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Poetry By
  Michaela A. Gabriel

Published on: 4/2/2009
Seven Things to Consider When Complaining About the Weather

make sure you are not talking to winter
enthusiasts before shivering disapproval
of icicles, harsh snowflakes. the wind chill
factor could increase a thousandfold.

before muttering curses under your breath,
ask flowers how they feel about spring rain.
bring an umbrella, rephrase your anger.

don't complain to your neighbour about
moisture in the air. she can't distinguish
certain letters without a hearing aid. you'll
sweat blood trying to put the D back in humility.

when storms sweep the streets, don't shout
against the wind. words will be blown back
in your face, irritate eyes like particles of dust.

imitating the staccato of hail on
tin roofs will result in loss of credibility.
distance yourself from the source of chagrin,
whisper, write armies of exclamation marks.

rants about current conditions must not last
longer than it takes a frog to climb his ladder,
weather vanes to spin twice in the breeze.

dark towers demand respect, their name
whispered in awe: nimbocumulus. marvel
that a word melting like pink cotton candy
speaks of rain, gloom, a god's magic hammer.

Published on: 9/23/2008
November Rules of Conduct

sharpen your dorothy parker attitude
between mouthfuls of stale arguments
at the kitchen table. castigating pears
simply isn't an option at this time of year.

count your freckles by moonlight, divide
the number by seven and you know how long
you'll have to wait for a poinsettia sunrise.

copy out heretical quotes from every
banned book you read cover to cover,
declaim them every time red wine and
cayman island postcards let you down.

hide all knives on lonely evenings.
the great kitchen monster might stir
in its sleep, awake to the brilliance of blades.

do not discuss wittgenstein with your
reflection. philosophical investigations
into the language game are like playing
peek-a-boo with faces seen from a train.

break at least one rule, but don't
expect chuckles for disregarding this one.
smartness cannot be that cheap.

hire a cleaner called magda. her polish
flood of words, broad hips and silver hair
will frighten books into neat rows, dust
out of every corner. shipshape's the word.

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