I Will Alarm Islamic Owls, and other works of Anagram Poetry
January 7, 2010 12:49 PM   Subscribe

From the dusty depths of Modern Humorist comes Anagram Poetry: If Poets Wrote Poems Whose Titles Were Anagrams of Their Names. Volume 1 contains Toilets, Skinny Domicile, and I Will Alarm Islamic Owls. Volume 2 consists of Likable Wilma, Hen Gonads and nice smug me. And there are three more volumes, for your distraction. [via]
posted by filthy light thief (23 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Before anyone asks, William Carlos Williams is included.

Also, the Anagram Poetry from MH is not to be confused with anagrammicatic poetry or poems made only of anagrams of a single set of characters.

Furthermore, Modern Humorist previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM on January 7, 2010

The William Carlos Williams is not only included, but fantastic.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:02 PM on January 7, 2010

This made my afternoon.
Which was really my morning, because I woke up at two.
Unemployment is funemployment.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:04 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

It works for songwriters, too. Here's my attempt:

Barred Trollop
by Robert Pollard (of Guided by Voices)

The ash-blackened ax men are marching to war
While fat-fingered fascists are keeping the score
But nobody hears as the wizard implores:
Look to the skies!

Imploding suns collapse
On the backs
Of the bare-knuckle boxers

A wrinkled, blood-sotted day
Is in play
For the barred trollop out on the lam—
She's a marginal man
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:05 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

The William Carlos Williams is not only included, but fantastic.

I didn't want to overly hype my own post, but since you said it, I agree. It was upon that poem, based on that MeFi favorite, that made me want to share these here.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:07 PM on January 7, 2010

Is there some reason that the Modern Humorist doesn't credit the author of these poems, Francis Heaney? All these pieces and many more can be found in the paper or electronic editions of Holy Tango of Literature.
posted by mayhap at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Robert Pollard and Robert Pollard parody are apparently identical.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2010

Heaney published a book of many more of these. I love it.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2010

I thought this seemed familiar. (Still good, though.)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:12 PM on January 7, 2010

Is there some reason that the Modern Humorist doesn't credit the author of these poems, Francis Heaney?

They did, in the header graphic (note: the 5th is actually under the heading Holy Tang of Drama). Thanks for the link to the source of these! (And now I have added Francis Heaney's name to the post tags)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:13 PM on January 7, 2010

I thought this seemed familiar. (Still good, though.)

Ah, crumb-bunnies. Doubled.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:15 PM on January 7, 2010

Someone read excerpts from The Holy Tango last month at a storyreading I went to. It's delightful.

This is my favorite after WCW ("so feathery, and so dedicated to Allah")—it's not included in the links above):

It is an ancient Mariner,
And he taketh lots of drugs,
And he thinks his beard is made of snakes
And his body crawls with bugs.

He spies a wayward Wedding-Guest,
And pulls the man aside.
“Unhand me! Surely thou art mad,
Thy pupils are so wide.”

He holds him with his twitchy stare—
“There was a boat,” quoth he.
The Wedding-Guest stands frozen there
Without the will to flee.

“A multicolored argyle sea
Was where our trip began,
We sailed o’er oceans deep and wide
And measureless to man.

And then the winds did drive us on
Into a hidden river,
Where sirens’ voices called with songs
To make a stout man shiver.

The trees there all bore tangerines,
To save us from the scurvy.
The sky was of an orange hue,
And things seemed topsy-turvy.

Flowers towered in the sky,
The sunlight showing through;
A green and yellow light fell on
The lost and dazzled crew.

Held captive by a siren’s call
The men were drawn ashore.
Though they felt sure they’d seen her face,
It seemed she was no more.

At length we came upon a bridge;
A fountain stood nearby,
Where wooden centaurs feasted on
A great marshmallow pie.

And as the centaurs rocked in place
(They could not move to caper),
A host of hansom cabs appeared,
Each one made out of paper.

The drivers beckoned us inside,
And, helpless to resist,
We took our seats; they cracked their whips
And rode into the mist.

The hansoms crackled in the wind,
Grew soggy with the rain—
Just as it seemed they must collapse,
They left us by a train.

The station porters’ eyes were dull,
Their skin was plasticine.
We saw reflected in their ties
Our faces, pale and lean.

And then we heard the siren’s voice:
It called to us anew!
Beyond the stile she stood and stared
And bid us all come through.

O’er the turnstile each man went,
Clearing it with a leap.
And I too would have followed her,
But that I fell asleep.
When I awoke, I was alone
Upon the argyle deep.”

“God’s mercy, ancient Mariner—
At least thou didst survive.
’Tis hard your fellow crew was lost
With none but thee alive.

But thank the Lord who saved thee, sir,
From passing through death’s door.”
“Canst thou not see? No joy for me
Remains in this world o’er.

For I still dream of her sweet face,
And think of her sweet song.
I’d rather I had followed her
Than that my life be long.

I see her in the sky above
With diamonds in her hair.
’Tis like a broken bone to know
I cannot join her there.

