In Kickstarter News


I think the best idea for a kickstarter
is one that funds a cathedral
designed and run by Randy Quaid and Nicholas Cage,
to be sited in British Columbia,
to be made of cedar and gold
with dragons at the doors.
The dragons are golden, too,
and have lasers in their eyes
to help ward off star whackers
like the one that killed Kwai Chang Caine.
Who wouldn’t offer five bucks for something like that?
On Sundays they would give simultaneous sermons
with Nicholas as Superman and Randy Quaid as Plastic Man.
Evi Hellena Motolanez Quaid would take the collection
and go through the money to sort out any
Georgia quarters, because they are peach-evil.
Each service would end with Cage cutting his arms
singing “This is my blood, but only for vampires,”
while Randy and Evi couple clumsily in the baptismal font.
Tom Cruise would join in a heartbeat.

—Don Whittington



Extra!! News of the World

Post061_screenshotsMy news seems
overrun with
gossip, tits, and ass:
Miley’s cleavage,
Nicki’s temper,
outed athletes,
Kardashian’s Probability Theorem,
wardrobe failures.
Politics? I think not.
That’s not coverage
that’s PR, that’s Pander
playing to his god.
We already know what
politicians say
before they say it.
Nothing real in any of it.
What we don’t know is
how the people in Italy feel
about their future,
and what the ladies in Lichtenstein want,
and what matters most
to that Indonesian child,
and how does a Chinese
family relax at home.
Thank goodness for Anthony Bourdain
or I’d have forgotten
the rest of the world altogether,
how it feels to try to
understand a new people, a different culture.
Is that what things have come to?
Are cooks the only people left
who care enough to linger
in conversation
over a table?

—Don Whittington


I must remember, when I’m dead


I must remember, when I’m dead
to stop off at the Bar Playa
to wait for my sweetie.
Or maybe she’ll be waiting for me, instead,
with Manolo standing to the side
checking his watch,
tapping his foot,
putting off his own eternity
so he can once again bring us
café con leche, el doble
and two slices of strangely durable toast.
We can sit at the table on
opposite sides, holding hands
and staring across the Bay of Cadiz
to Africa, to Morocco, to Eden.
“Will you play again tonight at the Red Lion?”
Manolo asks, eyes glinting, cat slitted.
He moves gracefully in his old dark suit
humble service with a knife in his sleeve.
“Old friends will be there,” he threatens,
“ringed men and languid women
who are not afraid to sing and dance,
gypsies who see the future
and can not stop laughing.”
I look at my girl and say,
“What do you think? We’ll miss heaven.”
She squeezes my hand and answers, “No, we won’t.”

—Don Whittington


George Orwell


George Orwell
minor writer
twentieth century
(before your time)
book about pigs
not Charlotte’s Web
the other one
pig characters
not Freddie, the other one
animal characters
for children
science fiction adventure stories, too
not Star Trek, the other one
ray guns and plucky heroines
bulky suits
not Star Wars, the other one
bulky suits with
big old helmets
room enough
for a human head
plus a mongoose
plus a couple of rats
animal rats, though
not the other ones
he’s dead now
health is doubleplusungood
you should forget him
sit in front of the CCTV instead
read about the fifty shades
not the s&m manual
the other one
no truth (black…)
no lie (…is white)
nothing to see
he’s dead

—Don Whittington


When Jelly Roll speaks


When Jelly Roll speaks
it sounds like a wagon made of sand
is rolling ‘cross a summery lawn,
all whispery, wasting, but moving
always moving to the slow snake rhythm
of a sure, sexual heartbeat.
Tell me baby, don’t you like the way I grind…
He says outrageous things.
“I invented jazz. I am jazz,”
and you bite your tongue;
you hold your breath and listen
‘cause it might be true, it might!
All these young boys and girls who imagine themselves brave
should go back and listen to how a gentleman speaks,
how a dangerous man can snap propriety like a pencil.
There is lightning in those finger-breaking hands
and a sureness that makes the sporting girls
believe some days that they are fresh and creamy,
duck-butter spread on a pallett on the floor.
There is gentility in his speech and precision in his posture
and you realize, holy cow, he might be
if not the font, then one of three, or maybe four
or maybe he really is: the beginning, the father
of almost everything you ever danced to, ever.
Because it might just be true, it probably is.
What a hell of a thing.
Listen to him speak, mark his cadence,
and tell me there isn’t goosh in everything he says.
How can you doubt he invented jazz?
What is jazz anyway, but so much sex in the air?
The gentleman’s name is Mister Jelly Roll Morton!
Tell me baby, don’t you like the way I grind?

