I’ve been eyeing this particular collection for awhile now and after having read it, I feel mad at myself for taking so long to pick it up. Egghead is nothing short of spectacular.
The basic premise is that it’s a strange and charming collection of hilariously absurd poetry, writing, and illustration from one of today’s most popular young comedians…
And as you might know by now, I love poetry books with illustrations… so this was it for me.
Here are a few (okay… a lot…) of my favorite poems from Egghead:
“I would do anything for you,
I would move a mountain for you
if that mountain could be moved
with a button or with a lever that
wasn’t too cold to the touch.
I would give you the moon if I could.
You would love the moon. You would
show it off to everyone and not give a fuck
that you’ve now severely damaged our ecosystem by disrupting the tides.
Maybe a nice look in the mirror is in order, Missy. ”
“Read this to yourself. Read it silently.
Don’t move your lips. Don’t make a sound.
Listen to yourself. Listen without hearing anything.
What a wonderfully weird thing, huh?
NOW MAKE THIS PART LOUD!
SCREAM IT IN YOUR MIND!
DROWN EVERYTHING OUT.
Now, hear a whisper. A tiny whisper.
Now, read this next line with your best crotchety- old-man voice:
“Hello there, sonny. Does your town have a post office?”
Awesome! Who was that? Whose voice was that?
It sure wasn’t yours!
How do you do that?
Must be magic.”This was the poem that initially made me interested in picking up this collection!
On Poets and Farts
“Why do poets always talk about the ocean’s waves,
about their single file march to shore,
and yet never talk about my grandmother’s farts,
which arrive in time, one after the other, with equal regularity?
Are these poets too holy to comment on anything
less than nature’s flashiest gestures?
Are we going to spend another millennia searching
for meaning in sunsets and waterfalls?
Or will we finally turn our ear to Grammy’s rump
and away from all that pretty stuff,
and hear that foul, muted trumpet sing,
marking the end of an era?”
I actually laughed out loud at this for so long. Why do I do this to myself??
“On the third of June, at a minute past two,
where once was a person, a flower now grew.
Five daisies arranged on a large outdoor stage
in front of a ten-acre pasture of sage.
In a changing room, a lily poses.
At the DMV, rows of roses.
The world was much crueler an hour ago.
I’m glad someone decided to give flowers a go.”
Hell Waits “Hell waits in a doctor’s office,
tapping his shoe against a loose strip of carpet, holding a magazine in front of his face,
trying to look professional,
whilst eyeing the children’s toys.”
“You’re a bunny, Alfred.
Quit all this “elephant” bullshit.
Look at your little bunny ears.
Look at your adorable whiskers.
Do elephants have little bunny ears? Do they have adorable whiskers?
No, they don’t.
You can’t just wake up one day
and decide to be an elephant, Alfred.
The world doesn’t work like that.
There are rules, Alfred.
And you want to stomp all over them.
Get over yourself.”
“How, may I ask, did you get so you,
you beautiful true-to-you doer?
I’ve met many today but can honestly say
that I’ve never met anyone you-er.”
“I could make an easy joke to get you laughing.
Something about a cat and then
the word pussy being used ambiguously.
I could tell a sad story to get you crying.
Like how I had a single mother
who started selling handmade yo-yos
to support her only child.
I could tell you an interesting fact to get you nodding,
Like how carpets were first made in the hopes that all of the world’s grass
would one day be replaced by carpets, or, as they called them, “comfy grass.”
I could tell you a scary story to get your teeth chattering,
Something about a really old man, sitting in a squeaky rocking chair, pointing at you.
What are you in the mood for?”
I actually felt everything he said I would.
“You’re incomparable like a…
“If the poem you’re writing is silly and dumb,
make sure that it rhymes at the end. Bum.”
Count of Six
“I’ll give you till the count of six.
Let me be!
There’s the door!
While I’m still alive!
Please stay, I love you.”
“I’m a nihilist.
Life has no meaning. No point.
Happiness is a chemical coincidence and nothing else
(still“else” though nothing to begin with).
Value is a vast vault of black,
a black that dictates lack.
Oh, and that accidental rhyme just then meant nothing.
Why are you color-coding things?
What’s the point, fascist?
For more, check out my blog.”
“Well, man, you know what they say.”
No, I don’t. I don’t know what they say.
I don’t even know who they are.
Who is this they?
They seem pretty smug.
They seem to think they know shit.
“No matter our race or color or creed
or way of life or species or breed.
No matter our height or girth or scent,
we all hate Donald because Donald is a fucking dick.”
“Little Ashley hung magazine spreads on her wall,
after picking the magazines out in the mall.
Models and actresses, singers and more,
with cleavage and makeup and glamour galore!
All of her heroes were finally nearer.
Her whole room looked perfect—except for the mirror.”This one was surprisingly deep.
“Be patient, be patient.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
It wasn’t built at all, in fact.
Rome self-assembled in reaction
to the people’s unwavering patience.
So be patient, be patient.”
“I don’t expect
to change your mind
with one conversation,
only to chip away at it,
like a woodpecker on a redwood tree.”
“From my window seat, the world looks so tiny,
the cities so adorably ordered.
Makes me realize just how insignificant people are
and just how godlike I am.”
“Our love was a roller coaster.
It had ups and downs and I sat real close to her.
It had a real slow climb and a real quick drop.
I screamed “faster” and she begged it to stop.
I put up my hands and she held on tight.
Not a second of boredom on our rickety flight.
And when it came to a stop at that first safer place,
I said, “Let’s do it again,” and she puked in my face.”
“Her eyes were like fire.
They weren’t red or anything.
Not particularly warm, either.
They didn’t glow or “appear to glow,”
whatever that means.
But they had that same strange blend of familiar and miraculous—
and they were always nice to look at after a long day of doing things.”
This collection managed to, among many other feelings, make me laugh out loud multiple times, which I really, really needed.
I loved Egghead and after I finished reading I had to listen to my favorite Bo Burnham song again:
Two quotes in particular from the song always get to me:
“The world’s so sad, bros
Pain, genocide, war, sexism, racism
But I gotta remember there’s good things about it too
Like the fact that none of that’s happening to me, score!”
“The world isn’t sad. The world’s funny! I’m a sociopath!”