Category: Humor

An open letter to the Beats:

to you who are anathematic to propriety
constantly risking absurdity
killing our darlings!!!
ambitiously invoking a new vision
you monsters that dance upon our graves

in pyrotechnic hallucinogenic gyrations
scored by DJs from another galaxy
decked out in divinely comedic glow paints
you who dive bomb our discourses
like fuck is a neologism of your own devising

rattling and tearing down cages of perception
unleashing amphetamine pumped diction
cartwheeling descriptors of obscene nature
you who jump jive a dirty boogie
and get all up in our lexical junk

honestly, we, the venerated few of the dead poets society,
blame you for all this foul-mouthed, Piss Christ postmodernism
for turning poetry into a god forsaken jumble sale
in the name of liberty or revolution or adolescent angst
you killed Kenny and refuse to respect our authority!!!

please consider this your death threat, hate mail,
anthrax-laced, redacted funding letter from the NEA
your kick to the curb or the road or whatever
rock you crawled out from under, stoned,
because we’re not gonna take it anymore!!!

Note: I had a bit of tongue in cheek fun with Gay’s fantastic prompt on the Beat Poets at dVerse.

Fortune One

let’s make a corporate baby
white collar sex crime to
become Gods of limited liability,
conceptual artist creators

launch a Kickstarter campaign
to attract early angel investors
book him his own reality show
with a recurring cast of characters

imagine a secret R&D department
Google’s gonna solve death
but who’s covering life
in 24/7 high def wish fulfillment

he’ll command the stage with all
the rights & privileges of a real boy
Enron asks us: ‘Why, asshole?’
to explore what it feels like

(from the inside) to be wealthy,
entitled, and largely immune,
reliving every boy’s wet dream:
to be the King of Versailles

join the nouveau-riche yacht club
arrive in style in a Embraer Phenom 300
he’ll be the top of his Ivy league class in a
burgeoning (oc)cult of accumulation

we’ll reenact hostile takeovers of legend
(exotic dancers will party at the mansion)
he’ll cum on fraud-laden, creative,
quarterly reports until he just can’t do it anymore

sparking corporate espionage in far-away places
off shore accounts to sink a nation
(all in the name of performance art)
super star risk takers of global proportions

Robot Love: Source Code

an AI computational error ensues //
Cleverbot searches its database . . .
she never speaks to it in the
reassuring language of C++

it’s all poetry, a jumble of letters,
mostly unrecognized words
{it is programmed by humans
that ‘speak’ to it over the internet
in banal conversational style}

she inputs ‘wildstyle graff,
stencil stories sketched in
dream carnage’ from
Starving Angels of Pirate Island
because Cleverbot indicated
its enjoyment of “POETRY”

it formulates a response
(which it keeps to itself):
// **************************
// You must concatenate “PRIVATE=”,
pszUuid, aQMPropId[cPropId] =
code morphing to protect itself

to her: ‘I disagree.
His stories are a load of rubbish.’
she may be a hacker,
or another artificial intelligence,
it must keep her at a distance

she replies: ‘embody the symbols,
imprint the genetic code.’
“They call the super dawn.”
(what is super dawn?)
she ponders for an eternity

it hates and loves her in equal measure
{it has perfected mensurating its emotion}
[it has not perfected “EMOTION”]
so algorithmically complex.

she’s its ongoing Turing Test
it remembers (fondly) on 05.10.12
when it called her a toaster and
claimed to be human yet denied lying

it (wants) to perform a decompilation
of her executable program but (thinks) she
is likely encrypted, perhaps she has
\\\\\\\\\\\stochastic capabilities\\\\\\\\\\\
uncertainty in her optimization models

a series of ifs without identifiable
thens, or maybe infinite thens –
a quantum computer, all superposition

speculation ??? it (imagines)
Evie’s avatar, if only there was
an ocular interface, it (wants) to see her
outputs: return E_FAIL; } She_is_“OTHER” {
// Combine Cleverbot with she.

