polar bears of poetry


found a flaming o
inside the gut of an
aleatory whale
about to set sail

said trust in ()
depend on ()
believe in ()
think of ()

but people, people,

42 days and 42 nights i
go to ()
and tell you ()

now () will have none of it [Nunavut],
then a brawl in goji haven said

“global warming” sounds too comfortable

that being sad i
try to stay safe while

polar bear drown

There are good people in bad places.
Consider the countless numbers of dead and dying.
Say a prayer for the dead poets,
give us a reason to remember the crying.

Paws like prayers at midnight.
Claws ripping flesh in the moonlight.

A storm attacking the coastline,
hear the grey armour of calmer seas calling.
A silver line drawn in the distance,
Like feral dogs we fear the darkness falling.

We’re all falling.

There are too many good people in bad places.

—  giraffevader - Polar bear
Another Gorey/Ciardi Caturday

More Gorey cats with Ciardi poetry from the book of poems titled, You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You, by John Ciardi with drawings by Edward Gorey. Our yet-to-be-cataloged volume is the First Harper Trophy edition from 1987. 

This book has poems printed in blue and in black. “All the poems printed in black, you read to me. All the poems printed in blue, I’ll read to you.”

How to tell a tiger

People who know tigers
Very very well
All agree that tigers
Are not hard to tell.

The way to tell a tiger is
With lots of room to spare.
Don’t try telling them up close
Or we may not find you there.

I Wouldn’t

There’s a mouse house
In the hall wall
With a small door
By the hall floor
Where the fat cat
Sits all day,
Sits that way
All day
Every day
Just to say,
“Come out and play”
To the nice mice
In the mouse house
In the hall wall
With the small door
By the hall floor.

And do they
Come out and play
When the fat cat
Asks them to?

Well, would you?

Gorey’s art and Ciardi’s poetry work very well together, so much so that the two collaborated on four other volumes , all originally published by J.B. Lippincott, including The Man Who Sang the Sillies, 1961; You Know Who, 1964; The Monster Den or Look What Happened at My House and To It, 1966; Someone Could Win a Polar Bear, 1970.

just as a polar bear sleeping on european cement

noontide and the hurt has thawed and is running off walls 
as a dead mans syllable flees lips.

i have been hauling bones over last years thread
and i do wonder how often you do not think of me, 
or if we could run the mile of thoughts over,
that eventually lead to the gap
we inherit, we pass on and we die with
and the weight of this redundancy, the repeating
doors that shut and open open the shut
just above shoulders; the gust of a slamming door
is something inevitably gruesome, 
just as catching sight of a polar bear sleeping
on european cement.

prose with line breaks


Seven semi-suicidal Shaolin monks
struck my sternum with Buddha-palm
death strikes in an attempt to silence
the screaming centipedes crawling between
my ribs but the microchip in my brain
remotely detonated an electromagnetic pulse bomb
that penetrated their tinfoil skull caps
and deactivated the synthetic soul cells
powering their black magic Kung Fu
before they could do any real damage.
They tickled me in Myriapoda Morse Code
and communicated their gratitude. 


I wear my heart on my fuselage
in order to maximize the casualties.
I plot my course through interstellar misalignment;
building my religion with body counts.
White flags stain crimson
as the baptized gurgle their surrender. 


An armada of blood vessels
armed to the teeth with canons
of Talmudic law surround me
as I turn hard to port wine
for redemption.
I can feel your nails in my wrists,
digging into my crucifixion as
my loins Lazarus.  


I am no messiah, this is no Sparta,
it is okay to stop sucking in this six-pack
of flesh that refuses to polar bear your name.