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Old 07-06-2017, 07:46 AM   #701
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Nouvelle Vague

A former de rigueur Romantic, Twiss,
who’s now Edwardian, no longer sheds
a tear at funerals because tsk, tsk,
Sir Arthur said it’s very démodé.

The newest look is stiff on upper lips
with pencil thin mustachios. We scoff
at maudlin tears that glisten irises,

and if one trickles down, do not pretend
it’s perspiration. Protocol insists
you never let us see you sweat. Instead
do this.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:01 PM   #702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Nouvelle Vague

A former de rigueur Romantic, Twiss,
who’s now Edwardian, no longer sheds
a tear at funerals because tsk, tsk,
Sir Arthur said it’s very démodé.

The newest look is stiff on upper lips
with pencil thin mustachios. We scoff
at maudlin tears that glisten irises,

and if one trickles down, do not pretend
it’s perspiration. Protocol insists
you never let us see you sweat. Instead
do this.
Very fun! Love the playfulness and the near-rhymes, and the ending is just great. I might, to keep the rhythm, add a The before Protocol, but that's just me. And possibly "...because--tsk,tsk-- / Sir Arthur..."

But them's just quibbles.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:31 AM   #703
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Nouvelle Vague

A former de rigueur Romantic, Twiss,
who’s now Edwardian, no longer sheds
a tear at funerals because tsk, tsk,
Sir Arthur said it’s very démodé.

The newest look is stiff on upper lips
with pencil thin mustachios. We scoff
at maudlin tears that glisten irises,

and if one trickles down, do not pretend
it’s perspiration. Protocol insists
you never let us see you sweat. Instead
do this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
Very fun! Love the playfulness and the near-rhymes, and the ending is just great. I might, to keep the rhythm, add a The before Protocol, but that's just me. And possibly "...because--tsk,tsk-- / Sir Arthur..."

But them's just quibbles.
Thanks, Mer. I've been toying with form lately, specially iambic pentameter which I find very challenging. I've always admired how Demure writes in it whose work from time to time appears in "New Poems."

My ear hears line 9 as iambic pentameter, so I prefer it as is:

It's perspiration. Protocol insists

The poem is a variation on the curtal sonnet because the rhyme scheme isn't with every line. I like how the how the form dictates an emphatic ending with the spondee.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:29 AM   #704
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Thanks, Mer. I've been toying with form lately, specially iambic pentameter which I find very challenging. I've always admired how Demure writes in it whose work from time to time appears in "New Poems."

My ear hears line 9 as iambic pentameter, so I prefer it as is:

It's perspiration. Protocol insists

The poem is a variation on the curtal sonnet because the rhyme scheme isn't with every line. I like how the how the form dictates an emphatic ending with the spondee.
You are out of my league here (I tend to defer to AH about form matters related to sonnets, or just bristle at being kept within boundaries).
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:34 AM   #705
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Up on the Roof

"What's so rare as a day in Junius?"
Sister Bea said when we last heard Latin
"Anno Domini, Patri, et Fili”
and after a lapse of memory

"Spiritu Sancti," Sister added
before all the St. Ignatius tassels
dangled with pomp and circumstance,
some of which Sally Fayston blew

whose Daddy bought her a Rambler
to go back and forth to Brooklyn College
in September nineteen sixty-
six which hung my tongue like sex.

"Cuniculus is Latin," Sister Bea said,
"for rabbit and coney a derivative
the Brits in 1690
called rabbits that overran the island”

where Sally's a bunny on Saturday nights
while I with my transistor radio
go up on the roof in Jackson Heights
to howl at the moon with Wolfman Jack.

https://youtu.be/VSKTjQT7CrU

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 08-15-2017 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:59 AM   #706
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Clem Magnusson, Private Dick

"Fuckin' A right!" said Clem
who doesn't know why he said it
after four fingers of Glenlivet
and two cans of tuna for supper.

At eight p.m., radio's tuned
to farm reports from the Poconos
as he puts on his Vincent DePaul
suit to stake out a storefront church.

"Not my idea of heaven” says Clem
on behalf of a minister's wife
whose upfront felt like pennies
out of her kitchen cookie jar.

Dicks do living on the edge
of naugahyde booths in all night diners
with steamy windows when Lordy! Lordy!
out walks Reverend Witherspoon

who kisses goodnight his secretary
honey before he waddles on home
where he may find Polaroid glossies
that will make him shit the bed,

but Clem well, he's sitting here thinking
an invite for pie and coffee
will help the reverend see the light
when pennies from heaven won’t help Clem
get fifteen minutes of Lola’s lips
in Allentown tomorrow night.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 09-20-2017 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:59 AM   #707
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State of Grace

The rain descends outside my window.
The sun's concealed by weightless woolen
that hovers serenely above the city.
The spray floats with an unheard rhythm.

The air is peaceful, my thoughts dormant.
The calm of the rain and avenue's silence
have cleansed me of my torments.
A sinner am I who's prayed his penance.

And then behind me the bath door opens.
On a clam shell of bath towels she stands
like Botticelli's Venus born

whose servant is at the ready
with a robe in hand for her modesty
I drop to the floor when she smiles.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:50 AM   #708
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Finding Love in the Arthur Kill

Jimmy laughs so goddam hard
club soda drips out his nose
when I tell him kill is Dutch for creek
before he pours me a half-pint beer
Da called a dimey, now a dollar
because, Jimmy says, the treasury's flat
here at the Knights of Columbus bar
where Kearny Ave meets Market St.

New Jersey Transit empties a load
of first shift laundry room ladies
from Perth Amboy General Hospital,
and it's got me thinking, Jimmy,
I hope these worn out women
find meaning in the bleaching of
placenta stains instead of the stuff
of ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Down the street is the Arthur Kill
by the refinery where Da, he got his
whatchamacallit, mesothelioma
when oil tankers rose like Leviathan
all hours of night and secretly spilled
bilge we swam in that looked like mustard.

Choo Choo, my girl, used to sing
"My Guy" better than Mary Wells did
in a dinghy next to storage tanks
that looked like cupcakes, Jimmy,
I swear, giant vanilla ones
in Carteret where there weren't any trees,

Choo Choo so willing in her bikini
on hot summer nights in a dinghy,
and me, a sperm, wiggling her way,
wet and alive in the Arthur Kill.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:00 PM   #709
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Bukowski's Alter Ego

Chinaski says Fuck you!
Fuck you, Charles! and fuck
our dirty dish rag clothes

when Daddy's dirty verbs
made Mama fry more eggs for him
while we just sat there eating Wheaties.

It's enough to drive a man-boy to drink
at ten o'clock in the morning,
enough to make a man-boy think

there should be a deus ex machina,
that library love child we found
to pound our Daddy into Hades,

but Zeus sent us Melpomene
to make up chillbane words with wine
we stole from Stawicki’s package store

and hid behind some pots and pans
next to the soup in the kitchen
without a strangled chicken in it.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:44 PM   #710
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The Last Days of de Sade

"I'm hungry once again." The porridge sates
my stomach for five minutes, ten at most,
you fool!" he chides his jailer with disdain.

"He stares as if I were Justine," he pouts
before a young LeBlanc, the only priest
who'll visit there to talk of Satan's pain.

“There was a time my tit for tat would be
to bugger him, or at the very least
dispatch the libertine ‘Le Gros’,” he shouts.

At such vulgarity he knows LeBlanc
will cross himself and ask de Sade to pray
again. He takes delight in knowing this

and fibs that for a sou or two from him
he'll bribe that “fils de pute” to have a whore
be smuggled in, dressed as a nun, of course.

"I've always liked communion with a tryst,"
he tells the priest who's prayed enough today
to join the rats already at the door.
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:42 PM   #711
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
The Last Days of de Sade

"I'm hungry once again." The porridge sates
my stomach for five minutes, ten at most,
you fool!" he chides his jailer with disdain.

"He stares as if I were Justine," he pouts
before a young LeBlanc, the only priest
who'll visit there to talk of Satan's pain.

“There was a time my tit for tat would be
to bugger him, or at the very least
dispatch the libertine ‘Le Gros’,” he shouts.

At such vulgarity he knows LeBlanc
will cross himself and ask de Sade to pray
again. He takes delight in knowing this

and fibs that for a sou or two from him
he'll bribe that “fils de pute” to have a whore
be smuggled in, dressed as a nun, of course.

"I've always liked communion with a tryst,"
he tells the priest who's prayed enough today
to join the rats already at the door.
I like the cheekiness of this one all around, gm, but especially that last stanza. I like the interplay of the holy with the vulgar, the very real carnal challenges highlighted.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:33 AM   #712
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Ellie

Gustaf calls it “la chaise longue”
where Ellie, sitting there, thinks of Billy
who never wrote back from Iraq
after “Forever and Ever. Amen”
he sang among the alfalfa
and cotton on the outskirts of Midland

when stars were as large as Ellie’s eyes
whose “Crazy” heart sang Patsy Cline,
but “I Fall to Pieces” comes to mind
on public transit when she sings to herself
or in rooms to rent by the week
she shares with her new friend “Cerise.”

