December 30, 2015
“Whoever tied the Mylar birthday balloon to the dead squirrel on Main Street thinks big.“
Jennifer L. Knox
Days of Shame & Failure, Bloof Books
Note: I rarely buy poetry, but I like to read about poets—especially one who writes a poem titled “Iowa Plates,” with a first line that would make a great caption-less gag cartoon. I just received the collection in the mail; the poem plus the book title alone is well worth $15 . . .
October 1, 2014
Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1841-1935
(An itch for scribbling.)
If all the trees in all the woods were men,
And each and every blade of grass a pen;
If every leaf on every shrub and tree
Turned to a sheet of foolscap; every sea
Were changed to ink, and all earth’s living tribes
Had nothing else to do but act as scribes,
And for ten thousand ages, day and night,
The human race should write, and write, and write,
Till all the pens and paper were used up,
And the huge inkstand was an empty cup,
Still would the scribblers clustered round its brink
Call for more pens, more paper, and more ink.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
—The Oxford Book of Comic Verse
Edited by John Gross
July 6, 2014
I’ve been going through what seems like a ton of old letters, plus the drafts of my replies; the idea being to get rid of most of that stuff so my kids and/or grandkids won’t have to deal with it when—as the saying goes— “the time comes.” During this recent purge, I came across a scrawled attempt at comic verse that I had mailed to my younger brother some years ago in Virginia for his 69th birthday. Here it is:
A man named Ernie
Lived by the tracks,
Ate little kids
Instead of snacks.
He was so mean
It was often said,
He’d never die
Just stay in bed.
He lived so long
(In the hundred-threes),
Then he finally did go
With brand new knees!
I know it sounds a bit like one of those “Burma Shave” series of “poetry” signs on the side of the road that I used to love to read as I whizzed past. His 75th birthday is coming up later this month and I’ll call him, as usual, and I plan to recite the verse to Ernie when I do. This year, I want to see if he remembers it, and if he does, I’ll ask him to remind me what he thinks of it. I have the feeling I’ll have to once again justify myself by saying, “Hey, it’s the thought that counts.”
Copyright © 2014, Jim Sizemore.