Today's poem is by Bob Hicok

A celebration of lasting achievment

The man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey" died.
Morning puts its left foot in, trees and wind
shaking it all about. I remember
how big the bus seemed, like it had swallowed
all the yellow crayons. I flunked taking a nap.
A dance that taught us, these are the hinges,
use them. Once you know left from right,
you can get anywhere. It occurs to me
there's got to be a porn version
of "'The Hokey Pokey," but I'll have milk
and cookies, I'll be innocent today.
That he knew turning ourselves around
is what it's all about, elevates him
to the top of the songwriter/choreographer/
philosopher list. The joke about him
and the grave: he put his right leg in,
he pulled his right leg out. Funny.
Simple is hard to do, I bet
it was the highlight of his life,
realizing we want to join the circle
but can't. There's a version
of "'The Hokey Pokey" done around a fire.
You put your alcoholism in, you pull
the time you broke your wife's eye socket
out, you put your misanthropy in,
and you shake it all about.
This is what was once known as a "downer,"
kids. Really, I love joy, spinning,
spinning joy. Thank you, Larry LaPrise.
We'll forget you but not your song,
or we'll forget your song but not
that our left shoe is not our right shoe,
though where they are at any point in time,
and are they together, is alienation
inevitable, who knows.

Copyright © 2007 Bob Hicok All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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