Sammi’s Weekender #211 (nomenclature)

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Handle With Care

Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge,
in the 10th of Poemcrazy said,
“in practical shoes, holding forth
with firm opinions”
were too many Sues.

Birthed and baptized, lacking
middle saintly nomenclature,
seeking to assert rightful independence,
Confirmation granted my pick,
Saint Bartholomew, a sub
for unsainted Bartley.

Mom had a fit. We fought.
She wanted Richard. I did not.
Constant embarrassment,
my lifelong reminder,
my middle moniker: John.
I wish I agreed to Richard,
at least a better memory.


Look both ways for better self-names. How often would we change?
I’m Dad, Opa, Mister Bill to some, cantankerous (and other adjectives)
Bill or Billy to the few.
Mind the gaps where we may only name things, pets, and kids.

Poetry: Anything You Want

My Dear Brave
and Foolish souls
of towns and villas
near here and over there
and in the wilds
of states and nations,

And especially to the genius
members of clubs and churches
everywhere, where
the poor pussy cats, so tortured
by death-catcher face-hankies,
burdened by distance to spit;
fearful of immunology,
skeptical of fact and science,
with brains pushing intellects
matching your belt size, named
for nothing but yay-me,
or hooray our-side;
what the fuck were you thinking?

Your claim to care
is as selfish as your
shallow, meaningless,
false-patriotism, loyal
to the disgusting, proud
of abuse toward woman
and children. You went
from zero with no worries
to disaster (one you caused),
then you tried
to pray and lie
your way out of it.

Good job, Fester fake-brain!
You’ve succeeded
in making meaningless
moron magic
with your galactical
fucking stupidity.


Look both ways because sometimes
you just must say what’s on your mind.
Mind the gaps in these bizarre, crazy, and worrisome times.

Sammi’s Weekender #209 (wanton)

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Dear Birdie,
outside my window
this morning,
you wanton mocker.

Was it necessary
to sing loud
copy-chirp sounds?
Swiping another’s?

Hush your shrieks.
Announce your
mate-less status later.

You may be
chipper as chirp
to see the sunrise,
but please let me sleep.

The worst part
of your miserable alarm is
I’m up now. but your silence,
now suddenly golden.


Look both ways for the sounds of nature.
Mind the gaps for twists and turns.

Sammi’s weekender #208 (solitudinarian)


For Ian

Somewhat solitudinarian, I’m bein’
in the midst of my septuagenarian age,
hopeful of promotion to octogenarian
like that Marion the librarian; she who was
so totalitarian with stacks of authoritarian;
and me, such a wild child barbarian seeking
both libertarian and egalitarian ideals
like equalitarian and nonsectarian, except for
agism which seemed contrarian to Yossarian
the prelapsarian in the books of Merrion.

I see centenarian as a contractarian goal
even for the Rastafarian or Merion, or the lost
latitudinarian with limited access to a seminarian
or a utilitarian agrarian humanitarian.


Look both ways with rhymes for reasons.
Mind gaps for grammarian parliamentarians
from other generations.

Poetry: Going Down? (NaPoWriMo day 30)

This final prompt challenged me to write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. Sarcastic humor has my heart.


You may need to buy a ticket,
live a normal life, and do
human things, but they say
there is a way to Hell.
Who alive knows for sure? (Many)

To ensure arrival, you’ll have to die.
Before that, good intentions should
provide a smooth ride. You’ll wanna
mean well, tell the truth about what you think,
eat lobster and for God’s sake,
want what the Jones’s have,
or you’ll want one of the Jones’s,
or dislike the Jones’s as in no love.

Lie about the Jones’s.
Make a self-portrait.
Say “God damnit” or “Jesus Christ.”
Ya might say God’s name to no purpose (in vain)
Laugh at a George Carlin’s joke, or forget
the day it is when it’s Saturday or Sunday.
Work weekends, since Sabbat is negotiable.

Argue with Mom or Dad.
If ya marry the wrong person, get a divorce,
have an affair, kill them, then you should
find things warming up. Or just
be who or what you were born to be.

Having sex with anyone, especially
if ya likes it; or, if you’re shy,
having sex alone has been known
to get ya where you want to go.

If not, maybe just think about having sex,
or eat bacon (see the relationship there?)
Belong to some other religion.
Piss off the Pope if you can.

In the south, dance with a person
of the opposite sex, or better
dance with the same sex, except for girls,
unless you think of sex with her.

