January 7, 2006
Light Verse - More Palindrome Poems:
This is the third palindrome page. Again, a palindrome is a word
or group of words that reads exactly the same, letter for letter,
whether read forwards or backwards. (Note: It's the letters that
count, not punctuation marks or spaces.) Thus "Otto" and
"Madam, I'm Adam" and "Able was I ere I saw Elba"
are classic palindromes.
What follows are more of my own attempts to write palindrome poems
and witticisms. In nearly every case, the entire poem (not counting
the title) is a palindrome. Sometimes (where so noted) the title
is a separate palindrome. In a few cases (where so noted), not the
poem itself, but each individual line of the poem is a palindrome.
I put my favorite ones in the first two palindrome sections. This
third palindrome page contains the ones I feel are the weakest,
but is worth a look (if you're interested in palindromes) for their
ambition. Often they are weak because I worked hard to extend a
palindrome into a 10 or 12 or 20 line poem. That's not so easy
try it. The longest ones are quite a ways down.
[Note on the next three palindromes: Basho is considered the
creator of the first haiku, which is simply "The old pond.
A frog leaps in. Water sound." My version contemplates the
extent to which Basho identifies with the frog. The next poem is
about another great author of haiku, Issa his gentleness,
occasional silliness. (He's my favorite.) The third tries to describe,
palindromically, the third of the three greatest haikuists, Buson,
a painter/poet and thorough professional, sensing that, polished
though he is, some may accuse him of having no "sub-strata".
Only the Issa poem manages to fit into the magic 17 syllables, but,
of course, none of these really work as haiku.]
Who Leaps Into The Old Pond?
Is "I" true to Basho?...
Hero Frog? I'VE vigor, for...eh? -
Oh saboteur - 'tis I.
Gentle Issa Is Charming, But Perhaps
Not For All-American He-Men
Was I assinine?
Meek? Nay! O no YANKEE men
in Issa I saw!
Consumate Artist, Buson Refutes Critics
Eh? Bad-rap Buson at arts!
"Buson - no substrata..."
No sub-par dab, he!
Man-union? No - I nun am.
Clandestine Prayers at the Third Canonical Hour
Jabba the Hut's Diet
Star Wars raw rats.
Sees His Dead Lover, Thinks It's A Ghost - Devil-Sent,
Finds It's Solid, Thinks He Must Be Dead Himself
Evil? A Maid I lost -
apparition? No, it I rap, pat - solid!
I am alive?
Headline For Mixed Doubles Orgy That Ruins The Net
SEX AT TENNIS -
SIN NET TAXES.
[Note: That is, sin taxes the net palindromes often rely
on rather inverted syntax.]
Sperm's Eye View Of Ejaculation And Battle For Egg
I hog genital lips!
Raw, Mr. --
IN egg: OH!
Don't Get Mad at Puck's Tricks
I, Puck, CUPID am,
Backlogs Corrupt Civil Courts
Star Of Old TV Show Turns Down Corny Script
No melodrama! Ramar do lemon!?
[Note: Refers to 50's TV series, "Ramar of the Jungle".]
Horny Teen, Caught In The Act
Before Bathroom Mirror, Explains
Mmm! Men! - I'm one!
Design is, in my hope,
epic! I TORERO am, Ma...
or, erotic, I peep - O!
hymn I sing! Is Eden - O! - mine?
[Note: The sense of it is, he says he's a man, and his male design
is, in his hopeful imagination, epic (huge). He's a torero, a bullfighter.
Or he stirs himself by erotic peeping (in magazines?).]
How Eve Got Even With Adam For Treating Her
As An Inferior
"O HELP, PA!..."
(I Eve am - Lo! DUMB I! - rib, mud - Ol' Ma Eve I...)
Spiritualist Marge, Wired, Ditches Mystic Quietism, Throws
Away Her Third Eye And Opts For Heart-Throbbing Passion
[Yo, Bro - Middle Eye: Eld, Dim Orb, Oy!]
I'm ego - made reviled!
O helot system! A helot said it
(O he who spots no "I"!) to me:
"Marge, let One Son's God
a tacit symbol be."
Yet I rip! Symbolic,
I lob my spirit eye,
at a dog's nose. No telegram emotion (STOPs) - Oh we!
