Kyle Norwood


Spam: An Eclogue

“Five plates of Spam a day is not enough
if you love Spam as much as me! Get bored?
Not if a choral-singing Viking horde
that didn’t know how much I love the stuff
should tie me to a chair and, getting rough,
force-feed me pounds of Spam until it poured
from every orifice! I’d thank the Lord
for so much Spam! No, no, what would be tough
is not to sing the ‘Spam Song’ day and night
while wolfing down this marbled pink delight,
this Andy Warhol masterpiece of meat,
this paragon of processed food, complete
Platonic form of flesh in tins, the height
of mighty English meals—” “Shut up and eat.”


Valedictory Address

Yes, this is life. It’s happening right now.
Pay close attention, so you’ll notice stuff.
You can do anything if you know how,
Though things get harder when the going’s tough.
When life is easy, friends, there’s nothing to it!
Nothing’s impossible if you can do it.

Love is a blessing, when it doesn’t hurt.
Permit your lover all that you’ll allow!
And though white lies are blameless, I assert
You can’t be trusted if you break a vow.
You’ll always get along if you don’t fight;
Love makes the loved one precious in your sight.

But seize the day, for you will only know,
When day is gone forever, endless night.
Since you must die when it’s your time to go,
Death is the way to leave this life aright.
Like Socrates, you’re human and thus mortal.
You can’t walk through a wall, so use the portal.

Kyle Norwood is the winner of the 2014 Morton Marr Poetry Prize from Southwest Review. His poems have also appeared or will soon appear in Innisfree Poetry Journal, Seneca Review, Right Hand Pointing, and the anthology Poems for a Liminal Age. His science fiction narrative poem “Cyrano” will appear online in Devilfish Review. He lives in Los Angeles, where he earned a doctorate in English at UCLA and taught for many years in the public high school system.