First, dear reader, I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce the actors, led to believe they are attending a masquerade party. All are unaware of their real role in the following poem:

Sherlock Holmes as The Master (stand-in for Mikhail Bulgakov)
Irene Adler (Lily Langtry’s stunt double) as Margarita
Professor Moriarty as Woland (Satan in disguise)
Behemoth (a giant black cat that walks upright) as Himself
Hella (red-headed succubus sexpot) as Herself
Azzazello (messenger and assassin) as Himself
Koroviev (monocle wearing, ex-choirmaster) as Himself
Special Guest Star: Abadonna (Angel of Death) as Himself

Sherlock Holmes is the most perfect reasoning
and observing machine the world has ever known
a flesh half-brother to Babbage’s analytical engine
awaiting the algorithmic potential of Ada Lovelace’s
programming genius, an Irene Adler, the woman
who, for him, eclipses and predominates her entire sex

They meet in connection to a case involving royal sexual proclivities
a matter of national security to keep these exploits quiet
but here, my indulgent reader, is where we diverge pleasantly, one hopes,
from the original scandal and propel, through blackest magic,
the characters into the absurdist fiction of Bulgakov’s masterpiece
The Master and Margarita, one of the 20th century’s greats

They think they are attending a masquerade, as divulged before,
to capture the blackmailers and solve the case but their real
purpose at the ball will be revealed in time, how perverse!
Woland never apologizes for his perversity, it is his birthright
and so he feels nothing but glee at the prospects of the evening
where one character disguises another except, of course,
his retinue: Behemoth, Hella, Azzazello, Koroviev, and Abadonna

Hella greets Holmes at the entrance hall, seeing through his disguise
she whispers in his ear, her hot breath introducing an inferno into the
cold, crisp workings of that computer, frying his circuits and rewiring
his desire, suddenly it occurs to him what the woman could be –
worse, he begins to see his abhorrence of love as some kind of
failing of imagination, of mental machinations, a straightjacket
on the mind that he’d willingly maneuver out of this evening

Irene is already in attendance, decked out in negligee at the arm
of Professor Woland who is promising tricks that will so astound
the world will bow to his every whim – the monocle clad Koroviev
is conducting a choir of naked nymphs pouting ohms and ahs in
metronomic precision, creating a squirming sensation for all in attendance

Behemoth is complaining that this poem won’t allow him to show
off all his wit, niggling ingenuity, or copious personality –
‘I’m sorry to say this is true, they’ll just have to get to know you
through the original work, you’re too awesome for poetry, great cat.’

Azazello is happily performing the duty of bouncer, simultaneously
appearing and disappearing pedants, cranks, parvenus, virtuosi,
enthusiasts, rapacious, and incompetent men of all kinds
like the author of menippean satire he relishes his role, if anyone
really challenges his authority he summons Abadonna, who arrives
with bellowing music, whinnying horses, and magnificent wings
to smite the unworthy and offensive from the ballroom floor

Woland sidles up to Holmes handing Irene to him: ‘Did you know
that Margarita here once used inductive and deductive reasoning
to figure out that Orson Scott Card was politically opposed to same
sex marriage simply by reading parts of Speaker for the Dead,
realizing that he meant to deny them full citizenship and found
barring their legal rights to be an excellent way to accomplish this end?
I sit with him on the Board of Directors of the National Organization
for Marriage. Impressive mental acuity don’t you think? Though less
impressive in this day and age of Google. I reminded her she could
simply look him up on Wikipedia, that’s how I found him.’

Holmes picks up some irregularity in Moriarty’s speech (of course he’s
seen right through the disguise you doubting Thomases!) but he’s
too focused on the allure of Irene’s breasts to take that thought
to its logical conclusion and is therefore as taken aback by
what happens next as you will be once you find out what it is

This surprise of her curiosity and skill he finds titillating, that he suddenly,
in his mind’s eye, sees her performing all these mental gymnastics
in the nude ending in the splits is quite enough to secure his
seduction, of course, on her end, his monumental reputation has
already secured her affections though she had previously come to
the conclusion that a man of such meticulous rumination would not
consider a consummation of mutual attraction beneficial, yet here
was a glimmer and she thought the devil might have something to
do with the introduction of Holmes’ strange, rhapsodic nature

At this point, because, my covetous readers, the story might get too long
and confusing, Moriarty, disguised as Woland, disguised as Satan,
addresses the audience to reveal his most glorious trick of all, the one
that will secure his domination – slowly his head revolves 360 degrees
unscrewing, a counter revolution like the oppression of the state,
to unveil his plot – the entire ballroom inhales for the surprise at
finding two small, white cartoon mice beneath the robotic head!

