Friday, May 4, 2012

The Biscuit City Exceptionally Immodest Poetry Series Presents a Poem by Dan Verner, Who Has No Shame

Along with several other Facebook friends, I wrote a poem a day to observe National Poetry Month in April. Some people actually have asked me to share these poems on Biscuit City, so here is the first one. If I run one a week, it will be about December by the time they're all presented. Thanks to all who encouraged me in this, and to those who have not read them yet, enjoy!

                              Bus Stop

When I was teaching,
I read or a student read
A Poem of the Day
To start the class.
It was a tradition
And some students said
It was the best part
Of the class.
I'd agree, most days.

I chose the poem
Out of one of several collections,
Mostly edited by
Garrison Keillor,
Daughter Alyssa's literary nemesis,
Although she objects to
His style rather than his content
Having experienced M. Keillor
As a high school student
With his "Writer's Almanac" feature
On National...Public...Radio,
Inflicted by her English teacher,
A station on which, she says
The announcers speak slowly
And deliberately as if they
Knew somehow
They were addressing
Old people.

I know, youth is wasted
On the young and I exact
Some satisfaction
By reminding her that she
And her friends
Will pay my social security.

In any case, when I retired from teaching
Some nine years ago this July,
My department gave me a book of
Read-aloud poems
Edited by you-know-who
And Lisa Green, my department chair,
Allowed as how I would go out in my
Neighborhood every morning
And read to the kids
At the bus stop.

A school bus stops right outside my house
And each school morning
I hear the quiet sleepy talk
Of the students as they wait
For the roaring yellow machine
To take them away
To another seven hours
Of high school.

I want to take my book of poetry
And go out to them
And read them a
Poem of the Day
To fortify them against
All that day will bring
But that would be too weird
And so
I don't

(But sometimes
When the house is quiet
And they are standing in silent clusters
at the bus stop
I go into the living room
And there
Read them
A Poem of the Day.)


  1. So good to see you being immodest, Dan, though I have to say, when I glanced at the title of this post, I was expecting something risque. Ah, words and their varied meanings...

  2. Take this or leave it as you wish, but I think this would be an even better poem if you pared it down to the last three or four paragraphs. Just a thought.

  3. I agree that the last three stanzas are the best. They also have the most universal meaning, of course, so would "speak" to more people. I agree, however, that it is just a thought.
    BUT I DO LIKE IT AS-IS as well!
    It takes courage to "put them out here" Dan - keep it up!