Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

You Took the Last Bus Home

April 27, 2023

A bit of light verse that passed my eyes on Facebook and pleased me with its playful exploitation of ambiguity In English. (It went on to serve as the title of the poet’s first book):


Denis Sarazhin

March 31, 2023

🐅 🐅 🐅 tiger tiger tiger for ultimate March, a month that seems to have lasted forever, through meteorological disasters, the daily devastation of mass shootings, and the profoundly dangerous paranoid ravings of the moral monster Grabpussy. Oh yes, and the latest chapters in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the event that, quite by accident, relocated two artists from Kyiv to Chattanooga TN (in a state that is currently contending fiercely for the title of Gun Capital of the United States).

This is about one of them, Denis Sarazhin, who came to me through a reproduction of some of his remarkable paintings on Pinterest. In particular:

(#1) Pantomime No. 22 (2017); note the painfully contorted poses


Today’s exercise in cartoon understanding

February 17, 2023

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro — Wayno’s groan-punning title: “Tuffet Luck” — depends on your knowing one thing from popular culture in the Anglosphere (of, roughly, the past 200 years). If you don’t know that, you’re SOOL; the spider, curds, whey, and tuffet are just weird stuff.

(#1) The spider as ambulatory assault victim; apparently, the spider’s prey was not frightened away, but instead used what they’d learned in self-defense classes (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are (only) 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

Yes, it’s a nursery rhyme. “Little Miss Muffet”, said to have been first recorded in 1805. Traditionally, part of growing up for most children in the Anglosphere (though I wonder if that’s still true), but probably little known elsewhere. And largely opaque to the children who chant it, though I suspect that modern kids are inclined to interpret it as a tale of a male imposing himself on female, and her fleeing from him. Kids would probably understand it as a boy annoying or grossing out a girl with creepy-crawlie things. Older people will think of unwanted advances on the subway, Tyrone F. Horneigh pursuing Gladys Ormphby on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and the like.

The Bizarro version, on the other hand, is much more up-to-date: Muffet Fights Back.  Muffet, in fact, Kicks Ass.


Engorged in hues of blue

February 16, 2023

(seriously phallic, so not to everyone’s taste)

The readings for the day, inspired by Max Vasilatos posting on Facebook about weird garden statues:

(#1) The Penisaurus Poems; there will eventually be acknowledgments of Edward Lear and Isaac Watts, respectively

The inspiration for these poetic eruptions was just one of those weird garden statues; from the beginning of my response to MV:

[Max wrote:] “There’s one that might land me in FB jail, though amazon thinks you can put it in your yard. I have known people with this sensibility.” — that would be the blue-headed WPODWO resin Dino-Dick (which, by the way, is clearly pretty small, though the company doesn’t say how small, only that it’s “compact”).


January 27th

January 27, 2023

Every so often the accidents of the calendar bring together remarkably contrasting occasions. This is a day of such cognitive dissonance. Weep with me. Gasp in pleasure and delight with me.

First, today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, in 1945, an event that serves as a symbol of the Holocaust — the Shoah — that wiped out around six million Jews (and a number of others) and caused untold suffering.

But then today is also the birthday of two people whose works have brought pleasure to millions: the astonishingly prolific composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (born in 1756) and the mathematician-turned-comic-writer Charles Lutwidge Dodson, who wrote the Alice books and a number of remarkable nonsense poems under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll (born in 1832).


The risonymic riff

January 24, 2023

From my mountainous posting queue, this gem of a risonymic riff:

(#1) Bodysnatch Cummerbund, Buffalo Custardbath, Bumblesnuff Crimpysnatch, Mr. Cabbagewank — four mockings, ridiculous manglings, of the already remarkable name Benedict Cumberbatch; otherwise, the first two paragraphs are an actual news item, accurate in its details, about the 2014 engagement of actor Benedict Cumberbatch to theatre director Sophie Hunter


Zed of Zardoz

January 3, 2023

A personal note: I’m just barely hanging on here, with extravagant hip pain and cramping up of my hands — both apparently connected somehow to the current weather — plus DoE (dyspnea on exertion) so severe that I’m exhausted by walking from the bedroom to the living room, and recurrent narcoleptic episodes with elaborate, hard-to-shake visual hallucinations.

But along came this remarkable image of Sean Connery as Zed in the film Zardoz, which despite being a Z-person (note boldface) and a longtime fan of Connery’s, I missed completely when it came out in 1974. Material from the film is being distributed in the mistaken belief that it’s set in 2023 — it’s actually 2293 — but this is what we get:

(#1) Connery, hot as hell and giggle-inducing too,  hypersexual and, oh yes, ridiculous


Mi okapi es su okapi

August 12, 2022

From Bert Vaux on Facebook on 8/10, one in a series of digitally altered artworks:

(#1) [BV caption:] “renaissance portrait of herd of okapis with king’s college cambridge in background, digital art”

My FB response: I’m just fond of okapis. We need more okapi art.


Many a pickle packs a pucker

July 29, 2022

O pickle, my love / What a beautiful pickle you are!

Blame it on Nancy Friedman (@Fritinancy on Twitter), who took us down to the pickle plant in Santa Barbara on 7/18, citing these 5 delights, with their label descriptions:

Unbeetables (pickled beets with unbeatable heat) – pun on unbeatable

Carriots of Fire (pickled carrots to light your torch) – punning allusion to the film Chariots of Fire

¡Ay Cukarambas! (dill-icious spicy dill pickle spears) – complex portmanteau of the American Spanish exclamation ¡ay caramba! and the noun cuke ‘cucumber’

Asparagusto (pickled asparagus with a kick) – portmanteau of asparagus and gusto

Bread & Buddhas (semi-sweet bread & butter pickles) – pun on bread and butter (pickles)


Pickles are automatically phallicity territory, and the Pacific Pickle Works in Santa Barbara CA (website here) doesn’t shy away from their penis potential, augmenting it by references to phallic carrots, asparagus spears, and unpickled cucumbers. If you have the eye for it, we all live in Penis Town.


O tasty Tweety! O Tweety, my prey!

July 26, 2022

… What a delicious Tweety you are!

The 7/24 Mother Goose and Grimm strip, with a police line-up of cartoon cats, for little Tweety to pick out the threatening pussy cat that he thought he saw:

(#1) The potential pussy predator perps on parade, left to right: 1 the Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss picture book), 2 Stimpy (Ren & Stimpy tv animation), 3 Sylvester (Looney Tunes film animation), 4 Catbert (Dilbert strip), 5 Attila (MGG strip — note self-reference), 6 Garfield (Garfield strip)

The number of domestic cats in cartoons is mind-boggling — there are tons of lists on the net — and then there are all those other cartoon felines: tigers, panthers, lions, leopards, and so on. Out of these thousands, the cops rounded up the six guys above — all male, as nearly all cartoon cats are, despite the general cultural default that dogs are male, cats female — as the miscreant. (It might be that male is the unmarked sex for anthropomorphic creatures in cartoons as for human beings in many contexts; females appear only when their sex is somehow especially relevant to the cartoon.) And that miscreant, the smirking Sylvester, is the only one of the six known as a predator on birds, though in real life, domestic cats are stunningly effective avian predators, killing billions of birds annually.