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When I Dash Off a Poem

I throw down the ballpoint and say,

Take that!

You ignorant unaware world,

you thought you were complete

but I have added to you.

I have done my insolent dance

around your flaccid sombrero.

I snap my fingers over my shoulder and say

Take that, you who thought we were done.


Horses Work Hard

they clamp their bits in the riding ring

kicking the sawdust behind them

all day the children mount and pace

and when the animals rest

steam rises from their bodies like prayer

and they turn their heads and snort

when the last class is over and the girls ride

home in silence in their vans

the horses are let out

to find solace in the grass


Mike Finley, a/k/a Big Vanilla, has been writing and performing for the Twin Cities scene for almost 50 years. He has authored over 200 books and published in places as unlikely as Rolling Stone, Paris Review, and Billy Graham's Guideposts. One critic wrote of Mike: "In no one else's work, except Vallejo's, do I sense such desire straining at the limits of words."

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