Hot, I, diastole - HA! - met systole - HO! - delivered am, O gem
[Note: The sub-titles is also a palindrome. Awkward as this
mess is, it does make sense (not so easy to discern) and it's quite
a coup getting both diastole and systole (the two parts of a heart
beat) into one line. At the start, Marge talks about how she's rejected
the idea that ego is to be reviled, calls it a helot (slave) belief,
defines a helot as one without an "I" or ego, refers to
Christian mysticism and unity with the God of Christ ("One
Son's God") -- tacit internal union. Says to hell with all
that, gets rid of her spiritual eye ("blob mystic"). Says
she wants REAL (not telegrammed) emotion, that is, abbreviated and
full of "stops" (a pun). Says she came together with her
lover, diastole meeting systole, etc.]
Neil Diamond's Lover Responds To His Ardor With:
(Diamond - AH! - had no maid.)
[Note: This time each of the two lines is, separately, a palindrome.
The lover is no "maid" that is, virgin, and supplies
ample lubrication for his lubricity.]
Lee Blames Himself For Having Prolonged A Vicious War
No, we bag no loot...no.
O goat? tool? hero? No! -
War for a week? Nay,
Robert E. Lee let Reb
or Yankee war of raw passion
(or -- eh? -- loot? Tao?)
go on too long.
Thinking Of Nan (But Not Of Nana), He Sins
(And May Come Back For Nano-Seconds)
O Nan!...O Nan!...O Nan!...O, ON!
Onanism! SIN! A no-no!
On an' on... --
anon - an "O!"
[Note: One meaning of "onanism" is masturbation.]
His Treasonous Heresy Was: "I, Life, Create All;
Therefore All Is Life." The Inquisitions Verdict:
"No 'it'? I!
Destination: No 'it' an 'it'? -
[Note: "Destination" in the sense, "where this
argument leads us". If there are no things, only life created
by life (I), then no it is an it.]
Zoologist Relates How He Captured Copulating Foxes
part animals - ah me! -
defined sex of foxes' den;
I fed 'em...
SLAM IN A TRAP!
Me? "Hi Ho..."
[Hi Ho -- that is, after catching them, he carries them off
A Dirty Campaigner Gets Mucked
Live oration erupts -
O most pure...
no, I tar! -
Why We Keep The Dog Away From The Cat Box
Oops! Dog loots stool - Gods! POO!
Environmentalist Discovers Too Late Big-Wig Conspiracy
To Cover Up River Pollution, Spits In Contempt At His
Ah, Snail-I, victim.
O VIP-piss is Simon pure!
Vocal? I've noise: HOCK!
Cohesion, evil, a cover up -
no Mississippi vomit,
civilians - HA!
To Get at the Beer...
Sore Spot Stops Eros
[Erosion? No - I Sore!]
"Daryl, lo! From...uh...sex I'm sore.
Damn rub! I burn!"
Mad Eros mixes humor, folly - RAD!
[Note: Sub-title is also a palindrome.]
Virgin Upstairs Maid Is Disgusted With Sex
After Her Spurned Lover Goes Mad
Sexes! O resign it!
Lover - HOT lover - I made bedamned.
I am maid. I am maiden.
Made bed am I! Revolt!
Oh revolting is Eros,
[Note: She's both a maid (her job) and a maiden (virgin). She
feels her fate is settled now by her having driven her lover made
by spurning him: She is a "made bed." She revolts against
sex because she finds it and her exes revolting.]
Sidekick Tries To Talk Hero Out Of Wearing Red Into Battle
Hero, lo! Consider war:
Even if for a flag,
a gal far off - I never!
Aw, red is no color, eh?
Paganini Confesses To A Priest The Sin Of Taking Advantage
Of An Innocent Fan Whose Love For Him Was Spiritual
(That is, she was agape with agape)
In! In a gap - in! Agape,
mad on agape, Pa! I -
O gaga go I APE! Pagan
(O dame!) --
[Note: "Agape" (pronounced "ah-gah-pay")
is a Greek word meaning divine love or altruistic, pure, spiritual
love. The Priest is "Pa" Father, his title. Violinist/composer
Paganini had mobs of devoted fans. He says in the first two lines
that this female fan was agape (wide open) and mad on agape (love).]
The Ghost Of Everett Koop Haunts Two Kool Smokers, Tells
Them He Can't Stand Magazine Cigarette Ads And Despairs
Of His Times. They Try To Get Rid Of Him.
"Tis a trap, Ed!
I CRAWL at!
