Sunday, April 29, 2012

Facial Hair, an Ode, by Isaac Brooks

Sing praises, Muse, of man who wears a mane,
who grows a beard magnificent and fair,
and grieve, O Muse, for man whose chin is plain,
who dares to scar his face and shave it bare.
A fuzzy 'stache and sideburns thick with hair
do form the very badge of manliness;
the warrior who wills to whiskers wear
rejoices in his face's shagginess.
Not so the blockhead who with barrenness
betrays a baby's chin, bereft and nude.
The consequence is sickly puniness
and for his senseless shave he's sorely screwed.
I beg all men to grow what beard they can.
A man without a beard is not a man!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Table for Three, by Ava Yap

Both of you are seated when I enter the room
To the smell of dried roses and smoky perfume
The candlelight flicker sways the dimly lit hall
Making tables for two dance in a masquerade ball
I pull up a seat, the floor groans with despair
I sit down to stilted talk and stiff wooden chairs
Your spine pulled taut like a tamed violin string
Your voice resonates in a shrill, high-pitched din
His body slouched over and his expression grave
His limp hand musters a small, perfunctory wave
I ventured a smile, a strange act of care
You laugh nervously, very aware
That he stays quiet, and so you stare
Hard between “Red Velvet Cake” and “Candied Pear”
At this point dessert is a distant affair
Butter knives dangling, words hang in the air
Sometimes I wish for your eyes to stop darting
To and fro like a frantic animal, panicking
So frightened of peering into the depths of his eyes
Afraid of what would happen if you loosen your strings
And be the bold, buoyant Belle I knew as a friend
Leap out of the wood, and the sticks, and the stares
Make the Hail Mary pass and laugh at the mess
So that I don’t have to be here
So that I could just disappear
But instead here we are; him, you, and me
On Valentine’s Day with a table for three