Doggerel Day

My friend Catbus in Chicago recently bumbled upon my Women of Spam poems, and was so moved by their idiocy that he declared today Doggerel Day over on Facebook, encouraging other would-be poets to create light verse on whimsical topics, such as his own fine “The Subatomic Highway.” Now, if you’ve been following me here for any length of time, or have bumbled across any of my other poetry, then you know that I take special joy and pleasure in crafting light verse about topics that absolutely, positively should not have poems written about them. So as the freshly-crowned Patron Poet of Doggerel Day, I proudly present from my archives a troika of terrible rhymes on tragically inept topics, and hope that they will inspire you to either (a) make your own contributions to Doggerel Day, or (b) get up from your computer to go outside and breathe some nice, fresh air, while shaking your head in pity.


Forget them stupid Humvee things, a tank’s the toy for me.
If Uncle Sam would sell me one, I’d conquer Tennessee.
I’d roll right into Memphis Town and knock down Graceland’s gates,
and set myself up as the King of all the Border States.
I’d drive my tank down to the mall and park right by the door,
then shop and eat and eat and shop and shop and eat some more.
At night I’d work in my garage to keep my tank well tuned,
and sometimes take it for a spin beneath the crescent moon.

I’d prowl the city every day to keep the peace in check,
then roll into Missouri, blow some stuff up, what the heck?
But best of all, I’d set myself a mission brave and grand:
to hunt down and destroy each stupid Humvee in my land.
The people in the Border States would doff their caps at me
whenever I rolled past them, chasing down those damn Humvees.
I’d blast ’em all, then ride off waving down the Interstate.
If only I could buy a tank, man, wouldn’t that be great?


Oh lamprey, dear lamprey, my petromyzon,
thine round jawless mouth like a small setting sun.
Yon sun, though, has no rasping tongue in its midst,
like thine: gently drilling through prey thou has kissed.

Oh lamprey, dear lamprey, thine ammocoetes
(as thine larvae are called) are the belles of the seas:
armed with nary a sucker nor even a tooth,
they dost oozeth just slime that doth capture their foodth.

Oh lamprey, dear lamprey, thine seven paired gills
and thine one dorsal nostril dost givest me chills.
Thou art sleek and effective, thy perfect design
devastates evolution, and proves the divine.

Oh lamprey, dear lamprey, through manmade canals
thou hast swum from the ocean to finer locales:
to Lake Huron, and Erie, and Michigan too,
to Superior, via Lake Ontarioo.

Oh lamprey, dear lamprey, yon Great Lakes are thine,
thou King of the Fishes Who Don’t Have a Spine!


That black shed out back, in the woods, it was old,
and my Grandmother said it was haunted.
But I didn’t believe in such nonsense and lies
so I walked back there last year, with curious eyes,
pried the door off and saw inside, to my surprise,
just a couch, like the one my wife wanted.

I drove my old pick-up truck back to the shed,
pulled the couch out, and wrapped it up tightly,
took it off to some store (where they cleaned it up nice,
sewed some splits, patched some stains, for a very fair price,
while I waited, exchanging small talk and advice
with the owner, who thanked me politely).

So that night after dinner, I unveiled the couch,
and my wife, she was quite pleased and tickled.
Then we moved things around to make room in the den,
and we found just the spot for the couch to fit in,
at which point we sat down to watch Oprah and friends,
and to eat the cucumbers she’d pickled.

Since that day, things around here have not been the same,
and that couch is the root of the issues:
it goes drifting around the house all through the night,
and it cries out whenever we turn on the light,
and it jumps out of closets, and give us such frights,
and it chews up our pencils and tissues.

So a day came when I caught the couch in the yard,
and, quite vexed, well, I grabbed it and tied it
to my truck, and took off, with it dragging behind,
and I guess that it seemed I was out of my mind
when the cops pulled me over. I’ve since been confined.
Damn that couch and the evil inside it!

Now I’m stuck here in ward seventeen (it is locked).
And the couch? It crawled home to Grandmother’s.
She walked it back out to its black little shed,
and she locked it away with a nod of her head.
And my wife bought a little plaid love seat instead,
where she sits, watching Oprah, with others.

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