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Wyvern Lit
Photo May 23, 12 23 27.jpg

Three Personal Ad Poems

Poetry by Michael Schmeltzer



I’ve been told I eat like a bird 

whenever I eat a flakey pastry; 

if you watch you’ll see 

each digit flicker 

as if I’m playing a difficult movement 

on a flute, one that mimics

the mockingbird. I don’t know 

how to play the flute but once I mocked 

the only boy who did 

in our entire graduating class.

He had droopy eyes 

and a voice like the fluff of a teddy bear.

We teased him flat.  

Even the way he walked 

flaunted notes of fancy music. Still, 

we heckled until we were tone deaf.

That’s what you did then 

when confronted with a melody

you couldn’t clap to

but made you cry regardless.   




I don’t believe in poltergeists 

but I don’t believe them 

more in daylight. 

At night I haunt the pantry

for candy that challenges my teeth. 

I like strong smells from a distance and strong tastes

not at all. My father once said

if you’re looking for a friend

chances are they’re not a very good friend

or else they’d have told you where they went. 

That is to say I have no good friends.

Often I feel I’m coming to an age

where wisdom should know my name.

Then I think of the dim-witted things I’ve done

and no longer wonder about being strangers. 

I have been called good-looking a dozen times

and ugly only once, but I am the type of person 

who believes a compliment 

is like a bullet dodged, an insult 

like a bull’s eye. 

I’m stubborn and childish. 

I could watch a penguin 

waddle for weeks. 

I giggle at the goofy face of an ostrich 

every time. If you write me a letter

describe your favorite bird. 

My favorites are the flightless ones, 

the ones grounded like planes 

in questionable condition. 

I tend to like things that have 

at least that 

in common with me. 




I don’t believe a lot of things people say. 

Half the time when they talk

I feel like I bent over

to sniff a colorful flower

and got a face full of water in return. 

I like the smell of gasoline and coffee, 

things that get me 

from one place to another.  

I have a nose for bullshit 

even when it’s hiding 

knee deep in sheepshit. 

Pardon my finch…I mean French. 

But that does bring me 

to my favorite bird. I use to love 

this finch by my window when I was 

just a tyke. I grew up in a town 

that said things like tyke instead of boy

and papa instead of father. Want to hear 

what my papa use to say? He use to say 

finches were so jumpy 

they use to be called “flinches” 

but the ‘l’ shook right off them. He loved 

language the way other men

loved hunting or the NFL. 

I think that’s mainly why 

I don’t believe a lot of what people tell me; some of us know 

exactly how quickly a word 

can shake a single feather off

and become another bird entirely.