Series Editor - Jim Bennett for The Poetry Kit - www.poetrykit.org

You can join the CITN mailing list at -
http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.

Submissions for this series of Featured poets is open, please see instruction in afterword at the foot of this mail.



When I die

bury me in an above ground cemetery.

Put up a ladder so people can climb

up and see as far as they can see.



                 from  When I Die  by Rick Lupert






New Potato
Over Canada
When I Die
King of the Peas
Animal Hospitality
Breakfast at the Hotel
Pencil Sharpener by Her Bed
The Entire History of the San Fernando Valley




Rick Lupert


Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for 2 years. He created the Poetry Super Highway ( http://poetrysuperhighway.com/ ) and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. His first spoken word album "Rick Lupert Live and Dead" featuring 25 studio and live tracks was released in March, 2016. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “Donut Famine”, "Professor Clown on Parade", "Romancing the Blarney Stone", “Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman”, “The Gettysburg Undress”  (Rothco Press) and “Nothing in New England is New”, and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah” and the noir anthology “The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” and writes the Jewish Poetry column “From the Lupertverse” for http://www.JewishJournal.com/. He is regularly featured at venues all over the world.












Over Canada


It is 7:30 in the morning and my eyes are

staging a revolution of closing hours.


I message Brendan to ask if he is awake

with a quick follow up telling him I am not.


They will not hold planes for tired people.

So if you wish to go to a place that is


different from the place you are in

you will need to defer to the schedules


of others. Behind me they discuss

the size of water bottles. This is a topic


I have nothing to add to. They say this

flight is nonstop but I can’t imagine


any other kind.

New Potato


In Allentown, Pennsylvania

my father in law walks in from the back yard


a stack of fountain pens in his hand

asks my mother in law


Do you have an old potato you’re not using?

She explains she only has new potatoes.


He asks if he can just have part of one

and she explains, essentially it’s all or nothing


when it comes to potatoes.

He wants to use the potato to clean his fountain pens.


She gives a new potato to the cause.

It’s okay.


Getting more potatoes

is not really an issue.

When I Die


When I die

have a jazz funeral.

Second line it. Make it funny.

Guys dressed as Groucho

rainbow suspenders

comic arrows through their heads.


When I die

bury me in an above ground cemetery.

Put up a ladder so people can climb

up and see as far as they can see.


When I die

turn my house into a museum.

Let people open the cabinets and

see how I hid the curios from my travels.

Let the smaller ones try on my outfits.

Make cat petting a free add on experience.

Actually make that mandatory.


When I die

take my wife in your arms.

Don’t let her feel alone.

King of the Peas


Upon eating the largest pea on his dinner plate

our seven year old declared I just ate the king.

I just ate the king of the peas!


Which made him the king of the peas

though his reign was cut short due to a

technicality in pea-law where


you have to actually be a pea.


Animal Hospitality


I can tell which cat is walking through my house

by the sounds its paws make as they come

into contact with the wood floors.


At one in the morning when I finally arrive at my bed

Cleo walks in. She is the oldest cat. Not in the world,

just in the house. You can barely hear her since we took her claws


nine years ago. She propels herself to the bed

like a kite. No sound. No bounce. She makes herself. 

comfortable.  At five in the morning she will purr.


I’d tell you the name of my next cat is Tigger,

but then you would judge me.

He walks in like a pony wearing tap shoes.


If I make even the slightest audible sound or motion

he will rush to the bed and lick any visible skin

of mine he can find. I am okay with this.


Our third cat is larger than a moose. He’d come to

the bed but he can’t find room. His breathing is

louder than the president’s helicopter.


He will cry for his breakfast with the imperative

of Vietnam. You’re running a zoo my friend once said

to which I replied. Let me show you the Chinese


water dragon and the frog. Did I tell you I tried to keep

a bird alive that I’d found outside?  It didn’t make it.

Did I tell you about the caterpillar I killed?

Breakfast at the Hotel


The elderly couple sitting in the corner

staring at each other with the weight of

total reassessment.


The two girls who had their mimosas

Imported from the bar with the instructions

keep them coming.


The other couple, woman on the phone

arranging lunch with her mother.

her second phone call. The man

eventually walks away, eyes on his watch.


The tolerable coffee.

The waitress and her instructions.


And me writing it down

as if that makes sitting alone


Pencil Sharpener by Her Bed


When I was younger I met a woman

who kept an electric pencil sharpener

by the side of her bed.


After my initial alarm

I got up the nerve to ask her

do you sharpen a lot of pencils in bed?


She had no idea what I was talking about.

Thought I was being all metaphorical.

Had completely forgotten


about her own pencil sharpener

which was a huge source of relief for me

on that particular occasion.

The Entire History of the San Fernando Valley 


It is already tomorrow and we are eastbound on Sherman Way

It is possible that we just missed gun shots at Topanga Canyon


Or maybe it was fire crackers in front of the Big Lots

I just returned from Syracuse and boy is my family tired


of my questions about who they are, and where they came from

I wish the Erie Canal had been extended to Sepulveda


I would ship my words to Albany.  The future is in mules

We are still eastbound.  Some day we will hit Van Nuys Boulevard


which died before I was born, 1968 according to the certificate

but, of course, I mean 1982.  Send your flowers to the former


location of the Bob’s Big Boy. There will be a meditation at Sherman Way

We are sprouting orange groves out of our steering wheels





My wife wants to start a beard cleaning service

she announces Saturday morning as she picks

unmentionables out of mine.


We could set it up right next to your cat service,

she says, you know, the one in which all the cats

in the world come to you, so you could pet them?


Before I can respond she says

It probably wouldn’t work as she wouldn’t want

to touch anyone else’s beard.





At Encino breakfast

a seven year old draws a monkey

with rainbow colors.


In Orlando

fifty sons and daughters

who would have loved it.



New Potato                                           Originally appeared in the book “Professor Clown on Parade”

                                                                                Rothco Press, December 2016


Over Canada                                        Originally appeared in the book “Romancing the Blarney Stone”

                                                                                Rothco Press, December 2016


When I Die                                            Originally appeared in the book “Donut Famine”

                                                                                Rothco Press, December 2016


Animal Hospitality                              Originally appeared in the book “Making Love to the 50 Ft. Woman”

                                                                                Rothco Press, May 2015


The Entire History of the                       Originally appeared in the anthology “The Good Things About America”

San Fernando Valley                                                Write Bloody Publishing, April 2009


Entrepeneuse                                        Originally appeared in the book “Making Love to the 50 Ft. Woman”

                                                                                Rothco Press, May 2015



4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think. 

We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -