Archive for the ‘bad poetry’ Category

The graduate student’s lament

August 26, 2010

I am a rat sliding scrabbling on a surface of smooth glass;
I am a monster truck in rain, whining mired in sucking mud;
I cannot stretch my jaws round this rubbery balloon bread;
I cannot map my way in this dark with my tiny little penlight —
I think I need to go and ask my advisor for a bit of help.

* * *

Sometimes a bit of bad poetry is just as good as screaming, tearing off your clothes and running up and down the corridors waving your privates at any passing academicians. Because it helps to pin down that certain state of mind just before you crack and go whining/courteously requesting for halp.

(“Halp, halp! ‘Tis as the elder ones told me: the more my absolute knowledge increases, the bigger my relative ignorance gets! For every one thing I understand, I learn of ten I have no clue about at all!”)

White coat, red iron heart, etc.

June 2, 2010

And the tag of this post is “bad poetry”.

Because, seriously, I am a non-native speaker that can’t even rhyme as that would reveal ugly things about my grasp of the English pronun… pronoun… speakin’ out thing.

Still, sometimes a story or an idea bubbles up, and won’t go down except when written down. The spark this time was a pretty and profound cyborg girl in a page of Dresden Codak; the idea fled gibbering to quite different realms from there, but for some reason the “narrator” of this bit stayed female.

* * *

My first life I was a scientist
In a white coat, in an ivory tower
Locked in because the world outside
Was madness, idiots and fools
And my domain was beauty they would never understand.

I grew up, a dancer, a prancer,
I grew old, hobbling, limping,
I grew rather angry biology was the boss of me.

My second life was from an accident
My heart of flesh was gone, I was gasping
My new heart of iron, was equally red,
And pumped blood much better, I smiled,
Steel eyes in bone sockets, I was better than before.

So much has been replaced of me
Only my old brain remains, but now
Iron fingers, silicon chips, shelve even that cylinder.

My third life was a choice: I could have
Flesh as before, but better, not an animal
But an organic deathless machine — or then
No flesh, but silicon, plastic and steel,
Computers within as already among; and I took the second.

Serpent cables slither off my back,
And with a graceful flourish I rise,
Off the couch, plastic girl with a perfect mind.

My fourth life was long, full of thought,
Stars revolving round me, ground beneath me,
My emotions the same but calm, transmuted
A human being no more, maybe, but a sentience
Post-flesh, post-cyborg, a computer full of love, I was.

At times my eyes were a second away,
At times time slowed down for me,
And never I knew boredom before these long years after the Sun.

I have seen millennia go by, I have laughed,
I have guided children, and wept at their graves,
(Had wings, and scars, and moments of doubt)
I have loved, and been loved, and felt kisses
Curious, tender, digital, plastic and obscene
Thus content, I cease; not pass on, but die, content with my life.

White coat, red iron heart, flesh or plastic
Thinking feeling machine, all the same,

With a sigh I slip away, leaving my memories to you.

Google presidents

January 13, 2010

Following a brouhaha about Google’s autocomplete and its certain functions or malfunctions, I happened across Autocomplete Me; then I ended up composing the poem below.

Each line is wrung from the autocomplete, most by typing in an American president’s name and the word “is”.

george washington is coming
george washington is elected president
george washington is on what money
george washington is not the first president

john adams isohunt

thomas jefferson is on what bill

2 dollar bill president
3 dollar bill santa claus

abraham lincoln is black
abraham lincoln is elected
abraham lincoln is still alive
abraham lincoln is jewish
abraham lincoln is re-elected
abraham lincoln is killed
abraham lincoln is still alive

grover cleveland is the only president
grover cleveland is the only president

william mckinley is 259

theodore roosevelt island parking

fdr is dead

john f kennedy is still alive
lee harvey oswald is innocent
moon is made of cheese

lyndon b johnson in vietnam

richard nixon i am not a crook

grover cleveland is the only president

jimmy carter is history’s greatest monster

ronald reagan is the devil
ronald reagan is the antichrist
ronald reagan is an idiot
ronald reagan is overrated
ronald reagan is shot

bill clinton is a pimp
bill clinton is a sigma
bill clinton is black

george bush is a lizard
george bush is a monkey
george bush is an alien
george bush is a moron
george bush is the worst president ever
george bush is an idiot
george bush is the antichrist
george bush is a great president

obama is the antichrist
obama is literally hitler
obama is a communist
barack obama is your new bicycle
barack obama is osama bin laden
osama bin laden is a dodgers fan

free time management games online

Have I got news for ya

December 12, 2009

Partial repost: Three pieces, two old and one new, of demented, bad Christmas poetry courtesy of yours truly.

