Apocryphact Check

Comedy’s difficult; dying’s a snap.
Edmund Keane gets the note for the quote, but it’s crap.
Landing a punchline relies on surprise,
Which is simply well-timed misdirection;
Putting lumps in folks’ throats and hot tears in their eyes
Can’t be done, though, without a connection.
Mr. Keane, please excuse the correction.

Spenserians Need Not Apply

Five to seven rhymes in fourteen lines
With two or three ideas and a “turn”
Or volta–which, you’ll be chagrined to learn,
Is placed at different points for different kinds–
With pentametric iambs down their spines:
Spot that, you’ve got a sonnet! Shakespeare’d spurn
The references to ABBA, and he’d churn
Out couplets on which Petrarch’d levy fines,
But both the English and Italians
Were faithful to their favored sonnet forms
To such extent that they begat namesakes
As recognizable as two old friends.
For centuries they both have weathered storms
Of taste and fashion. (All the rest are fakes.)

Choose Or Lose

Undecided? On the fence?
I don’t believe you. You’re not dense.
You know the choices facing you.
So, pick one! Whatcha gonna do?
A protest vote? Don’t be a fool.
One of two will have to rule
When all the votes are tallied, so
It won’t be just a vote you throw
Away on Johnson or on Stein,
It’s both our futures, yours and mine!
Tick the Gary box, or Jill,
And Don will thank you; so will Hill,
‘Cause only one of them will win.
If you can’t stand Ms. Clinton, then
You might as well vote Mr. Trump.
What’s that? Stay home? Don’t be a chump.
You’d really rather make your point
Than help decide who runs this joint?
It’s Clinton, or it’s Trump. Full stop.
November 9th, one wakes on top,
The other sinks back in the ooze.
Don’t care who wins? Then make one lose!
Cut off your nose to spite your face
And yes, you will affect the race,
But not the way you think or hope:
You’ll help the worse one win, you dope!
If you don’t vote, you’ll have to suffer
Under one. There’ll be no buffer
Or protective shield conferred
For abstinence. Don’t be absurd.
They’re not equivalent. They’re not!
And they’re the only choice you’ve got,
So pick one. Vote against or for,
But vote! Then brace for what’s in store.

Brain Freeze

I like to freeze my brain a bit.
Not all, of course, but lots of it.
The part I use when I’m at work
Complains the most. That part’s a jerk.
My party brain, however, cheers
A toxic frost! I’ve lost some years
And multiple synapses to
Those frozen drinks, but really, who
Can blame me? Margaritas rock!
That instant when the icy shock
Takes hold, and both your eyes expand
Until they’d fill your open hand
If you could just relax your fist?
That’s when you’d know your brain’d been kissed
By cryogenic angels, were
Your world less a roaring blur
Of pain and ecstassential dread.
One more big slurp, then off to bed.
(There is one minor downside, though:
Your dreams are scored to Let It Go.)

Getting Even

Autumnal equinoxes come along
In late September each and every year.
The timing on tomorrow’s, though, feels wrong.
We’re long past summer. Shouldn’t Fall be here?
The kids are back in school, the network shows
Are filling up my DVR again,
There’s pumpkin spice in everything, and those
Who follow baseball think the Cubs could win!
Perhaps if only one of those were true
It might could still be summer. But to say
That all of them are real–or even two
Means Hallowe’en’s at most a week away.
I won’t get mad. Instead, like day and night,
I’ll just get even. Come on, Fall, let’s fight!