Thursday, October 13, 2011

55 - clowns in town, shut the circus down

ever lick stamps til your tongue numbs,
tasting so bad you didn't
put it back in your mouth,

just hang(s out),
everyone pointing
fingers,

wishing
someone would have said
they were self-adhesive?

These are poLIticAl conveRSations.

Dead fish stink
from the head
yet the body follows

downstream,

water-falling
to crash rocks
bellow, in

monochrome
rainbow$.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Over at dVerse today, Victoria has laid down the challenge to mimic or borrow from another poet, perhaps one from whom you find inspiration. E. E.Cummings does some amazing things with word play and while he may not be widely known for his political poems, he did write a few. A favorite is 'how to hump a cow is not'.

112 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

haha how to hump a cow is not was right up my alley
Played nice to the ears of my rhyming valley
Yes there are plenty of clowns around
Amazing how only 55 words were found
Probably could go on about those clowns all day long
And everything they do wrong

Titanium said...

ee cummings has always been one of my favorites. And you? Have done a great job of picking up right where he left off.

Mary said...

It made me smile thinking of someone licking self-adhesive stamps!! Duh, huh? You definitely shared a lot worth sharing in the 55 words!

manicddaily said...

It has a very vivid beginning and end. (Like a fish?)

David Allen Waters said...

what a visual...lol ;)

Monkey Man said...

Excellent subliminal forms.

G-Man said...

e.e. Cummings annoyed me!
But you handled his style well!
Great Job Son...
Excellent Image.
Thanks for playing, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

Maggie May said...

I have actually licked self stick stamps/envelopes before. (By mistake of course!)
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Someone is Special said...

I have done that Brian.. :-)

Someone is Special

Daniel said...

Some vivid word pictures. Love the notion of licking self-adhesive stamps! What a hoot.

Claudia said...

when i was a kid i loved licking stamps...that was before they were self-adhesive...smiles
great metaphor with the stamps here - also love the monochrome rainbow$ - wasn't cummings also the one, using the most off-beat punctuation? he really wrote some cool stuff but you still sound very miller here - and i like...smiles

Cloudia said...

you accuse the whole rotten system, prophet!


Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral



> < } } ( ° >

Aida Bode said...

Awesome, Brian. I will never forget that stamps are self-adhesive. My tongue and I thank you :)))

my day in a sentence said...

I should try to make a 55 words sentence. :D

Brian Miller said...

here are examples of ee cummings wordplay i borrowed:

PoLIticAl ConveRSations = Liars in political conversations

if you take out (s out) that stanza reads: just hang everyone pointing fingers

below is intentionally misspelled as bellow so it can read:

bellowin' monochrome rainbow$ - dollar sign for emphasis on the polictal economic environment

all fun...

Dulce said...

These are poLIticAl conveRSations.

Like your capitals
And that makes for those self adhesive licked stamps...
past and present we insist to join togetehr...

Sue said...

Ain't that the truth? And well said.

LIARS, all.

=)

Victoria said...

Brian, there are so many wordplay$, double-entendres. You done e.e. proud. My favorite among many was the LIARS.

jen revved said...

excellent choice, and compelling message as ever, Brian. xxxj

eclipsingwinter said...

I work for the post office and have a customer who always asked for "pre-licked stamps" when he comes to the window. Your poem brought this guy and his special request to mind.

Excellent, Brian. Especially the monochrome rainbows.

Beth

happygirl said...

Nice 55. So, dummies and liars and people who've stuck around too long. Yep, this show needs to hit the road.

Anyes said...

Learning a lot about poetry reading you, Brian. Thank you :-)

Betsy said...

very cool!~

and I know all about numb tongues! lol...

ipenka said...

Wow, very creative way to express yourself with the LIAR and bellowin. Didn't catch it until you mentioned it but was impressed.

Definitely cracked up at the self-adhesive part.

Suzy Q said...

ee cummings is fantastic. I love your interpretation.
Wonderful wordplay.
Made me smile.

Tara Miller said...

You amaze me with your writing talents; among other things ;)

Joanna Jenkins said...

I wonder if the younger generation even knows what stamps that need licked are ;-)
jj

Jeanne said...

Love the subtle insertion of "liar"....

signed...bkm said...

very nice and it did remind me of cummings....nice styling Brian...bkm

Luke P said...

excellente - i Think your closure 'monochrome rainbow$' says it all...

chromapoesy.com said...

And boy isn't it getting fishy here in the US, at least clowns can be moderately entertaining. Politicos mostly frighten me, though I've heard others say that about clowns. Thank you for sharing the link. Marvelous word play, adopting style while letting your voice through, great work!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. Funny. Rainbow$ was the perfect end.

sage said...

Interesting pictures you paint with words... Of course, unlike Cummings, you have capitalized a few words

the walking man said...

I love that in a way you are pointing out the unholy bullshit the congress is pulling on the post office to practically force it out of usefulness and put another 120,000 people on the street.

Heaven said...

