1. European Union compliance message: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
R. Evan Pitts: Ear Evolution and Other Poems
Part of the PoetryCircle Showcase series.
  • Thanks to Mrs. Bunny Killer and her friend The Egg Lady

    Ear Evolution

    It started when an ear fell
    Off some creature in the sea.
    Later shark and crab ears slip
    Filling the ocean floor
    With layers of ear.

    On land the dogs and apes lose
    Ears. The doctors say it's an epidemic.
    The plague, an ear specialist cries.
    Oh hell, screams a teenage son
    Watching his ear crash to the floor.


    Having the Trees Over for Sunday Dinner

    And again like every week
    The trees come over
    For sunday dinner.

    And again clumps of sod
    Trail from the back door
    Across the kitchen.

    And again Father tree
    Accidentally dips his
    Leaves into the gravy.

    And again Baby tree
    Wipes sap across
    Dog dog's face.

    And again like every week
    Mother tree


    The Ceiling People

    Around the corner from my house
    Live the ceiling people,
    People stuck
    To the ceiling of their home.
    Some stuck by the buttocks
    Others by an arm or leg.

    My friend says the ceiling people
    Come down at night,
    Run past their front window,
    Down to the basement,
    Then up to the attic.
    But my friend emphasizes
    The ceiling people always return
    To the ceiling by morning.

    My father says
    The ceiling people
    Are just ceiling people
    All the time.


    Dancing Ducks

    It's in the bathroom where
    My mother keeps the dancing ducks,
    Where late at night ducks rehearse,
    Tapping their webbed feet.

    Shut-up in there, my dog screams,
    Damn ducks.


    The Closet

    At night I watch them
    Play in my bedroom closet.
    In the morning I offer breakfast,
    But the boys just sit.

    I suggest tennis or baseball,
    And dangle fawn-eyed girls
    From closet hangers,
    But the boys just sit, making spit.

    I write threatening notes,
    And stack beds and dressers
    Cursing the closet door.
    The boys shriek and scream for more.


    My Friends the Old People

    In the morning I discover old people
    Wandering aimlessly throughout my house.
    I sneak out the back, hoping not to startle them,
    Since old folk are known for their weak hearts.

    When I return home I find more old people
    Playing pinochle. Must be friends, I think,
    Why bother old people who are quietly
    Playing? So I tiptoe off to my room.

    Late at night I hear laughter from the kitchen.
    A bingo game has been started by crowds
    Of old people. In my closet I find more
    Playing spin-the-bottle and smoking pot.


    The Room

    An old man stands in the empty room.
    It needs new wallpaper, he thinks,
    It had been years since he and his wife
    Had pasted up new. It was the year before
    Her death; she felt the room craved
    A warmer look; he had to agree with her.

    With a penknife the man slowly cuts
    Back the top layer of wallpaper.
    He steps back and listens to the faint
    Singing of his wife in the kitchen
    As she begins to prepare dinner.
    He wonders if it is that late.

    He cuts back another layer of paper;
    This room had been his two sons' bedroom.
    Through the window he sees the two boys
    Playing basketball in the driveway.
    The man places his hand on the window;
    Confused, he turns back and cuts more.

    A ten-year-old boy stands in the room;
    He recognizes this as his own room.
    On the other side of the bedroom door
    He hears his mother and father arguing.
    Saddened, the boy turns and walks back
    To the wall; he cuts back another layer.

    Through the window, sunlight is shining
    On a small crib in the center of the room.
    Inside, a baby boy stares at the soft pink
    Rose bud patterns. The infant reaches out
    His tiny hand.


    The Street Vendor

    A man stands on the corner
    and begins to sell his body.

    First he sells an index finger
    to a passing tourist, an old
    lady anxiously buys a knee cap.

    Some of the parts won't sell;
    he thinks of running a special.

    The sun fades from the corner
    and the man wants to go home,
    but can't.


    Mr. Brahma in New York

    Mr. Brahma (an important cow from India)
    Visits New York. The taxis ignore
    His bellowing. The police arrest him
    For loitering and fine him for improper
    Disposal of waste.

    People need to learn respect,
    Mr. Brahma thinks.


    The Cutting of the Bride

    Save a breast
    My father screams
    As I cut slices
    From her wrist.
    Then on dainty
    Napkins mother passes
    Out pieces of the bride.

    Guests burn gifts
    On the alter.
    Watch me slip off
    The bride's blue garter
    And filet
    Her firm thigh.

    Grandfather sits
    On the last row
    Of folding chairs,
    Smiles while he tells
    How he drew
    And quartered
    His first bride.


    The Dying Sun

    A man takes his dog to the club.
    They seem to enjoy each other's company,
    Drinking beer and talking politics.

    Soon the man and his dog become best
    Of friends, spending the weekends
    At parties singing, dancing and chasing
    Women. Real swingers, one person comments.

    It continues the same each week;
    The man gets drunk and the dog drives
    The man home and puts him to bed.