New times

Silent night
Quiet night
All are a-bed
But one still moves
A bearded zealous fella
With odd parcels for places —
Police shot Santa
“A terrorist for sure!”

And the second, which rather sounds like something I should found a cult around:

New Santa

Ho!
Dasher, Gasher, Blaster!
Donner, Blitzen, Endzeit!
On, my beauties!
Fill the night with the tempest of your passing!
On! On like a stormcloud! Like a trumpet blast!
From the frozenest, busiest Hell,
From the darkest place of eyes,
From where all good and evil is seen —
Over the sleeping world like a thief in the night!
Like a plague at the gates!
All is seen, all judged;
A mistletoed door is no barrier to me!
All are seen, all judged;
Now avert your eyes from the skies!
The day of your judgment is here,
The night of your rewards has come:
Your skies thunder, and your roof groaneth;
Your hearth-embers a-scatter
Your lids almost a-flutter —
Mystery of mysteries tonight, for
Your Yule God is here!
Now him all hail! Hail! Hail!

Well, here’s the third, a new one. This consists mostly of a vague idea derailing:

Thule Santa

There’s this Ultima Thule
This place near north pole
Where green goblins toil
And horned beasts neigh —
There rules an immortal
Heavy with sin and worry
White of beard, black of soul
Who once every year is
Allowed to the skies for a while
By the whim of some mad god:
Coal and twigs and emptiness
Are what weigh his sleigh, and
Worse still are its pullers, and
Worst of all the shadows after it.
And, er, sorry to confuse ya:
Ain’t Santa, but his evil brother Bob.
Bob Claus, the ang’l o’ wurst brats.

And it basically tells all you need to know of my poetic ambitions if you look again at those two last words.

Prprpr.

I’ve heard some people name their cats “Mittens”. How this works I don’t have a clue — and isn’t that animal abuse no matter which way you do it? — but I admire the brutal honesty. The cat may not know what’s ahead for it; but at least your neighbors do.

(But shouldn’t it be “Mitten”? You need two of them for a pair, after all…)

God-shaped holes and voles

November 26, 2009

Why yes, it’s bad poetry! Recoil in horror, people of taste! There’s a cannibal in the house!

A GOD-SHAPED HOLE

I don’t believe in a God-shaped hole
I don’t believe in a ritual-shaped hole
The mind is not a jigsaw, but an ocean
And waters echo the wild years of past
The savannah, the burrows, the dinosaurs
Reptiles, fish-things, slow first crawlies
And the nameless thing, the gradient,
The slow transition from non-life to life
And back from that: rude mechanics,
Gene programs, wild instincts, and then
Imperfect awareness by the crude ape-man
Growing sharper, a blade honed on the world
Diamond blade with a smear of carbon inside
Quick to assume minds, to see faces, to err:
There’s no God-shaped hole, no need for faith;
Just that desiccated cherry over the wound
Of origins not from creation but a slow rise
Of evolution, unjumping, imperfect, and blind.

And, seconds after finishing the above, I knew I needed to write the below:

A GOD-SHAPED VOLE

If you so wish to look at it
Both vole and God are our friends of old
Both an away-branching from our current state
Both statuesque beasts, entertaining antics;
But not ones to watch your kids, or your state.

Vole is a small furry thing, seldom seen;
Vole is a pest, a carrier of disease
(Rat is just the name for your neighbor’s vole)
Voles are critters gnawing at the edges,
Unless they are Giant Radioactive Terror Voles,
From Planet G-D, which I can see from my house;
I guess don’t need to repeat that for the other:
The difference is your professor of biology
Can show you a glass-eyed old stuffed vole,
instead of “voles are only a metaphor of life!”

Also, and this is fundamentally true,
Not fundamentalist, but fundamental —
“Most vole species are”, you will see,
“Virtually indistinguishable”, so there.
One small, furry; the other imaginary, baseless:
A god-shaped vole, seen all over the world.
A god-shaped vole, girdling the human race.

And — though this probably ruins what small effect these two nuggets have — that last line is really supposed to read “girdling”, as in “completely removing a strip of bark around a tree’s outer circumference, causing its death”, which is what voles do. (According to Wikipedia anyway; if the next post up on Boing Boing is “Internet hit by ‘vole girdling’ spam worldhacks; Vole-Girdling Co. Inc.’s IPs perma-blocked from Wikipedia, Merriam, Webster’s”, I may have cause for trouble.)

So, you just sit at your desk and then wham and you look at Notepad and scream “What have I done? What have I done? A God-shaped vole, oh, the humanity!

And then you hit “Publish”.

And here’s a last bit that didn’t fit in:

If only there were volesteries,
And vonneries, and vole-thedrals,
and a Vole-Pope in a Vole-Can City;
Oh how nice and dandy life would be!

