Simon Mermelstein


Running for Sonnet

Vote for my opponent and you’ll see…
Huge tax increases. Major waste and fraud.
He doesn’t know Taipei from Tennessee!
His whole domestic policy is flawed.
And look at him. His weasel little face.
Could you imagine this guy running things?
He’s got no statesmanship. He lacks the grace.
The free world can’t afford his bumblings.
I—let me finish, please—I pledge to serve.
To help the poor, the hungry and the sick.
To be the Prez you citizens deserve
And never Twitter pictures of my dick.
We’re out of time, so vote for me, OK?
My flag pin’s on! God bless the USA!


American Seder

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On other nights, we eat Wonder Bread,
but on this night, we eat very specific crackers and complain about them.

On other nights, we probably don’t eat any vegetables,
but on this night, we might eat some parsley. Or we might not.

On other nights, we drink an average of 2.6 glasses of soda,
but on this night, someone brings a bottle of Manischewitz, but nobody drinks it.

On other nights, we eat on the couch or in the car,
but on this night, we actually eat around a table. If we have any Jewish friends.
If not, I don’t know, maybe somebody from temple will invite you. Just try not to seem desperate.


Simon Mermelstein is a Writing Center tutor at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and appeared in Parody, The MacGuffin, Rainy Day, JerkPoet, and Third Wednesday. He was a finalist in the 2014 Ann Arbor City Slam, and his first chapbook, Zero One: Poems for Humans (2013, Zetataurus Press), has sold upwards of 67 copies. In his spare time, he enjoys writing brief, third-person bios.