Monday, 13 May 2013
Aaron Belz: Lovely, Raspberry
From the occasional reviews department: Aaron Belz's Lovely, Raspberry.
Sometimes, it's okay for poems to be funny. Not Pam Ayres funny, but wry-life funny:
Every day I get emails
that say things like
BELZ! We should
have done that one
thing that one
how ARE things?
And I always reply
the same way,
I do not know
who you are.
Where do I know
But I never hear back.
I save all those emails
in a special folder
labeled "I hate my life."
Aaron Belz is funny. Funny and confiding. Funny and I-want-to-get-emails-from-him-with-thoughts-like-this-in-them:
'thirty illegal moves in the cloud-shape game'
A Rorschach blot
A dragon head
Crumpled up paper
I want Aaron Belz to write me a letter containing 'five beginnings of jokes'
1. Why did the elk, deer, chipmunks, coyote, sea stars, orca whale, sealions, newt, weasel, and many different kinds of birds cross the street?
2. Elk, deer, chipmunks, coyote, sea stars, an orca whale, sea lions, a newt, a weasel, and many different kinds of birds walked into a bar.
3. How many elk, deer, chipmunks, coyote, sea stars, orca whale, sea lions, newts, weasels, and many different kinds of birds does it take to change a lightbulb?
4. Elk, deer, chipmunks, coyote, sea stars, an orca whale, sea lions, a newt, a weasel, and many different kinds of birds were entering heaven, and St. Peter stopped them to ask a question.
5. What do you call elk, deer, chipmunks, coyote, sea stars, an orca whale, sea lions, a newt, a weasel, and many different kinds of birds at a party?
I want Aaron Belz to talk to his other friends about me, and when he does, to call me 'my chiquita'
We were friends. We dressed up as bananas
sometimes and went out on the town.
I called her my Chiquita. All in good fun.
We talked about dating - whether we should
make our relationship official. We decided no.
We were happy to have the freedom
of just being friends with banana outfits.
And then I would confide back to Aaron Belz, and I would tell him stories about things that make sense in my head, but not out loud, like the 'things that i have only one of'
I have two kinds of things, she says.
I have things that I am in to
and things that I have only one of.
That there is more than one thing
that I have only one of is, of
course, the irony of ownership;
the real question, though, is
where do the circles overlap?
What are the things that I am in to
that I have only one of? she says,
and looks momentarily tired.
Perhaps, she muses; perhaps
there is a third kind of thing.
For I also have many things
made of leather. See? she says,
gesturing to a large collection
of leather objects. I am also
into ornithography. Now,
does that count as a thing that I
have only one of? For I do not
have more than one ornithography.
But occasionally Aaron Belz will write a long poem, with a complicated layout, full of tabs, and little narrative, and no funny bits (or no bits that I feel confident laughing at, in case he was trying to be serious, because he's tired of being thought of as that guy who writes funny observational poems, and couldn't people for once see that he has something to say, like, an important view on the world?). And I'll read those ones dutifully, but I won't be able to tell him that I didn't like them, because I didn't get them. Instead, I'll try to distract him by saying, "Hey, Aaron? What about that wand one? I really like the wand one. Read it to me again."
my best wand
Of all the magic wands
I've bought over the years,
only the steel one
with the sharp tip
really works -- you point it
into someone else and say
and the person magically