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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Wednesday quickie

Said the dealer to the truckers,
“Our rigs run on diesel.
The trucks sold by others
won’t pull ten tons, but these’ll.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sweets are bad, m'kay? A Proto-Queron

The date is Mayish, 2009. I am starting to develop a poetry form. The first proto-queron came in at 15 rather than 17 lines and had this rhyme scheme: ababa bcbca cdcdb.

The content here is pretty fluffy. The exercise was more about the rhyme and syllabification (6 per line, m'kay?). 

In no other poem I recall writing did I use the phrase "Neener-neener-neener," so that's something.

Sweets are bad, m’kay?

Sugary treats are bad
Because they taste so good.
Whenever you have had,
you always know you should
have eaten greens instead,

but almost no one would
opt for something greener
although it’s understood
vegetables are leaner
and make you better fed.

Keep your system cleaner
and eat in tune with truth.
Say “Neener-neener-neener”
to that old sweet tooth
and you’ll be glad you did.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Maurnold X. Thurbin Pans Movies in Verse: Bedtime Stories

Flashback! Lately I've been pulling out older poems that never saw much light of day, but that I'm fond of. This poem circa 2009 is—okay, check out this concept: it's a movie review in rhymed couplets by the fictitious poet Maurnold X. Thurbin, a creation of The Filthy Critic. Many years ago—back in the 20th century—I wrote video reviews as Gooden Worsted in an alcove off of Filthy's site, which site garnered attention by making it into Rolling Stone and garnering nods from author Stephen King. 

Filthy's angle is that he uses a lot of profanity while delivering very incisive reviews that actually have a lot of integrity.

Gooden's angle was that every film rated between nine and ten stars, and all pans were backhanded.

Maurnold's angle was to be the rhymed couplets thing. This is the only prototype I wrote. I'd say you should go watch Bedtime Stories so you know what's going on in the review... but don't.

   Maurnold X. Thurbin Pans Movies in Verse: Bedtime Stories

Why would slapstick comedy for children
begin with such draggy exposition?

Director Shankman and Adam Sandler
appear to attempt a gerrymander

between the districts of kid-joke choices
(boogers, farts and ridiculous voices)

and an adult interest in narrative.
Try to please everyone, something will give.

First lost is suspense. The opening act
foretells the conclusion like a contract:

What “Skeeter” is promised as a boy—sure—
he wins in the end. This is no spoiler

as anyone able to read will guess
the obvious outcome to this lameness.

At the first drop of the heroin’s name,
you know she’s the woman Sandler will tame.

Between A and baldy manifest B
are holes broad enough for the Baltic Sea.

The boss, a billionaire hotelier
has never heard of the Hard Rock? That’s queer!

And it’s glaring since the plot’s central fight
hinges on this unlikely oversight.

For grown-up watchers, satiric attacks
are thrown in the form of Sandler wisecracks

at pointless targets like organically
grown food, Broadway, and not watching TV.

For kids, the yucks go exactly this far:
a horse passing gas, a booger monster,

a bulldog zealously sharing its drool,
a fire dancer pushed into a pool,

an extinguisher-foam-sprayed man, and, er
talking with your tongue out. (Good ol’ Sandler.)

Throw in product placement for Cinnabon,
and you’ve filled this burlap crap-sack of fun.

For family fare, there is no topping
The high standards set by Mary Poppins,

But, really, Adams, do you think you could
Make something even marginally good?

My four year old, at the closing credits
Frowned and declared this: “I did not like it!”


Friday, March 6, 2015

A Lithuanian Proverb (sneak peek)

A Lithuanian Proverb

When your drop a glass of wine in Lithuania
or bump a porcelain knickknack, shattering it,
they say Kamatka lapotcha, coka pooya schmoo.
I don’t remember the actual phrase at all,
but the meaning is to the effect that the earth—
reality—shifted around you, and you didn’t
so naturally, you didn’t keep up; and it’s not
wholly your fault that the teapot or peanut dish
didn’t align with you and only exists in shards
You and the world knock like misaligned gears.
The machine will right itself somehow—or
explode, destroying everything and leaving
Kidding! Things hardly ever fly hysterically apart
that way. You might fall against an aquarium,
killing ten red fish, then slip on one and bang
with the magistrate you were trying to petition.
A different saying applies in that case to the effect
that earth has shaken you like a sled dog shakes
into its harness, which makes it chafe, raising
a row of red sores under her haunch; and you
have to know she mustn’t run with tackle but
her slow healing and let her rest, or else
she could lose a leg. Now, if for reasons
of your own—whatever—you really need to
the truth, I made up the parts about the dog,
the aquarium and even knowing anything
about Lithuania, land of my ancestors—but
the part about how earth can shake you off.
I know I need this rest and that this
here invention salves a string of sore

Mired Divine, A sonnet

Going back into the oldish files for some poems that were lost in the pile. Here at least they'll breathe once more. 

This poem came from a time when I'd nearly given up on poetry for the first time in 20+ years. With my daughter at 3 years old, and my career as a copywriter picking up speed, I was losing track of why I pursued the ephemeral art at all. But thanks to meeting Poetic Asides , I found a respark and have continued with the practice unabated ever since. 30 years now!

This poem is about us humans.

"Mired Divine"

Such mucky bubbles we all are
with monkey grace and dirt and arm,
tied into our tangled blankets
needful as massageand thankless
under the airships of our dreams
bursting through Moissanite ceilings,
dropping our soiled gabardine

we spoiled in rain and gasoline
We’re puddles rainbowed with feeling
waking as angels, but screaming,
inventing stores of penny pranks,
rumbling ohms and ums and flatus...
Each of us born a stinky star
of spark and choice and rice we are.


P.S. This is an "onion sonnet" where the center is a rhymed couplet, and the rhymes go outward from there, so that the first line rhymes with the last.