Drink booze or coffee if ya live
near a Salt Lake. Try pot. Try gambling.
Keep all your money (trash tithe)
Finally, you must certainly die,
but fear not, they tell me this is easy.


Look both ways for sarcastic humor.
Mind the gaps unless there are too many.
If so, look for the god of the gaps.
Above all, have fun and enjoy life,
especially if you’re Hell bound anyway.

Got My Ticket

Interrogative Poetry: Any Way the Wind Blows (NaPoWriMo day 28)

First, I want to wish Yolonda a Happy Birthday and many more.

This prompt challenged me to write a poem that poses questions. I think I am starting to get silly. Two more days after this.


If it has no effect on us, and some like that,
why feel bad when someone does good?
I mean, WTF is that? And where the fuck’s it at?

If the speed limit’s X and I’m in the groove,
why do I want to dive X + five and my motor
wants us to move?

Why do I like anyway the wind blows?
It seems wishy-washy, and why was
a bow-legged woman doing the boogaloo?

Why do I hate being asked if I need help
if she got the jive and I don’t?
But I do hear crickets at Fat Jack’s downtown
If it’s easy come, easy go, how do I know?

Do I like cats that keep the beat?
Do I like dogs that make me move my feet?
Why do I forget the drummer, drummer I want to remember,
but recall useless shit without trying?
Easy come, easy go.

Is it possible to think hard, or even harder? Can you give me the beat?
Is there a euphemism for euphemism?
Has the guitar player been around the world?
Can’t he play a lick for lookin’ at the girls?

One two three four five six seven,
will you change your ways just to get to heaven?
If eleven just lays there to rhyme with seven, then why
do some like this and some like that?
And don’t some know where it’s at?

If you don’t get loose, if you don’t groove,
will your motor make it or your motor not move?

If easy comes and easy goes, can it be anyway the wind blows?
If time won’t tell you then don’t ask me. Easy come,
easy go, which away does the wind blow?


Look both ways for nonsense questions.
Mind the gaps and keep your motor running.

Maybe you’ll wanna read the poem again after the video.

Parody Poetry: Older than before (NaPoWriMo day 26)

For NaPo day 26, I was to write a parody. I was to find a poem or song and write an altered version of it. A parody is also called a spoof, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on something, or a caricature. It is a creative work designed to imitate, comment on, and/or make fun of its subject by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

I decided to work on the song(s) “Old Hippie” by the Bellamy Brothers, a classic paean to male boomers that many of us related to. David Bellamy wrote three of these: one at 35, one at 45, and one at 55. Mine goes to 75 (the age of the other brother) and is more about me.


He turns seventy-five on a Tuesday
sometime late this next July.
Can’t believe his friends’ all dead,
but down the same old road he’ll  still try
to understand and to keep his level head.
But now he craves those crazy days
with his shoulders back,
his chin held proud and high.
He still looks at life and wonders why.
He stopped with church and never prays
but he never wonders when he’ll die.

He still loves old soft county rock,
his poems come from just such songs.
His only friends are now computer faces,
and medicine pros working to help him get along,
with medical-grade stainless steel heart parts.
But he’ll run no more endurance races,
Just the tips and bits on legs that hate him.

He’s an old soldier who wants to be
a hippie getting older every day,
with hair and colors and closet disco music.
An old hippie who knows what life is for,
still wanting to be her man, before
she goes knocking on his door.

He’s an old man who always hated war,
but seemed to know what it was for.
He’s been confused by a government
he both supports and finds disgusting,
and people who tell him to forgive,
while he decides to let them live.

He likes people but not in crowds.
He craves his tribe, but they’ve all died.
Spending quiet time at home alone,
his kids are still his universe,
and Texas is still his home.

He’s a boomer till the day he dies,
he now fears life more than death,
he’s looked at evil in the eye
believes in love and wonders why,
then drums to ten below his breath.


Look both ways and avoid reading the obituaries.
Mind the gaps in everything but believe
you’re this damn old.

Poetry: Electable Swine (NaPoWriMo day 24)

My NaPo challenge today was to find a factual article about an animal. I was to be sure it frequently repeated the name of the animal. I was to go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else, either abstract or concrete. Then, I could rearrange and edit the article into a poem.

Since my grandson raises pigs, and my daughter, his mother, loves them, I chose an article about pigs. I replaced pigs with politicians and changed a few other words (like boar to bore) before trimming into a humorous, somewhat insulting, poem. Now I have an urge to read Animal Farm.


