Tuesday, April 5, 2011

National Poetry Month - Day 5: The Belz! The Belz!

Today, three poems by a man's man's man, Aaron Belz.

The first poem is from his book, Plausible Worlds, published in 2005:

"In Bed with Meryl Streep"

Hard to believe your first movie 
Came out in 1977 - you are timeless,
Like a Dracula statue in the rain:
And now, as you rub my shoulders,
Wearing that flowered nightgown,
We hear actual rain, or is it wind,
Rushing around our Buena Vista condo.
You flip off Cheers. I know what's next.

The second, from his second book, The Bird Hoverer, published in 2007:

"Bruce Beasley!"

Bruce Beasley! Your book still sits unread on my shelf
as it has since 1988! I have to admit! It was Halpern's blurb
that scared me most! "The abundance of phlegmatic
narrative"! Then there's the black and white author photo!
You look too thoughtful! And yikes, those loafers!
Then there's the fourth line of the first poem!
"A pink scab along the bottom of each bloom"!
I do not like poems that refer to pink scabs on bottoms!
Just as a general rule, mind you, Bruce Beasley!
And later in the same poem! "You can smell it on every bush"!
Smell what though? I bet you'll tell us! Ah yes!
"This hankering to get born"! That's such a weird word!
"Hankering"! I am hankering to put your book back!
I wonder if this first edition is worth anything by now!
I don't mind just leaving it on my shelf though! It's OK!

The final poem is from his most recent book, Lovely, Raspberry, published in 2010.

"the one about the ectoplasm and the osteoblast"

Some ectoplasm sits next to an osteoblast
at a bar. The ectoplasm asks the osteoblast,
"Why do you form bones?" And the osteoblast
responds, "Why are you the outer relatively
rigid granule-free layer of the cytoplasm usually
held to be a gel reversibly convertible to a sol?"
And the ectoplasm is like, "Wow, that is such
an awkward question." And so the osteoblast
goes, "Seriously, why are you? I form bones
for the same reason." The bartender, an osteoclast,
asks them what they want to drink. The ectoplasm
asks him what he recommends that's on draft,
and he says the Dead Guy Ale, it's a fresh keg.
They both break into fits of laughter. "Oh my gosh!"
says the osteoblast, "Dead Guy is a German-style
Maibock that's deep honey in color with a malty
aroma, rich hearty flavor and a well-balanced finish.
Now does that sound like the kind of beer we drink?"

OK, I lied. One more from Lovely, Raspberry.

"signal versus noise"

For Norbert Wiener
a signal was something
that ought to be filtered
from noise, but for God,
at least in this life,
the signals merge with
the noise, and although
maybe that's just God's
way, it's possible God
is more like Gwen Stefani
in that he expects us
to hear, over the din
of the hip hop club
of this world, him shouting
"Holla back, girl!"
and wants us to holla
back, somehow, through
prayer, or maybe just
lives of self-sacrifice.

Belz can be rung at http://www.belz.net.


  1. You should have stopped at one, though the last one wasn't bad. The middle two were delightfully snarky and obscure, but those are niche markets. Can I put in a request for some Lou Sissman? And not anything about dying -- lookup his skirt chasing stuff. He was the WASP's WASP.

  2. Belz is like Sour Patch Kids. You can't stop at just one. He's like eating Sour Patch Kids at the movies while you're watching the dumb trivia questions that seem to repeat ad infinitum before the ads that precede the trailers that precede the movie.

    You sure can put in a request for Lou Sissman.

    Are you sure you want to be talking about skirt chasing while being a candidate for the Senate?