Untranslatable (2012)
Shopping List (2010)
All Rights Reserved (2010)

A Dog's Secret (2010)
Four Whores Came Down from Canada (2010)
Hit the Ground Running (1983)
Three Poems (1986)
Hymn: All Seeking Kindness (1985)

These Words Recur (1976)

by Christopher Fulkerson

CF's Composition Desk

Unusual Aerial Phenomenon Over San Francisco Bay
Photograph by Christopher Fulkerson
Copyright 1999 by Christopher Fulkerson
All Rights Reserved



1. Pajamas, long, with no buttons

2. Order house slippers, with rug-friendly soles

3. Make transcendental deduction



I stooped down for a neighbor's trash
And my left leg went missing.
I hate it when that happens.

I never once promised to pay an arm,
Nor to pay a leg,
No part of me, not left nor right,
Yet it's happ'ning every day,

And all day too - a million times
Some part's got gone. Aghast,
I have to press on 's tho' it's all right,
But I'm thinking all the while

That I'm paying too much for what little I get,
Or I'm valued far too low.
The fact that I experience this
Is reason enough to sue.



The son of the lesbian
Got up and sang
I want a girl
Just like the girl
That married dear old Mom.

The brains that fall out of the
Minds locked wide op-
-en Scarcely have hope of
Enduring the slope
That lands them on the lawn.


A few nights ago in San Francisco I went to the Mom and Pop store at Fillmore and Jackson to get some water. But this is a different story than Jack and Jill.

As I walked out, water in hand, there was a big handsome dog sitting right in the doorway. I saw that the dog was quite cheerful, really magically cheerful really. It's got to be a real rush to be a dog. I walked up to him.

Hey boy, I said, and started to pet him. Well I wasn't in such a hurry.

The dog said, hey OK it's all good but don't touch my nose, and he quickly moved his nose, in an arc like from here to there. So I didn't touch him.

Well I thought, you're cheerful that's a clever way to prevent me from touching your nose, OK I got it, I notice that. But I could see he was cheerful.

It wasn't until a few days later, I got a tip from the Movie Police. Those are the people who know right away all the details of all the movies and everything, and always know all the time everything that's like in a movie. And the Movie Police told me, that dog at the market was really an actor pet.

Turns out that really, he was a doggie actor impersonating a dog playing a kind of person like. Clever, you say. Except, from the way he acted, I'm sure he knew I would figure it out. He kind of said, it's all good. You can figure it out.

Sitting there like a dog, with his legs tucked up together and not moving, he was actually playing a person, except he strictly wouldn't move anything, except his head. He didn't move his legs, like he had like no legs. And that's when I figured it out later, that he was playing somebody who had like no legs.

He was actually playing like he was a quadruplegic, that's a person with no arms or legs. Or a dog, except, he was pretending he was a quaduplegic. You know the one, what do you call a quadruplegic at the door? Matt!

I think I know what he was talking about. I think that in his doggie way he was telling a quadruplegic joke. I could tell it was a joke because he was laughing so hard, like he could hardly tell the joke because of his laughing.

He was like saying, hey I can tell a quadruplegic joke too, just by sitting here with my legs tucked under. See, you'll notice I'm cleverly sitting here on my haunches without moving my legs, this how a quaduplegic looks in the quadruplegic jokes. He was actually pretending he had no arms or legs, well no legs anyway.

I think he reckoned I would figure out that when he sat there like that, and only moved his nose in that way, like I said when he sat there like that I could tell he knew I would figure out he was an actor pet, a normal dog pretending to be a quadruplegic like. I could tell all this but I didn't know I knew it yet.

It was incredible. He was the world's best actor pet. He did it without any props or make-up. No one knew, not even me. Like I said I didn't figure it out until later.

As I walked away with my water he just sat there, still looking into the market, just sitting there, without looking back, square in the middle of the door, but easy to get around. He wouldn't budge, like an island in the ocean of the sidewalk. Like he was Maui. He was just an incredible actor pet, and he knew it.

No one ever knew the secret, not even me. Like I said I didn't figure it out until later.

Copyright 2010 by Christopher Fulkerson. Posted 7/19/2010. Updated 8/23/2010.



Four whores came down from Canada
To ease the Yankee plight.
And I knew every one of them
As often as I might.
They gave their favors to me:
Many times, 'twas all four.
Yes I would pleasure all of them
Then pleasure them some more.

(It seemed a shame there was no song to answer to this title, mentioned in a Robert Heinlein novel, so I wrote this one.)


A Concrete Poem




Sometime in the dead of night he got up
And followed his forebod into the smallest room of his house
Where he sat down, glad and blearyeyed.
His usual routine here was to relax and focus on some chance kernal
Of thought.
He was found in this position in the morning by his housekeeper
Who for a moment mistook him for living, and backed out the door in embarassment.
But the military man's bare ass sagged so into the chamber pot
That she saw what had really happened and helped herself to his jewelry.
Du Paty de Clam's calamity (one wouldn't call it a tragedy)
Oeft him with eyes a bit bulged
And a facial mask of curiosity, disgust,
And some surprise. We may conclude that he didn't expire
Unaware of the general significance
Of such a private affair.



Not knowing the outcome but having a very good sense of it
Not knowing the destination of my effforts but having a very precise map of how to arrive there
Not really knowing whether I'll use the map but certain I'll
At least start the trip with its vigorous help
Not knowing that I won't
Discard it, even arbitrarily, if spontaneity
Or real ignorance of what to do to make it work
Cause me to do so.

So that's that with that? I've been here before
And thought the same sorts of things
And had the same sort of attitude toward them
Not knowing I would change
Not knowing I could figure out better, oh, styles
Not really sure that
Not only might I sometime know how to get things going but that
I could probably get there (that destination I mentioned)
Without the map.


(I followed the fasting multitude)

I followed the fasting multitude down some long jail aisle
Between walls of bars clanging with those handled pots
Issued to prisoners to dip into water barrels,
You know the kind. Filing down past the filled cells
To the empty ones
I made my complaint, briefed those concerned,
And said I'd leave.
Since this story holds no surprises for anyone,
I was allowed to,
And proceeded.



Warm hearts of kindness,
Kind hearts of compassion bathe all that they see in their love.
Don't let your feelings bow to unreason.
All seeking kindness bow before love.



Pulse, fully warm, living muscles of my enemy's throat.
Too, the palms are coarse, and dried from heat of life.
Only when my grip and thumbs palm round his throat
do, as history is conscience,
both shrink cold, gagged skeletons with coyote grins.


UNTRANSLATABLE is Copyright 2012; first posted 4/16/2012.
SHOPPING LIST is Copyright 2010; first posted 10/18/2010.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED is Copyright 2010.
A DOG'S SECRET is Copyright 2010. It was first uploaded on 7/19/2010.

HIT THE GROUND RUNNING is Copyright 1983. It was first uploaded on 5/26/2010.
THREE POEMS are Copyright 1986. They were first uploaded on 2/3/2010.
HYMN: ALL SEEKING KINDNESS is Copyright 1985. It was first uploaded on 8/31/2010.
THESE WORDS RECUR was first published in the UOP CALLIOPE, Spring 1976.


All Selections are Copyright by Christopher Fulkerson. Updated 10/18/2010.