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A Polite Thank You Letter For Twelve Days Of Christmas And A Pragmatic One

My Darling,

What a lovely and interesting twelve days it has been! I had to take the partridge out of the pear tree because I thought he looked a little silly there, but that was before I had seven swans a’swimming in my bathtub. But, the pear tree is beautiful, and it should grow nicely where all those geese are a’laying and a’pooping! The UPS guy has tried three times to drop off two turtle doves and three french hens. Hopefully, I will be here next time as I don’t think he will be able to just leave them on the porch. And those pipers piping and drummers drumming, I wasn’t sure where to put them, but the drummers refused to share a room with the pipers, who they called “those queer faggots in tights,” and left. Well, first they stole the five gold rings you gave me. I would’ve called the police, but one of the ten lords a’leaping landed on my cell phone and broke it. And did you mean to bring me nine ladies from Lansing? Lansing, Michigan? I’d check your receipt because these are all octogenarians who were on a tour of the Great Lakes when they were given $100 and told to get in a van. Anyway, their invoice says “nine ladies dancing” but they all assure me their fox-trotting days are over, and five of them even said it hurts just to stand. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but please get them out of here. It breaks my heart to see them come downstairs everyday confused and dressed in layers and carrying cameras. I hope you understand. Your gifts were certainly extravagant, and I don’t deserve anything as romantic as all this. Also, I’m not really sure I’m completely set up for eight maids a’milking.

Yours Truly,




Thanks for the 23 birds. They flew off when the drummers arrived, but they’ll probably be back because the milking maids brought all these cows, and I know birds like to sit on those. I’ve arranged for the 30 other folks you gave me as gifts to stay at the youth hostel until I can figure something else out. I had to sell the five gold rings to make this happen, but I’m sure you’ll understand. The pear tree won’t grow in this climate, so I tossed it, but kept the plastic potter it came in because it can be used to store tennis balls or turned upside down and made into a stool. Thanks again.




Stuff I Wrote On The Back Of Southwest Airlines’ Drink Coupons

Today sucked. I accidentally killed a lizard and I lost my prescription glasses. You don’t know any of this because you have a girlfriend and it’s not me.


Nothing makes you feel less vital to the world than flying above it at 33,000 feet and staring down at the intricate geometry of thousands of lives. It’s the kind of thing that makes you order a scotch “neat.” And when the stewardess pauses and says, “So… with or without ice?” it makes you just stare back and say “neat.”


Great, if this plane crashes, there is no one here I want to hug while crying hysterically. Since when did trying to fall in love have so much in common with falling out of the sky?


Eating Alone, a Funeral

What no one tells you in home ec or anyplace else, is that when you’re an adult, you’re going to have  a lot of trouble making dinner for yourself and eating it. Tonight, I opened the fridge. Could’ve had a salad, could’ve made my own dressing, could’ve put soup in a pot, stirred it up and got it hot. But, I couldn’t find it in me to cut a cucumber, let alone peel it (in stripes, like Mom did). It’s unbelievably hard to eat by yourself. Sure, there’s the trick of turning on the TV, loading CDs in the 5 Disc CD changer, and catching a glimpse of yourself in the microwave and saying “Hey, you…” But nothing ever escapes the feeling of eating alone. It’s the black hole of your kitchen, stretching you until you snap apart at your weakest point. Just getting out one fork is like being at a funeral—but at the beginning, when you still won’t admit you’ll end up crying, but can feel it coming on.


Advanced Problems

1) Sally is playing with toothpicks. Wait, why?
2) If Jim’s penis is four inches long, and he leaves the train station at exactly 4:30 p.m., how many marbles does it take?

3) Mr. Walters plants 42 tulip bulbs in a five foot by 7 foot rectangular garden every spring. Every day after the first day of spring, his dog, Paco, immediately digs up 30% of the flower bed. How many bulbs does Mr. Walters have to replant before he looks up and realizes he’s alone?

4) Carol and Pam have been living together for exactly five years. Why don’t they love each other in equal amounts?

Around Your 30th Birthday

Around your 30th birthday

you will discover that your body

is not a temple.


It’s a den

full of predators.

And you’ll be trying

to make friends with them

the rest of your life.


Or, at least, trying to keep

them in a deep sleep

by sneaking quietly around


With Xanax and alcohol.

Maybe This Is Something

A young girl is systematically tearing the fur off her plastic pony leaving it a cheap looking black plastic mold of a pony.  She is at the DMV, seated a row in front of me and four chairs to the left. The horse was chestnut roan with a black mane and tail. Her father keeps getting up from his chair and pacing around and her mother is reading something. The girl only has the head left to do, but it looks like it’s going to be hard because there are too many small contours to really get a good tear going.


Whenever anyone I love dies

I stop and stare at the ground
and try to figure out a pattern.
How long I do this
depends on how much I love them.
Once, someone I really really loved died,
–That’s it. I said my goodbyes. I said my hellos. That’s it.–
and I was trying to figure out
how many total squares some triangles could make
when a woman wearing a tracksuit and big shiny hoop earrings
pushed her grocery cart into my ass and said,
Honey, either move forward or back.

One Definition Of Loneliness

One definition of loneliness

is learning that your favorite author,

the one you really understand,

the one you’re sure would’ve really gotten you,

the one that took your stupid happiness and your boring depression

and made you underline it — even put a star or exclamation point next to it —

killed himself because he decided it wasn’t worth it.


His death turned a great writer into just a dead body in an instant

but was recorded as approximately

between the middle of September and October


because no one called or came over.

He rotted in front of a window for weeks

until a police man found him.


Lonely Woman Transcribes Things She Hears A Lonelier Woman Say To Her Pomeranians

Get out here! You want to go for a walk? You want to or not?


Don’t you dare pee there! Bad doggie!!! You’re not…you’re not….you’re not paying attention to your mom!


Mama says you’ve been a bad boy. Come on, Honey. We’ve got stuff to do out here.


Where are my fucking papers. I can’t fucking find anything. I HATE MY LIFE!!!


C’mon Sadie, Isis, Elmo; let’s get this over with.


You wanna spank? Mamma’s gonna spank her little girl. No barksies!


Holy cow! I gotta open all those packages….see what I ordered. Usual thing — I get all the presents, give ‘em away. Nobody gets me anything. Wow. C’mon, get in here, Sadie.


Sadie, quit! Someone’s going to end up with a big spanking. You know that, big boy? C’mon, let’s gosies.


Don’t stop at that corner cause I told you before, you’re going to get hurt. Fucking damn fool!