Three Poems by Paul Corman-Roberts


Mental note:

Be grateful
for the opportunity
to be running
out of time.

Walter Benjamin noted
when we have our last
conversations with our
dearly departing
in their final beds

we are already speaking
a language that is alien to them
and that’s how it will be for us.

is simply another layer
of the looping gravity well
within whose current
we are all swept

which is to say:

we are always in it
before we know
we are in it
but at least
we are in it

so we’ve got that going.


My tribe: the dorks

The Tribe of Dork

Who else obsesses the nth degree of minutae
but the Tribe of Dork?
I remember one of the brujas
writing a poem after a show at the Stork’s Nest
called “Dorks at the Stork.”

But I digest.
The list of appetizers and courses is loooooonnnnng:
the relevance of:
the Oxford comma
one space or two after a sentence?
the proper usage of a semi-colon
the proper usage of a colon
dashes for punctuation
ellipses for punctuation
the overuse of slashes
the overuse of line breaks (what you actually like those?)
the relevance of the Chicago Manual of Style to style
the relevance of footnotes to relevance
the relevance of DFW’s footnotes to anything

All this but a small sample size
from the smorgasboard/buffet/all you can eat entrees
offered up to those lost appetites
by the Tribe of Dork.

Is it any wonder AWP
has become a writhing rat king’s nest of
repressed sublime sexual tension
that can be split wide open
with an overheated biodegradable spork?
which not coincidentally rhymes with “dork”
(see “tribe of” in footnotes.)



Just ahead of me on my hike through the scenic mountain path, perched above the rustic commercial drag. They don’t hear my approach nor see me slip onto the bench in the little nook on the side of the path. They’re beautiful of course, so fashionably put together. Her sandy blonde hair clipped perfectly, hanging past her shoulders. His stubble just the right growth, about two or three days & their 1.2 kids tucked comfortably in the dual jog stroller sporting an “Obama/Biden ’08 sticker.”

They waited till their mid-30’s to reproduce. I don’t want to overtake them. I don’t want them to see me on the path, but they won’t move. The oldest, a little under or over two pitches a fit, refuses to budge for 15 minutes. They’ve moved maybe twenty feet in that time span to accommodate the tantrum.

I suppose I’m jealous. I wish I was that young & idealistic again. I wish for a moment my family could be that beautiful, that passive in their idealism and beauty. They no doubt work as consultants for consulting firms who no doubt schedule meetings to discuss the importance of scheduled meetings indicative of their current progress.

Who am I kidding? I’m jealous because I’m attracted to her and envious of him and I want to know what her pussy smells and tastes like after 1.2 kids and I’m thinking pretty damn good.


BIO: Paul Corman-Roberts’ is the author of “Water for the House of Yes” due out from Nomadic Press in 2020. He is an original co-founder of Oakland’s Beast Crawl Poetry Festival and co-produces the Fire Thieves reading series with San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck.

One Response to “Three Poems by Paul Corman-Roberts”

  1. Pris Campbell Says:

    I especially liked the first two!

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