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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 Theory

 The big one went to sleep as to die and dreamed he
became a tiny one.
So tiny as to have lost all substance.
To have become as theoretical as a point.
Then someone said, get up, big one, you're not doing yourself any good.
You puddle and stagnate in your weight.
Best to be up and toward.
It irrigates you.
What, said the big one, have I not disappeared? Have you not mistaken a cloud for me? Perhaps some local hill fulfills your expectation? No, it's no mistake, it's you; those interconnecting puddles of flesh pulling at your bones, attempting that world-weary fall toward the great waters of the world.
How you manage against gravity is one of the greater triumphs of nature.
Do you think, said the big one, there's a woman who would like to marry me? Yes, had such a woman done everything in the world except marry you, she might think it worthy before dying to complete her catalogue.
Or having done everything, go meekly without decision or care to such a consummation.
Then you really feel, said the big one, that this woman could come to care very deeply for me? All is theoretical.
Who knows enough to say the outcome of any event, save that it was past us, and we saw the back of it moving slowly into the Universe, seeking other settings to repeat the fall of fate.
That sounds wonderful, that a woman like that could be in love with me, said the big one.
But in a few moments the big one was back asleep, dreaming that he had come to such enlargement that he constituted all the matter in the Universe, which must include the earth and the woman he would have loved.

Written by Russell Edson | |


 The barber has accidentally taken off an ear.
It lies like something newborn on the floor in a nest of hair.
Oops, says the barber, but it musn't've been a very good ear, it came off with very little complaint.
It wasn't, says the customer, it was always overly waxed.
I tried putting a wick in it to burn out the wax, thus to find my way to music.
But lighting it I put my whole head on fire.
It even spread to my groin and underarms and to a nearby forest.
I felt like a saint.
Someone thought I was a genius.
That's comforting, says the barber, still, I can't send you home with only one ear.
I'll have to remove the other one.
But don't worry, it'll be an accident.
Symmetry demands it.
But make sure it's an accident, I don't want you cutting me up on purpose.
Maybe I'll just slit your throat.
But it has to be an accident .

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.

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Written by Russell Edson | |

Mr. Brain

 Mr Brain was a hermit dwarf who liked to eat shellfish off 
the moon.
He liked to go into a tree then because there is a little height to see a little further, which may reveal now the stone, a pebble--it is a twig, it is nothing under the moon that you can make sure of.
So Mr Brain opened his mouth to let a moonbeam into his head.
Why to be alone, and you invite the stars to tea.
A cup of tea drinks a luminous guest.
In the winter could you sit quietly by the window, in the evening when you could have vinegar and pretend it to be wine, because you would do well to eat doughnuts and pretend you drink wine as you sit quietly by the window.
You may kick your leg back and forth.
You may have a tendency to not want to look there too long and turn to find darkness in the room because it had become nighttime.
Why to be alone.
You are pretty are you not/you are as pretty as you are not, or does that make sense.
You are not pretty, that is how you can be alone.
And then you are pretty like fungus and alga, you are no one without some one, in theory alone.
Be good enough to go to bed so you can not think too much longer.

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 | |

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 | |

On The Eating Of Mice

 A woman prepared a mouse for her husband's dinner,
roasting it with a blueberry in its mouth.
At table he uses a dentist's pick and a surgeon's scalpel, bending over the tiny roastling with a jeweler's loupe .
Twenty years of this: curried mouse, garlic and butter mouse, mouse sauteed in its own fur, Salisbury mouse, mouse-in-the-trap, baked in the very trap that killed it, mouse tartare, mouse poached in menstrual blood at the full of the moon .
Twenty years of this, eating their way through the mice .
And yet, not to forget, each night, one less vermin in the world .

Written by Russell Edson | |

The Father Of Toads

 A man had just delivered a toad from his wife's armpit.
He held it by its legs and spanked it.
Do you love it? said his wife.
It's our child, isn't it? Does that mean you can't love it? she said.
It's hard enough to love a toad, but when it turns out to be your own son then revulsion is without any tender inhibition, he said.
Do you mean you would not like to call it George Jr.
? she said.
But we've already called the other toad that, he said.
Well, perhaps we could call the other one George Sr.
, she said.
But I am George Sr.
, he said.
Well, perhaps if you hid in the attic, so that no one needed to call you anything, there would be no difficulty in calling both of them George, she said.
Yes, if no one talks to me, then what need have I for a name? he said.
No, no one will talk to you for the rest of your life.
And when we bury you we shall put Father of Toads on your tombstone.

Written by Russell Edson | |


 They have little use.
They are best as objects of torment.
No government cares what you do with them.
Like birds, and yet so human .
They mate by briefly looking at the other.
Their eggs are like white jellybeans.
Sometimes they have been said to inspire a man to do more with his life than he might have.
But what is there for a man to do with his life? .
They burn beautifully with a blue flame.
When they cry out it is like the screech of a tiny hinge; the cry of a bat.
No one hears it .

Written by Russell Edson | |

The Pattern

 A women had given birth to an old man.
He cried to have again been caught in the pattern.
Oh well, he sighed as he took her breast to his mouth.
The woman is happy to have her baby, even if it is old.
Probably it got mislaid in the baby place, and when they found it and saw that it was a little too ripe, they said, well, it is good enough for this woman who is almost deserving of nothing.
She wonders if she is the only mother with a baby old enough to be her father.

Written by Russell Edson | |


 The living room is overgrown with grass.
It has come up around the furniture.
It stretches through the dining room, past the swinging door into the kitchen.
It extends for miles and miles into the walls .
There's treasure in grass, things dropped or put there; a stick of rust that was once a penknife, a grave marker.
All hidden in the grass at the scalp of the window .
In a cellar under the grass an old man sits in a rocking chair, rocking to and fro.
In his arms he holds an infant, the infant body of himself.
And he rocks to and fro under the grass in the dark .

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 house grows sick in its dining room and begins to vomit.
Father cries, the dining room is vomiting.
No wonder, the way you eat, it's enough to make anybody sick, says his wife.
What shall we do? What shall we do? he cries.
Call the Vomit Doctor of course.
Yes, but all he does is vomit, sighs father.
If you were a vomit doctor you'd vomit too.
But isn't there enough vomit? sighs father.
There is never enough vomit.
Do I make everybody that sick, sighs father.
No no, everybody is born sick.
Born sick? cries father.
Of course, haven't you noticed how everybody eventually dies? she says.
Is the dining room dying .
? .
The way you eat, it's enough to make anyone sick, she screams.
So I do make everybody that sick .
Excuse me, I think I'm going to be sick, she says.
Oh where is the Vomit Doctor? At least when he vomits one knows one has it from high authority, screamed father.

Written by Russell Edson | |

The Lighted Window

 A lighted window floats through the night 
like a piece of paper in the wind.
I want to see into it.
I want to climb through into its lighted room.
As I reach for it it slips through the trees.
As I chase it it rolls and tumbles into the air and skitters on through the night .

Written by Russell Edson | |

The Man Rock

 A man is a rock in a garden of chairs and waits 
for a longtime to be over.
It is easier for a rock in a garden than a man inside his mother.
He decided to be a rock when he got outside.
A rock asks only what is a rock.
A rock waits to be a rock.
A rock is a longtime waiting for a longtime to be over so that it may turn and go the other way.
A rock awakens into a man.
A man looks.
A man sleeps back into a rock as it is better for a rock in a garden than a man inside himself trembling in red darkness.