Saturday, December 18, 2010

Limericks, slightly naughty

(inspired by Stephen Fry's use of the phrase "gormless arse")

An arse that was oafish and gormless
Wrote verse that was rhymeless and formless.
He'd recite tuneless ditties
In the towns and the cities
And the welcome he'd get, it was warmless.

His vers, it was rather too libre;
Panache it lacked -- no joie de vivre.
But at night, when alone,
He would pick up the phone
And chant limericks through the receiver.

He'd call strangers and foes, even friends,
With his latest of lyrical trends --
Like a drunkard of Rome
If he found you at home
He'd bend your poor ear at both ends.


(after John Ashbery's "Finnish Rhapsody")

A bright planet hung low in the heavens, a glowing star hugged the horizon
As the poet swilled black coffee, as the rhymester gulped his java undilute.
It was Saturday, early morning, the vigil of the Lord's day, oh-dark-thirty;
Squirrels and birds were silent, no chipmunk or sparrow chattered,
Beneath the black expanse, under obsidian skies.
The learned astronomer, sage scientist of galaxies,
Forsook his wonted telescope, left behind his usual observations
And slept in a bed of bliss, slumbered on a mattress of joy,
With his bride of one-and-twenty, with a lovely young woman as his wife.

Public squares were vacant, urban centers deserted,
Save for some bums and ruffians, except for the stray thug or vagrant:
Lights shone in no shop window, the glass of the storefronts was dark;
Banks were not open for business, no commerce in financial institutions.
A cold wind kissed the asphalt, a glacial gust embraced the thoroughfares.
In the distant countryside, in a far-off rural precinct,
Monks were chanting their canticles, friars intoned their psalms.

The restless man in his study, the insomniac in his library,
Indited a curious lay, composed a strange poem,
Of dulcet tenor surreal, of sweet and dreamlike breath:
An exercise in futility, a vain performance to be sure,
But one which the angels applauded, which garnered the praise of the cherubim.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


A reefer of banana slugs,
A shard, but not a clump --
Eheu fugaces!  Coffee mugs!
Fried chicken!  Camel-hump!

The agitating branches stir
Far from the madding crowd;
We climb the towers of Barchester
With whispers soft and loud.

A handsome devil, charming man,
Abandons kith and kin --
His own reflection's biggest fan,
He sees the blue moon spin.

The bald Horatian classicist
Drinks shots of stinging Scotch;
Bitterly fifty, never been kissed,
He coughs and winds his watch.

The murdered crow is loath to fly,
The slain sparrow indites
Profuse hendecasyllabi
Beneath the northern lights.