Editor's note: Aaron Belz dedicates this poem to Alan Jacobs, whose tweet linking to his blog inspired it.
We invite you to celebrate
New Year's Eve 2012
at The Aviary. Doors open
at nine, and though many birds
may attempt to escape,
we have hired armed guards
to shoot them down into
feathery piles as partygoers
stroll flexibly into the ball room
where a live band composed
of men with beards and amber
sunglasses will be playing
old jazz standards backwards
while clouds of smoke shrink
and reenter their cigarette tips,
Benjamin Button-style. Hors
d'oeuvres will appear at ten,
followed by a course of roasted
grouse and capers, and certain bored
cinema men will read newspapers
whilst sitting in seats not assigned
to them, and won't it be gay?
Will you bring Proust and une
bouteille de Chambord, wear
your most frolicsome trousers
plaid or panic-themed? You
ladies, will you bonnet your heads
and drool TV quotes into cheese
samplers that have appeared
on well-carved boards? We
will have produced them,
as if from a wall of mist,
from our nether kitchen of fun,
from our place of celebration.
And it is to this and so much more
you have been invited heretofore
and also, again, this year. Oh,
and for dessert a white-whipped
bed of suppressed ennui topped
with slices of cinnamony pear.
Enjoy it while it lasts, because
it's all your New Year's pasts,
beginning at nine and lasting till when?
Till we spot the Greater Prairie Hen,
of course, flapping toward the open
door. By then we'll be soused,
coughing up little chunks of grouse.
Aaron Belz is the author of two books of poetry, The Bird Hoverer (BlazeVOX) and Lovely, Raspberry (Persea).
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