Zagnut, image by Irene Koronas
SIX DOUBLE-TITLE POEMS
Parents, teachers, encouraged us to pick them.
My favorite color? Green. Bird? Meadowlark.
(Spotted only in Roger Tory Peterson.) Candy?
Zagnut. (Ruined my teeth.) I was Teacher’s Pet.
Had a Best Friend. Life was all about playing
Favorites. Life continues to be so to this day.
If there isn’t any difference between 20 roads
claim one is your favorite any way! The trick
is to revel in your role as Arbitrary Chooser.
Green is still my favorite color. Red—a sore
She doesn’t look Aryan. Is she from Berlin?
The woman behind who toasts my “health”
(in German) as I sneeze—waiting in line at
Safeway to check out my wine and cheese.
Later, home, sipping sauvignon—I Google
Gesundheit. Learn how it replaced God Bless
You as immigrants increased and faith in deity
declined. I’ll bless Mrs. Calabash for toasting
my health when some jerk gives me the finger
or worse. Who doesn’t prefer Gesundheit to a
Al’s patrons were mostly Irish or Italian immigrants;
fellow Graduates of Saint Mary’s Elementary. Al cut
hair in a neighborhood that changed color, over time;
till he became the last Caucasian standing. Heads lost
to the suburbs stayed loyal; driving miles to visit their
Barber. Al’s crewcuts lasted 6 months, saving my
parents—a bundle. Once, while I was being shorn,
a “Negro” poked his head in and asked for a trim.
Al was deferential. Contrite. My barbering school
didn’t teach us how to cut—COLORED—hair. Only
Not me!—I’m as guilty of White Privilege
as can be! Pardon those with lousy parents,
awful teachers, nasty partners, crummy diets,
shitty music—hooked on meth & reality TV.
Screwed by Fate (life a bitch) they deserve a
Pardon more than Mark Rich, Patty Hearst or
me. I had a loving Mom & Dad, who read me
Tootles the Train: I think I can... I think I can...
(be what I want to be). Like Popeye the sailor
I am what I am. Don’t waste your pardon on
The coordinates matter not. How you feel about
lying in your hammock—or sitting in your Lazy
Boy does. There you are! in a privy, prison cell,
orbiting the earth on a space station. We’re all
on a rock, circling the sun. But not all of us feel
Ensconced. You must be comfy in your own skin.
Lyndon Baines was. Milhous Nixon—not. Never
felt at home in the White House. Tonight, tossing,
turning, I feel like the Princess & the Pea. Twenty
or so Tempur-Pedics in the air! Inconsolably—at
There are 2 kinds of thief, I tell my 5
year old granddaughter. A robber lets
you know that he wants what’s yours
(rolex, ipad, barbie doll). Shoves gun
in face & shouts, Hands-up! Not so a
Burglar. He knows how to keep a secret.
Sneaks into your room when you’re out.
Puts Barbie in pillow case & disappears.
The baseball bat under my bed is there to
clobber—a burglar, should he turn into a