A.M. Juster


Candid Email to the Librarian of Congress

Attached please find my resume.
I saw your website says today
you’re searching for a Laureate.
Lord knows, it’s not the glory it
bestows upon the honoree.
I’d almost take it on for free
because for me it is seductive
to “work” while being unproductive:
no weekly meetings to attend,
no more expenses to defend;
my repartee would not provoke
those HR chats about a joke.
Desk, paper, pen, humongous walls—
I’ll say “Yes!” when the Congress calls!
Although it’s undeniable
I’m labelled “unreliable,”
I often show up right on time.
I write free verse, delight in rhyme,
and blandly fake my way through speeches
just like some Harvard guy who teaches.
The rehab stint has redefined me;
that hygiene issue is behind me.
Most people find my pit bull pleasant;
no books are overdue at present.


Mistakes Were Made

Your check was probably mislaid;
I guarantee you will be paid.

My people screwed up on their own;
I would have stopped them had I known.

The problem must be what I feared;
the Internet is acting weird.

I never thought it was a crime;
everyone does it all the time.

I didn’t know there was a cop;
I must have been too drunk to stop.

My mother was a piece of work;
she didn’t mean to raise a jerk.



I kept hoping she would come alone.
She’s a gem, but he’s a kidney stone.


A.M. Juster has two books coming out later this year: Saint Aldhelm’s Riddles (University of Toronto Press) and Sleaze & Slander: New and Selected Comic Verse 1995-2015 (Measure Press). Against all odds, he has also begun tweeting at @amjuster.