—Don Whittington



there was a time
when saturday really meant something
the networks cleared the decks on a saturday morning
it was all for the kids
no news, no sports, no talk shows
they wouldn’t dare
overture, light the lights
this is it, the night of nights
we had everything to choose from
that’s what it felt like
three hours to get breakfast down your throat
three hours to learn your merchandise
three hours that were all yours
then bolt into the day supercharged
and gay, zorros on bicycles
saving the world
free to be unaware for just this little while
free to scramble and ramble all over town
and all over town the big folks
got out of your way
on Saturday—
those were the days

—Don Whittington


i don’t want to scare anybody

vingt and apres

i don’t want to scare anybody
but when i lift my head in the morning
i can feel the world kick into gear
i hear things come to life for the first time
all of you who think you woke before me
are just fooling yourselves
my assembly of reality each day
puts those presumptions in your
imagined minds—
i am telling you this to free you
if you are not in my personal space
if you don’t cross the border of my self-founded country
then by all means indulge yourselves
because whatever you do, it isn’t real
be d’Artagnan if you wish
it bears not on my life at all
except in that it might be reported to me
by my own contrary fantasy
but if you are in direct contact with yours truly
then for heaven’s sake please wait until you’ve brought my coffee
before you go make trouble
with that saucy Annette

—Don Whittington


Deep Thinks To Be Used In Future Poems


What is life?

What is truth?

Does anybody know what time it really is?

I disapprove of the way other people poop.

On the other hand you have different fingers.

Does God love me?

I used to have such promise, but now I have a cold.

The fool is the analog of the sage, and parsley and thyme are pissed off about it.

We have less need for a mechanism to cut spending, than for one to cut stupidity.

Dope dealers should stop short of shipping a “record amount” next time.

Everybody has something they want blown out of proportion.

Does the universe swing to a woman’s hips? Really?

What is a man? What is a woman? Which do I prefer?

To be old and to be cool is kind of unexpected.

The new American art form/career: Being a person of interest.

If the government taps my phone, can I drink from it?

Here is what I think, old man: More of these people should be chastised.

I suspect life would have been better had Ennio Morricone scored my bathroom breaks.

And that was the year your grandmother and I moved to Antarctica to grow tobacco.

—Don Whittington


i am an awkward patient


i am an awkward patient
when i am sick
i prefer to be alone
if the doctor could just call and
leave his opinion with
the lady at the liquor store
my health care
would be perfect
i do not want rubs or kisses or hugs
i can make my own tea
my own soup—
go be the hero
in someone else’s fever—
i do not want to be healed
i just want to be well

—Don Whittington


Inaugural Songs Upon the Breeze


Denise, here’s your sundae
he said
with chocolate and strawberry
and here for you,
my Addie Mae
a slab of pound cake with a scoop
of Rocky Road
Miss Carole is having the banana split
and Cynthia gets her gooey parfait
what are you having? Carole asked
they had come to be with him
it tickled him
I could tell
he smiled his smile
and whipped out an ice cream cone
like a carny with a kewpie doll
the girls all laughed and laughed and laughed
blessed  group
You’ll miss the inaugural, I said
I’m on my way, I said
but they never even looked at me
just giggled and spooned their ice cream
so cold
that wisps of vapor
like smoke from smouldering  wood
curled in their faces
I sat there in my booth and could not move
while outside
things went on and on and on
then I awoke to find
that other whole shebang
was over
okay with me
I’d been where I should be

—Don Whittington