E W Shaffer

Poetry & Prose

I have a new method of poetry. All you got to do is look over your notebooks... or lay down on a couch, and think of anything that comes into your head, especially the miseries. Then arrange in lines of two, three or four words each, don't bother about sentences, in sections of two, three or four lines each.  
— Allen Ginsberg
Copyright © Mike Shaffer, 2009


Live Dangerously

Go on and drop out,
Don't wear your damn helmet,
Drink yourself into the gutter,
Drive like a maniac and
Act line a crazy person.
I don't care any more.

But don't expect people to
take you seriously.
Don't be surprised when you
don't get no respect.
And don't come bitchen to me.
I don't wanna hear it.

Chosen Ones

"I'm the one that killed the kids,"
he said. Buford Furrow walked into
a community center and shot
three children. Laughed about it
when he was arrested. Stupid idiot.
Where do these halfwits come from?
What do the Furrows and McVeighs
of the world think they can accomplish
shooting, blasting, killing? Are
they inevitable offshoots of society,
products of a defective childhood,
a hateful subculture, genetic mutations?
Is it worth the time it takes us
to think about them? The dregs of society
laughs in our faces, cries behind
our backs, tells us to go to hell,
and makes us ask questions
whether we like it or not.

Music Man

He starts off with words
and then adds the music. Is
this the way to play the world?

Too many think that that's it.
I look at the street and say this must
be a way to persuade people.

Well okay, but washing your
feet in the gutter is not a trivial
pursuit. Easy to see it as a new life form.

Music no longer sooths savage
beasts. A million melodies lay
by our side every day.

That's the way with me and I was not
there then. We look at them
and we listen to notes but we do not

hear what we see. The distance is
beyond us. Music men hear the way
the world looks; flies right

by everybody else. Who can say
bye to the boundaries of it all,
bridge the earth-sun-Calcutta-

man space. The great music
needs us, needs all of us, loves
all of us. I hear it and see it want

to change the way the world works,
the way it reacts to itself but I am
not one to them. Bring us to ourselves

so we can rise up. We want
to rise up don't we? We want
to see those little round notes fly.

FREE VERSE 4—Really free verse. Newest works push the form to its limits with respect to language and taste, may sound disconnected, erratic, often hard to follow.