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Human Snowblower

So what that Dave Letterman’s got a big white beard,

I’m the human snowblower.

That’s what my neighbor from Alabama said to me the other night.

He said, “You’re a goddamn human snowblower,”

and, seriously, it was the nicest thing anyone has said to me in decades.

It was five degrees outside and I said, “Roll Tide.”

He said, “I’m an Auburn fan.”

I said, “Sucks for you,” but really, I don’t know a damn thing

about the NC double A gridiron.

I just know that I don’t care about Dave Letterman’s new Netflix series.

Frankly, I think he looks goofy with that big, white beard.

I want to write his PR people and ask them if he’ll have me on his next

TV special,

the one where he has a stubble-free face;

have me on to talk about the poetry of Erika Meitner;

have me on to roll eggs stuffed with firecrackers down granite steps;

have me on to chat about what it’s like

to be a human snowblower

and I’ll say, “Bring me up to Connecticut the next time it blizzards

and I’ll whistle clean your driveway in no time.”

But then I realize all my fantasies are pathological.

I don’t want to be Dave’s entertainment flunky

like that guy Rupert the deli dude.

That was an exercise in:

Hey, let’s use the Indo-Asian guy to boost ratings.

Or not?

What do I know?

We are all good inside,

I’m sure of that.

My neighbor from Alabama knows that, too.

He’s done two tours in Afghanistan, shot some people in the face,

and the last time he got back from that part of the world asked me

if I’d let his rescue dog crap on my lawn

because we have some green space in the backyard and he doesn’t.

Swear to god, he said,

We’ll clean up after she poops.

I’m out here blowing snow for hours with my thirty-horsepower shovel

and all I want to do is go inside to my living room

and have my own talk show,

Ladies and Gentleman, David Letterman

and his goofy-ass beard.

from Mesmerizing Sadly BeautifulFind more by Matthew Lippman at the library

Copyright © 2020 Matthew Lippman
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Matthew Lippman Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.