"Kool-spook, DEPART! -
as I, too..."
[Note: Everett Koop was the Surgeon General who first required
health warnings on cigarette packs. A "cigarette rag"
means a magazine advertising cigarettes -- "rag" is slang
for a newspaper or magazine. Stanzas 1, 3 and 5 are supposed to
be the ghost of Koop. A "Kook-spook" might haunt those
who smoke Kools.]
TV Addict's Lament
Damn it! I damn I!
Television ropes us - I'm a nit, I!
I lampoon, sit on,
as it is a "not-I", snoop! -
malign is! I've let it in! A misuse
porno is! I've let in mad IT -
Delia Tells Roni How, Accidentally Bumping the Cat While
Having Sex Caused the Cat's Wails to Intertwine With Her Own
Roni, Metal fan,
I, Delia, who, en rut,
contact cat: Nocturne ("OH")
wailed in A flat? E Minor?
Editor Promises Poet Fame & Girls, but Warns
of Cycle of Fortune:
Editor: "Odes reverb!
Belles? Sure, Russell!
[Note: I do have a poet friend named Russell (Salamon) whose
odes do reverberate and promise fame. The last part, though, doesn't
apply to him, I hope, with the idea that the tide of fame will ebb
and reverse, moving us from "do" to "rot".]
The Honeymoon Is Over
(Wo! Hon - Niag'ra Bargain? Nohow!)
Hot lovers repaid Niagara.
War again -
[Note: The idea is that the lovers get brief respite from their
quarrels, her rebellion against dirty diapers, etc., while on their
honeymoon, but they have to pay for that respite when the war between
them breaks out worse than ever afterwards.]
On The Road, Sunset, Sancho Gentles His Ass, Calling It
Onager (Wild Ass); Trying To Sup While Riding, Laughs
To Find His Meal Too Spicy, Takes A Slug Of Gin
Red now on night-rim -
Onager, On!...OOPS! No spinal leaps!
Paella nips -
How The Farmer Hauls Fertilizer
Tractors rot cart?
Iraqi Rivers, Once Hospitible to Adam & Eve,
Fill Up With Gunboats
[Note: This only makes sense if you get that "Armadas"
is a verb here, meaning "to load (the Tigris and Euphrates
rivers) with war ships; and that the rivers were once hospitable
to Adam and Eve, enclosing Eden (per many scholars), so were Adam
Ramadas hotels for Adam. Pretty strained. Apologies.]
How To Get Lot Out Of Sodom Alive
[Note: Anyone who has ever heard a "dyslexic" joke
knows that dog is the reverse of God, but I hope my title makes
this new for you, since that's part of how Abraham got his kinsmen,
Lot, safely out of Sodom (where people probably did it doggy-style):
He dogged God nagged him, bargained with him for lives.]
Tax Shelterer Saves $10,000
Now I wax - at Tenth G!
IRA - Evasion? No! I save -
a right. Net tax? Aw -
As Nam Went, So Goes Borneo
"A" is a detail of Eden: One defoliated Asia.
[Note: Damn! I remember feeling this one was a masterpiece when
I wrote it, but now I can't recall what is the significance of "A'
is a detail of Eden." I think the idea is that the speaker
is pointing to Map A (of many) and explaining that it is a detail
from a larger map of Eden. We defoliated much of Vietnam during
the fighting there. More recently, Borneo lost much of its forest
Special Girdle Help's Poet Stand Erect
held RIGHT a poet -
Look, Ma - Both Hands!
Am I maladept at pedal?
AM I, ma!
Moses Explains: It's Dangerous To Throw Down
A Serpent Staff If You're Out Of Practice. Also
High Priests Like Aaron Must Not Throw Weapons
Nor I nor Aaron lob my staff,
its fire-venom - O never! -
if stiff at symbol...
nor Aaron iron.
[Note: This actually makes sense. Moses says that neither he
nor Aaron throw down a serpent staff, with it's fiery venom IF they
are "stiff" (rusty) at "symbol" (at making things
represent or become other things), nor does Aaron ever throw iron
(weapons). Tricky syntax, but it almost works in my dreams!]
No, But They Taste Lousy
Gnat...tongue - ug! Not tang!
[Note: Title is also a palindrome.]
After The Gulf War, Two Zoo-Keepers In Kuwait
Meet While Hunting For Lost Animals, Find A
Dead Lion, Leading One To Ponder Life And Death
"Oh! who is it?"
