Poetry and song and maybe culture

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Ennui by Sylvia Plath

Tea leaves thwart those who court catastrophe,
designing futures where nothing will occur:
cross the gypsy’s palm and yawning she
will still predict no perils left to conquer.

Jeopardy is jejune now: naïve knight
finds ogres out-of-date and dragons unheard of,
while blasé princesses indict
tilts at terror as downright absurd.

The beast in Jamesian grove will never jump,
 compelling hero’s dull career to crisis;
and when insouciant angels play God’s trump,
while bored arena crowds for once look eager
 hoping toward havoc, neither pleas nor prizes
shall coax from doom’s blank door lady or tiger.

Notes: politics or The Great Gatsby?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Herewith is the Tale of that Delightful Young Lady - Eskimo Nell

  Eskimo Nell

Authorship unknown

When a man grows old and his balls grow cold
And the end of his knob turns blue,
When it’s bent in the middle like a one-string fiddle,
He can tell a tale or two.
So find me a seat and stand me a drink
And a tale to you I’ll tell,
Of Dead-Eye Dick and Mexican Pete,
And the gentle Eskimo Nell.
When Dead-Eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Go out in search of fun,
It’s Dead-Eye Dick who wields the prick
And Mexican Pete the gun.
And when Dead-Eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Are sore depressed and mad,
’Tis mostly cunt that bears the brunt,
So the shooting ain’t so bad.
Now Dead-Eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Had been hunting in Dead Man’s Creek,
And they’d had no luck in the way of a fuck
For nigh on half a week.
Just a moose or two, a caribou,
And a bison cow or so,
And for Dead-Eye Dick with his kingly prick
This fucking was mighty slow.
So do or dare this horny pair
Set out for the Rio Grande,
Dead-Eye Dick with his muscular prick
And Pete with his gun in hand.
They blazed away on their randy way,
No man their fire withstood,
And many a bride who was hubby’s pride
Knew pregnant widowhood.
They made the strand of the Rio Grande
At the height of a blazing noon,
And to slake their thirst and do their worst
They sought Black Mike’s saloon.
As they crashed their way through the big swing doors
Both prick and gun flashed free,
“According to sex, you bleeding wrecks
You drinks or fucks with me.” 
Now they knew this trick of Dead-Eye Dick
From the Horn to Panama,
And with nothing worse than a muttered curse
Those cowhands sought the bar.
The women too knew his playful ways
Down on the Rio Grande,
And forty whores took down their draws
At Dead-Eye Dick’s command.
They saw the fingers of Mexican Pete
Twitch on the trigger grip,
’Twas death to wait, at a fearful rate
Those whores began to strip.
Now Dead-Eye Dick was breathing quick
With lecherous snorts and grunts,
As forty arses were bared to view
To say nothing of forty cunts.
Now forty arses and forty cunts
You’ll see if you use your wits
And rattle a bit at arithmetic –
That’s likewise eighty tits.
And eighty tits is a gladsome sight
For a man with a raging stand,
They may be rare in Berkeley Square,
But not on the Rio Grande.
Now Dead-Eye Dick had fucked a few
The last preceding night,
But this he had done by way of fun
Just to whet his appetite.
His phallic limb was in fighting trim
So he backed and took a run:
He made a dart at the nearest tart
And scored a bull in one.
He bore her to the sandy floor
And fucked her deep and fine,
And although she grinned it put the wind
Up the other thirty-nine.
Now Dead-Eye Dick he fucks ‘em quick,
And flinging the first aside,
He was making a jump at the second cunt
When the swing doors opened wide.
And into that hall of sin and vice –
Into that harlot’s hell
Strode a gentle maid who was unafraid,
Her name was Eskimo Nell.
Now Dead-Eye Dick had got his prick
Well into number two
When Eskimo Nell let out a yell
And shouted “Hey there, you!” 
He gave a flick of his mighty prick,
And the tart flew over his head,
He turned about with a snarling shout,
Both eyes and knob were red.
With a lustful leer he said “Look here
Just get into the queue,
I’ve got to mate with thirty-eight
Before I get to you.” 
But Eskimo Nell she stood it well
And looked him in the eyes,
With the utmost scorn she glimpsed the horn
That rose from his hairy thighs.
She blew a puff from her cigarette
Onto his steaming knob,
So utterly beat was Mexican Pete
He forgot to do his job.
Eskimo Nell then broke the spell
In accents calm and cool:
“You cunt-struck shrimp of a yankee pimp
It’s Eskimo Nell’s not yours.” 
She shed her garments one by one
With an air of conscious pride,
And as she stood in her womanhood,
They saw the great divide.
She laid right down on the table top
Where someone had laid a glass,
