Okay, Poetrycats, it’s time to don your black berets, turtlenecks and pretend like a pencil is a cigarette because we are getting ultra cool with words at this week’s poetry slam. Play some jazz, turn down the lights and trip with me down Lyrical Lane with the deliciously cynical and bluntly truthful, Ken Books. Feel free to leave your own poems in the comments.
Ken Books was born in Hershey, Pa., in 1949, and moved to Florida in 1997 to escape the hideous northern weather. He has been editor of two daily and four weekly newspapers, won 24 state and two national awards and retired Dec. 31, 2012.
He has written two books: an informational 96-page book about the Okaloosa County vocational school and “These are a few of the things that I hate,” a satirically cynical calendar-format book of essays sure to offend everyone at one time or another.
He is anxiously awaiting word from several agents that they will represent him and get the book published. And now, sit back, relax and laugh with his poem. I think Edgar would have loved it.
With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe
Once as I sat ideas fighting, while I pondered what I’m writing,
Trying to rehash an idea expounded oh so long ago,
While I blathered, my prose shining, suddenly there came a whining,
As of someone raptly mining, mining guilt ’til he’s a bore.
“’Tis some never was,” I muttered, “whining at my office door.
Only this and nothing more.”
Ah, so clearly his face appears, wrinkled, frenzied, coated with tears,
As each dripping salt-filled droplet ate away the lacquered floor.
Eagerly I wished he’d go home, vainly I let my poor mind roam,
From my writing due that morning, fading out as last night’s foam.
Thoughts of bankruptcy beckoned, sweat broke out upon my dome.
I lost my idea du jour.
“What, pray tell, brings you here crying, as my feeble thoughts are dying,
Bringing craven raving to me as I loathe you to your core?
Why are you still here complaining, as laments you keep on raining,
Raining with a fearful paining, like a student of Al Gore?
Why don’t you go get a life now, stop your oinking like an old sow,”
Said I to this scab so sore.
“I’m a victim and I suffer, playing golf I’m just a duffer,
My work week keeps getting rougher, and I’m only 24,”
Thus explained the lousy loser, wailing like he was a boozer,
“Give me money without toiling, labor’s lethal lashes foiling;
Give me lawsuits for my failings, ’cause I tripped in Godsey’s store.”
Wailed the loser, “Give me more.”
“I once had a job,” he simpered, “but they wanted work,” he whimpered,
“So I had to say goodbye to that unfeeling duty’s tour.
“Now I need some cash–big bills, please–while I’m living my life of ease,
Do this daily, I’m insisting, and my future is secure.
Just remember–give me more.”
“Sir,” said I, “you make me sicken. As I ponder you I quicken,
To the head to lean on porcelain, and my gut’s contents disgorge.
The stench reeking from your sentiment reminds me of manure.
Maybe you should get a life now, get out into the field and plow,
Think of something–not yourself; don’t be such a wretched boor.
Disdain and hatred follow you, of that you can be sure.”
Cried the loser, “Give me more.”
“Can’t you see that I’m a victim, liberals say so, it’s their dictum,
That my pain is shared by them and they know what’s the score.
Give me cash, give me largesse, send me to Hawaii on barges,
There to languish languidly, doing naught upon the shore.”
Scrunched I my face into anger, searched I madly for a banger,
To smash the loser into coma, there where he can loudly snore.
Moaned the loser, “Give me more.”
Cowered he as I came rushing, vehemence and hatred gushing,
Toward him with tire iron poised and ready, aimed to score.
Crunching him just made me happy; understand this, I implore.
Gleefully, I smote his person, verbally I cast aspersions,
Happily I broke his skull, filled to brim with emptiness.
I enjoyed it, I confess.
As he lay there bleeding badly, his voice raised he almost sadly,
Pierced me with an eye so piteous that I almost felt remorse.
A bloodied, broken hand he lifted, his mouth from the floor he shifted,
Still he had no concept of work or of money or its source.
“National health care,” he moaned. “See that a free clinic’s phoned,
Make me whole, don’t make me work. This I need you to assure.”
Sobbed the loser, “Give me more.”