Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

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/.

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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.

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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,
Delirious.
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
Himself.
A hustler’s name, no name,
Changed for each john. But
No johns come: he’s
Hombre sin hombre.

A personal poemorse

April 15, 2015

Iamb Trochee Dactyl …

From off
I heard them —
Mammoths!
STOMP STOMP STOMP
Their trunks aloft —
Fabulous.

Elise Partridge

March 24, 2015

The story starts with this poem about X in the April 2nd issue of the New York Review of Books:

X, a C.V.

I stand, legs astride, a colossus—
or dancer in fifth position, wide port de bras.
Polymorph strayed into English,

sometimes pronounced like Americans’ z,
in French I’m often silent; in Pirahã the glottal stop;
a fricative in Somali.

Vector, Cartesian axis,
chromosome, bowling-strike. Pirate-map cynosure;
at a letter’s close, a kiss.

I do plebeian duty in tic-tac-toe,
range marble façades. Paired with y, I dodge—
variable incognito.

I lend myself to comets of cryptic orbit,
ally with rays that pierce time’s edge.
I’m default sci-fi planets.

In my Roman hours,
I was ten.—Later, the name of millions:
those never granted an alphabet’s power.

Then I read the contributors’ notes in the NYRB.

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Poets in Their Youth

February 28, 2015

Recently reissued: Eileen Simpson’s 1982 Poets in Their Youth: A Memoir (Random House), a wonderful recollection of poets John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, Robert Lowell, Delmore Schwartz and others in their circle (R. P. Blackmur, Jean Stafford, and more).

(On the cover: a young Berryman, Stafford, and Lowell in Damariscotta Mills ME.)

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Façade

January 15, 2015

Following my posting on perilla and phonologically similar words, I was playing with Camilla Perilla and sashimi and that’s my spicy duchess hanging on the wall scooby dooby, and I caught an echo of

Daisy and Lily,
Lazy and silly,
Walk by the shore of the wan grassy sea

The “Valse” from Façade, which I seem not to have posted about before.

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Snowy lanes

December 21, 2014

For the Winter Solstice, a snowy parody starring Zippy:

(#1)

Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, taken into many strange places: Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, Skeeball, Fleer’s Dubble Bubble gum, a gondolier, William Blake’s poetry, a strip mall, Joe Biden (Vice President of the U.S.), and a laundromat.

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Verbing awry

December 12, 2014

(Warning: sexually explicit language. Not for kids or the modest.)

Passed on by Robert Coren, this message from the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety:

Looks like they were aiming for the verbing jerk ‘be a jerk, be an obnoxious person’, but missed the potential ambiguity with the jerk of the sexual idiom jerk off ‘jack off, masturbate’.

[Correction: it seems I was wrong about the SDOHS’s intentions, though the ambiguity problem remains. Reader isotopeblue writes:

Actually, if you go to http://www.drivesafesd.com/, it appears they’re concerned with jerking the wheel, not verbing the noun “jerk” for an aggressive driver.]

[Further developments: Chris Ambidge on Facebook reports that they’ve pulled the ad.”Officials have admitted that the double entendre was intentional”, with this news report:

public safety campaign in South Dakota backfired when officials heard its “Don’t Jerk and Drive” push and forced them to pull the ad.
Officials admitted the double entendre was intentional, the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader reported in its story.
The campaign was based on raising awareness of jerking the steering wheel on icy roads. But, “jerk” also has other sexual meanings.
Department of Public Safety Secretary Trevor Jones said in a statement that he pulled the ad. “This is an important safety message, and I don’t want this innuendo to distract from our goal to save lives on the road.”

Several readers have noted that the story is a lot less fun if the double entendre was intentional.]

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I hurt myself today

November 24, 2014

(about words and music)

Several weeks ago I played a compilation of songs from Johnny Cash’s last album (American IV: The Man Comes Around, 2002) for a friend who didn’t know it — a compilation I put together for another friend who’s a great fan of Cash’s. Cash’s songs are covers, and I matched his versions (full of loss and regret, sung plain and clear) to earlier models. Item 1: “Hurt”, from Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral, with Trent Reznor’s poetic text maintained exactly (except for a shift of Reznor’s crown of shit in verse 2 to the explicitly Christian crown of thorns). Now a visit to the compilation.

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