Photo by Steve Shultz, courtesy The Denver Post


City council meetings
are boring.
I hated writing
about water issues
and prairie dogs,
HOA eyesores
and most things
weekly newspaper-

One of the coolest things
I ever covered for the news
was a wild rumpus –
a party for the long-awaited
cinematic adaptation of
Where The Wild Things Are.

Now how cool is that?
Instead of writing about
murders and destroyers
of children’s dreams,
I was right there in the middle
of a childhood classic
come to life.

Snapping pictures
of young Maxes
and Wild Things
asking moms and kids
just what’s so magical
about Maurice Sendak’s
340-word book.
How it could remain
a staple for nearly
five decades.

And then I met a mom
who named her son Max
after the protagonist
and I realized what an effect
great works can really have.

And I saw the movie
and I thought it was dark –
and I like dark.
To make a 90-minute film
from a 37-page book
is quite an achievement.
And Spike Jonze is a hero
from a different era…
(Sabotage, MCA, another hero gone)

“Digital first” is the
new media mantra
but long after the local
newspaper shuts down
books will live on
when the kindle’s battery dies.

Here’s to mischief of one kind and another.

Posted for dVerse Poetry Pub’s Maurice Sendak prompt.


11 thoughts on “Max

  1. nice…i’m much into modern technology but i too think that those real books will never die… love the smell of paper… and way too many of our heroes die way too young..

  2. How wonderfully exciting it must have been to cover that party. Yes, Max will live on in paper book form. It would never be the same read on a Kindle!

  3. amen man…books do play an important role and they plant seeds that last forever…i bet that was a cool party…and i am def much more a real book than digital guy…love the smell and the texture….

  4. That was some fun covering that then wasn’t it! It is amazing how much the media does influence our thinking too. I don’t think real books will ever die either, too many of us love the look, feel and smell of them. Can’t get that from an e-reader.
    Nice piece.

  5. I’ll raise my glass to that finish! What a relief for you to experience such festivities among those normal trivialities! 😉 I like this side of your voice, Poet…conversational, excited…this was just waiting to be shared! Loved it!

  6. I once sat through an Aurora City Council meeting where a member actually knitted through my entire presentation and didn’t look up at the slides once. Considering I was convincing them to give my organization a former police substation worth 3/4 of a million dollars I thought it might be important that she pay attention. I love this and provided many of these types of events for kids at that same nonprofit letting their imaginations run wild. Thank you.

  7. Thanks for sharing this Steve. i just love the reprieve you felt on getting to share in a story of a positive type. The lady who named her kid Max, that’s pretty neat. And yeah, great work, whether it’s art, poetry, fiction, music, film etc…it really can keep providing for generations upon generations. Great piece. Thanks

  8. Wow! This is an amazing poem! And I totally agree: the film was excellent. I sat alone in a cinema to watch it as my fiancée was working. There was just me and about 4 young adult couples roughly my age, and thirty or so parents with their kids. The parents all left after half an hour as it was too ‘dark’. But just like you I love ‘dark’.

    Excellent poem, I reread it a few times and probably will again! Thank you for joining the wild rumpus!

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