Malaika King Albrecht 

There is a bias toward serious poetry and against humorous poetry. However, there is a long tradition of humor in poetry. One need only read Chaucer or Shakespeare to remember that long history. Humor in poetry is more than simple amusement though that has its place, as well. I don’t view serious and humorous as mutually exclusive either.

For me, humor is a way of seeing and perceiving the world. The creative process involves all of me, and it is inevitable that there would be humor in many of my poems. In my family, humor’s little sister sarcasm was a family sport best practiced at the dinner table. And Denise Duhamel would’ve been invited back again for saying, “The more sacred the slain cow, the tastier the feast.”  



Dear Holy Fool,

it’s true      sometimes I’ve done things wrong
on purpose           don’t pretend
you didn’t know that

i’m not going to ask You for a bigger piece
of pie            i want cake

---remember the 15 minute stand-up act that you asked me for?---
                     i know that i’m supposed to
gather material                  enough to make you laugh when I die

or maybe you’re laughing while I’m living
is this funny to you
i’ll give you something to laugh about, mister
hey, is this thing on (tap. tap.)
i’m dying up here
(insert nervous laugh track)

just before the curtain went up
some idiot in a bulldozer
apparently ripped off the front wall
of my living room -- and i’m
not supposed to notice
that they’re staring through the hole
You should say, “Folks out here are watching.”

i only appear to be dead when sleeping
do not bury me alive

this much is clear           i’m confused          if i’m a mask
at your costume party              i still forget who i’m dressed as

i have 3 friends & i don’t let them know how crazy i am

the words on this page may be the words
that You’re reading & You need to know that I’ve failed
to liberate the ant farm


your creation


My Bid is a Contract

The air tastes of burning
plastic. I don’t understand
why the devil may care
or why god doesn’t.
Maybe our prayers
are pennies in god’s mouth.

“Don’t talk with your mouth full,”
god’s mom said, so now he’s silent,
but you can buy his family
and friends on eBay
along with haunted photos
and the stars’ chewed bubble gum.

I don’t want the Pope tart
or the Mother Theresa nun bun.
I’m ready to pay to win.
What’s worth more: the Virgin
Mary grilled cheese sandwich
or the Jesus potato chip?


Malaika King Albrecht’s poems have been or are forthcoming in many literary magazines and anthologies, such as Kakalak: an Anthology of Carolina Poets, Pebble Lake Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Shampoo, New Orleans Review, and The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - Second Floor. She has taught creative writing to sexual abuse/assault survivors and to addicts and alcoholics in therapy groups and also is a volunteer poet in local schools.