poem #125


There must be a department of women
who come up with all these puns.
I imagine them dressed like ultra stylish librarians
from the 1950s,
they chew on yellow pencils, tap them on their teeth,
squint at the ceiling, twirl
in gray swivel chairs.
Balled up paper carpets the floor,
old coffee grounds fill the wastebasket.
Each woman is a master of language,
curses like Shakespeare when an idea escapes,
then chases it with the whiskey
stashed in her desk drawer.
Phones ring incessantly
with demands for more puns, more
clever word play,
and before answering,
she’ll take a drag from her cigarette,
then exhale the smoke into the receiver,
and shout to be heard above the jangle,
the racket of shouted puns and telephones,
and the din from next door
at the Department of Nail Polish Naming.


I’m not feeling serious today at all. I was perusing the ModCloth website, and wondering who names all these dresses? (For those that don’t know, the clothing at ModCloth is all named with puns and wordplay–like the Oh Say Can You Sea Dress, that has nautical-ish stripes on it). And I thought, for that matter, who names nail polishes? (I’ve always been fascinated with nail polish names. Seriously. Go read them.) This is what I came up with. 😉

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