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Dear Googlers 5: Other Letters to Other People I’ve Never Met (Probably)

29 Mar

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “a poem for a drunken jerk” and “forgotten fake poet”:

Welcome!  I am an unknown fake poet, so if I’m remembered at all, I will be soon forgotten.  Also, I am often a jerk and sometimes a drunk, so many of my poems–which you can find here–might appeal to your drunken, jerky proclivities.



Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “janeway flirts with seven”:

True.  But to her credit, Janeway flirts with everyone.

You better have something bigger in your torpedo tubes,

Continue reading

Clown Redux: The Christmas Miracle

25 Dec

I woke up pissed, sore, and groggy.  There was no good reason for this.

Of course, 2014 has been a generally pissy year for me: my dad was hospitalized twice with various mysterious alcohol-induced illnesses (one of those times he was bleeding profusely all over his house before the ambulance came, and so a week later I was the one cleaning all of that up); my estranged mother has cancer; my dog died; my grandma died; my job continues to be dissatisfying, injurious to both my physical and emotional health, and low-paying.

I wasn’t thinking about all of this consciously when I woke up pissed off this morning.  But after grumbling internally about a lot of suddenly prickly past grievances and new annoyances–a grumbling that lasted all through my shower and putting on make up and running around forgetting things as I left the house–I stopped myself.  I took a deep breath, and I prayed the same thing I always pray:  that I would be forgiving and loving and generally be God’s woman today.

And yeah my life is crummy by certain measurements, but it’s also very blessed. I have life. I have a steady–albeit rather crummy–paycheck.  I have Eternity.  I have friends and family who love me.

And I have clown.

creepy puppet

Not only that, but I also have New Clown, The Christmas Miracle.

new clown

Let me begin at the beginning.

In the year and a half since I wrote about the original Clown, what started as a purely electronic, one-sided trolling has become something more:  I printed a hard copy, and Tish and I have been exchanging it on and off in disparate locations and circumstances.  She’s put it in my sheets, in the dryer, in the shower, in the medicine cabinet.  I’ve slipped it into her lunchbox, in her wedding present, in a Thanksgiving card.  All our friends know about it and reference it.  Her husband speculates with her about where to put it next, and my new roommate tries to get in on it misguidedly.

Me: What is this picture you just sent me? Roommate:  Is this not how you do Clown?

Me: What is this picture you just sent me?
Roommate: Is this not how you do Clown? Like you just send a picture of a clown, right?

Meanwhile, another roommate and I had had a standing date at CiCi’s pizza every Saturday night for several months, not only because we loved gorging ourselves on bad pizza but also because we loved gorging ourselves on bad karaoke sung by off-tune pre-teens, which one could also find at a particular CiCi’s Pizza in town (alas that roommate moved out, and that CiCi’s has gone the way of the dodo).

It was a strange and close-knit community we observed there.  Our favorite act was a twelve-ish-year-old boy who would always sing “Glad You Came.”  The kicker was that he was a ventriloquist with a professional dummy.  He was neither a good singer nor a good ventriloquist, but we enjoyed his enthusiasm and confidence regardless.

Now imagine my surprise as my family is opening gifts this morning to find that my one brother has bought my other brother a homemade ventriloquist dummy.

Given my track record, I already find this hilarious, of course.

But then out comes the real, actual best part.  My brother special-ordered this dummy (to look vaguely like my other brother) from his teenage neighbor, who not only makes homemade dummies but also owns several professional dummies and goes to ventriloquist camp.

And that teenage neighbor is none other than THE BOY FROM CICI’S PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We live in the smallest, strangest world.

new clown and andy

New Clown scares my brother, but he doesn’t scare me!


And in conclusion, I’m glad you came, New Clown.  And, of course, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Found Poem: Even when

14 Jul

This time the dashes are actually by Spambot!

Even when
your relationship isn’t
don’t expect your
other healthy diet menu
to be any

19 To be empty
we are not seeing,
valuing, acknowledging, or understanding

and when
that happens — when
their plight remains
invisible —

they have
no chemistry.

Found Poem: Kind morning

25 May

I endorse neither this religion nor the spambot version of this religion, but I will publish this surprisingly delicate spam poem.

