Chuck Berry is a Poem (by Cornelius Eady)

Chuck Berry

by Cornelius Eady

Hamburger wizard,

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry

Loose-limbed instigator,

V-8 engine, purring for a storm

The evidence of a tight skirt, viewed from

the window of a moving city bus,

Yelling her name, a spell, into the glass.

The amazing leap, from nobody to stockholder,

(Look, Ma, no hands), piped through a hot amp.

Figure skater on the rim of the invisible class wall,

The strength of the dreamer who wakes up, and it’s

Monday, a week of work, but gets out of bed

The unsung desire of the check-out clerk

The shops of the sleepy backwater town,

waiting for the kid to make good,

to chauffer home

The twang of the New Jersey turnpike

in the wee, wee hours.

The myth of the lover as he passes, blameless

through the walls.

The fury hidden in the word almost.

The fury hidden in the word please.

The dream of one’s name in lights,

Of sending the posse on the wrong trail,

Shaking the wounded Indian’s hand, a brother.

The pulse of a crowd, knowing that the police

Have pushed in the door, dancing regardless

The frenzy of the word go.

The frenzy of the word go.

The frenzy of the word go.

The spark between the thought of the kiss

and receiving the kiss,

The tension in these words:

You Can’t Dance.

The amazing duck walk

The understanding that all it’s going to take

is one fast song.

The triumph in these words:

Bye-bye New Jersey, as if rising

from a shallow grave.

The soda-jerk who plots doo-wop songs,

The well-intentioned Business School student

who does what she’s told, suspects

they’re keeping it hid.

Mr. Rock-n-Roll-jump-over

(or get left behind),

Mr. Taxes? Who, me? Money beat,

Money beat, you can’t catch me,

(but they do),

A perpetual well of quarters in the pocket.

The incalculable hit of energy in the voice

of a 16 year-old as her favorite band

hits the stage,

And 10,000 pair of eyes look for what they’re after:

Cornelius Eady

Cornelius Eady


And 10,000 voices roar for it:


And a multitude you wouldn’t care to count

surrounds the joint, waits for their opportunity

to break in.

[Cornelius Eady teaches at the University of Missouri]

Punxatawney Phil Talks to Me on Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil Talks to Me on Groundhog Day

                                                  by Lew Rosenbaum

Every year the “Inner Circle” pushes me

Out of my comfortable lair

So they can laugh when I scamper back into my home

The "Inner Circle" extracts a prediction from Punxatawney Phil

The “Inner Circle” extracts a prediction from Punxsutawney Phil

At the sight of my own shadow.

I’m sick of it.

I’m tired of being their plaything, their


Sure they feed me crumbs all through the year,

Just so they can watch this annual charade.

They make millions of dollars on

Punxsutawney Phil dolls.

It’s the one day of the year that meteorologists

Take the day off, leave the predictions to me.

If I  run from my shadow (again!),

It’s six more weeks of winter.

It’s the six more weeks of winter for all of us,

Six more weeks of scarcity.

The six more weeks that stretch

Through the entire year.

Think about it. Being scared of our shadows

Is the human condition, not only groundhog


Whose shadow is that really? For the groundhog

It could be a hawk, eagle, or fox. For humans?

President, General, Mayor, cop, boss.

I’m sick of it. You should be too.

Groundhogs are going on strike.

We’re ready for roots, berries and grubs without threats.

What kind of world are you ready to make?

From Wikipedia: Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby is a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. On February 2 (Groundhog Day) of each year, the town of Punxsutawney celebrates the legendary groundhog with a festive atmosphere of music and food. During the ceremony, which begins well before the winter sunrise, Phil emerges from his temporary home on Gobbler’s Knob, located in a rural area about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of town. According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter-like weather. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an “early spring.”[1] The date of Phil’s prognostication is known as Groundhog Day in the United States and Canada, and has been celebrated since 1887.

A select group, called the Inner Circle, takes care of Phil year-round and also plans the annual ceremony. Members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle are recognizable by their top hats and tuxedos.

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