Sunday, April 04, 2010

Calef Brown - Re: Me

Re: Me
by
Calef Brown

My behavior is, I admit,
a bit strange.
Some examples:
I like to show crayfish crochet samples.
I sometimes sell sandpaper to sandpipers,
and I just invented plant stand diapers
for people who over-water.
My beloved alma mater
is The College at Endover.
There on my own
I was mainly known
for falling head over teakettle.
I would pause, let the debris settle,
then sing a song about the space shuttle
and my days as an astronaut.
Mostly I just gasped a lot.
First, from the incredible view,
then from the taste of that inedible goo –
the tubes full of food, pre-chewed.
I got in a feud
with another astronaut
but at least I got
the best elastic cot
for sleeping.
I’m such a cheapskate
my keepsakes
are barely worth keeping:
My spats.
My slide rule.
My toad-shaped commode stool.
I’m totally old school.
Nouveau riche.
Stuck in the drive-thru.
I can’t find my car quiche.
My new niche,
since my jam band disbanded,
is teaching tennis, two handed
(a racquet in each)
to a guy named Dennis
from Venice Beach
who loves to preach
but never practices.
I was once attacked by cactuses
so I’m careful to a fault.
My fishing pole
is stored in a pole vault.
I never fold felt
or spill salt,
and I don’t often don a caftan
or a shawl.
Very seldom,
if at all.
The same goes for a cape
or a cloak.
Just a regular bloke,
I’m not too macho.
Not much of a honcho.
I will, in a pinch, though,
wear a poncho
with a couple bandoleros.
I load ‘em with breadsticks
to feed the sparrows.
I’m a fly in the kitchen
at home on the range.
My behavior is, I admit,
a bit strange.

© 2010 Calef Brown. All rights reserved. 

Calef Brown writes poems that make me giggle and chortle and revel in their wordplay. And, as if that's not enough, he's an illustrator who consistently makes me giggle and chortle or go "oooooh!!!!!' in a very happy way. Combine those talents, and you get fantabulous books like Polkabats and Octopus Slacks (in which this illustration appears) and Tippintown: A Guided Tour. Here's a challenge for you - say "octopus slacks" and think about an octopus wearing slacks without smiling. I don't think it can be done.

Besides children's books, Calef Brown also does editorial illustration (to my knowledge making him the first poet on this year's 30/30 list to be in Rolling Stone) and much, much more. His website is chock full o' eye candy, and I highly recommend reading more about him at the wonderful 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast. And his books... yes... did I mention how fun they are or that later this year, we'll get a new Halloween themed one? True! That makes me happy... as does having Calef Brown here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday gave us Anaconda by Laura Purdie Salas. Tomorrow... Move Out! by Carole Boston Weatherford. For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.

9 comments:

tanita davis said...

This is a massive tongue-twister! I've been trying to read all the Poetry Month selections aloud, but this one half killed me!

-- Mostly because I was laughing at his toad-shaped commode stool...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love Calef Brown! Thanks for sharing!

Ardis T.

carolgrannick@att.net said...

Oh, what fun!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Loving your 30 days series once again and so glad you've included Calef in your round up. He's such a clever genius-- with both words AND pictures!

Calef said...

Thanks very much for the very kind comments, and thanks to Greg for inviting me to be part of this fantastic endeavor.

Deb said...

Wow...this drips with clever. What a treat to read! Thanks!

Mary Lee said...

Holy Cow! The tongue twisters wouldn't stop! How DID he get them all into one poem?!?!

marthacalderaro said...

Clever, absurd, and absolutely fun! Thanks for sharing this!

jamie peeps said...

a bloke with a cloak full of magic, indeed