1. The Muppets on The Muppet Show

This one’s job
was to yearn.
This one to love improbably.
This one to be pathetic.
This one to run berserk.
None of the jobs were useful
but we did them very well.

2. Miss Piggy

I was too big for him.
I gaped open. I know
I disgusted him. But
in secret he loved me.
I was addicted to shame.

3. Fozzy Bear

Those jokes I told – I got them
from books. Every one of them,
I stole. I knew you knew.
It was slow suicide, reciting those
stale tomatoes. Mushy. The seeds
black frost on the audience’s applause.

4. The Swedish Chef

My exuberance
could kill someone.
I toss my cleavers,
enraptured with language.
I’ll cook for you, eyeless,
illegible, illiterate.

5. Gonzo

My name means crazy.
What chance do I have?
But it also means brave.
I’m from farther away
than I’ve ever known.
I’d like to go back there someday.

6. The Mahnahmahnah Muppet

I come at it from the side.
That’s the way to make
everyone happy.
I repeat myself, decade
to decade. I never change
in my oddness. I’m a predictable

7. Crazy Harry and Others

I’m made of explosions.
I get deliberately lost.
I’m singing the whole time.
A letter of the alphabet,
a glyph, a pronouncement.

8. Animal

When I call for my mother
you can tell I mean it.
I don’t know a lot of words.
I don’t need them.

9. The Muppets on The Muppet Show again

We stand in our compartments, singing.
Our cells have no doors. We are
trapped and free, alone and surrounded.
We’re the new Greek gods.
Even children know our songs.

(first appeared in the anthology Two Weeks)



JESSY RANDALL’s poems, poetry comics, diagrams, and other things have appeared in Asimov’s, McSweeney’s, Mudfish, Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, and Sentence; they have also been hung from trees, hidden in birdhouses, and sold in gumball machines. Her new collection of poems, Injecting Dreams into Cows (Red Hen Press, 2012), contains poems about bad phone sex, robots, and Pippi Longstocking, not all at the same time. Her collection A Day in Boyland was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, and her young adult novel The Wandora Unit is about love and friendship among high school poetry nerds. With Daniel M. Shapiro, she co-wrote Interruptions, a collection of collaborative poems published in 2011. She occasionally guest-edits the online poetry magazine Snakeskin and even more occasionally self-publishes a poetry zine entitled The Huge Underpants of Gloom. She is the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, where she co-teaches a class on the history and future of the book.

2 responses to “Muppet Suite”

  1. Here’s a link to a youtube this poem references (when Animal calls for his mother): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY

  2. Phat B says:

    Aww this was very sweet. Animal was always my favorite, along with all the other burnouts that comprised Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. I have a shirt with Animal on it, black and white, and I get more comments about that shirt than anything I wear, including my birthday suit.

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