Dan Wilcox

Birthday Poem

I want to be one of your blue glass figurines
to splinter the light of roseate evenings
shining across your hip as you lay your gown on the chair

I want to be a musk candle you light
to make the shadows dance
as you sip your wine and Prokofiev

I want to be the dreams that don't frighten
that make you touch your breasts your waist
sighing softly to the light

I want to be the teapot that pours your tea
with honey and milk
to warm you for your day

I want to be your day of stillness or breeze
to wrap you in rain or sun

The Cardinal

When I was a kid my baseball team was the St. Louis Cardinals
It was my father's team even though we lived in New York
so it was my team too
Stan Musial
Red Schoendienst
Enos Slaughter

My father took me to the Polo Grounds to see the Giants & the Cardinals play
We walked through a cafeteria that went from one street to the next
I got an autograph on my scorecard

My father told the Monsignor at St. Thomas church that the Monsignor
could become a Cardinal -- if he could pitch
My father was a Protestant

Last week a raccoon got on my porch & ate one of my parakeets
The other parakeet is alone now but still chirps happy songs
Then a Cardinal built a nest in the forsythia bush
next to the porch a few inches from the screen
I think she was attracted to my lone parakeet's singing
free & hopping in & out of the cage

The Cardinal eyes me from her nervous nest when I go out
I think of her as a replacement for my parakeet
a tawny outdoor bird
in her grey & red baseball uniform
I am nervous too, waiting for the eggs to hatch.

Things You Can Do with an MFA

Hang it on the wall of the office where you worked before you got your MFA;
Use it as a tie to dress up for a chi-chi art opening;
Bring it to a poetry open mic so it learns something;
Take it to your local restaurant to use as a wick when the candle at your table goes out;
Use your Metrocard to take it for a ride on the bus;
Staple it to your job application at the Mall;
Eat it for breakfast so that at night your poetry doesn't stink;
Wear it as a shawl & see if anyone notices;
Give it as a "ticket to ride" to your favorite professor;
Submit it with your tax return for a complete refund;
Tell your doctor you don't need his pills, you can get high abusing your MFA;
Give it to your undertaker to use as your shroud when you die;
Take it to church so it can pray for redemption;
Fold it into a boat & float it on the trout stream of your desires;
Let your anorexic friend lick it for nutrition;
Wear it as a cologne to attract cougars;
Show it off as you walk down the street, twitching its ass like 2 cats in a burlap bag;
Pretend it is panties no one can remove;
Wrap it around your dick while you masturbate;
Put it between your legs for multiple, squishy orgasms;
Marry it as the husband you could not have;
Let it make you pregnant;
Stick a black boy's cock in it;
Send it to 17 different literary journals & don't tell them when it is published elsewhere;
Photocopy it 64 times & submit it as a manuscript over & over again;
Self-publish it as a chapbook & sell 6 copies;
Take it down from the wall, pick up a pencil, a cheap pen & write on the back your best, most sexy, most honest poem.

About the Author

Dan Wilcox is a member of the poetry performance group 3 Guys from Albany, is the host of the monthly Third Thursday open mic at Changing Spaces Gallery in Albany, and claims to have the world's largest collection of photos of unknown poets.

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