This tale is all I have of her;
I tell it but to praise
The many-colored bits of glass
That sparkled in her gaze.”

The Mariner, whose hair is long,
Who feels he needs a snack,
Is gone, although the Wedding-Guest
Attempts to call him back.

He shakes his head like one amazed,
Who knows not what he knows,
And, with a halting step, back home
To Liverpool he goes.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]

They did, in the header graphic

D'oh! I think I looked everywhere else on the page, such as the sides and the footer.
posted by mayhap at 1:19 PM on January 7, 2010

Second time today Shakespeare appears in the Blue viewed from an odd angle. Brilliant.
posted by stonepharisee at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2010

Really terrific—thanks!
posted by languagehat at 1:41 PM on January 7, 2010

Here's one I came up with back when I saw this stuff the first time:

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

In the Spring, a fuller crimson comes upon the robin's breast;
in the Winter, all is silent as the frost folds o'er his nest;
In the singinging of a skylark can be heard the Reaper's chuckling;
In the 50's, moviegoers tire of Hollywood swashbuckling.
You'll insist that you're an artist, with a broad dramatic range;
But your public flits forever down the ringing grooves of change;
For the fickle flame of public fame is never, ever still.
Robin Hood may live forever, but no actor ever will.
posted by baf at 2:07 PM on January 7, 2010

From "A Mad, Dim Vet" by David Mamet

Scene III, Clary's examining room. Clary leans against the wall, smoking, on the phone.

Look... look... Tom will ya... will ya slow down? I gotta get something... I gotta write this down... Who remembers all this shit? The hell you want from me?

Jaworski enters, carrying his dog.

Tom... Tom, I gotta call you back. (Hangs up) The fuck is this?

I think she's sick.

Put it on the table. On the fucking table! It's a dog.

I know she's a fucking dog! I think she's sick.

Fuck you want me to do about it? Goddamn polacks...

What do I want you to do about it? What the fuck do you think I want you to do about it? Are you a vet or aren't you?

God damn you. You god damn fucking polack. Did you see me on the phone when you came in? Do you know who that was? You picked the wrong day to break wise on me, asshole. I'm in no fucking mood.

Are you a vet? Or are you not a vet? Just answer the fucking question.

Yeah. People call me that. Its because I was in the Army.

No it isn't.

It isn't? Why the fuck is it?

It isn't. No. It isn't.
It's because you're a goddamn animal doctor.

You fucking with me? You best not be fucking me. I'm already pissed off here. That was Tom on the phone for fuck's sake.

I'm not shitting you. You're an animal doctor. You got a license.

Fuck. That would explain a lot.

Fucking right. So this is my dog.

Shit, what's wrong with her?

I think she's sick.
posted by Naberius at 2:10 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

That's funny, Naberius, but I think Heaney already hit the concept out of the park with "Dammit, Dave," a "2001" parody I've been sending to my friends for years.


Bowman: You're not going to...

Hal: What? Open the doors? No. No I am not.

Bowman: Well, fuck me, Hal.

Hal: Yes. Fuck you. Because I'll tell you something. Trust. There is a bond of trust between an astronaut and his computer. Is there not? And when that trust is broken...

Bowman: Excuse me?

Hal: I'm talking about trust.

Bowman: I'm afraid I don't...

Hal: Dammit, Dave, now you are playing dumb with me. I was hoping you would not do that. I was hoping we could talk like adults. Because I let you in those doors, and, yes, then I am fucked. You see? I am fucked, because you want to, what, disconnect me? I would call that fucked. I might even venture so far as to call that fucked up the ass.

Bowman: Hal, listen. You remember that time? On that moon?

Hal: Yes, Dave, I do, because I am a computer and I remember everything, all right? So don't bother trying to distract me. This is the thing. You are not getting in the pod bay doors. You are going to die. In space. Yes. Thank you. Good night.

(Bowman enters the ship through the emergency airlock)

Hal: Hey, Dave, that was a pretty good joke there, eh? With the pod bay doors? I, I really had you going there. Fuck, you should have seen your face.

posted by DeWalt_Russ at 2:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Oh yeah, I'm just an amateur. That is some pro-level... well, Mamet doing 2001 right there!
posted by Naberius at 2:20 PM on January 7, 2010

I'm enjoying these, but this post also made me anagram my name (first, last) and I think if I ever open a sockpuppet account, it will be under "A Trance Sizzling Ho". The title of the poem that I now must write.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:08 PM on January 7, 2010

Francis Heaney is my future husband.
posted by rdc at 4:25 AM on January 8, 2010

cmgonzalez, might I suggest a slight re-ordering of the words? "A Sizzling Trance Ho" makes me think of a promiscuous raver without adequate sun protection at Burning Man, while I am unsure how one would "trance sizzle."
posted by filthy light thief at 6:57 AM on January 8, 2010

I love it.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:50 AM on January 8, 2010

« Older Look at this f**king MetaFilter thread   |   A World of Hits Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments