Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine...
Man Bites Dog
“News that stays news,”
defined the scribe named Pound,
also the former name
for the county animal shelter,
where yesterday authorities
took 83 skeletal cats, found in filth.
In the ensuing confusion
an eighty-fourth unfortunate creature,
slipping out of the quaking hand
of the squeamish officer,
with manic liberation, madly ran.
It thought it saw a delectable bird,
sunshine-y yellow with enormous blue eyes.
From escape to chase feline thoughts segued.
Great minds at times think alike,
and on occasion, instinct too,
for thereupon an English bulldog
spotted the cat, felicitous for pursuit.
Meanwhile, a guy believing himself
clever for having hidden a camera
behind the toilet paper roll in the ladies’ room
at a CVS about a block away,
nonchalantly stepped outside the store
well in view of the uniformed patrol,
from whom he fled on foot.
The aforementioned dog,-- we neglected to note --
carrying the condition called ADD,
forgot the puss and switched its prey.
Mere seconds passed when the canine caught up,
jumped the perp, and held him fast.
Desperately the pinned perv seized
a paw and chomped down hard.
Hence: MAN BITES DOG;
SAYS ‘TASTES LIKE CHICKEN’
Poem of 10 April: Brilliant fun!...
My favourite part is with manic liberation, madly ran.
Thanks for sharing, Aunt!
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine...
Thank you, Doc. ^
The introspective prince
saw shapes puffed up in skies,
but could not be convinced
without some helpful lies.
when real life shows its stark
side, freezing up our sails
and leaves us in the dark.
With no foot on a floe,
no need to feel the list
of shifting ice to know
that arctic isles exist.
Some mammals big as rafts
leap up and down the waves,
swim right up to our craft,
and splash for chum and raves.
Unfamiliar with our kind
within collective lore,
others never have a mind
to venture close to shore.
Not speared on statistics,
as are the friendly gams,
natural, not mystic,
where our realm never rams.
Where man’s unknown as night,
the whale world knows by heart
Ultima Thule’s site,
a deep berg’s greater part.
The creatures of the sea,
so glibly pegged as good,
are alien as we,
with egos full. What would
they think or make of us,
if not as food or harm?
Some strange breed of grampus,
a time piece on his arm.
Last edited by AuntShecky; 04-13-2012 at 03:45 PM. Reason: plural of "craft" i.e. sea-going--no "s"
You do seem to have been enjoying yourself, Auntie April 9th's offering would seem to betray a predilection on your part for crosswords, as it reads a little like a clue for the cryptic variety - LOL. Playful and clever though and a lot of fun to read.
Man Bites Dog opens as a tour de force of word association football but quickly stabilizes in to a cunning narrative artfully wound around the eponymous title. Great fun.
Whale Watch, though bearing the stamp of your trademark humour is less successful to this reader, probably because he's missing something, but the rigid structure of 3 stresses per line kind of hamstrings the flow a bit. It doesn't quite work as a ballade as the scansion suffers occasionally and there are some howlers (presumably intentional) in the rhyming which don't sit well contextually. Waves and raves, rafts and crafts (ouch!) gams and rams... You are torturing the Hawk - LOL. I never could quite place that introspective prince, unless of course, you are referring to the much maligned Charles, which would sort of make sense as he's the Coronetted prince of Wales.
Still, who am I to criticize; I'm not writing anything!
Live and be well - H
I appreciate all of your comments. Keep in mind that most, if not all, of these things were written in fewer than 24 hours, which may (or may not) provide a little wiggle room as far as expertise and quality. Even so, please feel free to go ahead and criticize, Hawk, but nonetheless let me defend or at least, 'splain:
The "crossword" of April 9 is a wickedly difficult form with strict rules, but my foolhardy nature tempted me to try it. Clicking the title on the April 9 posting should bring you to a webpage 'splaining how to write the Double-Dactyl.
Speaking of which, the double dactyl form was created back in the 1960s by John Hollander (primarily) with Paul Pascal and Anthony Hecht. Incidentally, I recently read Anthony Hecht's stunning poem, "It Outherods Herod. Pray you Avoid it."
The whale watching thingie could never in a thousand years approach the level of Hecht's artistry but I wanted to emulate the form-- nine quatrains of iambic trimeter. A couple of Hecht lines might look like tetrameter, with a couple extra syllables, but after examining them a little closer, I see that in some places there are anapests (x x /) such as in a prepositional phrase. Count the stresses, not the syllables. So maybe that's where you thought the meter went haywire. (It still may have, since your old Auntie is rhythm-impaired.) As far as the objectionable rhymes-- "raves"-- refers to the "oohs and ahhs" of the middle class whale-watching tourists. I've heard reports that some whales and porpoises --even in the "wild" outside of Sea World-- often ham it up for the crowd. Hence, they perform for chum and "raves." "Crafts" as in seagoing craft, as opposed to the more generalized and pedestrian "boats." "Gam"--collective noun for a group of whales. "ram(s)" --I wanted to use that as a syn. for "abuts," meaning the land masses inhabited by human beings, "shorelines" do not always rub up against the realm of the whales. In these oceanic regions, it's highly probable that the inhabitants have no idea human beings exist.
