3:48 a.m.

I write poetry
Punctuation shouldn’t be
Keeping me awake

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Or Is That “Spell”?

I could be asleep right now
There’s really no good way to tell
Unconsciously I still know how
To do most everything but smell
My punctuation jones may wane
Whilst Dreamland is my home address
But even an unslumbered brain
May choose to use a comma less
Or keep a semicolon holstered
Just for style’s sake or grins
The argument is hardly bolstered
By a poet’s licensed sins
That somnolescent verses only
Show themselves through sloppy writing
If you care you’re likely lonely
Or like watching word nerds fighting
Either’s fine but let’s not keep
Each other up if we’re asleep

Stupid Flanders

I used to think I liked the Dutch.
For one thing, what’s to hate? Not much.
And even if you wanted to,
There’s no such place as Dutchland. Who
Came up with that? It’s brilliant!
It’s too confusing to resent
A country where the name depends
On whimsy. “What, the Netherlands?
No, this is Holland. Wait, don’t go!
The former Frisian Kingdom? No?
Perhaps the Low Countries will suit?
Or Flanders?”
Oh, who gives a hoot?
This jolly polynymity
Appealed to the absurd in me.
What turned me, then, against the nation?
Nothing…but their punctuation!
In particular, the way
A noun that ends in single “A,”
“I,” “O” or “U”–the Traitor Vowels–
Pluralizes twists my bowels.
“E,” we’re cool. But all the rest,
You’ve failed a fundamental test
Of grammar righteousness: In whose
Mad bistro are there two menu’s?!
Interrobang, support me here:
How dare apostrophes appear
To indicate a simple plural?
Howdy slang witch nod infer all
Cat hiss tropic lee wince hutch
A thinking bee? Galled ham ewe Dutch.

Shutdown

Language impasse
Paring down
Essential words
A verb
A noun
Adjectives
By waiver only
Adverbs?
Lolly-Lollys lonely
Cut back on your spelling too
Dont use two Os
When one will do
Shun apostrophesization
Were a possessiveless nation
Til the budget crisis passes
Thank you politicians asses

You’re So Vain (You Prob’ly Think This Curse Is About You)

It’s tricky to swear without giving offense
To a deity somewhere. The pantheon’s dense
And we mortals who worship are frequently stuck
If we’re looking to curse but don’t want to say
Something proscribed by some rules on a rock
Or that might give believers a bit of a shock.
That’s why we say “darn,” “gosh” and “jeepers” instead
Of the epithets echoing inside our heads.
Substituting a word that stands in for the name
Of the Lord or his dad is exactly the same
In the eyes of the guys in the skies, though, although
You avoided their actual sobriquets, so,
Because everyone knows whom you mean when you say
“Cheese and crackers” or “Crikey,” there’s only one way
To stay right with the Almighty Host there on high
And still curse: Ambiguity! Give it a try!

“Son of the wife of the carpenter’s dad!”

Whose name has been taken in vain, there? How bad
Can it be to refer to a person’s profession?
Is that worth a mention in Catholic confession?
In that sentence construction we don’t even know
Who’s the carpenter: Is he on high or below?
We know where we are (so it seems) with the son–
That’s a gimme–but is his name really the one
That’s been taken in vain? He’s the “son of the wife
Of the carpenter,” sure…but would you bet your life
Everlasting on whether the dad at the end
Of the phrase was that son’s, because it could depend
On the way you interpret who’s married to whom:
The wife of the dad, or the carpenter? Boom!
Your brain just exploded: The wife’s Joseph’s mother?
Would that make the son of that wife Joseph’s brother?
In which case, the dad’s Joseph’s dad, not the one
Who can damn you to Hell. Ambiguity’s fun!