Barbers work tirelessly every day to keep our hair neat and tidy, but we rarely show them the gratitude they’re due. In honor of the noble barber, here are seven poems that celebrate their glory and their poise.


“With Glory And His Scissors Glinting”
By A.W. Olmstead, 1931

With glory and his scissors glinting
In the moonlight he is clipping
My bangs he is destroying my ponytail he is
Blasting my wretched sideburns into fucking Hades he is
Kissing another barber while he cuts
My hair and the other barber is also
Cutting my hair while he kisses
The other barber, my barber, and I
Am delighted to have two
Barbers kissing each other as they
Cut my hair together and I am clapping
And laughing in the barber’s chair as they
Kiss and cut together.


“An Oath Of Allegiance To My Enchanted Barber”
By Clarence Napier, 1969

My barber was cursed by a witch
For swearing on the bus,
And now, every time my barber gives me a haircut,
My father’s head grows smaller in a painful fashion.
His scream of agony increases in pitch
As his head shrinks every time.
My father has begged me to see a different barber,
But I will never do this. My cursed barber is glorious,
And he has a shirt with my entire DNA sequence on it,
Which he wears while he cuts my hair!
My father’s head is the size of an elevator button now,
And it looks horrific on his full-sized adult body.

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“The Barber Of Calgary”
By Lydia Poole, 1954

As Christ hung on the cross
At Calgary (where I once saw
Two birds fucking while I was on vacation),
His gross long hair fell about his face and his shoulders.

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A barber came out of the pond.
His shears were bright in the sun.
He saw Christ hanging on the cross

With his gross long hair and said,
“Now I’m going to cut your hair, my friend.”
And Christ said, “Do not. Do not do it. Do not.
Stay far away from me, haircut man.”
But the barber said, “No, I’m going to do it,”

The barber from the pond climbed a ladder
So that he could reach Christ’s head,
With his gross long hair
That smelled like a hot dog restaurant,
And he cut the hair of our Lord
As he hung on the cross,
And Christ kept screaming,
“Stop it! Stop it do not cut
My gross long hair! My disgusting
Rapunzel locks! Do not snip them!” But the barber didn’t listen.
The hair fell from Christ’s head.

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Christ had a bowl cut upon the cross
And where the hair clippings fell upon the Earth,
There grew a cactus.


“The Legend Of Scissor Boy”
By Anonymous, c. 2300 B.C.

(Translated from the original Sumerian by Miriam Novak, 2009)

All the scalding hot trophies of the jungle belong to Scissor Boy and none other!
When the head is stupid with long, Scissor Boy kills our hair.
Scissors are used to cook up short for the soldiers,
But when the head is stupid with long, then life becomes a rancid melon,
And weeping is the main burp of the city!
When our heads are stupid with long, Scissor Boy crawls out of his pumpkin…
[Sumerian text indecipherable]
…stomping on the braids while the king begs for death, however…
[Sumerian text indecipherable]
…applauding as a mule sinks into the quicksand.
That’s when a living ponytail that stands on two legs like a man
Comes bursting out of the cake, screaming that he will slaughter the gods,
But at that very moment, Scissor Boy kisses it and then eats it.
And so laughter becomes the belch of the world.
All the scalding hot trophies of the jungle belong to Scissor Boy and none other!

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”At Midnight Every Easter, At The Harbor”
By Henrietta Boylan, 1868

At midnight every Easter, at the harbor,
A centaur meets your barber on the pier.
The centaur yells in triumph at your barber,
“You mother fucker! It’s that time of year!”
The barber cuts the centaur’s hair. The locks
Of long, disgusting centaur hair all fall
Into the sea. Sharks eat the hair. The docks
Are echoing with scissor sounds, and all
The haircut noise is heard in nearby towns.
And when the haircut’s through, the centaur screams,
“Fuck you!” then leaps into the sea and drowns.
His corpse has got the haircut of his dreams.
The barber watches as the centaur dives.
He shall return when Easter next arrives.

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“In The Age Of Long Hair”
By Steven Faraday, 1991

Long hair came to the city like a plague.
We pulled at our endless locks and wept.
And the chief of police got his 12-foot ponytail
Caught in the door of his refrigerator.
He screamed and screamed,
And by the time he finally stopped screaming
He had been dead for nine years.

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And an innocent man,
Whose name was either Jargle or Ryan,
I cannot recall which
and never want to remember,
Was killed when his extremely long hair
Got caught in the engine of a passing jet,
And he was hoisted skyward
By his mile-long hair.
A Rapunzel in reverse.

All was chaos in the tangle of our long hair.
Our heads were overgrown jungles of hate.
And spiders lived in our long hair,
And monsters ate our children.

And we wished a barber would come to save us
But all the barbers were in jail
For illegally hunting endangered tortoises
On the Isle of Wight
Where Mick Jagger waved to Keith Richards.

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“Christmas Day, 1959”
By William Cass, 1970

There is a dead bug floating in the jar of Barbicide
Where my barber keeps his combs.
A pelican slams into the barbershop window and explodes
Into a cloud of meat and feathers.
I stare into the mirror in disbelief.
He has made me look like James Dean.

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