Rick’s second book, originally published in 1997 with all of the original selected poems from artwork, introduction and orange-ness, along with a newly written “Re-Introduction” and a “bonus material” section featuring a selection of 29 additional (sometimes even MORE sophomoric) poems from the I Am My Own Orange County ‘era’.
Los Angeles Jewish Journal
Poetry from I Am My Own Orange County
(originally appeared in Beyond The Valley of the Contemporary Poets anthology)
I have two roommates
one is a Christian
one is a Muslim
and I am a Jew.
Our apartment is the old city,
Hanging in the Christian’s room is a crucifix,
In the Muslim’s room is a poster of people praying in Mecca,
and in my room, there is an Israeli flag,
and sometimes a giant gefilte fish.
Sometimes the Christian comes into my room
and accuses me of killing his messiah,
only in this case, it’s Ella Fitzgerald.
Although everyone knows that Ella Fitzgerald died of old age,
her death remains a source of awkwardness between us.
Once I threatened to annex the Muslim’s bedroom
unless he withdrew
the garbage from the kitchen.
He responded by blowing up my bathroom.
No-one was injured except for my cat
whose whiskers where a little singed.
I declared an apartment-wide day of remembrance
for my cat’s heroic deeds.
I have so many holidays,
What’s one more?
Amidst all the turbulence,
we still manage to pay rent and share resources,
Water . . . food . . . cable.
We’re catching up with the west
and our apartment exists as a paradigm for world peace.
Not that I can’t help.
Oh, I can layer filo with the best of them.
You know, them, the people who layer filo dough.
Is it “f-eye-low” or “Fee-low”?
I don’t know.
It tastes good though.
I like watching her layer filo.
I am a baklava voyeur.
She brushes butter on the layers.
She knows I am watching.
She is a butter brushing exhibitionist.
She’s also beautiful.
You should see the way she puts on socks.
But that’s not important to this poem.
I just thought I’d mention it.
got up to read
took off all his clothes
I could tell right away that he wasn’t Jewish