Our first submitted item arrived before the Extreme Bad Poetry Society even had time to design our two-color "No Shakespeare" Logo. Icey Mug sent this to us out of the blue, and I must admit, the EBPS was quite surprised to see any interest outside our small circle.
Now, some 16 years after the inception of EBPS (1999), an uplifting submission from Xminuteman
It is obvious that Phil Edwards is familiar with the Petras' work, for Fred Emerson Brooks is singled out for notable mention in the introduction in what became the defining inspiration for the society, the book Very Bad Poetry. Edwards' inspired elegy of Brook's "Old Eagle" takes a decidedly modern and politically correct look at our national bird. Edwards returns for an encore with his self-described Greatest Poem Ever Written.
We have some poems by Collin Irish who found us through a convoluted method that obviously requires a rocket scientist. Collin expresses his longing for a long lost friend in the first of his two submissions, then makes us, the dear readers of the EBPS, hope that the long lost friend is not the old man of the sea.
Having rescued us from the sea, Collin returns with lamentations from the office in two poems - An Hour To Go and In A Loop.
Sami joins the EBPS from Finland, and sends three submissions, one of man's age-old lament, one of self-discovery, and a brief poem of most literal proportions.And three poems bY eRNEST aNTHONY wORKMAN uses the inclusive moniker of sPELL cHECKER pOETRY.
Finally, we have a poem by Arthur Levesque which purports to tell the tale of the slime goo sea monster Cthulhu.
LINES INSPIRED BY THE SIGHT OF AN EAGLE SOARING ABOVE LAKE TAHOE,
WHILST LINES BY FRED EMERSON BROOKS COME TO MIND
by Phil Edwards
Fear not, grand eagle
the bay of the beagle!
Fred Emerson Brooks
Fear not, grand eagle,
as you fly upon your wings,
look down upon the earth
and scoff all fearful things.
Fear not, above Lake Tahoe,
so high it looks like a bath hole,
the hunter's gun,
nor e'en the hunting dog,
nor his barrage.
Nor his bay, nor his bray,
nor any fearful thing.
Anyone who shoots at you
(or at anything else around Lake Tahoe)
will be put in jail,
so go ahead eagle,
have fun flying all day.
Friend 'o Mine
Hi there, friend 'o mine,
I haven't seen in so long.
I thought it about time
To send you a note or song.
How's things been
In your town?
How's your kin?
All safe and sound?
Here it's been cold
With snow a plenty.
The wind blew bold
All dang Winty.
Now the sun
Its shyness falters.
Away with the cotton
Spring shouts "Halloo!"
It's glories shine!
And I think of you
Dear friend 'o mine.
by Collin Irish
Answers from the Sea
I once knew an old man of the sea.
He had quite a large beer belly.
He sat on his butt
Displaying his gut
For all the world to see.
So, I took a likin to this fellow.
His pleasant demeanor so mellow.
He noticed my attention
And took it as permission
To tell his story. A pillow
He pulled from behind his back
Because he could see the comfort I lack
When reduced to sittin
With nary a fittin
My rear to the peer. It's a fact
He started his story that day
On and on it went to my dismay
As night began to fall
He had not said all
"I must leave..." I began to say.
"Do" said the product of the seas
Quickly adding a quiet word "Please"
"But what you will miss,"
He continued with a hiss,
"Is the secret to all that be."
I must admit, dear reader,
This was quite a teaser.
But with my weariness strong
And the journey home long
"Tomorrow," I said to the geezer.
The next day my old friend was gone.
For him, I looked so long.
But after a year
of yearning to hear
The finish of his song,
I discovered the truth he taught me.
It wasnât in the story, you see.
Nary a word do I remember
From the old message sender.
The lesson is more than his words could be:
Tomorrow is too late for answers from the sea.
by Collin Irish
It is with a trembling heart that I submit to you THE GREATEST POEM EVER WRITTEN. It is about--what else?--the doomed Franklin Expedition of 1845 to find the Northwest Passage. The last lines of this poem will live through history, and will be taught to school children in future generations as an example of poetic perfection. It requires a little knowledge of history. Sir John Franklin ran into trouble, getting his ships locked up in the ice. Then he died. His second in command, Francis Cozier, decided to desert the ships (they had run out of food) and JUST SAY FUCK IT AND WALK HOME (over the ice). Well, they didn't make it, and their bodies have never been found (I think they took poor dead Sir John along with them). Franklin's wife--Lady Jane Franklin--financed a search expedition to try to find out what happened to her husband, and they found a journal written and buried by seaman Graham Gore that chronicled the above story. Now, at this point, I'd like to say something about the idea that the explorers went crazy from food poisoning (lead in their canned goods), and this had an impact on Cozier's decision to desert the ships. I, for one, do not ascribe to this. It was perfectly logical to walk home. All you have to do is to continue to put one foot in front of the other, right? So what if it is 60 below zero? Just keep on stepping. I did it a thousand times back in Ohio during the wintertime, and it can get damned cold in Ohio in the wintertime. Now, you may wonder, why am I submitting this poem to you, purveyors of BAD poetry? Well, there are two reasons. First, my poetry is ignored by everyone, which is to be expected, because I am the greatest poet who ever lived, and great poets are always ignored until after they die. Secondly, you, being experts on bad poetry, would undoubtedly be the perfect people to recognize truly great poetry, since you know all the characteristics of the opposite. So here it is. You are so lucky. Your names will live forever, right along side mine. Just like that guy who published Shakespeare's plays--what was his name? HA HA HA HA HA!!