Ellie pretends the gnats that are swarming
over the swimming pool are fireflies
from her laid back nights with Billy,
but her daydream is interrupted by
a bottle of “baby oil, Baby,
since we ran out of Vaseline.”

Enter the pool boy “Jacques Le Longue.
Oo la la, comprenez vous?”
Gustaf the phony Frenchman says
who hangs with the best at Muscle Beach.
The cue card/sound grip calls himself Star.
Cameraman’s Kraken who lives on the street.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:39 PM   #713
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A Change in the Weather

It’s your weekend home by the ocean
you bemoan the future of……and the deck,
oh the deck! you no longer will tan from
or host the occasional party
with crudités and marzipan.

Why even the seagulls won’t come
to eat the food scraps left behind
or drink from salty rain pools,
and to think you’ll spend all summer
in the city gives you goosebumps.

You hear distant laughter that grates
like your French nails on a blackboard
because your neighbors, the Brodheads,
didn’t invite you to celebrate
their newly reinforced deck.

Could it be you’re not High Anglican,
the clothes you wear, the Chevrolet?
Maybe you shop the wrong places?
Or could it be Ev’s highbrow look
when you swore in a lapse of politesse?

Meanwhile half and a third world away
Trie^`u prays that the factories
in Haiphong need more help to make widgets
to ship to the U.S.A.

because the house his grandfather built
on stilts against the Monsoon season
isn't there, nor is the shore,
nor is his village anymore.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 07-30-2017 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:54 PM   #714
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Bradley’s Rorschach test

Thinking of Folio 34R
in the Book of Kells exhibit
after a class trip to the museum,
Bradley wonders if monks preferred snakes
more than Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.

The gospels were written in the Vulgate
his teacher Miss Witherspoon said,
and for some reason her curvature
adjacent to ancient pigments on vellum
made Mike think of the Garden of Eden
with a mushroom growing underneath
Denise Postanek by an apple tree.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:52 AM   #715
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Ode to Russ Meyer

Your camera rattled like a diamondback
in the Mojave at D cup girls
nearly tearing their halters off
on the come-inside poster at the Bijou
that Father Brown said in his sermon
were sirens tempting adolescent
Odysseus’s of the parish
with a spare buck from their allowance

who should be tied to apron strings
that they not creep into your movie,
wearing Madras shorts with deep pockets
in which they could feel the heat of the desert
on August 13, 1965
rising inside their skivvies.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast...at!_Kill!_Kill!
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:07 PM   #716
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Tijuana Bible Story

On Tuesdays Wimpy does Olive Oyl
as she patty-cakes burgers to broil.
When Olive says, "Lower,”
he’s thinking it over
‘cause he’d rather eat meat than a goil.

In storms Bluto, muscled and young.
Parting his lips, he dangles his tongue.
"You're too late, Big Guy.
I'm waiting for Popeye’s
tongue in his cheek because he's so hung,"

but his bedroom eyes have been lazy,
although they will flutter like crazy
when that slut Betty Boop
does her boop boopy doop,
so Olive's now thinkin' Dick Tracy.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:52 AM   #717
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Frank O' Hara Wakes Up.

It's 5:00 o' clock in the morning.
I know because the sea gulls sing,
staking sand dunes to make their love
in shades of dawn on Fire Island

where a blood red sun soon enough
will set for Adonis and Narcissus
and a moth with a paper thin body
that flies into incandescent heat.

Émile calls it "les petit morts"
for which we die a thousand times
in the frenzy of our beds
or a blanket in the sand.

No matter. I hear the plainsong now
and lean your way while you sleep
at 5:00 o'clock in the morning
to give you a modest kiss on the cheek.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:09 AM   #718
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One Horse Town

Johnny Podres who could rub a baseball
smooth as a baby’s bottom for sliders
grew up here and after a few more years
came back and rode in the VIP
fire truck welcome home parade,
a hero in the '55 Series,
who otherwise would have worked the mines
where the veins today are more empty than
church on Sunday and the Little League.

Listen! You can almost hear big drills spinning
and dropping his father and father before
into their coffins chock full of ore,
and you can almost smell the kerosene
fuming forth from the hole in the hill,
too small to be called a mountain,
too hollow with its ashes to ashes
and dust to dust left on the floor
after the only horse went down
in this one horse town of five and dime stores.

