A Sampler of Short Poems & Epigrams for an Autumn Day

Cover of the author’s 1997 chapbook. NOTE: My Lesson in Graphic Design: Some readers were confused as to why the chapbook was entitled ‘PIGRAMMAR.’


By douglas john imbrogno | oct13.2022 | TheStoryIsTheThing.com

The epigram is not well-represented in the World of Poetry of 2022. Yet I find myself drawn to the concision and tweet-like thrust of epigrams and short poems. That is especially so when fleeing the endless avalanche of bad-news-of-the-world. Or when needing a break from my current consuming focus on a book-length “sorta memoir,” tentatively titled “Confessions of a Failed Boulevardier.” (For news of its release free subscribe to this site’s substack newsletter). Going short and epigrammatic can be a palate cleanser, I tell you.


Higher Education

My teachers have begun
to die —
No matter.
They live on
in rented rooms
Behind my inner eye.


War No. 2

Start up a war
with sticks and stones.
Come to find
you need
other people’s
bones.


Lament

I am an artist
and some days

it is not enough.


Time Card

look,
you have this
much
time
to say it.

so,
say
it.


In 1997, I produced the limited-edition chapbook “EPIGRAMMAR: Short Poems and Epigrams for a Post-Dow Industrial, Anti-Delusional Age” (from which the four pieces above come). In researching my book project, I have been pouring through stacks of old journals, jotting down short poems and epigrams dropped in pages along the way.

So, I am compiling a new volume for release in 2023: “EPIGRAMMAR 2: Short Poems and Epigrams for an Un-Disoriented Day.” I’ll read from both chapbooks live, during a Leaf Walk on The Carriage Trail in Charleston, WV, starting 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct 16, part of the citywide FestivFALL event. I perform & declaim for 10 minutes starting 1:30 p.m., along with other poets, musicians, and entertainment scattered up and down the half-mile trail.


Platitude-less

You may say
what you please. But,
please, no platitudes.

It is in poor taste
to don borrowed
attitudes.


Good To See You

Forget those
hangers-on,
Time and Death,

Consort instead,
with your host,
Breath.

~ from the forthcoming “EPIGRAMMAR 2: Short Poems and Epigrams for an Un-Disoriented Day”


I released the first “EPIGRAMMAR” via ‘A-OK Poetry Press,’ a somewhat imaginary press, which will also release ‘EPIGRAMMAR 2.’ This will ensure all its contents are ‘100-percent pure, organic poetry,’ as certified by the American Organic Poetry Association, an Affiliate of the International Order of Muses, Musicians, Soundmakers, Wordsmiths, Shamans & Bellhops Guild.


Thought Experiment No. 1

Can you imagine
how awfully loud
would be

the crash of a
glass and a
ceramic cloud?


Sayonara

When all is
dead and done,
and Chaos is God again,

what a blessed relief!
From: Who, What, Why,
Where, When?


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PS: Lost Instructions


How to Get Lost

I wonder as I amble, wandering deep
into the woods. And see that I am lost.
What am I saying? That I am lost?
Or that the recognition I am lost is a
sort of liberation from disorientation?

Conferring a state of mind upon the
state of confusion, a state which
normally lacks a compass. I am found,
then. Found where I was lost. At the
exact spot I determined I was lost.


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