The Cookieectomy

February 3, 2009

Once upon a time, when a slang dictionary and I met, the following poem-of-sorts came into being. I wish I could say I was drunk, but no.

If you got guts, boy…
Better show them now!
The cookie-tossing contest begins!

I had a dog
And that dog went
Barf, barf, barf
All day long

In certain male company you
Hit the car in reverse gears
And worship the porcelain goddess
A cookie-tossing contest indeed

Lunch launch
Talk to the seals
Big white phone call
Shows you’d been male again

Marry your porcelain mistress
Blow the donuts and toss the chunks
Throw the cookies and hurl the beets
Power boot and breakfast shoot
Worship the porcelain goddess

The technicolor yawn —
A swirling mandala of your time

This, dear children, is what the sort of people who read dictionaries for fun end up doing. Worse still, some may end up doing this for a living. (Thank the empty heavens, not me.)

“Skeptical” is the opposite of “gullible”

January 11, 2009

A world full of doubt
Is as it should be
I don’t want certainty
Holy, ideological or otherwise
I don’t want a pretty illusion
Better wear my heart out seeking —
No answer should lie unquestioned!
(Note: interim answers quite acceptable!)
I am a skeptic, not easily satisfied
Not an agnostic, I’m willing to decide
I am a skeptic, the opposite of gullible.
Some people find without seeking,
For darkness hides all flaws;
You shine a light on them —
Well, seems some prefer ignorance,
Some prefer happy over true —
Here’s gentle Christ and some opium
And I’ll go right along then
Wearing out my boots seeking
For I don’t want certainty
A world full of doubt
Is as it should be
I am a skeptic, not easily satisfied
But when I crest a hill
And see by a morning sunrise
I accept, smile, and then move on;
I am a skeptic, and willing to decide.

In ending, let it be remarked that should you wear out your boots seeking, other seekers have surely found better boots along the way.

Are there any sunrises apart from “morning sunrises”? Maybe in space there are. That’s my excuse.

New times and a new Santa

December 19, 2008

Two “poems” for your holidays.

New times

Silent night
Quiet night
All are a-bed
But one still moves
A bearded zealous fella
With odd parcels for places —
Police shot Santa
“A terrorist for sure!”

Then another — I just got thinking “what if people took this Santa business a bit more religiously”, and came to the conclusion that the Yule stuff would become pretty grim pretty quickly:

New Santa

Ho!
Dasher, Gasher, Blaster!
Donner, Blitzen, Endzeit!
On, my beauties!
Fill the night with the tempest of your passing!
On! On like a stormcloud! Like a trumpet blast!
From the frozenest, busiest Hell,
From the darkest place of eyes,
From where all good and evil is seen —
Over the sleeping world like a thief in the night!
Like a plague at the gates!
All is seen, all judged;
A mistletoed door is no barrier to me!
All are seen, all judged;
Now avert your eyes from the skies!
The day of your judgment is here,
The night of your rewards has come:
Your skies thunder, and your roof groaneth;
Your hearth-embers a-scatter
Your lids almost a-flutter —
Mystery of mysteries tonight, for
Your Yule God is here!
Now him all hail! Hail! Hail!

So much for “Ho! Ho! Ho!”…

Happy atheistic Christmas!

December 10, 2008

A message of the season for you all.

I turn off the radio
Frightfully worn tunes
Just annoy me

I buy gifts out of love
None out of obligation
That just annoys me

LED Santa toilet covers
Trinkets for people to buy
Eh, they just amuse me

Some tot in a manger
Such pre-Santa mythology
Quite fails to concern me

Darkest night, son and myrrh,
Hanukkah, or a jolly fatso
That all doesn’t mean anything

Holidays mean home, and
A night for love,
A day together at last.

That is all that matters.

Christians stole the time and props of Yule from pagans, then Father Christmas stole the reason of the season from the Christ-child, and then the Coca-Cola Company and Hollywood remade Santa in their own, merchandise-friendly image.

Axial tilt’s the real reason for the season, but the only good and true reason to be happy is having a few days to show that you care about other people, whether you do it with gifts or donations or hugs. You don’t need a religious conceit for that.

Happy atheistic Christmas, you all!

Personal genesis

November 21, 2008

Filed under bad poetry. One of my sub-Saganic fits, caused by a passing remark by Phil Plait about the star-spawned “iron in our blood and the calcium in our bones”. (The post is titled “Betelgeuse shocker”, which for some reason totally sounds like a very, very dirty sexual practice of some sort.)

I call this little artless, formless poem o’ mine “Personal genesis”, because it’s a sort of a scientific creation story. And it of course has a little atheist barb at the tail of it.

* * *

(more…)


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