Two Poems

 
 
A Short History of Financial Euphoria
 
I saw a girl today,
so like you the years melted away;
the beauty of certain tulips
is a virus in the bulb,
petals push away languid green
to rise heavy with their
own perfume, white as St. George’s flag
and shot through
with a signal of its strain,
long, crimson veins—

Sensible economists insist
things weren’t so bad for the Dutch
during their tulipomania
as by convention is claimed.
I find it, however, hard
not to believe
the story: how, one night,
a sailor, taking
a priceless tulip bulb
for an onion, slice by slice,
consumed
the riches of a life.
 
 
Rodeo Monkey Lives
 
Rodeo Monkey is no joke,
Rodeo Monkey is serious stuff:
if he goes down, he could get crushed.

Rodeo Monkey’d be first to admit
he’s not the intellectual type.
Vote for Reagan, again, if he could.

Rodeo Monkey doesn’t mind the crowd,
Rodeo Monkey minds the bull.
Rodeo Monkey has just one rule:

hang on, and never, ever, let go.
When Rodeo Monkey has a bad fall,
Rodeo Monkey gets a smoke.

Sure, he has a bit of a cough,
who don’t? Rodeo Monkey got the call
most monkeys never get.

Rodeo Monkey likes grapes, give him
one. Rodeo Monkey won’t bite—
especially after all the fuss

with the kid. Rodeo Monkey lives
in a cage, but does your cage
have a TV set? No more questions,

step to one side: it’s time.
Rodeo Monkey was born to ride.
 
 

BENJAMIN HARNETT, born 1981 in Cooperstown, NY lives in Brooklyn with his wife Toni. He holds an MA in Classics from Columbia University, and works as a digital engineer for The New York Times. His poetry, short stories, and essays have appeared in Pithead Chapel, Brooklyn Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review, and (some of his best work) on Twitter, @benharnett.