Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don Riggs for Philly Poet Laureate!

Although Don has served with somewhat dubious distinction as the poet in residence of the United States of Kudera (yes, the blog you are reading, currently operating incognito as Big Lao Gu), at the risk of having him accused of double dipping, two-timing, or worse, I do want to nominate him for that larger office, Poet Laureate of Philadelphia.

As respected and talented poet (and mentioned in Heller's Inky column linked to above), Daisy Fried says, "Don would make a great Poet Laureate. He is also a topnotch catsitter." If I'm not mistaken, Daisy delivers those two sentences in iambic pentameter or almost so. And yes, I could be mistaken.

Well, the father topic has been in and about these parts lately, so in closing, here's a Dad sonnet from Don:

Don’t Ask


Unlike John Brooks Wheelwright, I do not ask

my eighteen-years dead Dad to undecease.

The specific way he puts it is come

home, but my father has gone home: ashes

in the base of the crematory furnace.

They offered to let us come pick the urn

up, who knows how long after he’d burned,

but I declined. Of what use that shovel

of gray particulate matter, mantel

adornment when I don’t have a fireplace?

And what about the ashes would be him?

I have what he imposed on me: the task

of being the professor he’d not been.

I’ve grown this beard to hide his lack of chin.

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