15 Stories and Poems by Mike Topp
“Mike Topp is a disablingly funny writer—a miniaturist of nervous precisions, our supreme abridger of metropolitan startlement and inner fidgetry. He dazes and graces us.” —Gary Lutz
“Just when I think Mike Topp’s poems are funny, they’re wise. Just when I think they’re wise, they’re bad. Just when I think they’re bad, they’re great. Mike Topp’s poems are exactly like the world.” —Eileen Myles
My friend from Waffle House says if you stacked all of the sausage patties they serve in one day, it would reach the top of the Empire State Building. I say, why bother?
We were pledging allegiance to the flag and Dad caught me looking out the window. Mom said she didn’t think that was very patriotic of me. I said I was looking at the flag outside on the pole. Dad thought it over and said that from now on we were to all look at the flag inside.
I remember the first time we left little Timmy John alone. We had one of those doors for the cat to go in and out of. Sure enough, when we got home, little Timmy John had his head caught in it. He wasn’t hurt or anything—just a little frightened. But the cat was mad.
Low tide, flat water, sultry sun.
One observes profoundest shadows rolling
And messing up my lawn.
Two glasses of orange juice contain more Vitamin C than one glass of orange juice.
Laughter, according to Reader’s Digest magazine, “is the best medicine.”
DREAM JOURNAL ca October 10, 2009
Dear Dream Journal,
Last night I dreamed I had a lot of trouble falling off a log.
God rains his love down on us every day. But we don’t feel that love, because our ego is like a giant umbrella that we hold over our heads. What we need to do is put that umbrella away in the ego’s umbrella stand—then we will feel God’s love. Ego’s umbrella stand, in black walnut or mahogany. $7,500.
It was a hot afternoon—perfect for a swim—but I’d promised Stella I’d meet her at the train station. Around two o’clock I took my bicycle and started out. When I arrived at the train station, Stella wasn’t there. Then I realized I wasn’t at the train station, but in a hut made of tongue depressors and pieces of gum. Still, where was she?
There’s this thing I do where I swallow letters, then I swallow stamps, then I pull them out and all the letters are stamped.
I got a great job last Friday but the pay is too low and the work I do is humiliating.
A BRONX WOMAN
Lindsay is always handing me jars that I can’t open. “Open this jar for me,” she says. Then she leaves the room and I twist and twist. The jar never opens. She comes back in a few minutes, and without saying a word she takes the jar from my hand and opens it. Then she goes about her business until there is another jar to open. “Open this jar for me,” she says. She doesn’t do it on purpose. Not Lindsay. I don’t know why she does it. I know her in person after worshipping her in Get a Clue, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Just My Luck, and Mean Girls.
What r your thoughts on WINDSHIELD WIPERS?
I’ve always wanted one, off and on, since a friend got one (from his aunt) in high school. Well, just as sure as death and taxes, I thought of them again yesterday when it was raining. Here’s a drawing I did of the one I want: /
EASY LOBSTER RABBIT
You will need a plate. You will need a saucepan. You will need two cans of Welsh rabbit. You’ll need a can opener to open them because you’re going to make Easy Lobster Rabbit. So you’re going to need one 5- or 6-ounce can of lobster, cubed and drained. You’re going to need mushrooms, 3 ounces of sliced broiled mushrooms. You’re going to need a small pan with a handle. So you better have that—that little pan with the handle. You’re going to need a small pan with a handle. You’re going to need hot toast points. Okay, let’s just recap really quickly, and just move things, really fast, fast as you can. You will need a small plate. You will need rabbit, lobster, mushrooms, white wine, hot toast points. A can opener. Dinner in 45 minutes? It’s possible! Delicious? Of course! Mealtime, on time, will be no problem with Easy Rabbit Lobster.
DEAR WEDNESDAY DIARY
I am interested in knowing if the Learning Annex will include typing in its program again this year. The rumor is that due to last year’s small turnout they might be discontinuing the class. I had to drop out for personal reasons and not for any lack of interest. Some of the other people I talked with that couldn’t continue the course said the same thing and are as anxious as I am about it. _TAB_