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D a v i d   L e h m a n :       t h r e e   p o e m s

      April 19

We have too much exhibitionism
and not enough voyeurism
in poetry we have plenty of bass
and not enough treble, more amber
beer than the frat boys can drink but
less red wine than meets the lip
in this beaker of the best Bordeaux,
too much thesis, too little antithesis
and way too much New York Times
in poetry we've had too much isolationism
and too few foreign entanglements
we need more Baudelaire on the quai
d'Anjou more olive trees and umbrella pines
fewer leafless branches on the rue Auguste Comte
too much sociology not enough Garcia Lorca
more colons and dashes fewer commas
less love based on narrow self-interest
more lust based on a feast of kisses
too many novels too few poems
too many poets not enough poetry


      April 21

I'm a very average person,
and I think most people are.
I vote with the common man.
I have two kids, a boy and a girl.
Last Sunday I played golf with the boss.
Hey, it beats working.
I'm his wife. I may be brainless but
I'm her husband. I played golf with her
Last Sunday I played golf with the boss
and it was the first warm morning in May
and like every other moron driving a lawnmower
I'm their husband. I may be brainless but
I'm their wife. I'm their mother.
I have two kids, a boy and a girl,
and it was the first warm morning in May
and I think most people are
like every other moron driving a lawnmower.
I'm a very average person.
I vote with the common man.
Hey, it beats working.


      May 8

700 francs will get you $109.91
on this muggy May afternoon
which is good to know since
I just found 700 francs in my wallet
while Dinah Washington was singing
"My Old Flame" I was thinking of where
I was with Glen when Allen Ginsberg died
and if I could relax for one hour
if I knew what that felt like
it would seem like a very long time to me
so I'll have to settle for the next best thing
warm rain on a cool May evening
on Charles Street, turn left on West 4th,
cross Sixth and turn right on MacDougal
quick: make a sentence that has Spike Lee
Son of Sam and Leonardo di Caprio in it
Bob Dole says Viagra is a great drug
that's the news, the weather I've already
given you, and then I want to go
into the bedroom and find your naked body
in my bed you've stayed up waiting for me
and I'm going to make it worth your while


The two April poems are reprinted, with thanks,
from Poetry Daily at

David Lehman is a poet and critic, and the series editor of the annual anthology The Best American Poetry. He divides his time between Ithaca, N.Y., and New York City.
His latest book of poems is Valentine Place (Scribner).
You can read his account of the famous Ern Malley Hoax in Jacket # 2.
The URL address of this page is

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