"It is I."
"I may do bonafide trap, Ed..."
"O Gee! Here lion is!...
suppose zoo ooze
sop puss in oil
ere he, ego, departed?"
"If a nobody am I,
is it I?
'Tis I...oh who?"
Prometheus Hears Zeus' Sacred Owl, Recalls His Sin,
Is Punished, Freed, Ponders His Sin
Ere he rips, a hoot!
I'm fired? NO!...
Wide-reviled, de-livered -
torn up as drabs, bird dribs -
Bards! a pun: rotgut -
I wonder if...
misdeed to -
Oh! - aspire here?
[Note: Tricky to get puns into a palindrome, but in the myth, Prometheus
is repeatedly de-livered (the bird rips out his guts) and eventually
delivered. Here he's still tied to the rock, recalls his "deeds",
wonders if he sins again even by aspiring to freedom. The poem cheats,
since the owl is sacred to Athena, not, as far as I know, to her
Dad, Zeus. Note that the subtitle "sue Zeus?" is also
Confederate Vet Meets A Lady He Knew During The War.
She Remembers Only A Small Part Of Him.
"Reb member - Reb! Me, Dame -
remember? Reb - me?"
"Mere mad ember -
Hercules, Cleaning The Stables, Mocks Himself, Stoically
Hero, Do! (oo!) Do!
O dodo! -
doodoo odor, eh?
[Note: A hero is one who DOES, so he mocks his heroism and calls
himself a dodo, since all he can do is shovel doodoo.]
Saint Despises Secular Law as Mockery, Communion Polluted
Worship of Pleasure, Idolatrous Adoration of Symbols
Vanity, Pledges His Life to Christ and the Faith
Can Pass Through Walls
Dei-fed! How one deified - fie! - Id! Rood?
Dei-fed, deified Rood! O Temple! - Ho! Nosh! Peso!
met! - O
- O do
[Note: What a bitch to try to bring this shape onto the web!
George Herbert definitely wouldn't have composed any cross-shaped
palindrome Internet poems.]
In Anne Rice's Next Novel, The Monster Created By Dr. E.
Repents, Prays, Decides He Is Not Worthy And Resigns
Himself To A Life Of Active Evil.
Lived ago Dr. E. - vile devil -
Live-deliver'd - O Gad! -
evil, evil I!
NOW lived evil!
I saw no garden -
I lived evil,
O reviled was I!
Deliver, O God, a live devil!
I? Mad dog?
One DRAGON was I!
Live devil won -
I live -
lived a god reviled,
Live! Deliver! Do! Gad! -
Young Paleontologist Imagines A Crumbling Pillar
Of White Crystaline Stone To Be Lot's Wife;
Thinks Of Lily, His Sweetheart, Going Mod;
Ponders The Mortality Of All Things
Lily-most lass...MOD? - O!
So for all I plan,
if even elapses paleontology,
"Lot, no!" -
Elapses pale névé* - final pillar of - O! - Sodom's
So my Lil!
*Névé is granular crystalized glacial snow, resembling
salt or the white rock in the poem.
Snooty Fashion Editor Insists That Chief Editor Give Her An
Expense Account That Covers Cab Fare
Yaw on bus? I? Rot! I detest - oh! - trams, Ed.
If a nob,
I to nix at taxi? Not I -
bonafide smart-(HOT!)-set editor, I!
Fly Me to the Mountain Top
En-Alp me! I emplane.
Masochistic Girl's Fantasy Stirs Stammer
As Palindrome Takes A P
To lip p...penal priapus up!
[Note: The idea is she wants to give head to a pilot, and, being
masochistic, wants a "penal" priapus, something big enough
to cause pain?]
Hi-Tech Girl Dreams of Toying With His Joy Stick
O! To lip spot,
palm lap top's pilot...
[Note: Fun to get "Palm Pilot", a tiny laptop, into
Urged By Her Id, Princess Diana Acts
"Id am I, O Di, Diana - Id!
LAY or DIE!"
Diana did an aide. Id!
Royal Diana: "Id I do! I, mad I!"
What is Psychiatry?
Enabling Nil Bane!
The Pavior Sings This As,
On His Knees On The Lawn,
Wearily He Tars Our Paths
Star - Sun O sun! O emit!
To ham-raw - to pro-rata task...
lawn! O on! on!