--Phil Edwards (of Eagle Lines fame)
IT CAN BE DANGEROUS TO GO FOOLING AROUND IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE
Come along with me upon this ill-fated voyage:
Dame Franklin could not allow to husband's memory to rest
until his fate, and the fate of all his men, was
finally discovered under arctic ice and snow.
"Individuals in great distress are apt to attempt
to leave messages behind for posterity"--and such was
the instance here. Graham Gore obviously suspected
others would come later, searching for their party,
so he left papers buried, just like old Claudius of Rome....
The two ships held
in a frigid vice
and drifting Northward,
for almost two years
the crew subsisted
on stored provisions
in their icy snare.
But inevitably, of course,
the food ran out.
Lady Jane's husband,
sick unto death
(perhaps more from heartache
than physical illness),
one night expired.
now in command,
and seeing his companions
decided to gamble:
"Instead of sailing,
we are going to walk
to the distant shore.
Do not lose heart.
A Hudson Bay outpost
is, oh, I don't know, only a few hundred miles or so away--
all we need do is
somehow find it."
And so their desperate trek began,
and along the way Gore buried his papers.
The troop completely vanished--every last man--
swallowed by ice and tears and cold.
O, I do remember having heard tell
of many famous and terrible marches--
the Sioux at Wounded Knee,
the marines at Corregidor,
those poor, defeated Nazis herded off to Siberia,
Napolean's awful retreat from Russia--
but none of them--none of them--even compare
to the valiant attempt of these doomed explorers
to find warmth, and shelter, and solace, and bread--
but instead of surviving, they all wound up dead.
An Hour To Go
An hour to go in my office cube.
An hour to go till I run home.
An hour to go till I see you.
"An hour to go", I bemoan.
A minute more I wait to leave.
A minute more goes by.
A minute more shows the time on my sleeve.
A minute more, then I fly.
by Collin Irish
In a Loop
I am stuck in a loop
Waiting for all time.
I am stuck in a loop.
Please, throw me a line.
My head bobs
Into awareness not.
My head bobs
Into unconscious thought.
I awake with a start
At the slam of a drawer.
I awake with a start.
Please sleep no more.
There's work to be done.
Your productivity is low.
There's work to be done,
As your evaluation will show.
by Collin Irish
Ode to Ned*
Ned is very angry today.
I can tell by the way he throws things
Around in his cubical
As if protesting the very matter
Of which the world is made.
The slam of the book on his desk,
The banging of desk drawers,
The violent pecking of computer keys,
And the abusive treatment of telephone equipment,
All say, "Fuck this job."
Deep sighs of discontent
Float across the isle
Like the long boats carrying Vikings
Hoping to find the treasures of reason
And easily completed actions that make sense.
Alas, the boats are mercilessly sunk
One after another by unfeeling management decisions
Never to reach any destination
Except the bottom of a sea of lost dreams
Left there to rot.
* (name changed to protect my job)
by Collin Irish
Good Love Gone Bad
The woman, sighs.
The man, lowers his head.
What has gone wrong?
Their love had been like a shooting star with a rainbow tail,
but now no more.
It had been a mutual decision,
but like in that book by Orwell,
more mutual on her part.
And I was that man.
The Man With The Hole In His Ass
I am the man with the hole in his ass.
Are you the man with the hole in his ass?
Yes, I am the man with the hole in his ass.
This rhyme is running out of gas,
and that's why it won't las
t very long.
Dance a jig, Jim.
Peg eats red gel.
Get a new book, Joan.
GE will pay up
If the elf bites a bib.
In Fiji dozens of DJs will die!
Huns will invade Ohio!
Bring Bud an ion fusion taco.
Inhabited islands dig dust.
Dash me Diane!
The sun sobs.
Special Pork In The Air
Oars make my submarine go.
To die with nubs on your back is cruel.
Sid is a geek, he fades to black in my mind.
You will barf air if you suck gum slowly.
Little dog, how is your bed?
I dig your gob, suicide gives me heartburn.
A vasectomy in Eden will give me worms.
