Mike James: Three Poems

Why Can’t You Be Happy Like Everyone Else?

for Ace Boggess


because when you hold your breath and pass out, no one comes

because you love the feel of velvet and so few things feel like velvet

because no pigeon ever left a statue to eat from your hand

because every closet you walk into has a wig and a broomstick

because one of the things you do is yourself

because the movies you love are all black and white

because you go on and on

because questions aren’t answered, even asked

because sighing is your only exercise

because no one ever invented a love potion that works 365 days

because a damaged thank you is the soul of every needle, every pill

because boredom is both habit and mask

because intentions fall away faster than always

because you don’t know the combinations for sunlight or bliss


St. James Broughton

It takes a special man to be a nun. That’s not a typo. Male nuns tend to be adept at
Powder make up and limerick writing. All this reported on good (not God) authority.

James Broughton built a garden on top of limericks, puns, and nursery rhymes.
Go ahead, substitute obscure words for common ones. Edward Lear knows best.

The world is full of things to take in: Words. Gardens. Films. Also, bare skin.
As one limerick says…Oh, never mind. Your blush might look like a stain.

If this were a limerick, garden would rhyme with hard on. Thank God it’s not!
Proprietary rules are strictly maintained. Though even free verse can pretend at fun.

Is it a good time to mention wages of sin? Costs are paid in loose change.
All good dirty limericks end with a grin. As eros always rhymes with loss.


Campbell’s Soups

The labels have fallen off my soup cans. I’ll have a grilled cheese with something for dinner. That’s been my day. A morning unicycle ride to the grocery store and the weekly discussion, with myself, about Elizabeth Bishop (pro and con) over a lunch bagel. An afternoon penny toss in front of the courthouse was my favorite social time. I just wish I’d found someone to play with. Penny toss solitaire is less fun. But that’s been my day. I followed a cat up a tree. I got stuck. The cat got down. Firemen came and laughed at my kilt and suspenders. I’ve never met a fireman interested in either fashion or Scottish history. My chief rescuer had tomato soup breath as he carried me down.

What are you looking for?