Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Pittman, Dickinson, and Goya

January 14, 2016

In the January 18th New Yorker, this notice:


A typically complex, crowded Pittman, composed of disparate elements (see my discussion of Pittman in this 5/10/11 posting).


The Crew with packages and boxes

December 31, 2015

(The bulk of this posting — below the fold — is a long piece jam-packed with descriptions of the male body and gay sexual practices in very frank vernacular English, so it’s definitely not for kids or the sexually modest. No X-rated images, though, and some observations about language. The piece is also about affiliation between gay men, deep friendships and love, so that, amidst all that coarse sexual stuff there’s considerable sweetness.  And humor.)

When I posted this image a couple of days ago, I promised that I would supply a caption for it, and now I will.


The caption is very long; it tells a complex story. Like virtually all my captions, it’s free verse: writing intentionally divided into lines, but unmetered and with no other systematic formal regulation (rhyme, alliteration, assonance, whatever). In fact, it’s free verse with long lines, a style of writing that many commenters find hard to classify: is a piece of long-line free verse a prose poem (a poem, but with prose features)? Or is it lyrical prose (a piece of prose, an essay or fiction, but with poetic elements)?

There’s no good general answer to this question, and I’m inclined to say that while there are prose poems and pieces of lyrical prose, sometimes it’s a mistake to insist that a bit of writing with mixed features must always be classified as one or the other. Long-line free verse, I would say, is usually both.

On to the story, um, poem.


Rhyme or reason

November 30, 2015

Today’s Bizarro, with an idiom and a nursery rhyme:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

So we have Humpty Dumpty, recently fallen from his wall, but no explanation of how this terrible event could have come to pass.


To the liquor of your laughter / And the lacquer of your limbs

October 29, 2015

Yesterday’s offering from Daily Jocks (with a caption; notes to follow):


At first it was spectral, ghostly,
Visible only in blue light, at an
Acute angle, scarcely a real
Body part.

Gus stroked it into
Life, gave it color, fun color, took it
From infracorporeal to
Ultracorporeal, crackling with
Energy at all frequencies.

Power in a pouch.


Boy in the sand

September 25, 2015

A Daily Jocks ad, paired with gay-erotic poetry (definitely not for the sexually modest), then with a series of notes.


Boy in the Sand

He erupts from the surf, his skin
Tangy with salt, his cock rising, his balls
Heavy with his seed. We kiss, I am a
Sea anemone, roiled by desire for him.

I stroke his wet hair, follow the
Arrow of his widow’s peak down his long torso,
Down to his sweet belly, girded by
Hard muscle, take him in my mouth.

We trade, he takes me, opens me with his
Wet fingers, I need him in me. Fuck me,
Cal, oh fuck me, fuuuck me! He

Mounts me, panting heavily, fills me in
Long slow muscular strokes.
Breeds me. Gets me off ferociously.

I become a sea creature like him,
Dive into the surf,
Return to our ocean.

(Notes after the fold.)


The Monthly Underwear Club

August 11, 2015

(Mostly about men’s bodies. Not much language.)

Today’s offering from Daily Jocks introduces the Monthly Underwear Club:

Fresh underwear,
Every month.


Dick Absalom used to deliver for
The Fresh Veggie Club, but then
He decided to follow
His name.


Found poetry

August 11, 2015

Some publications (many science publications, in particular, and the Economist) are given to language play of all types in their headlines and lead paragraphs. Sometimes, though, they just seem to luck on bits of found poetry. Here, from the New Scientist of August 1st, p. 15:

Than Steel in Water

Icy balls fall faster
than steel in water

(Summary: Ice-coated tungsten carbide balls matching solid steel balls in size and weight fall faster than the steel balls when dropped into water.)


Claude Funston thought …

June 28, 2015

Today’s Zippy, with a parody of (part of) Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, from the (mostly political) dreaming mind of Claude Funston:

The parody reproduces the recurring /ɪŋz/ rhyme of the original, once as /ɪŋz/ (the things of the original), three times as /ɪŋ/.


Get ready for an ambush…

June 11, 2015

(On the underwear and gay sex beat, not much about language.)

The heading on yesterday’s ad from the Daily Jocks people, with this arresting image:

The ad copy:

Presenting the all new Ambush Singlet from Cellblock 13!

The nylon/spandex blend singlets feature dual zippers on the front and back for easy access, and perfect for in the bedroom or out.

Available in red, yellow, and blue.


Poem for hot February day

April 22, 2015

The illustration: today’s offering from the Daily Jocks people, with a poem.

The doomed hustler

Mid-February eruption of heat,
Everyone on the street, stripped
For the weather.
A near-naked vision, no
Shirt, no shoes, no
Underwear, just low-slung
Blue shorts: lounging expectantly
Under an awning, offering
A hustler’s name, no name,
Changed for each john. But
No johns come: he’s
Hombre sin hombre.


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