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Russell Edson Poems

A collection of select Russell Edson famous poems that were written by Russell Edson or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 There was once a hog theater where hogs performed 
as men, had men been hogs.

 One hog said, I will be a hog in a field which has 
found a mouse which is being eaten by the same hog 
which is in the field and which has found the mouse, 
which I am performing as my contribution to the...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 A father with a huge eraser erases his daughter. When he 
finishes there's only a red smudge on the wall.
 His wife says, where is Amyloo?
 She's a mistake, I erased her.
 What about all her lovely things? asks his wife.
 I'll erase them too.
 All her pretty clothes? . . .
 I'll erase her closet, her dresser--shut up...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 One night a woman's breast came to a man's room and
began to talk about her twin sister.
 Her twin sister this and her twin sister that.
 Finally the man said, but what about you, dear breast?
 And so the breast spent the rest of the night talking about
 It was the same as when she talked about her sister:...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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 

But the family always planned on a steam monkey. 

Well, said...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 The floor is something we must fight against. 
Whilst seemingly mere platform for the human 
stance, it is that place that men fall to.
 I am not dizzy. I stand as a tower, a lighthouse; 
the pale ray of my sentiency flowing from my face.

 But should I go dizzy I crash down into the floor; 
my face into...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 There was a man who would marry his mother, and asked his
father for his mother's hand in marriage, and was told he could
not marry his mother's hand because it was attached to all
the rest of mother, which was all married to his father; that
he'd have to love something else . . .

 And so he went into the world...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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

 What splatters on the floor the dog licks up. 

 When they have set she has seventeen little husbands.
One she throws to the dog...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 They let me in. I went right up to the nursery 
and climbed into the crib, and assumed the famous 
fetal position.

They didn't know what to make of it. They stood 
by the crib looking down at me.

They were young. This was their house. Instead 
of an infant, a grown man is in the nursery.

Of course they hadn't planned...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 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. 

...Read More

by Edson, Russell
 A toy-maker made a toy wife and a toy child. 
He made a toy house and some toy years.

 He made a getting-old toy, and he made a dying 

 The toy-maker made a toy heaven and a toy god.

 But, best of all, he liked making toy ****....Read More

by Edson, Russell
 Out of nothing there comes a time called childhood, which 
is simply a path leading through an archway called 
adolescence. 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...Read More