car alarm = painful urination

So I’m not even sure if this piece of writing is a poem. All I know is that it’s original and clever, and I wish I had written it.

When I read this poem a few years ago in Harper’s Magazine, I promptly grabbed my scissors and cut it out of the magazine. And then I taped it in my scrap-book (where I use Scotch Tape to affix all sorts of lovely and interesting things).

Enjoy, dear readers!


Substitution Chart
By J. Robert Lennon

1 egg = 2 T vegetable oil
1 T prepared mustard = 1 t dry mustard
1 prune = 8 raisins
1 pizza = 12 dollars
1 C Coke = 1 C Pepsi
sunrise = sunset
1 wasp = 14 ants
1 hug = 5 handshakes
1 punch in jaw = 8 middle fingers
1 stomach flu = 10 staff meetings
completing free coffee card = spying nude neighbor through the window
licked by dog = gift of ugly necktie
cloud = crow
bowling trophy = promotional t-shirt
finding a $20 bill on the sidewalk = finding 20 $1 bills on the sidewalk
thunderstorm = trick-or-treating
car door slammed on fingers = testifying against brother-in-law
legalized gambling = africanized killer bees
car alarm = painful urination
misspelling = untied shoe
2 lawyer jokes = 1 C bread crumbs
empty parking lot = dream-within-a-dream
shaving = sauteeing
pinking shears = parsley
tapanade = “Rashamon”
bone spur = church pew
eleventy-twelve = 122


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