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I don’t know how to behave but
I know what I believe. I believe
that if I stick my head in the oven
I won’t take it out. I believe in
corduroy couch cushions. I believe
in digging a tunnel with a small
silver spoon. I believe in tunneling
with this spoon under the city
and never giving up.
I believe in after-breakfast naps
and Russian roulette—
Russian roulette while eating ice cream
as I watch the evening news.
I believe in the evening news.
And I believe in celebrity.

I believe in those photos
on the web of Putin playing doubles
Ping-Pong, outdoors, in his Speedo.
(Find those.) I believe in haircuts
and bubble gum, and putting my face
down into a pillow or cushion,
and that when I do this I will see
the future, plus other cultures, most
of them, and I’ll get work done
that couldn’t be done another way.

I believe in tacos and mortification.
I believe that all people fall
into one of two categories: Doonesbury or Far Side.
Well, or Andy Capp. Andy Capp type people.
They’re everywhere.

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Michael Earl Craig MICHAEL EARL CRAIG lives in the Shields Valley, near Livingston, Montana. He’s the author of Can You Relax In My House; Yes, Master; Thin Kimono; and the chapbook Jombang Jet. A new book of poems—Talkativeness—will be published by Wave Books in the spring of 2014.

8 Responses to “This I Believe”

  1. Judy Prince says:

    What a kick, Michael! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of your quirk-start poem.

    Welcome to TNB from one who’s slightly preferential towards Far Side—–ok, I totally love Gary Larson’s stuff—–especially the cows pole-dancing!

  2. Mark Sutz says:

    I don’t know how to behave but
    I know what I believe.

    Wow, how true.

  3. Lorna says:

    I believe I fall into the Far Side catagory. Which is probably why this all makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Becky Palapala says:

    I’ve known a few farriers in my day and a few poets, but I am all but 100% certain that you are the first farrier-poet I have ever seen.

    Not counting the farriers who wax philosophical after a 6-pack. Those are a dime a dozen.

  5. Gloria says:

    Far Side all the way. Doonesberry isn’t absurd, so I find it disappointing.

    I’ve always wondered if I could leave my head in the oven. Or stay in the running car. I don’t think I could.

  6. I so love this poem, Michael. It just makes me smile every time I read it. So glad we could feature you here on TNB.

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