Ronald Koertge

Ronald Koertge Poems

After all the Shakespeare, the book
of poems they type is the saddest
in history.

They were never handsome and often came
with a hormone imbalance manifested by corpulence,
a yodel of a voice or ears big as kidneys.


In the airport bar, I tell my mother not to worry.
No one ever tripped and fell into the San Andreas
Fault. But as she dabs at her dry eyes, I remember
those old movies where the earth does open.

goes by at 1:00 a.m. two nights of the week. I can
hear the feather whoosh of his machine and see
one red light.

When the Lexus hit that pigeon, he lay there
beating his one good wing against the curb

Walking toward the library, I pass three children
staring down at a dead crow and daring each other

It is small, holds only a few boys and girls
and smells like graham crackers inside.

When I come in, my mechanic is eating
lunch. He doesn't look over the top

"That panting on the wall"
really was the most interesting line


Delores Del Rio takes a walking tour
of my body. Unlike most vagabonds

Coach entreats us to control the clock.
But how can one not ponder "time's winged

Bamboo shoots in a blue pot, tea steeping
in a tall cup with painted koi on the side.

Traditionally, Gaspar, Melchoir and Balthasar
show up with their exotic gifts, though the Bible

The anthology of love poems I bought
for a quarter is brittle, anyway, and comes

Q. You're Such a Disciplined Writer. Were You Always That way?
A. When I was in graduate school, I worked part-time at a local

Ronald Koertge Biography

Ron Koertge was born in Olney, Illinois, April 22, 1940 Ronald Koertge is the author of poetry collections like Dairy Cows, Life on the Edge of the Continent: Selected Poems, and Making Love to Roget’s Wife (University of Arkansas Press). He has also written a novel, The Boogeyman, a lot of young adult novels, including Arizona Kid, Mariposa Blues, Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, and Confess-O-Rama. Koertge recently retired from Pasadena City College after 37 years of teaching.)

The Best Poem Of Ronald Koertge

An Infinite Number Of Monkeys

After all the Shakespeare, the book
of poems they type is the saddest
in history.

But before they can finish it,
they have to wait for that Someone
who is always

looking to look away. Only then
can they strike the million
keys that spell

humiliation and grief, which are
the great subjects of Monkey

and not, as some people still
believe, the banana
and the tire.

Ronald Koertge Comments

Mariana Warner 20 October 2018

Ron Koertge's book is DIARY COWS, not DAIRY COWS. Therein lies the delightful quirky humor of his title poem. See also his MAKING LOVE TO ROGET'S WIFE. He's a gem, one of a kind! ! !

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Gene Goldfarb 06 July 2018

Such a wonderful and wry sense of humor. I could see why Billy Collins liked your poems.

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