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This is my two thousandth published Blog Post, Friends, and I want to make it count. So I am using it for advocacy. I wish to urge Arizona voters not to vote for gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. Ms. Lake took the Republican primary via her glib and charismatic stage presence, her endorsement from Donald Trump, and her remarkable ability to turn into a barracuda every time a journalist asked her a question she didn’t like. And now she is attackiing and lying her way to the Governor’s office, and if Arizonans fall for her attractive lies, she may well win.

But don’t take my word for it. As a subscriber to azcentral dot com, the online component of the media entity that also publishes the Arizona Republic, I get newspaper headlines like these on my feed. If I call Lake a glib liar, I’m not being the Lone Ranger here.

In the primary Lake put up a kajillion posters of herself side by side with Donald Trump, proudly proclaiming “TRUMP ENDORSED.” Now that she’s won the primary,and Trump is in all kinds of legal trouble, her photoless posters say “POLICE ENDORSED.” Her many years as a newscaster have empowered her to turn on a dime as far as emphasis goes. She can pull viewers one way with an earthquake megadeath or serial-killer story and one minute later switch to the “lighter side” with something that makes people laugh and sigh happily. And this is what makes her dangerous, Friends. If only she were a Force For Good, that would be a valuable superpower. But she is a force for the same evil that got us a million dead in the ongoing pandemic. Because though she dropped Trump from her posters, she is still 100% in favor of his policies. And her style of attacking journalists and telling pants-on-fire lies is identical to his.

So please: do not vote for Kari Lake.

Kari Lake

Kidnap Truth and send to HelL
Anthony Fauci–HE’s to blame. A
Rigged Vote played like Lawrence WelK
Invests a gal who plays Trump’s gamE

I have drawn Ms. Lake saying “ARREST Dr. Fauci!” She has said that. “SEE 2000 Mules!” She has urged people to view this election-fraud propaganda product of Trump catspaw Dinesh D’Souza, a film that even William Barr dismisses as “bullshit.” “Vote for ME!” may not be a direct quote, but every candidate says that simply by running for office. But I take a bit of satiric/symbolic liberty with her last word balloon, which says “PUT Arizona in the hand that held Trump.” Infer from that what you will.

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To convey the concept of Heist, I reached into my Baby Boomer childhood and plucked out a cliché cartoon robber holding up a big bag of money. He has the requisite stubble, stocking cap, and mask. Now I’m curious as to how many Robbers actually dressed the part this way. My guess is, pretty close to zero.

Crime/Heist/Theft: Call 911 on high alert/Request enforcement; there’s a dearth/It’s downright baffling how we swerve/Meandering from Surf to Turf/Emergencies don’t wait–they hurt

Gargoyle

Great in an imbroglio
Atavistic play
Rager for the heads that roll
Got that soul of Klee

Myth-rumor has it that Saint Romanus of Rouen had had the dragon he had vanquished burned at the stake, but the dragon’s throat and head proved flame-resistant. So the Rouennaise threw the head on the Rouen cathedral roof to be a “Ye Be Warned” reminder to demons and other evilmakers that God and his vicar the Archbishop were not to be trifled with. And behold, there came a great rain, and the gargoyle’s throat took in the rain, and it gushed from the mouth, and cathydraulic damage was diverted away, and ever since then some gargoyles have served as rain gutters, and that’s why their voices are gutteral. Thank you, Reader Friends, for reading my nonsensical Bad Pun of the Day. 🙂

#Inktober #Inktober2022

The challenge for today was to make a work of art on a rectangle of card stock measuring two and a half inches bt one and five-eights inches. Since it would be tiny, “tiny time” seemed an appropriate double acrostic. It didn’t take long to figure out end rhymes with an abab scheme, though “exempt” and “pro tem” are not quite true rhymes.

tiny time

thoughtfulness is tax-exempt
indolence is sans souci
none need senator pro tem
yin needs yang as thou needst me

The poem is a distant cousin to the lyrics of the song “The Best Things in Life Are Free.” The illustration is a sort of resonance with “thoughtfulness,” the first word of the poem, reducing a somilar concept “watchfulness” to the pocket-watch “watch,” the king’s jester “foole,” and the Prohibition-era G-Man Eliot Ness “ness.”

Readers, your time is precious, and there are thousands of demands on it. Thank you for spending this Tiny Time with me.

2022 0916 retrograde

I did this one for certain of my poet friends who are under the influence of celestial signs and portents and are freaking out because astrologically speaking things have gone quite Retrograde. It is an occasion I am memorializing through acrosticizing. It’s the first time I’ve done backwards letters on part of the acrostic spine; it felt right and fun to do so.

Retrograde

Regard the Planets so entrancing
Ensorcelling as they are Dancing — for
Turns of Fortune oft dismayed a
Reaved, regretful Soul who’s strayed
Or reft a Forest of her glade

2022 0704 see who won

There are two word games I play daily on the Internet. One is Words With Friends 2, a fancier version of the Scrabble-derived Words With Friends, and the other is Boggle. I play Words With Friends mostly with a handful of people I know in real life. Boggle I play in tournaments and with individuals, and I play anyone, which can be downright humbling when up against a player far better than I am. WWF2 and Boggle are made by the same game-maker, and one of the similarities is that at the end of a game a player is invited to “See who won!”

