David Alpaugh poetry

Double-title poems


My earliest memory—grasping that hard
black rock in the toe of my stocking after
the thrill of so many playthings. My Dad’s
poker-faced grin. Did you get everything?
Back in. Excited. What’s this? A lump of

Coal! Giver of toys reminding me, Dad said,
that I’d been “just a little bit” bad. Suddenly
I saw my self. Like that little girl with a curl
I could be horrid. So sang that lump of coal.
Unto me a Superego was born. Dad called it



I remember Ida saying she didn’t care for it—
when it meant the world to me. Youth’s go-to
ammo against confusion, alienation, suffering,
engagement, love. Voltaire in hand, put on a
smirky face—and slay all your dragons with

. Re-reading “To Autumn” (Ida long gone)
I’m autumnal now and ninety percent irony free.
Keats’ mellow fruitfulness… gathering swallows.
Ripeness to the core. Manna. But I always wash
it down with a jigger of Swift to give a finger to