Poetry — June 29, 2017 12:18 — 0 Comments

Five Poems – Richard Kenney

Epistemology, Dude 

He says beaucoup when he means a lot.
I guess that means he’s polyglot.
He talks a lot. His streak is blue.
But I’m not sure it means beaucoup.


Poetaster in Paris

Risible, he who at Le Cafe Haute-Coif
gaffes: gazing absently at a graceful jeune fille
feels the unnoticed soda-straw nick his nostril,
steals a glance sideways, scanning for witnesses,
nurses his drink, and subsides once more into nuance.


To Think While Doing a Hard Thing

Is not always best.

Still, he can’t help reflecting how once
the grim wince
came, climbing a rope hand over hand.

now he is dressed.


Differential Solutions

When men get to feeling old
they don’t know what to do.
They gaze around for some elixir
to fix their thews.

Mostly it’s in women,
though oftentimes in drinks
or cars or mere mechanicals
they’ll find their minx.

Women on the other hand,
organic from the start,
solve the problem differently,
with mind, not heart:

they root for herbs and balms and simples
(howe’er their doctors doubt them);
they stopper them in bottles and they
talk about them.



They met on the internet. They knew right away
they were made for each other, plain as prey.

They were the same comix. They liked the same movies,
especially the ones with the muscles and uzis.

Vladimir murmured as if in a trance
the President’s got such delicate hands…

crooning in a postgeocoital calm
see how they nestle right into my palm…

Now it’s true the Commander’s got awesome paws
They’re elegant, delicate, fit for a boss

who likes them kissed, and sometimes greased,
but of small things, they’re not the least:

the inside’s where he’s truly little
like the space inside the excluded middle

of one of his whoppers, sluiced from the stump
to the internet (see hashtag Trump).

It’s why Vlad loves him so, soul-small,
dissembled, assembled, his Russian doll.


Commander in tweet is addicted to anger.
He’s addicted us all: his triumph, our rancor.

When Michelle said go high—read this poem—did I?
Can satire suck sanguine hope from a canker?


Richard Kenney is a poet and professor of English at the University of Washington. He is the author of four books of poetry: The Evolution of the Flightless Bird, Orrery,The Invention of the Zero, and The One-Strand River.

Leave a Reply

What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney