Archive for the ‘Poetic form’ Category

Haiku Robot

March 25, 2018

An Instagram site that searches for posted material that can be treated as a haiku (a 3-line poetic form with 5, 7, and 5 syllables in the lines). Recently, the robot took on sex between men (not at all graphically).

An example of a found haiku, based on a posting that went:

I suppose ant-man’s boss could be considered a micromanager

— to which the robot responded with the 5-7-5 version:

i suppose ant-man’s
boss could be considered a


Briefly: edible trochaic tetrameter

February 11, 2018

Noted on a Pinterest food board, this dish from the South of Your Mouth website:

Ah, found poetry: a nice line of trochaic tetrameter (with short fourth foot):

Thrée Meat Cróck Pot Cówboy Béans


Morning tetrameter naming

December 27, 2017

The morning began with:

Xenophon Bellerophon

Two Ancient Greek names — the philosopher, historian, and soldier Xenophon and the mythical hero Bellerophon — together making a line of trochaic tetrameter (when the secondary accents on phon are treated as accented in the poetic line).

As a linguist, I had hoped that the phon in these names would be the Greek ‘sound’ stem, so that Xenophon would be equivalent to an English noun xenophone, referring either to someone who speaks a foreign language (parallel to Anglophone and  Francophone) or to a non-native sound, from a foreign language (like the voiceless velar fricative [x] in relatively German-faithful pronunciations of the noun Bach in English).

But apparently not (though the etymologies of the names seem to be uncertain). My hopes are dashed.


Exercises in high macho style

December 11, 2017

Passing between channels on my tv on the 6th, I caught a moment from the show Mr. Robot (S3 E9) in which Terry Colby, an exec at the Allsafe Corporation, spins out a riff in high-macho figurative language, a piece of crude poetry:

That’s all teddy bears and hand jobs, but what are your financials?  We can’t wake up one day and find ourselves tits up, dicks blowing in the breeze.

The masterstroke in all this is all teddy bears and hand jobs, an invention intended to convey an ironic, dismissive version of the high-toned all sweetness and light or, better, the vernacular all beer and skittles ‘all fun and pleasure’ (skittles, the game of ninepins)


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