See Who Won turns out to be a perfect triple-acrostic spine, so I gave it a whirl. It’s really hard to read the acrostic poem in the image above, so here is a transcription, lightly edited for clarity.

see who won

sissy fuss is how we grow
enterprise and march and go
endocrines ahoy — c’est bon

For fifteen and a half words, there is a lot to unpack. “Sissy fuss” is a bad pun of Sisyphus, the poor guy of Greek myth who is condemned to eternally roll a burdensome stone up a hill. “Resistance training” found in many gyms and fitness centers is downright Sisyphean. You push and pull and climb and run a treadmill and never get anywhere. Even so, you gain muscle mass and you make more efficient use of oxygen. So going nowhere gets you somewhere, and if you’re blessed with good biomechanics and work ethic, you may find yourself in competitions. And some of the biggest Sissy Fusses ever made are at competitions.  One such just occurred at Wimbledon, and two players were fined.

It takes enterprise to succeed. Inherited wealth is not success.  Making the world a better place is, and it makes you a better person to boot. If you have life goals, it helps to march toward them resolutely.

As for endocrines, here’s a quotation for hopkinsmedicine dot org: “The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and organs. It uses hormones to control and coordinate your body’s metabolism, energy level, reproduction, growth and development, and response to injury, stress, and mood.” No one succeeds without a contribution from their endocrine system. “C’est bon” is French for “This is good.”

My drawing is meant to be a mysterious metaphor for winning and winners. I apologize for the murk–I both underworked and overworked my penciling. I imposed a deadline for myself of today, and got a little too ambitious with the implied planets and archetypical competitors and pseudo-calligraphy and such. But if you look carefully you’ll find a niftily drawn cat, and the clear message that felines are born winners.

I can’t think of a better way to be a winner than by practicing the wisdom imparted by George Carlin as Rufus in the Bill & Ted movies. “Be Excellent To Each Other,” Friends! 🙂

2022 0701 life erasures
Here is an oddness: This is the final version of a drawing which by definition is unfinished. Titled “Life as a Series of Erasures,” the drawing itself has been extensively erased., redrawn, erased again. The roots of this approach may be thought by some to have been planted by Robert Rauschenberg, who erased a Willem de Kooning drawing to make a point about the Ephemeral (my guess as to what he was up to,  anyway), but centuries previous Rembrandt had taken an etching of his which had an extensively-drawn crowd scene, and taken his scraper to completely eliminate his hours and hours of drawing. Prints of both states still exist. Was Robert R riffing on Rembrandt? He’s not around to answer.

There are four acrostic poems-in-the-making in this drawing. They are all double acrostics, with spines/titles “Denude/Bemoan,: “Resist/Desist,” “Derail/Detain,” “Repeat/Defeat.” Note that on the drawing the third title appears to be “Detail/Detain.” “Derail” is better. ERasure and redrawing would be done, were this drawing not finished.

Derail/Detain

Deride the Women; Hand the Maid
Ensconce the sex in marmalade
Release the Kraken mon petit
And have another cup of sea
I wish for Love and get mere Sin–I
Lost my will to re-begi

This poem is a protest against the recent US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. “Release the Kraken” was a command issued by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as part of the events surrounding the January 6, 2021 insurrection. There’s a tip of the hat to Margaret Atwood and her The Handmaid’s Tale. There’s also an implicit nod to now-deceased Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has been roundly betrayed by certain recently-appointed Supreme Court Justices, as well as by Justice Thomas, who is itching to turn back the clock further with more reversals. Two-thirds of the Supreme Court is politically hacking for the Repulican Party now. This is what we have come to.

On the positive side, outraged women across the country are protesting, and the pendulum may well swing again in my lifetime. I hope so. The little I can do to further that swing of the pendulum is right here, and you are reading and seeing it, Friends.

Life IS a series of erasures. At its best it erases Injustice and redraws Betterment. Let us strive to choose our erasures in the favor of honesty, decency, and lovingkindness.

Final note: under the word Defeat in the lower right-hand corner is a question mark, and underneath that, the answer “NO!!” NEVER give up, Friends. Ever. 🙂

This morning at 7:44 AM Russ Kazmierczak the text equivalent of a Bat-Signal to me and Birdie Birdashaw:

“Good morning, you guys free to hang and draw at Sip’s this morning?”

We were. We did. And it was a fine morning to hang and draw. And when I got home I took a look at one of the pics I’d taken of Birdie and Russ, and then drew some more.

I’m grateful that these two fine gentleman include me in some of their sessions. They’re both quite a bit younger than I am, and they’re doing a lot more of what they should be doing, creation-wise, than I did when I was their age. They keep it up and they’ll go places. And then I’ll show them this page and I’ll remind them that I fully recognized their potential a bit before the World did. 🙂

bird & russ

buds abide & score a coup — or
iridesce & Gobsmack you
razzmatazz & comic sans
diving deep & clanging pans