“Kind morning,
considerable afternoon,
maybe merit cimmerian

Sometimes non-standard due to you
very much; offer you
so much for your prayers
by reason of me,

for sentient beings, as
a service to Buddha,
from where all sentient beings
receive their happiness.

Found Poem: It is advisable that

25 May

This spambot actually made me laugh out loud.

It is advisable that

you must eat
cannot survive
on drinks
as for

the flow of
keep it
in our property.

National Poetry Writing Month Retrospective

4 May

In which I reflect upon my (successful) April endeavor.

I wrote a poem every day during the month of April.  For realsies.  (Except some of them were found poems made out of my spam comments, which doesn’t feel that real, but I count it anyway.)

Of course, because of the time frame, and my sometimes rather limited abilities, some of those poems were less than stellar.  I’d like to use this post to reflect on my better achievements and some of my disappointments, as well.

Let’s start with the bad and move up from there.

Least Favorite:  my favorite thing to lose

Why I Don’t Like It:  I was trying to go for some kind of weighty metaphor yet keep the tone kind of light instead of dropping into melancholic melodrama (as is my way sometimes), but it ended up being kind of stupid and reaching.

Worst Part: The final four stanzas.

and maybe next week it’ll just end up back again

and maybe next month you can make a deposit again

and maybe next year you can start making direct deposits again

and maybe next century you can have enough credit built up to lose it again

I thought this was going to be clever, but the more I look at it, the more cloying, idiotic, and nonsensical it is.

2nd Least Favorite:  Let me call myself

Why I Don’t Like It:  I love found poems of all kinds, and I tried to write one with a literature base, but the thing about them is that they should say something different from the source material.  The parts of this that aren’t nonsense basically just summarize “William Wilson.”

Worst Part: The part where I use the word dismal twice.  If I had used it at least three times, it may have been poetic repetition.  As it is, it’s just sloppy.

The One That Didn’t Turn Out How I Had Intended:  I took Emily Dickinson

What I Had Intended:  A several-stanza poem that’s sorta silly, sorta serious (à la Dickinson) with inventive use of meter and slant rhyme (à la Dickinson) with several Dickinson references thrown in.  Each stanza would be about taking Dickinson to different places (the bar was going to be one, the library another).  The final stanza would be a Dickinsonian rumination on death/the nature of life, in which the narrator takes Dickinson to “the house where I died.”  You know, Dickinson stuff.

Why It’s Not What I Had Intended:  I started writing it pretty early on in the month, but then discarded it for a while.  I picked it up again and wrote a few stanzas and then thought about it all night at work and then came home and wrote (not exactly) what I had been thinking about.  It got to being close to midnight, and my section about the beach had grown too big to fit with the rest of what I was doing, but I decided to roll with it because I didn’t hate it, and it was too late to write another poem before the day ended.

Overall, I’m happy with the poem, but I kind of wonder what it would look like if I could’ve written it the way I’d intended it.

The Ones That Didn’t End Up Being Written

Mirror Universe Poem:  The Daily Prompt one day had to do with meeting an alternate universe version of yourself.  So I wrote half a really crappy poem about meeting my Mirror Universe me, who was a vegan exercise nut who was wearing the Mirror Kira shiny headband.  It was dumb.  Be glad I didn’t finish it.

Jane Eyre/Painting Poem:  I’ve been listening to Jane Eyre, and I was really struck by how she painted a portrait of herself and another of that other chick Rochester was pretending to like just so she could remind herself she was plain, poor, etc.  I loled so much when she puts the two portraits side by side and says:

Whenever, in future, you should chance to fancy Mr. Rochester thinks well of you, take out these two picture and compare them: say, “Mr. Rochester might probably win that noble lady’s love, if he chose to strive for it; is it likely he would waste a serious thought on this indigent and insignificant plebeian?”

Lol!  Jane Eyre is obviously part Borg and part straight up love sick fool.  Efficient and masochistic.

So I was going to write a poem about how if I could paint/draw/whatever, I would use it only as a tool for self-instruction, like Jane Eyre.  It was going to be so maudlin and so flowery.  Be sad I didn’t finish it.