But the ballpark diamond still has grass
that’s mowed by Mr. Weatherbee
and Mr. Wilhelmson, both retired,
where I saw a little boy throwing stones
over home plate into the backstop
last April after the snow had melted
who today wearing a mitt
said “Betcha can’t hit this one, Jimmy,"
not quite a slider; no matter he did.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 08-18-2017 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Too late for the 5 Senses Poem Challenge
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:02 PM   #719
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Three Nesting Dolls

Babushka puts on a happy face
and says she’s a swan on a lake
after she turns the victrola on
and says her Mamushka named her Odette.

And I say “Silly Babushka!
Your name is Babushka, not Odette
and we live with Mamushka in Brighton Beach,
and seagulls and the sea are down the street.

But Babushka says she’s a swan on a lake
and dances while I play with my dolls
and their eyes are black as Mamushka’s
and sad as Babushka’s lullabies.

And one time I asked my Babushka
why Mamushka paints her eyes
and goes to the porch to turn on the light
and strange men come in from the sea.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:20 PM   #720
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post

Three Nesting Dolls
[...]
and their eyes are black as Mamushka’s
and sad as Babushka’s lullabies.

[...]
Very poetic, the whole poem.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:03 PM   #721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senna Jawa View Post
Very poetic, the whole poem.

Thank you, Senna; nice of you to say.
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:59 AM   #722
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The Poem Is a Pair of Dirty Socks

Frustrated, you crumple and toss them
into the hamper but then retrieve them.
Perhaps with just another stich…….

You thought of Argyle as the title,
but then you settled for Polymer,
and look! There's another new hole,
and Christ! you just spelled "sole" as your soul!

Embarrassed, you are reminded
it's time to trim your nails
when throwing your socks in the laundry pail,
but then there may be bleach residue,

so you pull them out again,
fortunately no worse for wear,
and like a rabbit out of a hat,
you suddenly think of another word

to insert, a second, a third… Who knows?
perhaps even the beginning of
an emperor who has new clothes.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 08-18-2017 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Consolidating Challenge poems in one thread as I edit them.
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:29 AM   #723
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Dave

You unholstered your service revolver
and went behind the station
garage alone at midnight,
and there you ate the muzzle.

It was no peccadillo they found
in your computer but shame on you, Dave,
for having stained the cinderblocks red.

Forgiving yourself was the greater sin
that came easy to colleagues who came.
They knew; Mrs. Murphy did too
whose cat you saved from her maple,

even Joe and Duncan, both of them sober
on a supervised pass from prison
as well as Giselle, the foreign exchange
student who travelled from Paris.

Laughs were many; the tears were too,
but no one laughed when your four year old
bent a knee before taking his seat
in a rented auditorium,

nor did we mention in our elegies
the sin that everyone knew
which leads me to wonder is there a way

a jar of ashes up on the stage
whose one million eyes in each mote of ash
can see all the skeletons streaming in
before we go back to our closets again?

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 09-20-2017 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:57 AM   #724
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Femme Fatale

So now it’s come to this:
some oxymoronic oxygen tube
leaves a desert mouth, Darling,
on the sharpest tongue in Hollywood.

“Scorsese said it’s in the eyes,”
you say to yourself inside your mind
because your vocal chords fail you

just as it's time to rehearse
the final scene, your denouement,
so the show must go on in pantomime

whereby your left jaded eye for an eye
flutters “Darling, I'm sorry,”
seeing as if for the very first time
the right baby blue of the little girl inside.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 08-26-2017 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Consolidating edited Challenge poems in one thread
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:23 PM   #725
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Split Personality

There are two of us in mind,
one that has a pebble in our loafers,
always sees dirty water in the creek,

full of paramecia,
and watches muddy Jersey cows traipse
to mud crusted stanchions in the barn.

As a farmer on this planet,
neatly appointed in pinstripes,
I never quite get used to it,

so I hike the stairs to the rooftop
from my farm on the 45th floor
and get in my spaceship, fly towards the stars,

but as I turn by coincidence,
I catch a glimpse of our planet
and, my, the clouds are woven silk,

the oceans the bluest I’ve ever seen,
and the orb as round as the warm face of
my smiling Marguerite.

So I throttle back down where I find
all the flora green with life.
I cup my hands for a taste of the creek.

The eastern pines waft their perfume;
why even manure I step on smells clean
to the earthworms and the millipedes

and, look! though there’s blood on the sac,
the heifer’s cow bell rings with joy,
for she’s just given birth to her calf

and see how beautiful the pond scum is
as water lilies dance in the sun
to the jingle on a distant TV.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 08-26-2017 at 08:25 PM. Reason: A Johnny come lately to the 5 Senses Challenge
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