I like the word play and link as well. And dead fish stinking..whew, what an image.

Would love to join you over at D'verse but I am traveling back to Canada. Hope to link up with everyone soon ~

Josh Hoyt said...

Cool great job!

Mark Kerstetter said...

Dead fish stink
from the head
yet the body follows

-Very well said, man!

Fred said...

Really nicely done, everything from your intro question/reflection set up to the dollar sign ending the write. Great job, thanks

hedgewitch said...

Send in the clowns--oh, they're already here. my BFF in high school(when that was an unknown acronym) used to say "We're all Bozos on this bus," but I think you've made the point that some are bigger a$$clowns than others. I like ee cummings--should have known you do also by your punctuation-free style.

colleen said...

That's quite an entertaining act: the circus, stamps and dead fish all in one poem/show.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Great job, Brian - and glad to hear that everything is ok with you! xxoo

Leslie said...

yuk stamps of any kind...

kaykuala said...

Brian,
The licking is familiar (we still have it here )but the taste is short of giving one a 'high' Great verse!

Hank

secret agent woman said...

The liars jumped out at me, as they often do.

izzy said...

Sad to say I used to have to listen
to far too many LIARS,(rather have a numb tongue and play panting dog...)
thanks!

MomsJournal said...

Love the strategically placed capital letters. ;-)

BTW they make self adhesive envelopes now too. :-D

lime said...

yep they are liars every one and they leave me feeling like ive liked a hundred self-adhesive stamps and they smell like belly up fish.

nice one.

Janna said...

Neat post, as always.
Of all the Friday 55's, yours is usually the one that requires me to have to think the most.

I'm hoping that's a good thing. :)

Thanks for another Friday 55!
Mine's here. :)

Alice Audrey said...

I once licked the self-stick lamp right in front of the postman. He looked horrified as I handed over the envelop.

turtlememoir said...

Thanks for your explanations halfway through the comments - I liked the poem before and after, even more. Clever!

johnallenrichter said...

Brian..... I am a huge Cummings fan and I think you did him quite justice here! Cummings was quite tongue in cheek and his provocative nature is why I love him. My favorite poem of his is "She being Brand... XIX"..... it's not at all what you might think it is about! And one of my favorite quotes ever is his too: "The earth laughs in flowers..." good job!

She Writes said...

I love how you played with the words here. Great last line!

Matthew said...

Yep - you're the man, alright...

Christine said...

love the image of dead stinking fish following political clowns

Dee Martin said...

I like the playfulness you brought to this e e cummingish piece :)

Nick Rolynd said...

Ha Ha! E.E. Cummings has some very interesting poems, and I think you nailed his style. Loved this. =)

jen revved said...

Wonderful dalliance w/ e.e.-- did you mean "below"-- or am I missing something. xxxj don't take offense, just laugh-- who do I have to fuck to get as many comments as you? kisses.... j

parodying the line from Aliens 3. xxxj

Manda said...

Ok, I could literally understand the beginning of this piece... as I did have to lick 200 envelopes last week. But NO they were not self-adhesive. So I'm at least giving myself more props then the Dude you wrote about! :) Hahaha

Charlene said...

e e cummings lives

dead fish

stamp glue

same
same

anthonynorth said...

Systematic truths about the system. nice.

Zeba said...

Beautiful. As usual. I once licked 20 or so stamps in one sitting. The taste stayed for a long long time.. Bleh. Monochrome rainbows. Sigh. What a lovely image in the head..

Leovi said...

Of course fun and a great sense of humor. Excellent poem.

Kikit said...

They said it all Brian. Great imagery. :)

Jinksy said...

Good job you don't need to lick anything to give tongue to your poetry! LOL

Valerie said...

I don't believe I ever licked self-adhesive stamps. Envelopes, yes, but not stamps... smiles.

adeeyoyo said...

Very clever Brian! :D

Ash said...

Beautiful!

TechnoBabe said...

Money is powerful enough to make monochrome rainbows. People with the money are powerful enough to take from poor to enrich the entitled rich. Great writing especially in only 55 words.

Lolamouse said...

I remember reading e e cummings when I was in high school and thinking "Wow!" It got me thinking about how poetry didn't have to be staid and could be playful. You did a great job with the style.

Kate Hanley said...

The rhythm of your poems is amazing, it's so musical.

annell said...

Love your title and love your write!

annell said...

Love your title and love your write!

annell said...

Love your title and love your write!

Dave King said...

I agree with you Re E E Cummings. I think he would not have been disappointed to have written this. It has all his hallmarks.

Jyoti Mishra said...

ohh yeah that lickin postal stamps tastes damn bad.. :( yuck ...

loved the beginning

PS: Visiting after a long tym..
hope u doing well

Have a nice weekend !!

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

Your "poLIticAl conveRSations" was quite clever, Brian... and I'm NOT lying. :)

Bossy Betty said...

I am a cummings fan. You did him proud!

tinkwelborn said...

