Eight poems by Claire Paffenhöfer and Laura Leidner


Spork's Poetry
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Eight poems by Claire Paffenhöfer and Laura Leidner


Job Title

I am the Milk Hostage Holder-Driver for a man who ransoms milk from unsuspecting families. We kidnap the milk. Then I carry the jugs and cartons to my refrigerator van and lug them into the back, all at once, and I call it the Milk Jug Waltz. People fall in and out of love just in time to find a new partner. After the milk is taken hostage, we call the family for the ransom: give us your life savings or we'll take all your ice cream. I drive around in my van full of milk. Right now, there are lots of gallons of whole Vitamin D milk from this family of professional chefs. Theirs was a difficult break-in, not because they had a professional kitchen, but because I had a charlie horse.


Operation Milk

Sometimes I am sad that I cannot protect myself with a helmet of milk. Still, I am happy to report that milk protects my insides from the inside. Plus, it's the only way I can grow a mustache before I turn 40.

I wonder if dairy farmers think "udder" when they hear the word "utter" or "other" or "oughter" - like, "I oughter go up the hill to fetch a pail." What would Operation Milk entail? Operation Milk is a top secret game of Operation between the greatest milkitary minds in the world. The object of the game is to scoop up different-shaped spilt milks with baby teaspoons.

Math problem: The milkitary wants to issue helmets of milk to soldiers. 98% of soldiers have helmets that fit. If the median diameter of a helmet is 20 inches, what is the interquartile range for helmet size (in inches)?



My brains get all milked up whenever it's raining. They start curdling, and I start weighing consequences. Then the grass comes inside to get out of the rain and starts having a war with the carpets. After the war, we all sit down and have a nice cup of milk. Me with my flashy tin mug that hurts when it's cold. The grass with baby sponges that soak up the milk. And the carpets, who always refuse to drink!


When I Grow Up

I want to settle down one day and live in Milkwaukee. Here's a scenario: you are wearing a sillyband and someone asks, "Is that a pond? Or a squiggly racetrack?" And you say, "Naw, man, that's spilt milk!"


The Drawf

The Drawf sits on the couch, slumped like flowers on a wet grave. I don't know why he's so angry at the table, but he certainly is, glaring at it, as if daring it to jump up on the counter. If the table does jump up on the counter, I suppose we'll have to skip breakfast. The Drawf won't be pleased with that. There's a crumb between the Drawf's toes, and I reach down to pick it out. He stops me, and says, "Leave the crumb."

The crumb must want some place where it can swing and relax as if in the hammock on our front porch. I can respect that but with a hesitation. I don't like crumbs. The crumbs sometimes crawl into our bed at night. I brush them off, but they multiply into millions like spilled rice. The Drawf even encourages them, snacking on them like after-dinner mints by the handful. I ask him to stop eating the crumbs, but he always replies that he feels like crap and so do the crumbs.


Let Milk=Milk

Milk is the preferred word to use on T.V. in place of expletives. For example, the young man at the beginning of Pulp Fiction is so excited he cries, "Milkin' A, it worked!" Other examples include "Kiss my milk!" and "Go milk yourself!" Milk can also be used during tender moments. For example, when Otis Redding says, "I've been milking you too long to stop now."


Milk Blues

i got dumped today

and lost a game of chess

i lost my arm in the war

my good, drinking arm

now i have to drink milk

through a straw

i tell you, it's awful

i'm color blind which means i see

everything in white

except for milk

which i see in red

that's why i have the milk blues



Kokomo Arnold sang the song "Milk Cow Blues." When he was 67 years old, he died of a heart attack. They buried him in Burr Oak Cemetery where he is trod upon by milk cows.


Claire Paffenhöfer holds a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of Georgia. She lives in Athens where she met Laura Leidner through the student-run college radio station WUOG 90.5FM. She won a coloring contest when she was little.

Laura Leidner is a student at the University of Georgia. She hosts a Celtic folk music show, Down By The Salley Gardens, and a poetry and storytelling show, Purple Cow, on the college radio station WUOG 90.5fm every Sunday at 10am EST. The shows are also aired live with happy tears on the Internet and posted for streaming at http://wuog.org/.