Archive for the ‘Poetic form’ Category

The taunt

August 8, 2017

Today’s One Big Happy has James reciting a piece of American childlore, the taunt “X is a friend of mine” (where X is a name, preferably a trochaic one, like Ruthie, to fit the trochaic tetrameter pattern of the verse):


A cornucopia of pop culture references.


Trisyllabic feet in tetrametrical orgy

November 14, 2016

(An assortment of linguistic points along the way, but a lot of stuff about the gay porn flick BuckleRoos (2004), with explicit discussion of men’s bodies and male-male sex, plus images at the borderline — seven definitely over the line are on AZBlog X, in a posting entitled “Watching the BuckleBoys” — so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

My Saturday morning playtime viewing was this favorite video — 2 discs, plus a 2005 documentary about its creation, eXposed: The Making of a Legend — which moved me to write a metered (but not rhyming) caption for one scene in the flick: part 2, scene 2, involving a rancher and two Mormon missionaries:

Late-breaking news in the
Beefland Raunch Bulletin:

Cowboy Screws Mormon
On Park Picnic Tabletop

Any guy with the buckle is magically hot;
He can take what he wants, not a man can resist.

Both the boys on the mission know nothing of sex,
But ol’ Jed leads the way to ecstatic abandon.

Now he’s fucking a boy on the top of a bench;
We are watching a Mormon get screwed by a rancher.


Prose poem

November 2, 2016

In the October 31st New Yorker, this poem by Charles Rafferty, reprodced here photographically:


On its own website, the poem looks like this (again, reproduced photographically):


And when I copy this to my computer files, it looks like this (once again, photographically reproduced)”


Why the differences? Because “Attraction” is a prose poem.


Annals of verbing (and poetic meter)

October 31, 2016

(Some vulgar sexual slang from the world of gay sex, but nothing beyond that.)

More drawers of my files moved from Staunton Ct. to Ramona St. (and into the oaken desk there). Almost all academic files, but the drawers contained a few surprises, like two gay porn magazines from early 2001, in particular the Torso from February of that year, with the friction fiction “Fire-Station Stud: Italian Muscleman Starts a Fire” by a prolific writer of such stories, “Bearmuffin”. The teaser insert in the story:

Two points here: the verbing of the noun spunk ‘semen’ and the poetic form of the insert’s text, which is perfect iambic pentameter (with the bonus of the internal half-rhymes spunked … trunk and between … tree).


Penguin Pride

September 1, 2016

… at the Pilsner Inn (in San Francisco):

(Hat tip to Aric Olnes.)

Not only a penguin with a Pride flag, but a nicely alliterative tetrameter line:

Penguin Pride at the Pilsner Inn

(mostly trochaic). Or pentameter:

Penguin Pride on the Pilsner Inn Patio

(clearly dactylic).

Morning news: death of radio star

June 2, 2016

Yesterday’s morning name: the song “Video Killed the Radio Star” (which I’m inclined, for several good reasons, to recall as “Disco Killed the Radio Star”) — as recorded by the Buggles in 1979 (disco-inflected music, lead vocals in retro radio voice, electronica) and, deliciously, as performed by them in a, yes, video.

You can view the video here. Crucial lyrics (with my line numbering):

1 Video killed the radio star
1 Video killed the radio star
2a In my mind and in my car,
2b we can’t rewind we’ve gone too far
3 Pictures came and broke your heart
4 Put down the blame on VCR


Tiger prawns and garlic noodles

May 31, 2016

The name of an old favorite dish at the Vietnames fusion restaurant Three Seasons in Palo Alto. Well, its old name — it’s now listed as “Grilled prawns and garlic noodles” — and I much prefer the old one, because “Tiger prawns and garlic noodles” is a perfect line of trochaic tetrameter:


(the verse line of so much folk and popular music). In a fancy photographic presentation:



Morning name: Roll Over, Beethoven

March 18, 2016

This was one of two morning names on 2/13/16; I assume it popped up because some of the music that played while I slept was Beethoven. But of course Chuck Berry is something else again:


Who is Silvia?

February 23, 2016

The title of a posting from the 21st: “Who is Alice? What is she?”, the answer to the question turning out to be Alice Lee, sister of author Harper Lee. My title was a play on the first line of a song from Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlement of Verona, a play in which Silvia is a central character: “Who is Silvia? What is she”. (The two lines are closer than you might think at first, since in the song Silvia is clearly meant to be an initially accented disyllable, just like Alice.)

Of course, Shakespeare’s play doesn’t come with a tune for the song, so one must be devised (or borrowed from another source) for purposes of performance. A notable setting of the English lyrics is by none other than Franz Schubert.


The House of the Writhing Pun

November 17, 2015

Yesterday’s Zippy, continuing a series about a ventriloquist’s dummy:

A burlesque of “The House of the Rising Sun”.