The Barefoot Muse

Urological Love Song

The penis really is the dipstick for male health without any question at all.
-- Dr. Mehmet Oz on
The Oprah Show

The penis is the dipstick for male health,
So Oprah Winfrey heard from Dr. Oz.
This overt organ practices no stealth,
But frankly flaunts all virtues and all flaws.
When it voids water in a robust flow
Or stands in readiness to drill and thrill,
Then the entire body's good to go;
This member well proclaims the team not ill.
But if it dribbles, falters, stalls, or sags,
The system elsewhere may be on the blink.
When this proud pole flies ominous red flags,
The tout ensemble's no longer in the pink.
Behold! The dipstick says my mortal coil
Is far from shuffled off. Let's check your oil.

by Chris O'Carroll





Chris O'Carroll's wife has been known to call him a dipstick, but he's certain that she means it in the nicest possible way. In addition to his previous appearances in The Barefoot Muse, Chris has published poems in The Chimaera, 14 by 14, Measure, Umbrella, and other print and online journals. He is grateful to R.S. Gwynn, who spotted the line of iambic pentameter latent in Dr. Oz's remark.

My Papa's Twist

The denim on your hips
Could make a preteen shudder;
I watched you move your lips
And swivel like an udder.

You danced for one whole song,
A near eternity.
I hid among the throng,
Pretended not to see.

Why did you volunteer
To be a chaperone
At every dance that year?
How could you twist alone?

I learned by your example,
A lesson I still hold—
Even if you do it well,
Don't dance when you get old.

by Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he writes poetry and detective stories. He has recently appeared or will appear in Asimov's Science Fiction, Measure, Orchard Press Mysteries, Unsplendid, and The Vocabula Review.

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