O, What a Luxury
Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profoundby Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor’s first collection of his very own poems, a delightful book for all his devoted fans.
O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound is the first poetry collection written by Garrison Keillor, the celebrated radio host of A Prairie Home Companion. Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, this volume forges a new path for him, as a poet of light verse. He writes—with his characteristic combination of humor and insight—on love, modernity, nostalgia, politics, religion, and other facets of daily life. Keillor’s verses are charming and playful, locating sublime song within the humdrum of being human.
“Keillor is very clearly a genius. His range and stamina alone are incredible . . . he has the genuine wisdom of a Cosby or Mark Twain.” —Slate
“America’s foremost humorist and social pundit . . . Keillor’s running commentary about the human condition has the uncanny ability to home in on the pulse of America.” —PBS
“Keillor has a way of reconciling seeming contradictions. A purveyor of all things folksy and down-home, he is a highly cultivated, worldly man.” —AARP
WHY I LIVE IN MINNESOTA
Where the temp gets down to thirty below
And it’s perfectly flat, miles of snow,
And you ask why I live in this desolate spot.
Because you do not.
You in loud clothes
With very big hair
And very big pickups
And not much upstairs,
Who whoop in church
And handle snakes
To prove their faith
For goodness sakes.
They slur their speech
Down in the South
As if they had cotton balls
Stuffed in their mouth.
The men hunt gators
Out in the marsh,
While the women stay home
And hang up the warsh
And tend to the babies,
And fix gator stew.
Now what if these people
Lived next door to you?
And the only thing
That keeps them away
Is the fact it will hit
Minus thirty today?
Winter’s a challenge
But it can be faced
When you’re among people
With brains and good taste.
BILLY THE KID
Billy the Kid
Didn’t do half of what they said he did
He rustled cattle, I guess that’s true,
But nobody knew who they belonged to.
He killed some men, maybe two or three,
But he was always real nice to me.
Billy the Kid went on the run
Down to Mesilla in 1881.
Sheriff Pat Garrett put on the heat
And came to the ranch of Billy’s friend Pete.
But it wasn’t Billy who was shot by Pat,
It was someone wearing his pants and hat,
Billy the Kid was miles away
In Santa Fe with flowers in his hair
And I know cause I was there.
He made a fortune in fermented juices
And built a mansion in Las Cruces,
Changed his name to William Bonney
Wrote “Way Down Upon The Swanee”
And he may have been guilty to a degree
But he was always real good to me
And generous to my family.
Always sent us a Christmas turkey
And a box of chocolate candy
From down on the Rio Grande.
They called him a killer and I guess he could be
But he was always good to me.