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Best Famous Russell Edson Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Russell Edson poems. This is a select list of the best famous Russell Edson poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Russell Edson poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Russell Edson poems.

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Written by Russell Edson |

The Melting

 An old woman likes to melt her husband.
She puts him in a melting device, and he pours out the other end in a hot bloody syrup, which she catches in a series of little husband molds.
What splatters on the floor the dog licks up.
When they have set she has seventeen little husbands.
One she throws to the dog because the genitals didn't set right; too much like a vulva because of an air bubble.
Then there are sixteen naked little husbands standing in a row across the kitchen table.
She diddles them and they produce sixteen little erections.
She thinks she might melt her husband again.
She likes melting him.
She might pour him into an even smaller series of husband molds .

Written by Russell Edson |

One Lonely Afternoon

 Since the fern can't go to the sink for a drink of
water, I graciously submit myself to the task, bringing two
glasses from the sink.
And so we sit, the fern and I, sipping water together.
Of course I'm more complex than a fern, full of deep thoughts as I am.
But I lay this aside for the easy company of an afternoon friendship.
I don't mind sipping water with a fern, even though, had I my druthers, I'd be speeding through the sky for Stockholm, sipping a bloody mary with a wedge of lime.
And so we sit one lonely afternoon sipping water together.
The fern looking out of its fronds, and I, looking out of mine .

Written by Russell Edson |


 Out of nothing there comes a time called childhood, which 
is simply a path leading through an archway called 
A small town there, past the arch called youth.
Soon, down the road, where one almost misses the life lived beyond the flower, is a small shack labeled, you.
And it is here the future lives in the several postures of arm on windowsill, cheek on this; elbows on knees, face in the hands; sometimes the head thrown back, eyes staring into the ceiling .
This into nothing down the long day's arc .

More great poems below...

Written by Russell Edson |


 You haven't finished your ape, said mother to father, 
who had monkey hair and blood on his whiskers.
I've had enough monkey, cried father.
You didn't eat the hands, and I went to all the trouble to make onion rings for its fingers, said mother.
I'll just nibble on its forehead, and then I've had enough, said father.
I stuffed its nose with garlic, just like you like it, said mother.
Why don't you have the butcher cut these apes up? You lay the whole thing on the table every night; the same fractured skull, the same singed fur; like someone who died horribly.
These aren't dinners, these are post-mortem dissections.
Try a piece of its gum, I've stuffed its mouth with bread, said mother.
Ugh, it looks like a mouth full of vomit.
How can I bite into its cheek with bread spilling out of its mouth? cried father.
Break one of the ears off, they're so crispy, said mother.
I wish to hell you'd put underpants on these apes; even a jockstrap, screamed father.
Father, how dare you insinuate that I see the ape as anything more thn simple meat, screamed mother.
Well what's with this ribbon tied in a bow on its privates? screamed father.
Are you saying that I am in love with this vicious creature? That I would submit my female opening to this brute? That after we had love on the kitchen floor I would put him in the oven, after breaking his head with a frying pan; and then serve him to my husband, that my husband might eat the evidence of my infidelity .
? I'm just saying that I'm damn sick of ape every night, cried father.

Written by Russell Edson |

The Marionettes Of Distant Masters

 A pianist dreams that he's hired by a wrecking company to 
ruin a piano with his fingers .
On the day of the piano wrecking concert, as he's dressing, he notices a butterfly annoying a flower in his window box.
He wonders if the police should be called.
Then he thinks maybe the butterfly is just a marionette being manipulated by its master from the window above.
Suddenly everything is beautiful.
He begins to cry.
Then another butterfly begins to annoy the first butterfly.
He again wonders if he shouldn't call the police.
But, perhaps they are marionette-butterflies? He thinks they are, belonging to rival masters seeing whose butterfly can annoy the other's the most.
And this is happening in his window box.
The Cosmic Plan: Distant Masters manipulating minor Masters who, in turn, are manipulating tiny butterfly-Masters who, in turn, are manipulating him .
A universe webbed with strings! Suddenly it is all so beautiful; the light is strange .
Something about the light! He begins to cry .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Philosophers

