Cat in Hat
Despite the fact that he was a leftie (cf. various Marxist analyses of Horton Hears a Who), I’m hating Dr. Seuss more and more each day, even as Maisie likes him more and more. All those damned monosyllables. But I’ve discovered that, while Jim is reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to Maisie out loud, it is possible to read certain adult poems to myself in the same room without being too distracted. One is Allen Ginsberg’s “America,” his best poem, one of the best poems of the last century, and now officially awarded Honorary Mommypoem status.
“Bump, Bump, Bump, Did you ever ride a Wump?” Jim will read.
And I’ll be reading (to myself): “Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb”
“We have a Wump with just one hump.”
“I don’t feel good don’t bother me”
“My hat is old. My teeth are gold. I have a bird I like to hold.”
“America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.”
“The moon was out and we saw some sheep…”
“America when will you be angelic?”
“We saw some sheep take a walk in their sleep”
“When will you take off your clothes?”
“I like to box. How I like to box. So, every day, I box a Gox.”
“America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die.”
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
“America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.”
Daisy Fried is the author of Women's Poetry: Poems and Advice (2013), My Brother is Getting Arrested Again (2006) and She Didn’t Mean to Do It (2000), all from University of Pittsburgh Press. She was awarded the Editors' Prize for Feature Article from Poetry magazine in 2009.