Friday, April 29, 2011

National Poetry Month - Matt Bondurant

National Poetry Month is sadly drawing to a close, but we have a couple more poems to share with you. Today's poem is by Matt Bondurant from our Fall/Winter 07-08 (vol. 4, no. 2) issue.

The Pathos of Charles Shultz

The clearest example the spelling-bee episode,
Charlie Brown traveling to "the big city"

with Snoopy on an empty bus,
a small child and beagle on public transit.

In the final round, to win the whole thing,
Charlie get B-E-A-G-L-E.

Snoopy blinks twice, in his seat deep among children.
Charlie fumbles, sweats. He can't do it.

Riding the bus back with the moon in the window
the color and shape of a cashew nut,

the texture of a lemon slice, a wedge of pear,
shining in a pallid shaft on the two companions

as they travel over the river toward home.
Snoopy play a mournful tune on his mouth-harp

as Charlie looks out the window.
Nobody says anything.

At home, Chuck goes into the pale light of the kitchen
and fixes himself a bowl of cold cereal,

his broad face quiet, his orange-on-a-stick head bowed,
sitting at the kitchen table in the middle of the night,

spooning soggy flakes into his mouth.
Snoopy lays on top of his doghouse and stares up at the stars.

Woodstock flutters from the heavens
to rest on his distended puppy-belly.

This is no gift of resolve or insight,
no cartoonish god-machine,

no possibility, for any of us, to rid ourselves
of this one simple thing.

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