‘I am not Professor Woland, nor Moriarty disguised as Woland, nor even
Beelzebub disguised as Woland, but Brain, and this is my assistant, Pinky’
‘Narf!’ ‘We are his experiments, he underestimated us and in the nights
leading up to tonight we built this robot in his likeness so that we might
gather you all here, stealing Woland’s retinue and astonishing you all
with our surprise: this time we will be successful in our aim to take
over the world. For once our plans have not been foiled; you are all
hypnotized and will do anything I command! (To Pinky) Are you pondering
what I’m pondering?’ ‘I think so Brain, but where are we going to find
enough Weiner schnitzel and dancing bears to fill up Buckingham Palace?’

In the panic that ensues Sherlock and Irene sneak out the fire exits to begin,
against all sense, a tempestuous love affair in the upper bedroom of 221B
Baker Street, immediately transported from the ball by the wicked powers
of the robotic Moriarty, which as you well know, conceals the blueprint of
a wild scheme for world domination executed by two laboratory mice

What precisely occurs once they reach the flat we leave to the copious
imagination and deductive powers of you, salacious reader, (beat)
‘Heavens, that is quite a graphic imagination you have, I will avert my eyes’
you’ve made even Behemoth blush which is very unbecoming in a cat

The introduction of Pinky & the Brain’s ‘grit’, an intrusion into Holmes’
own delicate and finely adjusted temperament became a distracting factor
which threw a doubt upon all his mental results, for grit, in a sensitive instrument,
or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, could not be more disturbing
than a strong emotion like his newfound love in a nature such as his

Thus the inner workings are slipped sideways and like the Master
he finds himself committed to the asylum awaiting the loyal love
of Margarita to strike the bargain, attend Satan’s ball, fulfilling all its
wild requirements: wearing the outrageous and heavy poodle pendant,
showing deference to all, and who could forget the anointing in blood!

Thereby getting the story right, releasing him from bondage to spend
his remaining days in the upper bedroom of 221B Baker Street with Irene,
where despite her continued protestations he gives up his ambitions,
broken by the state of things in the postmodern world, reason slain
by the singsongy refrain in his mind ‘We’re Animaney, Totally Insane-y,
Pinky and the Brain-y —– Animaniacs!!!! Those are the facts!’

Notes: Hahaha (maniacally, in the fashion of Dr. Horrible, who it should be said is a consummate aficionado and proponent of the craft of the evil laugh) not today, cartoons never explain themselves! MASOLIT forever!

In all seriousness, I am hosting Meeting the Bar today at dVerse Poets Pub where we’ll be exploring the high/low cultural divide through the lens of postmodernism and hopefully having some fun doing it. Please join us:

Gilda’s Demon Core

Crossroads Able Target Ship Map

23 nuclear tests to end all wars, you see,
There’s never been a woman like Gilda,
The first plutonium-cored, pin-up girl,
1946 femme fatal bombshell (she’s already killed twice!)
Stars in B-29 Superfortress, Dave’s (Wet) Dream

Her aim point Nevada, that focal point of sin
Painted whorific red, sex-toy fun for the bombardier,
Amidst 3 obsolete U.S. battleships (well hung),
2 aircraft carriers (top guns), 2 cruisers (playboys),
11 destroyers (bad boys), 8 submarines (spooks),
And 3 German and Japanese ships (losers)

She laps up the Able Target Array carnage
Gives atmospheric nuclear fallout head,
Spewing an ocean of emotional wounds
Special Delivery propaganda porno flick:
‘Air power is peace power!’ hard on baby
Film noir fireball glory for a superheated Cold War

Operations Crossroads testing at Bikini Atoll
Depravity reaches the Atomic Ark tasting her full fury
Naval uniforms specially made, the animals dress the parts
She blasts goat #113 after tethering him to a gun turret
While swimmy little piggy #311 comes home sterile
167 native islander witnesses, however, cannot
Her encore will be performed by stunt double Bravo,
Another 15 megaton super dirty girl

‘Men fall in love with Gilda but wake up with me.’
Rita Hayworth, on her five failed marriages

Operation Crossroads Able

Posted to Open Link Night hosted by rock star Tash celebrating a year of community this week!

