Tuesday, May 17, 2005
|Please, Lord, Make Me A Famous Poet
or at Least Less Fat
What follows is a very few poems and some hyperlinks to
the originals of which they are parodies (where we could find
the original and where it was appropriate) from chapters one
and three of the book. This book is over 400 pages, packed
with poetry and prose on the subject of poetry. To download
a PDF file of chapter two, "Parodies Regained", go to the
bottom of this page and click on the PDF symbol.
Le SonnEt Le Furie
How primly rhymed pentameter sets out
In perfect ranks, plumed hats and gleaming brass,
Marching to thumping drums across trim grass
To put the ragged noisy mob to rout
And...oops - WATCH OUT! Who threw that brick? A shout!
Hold ranks! Duck! Keep in step - but watch your ass!
We'll show this rabble!...Lord, but what a mass
Of life is this! It surges all about
Each syllable - the meter cannot hold!
Now it's breaking, words stumble from the ranks,
bloodied feet fall out of step,
rhyme drowned in the din of revolt
look there! On either flank
Sonnet To the Max
(A Max Sonnet Production?)
Why do I think I have to write a sonnet?
Why do I think and think and think upon it?
Shakespeare and Milton and Donne have already done it;
Now hordes of genteel rhymsters overrun it--
So why must I? What can it be but vanit-
-Y? There is naught that's new beneath the sun: It
Has snob appeal, like wearing a bon ton bonnet
Or knowing Monet from Manet and not saying "Monnet".
It's made to last: It sets your words in granite,
Like tombstones or marriage--but I'd rather Don Juan it,
Foot-loose and fancy free, 'oclast O'th' icon. It
Ill suits me to be ever like lawyers on law nit-
Picking. What eggs me on? By God! I'll shun it!
The sonnet makes me vomit! I SPIT on it!
But if I ever choose to write a sonnet,
In spite of all my carping, to condone it,
Once started, I won't stop, but on and on it
Will tick away, out-rhyming rhyme and reason! It
will show them! I'll pentathalon it--
Make an olympic event of it! I'll flaunt it!
Rhyme it to death! At last make it a non-it!
I'll write it in one sitting in the john. It
Won't even put my legs to sleep; then down it
Will flush, bye-bye, all gone, gone gone...I'll yawn; it
Isn't a blonde or brunette or Madonna. It
Is how you write if you're someone's maiden aunit.
But perhaps I'll save it...no, toss it! O! Doggone it!
I CANnot! Look! I've done it! A double sonnet!
If You Can't Beat A Dead Horse, Please Join Him
Or Neigh Naemore
Once upon a morning early,
how my little horse was surly!
Though I led him to a purly stream and nudged him to the shore
Though I prodded and cajoled him
and I told him and I told him
(O! I wish that I had sold him ere he learned thus to ignore
My implorings) - though I begged him, yet he boldly would
-----Only this and nothing more.
Ah, distinctly I recall it
was late summer in St. Paul; it
Was a sweaty day and squalid - Christ! This meter is a bore!
It won't win me bay or laurel;
Therefore, let's cut to the moral:
For my ancient swaybacked sorrel, though I kicked him aft
Hollered, "DRINK, you stupid nag!" and pinched and kicked
him aft and fore,
-----He just stood there, nothing more.
How I pinched him and I kicked him,
Yanked his tail and spurred and pricked him!
But he would not drink, damned victim! He just licked his
Then that hack of little virtue,
He just collapsed into the dirt - "You
Silly horsie, have I hurt you? That will teach you to ignore!
Will you drink now, little horsie, or continue to ignore?"
-----Quoth the horsie, "Nevermore."
Then he perished with a rattle,
But I wouldn't yield the battle,
Pried his lips apart - dumb cattle! - but they stuck in rigor
Tis so I tried intra-venous,
And he bloated up - obscene as
Something else that rhymes with venous, then blew up all the
That's my stubborn little sorrel, yes indeed, that's him all
-----All in pieces evermore!