Evaporation suffocates -
set A.C. off us? No!
(O pave no noon walks!)
at a tar-or-pot-warm -
a HOT time.
On us: onus - Rats!
P U! T Eliot, Old-Aged Eliot - Fell! -
Left Oiled (Egad! Lo!) Toilet Up!
One poet, ah! - T. Eliot - was FINE poet;
Odd id - DNA? - but was -
O Holy "mot!" - ANAL! -
Anatomy? Lo! Ho! -
saw tub and did dote, O pen!
If saw toilet - HATE!
[Note: Title, above, is a palindrome in itself. This palindrome
makes a certain dim sense, since Eliot was spiffy and rather put
off (like his character, Prufrock) by seediness and perhaps could
have been considered anal, so possibly doted on the cleansing tub
and hated the toilet. In any case, it's not my fault that "T.
Eliot" is a palindromic "toilet." No wonder he insisted
on the middle intial, S.]
Minor Poet, Jealous of Movie Stars,
Complains to Fellow Poet, John
Star? RATS! - MGM dog!
Name cinema's use, John - O NONE!
Poet-arts? No! Mere sop, poet!
Arise, tame mates! Oppose!
"Yo! hot! A top starlet! - OH!"
Damned fool mirror of evil
dim life! - film I'd live for?
Or rim - lo! - of den-mad hotel rats -
potato! Ho! Yes!
Oppose, tame mates! Irate, oppose!
Remonstrate, O pen!
On! On! Ho! Jesus!
Amen, Iceman-God-MGM-Star - RATS!
Beat That Senator With a Stick
Rot! Cane enactor!
[The senator enacts laws, so to cane an enactor might be to
cane a senator because of the "rot" he's speaking. This
actually happened to a Congressman during the heated debates shortly
before the Civil War. Another Congressman who disagreed caned him
in Congress and injured him badly.]
The Palindrome Form Addresses A Practitioner, Tells Him
He Is A Mere Positioner Of Odd Sylables, Not An Artist
"Don't!" sighs art as I -
I! - art named am.
No! It is - O! Palindromer,
a positioner of "er", "eh"
who made mantra I -
is a trash (Gist? No!),
[It's not easy to get the word "palindrome" into a
palindrome. This makes sense. The palindrome form calls the practioner
"dodo" (an idiot) and says his work is "doodoo"
(shit). The form says that "art" cried out "don't!"
to those who named palindroming an art ("as I - I! -- art named
am" -- terrible inverted syntax). Why should it be considered
art? ("Oh wherefore?") No, the person who writes palindromes
(palindromer) is "tremored" (a cowardly spirit), a nothing
(nil), who simply positions "er" and "eh" to
make these word patterns (I -- the palindrome speaking) or mantras
(verbal chants). The palindrome "Is a trash" without gist
("Gist? No!"), words doodoo'd by a dodo (trashed as by
a dog's droppings).]
Spake the Sunflower:
I long am!
How We Are Limited By Our Respect For The Walls
We Create To Locate Ourselves
O wall awe!
Who spots, stops.
Oh, we WALL -
[This perhaps makes sense: Wall law -- the law is a wall of
prohibitions, and walls, themselves, are bound by laws. We make
walls solid by being in awe of them. When we spot a wall, we are
stopped. We wall -- that is, we create walls by our considerations.
If we go up against them, we are hurt ("Aw! Oh!"). All
law is Wall law. Something like that. Needs work.]
John Wayne Toasts Enola Gay
(Ton Bomb - Mob Not)
O Gay Enola -
Ha! - on toot? No!
Ah, alone ya go.
[Note: Enola Gay is the name of the plane that dropped the atom
bomb on Hiroshima. It flew in alone (no other planes accompanied
it) and not "on a toot". Why John Wayne? Because he was
an arch conservative who liked to portray war heroes, though he
never went to war himself, and because I needed someone for whom
the word "ya" for "you" would not seem so contrived.]
The Seventh Fleet Is Drowned Out By Vesuvius
O Naval POW -
Is it pure wop lava?
[Note: The idea is that the Seventh Fleet fires (erupts with)
a salvo (POW!), but is drowned out by an eruption of Vesuvius, which
out-classes the fleet, being, unlike the fleet's salvo, "pure
wop (vulgar for Italian) lava.]
Comin' Thru the Rye
"No! O God!" (A leer)
"Footsie is too free, Lad! O go...
