Mad Lib Elegy

By Ben Lerner b. 1979 Ben Lerner
There are starving children left on your plate.
There are injuries without brains.
Migrant workers spend 23 hours a day
removing tiny seeds from mixtures
they cannot afford to smoke
and cannot afford not to smoke.
Entire nations are ignorant of the basic facts
of hair removal and therefore resent
our efforts to depilate unsightly problem areas.
Imprisonment increases life expectancy.
Finish your children. Adopt an injury.
           ‘I'm going to my car. When I get back,
           I'm shooting everybody.'
                                [line omitted in memory of_______]


70% of pound animals will be euthanized.
94% of pound animals would be euthanized
if given the choice. The mind may be trained
to relieve itself on paper. A pill
for your safety, a pill for her pleasure.
Neighbors are bothered by loud laughter
but not by loud weeping.
Massively multiplayer zombie-infection web-games
are all the rage among lifers.
The world is a rare case of selective asymmetry.
The capitol is redolent of burnt monk.
           ‘I'm going to my car. When I get back
           I'm shooting everybody.'
                                 [line omitted in memory of _______]


There are two kinds of people in the world:
those that condemn parking lots as monstrosities,
‘the ruines of a broken World,' and those
that respond to their majesty emotionally.
70% of the planet is covered in parking lots.
94% of a man's body is parking lot.
Particles of parking lot have been discovered
in the permanent shadows of the moon.
There is terror in sublimity.
If Americans experience sublimity
the terrorists have won.
          ‘I'm going to my car. When I get back
          I'm shooting everybody.'
                                [line omitted in memory of _______]


Ben Lerner, "Mad Lib Elegy" from Fascicle website. Copyright © 2010 by Ben Lerner.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: Fascicle website (2010)

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Poet Ben Lerner b. 1979

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Class, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

 Ben  Lerner

Biography

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, poet and editor Ben Lerner earned a BA in political science and an MFA in creative writing from Brown University, and was a Fulbright scholar in Madrid.
 
Lerner is the author of several full-length poetry collections, including Mean Free Path (2010) and Angle of Yaw (2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award. His sonnet sequence, The . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Class, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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