Iamb What Iamb

[via BRB]

In a desperate attempt to parse the unparsable and deconstruct the unconstructed, some of the greatest minds of our generation the jackanapes at Slate have been driving themselves to all sorts of exegetic madness in the face of the onslaught on the English language that the vocalizations of Winky The Clown represent.

Some decided to try to diagram some utterances, while others, more cogently, realized that the elitist grammar of the complete sentence was yet one more tyrannical imposition on a “straight talk” form that was, for all intents and purposes, a type of poetry, the blankest of blank verses.

While these examples are all drawn verbatim from the interviews with Big Charlie and Kate-Dawg, Thursday night’s debate provides plenty of fresh fodder for the terrible freshman poet lurking in all of us. I’ll share my initial foray after the jump; contribute your own quatrains, haiku, senryū, sonnets, and yawps in the comments!

What John McCain Meant

John McCain
in referring to the fundamentals
of our economy
being strong,
he was talking to
and he was talking about
the American workforce.

And the American workforce
is the greatest in this world,
with the
and the
work ethic
that is just entrenched
in our

That’s a positive.

That’s encouragement.

And that’s what John McCain meant.


Now, what I’ve done
as a governor and
as a mayor is

I’ve had that track record of reform.

Debate Transcript [NYT]

Five Minute Haikus

Talibunny cries
I am not a stupid ass
Facts say otherwise

Psychogeezer says
Am for that in past not for
US scratches head

Dumb as shit, I just
Smile, wink at the camera
Say it ain’t so Joe


President Palin
Somewhere a terrorist smiles
And a moose shudders

Early morning haiku:

Alaska moron
Makes the Texas ass seem smart
My brain goes boom splat

You guys are being much too cogent, using your own words and such! I was going for something more Dadaist, for which one must turn to the transcript uttered by Dada’s Little Girl herself:


I do take
with some of the
there with that

redistribution of wealth
that seems to be


by you.

There once was a lady from Wasilla
Who became associated with failya
Who went on national TV
To ask “In what respect, Charlie?”
And proven to be proven dumber than Dubya

Limericks are tough. Unless it’s about a guy from Nantucket.


In the middle class of America
which is where Todd and I have been
all of our lives,
that’s not patriotic.

Patriotic is saying,
you know,
you’re not always the solution. In fact,
too often you’re the problem so,
lessen the tax burden and on our families and get out of the way and
let the private sector and our families
and thrive
and prosper.

Past is Preference: An Auto-Renku

Say it ain’t so Joe.
there you go again pointing
backwards again. You

Preferenced your whole
comment with the Bush admin.
Now doggone it, let’s

look ahead and tell
Americans what we have
to plan to do for

them in the future.
You mentioned education
and I’m glad you did.

@ManchuCandidate: Stand back:

There once was a gal from Wasilla,
Her views to the right of Attila.
She was made Veep one day,
To the nation’s dismay,
Although she knew not a scintilla.

An igloo of words plucked at random
encases this gift to misogynist mandom
who winks on her cue,
her lips pursed in a moue,
ready to kiss the limp dicks of her fandom.

(for FCS)

It’s always nice to see people finding a use for those English/CompLit/Liberal Arts degrees.

Okay, the idea for this post came from a private correspondence with the Gawker commenter known as Rosa Luxembourgeoise (she was actually the one who brought the Slate poetry post to my attention). She gave me permission to reprint my favorite of her contributions to the cause here, so without further ado:

Arenas/I Want You

In those arenas
John McCain
has already tapped me
and said
that’s where I want you

I want you
to lead

I said,
I can’t wait

to get and
go to work

with you

[edit]: @nabisco: Ha!

we have to fight for our freedoms, also
and our national security

it was ronald reagan who said that
freedom is always
just one generation away from extinction

we don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream;
we have to fight for it
and protect it
and then hand it
to them
so that they shall
do the same
or we’re going to find ourselves
spending our sunset years
telling our children
and our children’s
about a time in America
back in the day
when men and women were free

we will fight for it,
and there is only one man in this race
who has really
and that’s senator john mccain

— s h palin

p.s. Did anyone else see Stephen Colbert’s interview with a Shakespeare scholar about the candidates? He earned that Peabody award.

@mellbell: I thought it was reasonably amusing until Colbert dropped that final line. And then I fell off the couch.

@mellbell and nojo: I screeched out loud on the end of the interview when Colbert dropped his bombs. Unfortunately I was on a darkened plane.

“No, no.
Of course,
we know
what a vice president does.
And that’s not only
to preside over the Senate

and will take that position very seriously also.

I’m thankful the
would allow a
bit more authority
given to the
vice president

if that vice president so chose to exert it

in working with the Senate
and making sure that
we are supportive of
the president’s policies”

Gov. Palin on the amazing stretching Constitution. I wonder how Ron Paul and the flock reacted to that line in the debate. I’m sure they’ve been crucifying Gov. Palin. The Constitution mentions the Vice President exactly eight times. They are:
Article I Section 3: VP is President of the Senate, has no vote unless there is a tie. The Senate will choose a President pro tempore in the absence of the VP.
Article II Section 1: VP serves same term as President. After the choice of President the person with most votes from electors is VP. If the electoral votes tie the Senate elects the VP. If the President is removed from office, dies, resigns or is unable to perform the duties they devolve on the VP. If both President and VP are removed, die or are unable to perform the duties then Congress will declare an acting President.
Article II Section 4: The President, VP and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in there granting extra power to the VP in the event he or she chose to exert it. It’s a shame we’ll never get to know what bizarre insanity the woman had in mind. Maybe it’ll be in her forthcoming autobiography “Maverick Joe Six-Pack Hockey Mom’ll be Darned if Maverick Alaska isn’t an Energy Producing Maverick State”.

There once was a governor named Palin
Whose approval rates, they were a failin’
She winked at me
I decided to flee
to Prom’s ark so I could go sailin’

Say it ain’t so, Joe!
There you go
pointing backwards again …
doggone it,
let’s look ahead
and tell Americans
what we have to
plan to do for them
in the future.
You mentioned
and I’m glad you did.
I know education
you are passionate about
with your wife
being a teacher
for 30 years,
and God bless her.
Her reward
is in heaven,

That is not so, but
because that’s just a quick answer,
I want to talk
my record on energy versus your ticket’s energy

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