There are few poems that make me what to laugh out loud, that fully place me in the world of the speaker; this is one of those poems.
by Hattie Gossett
it is raining in my apartment! yes, thats right. raining.
the water is falling freely in the living room, in the hallway, and
in the bathroom.
i have had many promises from you and the super that the holes
in my ceilings would be fixed. but somehow the promises have not
been kept, and so now it is raining in my apartment. (perhaps its
your empty promises and not raindrops that are falling?)
i would like to pay my rent. especially since i owe so much. i have
even purchased money orders and made them out to your corpo-
ration. but to tell you the honest truth, there is something inside
me that just wont let me mail these money orders to you as long
as it continues raining in my apartment.
so i am sending you these xerox copies of the money orders instead.
(see enclosed documents marked exhibit a, exhibit b, etc.) as soon
as the holes have been repaired and it stops raining in my apart-
ment, i will be more than happy to mail the original money orders
Everything about this poem works. From the ironic humor to the lack of punctuation to the formatting of the letter, everything is perfect. Hattie Gossett has a series of poems along this vein, and each one is better than the next.
I’ve always wanted to try to teach my students about the joy of the “found” poem, but I’m always afraid that they will laugh it off and say that it’s just nonsense. As I’m typing now, I’m thinking that this might be the perfect way to introduce that concept.