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A Stark and Wormy Blight

by Mike Bryant

It was a stark and wormy blight
That killed the tree
The Poet Tree!
Poetry
Poe, a tree!
A tree, Poe!
The branches tapping
A-rapping at my chamber pot
Your chamber? Not!
Not? Knot!
Knot a tree
POETRY!
Poet Tray
Poe! It tray!
A tray, a tray, a tray!
Poe!
A tray, poe!
A tray of pie!
The beating of its hideous filling!
Four and twenty blackbirds – RAVENS!
Ravens! Black! Black, Rebecca.
Rebecca Black, so named after the dead roses in her hideous heart
The blackened pie of her soul
Eat it! Eat the pie! Filled with ravens!
Eat it today!
For it is pie day
Pie day, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
My humps.

Some Greeks Walk Into a Poem

Icarus and Orpheus walk
into a poem and Sisyphus
is serving drinks.

"What kind of poem is this?"
asks Orpheus, King of Songs.

"I don't know," said Sisyphus,
who pours another round.

Perseus, Theseus, and Odysseus
are sitting at a table nearby
and can't help overhearing.

"It's a great poem,"
says the one.

"You can tell because of the line
breaks and allusions,"
says the other.

"But mostly it's the Greeks.
Gotta have Greeks,"
says the last.

And I guess he was right?

Dissimilar Familiars

The pigeon in pecks sipped from the runnel
of blood that ran bright from the burst right eye
of the witch’s cat. Cat, by the tunnel
of light that entered through the pigeon’s eye,
was now a blood-mind in the pigeon’s brain.
“Come my pigeon, come my puss,” sang the witch,
and the pigeon rose on applauding wings.

Cat-pigeon came down to the town square, which,
was where all of the witch’s pigeons shat.
The square was now dull with pigeons’ silver,
(that none would guess was the shit of a cat),
and lying there grey as tarnished pewter
the square of the town was the note of love
the witch sent up to her dead cats above.

A Ghost Story

The Aussies, they all sat around,
The campfire and they talked.
On intruders and unwelcome visitors they frowned,
And the sheepdog the camp stalked.
And then one bloke name of Norm
Began to tell a tale.
He said, “My story starts in a storm,
An unholy, awful gale.”
The others gathered 'round him,
And prayed him to continue,
So they turned the light of lantern to dim,
And thought, “What have we got ourselves into?”
Then Norm began his story,
And began it with a laugh.
He said, “I feel full of glory,”
And with his feet he stirred the hearth.
“It was a nasty night,
As I have said before,
And the wild bush brumbies were all upset.
And as it says in the old folk lore,
On this night a ghost I met.”
It was the here the others laughed in scorn,
And the one with the biggest bean*
Said, “Never since the day I was born,
Never a ghost have I seen.”
Norm looked in pity at his mates around him,
And started from where he left off:
“There was so much rain you could practically swim,
Ah, Young Ted, don’t scoff.
For as I walked along old Kent Road alone,
A mist began to form,
It began to cover old Marley’s Stone.
I’m sure it wasn’t the storm.
Cos pretty soon that mist, it rose,
Up above my head.
My brawny legs below me froze
And I was filled with dread.
Because now I saw that there above me,
With leering, awful eyes,
Was the face and form of Old Man Marley,
And I saw it with surprise.
For he was dead, long time ago,
Though his ghost was said to walk
And I had searched for it high and low,
Cos I thought it was just talk (teacher’s comment: Contradictory. I still don’t...

The Termagant’s Rant

Termagant, Termagant
Wandering everywhere
You’re always in a rant
Even if you’re going insane
Even if you’re not wearing pants

Termagant, Termagant
Look beneath your feet and
Follow the ant
Even if you’re feeling low
And even if you say you can’t

Termagant, Termagant
Even when you say you will
Maybe you shan’t
You can’t always get what you want
So says my aunt

Glosa on a Freedom Pole

He hit your flint face and it sparked
And I bellowed and you parked
We reached Marfa
One honest day up on this freedom pole
-Kristen Stewart

What was it about this frozen pole
and your tongue
that drew us to Marfa?
It was Drew, was it not?
He hit your flint face and it sparked

our interest in all things tubular
that could be stuck
to your tongue:
a pole, a note, an accordion,
and I bellowed and you parked.

