Other Poems

Just in case you wondered… I don’t ALWAYS write about breast cancer. In fact, these days I rarely write about it.

So here are a couple of my “Other” poems…

But first, I want to show off!

Garrison Keillor Read My Poem on Writer’s Almanac!

Guess what! Garrison Keillor read one of my poems — a sonnet on Bathrooms! — on Writer’s Almanac.

And it gets even better! He did it on my BIRTHDAY! It happened in the year when my book came out — and I sent him a copy, hoping that maybe he’ll enjoy them.

And one day, I got an email from one of his team members, asking me if he could read my poem “Bathrooms” on his Writer’s Almanac program. Of COURSE he could!

And so he did:

Garrison Keillor Reads Elisabeth Kuhn’s Poem on Writer’s Almanac

All I could say was, “Woo Hoo!” I LOVE Garrison Keillor, and listening to him read my poem on the air just totally blew me away!
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***

And here are two more of my poems. The first tells a true story… and is dedicated to Les Blank, my favorite film maker!

Gap-Toothed Woman

for Les Blank

I stopped smiling
With my mouth open
When I was ten.

No photograph shows my teeth
Except one or two
That caught me off guard.

When I was twenty-four,
My boyfriend made a comment
About someone else’s gap:
It was just like mine.
Startled, I asked, “You noticed?”
“I noticed,” he laughed,
“The first time we met.”

When I was thirty,
I met a dentist
Who fixed gaps.
For three-thousand dollars,
He would file down
My teeth and hide them
With caps.

I cut smiles
From magazines
And held them in front of mine:
Before, and after.
But looking
At paper perfect teeth,
I found myself staring
At a stranger.

*

One day, I watched a film
About gap-toothed women
That told my story.
Because of the gap,
One woman said, we did things
Instead of sitting and waiting
For Prince Charming –

She drew cartoons.
I played violin,
Learned karate and earned
A Ph.D. in linguistics.

There was the Lady of Bath
With her lusty appetite.
Cleopatra had a gap in her teeth.
So did Lauren Hutton.

My own big teeth
With their gap
Were white, even, planted
In healthy gums.

When the lights came on,
I walked out smiling
With my mouth open.
.
.
.***

And here’s an all-time favorite poem of mine.

Please note that it contains some German words. Don’t worry if you don’t know what they mean. That’s not the point. Just imagine what they sound like 🙂

Also, just catch one of my poetry readings and you’ll see…

It’s my personal theory of the connection between how languages work — and table manners…

Table Manners

“Don’t talk with your mouth full!”
Miss Manners says – Sprudel bestellt
and the Germans obey. They rarely speak
while they chew. – Strümpfe, Strapse

Americans, though, harbor a fear
of the pause and Miss Manners agrees:
“A lull in conversation bodes badly.”
Pfropfen – Germans believe
silence is golden. I’ve never mastered
the fine art of – Tröpfchen – eating
and speaking with aplomb.

My dinner dates want to know: “Why
aren’t you finished yet?” And when I
Streichholzschächtelchen
take a bite, they ask, “Tell me
about where you grew up.”
What to do? – Pforzheim
Empty my mouth to say I would
please like to eat before
my steak gets cold?

Meanwhile the waiter keeps trying
to take my plate. Miss Manners
says we must never value food
above company.
The solution? Meet friends for tea
and eat out alone.
But when I do, the waiter fills in:
“So where are you from?”

..
***

Like these poems? Why not sign up for my updates (top right!). I’ll send you an occasional poem or musings about writing or poetry, and news about any poetry readings I might do.

And of course, you can also get an autographed copy of my book if you like:

CLICK HERE to get your Autographed Copy of Average C-Cup!

And why not check out the main page if you haven’t already, or the about page where I talk about how all of this came about 😉

Oh, and one last thing…

Please share this site and my poems with your friends!

Thanks a million!

Elisabeth

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