What Do You Do for Pleasure?

Jul 20, 2018

Today’s poem is “What Do You Do for Pleasure?” by Peter Harris. Peter is the author of two books of poetry, Blue Hallelujahs and Freeing the Hook. For many years he taught American literature and creative writing at Colby College.

He writes, "'What Do You Doo for Pleasure?' is a found poem I encountered while listening to a podcast from Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe. They have a well-regarded chaplaincy training program. This was an actual Q&A session."

What Do You Do for Pleasure?
by Peter Harris

she asked the gathering and one
said, I leave counseling for the dying
to go home and become a pack animal
with my three dogs. Several
others mentioned dogs.  Marriage, said one,
is best as a 50-50 proposition.
With a dog it’s 100-100. Several
reported spontaneous dancing.
The very controlled one said,
Silliness, I lick my plate, make
faces,  Another just breathed or,
when miserable, used her
intuition to suss out the miserable
and help them cross the street, or whatever.
                             Sometimes
words are wafers and through them
we digest the god who never lets us
forget he doesn’t exist.  The proper
one who confessed to licking plates
brought the audience the most joy.

Poem copyright © Peter Harris. Reprinted by permission of Peter Harris.