Poem for Display Above the Urinals in a Men’s Restroom

Eyes front, soldier.
The general looks hard for signs
of deviation.

Don’t show too much interest
even in this poem,
which is probably gay.

There were trees here once
where you stand relieving yourself
against a hollow trunk.

They would not have known
what to do
with so much saltpeter.
__________

Note: Saltpeter, or potassium nitrate — a critical component of gunpowder — readily precipitates out of urine.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

11 Comments


  1. okay in england we say pissing ourselves for laughing, yes, really, weird colloquialism. But I am, right now. The first two stanzas are particularly wonderful.

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  2. “which is probably gay” cracked me up. Thanks for the entertainment. :-)

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  3. Hey, glad y’all liked this. It occurs to me that I probably couldn’t have done it without the internet, and the ability to pause in my writing and quickly research things such as the ingredients and properties of urea and make imaginative leaps while the poem is still fresh: saltpeter! Perfect, I said to myself, especially with the American spelling.

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  4. very nice! poetry & pee pee humor. definately worth a literal cut and paste, if I can get the, um, balls.

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  5. Very funny, Dave.

    There follows a link to a hilarious Civil War Salt-petre poem which for some reason depended upon the women only to contribute.

    http://home.att.net/~lah-rbh/civilwar/poem132.html

    I am thinking also that maybe bat doodie was used in the gunpowder process. Updating the riff to the cold war, Do you remember General ‘Bat Guano’ from “Dr. Strangelove” .
    (snicker)

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  6. i was so excited when i read the title. hearing or reading about men’s urinal is like learning about a forbidden place for me ha. i loved the poem especially the second stanza. your poems are so unique.

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  7. Joan – Great find! I’m guessing that the women were asked because the men were off fighting? I think you’re right about guano. I don’t remember Dr. Strangelove very well; I only saw it once, and at a poor angel angle with terrible sound.

    lissa – Happy to offer a glimpse behind the veil, but lemme tell ya, it’s nothing too special. There’s more graffiti in the stalls, of course, but writing in the cracks between the tiles above the urinals gets the most readers, I’m sure. I’ve never seen a poem there, though.

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  8. I needn’t that laugh. Bless you.

    FWIW, I’ve a small bladder and only went for two stanzas, at probably gay I was relieved in full.

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  9. Whoops! Needed that laugh. Which I now feel guilty over.

    Reply

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