I say?
I want to write a sonnet full of love,
complete with rhyme, iambic rhythm too.
My hand inside old
Short Order poem for Karen Quinn
at Salvia Restaurant, Cuenca, Ecuador
(A short order poem for Kate — age 44
putting aside the sacred book of words
(A short order poem for Susan
This is for all of you in there
from all of me who love
(A short order poem for Kevin — age 13
before time began
and got so very popular
(A short order poem for Tom, who played.
Every time he opens his mouth
(A short order poem for David — who brings muffins from
Paradise, purportedly in search of “restful
(A short order poem for Becky
He’s not here right now
so we can talk
about how I
(A short order poem for Noelle
When we met
I never knew
I’d be required to watch
(A short order birthday poem for Anne Vidulich — age 75 today, 10/18/92)
Who needs a cake, who
(A short order poem for Leslie, who responded to the Short Order Poet classified
(A short order poem for Kari — age 20s Eugene, Oregon
When it begins
(A short order poem for Lorraine — age 30s
the world comes out
(A short order poem for ME,
and for a sad, dysfunctional family of 4
who didn’t want a copy of
(A short order poem for Scott & Melanie — ages 33 & 28
The two important people
(A short order poem for Guy & Mary — age 30s
As I walk beside her
the rose she grows
(A short order poem for Fran,
outside the Steelhead Tavern in Eugene, Oregon
who gave me 5 bucks
(A short order poem for Rick & Karen — age 30s
Once upon a time
we walked through a
(A short order poem for Annie — age 7
There’s a girl I know
who has a woman
(for Buddy Furlow - age 80-something
Her mother used to put him in her playpen with
(A short order poem
for David Starr, the poet who sat
across from me on the plane — age
(A short order poem for Madeline — age 3
I know a shy mermaid
who swims away from
(A short order poem for Naomi — age between 1 & 100
Life blows through me
(A short order poem for Jeanne — age 18
she runs through the room like vanilla ice
(A short order poem for Darrell — age 24
When I go swimming I swim in chocolate
SHORT ORDER POET (EARTH)
The Supreme Creator of the Universe, Office of Provocative Evolution, is
(A short order poem for Christine — age 20s
worker at University of Oregon’s Office of Public
you’re probably reading this
over my shoulder
but I won’t waste words
(A want ad for myself 8/10/92)
SHORT ORDER POET (EARTH)
Short Order Poet is responsible for
(A short order poem for Nicole — age 20s
worker at University of Oregon’s Office of Public Safety
(A short order poem for Justin — age 8!
My train set is made of wood
But one day it
(A short order poem for Joshua — age 5
I was on my bike
‘cause I like my bike
(A short order poem for Trevor — age 3 1/2
If I woke up
and found a present
(A short order poem for Raydeen — age 7 1/2
Horses run in the field
(A poem dictated by Gregor — age 5 1/2
Once upon a time
there was this little green
(A short order poem for Christopher — age 3
I walk up to my favorite
(A poem dictated to me by Willie — age 5
Some plants are nice
and prickly but
(A short order poem for an
unknown postal worker — age 30s
This poem is for the postal
(A short order poem for Rhapsody — age 6
My friend is a flower.
Sometimes she is as
(A short order poem for Katherine — age 20s
catering staff/truck driver 8/8/92)
Coffee is a part
(A short order poem for Kirk & Jade — age 20s
independent ravioli makers/marketers