Grab Eddie's ski jacket, I need a theme!
Your face is ash, it smells like wax.
What a scene! Gus will not die!
Bring me the jar of buns, I need it so much.
Start a flab fad in Finland, Frank.
Dad had the jar, he ate all the buns.
How much gas will it take?
If Ed will become king I will give you a wad of red dye.
If you ever need jam you will give me a dollar.
Find your turf in the air, It's OK to mumble.
The sky drips glue in my mouth.
Go ask Eli for a hug, he is meek in november.
Coyotes are stuck in the mud, they squeeze in small balls.
My shoes taste foul, I will give them to you.
Mary will knit beads in my nose today, OK?
A new old can has nibs.
John will ban killing plastic tomatoes.
Wads of biscuit dough escape in the fog.
It's OK, my Vet has a chocolate nun.
Choke dear John, Choke!
I envy the koala, how can I eat chives today?
Oops!, He spilled the blood, I dropped the bone!
Chug green liquid, Coat your gut with clinging fur.
Eat a bug kid, hand me that saxaphone.
Fry my gloves in butter, wrap leaves around my reality.
Downy sheet of gossamer flutter like bricks on a shelf.
Dip Vermont in a bowl of fish.
I'm gushing! Stop the flow! Give me a cork!
I did NOT hide your flashlight, It's in the Kitchen.
If Roy gave Ira the key, why don't you stop biting me?
Korea has gas tonight, her oil is bland.
Frank is a knave, he eats peanut butter with oink sauce.
My ego is a dud, it wont explode in my mouth.
I have a special gyroscope in my pants.
Total war will stop the frog.
It's a sin to dig up the dead, eat the lead, or smack the bed.
Light a fag, It's a drag, read this mag, fill my bag.
He gave us the lard, your ass wig is on backwards.
The hut is down the hill, bring me a torso when you come back.
'TWAS THE CALL OF CTHULHU
(A parody of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas")
'Twas the Call of Cthulhu, all the stars were right
Every artist was stirring was odd dreams all night
Elder signs were hung at Miskatonic U
In hopes it would save them from Great Cthulhu
The Deep Ones were gathered on the ocean beds
While dreaming of feasting on raw human heads
Our schooner on the South Seas, on her maiden cruise
Had just battened down for a long drunken snooze
When out on the sea the waves started to splatter
I jumped from my bunk to see what was the matter
Away to the porthole I tripped and I fell
I jumped up and looked out and cursed "What the hell!"
The moon on the beach as a new island rose
Gave more light than I wanted; I looked and I froze
When what to my gibbering sight should appear
But an old eldritch city with angles so queer
With a mountain of blubber, green viscuous slime-goo
I knew by some instinct it was Cthulhu!
More rapid than serpents his tentacles came
And we heard in our heads as he called out some names
"Now Wilbur! Young Whately! Lavinia! Yog-Sothoth!
Come minions from Innsmouth and Fungi from Yuggoth!
From Mountains of Madness to this humble blue ball
Now slash away, crash away, smash away all!"
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly
My crew beat a rapid retreat and so did I
Then out of his prison called Great Cthulhu
With plans for all of us that we somehow all knew
And then in a twinkling I saw mankind's fate
All dancing and bowing on his dinner plate
As I ducked down my head and was turning around
From the mongrel ship's engineer came an odd sound
He walked up to a star hanging on this big door
But the angles were all wrong, it might have been floor
A matter of seconds, he ripped off the seal
He had done it so quickly I had no time to squeal
My eyes, how they gibbered! My screaming, so eerie!
Great Cthulhu was loose, what could be more scary?
His bright angry eyes, all his tentacles loose
My first mate disappeared down an angle obtuse
The rest of the crew made it back to the boat
Cthulhu, he followed us as we set afloat
He had great bat wings, the head of a squid
I can't even describe the next few things he did!
He was chubby and plump, head big as a villa
And I knew when I saw him, he'd eat Godzilla
A wink of an eye and a twitch of his head
Grabbed him twelve crewman, all better off dead
He spoke not a word but came straight on fast
And ate all the others and left me for last
Him chewing his dinner, I reversed my ship
And crying a curse rammed his gigantic hip
He burst into a fog and his island went down
But he reformed again before I could turn around
Then I heard him exclaim as he sank out of sight
"This ain't the last time all the stars will be right!"
Check me out at Back Slash, King of the Potato People
I am the stone the builder rejected
I am the wound the medic neglected
I'm the dead Marine you saw on the news
I am am that odor of decay
I didn't start this awful fray
And make the lady sing the blues
I served, I'm angry, therefore;
I am the ballot in the box
The bullet in the gun
The bile flow that lets you know
Just after it's too late to run
The story has just begun
The promise of what's to come
I will remain a warrior until the war is won