A poem by Dean Young and a poem by Me.

This poem is called Sunflower and Dean Young wrote it:


When Dean Young vacuums he hears
not just time’s winged whatchamacallit
hurrying near but some sort of music
that isn’t the motor or the attic
or the sucked-up spider’s hosannas
or his mother pounded into a rectangle
or what’s inside him breaking
because the only thing conclusive
all those tests showed is inside him
is some sort of crow so unsure of its
crowness, it thinks it’s a stone
just as the stone thinks it’s
a dark joke in the withered fields
and has to be so opaque to keep
all its ketchupy light inside because
you never know what sonuvabitch
is hanging around, waiting for a chance
to steal your thunder.  When Dean Young
has his thunder, nothing moves.  Not
the dust in the hose, not the music,
not even the eye of the crow.  It drives him
crazy how little effect he has.  He thinks
of his friends at ballparks and feels
miserable.  He thinks of women’s behinds
and feels radiant.  He’s afraid how he invented
running by moving his legs very fast
will be forgotten, attributed elsewhere.
He can’t resign himself to losing the patent
on masturbation.  On the other side
of the back of his head hangs his face
which he puts strawberries into.
He dreads strawberries because their mouth
is bigger than his.  He dreads his wife
because he loves her.  His strong opinions
re:  capital punishment, arts education,
the numen dissolves in water,
the universal solvent that falls from clouds,
clouds that were HIS idea.


I want to write a poem about sunflowers too:

I bought several packets
of sunflower seeds and they grew
in the front of my house
when I threw them
at the dirt. They bloomed
and died and I shook
their dried out faces
back over the dirt
and also over several
glass jars. This keeps
happening but the birds
are on to it. I’d like
to eat a thing that they
themselves were trying
to grow, but then I’d just
be eating a very young
or unhatched bird. I long
ago swore unknowingly, to only
eat flightless birds. The rain
makes my sunflowers lean
awkwardly over each other
like high schoolers
on a dance floor. After some
storms I find intact
nests fallen in the backyard
with cold, unbroken eggs
in them. I imagine a small
bird somewhere secretly
relieved. My mother
condemns a small bird
somewhere. Either a bird
fears the rain or quietly
rejoices at it. When it rains,
all we want is to be inside
a car. For the engine
to be running outside
a 7/11 at night. For someone
we love to come running
toward our familiar headlights
holding a soaked newspaper
above their soaked hair. For
the door to shut and to touch
their damp foreheads. Taylor,
the rain is a terrible mess for making
you run through it. But
it is at least one thing I know
I can save you from. It is raining
still and something else
has saved the sunflowers:
they are thick and their stalks
have grown hair. They touch
each other now, like old friends.


1 Comment

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One response to “A poem by Dean Young and a poem by Me.

  1. Now I want to write a poem about sunflowers
    by Taylor Mardis Katz

    He leaves his cookie
    enmilked so long I get
    nervous about it melting &
    grab it out. But it wasn’t
    ready! he yells as if life
    waits for us But it was going
    to fall apart! I yell as if
    cohesion were the way.
    Eight years older than
    we are today, I’ll still
    smile to see his face
    trying not to smile,
    a holding-together I know
    how to make impossible,
    a softness I can milk.

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