Daniel Galef


Stage Door Clerihews

lived before Pfizer or AstraZeneca
but in his plots
he took plenty of shots.

Cole Porter
had a tall order
writing sex comedies after the Hayes Code stole theater’s soul;
there’s no such thing as clean Cole.

Kurt Weill
couldn’t help but smile
when Brecht said “Don’t be tense—
We won’t really charge three cents.”

Eugene Ionesco
while shopping at Tesco
found it prepoceros
that his cashier kept turning into a rhinoceros.

Brian Friel
could seem genteel:
He smiled humbly when dubbed “the Irish Chekhov”
but if asked “Are you f’real?” answered “Feck off.”

Stephen Sondheim
is shown in opera houses and civic centers from Trondheim
to Tallahatchie
because he can straddle being clever and being catchy.

Andrew Lloyd Webber
like the wife of Heber
can hammer a tune into our brains
even if it’s about metaphysical cats or roller-skating trains.


Daniel Galef ‘s writing has been featured in The New Yorker—in that, earlier this year, he placed second in the cartoon caption competition. His debut collection, Imaginary Sonnets, is forthcoming from Word Galaxy/Able Muse Press in winter 2022/2023.