Poem of the Week, by Ron Koertge

As a little kid I had a baby doll I loved and played with, but no Barbies – I hated them. They scared me. Maybe because they were so grownup-looking. Those big boobs, the feet permanently stuck in a pointing-down position. I didn’t want big boobs, high heels, fancy clothes.

Ken creeped me out too – that coiffed hair, that shoulders-back confidence, that gleaming I’ll be the decision-maker here, little lady look in his eye. It all gave me the willies. It still does.

Cinderella’s Diary, by Ron Koertge

I miss my stepmother. What a thing to say,
but it’s true. The prince is so boring: four
hours to dress and then the cheering throngs.
Again. The page who holds the door is cute
enough to eat. Where is he once Mr. Charming
kisses my forehead goodnight?

Every morning I gaze out a casement window
at the hunters, dark men with blood on their
boots who joke and mount, their black trousers
straining, rough beards, calloused hands, selfish,
abrupt…Oh, dear diary—I am lost in ever after:
those insufferable birds, someone in every
room with a lute, the queen calling me to look
at another painting of her son, this time
holding the transparent slipper I wish
I’d never seen.

Click here for more information about Ron Koertge.


Words by Winter: my podcast

Poem of the Week, by Ron Koertge

My poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

How to survive the next meeting you don’t want to be in: Focus on the famished, clawed creature that just now slunk into the room and is now crawling over everyone’s feet in turn. Does anyone else notice? They do not!

Where is the creature now? The only way to know is to pay close attention to body language. An upper lip will twitch, a butt will shift on its chair, fingers will suddenly drum.

Meanwhile, the endless droner drones on and on, no one brave enough to interrupt. Only the clawed creature can finally stop the madness. But when? When will sweet release come?

This is how I get through meetings. It’s also why I so love Ron Koertge’s funny, subversive, turn-things-inside-out world-of-imagination poems.

The Search Party, by Ron Koertge

It’s hopeless. Maureen and I broke up
again. While the party goes on
without me, I’m sulking in the kitchen

eating all the chips and guacamole
when the host’s daughter comes in.

Nora opens the door to the refrigerator.
There’s a stuffed bear leaning on the cottage

She says, “That’s Robert Falcon Scott,
the explorer. He needs medical attention

She looks at me. “Can I trust you to wait
right here while I go for the huskies?”

Now I cannot leave my post. Not to dance,
not to make a beer run. Not even if someone
comes in to say she likes my new shirt.

Nora returns with two stuffed dogs. The door
to Antarctica opens.

Nora cradles the bear. She tries to feed it
a Cheeto. “Hold on, Robert. Help
is on the way.”

To me, she says, “Harness the dogs.
We have to move fast.”

It’s starting to snow. My hands are freezing
as I untangle the tow lines.

For more information about Ron Koertge, please click here.

Words by Winter: my new podcast