The Poetry of Max Burbank: Part 8
by: Max Burbank


Untold joy!
To see the hilarious dance of the Organ
Grinder's Monkey with Brittle Bone Disease!
Capering, fracturing, flailing
Its little tin cup!

Laugh 'till it hurts! But
At least its
Still laughter


Samovar Cactus,
I'll drink your scalding Russo Mexicali coffee
Straight from the spigot
If that's what you want.
Let my esophagus poach!

Go all crazy Lycanthropic and shit!
Throw down with some
Spanish monkey where the golf course
Turns to scrub and dry wash
Just beyond the
Halo of the sprinkler
I'll do it.

Samurai Cactus,
That's a different thing entire
And ludicrous to boot.
Wooden nickel gim crack
Bullshit is what and an insult.
Wise up next time!
Don't be fooled. It takes
A keen eye
Is all.
You'll get there.


Open the cast iron
Door of the wood stove,
Hear that nearly silent roar
As the fire eats the air
You just let in and
Grabs for more.

Only a putz
Would stick his wiener
In there

And yet we
Do it day after
Day after don't
We day?


Iron Dave the Rat bastard
Only tells the truth and
Can be found shirtless
In the pool hall any
Friday night.
He had that full sleeve tattoo
Before any old asshole went
And got 'em on impulse all over
Like a fad haircut or bellbottom jeans you
Could just chuck the second they
Went out of fashion.
Retards ruin everything eventually
But Dave has not noticed.
He's been standing there dimly lit
predicting the physics of
A particular bank shot since
1978 and I
avoid him like the plague
out of respect.

A block away behind
The Witch Museum
Drifts of disaffected teens pile up
Like leaves, newspaper and garbage
Knowing shit all nothing beyond
A torn black hoodie and an attitude.

And Look! A Flock
Of tourists
On a Ghost Tour, each
One with a candle of their own;
The Docent with a lantern. I'd
Like to walk among them and make
Spooky noises
But Dave
Would slap my head.
"Let 'em, let 'em, let 'em,
What's it to you anyway you
God damn snarky dip stick?" he'd
Say which is why
I stay away from him.
He doesn't like to let me
Have my fun, or more
Precisely, points
Out that my fun
Is cheap and thin and easy, like
A trick sandwich filled
With sticks.

He's never read Nathaniel Hawthorne and
Neither have I, but I might
Tell you that I had and
Summarize the finer points
Of several lesser works,
'The Marble Fawn' for one;
Which is why, I guess
He won't shoot pool with me.
But the truth is I don't have the sack
To ask a game because he's brutal and no
Fun at all.

Oh, it's always Halloween here
If you want to buy a T-shirt,
But I'm okay
With Halloween
And so is Dave for
That matter. On that
Much we agree, I guess
Although I've never asked him.

He's still standing there
Available in the corner
Figuring the angle on a chipped striped ball.
There's a pay phone but it isn't
Like I'm going to call.
He's my best friend, Iron Dave
And how I hate him,
Damn rat Bastard
Of the Pool Hall.


At the Hootenanny
I punched Cletus in the face
Because I could.


Their Old Man strung
up a million
Lights in the attic,
Bare bulbs dangling, entwined,
Looping vines of tiny Christmas lights,
Incandescent curtains of wire and glass like
Hanging drifts of Spanish Moss you had to claw
Your way through to reach
The old clothes, forgotten toys, tennis racquets with
The catgut long gone sprung.

He built the basement up
With layered stacks of flares and
Candles, kelp forest of gas lanterns
Swaying on poles, clustering under
Exposed and rotting latticework
Leering out like lit up crab eyes from
A skree of rusty and abandoned tools, old paint
Cans and whatnots of grease rag and cobweb
Threatening to send the whole damn place up
Any moment.

On other landings
Life got lived,
A normality sandwich of kitchens and
Bedrooms between
Two slices of ecstatic, moldy
Bread. Windows you could see out of and into let
Out Little hint of the
Great Works that ground on inside.

