Per Contra Spring 2009 Light Verse Supplement

 

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James Zerndt

 

 

Two Figures of Speech Walk into a Bar

Simile: Iíll have, um, like a beer.

Bartender: You got it. How about your friend here?

Metaphor: Iíll have a warm hand
                    massaging my soul.

Bartender: I donít think we have that.

Simile: Iím sorry. Heíll have, um, like a whiskey.

 

 

 

First Poetry Reading


They all do it in
the same
ca-
dence.

I discover that night
a kind of DNA to poetry-
something that makes the words climb up
and down a ladder,
their feet pausing
where the rungs twist
with irony.

Afterwards I sit in a restaurant,
pick up a menu, and give
my first reading to an audience
of silverware:

Meatballs
with Parmesan
and Egg
Plant
drenched in a hearty
red sauce
Seven
Nine-
ty
Nine.

 

 

James Zerndtís poetry has most recently appeared in The Oregonian Newspaper and Slipstream Magazine. He was named runner-up in Playboy's 2008 college fiction contest. He lives in Portland, Oregon where he rarely speaks about himself in the third person.

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