With a twitch of her tits she crushed it to bits
Between the cheeks of her arse.
She bent her knees with supple ease
And opened her legs apart,
With a final nod to the randy sod
She gave him the cue to start.
Now Dead-Eye Dick knew another trick
And meant to save his powers,
For if he’d a mind he could stand a grind
For a couple of solid hours.
So Dead-Eye Dick with his king of a prick
Prepared to take his time,
For a girl like this was fucking bliss
So he staged a pantomime.
He winked his arsehole in and out
And made his balls inflate,
Till they looked like a couple of granite globes
On top of a garden gate.
He rubbed his foreskin up and down,
His knob increased in size,
His mighty prick grew twice as thick
And almost reached his eyes.
He polished his knob with rum and gob
To make it steaming hot,
And to finish the job he sprinkled his knob
With a cayenne pepper pot.
He didn’t back to take a run,
Nor yet a flying leap,
He didn’t swoop but seemed to stoop
And advanced with a steady creep.
Then he took a sight as a gunman might
Along his mighty tool,
And shoved his lust with a dextrous thrust –
Firm, calculating and cool.
Have you ever seen the pistons
On a giant C.P.R.
With a driving force of a thousand horse, 
Then you know what pistons are.
Or you think you do, but you’ve yet to learn
The awe-inspiring trick,
Of the work that’s done on a non-stop run
By a man like Dead-Eye Dick.
But Eskimo Nell was an infidel,
With a really tough construction
With the strength of ten in her abdomen
And a paralysing suction.
Amidships she could stand the rush
Like the flush of a water closet,
So she grasped his cock like a Chatwood lock
On a national safe deposit.
She lay for a while with a subtle smile
While the grip of her cunt grew keener,
Then giving a sigh she sucked him dry
With the ease of a vacuum cleaner.
She performed this feat in a way so neat
As to set at complete defiance
The primary cause and the basic laws
That govern sexual science.
She calmly rode through the phallic code
That for years had stood the test,
And the ancient rule of the classic school
In a moment or two went west.
And now my friend, we draw to an end
Of the copulating epic,
The effect on Dick was sudden and quick
And akin to anaesthetic.
He slipped to the floor and knew no more
His passions extinct and dead
He didn’t shout as his tool came out
It was stripped down to a thread.
Mexican Pete he sprang to his feet,
To avenge his pal’s affront,
With a fearful jolt he drew his colt
And rammed it up her cunt.
He shoved it up to the trigger grip
And fired two times three,
But to his surprise she rolled her eyes
And smiled in ecstasy.
She leaped to her feet with a smile so sweet,
“Bully for you” she cried,
“That pistol shot was the best of the lot,
At last I’m satisfied.” 
“I thought you jerks could give me the works”
She said in accents cool,
“But I guess I must go to the land of the snow
To find a man with a tool.
“I’m going back to the frozen north,
To a land where spunk is spunk,
Not a turgid stream of lukewarm cream
But a solid frozen chunk.
“Back to the land where they understand
What it means to fornicate,
Where even the dead sleep two in a bed
And the infants copulate.
“Back to the land of the mighty stand,
Where the nights are six months long,
Where the polar bear wanks in his lair,
That’s where they’ll sing this song.
“They’ll tell this tale on the artic trail
Where the nights are sixty below,
Where it’s so damn cold, French letters are sold
Wrapped in a ball of snow.
“In the valley of death with baited breath
It’s there we’ll sing it too,
Where the skeletons rattle in sexual battle
And the mouldering corpses screw.
“So when next your friend and you intend
To sally forth for fun,
Buy Dead-Eye Dick a sugar stick
And get yourself a bun.”

There are multiple variations of the poem and some stanzas are left out of certain versions, but the basic narrative structure remains constant. It details the adventures of the generously endowed Deadeye Dick and his gunslinging sidekick Mexican Pete. Fed up with their sex life at Dead Man's Creek, they travel to theRio Grande. There they visit a whore-house, but before Dick has finished with two out of the 40 whores, they are confronted by Eskimo Nell. She is described as something of a sexual champion, and challenges Dick to satisfy her. Dick accepts but Nell's skill and power soon gets the better of him and he climaxes prematurely. Pete attempts to avenge his friend's disappointment by sticking his gun into Nell's vagina and firing all six rounds, but all this achieves is to bring Nell to her own orgasm. She chides the pair for their poor performance and expresses nostalgia for her home in the frozen North, where the men apparently have better staying power. Dick and Pete return to Dead Man's Creek, their pride severely dented.