    One night at the club the dog sits
    Alone in the back. He looks at black
    And white photos and thinks about
    The times he spent with his mother

    On the back porch listening
    To the dying sun, then maybe barking
    A little at the neighborhood kids.


    The Mailman

    My dog digs up the mailman
    Buried in a snow bank for weeks.
    Frozen like a block of ice
    He is dropped on my kitchen floor.

    While ice cubes spill from his mouth,
    Letters melt from mailman hands.
    My dog screams about the late mail
    And threatens to leave home.

    By the legs I drag the mailman,
    His head bouncing down the stairs.
    I stuff him in the clothes dryer
    And iron the pleats behind his ears.

    Please try to understand I beg,
    Hanging the mailman in my bedroom closet.
    My dog just leans against the mailbox,
    Smokes a cigarette and cries.


    Future Shock

    I once knew these two old garbage cans
    Who would sit around in front of the TV
    Watching Sunday Football and drinking beer.
    Damn recyclable cans, one would grumble,
    Who the hell needs them.


    The Victim

    As a man watches television
    His wife assembles a son.

    At the department store she shoplifts
    The arms and face of a nude mannequin.
    For a head the wife borrows a basketball,
    Finds an extra pair of legs in the kitchen sink.

    Let me introduce your new son, the new mother hails.
    Please, after the game, bleats the legless man.


    Free Verse

    Two men begin to play tennis.
    They both decide the net tends
    To interfere with their game.
    "Let us rid ourselves of this
    Obstacle," one man suggests,
    And the net is cut down.

    The two men enjoy playing tennis
    Without the net. "Let us strive
    For more freedom," the other man
    Remarks. "Why not erase the boundary
    Lines?" The lines are destroyed.

    The two men begin to play tennis
    Without the net or boundary lines.
    Serves get faster, volleys higher,
    The returns more creative.
    The two men play way past dark,
    Long into the next years.
  • R. Evan Pitts was active in the little magazine scene of the 1970s and 80s. His poems appeared in publications such as Clock Radio, Comet Halley, Electrum, Expresso Tilt, Impetus, Open 24 Hours, Piddiddle, Poetry Motel, Random Weirdness, Seems, Ten Million Flies Can't Be Wrong, and Wormwood Review.

    This collection was first published in chapbook form by Clock Radio Press in 1986. It is reprinted here by permission of R. Evan Pitts and Clock Radio Press. You can download a PDF of the original publication here.
  1. LeRoy Candle Baker
    These are fascinating poems.   Your style is terse, ironic and timely and only slightly jaded.   The irony lends itself to cultural criticism, well-stated points of spatial-emotional-and psychological exploration, commentary, exploration.   I think that what you have shows promise and is quite up-to-par for publishable and future text (future shock as the transition from Toffler).       These poems make want to drink an excellent or or at least high to mid grade tea, read a decent copy of some economic journal or foreign policy report or literary review and perhaps watch my neighbor build the fire in my own living room .
  2. Keith Morley
    I enjoyed all of these immensely, my particular favorite would be The Room, stunning.
  3. TrishSaunders
    Whoa! I clicked here, not knowing what to expect and was blown away by  these! Good God! I hope the author comes back and writes more poems.
  4. Julia Schott
    Very sexy in their own way.
  5. Daniel J. Flore III
    So different yet so familiar! Like these!
  6. brendan christopher
    Nice to see you here, Evan...looking forward to seeing some new material from you soon.
    Leeza Sykes likes this.
  7. Jay Dougherty
    Evan, hope we see your new stuff. :) The "suicide" thing was an attempt to put 2+2 together from things I found on the Web. Glad I was wrong.

    Brendan, I agree with your assessment of their attraction. They're unlike anything I've seen.
    Leeza Sykes likes this.
  8. R. Evan Pitts
    Ya, I'm still alive, not sure where Jay came up with the suicide thing, just took a few years off from writing, about 35. Thanks for the wonderful comments, you are spot on with the childlike, strange depth thing, that explains exactly what I try to do with my poems. Hope to put some new stuff out this year. Thanks Evan
  9. brendan christopher
    Love these poems (I downloaded the PDF book a year or so ago from this site and prefer it in that format). My favorites are "The trees," "The Ceiling People," and "The Street Vendor" but all of them are fresh and meld together quite well.  I'm not sure what it as about these little pieces that has me return every so often--they have almost a childlike simplicity to them but also a strange depth.

    Adding to the strangeness is the seeming disappearance of the author, who I believe Jay thought at one time may have committed suicide?  However, I could have sworn I saw a name registered as R. Evan Pitts on PC  last year. Maybe it was just my imagination.
    Jay Dougherty likes this.
  10. Cheryl.Leverette
    Wow.  All of these poems are so good.  I thought I was reading the best one at 'Street Vendor' but they just get better.  All those body parts!  Great writing.
    Leeza Sykes and Jay Dougherty like this.