Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Saturday, June 20, 2009


It was a bit of a game night around the townhouse last night. Johnbai came over with Ticket to Ride and Otis, he, and I spent a nice hour or so building railroads across Europe. Fruitloops came over to observe the tail end, and then we moved into the living room for some competitive poetry.

Y'see, in the relentless search to market every variation of those Magnetic Poetry tiles, which started as a simple novelty and then grew into an amalgamation of all kinds of speciality collections and related products, the public was once treated to the Magnetic Poetry Game. It came with two sets of conditions cards, an extensive set of tiles, a little refrigerator door to put the poetry on, and a set of ill-thought-out rules (score a point for each word in your poem?). In her gentle and non-competitive way*, Otis tossed away the rules and turned the whole deal into a series of writing exercises. Here they are.**

Otis led off, but her warm-up poem is lost to the fog of history. Johnbai went next; the cards said his poem had to be about flowers and had to begin with a word starting with "T":

Tender cat lick boy,
full of dream-time and chocolate,
wish for a
ticklish moon where
blue flowers storm through the sky.

Their ache is thunder and peace.

We all liked it, but didn't think it was about flowers. (So if we had been playing by the rules, Johnbai would have lost!)

went next. She had to do something about holidays and begin with a word starting with "C."

Clean together, soon
Crowded cheek kisses

Celebrate dark chocolate.

Remember life and family,

Blue butter angel.

It's a game,
Leave it


I wonder if her own repetition of that initial C was deliberate or unconscious.

I went next; I had to say something about rain, and the first line of the poem had to be an exclamation.

It's too dry!


spread and sex the sky.
Sound of thunder, sing.


lick green hill,

clean that mountain,

kiss this ground.

I think I was influenced by our recent dry spell. The board came back to Otis. Her task was a curious concatenation: Begin a poem about "home town" with the word "journey."

The journey is a film
in my skin -- tender, cold
like a dark drive
to the dog bed of home.

I leave this prisoner ground

tongue-faced and alone

With, that were done.

* O showed up during the poetry game, but chose not to participate the non-competition.
** Any editing during transcription is my fault; blame me if it ruins the poem.


RAB said...

Otis' line about "the dog bed of home" is really evocative...and "clouds, spread and sex the sky" is almost too good. But I think they're all great.

John said...

I don't know who RAB is, but I like your Kamandi style!

If a person is a "cat-licked boy" does that make him "tongue-faced"?

RAB said...

I know you only by your verse, John, but I certainly approve of fondue dinners!

Isn't a cat lick boy someone who has received first communion and can recite the catechism?