Follow Up to Just Another Song That Nonsensically Quantifies Teardrops:  I got to thinking about how the exponential model of teardrops is true only supposing one does not see one’s lost love ever again; however, when one sees one’s lost love, the tear drops show a sharp incline.  And sometimes hormones or whatever cause tear drops to increase, as well.  Therefore, some kind of waveform graph would more accurately portray a tear drop situation.  I never found the time/energy to research this and write my country-western song.  Be really sad I didn’t write this one.

2nd Favorite: The Eye Witness

Why I Like It:  I find noir fun both to write and to read, so I think this an enjoyable piece from both ends.  I also like the idea of it:  how useless a noir narrator would be as an eyewitness–always waxing gritty and poetic but never really pointing out details that could make an accurate sketch.

Best Part:  The last section, in which I crack myself up every time imagining some five-o-clock-shadowed grubby detective getting super impatient with a disenchanted dame with a long cigarette holder:

–Ma’am. Thank you, but–

I’ve got one more.

He was a man who may have wanted
to be good once,
but a life of neon lovers and gun-metal friends
had persuaded him otherwise
in the dark of some wet, murderous night.

–Are you finished?


Favorite:  The Ice Box of My Heart

Why I Like It:  Oh hi, extended metaphor that doesn’t even seem that forced!  This could’ve turned out a lot worse than it did, and I am so pleasantly surprised by it.  I wrote it in like five minutes, and I still like it very much.

Best Part:  The simple stanza in the middle that sums up the whole thing (and was the inspiration for the entire poem):

It’s mostly leftovers,
to be honest.


And with that, I’ve concluded my self-indulgent analysis of my own writing.  I will probably be back to talking about Captain Janeway and/or classic country any minute now.


Also, to prove I’m not completely self-centered, I also wanted to share these favorite-other-people’s poems (presented in alphabetical order):

Bonsai by grapeling

Why I Like it:  It chronicles an incident in the life of a sassy WAF lieutenant!  And it uses plant imagery!  Also, sassy WWII ladies!!!!

Best Part:  Although the sassy WWII lady stuff happens at the end, the beginning really hooked me.  I know exactly what a bonsai knuckle is (my grandmother has them), and they absolutely are strong and good at cleaning and totally worthy of poetry.

Mom held up bonsai knuckles, each hand
grown gnarled, as we sat sipping red wine
in tumblers perfectly sparkled where she’d gleamed them
with those fingers. Stains have no chance
versus them, index finger angled 30 degrees
permanently crooked the better to clean.

Green-Fingers by Carol J. Forrester

Why I Like it:  I love the house plant/farming dichotomy: how house plants are somehow instinctual and farming is scientific.

Best Part:  Again, we’ve got a great opening with great line breaks.  It also resonates with me because I’ve killed many, many orchids.

My mother and I,

killed the first orchid we were given.

We are not a houseplant

sort of family.

A High of Twenty-Two by TheBookyBunhead

Why I Like It:  I’m a sucker for weather poems and for poems with repeated lines.  This one does both beautifully.

Best Part:  I love this middle stanza that perfectly shows the exhilaration/anticipation/fear in a warm day when you’re used to cold ones.

At day’s end hoped it’d still be a dry, high of twenty-two,
Sigh of relief stepping out into fresh air
Body had been programmed to seize up for winter’s chill.

PS 22 Celsius = 72 Fahrenheit

What If the Voyager Theme Were Sung By the Andrews Sisters?

14 Apr

I kind of did this in response to Tish’s request that I write words to the Star Trek: Voyager theme (after we had watched a couple videos of other people doing the same).  And I kind of did this in response to my own barbershop kick.  And I kind of did this in response to having nothing better to do. (But really, I could’ve done a lot of things I should’ve done instead of work on this for 10 hours.)

Um… So here it is.  At 4 am.  Lol.

Why You Might Find This Picture in Your Text Message Inbox

12 Apr

We take a break from our regularly scheduled Poem a Day to bring you this special message from Mrs. Columbo:

creepy puppet

Behold this screencap from an episode of Mrs. Columbo called, “A Riddle for Puppets.”  Mrs. Columbo, for those not in the know, is a short-lived Columbo spin-off (kinda) that chronicles the adventures of Columbo’s never-seen wife (kinda), who is a housewife/part-time reporter for a tiny local newspaper that is mostly coupons.  Except Kate Mulgrew is about 15 in the series (while Columbo is about 60 always), and I guess later the producers decided she didn’t have a husband at all and the whole thing is just weird about that aspect of it.