 I think, therefore I am, said a man whose mother quickly 
hit him on the head, saying, I hit my son on the head, 
therefore I am.
No no, you've got it all wrong, cried the man.
So she hit him on the head again and cried, therefore I am.
You're not, not that way; you're supposed to think, not hit, cried the man.
I think, therefore I am, said the man.
I hit, therefore we both are, the hitter and the one who gets hit, said the man's mother.
But at this point the man had ceased to be; unconscious he could not think.
But his mother could.
So she thought, I am, and so is my unconscious son, even if he doesn't know it .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Family Monkey

 We bought an electric monkey, experimenting rather 
recklessly with funds carefully gathered since 
grandfather's time for the purchase of a steam monkey.
We had either, by this time, the choice of an electric or gas monkey.
The steam monkey is no longer being made, said the monkey merchant.
But the family always planned on a steam monkey.
Well, said the monkey merchant, just as the wind-up monkey gave way to the steam monkey, the steam monkey has given way to the gas and electric monkeys.
Is that like the grandfather clock being replaced by the grandchild clock? Sort of, said the monkey merchant.
So we bought the electric monkey, and plugged its umbilical cord into the wall.
The smoke coming out of its fur told us something was wrong.
We had electrocuted the family monkey.

Written by Russell Edson |

Paying The Captain

 We get on a boat, never mind if it sinks, we pay 
the captain by throwing him overboard.
And when he gets back onboard we say, captain, please don't be angry.
And he forgives us this time.
And so we throw him overboard again just to make sure we have fully paid the price we have set upon our passage.
When he gets back onboard he is not anxious to forgive us, and he would like it much better if we would get off his boat.
There is nothing left for us to do but to repay him and hope that this time it will be enough.
And so we throw him overboard again.
When he comes aboard again we say, now this must be the last of this, we will pay no more, we want the journey to begin.
But it seems there will be no journey since we have gotten the captain used to a good thing.
And so we must spend the rest of our days throwing the captain overboard.

Written by Russell Edson |

The Sad Message

 The Captain becomes moody at sea.
He's afraid of water; such bully amounts that prove the seas.
A glass of water is one thing.
A man easily downs it, capturing its menace in his bladder; pissing it away.
A few drops of rain do little harm, save to remind of how grief looks upon the cheek.
One day the water is willing to bear your ship upon its back like a liquid elephant.
The next day the elephant doesn't want you on its back, and says, I have no more willingness to have you there; get off.
At sea this is a sad message.
The Captain sits in his cabin wearing a parachute, listening to what the sea might say.

Written by Russell Edson |

The Pilot

 Up in a dirty window in a dark room is a star 
which an old man can see.
He looks at it.
He can see it.
It is the star of the room; an electrical freckle that has fallen out of his head and gotten stuck in the dirt on the window.
He thinks he can steer by that star.
He thinks he can use the back of a chair as a ship's wheel to pilot his room through the night.
He says to himself, brave Captain, are you afraid? Yes, I am afraid; I am not so brave.
Be brave, my Captain.
And all night the old man steers his room through the dark .