Horsie! Horsie! turning tail
From the fountains of the vale,
What immortal hand or whip
Could force thy horsy head to dip?
Of what distant deep or shallow
Dream'st thou that, though thou dost follow
to this stream and in it wallow,
There's no hand can make thee swallow?
And what shoulder, what soft note
Could tug the sinews of thy throat?
And when thy throat gives not a twitch,
What then, thou stubborn son of a bitch!
What the hammer? what the chain?
(In thy anus sleepth thy brain?)
What the sugar? what red apple
Could persuade thee? Thus I grapple -
And when I throw up my hands,
Tired of curses, vain demands,
Dost thou smile thy work to see?
Dost thou who will not drink mock me?
Horsie! Horsie! turning tail
From the fountains of the vale,
Drink right now or else I'll bury
thee in a fearful cemetery!
Hey! Uh...Water? (Just For Whad's Worth)
Longfellow) (Hiawatha is not on the WEB. Too long!)
By the shores of gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the pony of Nokomis,
Daughter of the moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them,
Rose the sheds and seedy cabins
With red pickup trucks beside them
Rusting in the fields long fallow,
Rose the fancy new casino
Run by wealthy tribal elders,
Rose...but where was I? The pony!
Yes, let's get back to the pony:
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Beat the...wait a minute, STOP that!
So this pony that Nokomis
Led to water - it just stood there,
Stood there glazed-eyed and unbending,
Stood there like a wooden Indian -
I mean wooden native Am'rind -
Stood and stared and stomped and shivered,
Stood...now STOP that, damn it! STOP that!
Stop this pointless repetition;
Stop before you drive me batty,
Batty as the little pony -
There, I tricked you neatly that time,
Tricked you as the wily white wolf,
He who, blessed by Manitou,
Father of the sun, Manitou,
Tricked the children of the beaver...
WAIT, what happened to the pony?
Yes, the pony, little pinto -
Many things Nokomis called him,
Names that have no place in poems
That would foster wholesome values,
Names that little Hiawatha
Though she'd taught him every language,
That of every bird and insect
And of beasts their names and secrets,
Yet such things she'd never taught him,
Things not known to the language
Of the fowls, though foul her language,
Things that singed the pony's earlets -
OOH WaEEE! They singed his earlets,
But, to make a long long story,
Long as Hiawatha's childhood,
Long as Cyrano's appendage -
And I will not will not - WILL NOT! -
Mention "fellows" or poetic
"Feet" - I would not be so fell...O!
I've half done it! - mentioned one who
Long and desperately struggled:
Like mad Strangelove with his own hand,
So was he caught up and strangled
By this meter that so long fell
O'er and o'er itself like water -
Water, yes, as I was saying,
Of this pony, yes, in brief, though
Led to water, to the shining
Big-Sea Water, by the shores of
Gitche Gumee, to the water
Of... ENOUGH now! Stop it! STOP IT!
This damned pony - there! I've almost,
ALMOST said it - would not drink!
I conduct my horse, and sing my horse,
And what I shall assume my horse shall assume,
For every atom belonging to my horse as good as belongs to
My horse loafs and invites my prod.
I lean and loaf at my ease observing each twitch of horse's
My horse, my brother, drink or do not drink,
For I cannot make you drink,
Nor do you follow me to this rush of cool delight under coercion,
But from comradeship of blood and hunger and muscular preening,
The same sun kindling your eyes and my eyes,
The air I sneeze snuffled up your snout,
Your every neigh my aye,
Perfect, both of us, you in your shuffling, me in my waiting.
Welcome is every flea of you, every scab of your mangy hide,
Not an inch or particle of an inch is vile, and none shall
-----less familiar than the rest.