Mostly, it’s just a show that follows the same format as Columbo except with a plucky lady in the lead investigator role.

Oh, and also, the show is completely absurd.

And Kate Mulgrew is the stagiest actress ever.  Which makes the show watchable.

So in this episode, a ventriloquist murders another ventriloquist.  And this puppet that Kate Mulgrew is holding had “witnessed” the murder (the murderer ventriloquist is crazy and thinks the dummies are sentient), so the murderer ventriloquist tries to get rid of this dummy by giving it to Mrs. Columbo (to take home to her daughter.)

I’m already loling as I write this.

I grabbed this screencap as I watched because. Well. Lol.

It has amused me ever since.

I have been texting it to people ever since.

And that has also amused me.

Oh how I love it; let me count the ways:

  • For the purpose of clarity so far in this post, I have called this lady alternately Mrs. Columbo or Kate Mulgrew, her name on the show and the actress’s name, respectively.  But at home, in texts, and on twitter, I almost always call her Baby Captain Janeway.  Because Captain Janeway.  Circa 1979.  This cracks me up for some reason.  Tish was watching the show with me the other day, and she said (about the sometime boringness/straight up weirdness of the show):

“I’m glad she went back to school to become a starship captain.”  

  • This ’70s outfit.  Double-popped collar!  Holla!
  • That facial expression.  You can tell she’s thinking, “WTF am I supposed to do with this thing?”
  • That dummy.  And his hair.  And his everything.
  • That dummy’s name is Clown.  He is a clown.  And his name is Clown.  They did not give him a name like “Bobo” or “Laughy-Smiles” or “Stan.”  His name is Clown.  And everyone says it with a straight face.  I can’t even write it with a straight face.  Clown.  LOL!

And so, because of the listed reasons, you may unexpectedly get Clown Bombed (as I’ve termed it).  Don’t worry; you’re in good company:

A coworker’s watching documentaries while recovering from knee surgery. So, of course, Clown Bomb.

A middle-aged-lady friend had invited me over the night before, but I couldn’t make it. So, of course, Clown Bomb.

I always text Tish about where we’ll go eat after church. So, of course, Clown Bomb.

I’m sure no one loves this quite as much as I do.

Ask me if I care.

creepy puppet

Cuz Clown sure don’t care.

Dear Googlers 4: Additional Letters to Additional People I’ve Never Met (Probably)

18 Feb

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “china town situation”:

I’m wondering if you’re using this term the same way I am.

My daughter AND my sister,


Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “why does anyone care about the difference between similes and metaphors”:

They don’t. 😦

And that’s why I got fired,


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Apostrophes and Plurals: Once in a Great While

27 Jan

I almost always agree with Michelle grammatically; we took the same Professional Editing course, after all, and she was witness to an embarrassing incident in which my *white trash roots shone through my carefully cultivated English-nerd façade.  She recently posted about plurals and apostrophes, and while I most certainly agree with her, I must talk about the exception to the **rule:

Three Ts of Stewardship

Here–on this PowerPoint slide announcing my pastor’s sermon this morning, which was a very good sermon that included a testimony from the best organ player ever who also happens to wear awesome, gigantic brooches every Sunday–we have an acceptable way to use an apostrophe to form a plural.  Because everything is capitalized, we need some way to distinguish the T from the plural-making S or else the end product looks like TS, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The only problem is this:  Why does everything need to be capitalized?  It doesn’t.  Hardly ever does everything need to be capitalized.  Unless you’re yelling at someone on the internet.

*In Professional Editing each spring, the class produces a magazine about the English department.  One of the features we were going to do was about professors and their pets.  We were discussing other features, and I suddenly remembered about this pet thing and got worried we wouldn’t have enough room, so I–naturally–said, “What about them dogs?”  There was silence then and laughter to follow.

**The takeaway here is clarity.  If everything is not capitalized, we can also use an apostrophe, such as when we’re talking about more than one letter x (x’s).

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