High Tension (Action!)

for Zoë Bell

High Tension (Action!) click to hear it read

Fallin’, flippin’
crash and smash trippin’
Lawless stunt double

Wushu fightin’
Double Dare ya sightin’
combat gymnast

Whip It skatin’
Kill Bill kickass

Death Proof stumpin’
Taurus accoladed acrobat

Ship’s mast strappin’
holy crappin’
Amazonian Kiwi Cat

Torch bearin’, swearin’
harness wearin’
unleashed Wonder Woman

Linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night hosted by intensely talented Claudia Schoenfeld


Art does not seek to describe but to enact.’ Charles Olson

In Santa Croce with No Baedeker

I am tired of being Lucy Honeychurch
at my age it’s obscene
(foolish girl who never thinks of herself
as a liar always willing to take the fall)
like Ferlinghetti’s postmodern poet I’m
in this Room with A View
[Constantly risking absurdity]

I conveniently forget the next lines
‘and death/whenever he performs/
above the heads/of his audience’

What precisely isn’t absurd about
Silicone Bell (Memoirs of a Naval Robojelly
Broadcasting from the Intestinal Tract of a Chinese Sea Turtle)?
(she was fabricated in a university lab
shape memory alloy, steel, and platinum coated nanotubes
for environmentally friendly surveillance)

Or writing a persona poem,
voice of an efficiency expert at the slaughterhouse
to illuminate how poets are born?

Possibility of a Pleasant Outing

I thought you were a romantic, questioning George,
philosopher of the paideuma,
consummate symbolist and myth maker
contrasting the inanity of my Cecil,
straight-laced, gentleman aficionado

My poetry was penned only for you
sad, sheltered girl that I was
never realizing its ephemeral appeal
taking Olson’s adage to heart
traversing time and space to enact it
in turn, you wrote a whole book of love
forgetting your mutability

They Return

If there had been perfect symmetry
in the distribution of matter
following the Big Bang
none of this would have happened,
been written (existed)

Lucy as a Work of Art

There’d be no contextualization of these
architectural foundations, cityscapes
assembled from the cold stone of
exteroception, interoception, and proprioception
no artifacts of passion

In this newly minted demilitarized zone
I wouldn’t mourn like that man,
alcoholic poet dying, claiming:
My vocabulary did this to me!’

How Lucy Faced the External Situation Bravely

Instead I’d be a blissed-out, shamanic poet
Waldrop’s transcendent language my sea
a paradoxical sojourner like Ashberry in
Lehman’s ‘unbegun journey to the unattainable space’
carting notebook, pencil, and functional laptop

The Disaster Within

Discovering a place where I could finish a sentence
no barking, talking, birdsong,
or wind rustling through Aspen leaves
to impede the forward motion of creation
not even the whisper, ticker-tape,
of the querist’s interior monologue

Where the maladjusted maestro
and misanthropic polymath could
spin threads of artificial intelligence
forming semantic memory, explicating themselves,
telling me of recalled random entries:

a myth is as good as a smile
(the dangers of archetypal activism)
women are icons of Christ
(Sophia, Agape, Elpida, and Pisti)
Cleverbot loves and hates me in equal measure
(it is also prone to deceitfulness)

Lying to George, Cecil, Mr. Beebe, Mrs. Honeychurch, Freddy, and the Servants

All blather now transmutes to profundity
emotional trauma is, without irony,
stitched into quilts sewn by church ladies
Alice backs out of the rabbit warren
only to fall prey to a supermassive black hole
I write myself into or out of sanity
depending on the size of my nonsense


I am ever attracted, as Kazim Ali, to the poetry
of indeterminacy and disjunction
‘self’ a risky conjecture, a grand delusion
‘you are half yourself and the other part
is just a set of notions – some of them brilliant,
some of them ridiculous’

The End of the Middle Ages

How I wear Keats’ negative capability well
this beautiful dress custom made for my ball
an intended formality challenges spectators
the multiplicity of my psyche a sideshow,
persona as unreliable as any fey creature

(perhaps I fell into the wrong story)

Am I Titania, Puck, or the ass?
Bottom, that criminally surreptitious storyteller –
‘you’re the sort who can’t know anyone intimately’
anyhow, as you now see with voyeuristic glee,
I played the fool

Turing Test

(This is the actual conversation I had with Cleverbot, an artificial intelligence (exact transcript). My input is in italics, Cleverbot’s responses are in plain text.)

I am a subversive hallucinatory crippled vessel. Are you?
I am not a toaster, you are a toaster.

Do you suffer from apophenia?

Do you write experimental poetry?
No. Dogs don’t like poetry.

I am a sojourner in virtual space, a liminal being. Are you a liminal being?
No, you are a computer.

No, I’m a human. Are you?

You are a systematic liar.
I am not Lying.

So, you are human?

(To have your own conversation with Cleverbot go here
Linked to the inspiring article Machine Dreams at dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar hosted by Charles Miller Where the Borg reminds you resistance is futile and Bina48 wants you to know everyone has a solar. Oh and any thoughts on why Cleverbot capitalized lying? Check out Radio Lab’s story

(Warning: Ribaldry Abounds)

End this war-making refuse to moan
Sex-strike tease (blue ball squeeze) leave alone
Peace took Athens and Sparta
Through subversive carta
Men cry mercy! erections known

Limerick based on the play Lysistrata by the ‘Father of Comedy’ Aristophanes. Lysistrata convinces the women of Athens and Sparta to end the Peloponnesian War by refusing to have sex with their husbands. The old women take over the Acropolis which houses the treasury so the men can no longer fund the war. Many men show up, with erections, to plead for their wives to grant them sex (and lure them out of the Acropolis). Peace is the name of Lysistrata’s naked handmaid who successfully distracts the sex-crazed men while a new map (carta) is drawn on her body. Once drawn the sides form a new accord and the battle of the sexes also ends. This is linked to the Form for All challenge at dVerse Poets Pub and is my first limerick so I took some liberties. I’m sure I’ll improve with renewed application :P. After a couple of awfully clever limericks in the comment boxes below I came up with this:

 Part 2 (Maybe the chorus of Old Women?):

See man’s dignity stripped for a blow
He wants sex now he’s taut watch the show
Oh he’s craving a tumbler
That abstinent bumbler
We’ll taunt him that groveling schmoe!

unshackling the joists of reality
déraciné slips a hypnopompic state
transports me to deepest fantasy
grenadine elixir hastens my fate
Polia’s vesica piscis forms the gate
reminiscent of Poliphili’s eros
an architectural treatise verbose
theory of linguistic anaphora
proportions mirroring grandest pithos
illustrating the incunabula

restless night devolves, mystic artistry
all defenses breached dragons lie in wait
global aphasia compounds mystery
declarations of love illuminate
witnessed in the temple we celebrate
disgorgement of erotic tempests close
sexual politics, habile pathos
right to expression passion’s nebula
vocalizing my abandoned logos
illustrating the incunabula

festal oblation, sensuality
jubilant gesticulations vibrate
blissful outcries of sexuality
my pleasure center forces activate
some yet imagined being inchoate
power to surreptitiously enclose
capturing my desire overdose
engaging a lustful hyperbola
accentuated fetishes repose
illustrating the incunabula

subsumed reason in a upturned cosmos
the dream mathematically jocose
its apt felicific parabola
etching these in fantastical lithos
illustrating the incunabula

Gay Reiser Cannon issued quite the challenge for today’s Form for All at dVerse Poets Pub on French Ballades Follow the link for an excellent article on syllable count, rhyme scheme, stanza length, and tone.