Part of the theme of that poem refers to our tendency toward sentimentality toward animals and anthropomorphism, which when you come right down to it, is pretty damn condescending. But the larger theme is epistemological, a $50 word about the philosophy of knowledge--how do we know what we know? Coming to terms with the limitations of knowledge is the theme of the poem that inspired the content of the April 11 poem--"The Great Bear," by John Hollander (one of the Double Dactyl trio.) An editor's footnote to that poem contains a reference to the "Prince" in my ditty. If you've got a copy of Hamlet handy, look up Act III, scene ii, lines 392-9. Okay?
Now, as in an opening for a leaping whale, once more into the "breach"--
Termagant is Fair Pay
“Iceland” keeps coming up
in everything I read
maybe a sign
I should go there
heard how the whole island runs
on vast pots of geothermal energy
down in the gassy nether earth
one can easily find a warm spot
to sit on while wearing a bathing suit
frigid air above
hot stuff below
plenty of both around here
in this so-called temperate zone
Got to watch out for volcanoes
up there in the N. Atlantic
You never really can predict
when a vent’s about to blow
no such thing
as a temperate termagant
no big mystery
in the misbegotten birth
of the word pulled off wagons
circling around medieval cycles
of plays with characters
fabricated out of thin air
an insult to Muslims
an insult to women
I want to be Lilly Ledbetter
first I got to get a job
me all harried and harassed
bubbling under the surface
beware the wrath
of a patient volcano
keeps coming up
may be a sign
Last edited by AuntShecky; 04-13-2012 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Ms Ledbetter spells her first name with two "l"s,as in "Lillian."
I loved Whale Watch and the twist in the last stanza Auntie.
The Rotten Apple Injures its Neighbour
Thank you, Delta. ^
It’s only a number, just twelve and one,
not a digital warning from the sun.
Take nine plus four (if I have added right.)
It makes no sum that brings unlucky plight.
When Friday coincides, no need to run
this casual day, when work’s almost done.
The weekend’s prelude at last has begun.
Count on no ill omens timed for tonight –
it’s only a number.
Recall the corner pastry shop with fun:
a bonus doughnut or an extra bun,
thanks to the baker’s dozen of delight,
a sweet release from superstition’s blight.
Why spit out misfortune when there is none?
It’s only a number!
Last edited by AuntShecky; 04-13-2012 at 03:52 PM.
I do not read poetry much, but after reading your last one and few others, I quite like them.
Great poem Auntie and I love the way you break the 13th down with sweet things and math. I spent a wonderful afternoon yesterday having coffee and cake with a guy in my house (which is saying ALOT!) Nice way to disspell superstition.
The Rotten Apple Injures its Neighbour
April 14 -15
To the Reader:
I humbly beg you to enact
a willful suspension of fact
over the pair this odd piece features.
Beware -- microscopic creatures!
This duo does so sorely lack
a nervous system and a back.
Sans legs to move, these two ne’er trod,
propelled with just a pseudopod.
Each breathes with neither lungs nor beak;
none has a mouth with which to speak.
Though there’s no cerebral basis
to form firm thoughts and make the cases
for quasi-logical debate–
somehow these two communicate.
So–your indulgence will go far
“Two Amoebae Go into a Bar”
Though Nature seldom falls for whims,
one night she let two specimens
escape a slide, then to arrive
at a foreign body-- a dive,
where rank-rot beer was called top shelf.
The pair slid onto the bar itself.
Not a wallet they had between them,
no card to use in the ATM.
Both, far more poorer than I am,
with not a cent, let alone a clam,
had yet a sense of being free,
off on a lark, a wayward spree.
One said, “Way to slip off the slab!
Think they’ll miss us back at the lab?”
“Nah,” said the other, wet as rain.
“They haven’t even named our strain,”
Then adding, with a shift in gear,
“Not many monocytes in here,”
looking ‘round (as if it had eyes)
“With these prices, I’m not surprised.”
Its pal concurred (for now, still game)
“For the ambience, I’d say the same.
Nowhere is there a creature small.
Nothin’ but human, wall-to wall.”
Then, from above there came a drop
of the aforementioned slop,
the slobbered overflow from a glass,
which splashed the cells right in the —.
Not drowned nor succumbed by fear,
their instinct floated, treading beer,
and best survived this gesture rude
though in a feisty, fighting mood.
