Cupids Health

Three Poems (by Mitch Sisskind)

We learned how if the ship goes down you

Can make a life-preserver of your shirt

By taking it off and slamming it down onto

The water with the air inside so the shirt

Bubbles up and then you can hold onto it.


If you don’t have a shirt you can do

The same thing with your pants by

Taking your pants off and then you

Trap the air in your pants as described

Above to form the pants life-preserver.


If you have neither shirt nor pants

You can make a life-preserver out of

Your hat by slamming your hat onto

The water as described above to

Make yourself a hat life-preserver.


They said if you fuckers are going

To grab for your crotch we want you

To do it here and not when the ship

Is burning and actually a few fellows

Did end up grabbing for their crotches.

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Just as there are names we mustn’t speak,

Questions to remain unasked, proscribed

Mentations, even downright hilarious jokes

That ought never be told whether at the

Water cooler or in a duck-hunting blind,

Yes, that’s all well and good but when

You slip up (as you will) bite your tongue,

Spit three times over your shoulder and

With whatever heartfelt sincerity you can

Possibly muster say, “Feh! Feh! Feh!”

Is it a perfect solution? No. But at least

You’ll not be cast into outer darkness.


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We never missed You Bet Your Life,

Groucho’s quiz show, my father and I

Awaiting the secret word no matter

How week after week that word was

Unspoken until at last the $100 duck

To spontaneous applause descended.

But enough of that. The strange part

Was one night riding with Groucho

In an elevator, he in a French beret

And accompanied by a much younger

Woman, how as Mitzi the dachshund

Approached him he was so frightened

With none of the sarcastic aplomb

We associated with him, Lou and I.


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