Photo of poet Dan Vollweiler

Two Poems – Dan Vollweiler

Ode to Political Wingnuts

I call you to ask for help with my cause.
I make the mistake of asking what you think.
You begin, with frightening haste,
to share your thoughts.
In fact, I may not have even asked you
yet what you thought.

Ten minutes later, I’m searching for a delicate way
to bring you back to my cause, or at the very least,
the physical reality in which we both exist.
You have described, in detail, everything,
everything, that is wrong with this world.
(Except, as it should happen, my cause)
Your biggest political concern seems to be the
untrustworthiness of cashiers at Stop and Shop.
Followed closely by the noisiness of your neighbor’s dogs,
whom you just screamed at, not bothering to maintain
a distance between your mouth and the phone.

I know way too much about the
intricacies of your joint pains.
You are now on a tangent of a tangent of a
tangent, and it’s clear that even you don’t
know what you are talking about.
I feel like I’m in a postmodern novel.
I feel like I’m the butt of a cosmic joke.

I have a new pitch.
Forget about my cause.
“Ma’am. Ma’am, excuse me.”
I build a dam against the torrent of
utterly random worries, beliefs, anecdotes,
unprovoked outbursts and deep, wheezy coughs.
“Could you please donate five dollars to the
American Psychological Association?
It’s urgent.”


A Betting Clerk is the Life For Me

Working as a betting clerk is like
electro-shock therapy
only less pleasant.
The betters a delight.
And a sight to behold.
In their golf shorts and polos.
Their puffy gray chest hair spilling
forth like moldy sprouts.
They spit out their bets like pumpkin
seeds and leave without a word.

I work on a touch screen,
and I’m in turn,
touched by the lives
changed at the race track every day.
The lady who said
caution be damned!
And slammed one dollar down
on my window for
the favorite to show.
And returned home that day
aglow with ten more
cents to blow.
The eight-years-old
who had her first taste of
gambling dough.
The horse who went to
heaven after that oopsy.

There is nothing like the thrill
of a busy day when you have a
line like the Mighty Mississippi.
Everyone looking at you
expectantly waiting for their chance.
And you put up a “closed” sign.
And go to the restroom.

And the smells!
Intoxicating aroma
of rolled carcinoma.
Boquet of Budweiser
on betters’ breath.
And the scintilating
scent of schvitizng

Thoroughbread racing.
Thoroughly rejuvanating.

Taking bets.
Taking breaks.
Stakes race.
Stakes break.

End of the day
count up my drawer.
Make sure it balances.
I count, too, my spiritual
gains and losses for the day.
In both cases, I’m 50 short.


Dan Vollweiler is America’s most attractive poet (clearly). He has been writing poetry since the poetry bug bit him at an early age and infected him with rhyme disease. From tweenage poems lampooning the O.J. Simpson trial and Tickle Me Elmo, he has matured into poems about Kinkos, mom jeans and competitive mall-walking. No absurdity, whether political, social or autobiographical is safe from his puckish pen. He wishes to follow in the footsteps of his literary idol, Mark Twain. He also wishes to follow in the footsteps of a rich man with a hole in his pocket.