Man, I love Ron Padgett.
My favorite poem of the year is a toss-up between Lao Tzu or this Ron Padgett gem, from his Collected Poems. It’s unfashionable to admit it, but I do own a television, two of them, in fact: one is our old 40″ that lives in our living room, so my boys can watch Daniel Tiger or whatever and leave me and their mother alone for half an hour so we can actually accomplish a simple task like a shower or dinner or just staring into a coffee cup for five minutes, and the other TV is a gigantic 4K monster that I went out and bought at Costco on a whim. It lives in our bedroom, connected to a $5 antenna, and it is beloved. Last night we lied in bed with bourbon and watched My Man Godfrey and Rockford Files and Star Trek and fell asleep. It was heavenly and I am unashamed to admit it.
After I made this one I was reminded of Joe Brainard’s New Year poem “1970,” quoted in Ron Padgett’s biography:
is a good year
if for no other reason
than just because
I’m tired of complaining
If you turn to the “first lines” index of many poetry collections, you can find bonus poems the poets probably never intended you to read.
I found this one in Bill Knott’s I Am Flying into Myself:
A short one from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson:
And the alphabetical end of Ron Padgett’s Collected Poems: