List Sonnets
July 21, 1999


The List:

Things that suck

the tomb
songs about
leaving the womb
meeting your domb
meeting a lout
wetting your pants
dumb mom
toilet bowls
your boil gets lanced
atomic bomb
gaping holes

The Sonnet:

The emperor will have his way with gout;
The joker, his way with a vaccuum.
The emperor will die to lie in the royal tomb;
The joker will find his, & nary a "power-out".
The jester's written many songs about
The infant emperor leaving the womb;
The emperor's rivals meeting their doom;
The emperor's wife meeting her lout.

But across the land, folks are wetting their pants
Birthing "unspoken rumors" like someone's dumb mom,
Pouring words from stall to stall across toilet bowls,
Shopping mom from louse to louse until the emperor's boil gets lanced.
He and his fool -- fingers poised on royal atomic bomb
Buttons coming unsewed -- their empire's motley with gaping holes.


The List:

Beginnings, or words having to do with starts & starting

big bangs
puberty's guilt-pangs
Mom's belly enlarging

The Sonnet:

The worst of Mom was the best of birth
And my dad never keyed his ignition;
But he managed to muster some friction
Which in turn, thank Jove, brought him some girth
In a fat lady form from the bittersalt spurt
Of Mom's Caesarean incision.
I burst of my own volition
Not when the surgeon demanded my first

-born allergy there on the bed -- surprise!
I've got two feet, ten toes, my head Big-bangs
Like a universe in tundra, the doctor charging
So don't get feels with the ur-guys
No quilted pie can gum the face of puberty's guilt-pangs
At least, not with Mom's belly enlarging


The List:

Awkward, poetic neologisms (must be compound words)

sleuthy rughole

The Sonnet:

I sit in sunny Mexico and dream of tundra-umbra
Wishing for a chance to crush the basket-horoscope,
To pass the time with good drink and a nursery-pope;
But I'm soon interrupted by the infamous "Ultra-Sangha"
And his sugary brigand of surly neocandelabra.
Luckily I have on my people an elevator-rope:
Pull the button, cop the brigand with an expeditor-grope.
The sangha gasses his vibrato like a belch-opera
But hip, I rejoin with a mighty boogiebubble
And to my surprise, his aura shrivels hereticalittle.
Studious, lucky, inert, I have no pocket-betrayer
But his whole burp's thrown through a sleuthy rughole
And tumbles cylindrical, gargling the bread spittle.
Like a drunk demigod, I make no sense: I am the anti-hornet-slayer.


The List:

What Math has done

the lottery
hurt, bodily
make young men dottery
modernize the pantleg
make the universe 3-D
Jar Jar Binks
make cheese from a ram's egg
widen any girth to 3
what Zsa-Zsa thinks

The Sonnet:

"The ancient Greeks engraved it in their pottery,"
An elderly archaeologist sighed,
"The secrets of their math, pure and applied,
Which modern folk can use to win the lottery."
But then the prof began to hurt, bodily;
His heart and spleen, they started to divide
And things around the room seemed to collide
As if from spirits that make younger men dottery
"The time has come, apparently, to modernize the pantleg;
It's time to make" -- he dancing now -- "the universe three-D!
In fact," he said, "It's time for Jar Jar Binks
To teach the kids to make cheese from a ram's egg.
At last! I'll widen any girth to 3
And nobody will ask what Zsa-Zsa thinks."


The List:

Things that humans don't do well

estimate volume
dance to foreign music
digest a gluestick
eat a carpet loom
comprehend John Hume
spear fish with a toothpick
near wishes abusive
ignore a sonic boom
breathing undersea
asexual replication
contemplate infinity
repeated supplication
pick up logs

The Sonnet:

"I left a jar in Tennessee. Please estimate its volume."
"I'd say," he said, "it's a dance to foreign music."
"Volume!" I cried, "Oh go digest a gluestick!
Or estimate the time it takes to eat a carpet loom.
Alone!" I cried, "The deli-meats can spear fish with a toothpick!"
"Your wishes," he replied, "are wishes near abusive."
He turned and ran. I blocked my ears to ignore his sonic boom.
I lept into Lake Knox and swam south, breathing undersea
(Or underlake, rather) and witnessed ugly things -- asexual replication,
Classical maneuvers of love-making, metallic yoga, frogs --
And I know now, as I grow wise, to contemplate infinity
Only after filling jars repeatedly with concrete supplication,
And after leaving jars in Tennessee, to pick up logs.


The List:

Things to do when it rains

the wild thing
ride in a hearse
"weather & distress" a birdling
sleep like a bear
horseshoes, indoors
get lost in cyberspace
re-mike the amphitheatre
paint ceilings and floors

The Sonnet:

On rainy days I like to dance and sing;
I'd rather write a verse than call a nurse.
But if the muses' pesterings are my curse
Then worse are cravings for the wild thing

Which when they hanker, my poor wrists I wring,
Let alone the urge to ride a hearse.
This is just a song for death, to rehearse
A rainy day. I like to dance and "weather & distress" a birdling

But when it snows I have to hibernate
To hit my den and there sleep like a bear
Until the clip and clop of horseshoes, indoors
Awaken me to gardens lost in cyberspace
I am the rain, I am the rain, I re-mike the amphitheatre
And like rock-and-roll can, I paint ceilings and floors.