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Love of Slapstick

  • Come, spritz of seltzer in the face,
  • implacable banana peel.
  • Come, brickbats, pratfalls, amazing grace-
  • lessness, the yowl of the schlemiel.
  • Away with wit, you clever flights
  • of phrase it takes a Ph.D.
  • to explicate. One good food fight’s
  • worth fifty Oscar Wildes to me.
  • A can of paint on Keaton’s head,
  • another on his foot: what bliss,
  • God bless the doofuses who spread
  • the net he manages to miss.
  • Come, whoopee cushions, slamming doors.
  • Come, bops and jabs and spit-takes sprayed
  • on brides by grooms with falling drawers,
  • O heaven of the seventh grade!
  • No sadism this, no black desire,
  • just Larry, Moe, and Curly’s woes,
  • the thousand gouges that conspire
  • to make the milk come out my nose.
  • Come, O pie-faced end: feet glued to
  • the floor, my tie caught in the gears,
  • the audience in stitches who
  • can’t help but laugh themselves to tears.

Roy Mash is a longtime board member of Marin Poetry Center. He holds degrees in English, philosophy, and computer science, though he claims that he currently doodles his time away staring out of café windows, dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel and mentally thumbing over his poems that have appeared widely in journals such as AGNI, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Passages North, Poetry East, RHINO, and River Styx. His first full-length book, Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove Collections), was published in 2014.

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  • Come, spritz of seltzer in the face,
  • implacable banana peel.
  • Come, brickbats, pratfalls, amazing grace-
  • lessness, the yowl of the schlemiel.
  • Away with wit, you clever flights
  • of phrase it takes a Ph.D.
  • to explicate. One good food fight’s
  • worth fifty Oscar Wildes to me.
  • A can of paint on Keaton’s head,
  • another on his foot: what bliss,
  • God bless the doofuses who spread
  • the net he manages to miss.
  • Come, whoopee cushions, slamming doors.
  • Come, bops and jabs and spit-takes sprayed
  • on brides by grooms with falling drawers,
  • O heaven of the seventh grade!
  • No sadism this, no black desire,
  • just Larry, Moe, and Curly’s woes,
  • the thousand gouges that conspire
  • to make the milk come out my nose.
  • Come, O pie-faced end: feet glued to
  • the floor, my tie caught in the gears,
  • the audience in stitches who
  • can’t help but laugh themselves to tears.

Roy Mash is a longtime board member of Marin Poetry Center. He holds degrees in English, philosophy, and computer science, though he claims that he currently doodles his time away staring out of café windows, dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel and mentally thumbing over his poems that have appeared widely in journals such as AGNI, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Passages North, Poetry East, RHINO, and River Styx. His first full-length book, Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove Collections), was published in 2014.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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