Without suspecting
any neighbors house
Might squeeze out much the same,
A delicate crop of
Hothouse Genii
Were raised up inside
Mom's domain,
Home schooled little Hot n' Tots.
Eventually shot forth brandishing
Inhalers, bedecked in orthodontic headgear,
Lilting memorized Broadway Cast "King and I"
"Oklahoma", "Annie
Get your gun"
Ready to be beaten
Like Chinese gongs.


How the other Muppets must
Hate your ass
Like Pete Best hated the Beatles,
Like all the other X-men must
Be dying to give Wolverine an
Atomic wedgie,
Like six hundred pounds of
Enraged James Doohan
Went to his grave
Cursing William Shatner

You furry red
Bag of crap,
You've ruined
Sesame Street.

Questions or Comments about this piece?
email Max Burbank

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

The Poetry of Max Burbank: Part 7
The Poetry of Max Burbank: Part 7

Reader Comments

Amicable Herculean
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:48 AM
great writing as usual. Beautifly Bizzare, just how I like it. the last one was my favorite.
Is a thin donkey
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:53 AM
Fan-damn-tastic work as ever, Max. Have you ever considered publishing a book of your work(I mean ALL your work; articles, poetry, artworks, etc.)?

Cubicle Ape & Alplachian Haiku were my favourites.

BTW, in Witch City, is Iron Dave the Rat Bastard the same Dave you mentioned numerous times in The I Don't Like It List?
Forum Virgin
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:29 AM
I've often had the same thought about Elmo, but never thought to write poetry about it. I usually just stomp on my son's toys for a while until I feel better.

I very much enjoyed Witch City, and I wondered the same thing as Autrach Sejanoz about Iron Dave.
High Priest of Burbank
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:40 AM
Max, you are my hero in ways you couldn't possibly comprehend. You are quite possibly my all time favorite writer of any kind.
Forum Virgin
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:49 AM
Love it. Know one thing. Grish wants a cd of your poetry. Read by William Shatner and Christopher Walken and Ultimate Warrior!
after enough bourbon ...
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:07 PM
Max, you rat bastard!

The only thing missing from this work of epic proportions is a soundtrack, preferably bongos and finger cymbals.

You use "words" to construct "sentences" that have not even been imagined by the craziest of manifesto writers - I wonder if there's a padded cell with your name on it somewhere.

Your "Appalachian Haiku" is not strictly a haiku (but it's still damned funny). And I'm sure you knew this already.

Anxiously awaiting "Part 9".
Mr. everywhere
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:01 PM
loved Alplachian Haiku. my fav. last one was pretty good too
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:39 PM
I cannot think of a more horrifying thought than to imagine what your nightmares might look like burbank.
Crazed Techno-Biologist
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:37 PM
By jove, i cant believe i still read these things -_-
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:52 PM
I agree, Elmo DID ruin Sesame Street
Not Another Whipping Boy
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:54 PM
It is reassuring to see that there is someone out there who is worse at poetry than I am. I mean, I've failed every poetry course I ever took in school or otherwise, but you suck. What I mean to say is, Thank You for sucking so hard. I may be laughing at you and not with you, but at least you made me laugh.
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Originally Posted by beatpole View Post
It is reassuring to see that there is someone out there who is worse at poetry than I (am) <--redundant.
(I mean,)<--redundant
I've failed every poetry course I have ever took in school or otherwise, (but) <--no need for this you suck. (What I mean to say is,) <-- you like to hear yourself talk (Thank You for sucking so hard.) <--already established I may be laughing at you and not with you, (but at least you made me laugh.) <--redundant
Wow, you suck.
Basement Monkey
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:19 PM
The best poetry comes from the most troubled minds, I love it Max
Forum Virgin
Mar 12th, 2008, 11:43 PM
actually beatpole I passed all of my poetry classes(high school and college levels) and Max is a damn fine poet in the david sedaris vein. Witch City is fantastic. my personal favorite.
Mar 13th, 2008, 12:04 AM
i'd say beatpole IS another whipping boy

