Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Making Heads or Tails out of an Animalistic Situation

I mistrust found poems. They seem too easy, most of the time. But sometimes, one just walks purring into your lap...and what can you do, really, at that point, but pet it?

I teach English. Or I try to. Sometimes, the text gets in the way. I teach at ECC. The prescribed text for teaching children who are just beginning to study English is a series of books called Wake Up!--a series of books, I remain convinced, that constitutes an elaborate and monstrous hoax upon the Korean people.

I submit, for your consideration, the following found poem, comprised entirely of lines gleaned--and presented here, in their unretouched glory--from the teacher's guide to this set of books.

Making Heads or Tails out of an Animalistic Situation
55 Reasons Why My Primary English Text is not Adequate.

1. Making heads or tails out of an animalistic situation.
2. Stop crying, baby!
3. Do you know what you are?
4. Rome was not built in a day.
5. Let’s act out!
6. The younger, the faster.
7. Monty, what’s behind the curtain?
8. Black eyes and fat lips.
9. I know what they’re saying.
10. Randy is between the police officers.
11. We share the same brain.
12. I wash my hands of you.
13. Roman Polanski presents.
14. I want some Academy awards.
15. The new deal paid off.
16. Even the nights are better.
17. The student is under the fire engine.
18. Randy is writing on the boat.
19. Look what’s become of me.
20. Give me my legs.
21. Zen and the art of sandwich making.
22. Colonel, some dessert please.
23. The walls of fruit are closing in on me.
24. Holy roller
25. Matisse’s madness.
26. Watermelon balloons in strawberry fields.
27. Onion rings are flying through the sky.
28. I want your pizza.
29. I could wallpaper my bathroom with these rejection notices.
30. I did that on purpose.
31. Look ma, no warts!
32. Want to see my robot?
33. Mine is fast.
34. Guess what, boy or girl?
35. Find my body part.
36. Move along, son.
37. Carmichael, I love what you’ve done to the place.
38. Sandy is in the closet.
39. Don’t throw garbage in my yard!
40. The Maytag guy does get lonely.
41. Baby, you can drive my car.
42. Kitchen rhymes with chicken.
43. Farmer’s roulette.
44. The duck is laughing.
45. Showdown at some flipped-out corral.
46. What are the animals doing?
47. Love is blind, but favourites are blindfolded.
48. It’s my house, designs are my choice.
49. Who has the bomb?
50. The raincoat is quicker than the eye.
51. I want a new job.
52. Another spinster?
53. Who’s the man?
54. These are my marbles. Those are my balls.
55. Forcefeed the fat boy!

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