David Robert Books

Home

Catalog

Submissions

Ordering Information: Bookstores and Individuals

Permissions/Reprints

Course Adoption

Newsletter

Contact

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us on Facebook



Privacy Policy

Site design: Skeleton

Sample Poems by Kim Bridgford


Surprise Party

Don’t let unexpected situations throw you.
Lucky Numbers 33, 14, 27, 16, 37, 49

Instead embrace the shock of people leaping
Out from behind your furniture and drapes:
Forget you felt your years were slowly creeping,
Fossilizing into yours for keeps.

Laugh at the mugs proclaiming hills you’re over,
The black balloons, the silly underwear,
Victoria’s Secret, strings not made for cover,
The wine lined up for years you cannot bear.

And if you hate surprises, would have liked
A solitary dinner, know that others
Will have that fear of numbers, just like you.
It’s best to grab some punch (of course, it’s spiked),
Then put your birthday arms around what bothers,
And tell the breathless crowd, “I never knew.”


Stringed Instrument

Don’t spend time stringing and tuning your instrument. Start making music now.
Lucky Numbers 33, 2, 37, 48, 1, 26

So what if your strings break. How many strings
Does someone need? Make smaller music then,
And if your instrument is out of tune,
Do not despair. Play melancholy songs.

This fetishizing takes a lot of time—
The strings intact and sounding as they should,
The concert-goers waiting for what’s good.
(The same is true when worrying a rhyme.)

Just play. And if it’s not quite what you thought,
Remember that, so often, errors heard—
The ones that woke you up, caught in your throat—
The audience missed. Don’t reach for what is hard.
Convince yourself that there is no lost ground
Between perfection and what’s merely sound.


The Ship

Don’t wait for your ship to come in; swim out to it.
Lucky Numbers 5, 17, 11, 34, 7, 42

It is invigorating just to swim—
Activity that swerves from the pedantic.
Yet what if as you’re paddling limb by limb,
The ship you’re swimming to is the Titanic?

Perhaps that’s just the way that poets learn,
That when they finally see the dream’s true price—
The beauty of its shape from prow to stern—
It runs into a startling piece of ice.

Maybe it’s better to keep it down to size,
The dream of glory destined to capsize:
Instead the ship that’s making its last run,
Retirees on the edge of what was fun,
Or something smaller yet, for one or two,
The barely glimpsed tight smile of a canoe.



The Elephant in the Room

Don’t kiss an elephant on the lips today.
Lucky Numbers 21, 4, 38, 49, 5, 11

Choose another way to conduct yourself.
Don’t kiss an elephant on the lips today,
As much as you might like to. Just play golf,
Or take a trip to feed your urge to play.

Don’t kiss an elephant on the lips today.
If it’s romance you want, check personal ads—
Or take a trip to feed your urge to play.
Don’t be a prisoner to these passing fads.

If it’s romance you want, check personal ads
(You might find elephants turn others on).
Don’t be a prisoner to these passing fads,
But go for broke—the trunk, the lips, the skin,

As much as you might like to—or just play golf.
Choose another way to conduct yourself.