This Dover Thrift

edition of Voltaire’s
Candide complete
with your banal
marginalia reminds
me of a joke I once
heard: what happens
when you cross a

or was it a pheasant
with a porcupine
in any case they
both began with P
and someday, with luck,
we’ll have enough
money socked away
to roll this mobile
home out of the
Everglades or

what happens when you
cross singer-songwriter
with huggy bear
and the punch line
may be obvious enough
but it isn’t Branson,
Mo, think closer
to your own

the giant house where
your mom has giant
paintings of you in giant
gilded because that’s
just “how she thinks”
I would have rather
taught Swift that year
but I had to go with
what was being

aren’t there, as the
beginning of a question,
or there aren’t, sort
of reversing it, there
aren’t any more
or aren’t there, or why
aren’t there any more
of them left over
for me
, and

meanwhile from this
vantage point migrating
doves look almost
Swiftian dipping their
wings toward the
old gray canal, a
satire on the very
essence of bird (or
as you once called it
bird-ness, followed by
“I’m bored now”)

so broods the bent World
with warm breast
and with ah! bright
wings W

Somerset Maugham

Aaron Belz has published two collections of poems, The Bird Hoverer (BlazeVOX, 2007) and Lovely, Raspberry (Persea, 2010). A third, as yet untitled, is forthcoming from Persea.

*Photo courtesy of Timothy Tolle.