[Note: The speaker is the lass, and she's telling him he shouldn't
be doing this to her (playing footsie?)], but her "O go"
becomes "O go on!" -- in other words, don't stop. Some
of these seemed a lot more coherent to me when I wrote them.]
As Penelope Wove...
Su tats status.
[Note: Well, I do have a friend named Su, but I don't think
she tats (makes lace).]
War is Hell
War's procedure: Rude corps, raw.
Politician On The Beach Ponders -
Is He Too Fat? No, Just A Big Wheel...Or...
But NUTS! I'm red - I peel! Bared is no
A fat cat's a fast cat, no? Contacts!
A fast act...a fat tub...but, note, NOT fat...
not NIL - considerable epidermis, tun tub!
[Note: This is probably brilliant, but I am no longer able to
follow it. I hope you can. I think the politician is saying he's
red and peeling, but that the butt he's bared to the son is no one-ton
tub-butt like Bill Clinton's President Taft's. Then he rationalizes,
OK, so I'm a fat cat, that's good, isn't it? Means I get fast action
and have a lot of contacts. But then he notes ironically that that
doesn't mean he's fat ha! He's certainly not nil. No, he
is showing a considerable skin (epidermis) he's a tun tub.
OK, so it makes sense, but sheeese!]
Instructions to Contractor re Military Robot
Tips: Secret faecal plan A:
up its anal place,
[Note: Makes little sense, but I like it. "Faecal"
is an alternative spelling for "fecal" all my dictionaries
Motel: It refixes sex: I,
How Mohammed Ali Gets It On Again
I lay 'til it refixes sex: I, fertility, ALI!
Cite Medicine: Desi's Edenic Id -- Emetic?
Sexes, sex! I? --
fertility cult I await, Lucy --
'til it refixes sexes.
[Note: The three related palindromes above don't quite work
for me. The first two make more sense than the third, in which Desi
seems to tell Lucy that he's given up on sex until a fertility cult
brings back Eden or something. Note that the title of the third
one is a palindrome itself. In the first one, "Tom" is
either the speaker's name or his sexual identity (tom cat). In the
second one, it makes sense for Ali to identify himself with fertility
-- like a fertility God, not only because he had many kids, but
also because that sort of epic bragging was part of his schtick.]
Let Your Body Talk
Hone message: Gas, semen...OH!
[Note: Another one that must have meant something at the time.
I think it refers to ways the body talks by passing gas and
making orgasm noises.]
Banally and Spitefully I Vie for Fame with Bad,
Rude, but Visionary Poet
Drab name-nab, Russell, I - venom, alas!
Salamon: Evil, less urbane man...Bard.
Poet Wants to Write Sad Poems - Says to Hell
with Going to LaSalle College:
No, Ma - LaSalle's sure urine! Piss! I pen, I rue -
Russell, a Salamon!
[Note: Above two palindromes distinguished only by their success
in incorporating the full name of my old friend, poet Russell Salamon,
in a palindrome that almost makes sense. In the first one, I tell
him that I am a drab name-nab (stealing his good name for my palindrome)
and a venomous one. That's as far as I can find coherence in either.]
Farewell to the Car That Got All the Girls
Ta, Toyota Camry, ta!
Satyr, Mac, a toy!
O ta ta, Toyota!
[I guess "Satyr, Mac, a toy!" indicate that the speaker
is telling Mac that his play thing (the Camry) is a satyr or makes
him a satyr. Not too coherent. The first line "a Toyota"
is a palindrome in itself -- but one that many have discovered.]
1. To My Hearty and Faithful Guide:
Pamela - hale map!
2. To My True Inspiration, My Readers - How Much Do I Owe Them?
Muse? Tote sum!
3. To The One I REALLY Want To Please:
Mom? Rot! I dedicate: O poet, acid editor...Mom?
[Note: The first one makes sense, since my wife, Pamela, is
my healthy or sane (hale) guide. The second one seemed like a good
idea at the time, but I don't understand it now. I must have meant
"tote" in the sense of "tote up" -- that is,
"total the sum". I'm assigning my Muse the chore. The
third one also must have made sense to me at the time, but all I
can make of it now is that I wanted to get "dedicate"
into a dedication and that Mom comes into it with a question mark
(and "rot!") because I'd rather dedicate it to a poet
and acid (sharp, critical) editor. But Mom would do for critical.]