The poem plays a significant role in one section of The Mathematics of Magic, a 1940 novella by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. Having traveled to the parallel world of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Harold Shea and Reed Chalmer are seized by a monster, the Blatant Beast, who demands of them (on pain of death) a work of epic poetry. The only long poem which Shea knows by heart is "The Ballad of Eskimo Nell", and so he repeats it, despite the presence of a young woman, Belphebe (Spencer's Belphoebe). The Blatant Beast departs, appalled at being given a work even he would be ashamed to repeat. There are several later references to the incident, particularly relating to Belphebe's desire to have the poem explained to her. (The story was later included in The Incompleat Enchanter (and in several later collections which incorporated that book). 

Friday, October 05, 2012

A Newly Renovated Schoolyard with the Entire United States Painted on Asphalt

A Newly Renovated Schoolyard with the Entire
United States Painted on Asphalt

Whoever designed this,
separating states
into pale-yellow, pine-green,
decided to divide us
with a volleyball net, a taut
incision clear across Kansas,
North and South
at it yet again. He (or she)
plastered this metaphor
across an inner-city schoolyard
where a weary boy
weeps over Jersey,
having scraped his elbow
in Pittsburgh, I think.
Yes whoever made this
is in some way responsible
for the troubles of our land,
for the battle breaking
out between Texas
and Louisiana, where both
children yelled Mine!,
crashed into each other,
and the soft white globe
plunged into the Gulf.

The Threepenny Review
Fall 2012

Shira Lipken, "The Library,After"

"Awakened, the library went feral."

Unfortunately I will have to give you a link to a reading and not post the words here.

"Shira Lipkin’s ‘The Library, After’ comes along, magical and wry, a prose poem about an abandoned library where the books ‘told each other to each other’. You could read this as whimsy, you could read it as a bit of thumb-biting in the direction of rigid genre classifications – “New genres formed and split and reformed, tangents spilling out like capillaries. Freed of the responsibility to be useful and to fit human desires and expectations, Story explored itself in Mandelbrot swirls” – whichever way you look at it, it’s clever, funny and affirming. Literary fashions come and go – as we learn, ‘The science-noir-unicorn genre was shortlived’ – but story keeps on going. The image of stories continuing to twist and transmute after we’ve stopped looking at them is a perfect note to end on." -From Sabotage Reviews review of the poetry magazine it appeared in.

 This is a link to a reading - Go to the 01-21:40 mark on the podcast.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Day 2 - Peach Creamed Honey

They say she likes to suck peaches.
Not eat them, suck them,
tilt her head back and let the juice drip sticky down her chin,
before licking, sucking, swallowing the sunshine of it down.
They say she likes to tease her fruit,
bite ripe summer flesh just to get that drip going down, down,
sweets her elbow with the slip of it, wears it like perfume.
 I say she’s got a ways to go yet, that girl,
just a blossom yet herself, still bashful ‘round the bees.
I say no way a girl can tease like that who’s been bit into once or twice.
 So I come ‘round with just a little bit of honey,
just a little, little lick, just enough to catch her eye,
creamed peach honey, just the thing to bring her by.
 And I know she’ll let me tell her how the peaches lost their way how they fell out of a wagon on a sweaty summer’s day,
how the buzz got all around that there was sugar to be had,
and the bees came singing, and the bees came glad.
 They sucked – she’ll blush – I’ll tell her,
they sucked that fruit right dry,
‘till it all got tangled up in the heady humming hive.
 they made it into honey and they fed it to their queen,
and she shivered with the sweet, and she licked the platter clean,
and she dreamed of sunny meadows and she dreamed of soft ice cream -
 I’ll see her lick her lips, and I’ll see her bite a frown,
and I’ll see how she’ll hesitate,
look from me up to the town and back, and she’ll swallow,
and she’ll say “can I try?”
and I’ll offer like a gentleman, won’t even hold her eye.
 Because she’ll have to close them, see.
She’ll have to moan a bit.
 and it’s when she isn’t looking
 when she’s sighing fit to cry,
that I’ll lick the loving from her,
 that I’ll taste the peaches on her
that I’ll drink the honey from her
suck the sweet of her surprise.

 ~*~ Amal El-Mohtar Rhysling Award Winner 2011
This one is great to read aloud.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This be the verse

- Phillip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

- C. Little

Blossoms on bird bath

plum blossoms ring the
shining rain mirror whose depths
reflect the whole tree

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