Paranoid reflections

Another (very short) poem that began on Twitter and was reworked when I realized that the last line was, by mistake, a total lipogram.

I get defensive next to those who don’t know they’re unlike me
Turning my cheek before they see how close they come to strike me.

No blood is drawn so I think that should work out, good and dandy.
But I don’t know if I’m too proud or too much of a pansy.

Twitter poem–expanded

Sometimes I Tweet in rhymed couplets. Usually just, like, four lines at a time. More cryptic than specific.

Today I started doing that. Then it kind of grew. And grew. Until the point (I’ll leave it to you to guess which) where I was like “no, this is too much for other people’s news feeds/enough for a blog post.”

I still say “bleep no” in my head and wince
Without movement. Though it has been years since
I took you seriously, didn’t laugh.
In spite of all of this, gaffe after gaffe.
How often does a generation splinter
But reform after mourning in the winter?
Or, how crowded was my bandwagon stop
Subtracting out for everyone who’d drop
Off in the years to follow, years of loss?
Every pause, every station, there’s a cross,
An intersection, way to transfer off.
There is no shortage of reasons to scoff.
Sometimes we blow a lead. We sigh. We rage.
Sometimes the newsmakers make the front page.
We roll our eyes with distance and with shame,
Far more then when we lose another game.

Another question I haven’t quite reckoned.
Why do I feel the need to write in second
Person? Two lines per rhyme and three per tweet.
The hemiola pushes me on, feet
By feet. On the one hand, I can disguise
Specifics with “yous” instead of the “I”s.
It’s like a trite love song with a trite chorus.
For people like me, the same lyrics bore us.
But if I say some you has made me sad,
It’s so generic that everyone’s had
Something similar, even if distinct.
But when our thoughts are trendy enough, linked,
Then all the world is saying the same thing.
And what more use can my tossed-off words bring?
I don’t want to be a bandwagon-rider;
At least when I’m an absolute outsider
I know no fellow fans will speak for me
And get me wrong. But who is left to be?

A generation fades into the past
Step by stop. Someone has to come in last
Be the end of that season, of that group.

Of course, in Chicago, the train lines loop.

Elegy II?

I keep forgetting that the New York Times
Is from New York. Or that New York exists
With fans and bandwagon-hoppers. It lists
The teams in order. (“Pittsburgh Pirates”): gets
The full names listed. But “Yankees” and “Mets”
Since they’re the locals. In the St. Paul Press,
Everything but the Twins are spelled out, yes.
I got used to that living near St. Paul.
The paper was local, the city small.

In my mind’s eye, the baggies still hide seats
Only taken down for Vikings defeats.
The indie scorecards and the makeshift drums.
“No smoking in the Metrodome.” It comes
Back now in fits and starts. The game delayed
So that some college football could be played.
The comebacks and the awesome pitching there.
Kicking you out the door, the rush of air…

The Times aren’t changing now, so much, although
I move between cities, I come and go.
To the extent the Vikings cross my mind
It’s schadenfreude, nothing very kind.
I can’t truthfully say I care where they
Have their home games. Not like I watch them play.
But hidden there on the back page it’s shown;
Dayton signs, Dome to crash. I wish I’d known.