April 30, 2017

Thirteen Poems

By In Poetry and Fiction

About Ivan Jenson:

Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His artwork was featured in Art in AmericaArt News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled “Absolut Jenson” for the brand’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spiritmusuem, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden.  Jenson’s painting of the “Marlboro Man” was collected by the Philip Morris corporation. Ivan was commissioned to paint the final portrait of the late Malcolm Forbes.  Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson’s poetry is widely published (with close to 600 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. A book of Ivan Jenson’s poetry was published by Hen House Press titled Media Child and Other Poems. Two novels by Ivan Jenson entitled, Marketing Mia and Erotic Rights have been published in hardcover. Ivan Jenson’s next novel, Gypsies of New Rochelle will soon be released by Michelkin Publishing. Ivan Jenson’s website is: www.IvanJenson.com


I was once
that way
because I didn’t know
any different
and so the slow
overtook me as it does
everyone who dares
to keep doing this
or avoiding that
and the years
turned into days
and dazed
I chose to accept
the phases
of the moon
like a good sun
ray of hope
stark as day
until the dark
of night
sometimes I turned
what I could
into clever phrases
but so far I have
not found a way
to outsmart
with art
the faulty wheel
of my shopping cart
where I keep
buying into
this popular

Amazon Man

It has come to my attention
that I have lost touch
with an entire generation
while I was busy being
a man of my time
meanwhile a whole slew
of high-tech experts
have created programs
which have all
but rendered
my hands-on approach
so now as I speak
others are saying more
with less
and reaching their
target audiences
while I preach
to the small choir
in the crumbling
church of my own
making me feel
like a subliminal
for a product
that no longer

Wall Paper

You share
of snapshots
which create
a dream-collage
of torn-off truths
and made-up
black and white
manifestations of
what might have been
and on that
bulletin board
riddled with
thumbtack facts
with sticky situations
that you emotionally
from your store-bought
Hallmark Heart
I see
the calendar
in your room
all you have
to look forward to
is a Zumba class
at noon

No Such App

It works like this
you ask your pride
and your feelings
to leave the room
to go keep your ego
then you sit your
dreams down
and wait for your hopes
to settle like dust
in the corner
then you give your
divided house of
on what your vanity
might find
hard to swallow
because you are
about to be
that sure,
has advanced
but not enough
to spare you
from getting

Cosmetic Cosmos
Don’t you wish
you could give
plastic surgery
and put the jaws
of death
under the knife
to remove
its double chin
wouldn’t it be great
if we could get fate
to stop eating
the junk food of time
and then send
space to the fat farm
so that it won’t
be so very vast
and finally I think
too many thoughts
are put through
the mind-washing
of therapy
and wind up
down to a size
too small
to truly fathom
this extra large

Wild Child
you try to understand
where they are coming from
after they come home
at five a.m. inebriated
you try to see things
their way
as they stare blankly
at the walls
you try to truly hear
what they are saying
as they mumble indecipherably
under their breath like Brando
and you think you can save them
but then they dive into the deep end
of a pool filled
with empty sorrow
and so you try
to resuscuate them
with your kiss of life
but like a stray black cat
that has brought you bad luck
they know damn well
they have at least
nine lives left
so they don’t mind
wasting your only one

Mixed Results

I threw caution
to the wind
and it wound up
blowing right back
into my face
then I gave up
trying to control
people and ended up
getting dominated
by an introvert
so then I meditated
on a hot rock
and got my ass burned
so I tried my luck
at the Bingo game
of chance
and lost my youth
to an old timer
who knew how
to play the game
so I decided to take it
one day at a time
and had a really bad week
which included
a flat tire
on my squeaky
wheel of fortune
and this stranded me
on the road
to happiness

Dr. Feel Good

We all have
and psychological
be patient
they are currently
test marketing products
that will soothe
it might come in
the form of a pill
or new law
of distraction
or maybe the answer
has already been sent
but we don’t open
our doors and check
for that mysteriously
and meticulously
wrapped gift
but hold on just
a little while longer
and QVC
or the Home
Shopping Network
will have that
one size fits all
inner and
that will render you
as happy as
an all-knowing smile
on the photoshopped face
of a Sears catalog

Getting There

Like a goal
that experts say
is beyond your reach
you continue to knock
your head
against that distant
you are the sort
that is first in line
for the premiere of
a box-office flop
because you think that there
is much to be learned
from well intentioned
like how not
to be a sore winner
you know, the sort
that forgets to thank
Mom, God
or a combination
of factors
like the generosity
and velocity
of wind powered

Face Value

Did you recently
color your hair
your password
Oh, I know –
you switched
so that know
you are mostly
persona non grata
with your empty space
and forced smiles
knowing very well
that one can’t be
too thin or too rich
when you tiptoe
the high fashion
tightrope runway
above the have-nots
in the hope of being
a human cannon ball
shot into the media circus
of public approval
just don’t forget
us little people
who now feel like
clowns coming out
of a car

Exit Signs

You left
your scarf
and your senses
your pride
and us friends
but we totally
how someone
so mindful
could simply
care less
after all you
were swept
off your feet
by someone
who took everything
and everyone
for granted
when they
you into a
snowy state
of Stockholm syndrome
just give us
a heads up
in the morning
and let us know
how it went
and don’t leave out
any scrambled eggs
or juicy

Venus Envy

You are making
out of my
while standing
on my foot
when it is
my time
to show
that my
soft shoes shine
as I tap dance
my problems
by turning
them into
a song
and dance
and you
are trying to
bust my
bag of
because you
can’t stand
to see
my first
and last name
up in lights
with the stars
and below
so please stop
bursting my
It’s my party
I can sigh
if I want to

Spike Punch Lines

You startled me
with your subtlety
I was not expecting
someone to meet
my expectations
by meeting all my
friends and demands
and the fact that you
were able to make
small talk seem big
and brash
and accessible
to anyone
who overheard
your frankly funny
stories about your
child-, teen-
and adulthood
kept us in stitches
and wonderfully
by all the pain
that does not hurt
you any more.
Yours was not
an easy path
so I picked
up the check
since we all had
a laugh at
your expense

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