Mosquitoes

by Andrew Dufresne
Wild Poetry Forum
Second Place, June 2014
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


I’m sitting outside under the screened-in umbrella,
just bought, having a glass or two of Avalon Cab,
just bought, in owl light, burning tikis, listening to
the Giants, the MadBum throwing wild, walking ‘em,

he escapes the inning. Theodore Roethke in my mind,
reading, I have a really nice Northern California buzz
on, I mean, this is the life, the one I dreamed of back
in the days when I dreamed of California, when I

hallucinated California, when I made California real.
I wish you were here, I really do. I’m serious. Come
on over if you’ve a mind to. I invite you all. Big party.
Except the mosquitoes. I tell you, the ones tonight

are clinging to the netting, they’re shouting at me,
Damn you, you are too delicious to be in there, let
us in! They’re hanging there famished. And I laugh.
I laugh, laugh, laugh. Oh man, I am so delicious.


In my mind, humor in poetry is incredibly hard to pull off. It tends toward either the punchline of an immediate historical moment or a wit that doesn’t wear well in later years. However, this piece has a loose charm that rises above those usual limitations. It’s rooted in specificity (Avalon Cab, the Giants, the MadBum) and has a colloquial language (I have a really nice Northern California buzz on,) that welcomes the reader into the experience. --R.T. Castleberry

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