Brian, I get the L I A R S $ embedded within the poem, are they the finger-pointers?
the account moved from the personal to the abstract (licking stamps to rainbow).
''Dead fish stink...'' stanza borders on, ''downstream,'' line, which is shared with ''water-falling..'' stanza, and which both use successfully. I like this. (at least, I read it this way)
are the clowns politicos? and does everyone follow the liars, the stink? al resulting in a monochrome of differences?

there's much in this poem that is deep and hidden, and causes me (the reader) to ask many questions. so I wait and ponder, and wonder.

it's a good poem, keeping me (the reader) entertained -- both content-wise and the structure.

thanks for sharing.

Mama Zen said...

"These are poLIticAl conveRSations."

Nice, Brian!

Magpie said...

You're so much fun today! Love the "Dead fish stink from the head" line. So true. Happy Friday!

Nancy said...

Much said in 55 words!

Heather said...

this is cool. been thinking about you and hope you are well! enjoy the family this weekend! :)

Richarde M. Talbot said...

I see why you have 948 followers (now 949)! Great images and playfulness of the text.

seasideauthor said...

Yes, it is true, So well done.
Now that is an excellent type of rant. You got the style and your own voice. Maybe even a higher plane than Cummings.

RNSANE said...

Somehow, you have given me a laugh in my pandemonium ( is that even spelled right? ) this weekend. I can just see someone ( like me ) licking self-adhesive stamps ( do they fall off? ). I was supposed to vacate the house today...no way, extended another five days = more rent. And, of all things, I've gotten a subpoena for a case I did five years ago and may have to delay my flight anyway. Ridiculous. I think I could use antipsychotic medication at this point!

Karen said...

Fantastic! I'm grinning from ear to ear at how amazingly talented you are!!

Helen said...

ee cumings was one of the first poets I ever studied in school .. have always loved his work ~ you do him proud in just 55 words!

lori said...

I'm so burnt out on everyone's loud opinion that I'm kind of tuning everyone out right now. I need a break from it all. I don't remember passions being this high on either side, but I'm sure they always were.

"Dead fish stink
from the head
yet the body follows"

Ew, but right on...

:)

wolfsrosebud said...

perhaps a 'who done it' mystery

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with writer E.E. Cummings yet,[with yet being the operative word here...]
However, your use Of 55 poetic words are still very thought-provoking today.
Thanks, for sharing!
deedee ;-D

tony said...

Superb Brian! monochrome
rainbow$
.( I lick laptops instead...:))

yellowhousecafe said...

Fabulous 55 ...I think I'm catching a bit of your sentiment on this one. The stamp thing made me laugh...reminded me of Seinfeld when the cheap stamps killed George's fiancee (he was soooo glad), ha!

ayala said...

Cool, Brian :)

otin said...

Politicians are liars?? who knew?

blueviolet said...

I hate everything having to do with politics.

flaubert said...

Nicely written in the style of e.e. cummings, Brian.

Pamela

Rebecca S. said...

I remember discovering a love poem by cummings in college. It had a line I thought beautiful: "No one, not even the rain has such small hands." That's about as much as I have ever read of his.
Good fun here, though! The protests begin in Vancouver tomorrow - hoping and praying they remain peaceful!

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I like your playful attitude toward words. Poetry is easier to take seriously when it's not so serious.

ladyfi said...

You nailed it on the head! Well said.

KB and Whitesnake said...

Licking self adhesive stamps? Sounds like something I would do.

KB

Kerry O'Connor said...

I enjoyed deciphering all the wordplay, reading your poem this way and that! cummings was a master, and this poem certainly pays tribute to that. smiles.

Lydia said...

Yes, the title is grand and the poem reminded of e. e. cummings, with a twist! I am going to ponder awhile about that dollar sign in "rainbow$".

Celestial Dreamz said...

what a visual ... it's always gr8 visiting your blog :)

Kitty said...

A Little Gem,
well composed humor!

nsiyer said...

Great humour. Enjoyed the meanings between the lines.

Henry Clemmons said...

Luv me some e.e.
Great job, again.

anglachel27 said...

I like this attempt at cummings, showing that insightful perspective wrapped in sprawling images.
Gene

Cassiopeia Rises said...

Nice use of both prompts. Writing cummings is hard. I know I could not have done it.


Melanie

Syd said...

A lot of things stink nowadays.

Mrsupole said...

Hi Brian,

It is pretty sad how fish will die to follow what they have been bred to do. But it just takes a few who think independent of the others to save them all and to change their way of thinking. Although there are also those who defy all to overcome the obstacles to save those they can. Who knows which is the correct way to be? Maybe if they would learn to work together to achieve the same goal then it would be easier and safer for them all.

This is just nature at it's finest. Is mankind any different?

Thanks Brian for joining in with our "Fish" Theme Thursday.

God bless.

william said...

lol hump a cow? hehhee another fab 55 mate ;)

Myrna R. said...

You covered a lot of politics in few words. What a clever poem.