I have said that the soul is not more than the body,
And I have said that the body is not more than the soul,
And a dead horse is as beautiful as a living horse,
And when you are rigid and glazed-eyed, your stubbornness
-----perfect in its permanence,
And therefore why should I urge you to imbibe this turbulent
brew, this fishy elixir, this confluence of dew,
When your horsey farts and grassy droppings are as dear to
me as your
When your bleeding carcass will be as lovely as now the grace
your gallop, the tossing of your mane in the sun,
When your corpse will fester with maggoty life as dear as
any of thine or mine?
For I am Walt Whitman, lover of disobedient steeds
And I am Walt Whitman, killer of disobedient steeds,
And my loving is not more loving than my killing,
And my killing is not more killing than my loving,
And I will embrace you with my slaying as eagerly as I seize
slender stableboy in his smelly leather boots,
And my bullet will strike you with crimson gladness,
And my killing of you will be a perfect killing,
And the last flash of amazement in your eyes as you go down
-----burn me like the stableboy's hot sweaty muscular kiss.
Therefore I swear now by my strong bony freckled finger on
trigger of my stiff, pent pistol
That I care not whether you choose to drink or choose not
Choose instead to loaf eternally, as ignorant of me as any
Pecked at by vultures and torn by rooting pigs and...
Wait! Don't drink yet! I have but begun!...Cowardly nag!
or Who Is Sylvia, That All The Swines Pursue Her
And Why Did She Go To Pot? or Beaucoup Boohoo To You Too
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, dark loo
To which I have stuck like a rump
For thirty years, fat and cracked,
Barely daring a fart or a poo.
Horsy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time -
Leaden stupid George Washington face,
Ghastly portrait with one slobbered lip
slick as a disco heel
And a tongue aloll the racing flume
You do not drink, you do not drink
I wanted you pulped to glue
When I stepped in your goo.
It stuck like your glue to my shoe.
Ick, ick, ick, ick,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every horsy was you.
And the panting obscene,
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A horse with a Hitler mustache,
A Deutchland Uber Alles leer, who
Ever heard of a horse like you?
The smells of the stable, the soft meadow hues
Are much overrated too.
Standing there waiting like a lump
of cancer to grow, Oi!
I talk like already a Jew.
Oh it was you, just you you you.
Whose are these you's? You know whose,
Or is it Hughs? Is it youse, Hughs,
With your crows, or you, youhoooo,
Dear dead Daddy, boohoo, is it you?
O who who who is Sylvia's who?
I have so many, a whole crew,
But, it's you, horsy,
as I may have mentioned earlier,
It's you, you big booboo, you. /continued/
I have always been scared of you,
With your fascist schlong - how it grew!
And the Luftwaffe snot that flew
From your Horst Wessel snout.
Nazi-nag, Nazi-nag, Oh you -
You may ask, you with hoof uncleft,
How can a horse be a Nazi swine?
You stand at the stream, horsy,
And do not drink, nu?
You do this to irk me, you DO TOO!
Why did you follow and not drink
The bucketsfull I drew?
I stomped and screamed for hours,
Five minutes, if you want to know,
Brute heart of a brute like you.
And then to drop dead, become glue
Before I could beat the piss out of you
Broke my pretty red princess heart in two
And crunched it beneath your iron shoe,
But I'll get back at you,
Bloodsucking ghoul, I'll get you,
For I know what I always knew:
I hear your hiss and snort in the flue.
I know you're in there, you,
behind the oven door...BOO!
I'm coming in, I'm coming in,
Head first I'm coming after you,
You and your Auschwitz ovens,
Your 6,000,000 Jews baked in a pie.
Screw you for the slues you slew.
Baker, Baker, bake Mommie's head.
You can't escape me by being dead.
Oh Mommie's a pie, Mommy's a stew,
Mommie's a blood-red worm ragout,
And Mommie's coming in after you.
Before they say I do, I do,
The cowboys kiss the girls, not you.
The spirit is breath, and this is a gas.
Horsy, watch your Gestapo ass.
Horsy, horsy, you dogmeat, you're through.
You can download a PDF file of chapter one of
Please, Lord, Make Me a Famous Poet
by clicking the following icon
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