I am writing found poems about haircuts.
They are provisionally titled Hirsute Verse.
I started with Meet Me at McDonalds as a contemporary, satirical piece and have moved on from there.
I so far have, in alphabetical order:
Barthes’ Brando Cut
Chicago Crew-Cut has caused me to pause and rethink.
I am trying to include too much personal detail, rather than only found ideas:
memories of my uncle who I think lived in Chicago.
He had a basement room with a barber’s chair.
My dad would take me there on family visits – but it can only have been once or twice, a long way from Omaha.
The uncle would give me a crew-cut.
At the end he’d also scrub my head very hard with a rubber bristled brush.
I think it was meant to ‘make me a man’.
I think it was simple abuse, but not as bad, obviously, as that can be.
And not Gacy or Todd [that’s a line I forced in].
And can you see?
This detail intruded far too much.
So I am considering banning the project.
But I could just remove that poem?
I think I still want to do
Pompadour and Bouffant. But it is that kind of thinking that is making me think again.
Perhaps at 64, nearly 65 years old, that rubber bristled brush is why I still have hair?
Wouldn’t that be weird?
The benefits of brutality.
Is this why I grew my hair long as a teenager and beyond?
Maybe this is an important ‘theme’.
But the poems were losing their found spontaneity.
I was determined to use a line about a crew-cut as no pomp and all ceremony – this latter about the basement ritual.
And that’s ‘pomp’ as in ‘pompadour’.
You see, too clever-clogs.
I prefer this dirge
just to get it out there.
A prosaic cut.