National Poetry Month– a chat with my brother-in-law

(Yes, I posting this on the 1st of May. After poetry month is over. But it is before many on the West Coast wake up and start their May. So I’m counting it!)

I can tell you that I’m positive I’ve never had a conversation about poetry with my brother-in-law, but I recently read a poem on his blog that cracked me up. It’s probably not considered literature; it’s a little more on the absurd side of the spectrum. But my brother-in-law liked it enough to post it, and I laughed enough that I had to ask him about it. And guess what, dear readers? His answers to me revealed something about how unexpectedly a poem can get into your head, or your heart, when you hear it out loud.

The poem my brother-in-law David shared was "A Fat Man’s Prayer". He’d heard it performed by Victor Buono, one of his favorite actors. David says, "my relationship with poetry is exactly what I said on my blog. I heard it. I liked it. I shared it." Suffice it to say, David isn’t searching for poetry to connect with. But hey, sometimes poetry finds us. You hear it, you like it, you share it. Which makes me think we should read more poetry out loud. From the street corners. From the rooftops. On top of our chairs in crowded restaurants. More chances for people to fall in love with poetry.

Ahem. Okay, I digress.

So, here in all its glory, is the poem that caught my brother-in-law’s attention, and that made me laugh out loud. And reader, though it might be considered doggerel by some, if you can keep yourself from laughing out loud by the time you reach the Jujubee line, well, then, you just might be hard-hearted. 🙂

A Fat Man’s Prayer

by Victor Buono

Lord, my soul is ripped with riot,

Incited by my wicked diet.

We are what we eat, said a wise old man,

And Lord, if that’s true, I’m a garbage can!

I want to rise on Judgment Day, that’s plain,

But at my present weight, I’ll need a crane!

So grant me strength that I may not fall

Into the clutches of cholesterol.

May my flesh with carrot curls be sated

That my soul may be polyunsaturated.

And show me the light that I may bear witness

To the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

At oleomargarine I’ll never mutter,

For the road to hell is spread with butter.

And cake is cursed, and cream is awful,

And Satan is hiding in every waffle.

Mephistopheles lurks in provolone,

The devil is in each slice of bologna,

Beelzebub is a chocolate drop,

And Lucifer is a lollipop!

Give me this day my daily slice –

But cut it thin and toast it twice.
I beg upon my dimpled knees,

Deliver me from Jujubees.

And my when days of trial are done

And my war with malted milks is won,

Let me stand with the saints in heaven

In a shining robe – Size 37!

I can do it, Lord, if you’ll show to me

The virtues of lettuce and celery.

If you’ll teach me the evils of mayonnaise,

The sinfulness of hollandaise

And pasta a la milanese

And potatoes a la lyonaise

And crisp fried chicken from the south!

Lord, if you love me, SHUT MY MOUTH!

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