Politicians are mammals with stocky bodies,
flat snouts that can move independently
of their heads, small eyes, and large ears.
Intelligent, social animals,
they’re found all over the world.

Politicians come in eight genera.
Sixteen species include wild bores,
wart-poli-hogs, pygmy poli-hogs,
and domestic politicians.
Politician, hog, and bore essentially
describe the same animal,
but there are some distinctions.

A bore is an uncastrated male
domestic politician, but it also means
a wild politician of any gender.
A hog often means a domestic politician.
Politicians are also called swine.

Today, of 2 billion domesticated politicians
on the planet, most are classified as wild bores.
Wild politicians vary in size.
The largest bore is the giant forest hog.

Bores, politicians, and hogs live all over,
except for Antarctica, northern Africa
and far northern Eurasia. Red River hogs,
also called bush politicians, are found in Africa.

All politicians wallow in mud
to help regulate their body temperature
and discourage parasites.

Politicians are “cognitively complex,”
capable of remembering objects,
perceiving time, and navigating environments.
Politicians can be playful.

Politicians communicate with
grunts and squeaks; as they warn
other politicians of approaching danger.
A politicians’ primary defense is speed,
but when cornered, tusks are weapons.


Look both ways in the Animal Farm (yes, that one).
Mind the Orwellian gaps for Democratic Socialists
who believe all animals are equal.

Note: Politicians will eat anything, including people. Farm accordingly.

Poetry: Rant (NaPoWriMo day 19)

Today is day 19. I was challenged by NaPoWriMo to write a humorous rant. In this poem, I was licensed to excoriate (I prefer bitch) to my heart’s content. I ranted about ranting.


Let Me Explain

I’ve been okayed to rant.
I should be good at this
cuz lots of practice,
but I need a subject;
like in a poem, something
specific to rant about.

I prefer small audiences
or choirs to preach to,
preferably from my own tribe.
I need to know what I’m
talking about, no random topics
that just piss me off for now;
politics, religion, or both might work.

I should stand. My face will redden.
I need not be near breakables,
like nick-nacks or small animals. I can
frighten cats, small dogs may cower
into a corner, and I need a timer.

Like I’m Italian talking normal,
I need to waive my arms and make
gestures about the size of fish I caught,
or the size of my antagonist’s penis.

If Yolonda is there, she will tell me
to sit on my hands and keep my mouth shut.
I’ll claim NaPo permissive prompt status
or poet’s privilege, but she won’t care.
She’s heard it all before.
I’ll call him “needle dick the bug fucker,”
for laughs, then I can sit down and let it all go.


Look both ways, be it a declaration of war,
burying the hatchet, smoking a peace pipe, or opening kimonos.
Mind the gaps because that’s where the trouble starts.

Poetry: Mello Bill (NaPoWriMo day 14)

The NaPo prompt for today was to write a poem that “delves into the meaning” of my first or last name. For me, that’s about family history.


Mom couldn’t remember her mother,
but her father lived much longer. I,
while given his name, never met him
or any grandparent.

Mom’s family propensity
for female progeny meant that I
could have been baptized Wilhelmina.
But the presence of a penis undermined
her best planned pronouncements. I was William,
after my maternal grandfather, yet Mom and Sis
often teased by directing that female alias at me.

For my name, more meaning
requires German or Norman research,
the discovery of which
has nothing to do with me.

Neighbors often called me Danny
after my Dad or older half-brother, but
I told them, “I’m Billy.”
They often seemed confused.
Mom said I was demonstrative (whatever that meant).
Wilhelmina probably would have been histrionic.
Today it’s curmudgeonly snarkastic, but they love me.

I don’t know if so-called meanings of my name
have squat-all to do with who I am, or this William.
It’s Bill that I prefer to go by although our first born
is also named William and goes by Billy
(or Bill when I’m not around).

As for that “strong-willed warrior,
protector, or helmet” stuff from the dictionaries,
regarding the meanings of my first name,
none of it has anything to do with me,
or who I am.

Yet, some who know would call me stubborn.
And there were all those years in uniform
for which people insist on thanking me,
as if I’d been an underpaid volunteer.
Maybe so, maybe not. I guess we’ll never know.


Look both ways and inward.
Does your name define who you are, or is it the other way around?
Mind the gaps in family history, you might not be who you think you are.