Written by Russell Edson |

A Historical Breakfast

 A man is bringing a cup of coffee to his face, 
tilting it to his mouth.
It's historical, he thinks.
He scratches his head: another historical event.
He really ought to rest, he's making an awful lot of history this morning.
Oh my, now he's buttering toast, another piece of history is being made.
He wonders why it should have fallen on him to be so historical.
Others probably just don't have it, he thinks, it is, after all, a talent.
He thinks one of his shoelaces needs tying.
Oh well, another important historical event is about to take place.
He just can't help it.
Perhaps he's taking up too large an area of history? But he has to live, hasn't he? Toast needs buttering and he can't go around with one of his shoelaces needing to be tied, can he? Certainly it's true, when the 20th century gets written in full it will be mainly about him.
That's the way the cookie crumbles--ah, there's a phrase that'll be quoted for centuries to come.
Self-conscious? A little; how can one help it with all those yet-to-be-born eyes of the future watching him? Uh oh, he feels another historical event coming .
Ah, there it is, a cup of coffee approaching his face at the end of his arm.
If only they could catch it on film, how much it would mean to the future.
Oops, spilled it all over his lap.
One of those historical accidents that will influence the next thousand years; unpredictable, and really rather uncomfortable .
But history is never easy, he thinks .

Written by Russell Edson |

Counting Sheep

 A scientist has a test tube full of sheep.
He wonders if he should try to shrink a pasture for them.
They are like grains of rice.
He wonders if it is possible to shrink something out of existence.
He wonders if the sheep are aware of their tininess, if they have any sense of scale.
Perhaps they think the test tube is a glass barn .
He wonders what he should do with them; they certainly have less meat and wool than ordinary sheep.
Has he reduced their commercial value? He wonders if they could be used as a substitute for rice, a sort of wolly rice .
He wonders if he shouldn't rub them into a red paste between his fingers.
He wonders if they are breeding, or if any of them have died.
He puts them under a microscope, and falls asleep counting them .

Written by Russell Edson |

Elephant Dormitory

 An elephant went to bed and pulled a crazy quilt up under
its tusks.
But just as the great gray head began filling with the gray wrinkles of sleep it was awakened by the thud of its tail falling out of bed.
Would you get my tail? said the elephant to another elephant also tucked up under a crazy quilt.
I was just in the gray wrinkles of my sleep, sighed the other elephant.
But I can't sleep without my tail, said the first elephant, I like it stuck just above my anus; I feel more secure that way, that it holds my anus from drifting out to heaven.

Written by Russell Edson |

Ape And Coffee

 Some coffee had gotten on a man's ape.
The man said, animal did you get on my coffee? No no, whistled the ape, the coffee got on me.
You're sure you didn't spill on my coffee? said the man.
Do I look like a liquid? peeped the ape.
Well you sure don't look human, said the man.
But that doesn't make me a fluid, twittered the ape.
Well I don' know what the hell you are, so just stop it, cried the man.
I was just sitting here reading the newspaper when you splashed coffee all over me, piped the ape.
I don't care if you are a liquid, you just better stop splashing on things, cried the man.
Do I look fluid to you? Take a good look, hooted the ape.
If you don't stop I'll put you in a cup, screamed the man.
I'm not a fluid, screeched the ape.
Stop it, stop it, screamed the man, you are frightening me.

Written by Russell Edson |

The Changeling

 A man had a son who was an anvil.
And then sometimes he was an automobile tire.
I do wish you would sit still, said the father.
Sometimes his son was a rock.
I realize that you have quite lost boundary, where no excess seems excessive, nor to where poverty roots hunger to need.
But should you allow time to embrace you to its bosom of dust, that velvet sleep, then were you served even beyond your need; and desire in sate was properly spilling from its borders, said the father.
Then his son became the corner of a room.
Don't don't, cried the father.
And then his son became a floorboard.
Don't don't, the moon falls there and curdles your wits into the grain of the wood, cried the father.
What shall I do? screamed his son.
Sit until time embraces you into the bosom of its velvet quiet, cried the father.
Like this? Cried his son as his son became dust.
Ah, that is more pleasant, and speaks well of him, who having required much in his neglect of proper choice, turns now, on good advice, to a more advantageous social stance, said the father.
But then his son became his father.
Behold, the son is become as one of us, said the father.
His son said, behold, the son is become as one of us.
Will you stop repeating me, screamed the father.
Will you stop repeating me, screamed his son.
Oh well, I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, sighed the father.
Oh well, I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, sighed his son.