Can't touch this
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:16 AM
I've always hated Elmo. It's my opinion that he's responsible for Grovers crack addiction. How else is he to cope with the pain of knowing he's been replaced by that high-voiced annoying jackass? There is no other way, that's how. It's been proven scientifically. By scientists.
after enough bourbon ...
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:53 PM
Overbearing, Self-serving,
Pretentious beatpole.
Forum Chaos Lord
Mar 13th, 2008, 10:01 PM
It is reassuring to see that there is someone out there who is worse at poetry than I am. I mean, I've failed every poetry course I ever took in school or otherwise, but you suck. What I mean to say is, Thank You for sucking so hard. I may be laughing at you and not with you, but at least you made me laugh.
You fail.
Can't touch this
Mar 13th, 2008, 11:24 PM
Yeah beatpole, fuck off. I was always under the impression that poetry didn't have to have any kind of form or reason. It's called freeform I believe, I didn't pay that much attention in english class.
Mar 13th, 2008, 11:27 PM
You guys are all suck ups.
High Priest of Burbank
Mar 14th, 2008, 11:09 PM
This Beatpole fellow defies the ways of my Burbankist faith. He shall be eliminated in the quickest manner feasibly executable.
Forum Chaos Lord
Mar 15th, 2008, 12:31 AM
This Beatpole fellow defies the ways of my Burbankist faith. He shall be eliminated in the quickest manner feasibly executable.
That involves tying him to a chair and kicking him down the stairs.
Mar 15th, 2008, 08:52 AM
I just woke up from a dream in which I was watching the spanish channel (Which I navigated with a map from Metroid) and the show I was watching mostly consisted of you walking out onto a lawn in pajamas and a bathrobe, yelling "I'm Max Burbank" at the top of your lungs, and me saying to the person watching TV with me "That lawn is in salem."
Mar 15th, 2008, 12:48 PM
Oooo someone has a crush.

suck ups
Mar 16th, 2008, 12:14 AM
I really wasn't joking, I just went to the latest Burbank article to post it.

Although I do have quite a crush on Max
The Magnificent Bastard
Mar 16th, 2008, 12:16 AM
Max, I just wish I had a cappuccino to drink while enjoying this fine poetry.

Stay cool, Daddy-O! 8)
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Mar 19th, 2008, 02:56 PM
Thanks all, and who doesn't have a crush on me? I mean seriously. I am delectable.

Iron Dave and the other Dave are not only not the same Dave, they aren't based on actual people. They are more personifications of ideas. To me 'Dave' is a great every man name. Years ago I spent some time knocking around Indian reservations out in the four states area, and it seemed like every guide I met was named Dave. There's a great Kids in the Hall song, "These are the Daves I know." Joe, Johnny and Dave are my favorite anybody names.

To paraphrase a certain animated skunk, Beatpole can call me Flower if he wants to. My love embraces all.

And as far as sucking up goes, what would be the point? That being said, anyone who wants to send me money is allowed to.
Mar 19th, 2008, 02:57 PM
You even suck up too yourself.
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Mar 19th, 2008, 03:06 PM
Too true, but then I'm always well positioned to reward myself for my own slavish loyalty.
MLE MLE is offline
Mar 19th, 2008, 04:01 PM
<3 you Max
Is a thin donkey
Mar 20th, 2008, 12:03 AM
Thanks for the explanations, Max.

Though I can't offer you money, will my soul do?
Forum Virgin
Mar 21st, 2008, 12:53 PM
Nice again, Max ^^

Introspection and Cubicle Ape were my favorites
Mar 21st, 2008, 09:05 PM
I'm sure if I understood the things it'd be awesome man.
after enough bourbon ...
Mar 21st, 2008, 09:52 PM
I'd criticize your work, Max, if I could find one abstract form of verbiage that was excessive in redundancy or loose in verisimilitude, but in fact all your free-associating obfuscations serve only to add to the greater delectability of the iambic pentameter.


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