Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday Poetry: Arthur Guiterman

The frustrations of my paltry efforts at urban composting combined with responsibility to neighbors and enclosed spaces (read: the juice of rotting vegetables leaking all over my back landing and down the stairs, to my neighbors' landings, and my cleanup efforts bringing the scent strongly into my apartment, where air does not circulate tremendously well, and a number of worms being inadvertently killed in various ways during the process) have led my thoughts to this poem.

Oh for a backyard.

Arthur Guiterman
Strictly Germ-Proof

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the Garden when the Bunny gamboled up.
They looked upon the creature with a loathing Undisguised:
It wasn't Disinfected and it wasn't Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a Vapor of a thousand-odd degrees,
They froze it in a Freezer that was cold as Banished Hope,
And washed it in Permengenate with Carbolated Soap.

In Sulphurated Hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears,
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
They donned their Rubber Mittens and they took it by the hand
And 'lected it a member of the Fumigated Band.

There's not a Micrococcus in the Garden where they play:
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day,
And each imbibes his Rations from a Hygienic Cup,
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.


At 6:35 PM, Anonymous tyromaven said...

I was thinking about this poem earlier today and wanted to share it. I found it online at some point, and I'll send along the site when I remember where it came from, but it's a source that's provided many pieces that I'd otherwise never have found--I've even lost the author of this one:


Just as, surely, sweat is consomme
or scallions scowled in jelly-pan
or golden acid, wrathful in a stoppered jar

and other body fluids I shan't mention
are sulphur, globster, stinkhorn, horse or Brie,
then there are these late-on summer days

when, just where nostril meets the upper lip,
a film appears, part sweat, part oil
with a perfect, clean white chocolate smell,

two parts ginger to ninety eight parts milk
and which, when I lean in for this kiss,
says fools for sugar, says mammals one and all,

says never again a love like this.

Read that to your neighbors smelly sensitivities, and we'll see if the worm brigade can assist with some problem solving.
<3, R

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Unduly Amplified said...

I love that poem. I know where I found I wasn't able to find it and its author, though, searching the internet today. I searched for "never again a love like this" and found your post. Thank you.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger poetactionboy said...

It's Scottish poet Roddy Lumsden, from "The Book of Love," also reprinted in his "Selected Poems," also reprinted in the Graywolf anthology "New British Poets." He's fabulous.


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