We saw the Pole
who drove a neon Zamboni
over the pan handle
and somehow we knew when
we reached Marfa,

the city of tongues,
that we were reared
to strafe the sun
and spend a year and
one honest day up on this freedom pole.

Groening

so
I
was
grieving over a
grave in a
grove when
Grendel and
Gargamel and
Gannon sicced a
gros
gross
grosse
gargoyle on my
groove

G, I said
Get thee gone
Go, dog, go, already
I don't like your
green eggs, your
green arrows, your
green lanterns, your
green screen, your
green teeth, your
greedy eyes
gulping
me
in

Ignored Love

I warbled my love for you like a lovesick sparrow
And beat my chest like the gorilla in your king kong movie
But you ignored me as my heart spilled blood like the weeping of cupid
When his arrow goes astray

Oh love oh love, why have you dealt me such a raw deal
I would wriggle through mud like a crocodile for you
I would spout your praises like an overripe volcano
And I would be Cupid’s arrow if I could seek out your heart and spear it

Oh love let me wound you with my love

The Lunch Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

"I'm mystified by you," I said
"your extra arms, your extra head.
what kind of life must your kind lead;
what kind of thing on which you feed?"

"We're not that different," he said.
"We like your cheese and beer and bread.
We like your meat," he then confessed.
"We like it very simply dressed—
dressed in a suit or in the nude."

"I don't approve this choice of food,"
I said, "I don't look good upon a plate.
It would be such a big mistake
To think I'd simply acquiesce
to bathe in pesto, romanes-
co, or some stew. No sauce for me!
Though you look quite rotisserie."

"We're in dispute," he mused out loud.
"A compromise would do us proud."

"All right," I said. "What should we share?"

"We'll give up what we have to spare."

"That's fair enough, I guess," I said,
"You'll eat my hand, I'll eat your head."

Which demonstrates consensus-ship,
But doesn't say who leaves the tip.

winged fEET

the lETters are screaming
into the opulent mirror HUSH--
wait for the vampire tread of tiny wings
on the purplish mounds of corn

AND thEN

capitalisation beyond control
no more planets exploding into lust in the radiant mews of
death
DEATH
painting its deathlike pallor

on the fish we all need
to be free

CZP's Shitty Poetry Month Week 1 Winner

The winner of of Shitty Poetry Month week 1 is Dominik Parisien's "In All Her Quiet Dignity She Rides." Congratulations, Dominick! Your poem will move on to the shitty poetry finals!

Stay tuned tonight for week 2's shitty poems, which will be up on www.chizine.com at 6pm EST along with our poll, so don't forget to vote for the poem you think is the shittiest poem of this week!

On the Death of a Tim’rous Beastie

With apologies to Robbie Burns
(to be read with a bad Scottish accent)

Oh, that I should be so skilled
As he who so routinely killed,
And left upon the floor that blood.
Blood on the chair,
Blood on the furry hair,
Blood oh, so glistening and fair,
(In fact it spread through the lair)
T’is he who guides my hand this night
Past all sense of wrong and right
To the hollow heart of fright
And there, all those of you who dare
To stand before the king and stare
Behold, I give you Puss of gore-stained boots!
And I, the handmaid of this Lord
Do pledge allegiance and accord
To he who rid the house of mouse.

The Companion’s Lament

The sun was slowly slinking down,
into my velvet tea.
And all that existed on the earth,
was the soul that once was me.

You’d doffed your hat. And stole my heart,
with a swirl of your cloak and cane.
Sparkles filled the cavities of my chest.
Too bad you were insane.

I grabbed your levers and fiddled your nobs.
But you declared my journey through.
Kicked me out in Year 3026.
I should’ve just banged Who.

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