Boots Poffenberger played in only fifty-seven games
but arguably had one of the all-time baseball names.
Frank Baumann’s ’60 ERA was league-best two-six-seven.
The southpaw never matched that, his career mark: four-eleven.
Billy Rohr was one strike from a no-no in first start.
An Elston Howard single broke the Red Sox lefty’s heart.
Nelson Cruz was not a basher back when he was clean.
But PED’s turned him into a round-tripper machine.
No hot water to get into.
No wolf at the door.
Furnishings are sparse but they will do.
All night sounds of knocking knees,
pokeweed whistles "More."
There is absolutely not a view.
Here the blue moon never sets.
Roads all lead nowhere.
If it’s peace you’re looking for,
you will find it there.
Your bed may not be too soft.
It’s a lower berth.
Pillow might feel like a rock.
Blanket’s made of earth.
Say goodbye to apple pie.
Hello cabin in the sky.
The tolerable threes quickly turn
to the frightening fours,
then fiddling fives and
by slick six they’re roaming outdoors.
A brief blast of sovereign seven,
then ennobled eight starts to leaven.
By nay nine they’ve picked up a pen
and write diatribes by terse ten.
Enlightened eleven may see a growth spurt.
And by tortured twelve they perfect throwing dirt.
All hell then breaks loose in tense teens,
as if they’d consumed magic beans.
God knows if they make it to twenty,
you will have been tortured aplenty.
At twenty-one they turn adult
and join the establishment cult.
It’s then they avoid you like rabies.
Your only hope left is grand babies.
Polar bear got nowhere
to go once the ice all melts away.
They’re just bears. No one cares.
‘Til they come to your backyard
My tap shoes are tapped out.
My clogs are clogged, no doubt.
My wingtips have all flown
away with herringbone.
My loafers just look tired,
my brogans uninspired.
My cleats are dull from sporting lull.
My car shoes got hot wired.
My sneakers snuck away
because I would not play.
My boots all need new heels.
My roller skates lost wheels.
My sandals were all swiped by vandals
somewhere by the sea.
My hush puppies were chewed by dogs.
So now my feet run free.
Hacks of all nations
repair to your stations.
Some sentences need to be written.
to puncture the shy and once-bitten.
The front page must rage
with outrage and opinions
that make the poor populace chatter.
All life is a stage
to our bit-playing minions.
The truth of the script doesn’t matter.
The more we make bleed,
the more they pay heed.
They’re eating lies out of our hand.
The headlines that yell
the loudest will sell.
You kings of the worldwide newsstand.
If I could write like Dylan,
I’d give my soul, god willin’.
I’d kill to write one "Maggie’s Farm."
For "Winterlude," I’d do some harm.
I’d chop off both thumbs and a toe
to pen a "Desolation Row."
Could I create "Masters of War,"
I’d live out life as a crack whore.
I’d do penance for all who’ve sinned
for just one "Blowin’ In The Wind."
I’d even die for just a smidgen
of his songs about religion.
(Bob went electric 7/25/65.)
I like baked potatoes,
and lettuce and tomatoes.
But I don’t like tornadoes,
unless they go to Oz.
Those munchkins are delicious,
and flying monkeys vicious,
the wicked witch pernicious.
She’s got that ugly schnoz.
In Kansas there are sisters
who pray for coming twisters.
Their god is like a wizard
behind his golden veils.
They all wear ruby slippers.
Their hymns are like woodchippers.
The words are all "I’m melting!"
There’s holy water pails.
Religion’s like a water spout,
tends to scare the most devout.
Better worship baked potatoes,
in the skin or out.
McQueens are walking, hand-in-hand, Steve and Butterfly.
Funny how celebrities pair up after they die.
There’s the Powells, handsome couple, Dick and Adam Clayton.
And the Taylors, Liz and Robert: didn’t know they’re datin’.
Lovely Leigh gals, Viv and Janet, always taking showers.
Lyndon Johnson loves to walk with Van amongst the flowers.
No surprise in Art and Henry Miller hanging out.
Same goes for the Harrisons, old Rex and George, no doubt.
Then there’s seeming mismatched fellows, Tom and Ollie Hardy.
And the Carsons, John and Rachel, though both like to party.
Spending quiet time is fun for Karl and Harpo Marx.
General Robert E. and Pinky Lee can cause some sparks.
Marilyn and James Monroe are quite the regal pair.
Rosa’s always teasing poor Bert Parks about his hair.
Bea and Chester Arthur like to watch reruns of "Maude."
While Pernell and Oral Roberts argue about God.
The Bailey Couple, Jim and Pearl, agree to share her dresses.
Michael and Mahalia Jackson seldom share caresses.
Some psychic bond has drawn together Jeane and Willie Dixon.
But Dean and Mary Martin’s friendship needs a little fixin’.
It’s a good bet gossip columns in the after life
would be most surprised that Ginger’s now Fred Rogers’ wife.
I am pleased to be here now
as the head of this great class.
I know my marks were good,
but I am no more than you.
We all had a good time.
We all learned what we must.
Good friends were made and lost.
Not all of us loved gym.
I hope you kept your books
for true words will not fade.
Go now and live your lives.
This day will rule your dreams.
For those who did like gym,
good luck to you.