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New Song: Leaves Of Grass My Ass

mike votava seattle leaves of grass my ass

Here is a song inspired by one of the worst books/poems I’ve ever read. That’s right, I’m talking about the Walt Whitman classic Leaves of Grass.  I wrote the song a couple of years ago for a Bushwick Book Club Seattle show.

Have you read this thing?! I hope you haven’t.

Here is my official three-sentence summary of Leaves of Grass:

Walt goes on and on and on about nothing for thousands of pages. What the hell is this guy talking about? My God!


I hope you enjoy my song. It’s called Leaves of Grass My Ass


My first encounter with Walt Whitman was on The Simpsons. It’s a scene where Homer Simpson goes to a graveyard in search of his long lost mother’s tombstone. Instead, he finds the grave of stupid Walt Whitman. Homer gets mad, kicks the tombstone repeatedly, and screams to the heavens, “Damn you, Walt Whitman!”

So of course I had to put that in my song. Much like Homer Simpson, I too was in a state of irrational rage while reading this book, cursing Walt Whitman every page of the way.

On the flip side, perhaps this book is on another level. A level so deep it is beyond me. I am pretty dumb sometimes, AND Leaves of Grass is largely considered to be a literary masterpiece by people who are WAY smarter than me. Maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I’m the one to blame for my lack of understanding.  I mean, I probably should know what a cheesecloth is (I literally thought Walt made it up). Maybe it’s not Walt Whitman’s fault that I don’t get along with his masterpiece.

Naaaaa… fuck that.

Leaves of Grass sucks.

Leaves Of Grass My Ass
by Mike Votava

Everything’s a wash, my brain is swimming in the clouds
my wheel of fortune’s spinning and I cannot buy a vowel
because I don’t know how
Pat Sajak help me out

Another fucking masterpiece is showing me the door
don’t understand what’s happening
there’s poetry galore
what are these words for?

You’re a worthy adversary
Homer’s in the cemetery
filled with rage and knocking on your grave

Damn you Walt Whitman
words not built to last
damn you Walt Whitman
Leaves of grass my ass

I’m hearing what you’re saying and I have to disagree
I‘m pretty sure without a doubt a cheesecloth is not a thing
Turns out it’s a thing
I’ve been Googling
it’s a piece of cloth used for cooking cheese

Even though I’m super dumb I’m gifting you the blame
Packaged in a shiny box sent from the house of pain
addressed to your name