About Me

Simon Mermelstein is a poet and performer from Ann Arbor, MI.   A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, his work appears in Atlanta Review, RHINO, Spillway, Hawai’i Pacific Review, FreezeRay, the MacGuffin, and many others.  In his spare time, he enjoys trying to make this website look vaguely professional.



Far Tide

The moon is wondering
whether to orbit or
shirk responsibility, whip off
to parts unknown, maybe displace Deimos
or juke Pluto.
She pulls
herself together every day just enough,
she is always
falling and missing, falling and missing
her mark, that’s what orbit means.
Tide is thankless
and she can still remember
being dust, spinning
together and fusing
and cracking apart.
She’s been cratered for ages
and maybe that boot on her face was the last straw.
The moon is wandering
towards the dark side,
the moon is waxing her surfboard
and staring into the sun.


(First appeared in Poems-For-All #1321)


SAMPLE POEM: Orthomax (or, “How I Learned to Love the Lawn”)

I’ve got no quarrel with creeping woodsorrel,
Wild violets, yellow rocket, shepherd’s purse–
My lawn, new and improved.
Moss and mushrooms telling the grass it’s just not strong enough
That the fescue lacks fortitude
Not cut out for this environment
Too stodgy, perhaps
Not enough sex appeal
Should have brought flowers

My neighbors disagree
And so do their Mitt Romney bumper stickers
They believe in the gospel of Tru Green
Mowing just as their fathers mowed before them mowed before them
Straight lines back and forth like Vanilla Ice’s fade
The geometric figure most pleasing to the Great God Lawn
In his avatar of Property Values
In his avatar of Perfect Rectangles
In his avatar of Respectability
The 2-stroke drone every Sunday morning is the mantra:
“Good sprayers make good neighbors”

And so that my beloved dandelions do not fly too far from home and cause trouble
(I used to pick them in bouquets for my mother when I was 7.
Mrs. Kent would not appreciate such a gesture.)
Because spores cannot fly as far as the wind would have you believe
Here I am in gloves and gas mask
Because my parents will have to sell this house someday
Here I am for a lousy twenty bucks
A green portrait of Andrew Jackson, who wasted Seminoles like seminal fluids
Let us commence the genocide of the germander speedwell
Let us shoot down fluffy white paratroopers
Let us spray and neuter our lawns
The hose drools an herbicidal syrup
I am become Orthomax, destroyer of weeds

(originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2013 edition of The MacGuffin)

Internet Presence

Apparently, I put this blog up a year ago, posted nothing, and completely forgot about it–when I tried to set up a wordpress as “simonmermelstein”, it told me that name was already taken.  I had to make sure it wasn’t Simon Mermelstein the dentist in Costa Rica (my nemesis), but sure enough, it said “Simon Mermelstein: Poetry with Velocity”, which is exactly the sort of thing I would have written about a year ago.

From henceforth, therefore, let this be the official internet presence of Simon Mermelstein the poet, in Ann Arbor, and not of Simon Mermelstein the dentist, although I’m sure he’s a lovely guy making a comfortable living.  So let this poetry be laughing gas.  Let it help improve your smile.  Let it bust out crazy-ass tools from time to time that go reee! reee! reee! and use suction and ultraviolet light.  Let it make your face numb; let it grind you to the bone.  May you spit blood and drink water and think, “God, I needed that!”  May you come back every six months for a cleaning.  May we use these x-ray powers for good.