One, with what could be called its head
turned round, burped, and said:
“All them smug smiles, not one damned frown.
Wouldn’t you love to take them down?
All that gleefulness, soon bedeviled,
Swiftly stricken, quickly leveled.”
Its tiny comrade cried, ” Let’s say
a plague or epidemic. Hooray!”
“You bet,” averred the other cell,
“We’ll make their world a living hell.
Stick ‘em with sickness and poor health,
do it by hook or crook or stealth.“
“Whoo! Nothing beats the ordinary
like old fashioned dysentery.
Watch ‘em double over and trot
in their mad scramble to the pot.”
“Right, buddy. Bring it on! Oh boy!
But we’re not ready to deploy
our secret weapon to wreak this fuss,
There are, you know, just two of us!
We’ll start our plan, affliction-wise,
but first we’ve got to colonize.
So tell me, Pal, how you’d deduce
the fastest way to reproduce.”
“Why, I know a sure way that’s easy,
really simple and not sleazy.
I only have to step aside,
merely expand and then divide.
Both of us should just break in half,
and double,” it said with a laugh.
“Where we were merely two before,
presto, change-o, now we’re four–
so on and so on. Look, no hands!
We’ll outnumber great army bands.”
“No, my friend, that grinds no stones--
It makes a lot, but we’ll be clones.
Nature commands: ‘Diversify!
Get a portfolio, or die.’
Your idea --sorry--I must hex,
for the only way to go is sex!”
“No! Why not stay in my limits?
Be my own cell, no commitments!
A perfect replica, carefree,
No one to answer to but me!
Tell me, where do you hope to find
a partner, one who doesn’t mind,
hooking up with another strange cell?
Besides, how could you ever tell
if it’s an it, a he, or–eww!-a she?”
The other was quick to disagree:
“Many,” it said, “are the reasons why
Sex is the way to multiply.
For now let’s stick with number one:
sex is the best, since it’s more fun.”
With no counter- “Crap!” or "hurrah!”
an impasse thus ended le débat-
And that, as we say, was that.
Two little bodies ceased their spat,
one, with the smallest phone of all
made the world’s wee-est booty call;
the other, the androgynous “it”
puffed itself up, and then it split.
Last edited by AuntShecky; 04-16-2012 at 05:28 PM.
Did you plan the forms beforehand, or did you choose the forms on the day?
Three more wonderful offerings Auntie. Witty, wise and funny. Keep it up
Live and be well - H
Are there no laws against anyone having this much fun? I guess if you're sharing it with us, that constitutes mitigating circumstances. Brava!
Thank you, Paulclem, Hawk, and Prince.^^^
Below is the posting for April 15, for yesterday, when I knew I wouldn't have an opp. to use the computer. The snorer for today (April 16) is finished, and I'll post it this evening.
A Kid Does His Homework
(Translated from the original Martian by William McGonagall, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Martian Language and Literature at Downstate University at Hogwash.)
Our assignment was to report
on an aspect of our neighbor,
the one that’s one step closer
to the star we share.
My composition is about whatever it is
that almost covers that entire sphere.
It is a sickening color.
It is not red at all.
It is nothing like we have here.
Below a bunch of star-colored streaks
that follow the big ball while
it rotates and revolves, we see
the non-red thing wrinkling
the way our sand ripples in the wind.
When we get a closer look,
we see the expansive edge
rush back and forth
like it’s chasing itself.
If you put a small quantity
into a transparent vessel,
the color goes away.
If you put some in a flat container
all of it goes away
(except for the mark it leaves behind,
a gray shadow, like a ghost.)
There are a few solid places
where this covering doesn’t reach.
But on those stony parts you’ll find
basins full and narrow lines of it
wriggling and cross-cutting rocks.
When you’re next to a border
and bravely stick an appendage in,
it feels strange, as if you want
to shrivel up and get yourself small,
as you do in night-time.
There’s a story about
how these aliens catch
some of it in little containers
which they keep by their sides
everywhere they go, like captured prisoners,
though from time to time
they tilt the contents out--
right into their maws!
I don’t believe this.
It makes me gag!
Also, it’s said that tiny, noisy
bits of it shoot down
from the tops of boxes
where the creatures stand erect.
They let these flashy meteors
fall directly on themselves.
They’re happy --
sometimes they sing –
as they caress and rub
these needles into their body-shells.
But when they move about their world
and the white streaks in their sky
meld into great clumps of dark gas
and begin to ooze the identical drops,
the earth-beings bolt in fear.
Sometimes they hold up parabolic shields
but mostly they run
as if they must avoid this stuff
They should do what our ancestors did
three million years ago
when they gathered up the putrid poison
and hid it all underground.
Last edited by AuntShecky; 04-17-2012 at 03:01 PM.