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April 26, 2010

He was a genius, but he’s dead
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 04:21 PM * 501 comments

I’m neither. Shame, that, but it might just have its uses.

The happiest of birthdays to thee, Will!
(As happy as they are that come around
When once the honoree is underground!)
The wormy company has had its fill,
The water in the crypt has washed your bones
And bleached your gravecloth napkin snowy white.
The silver of your buttons, polished bright
Lie scattered in the casket ‘neath the stones.
But like a crowd of guests that will not leave
The half-cleared dining table, talking on
Until the night wears thin before the dawn,
Your readership remains, for we believe
Our dreadful sonnets might just raise your ghost
To raise a glass and join us in a toast.

Who’s with me?

(The point of this thread is that there is literally no sonnet too bad for it. Nor too good for it, neither)

Comments on He was a genius, but he's dead:
#1 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 05:39 PM:

He was a genius and now he is dead
Long dead these many years, these centuries
And still his fame endures, his words are read
And quoted still; his monuments are these.
Ben Jonson said "He was not for an age
But for all time" when Will was scarcely cold.
For centuries his lines have lit the stage
Filled it with fire, with ice, with fury bold.
The man lent us a hundred masks to wear,
A hundred lives through which to scry the truth
Of grief or joy. He made free with his share,
Yet kept himself a mystery, in sooth.
Labour's not lost, though it take ages still
To fathom all the mysteries of Will.

#2 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 06:07 PM:

I’m neither. Shame, that

abi, I suppose I'm sorry you're not a genius (if you really aren't), but I'm actually rather glad you aren't dead.

#3 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 06:08 PM:

Regrettably, Moose are hopeless at Bardinage[1]. Well known fact.

Cadbury.
[1] Term lifted from "Opening Night" by the late Dame Ngaio Marsh.

#4 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 06:10 PM:

(The point of this thread is that there is literally *no sonnet too bad* for it.)

Okay, so long as you’ve made that clear...

:-)


He was a genius but now he’s dead
And now these few of us that are neither
Must raise our glasses, drink, and then either
(Depending on our time zones) go to bed
Or hang fast and watch in admiration,
While those with more of a talent for rhyme
Encourage us newbies to spend the time
With those whose words with sweet formation
Encourage us all to uplift a glass
And drain the finest Gibson we can make
(Or other drink, whichever we can take)
And cheer one whose writings were as sweet as
Anything that we have ever read:
He was a genius, but now he’s dead...

#5 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 06:11 PM:

Arrgh. While I was trying to think of something (anything!) that might rhyme with “admiration”, Elise has nipped in with the same idea for the first line and written something actually really brilliant...

Heigh ho, points for trying and spirit-entering, I guess! :-)

#6 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 06:23 PM:

Aww, Mark, I was just reading yours and liking it. I think it's neat that we both riffed off Abi's title.

#7 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 06:29 PM:

To Will, whose poetry and plays sublime
Cast their radiant beams upon each mind,
Wrapped us in wonderous words and cunning rhyme,
In these, how many treasures may we find?
Each sonnet gave a glimpse into your life
Yet cloaked the one to whom the verse was writ
That one was not the maid you took to wife--
Your Lady -- did she match you wit for wit?
Some claim you did not write these stories bold,
Many names are advanced to claim that work,
Down through the centuries the trail grows cold,
Still none can prove that you were just a clerk.
Throughout the ages we will sing your praise,
Your glow surpassed the lights of lesser days.

#8 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 06:42 PM:

Elise,

Ah, Heavens bless you, you're too kind...[Really, but thank you! :-)]

#9 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 06:47 PM:

He was a genius, but now he's dead --
At least, the man is dead whose name we give
To him who wrote those words that yet do live.
Dead, too, are all of those of whom 'tis said
By some their station better suits the name:
Oxford and Bacon; even Marlowe, killed
Aforetime a tavern; each one billed
As better fitted for the Shakespeare fame.
The question vexes tinhats to this day.
We've even got a movie out next year --
That 2012 guy's pushing the old canard,
Claiming it takes a lord to make a play,
A scholar to write blank verse, and thus 'tis clear
That Will of Stratford could not be the Bard.

#10 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 07:01 PM:

Azura's Moon-and-Star reveals the truth
That many fall but one remains to mourn
The House Unmourned. Uncertain birth, uncouth,
Yet marked by stars and signs that seek to warn.
The Sharmat Dagoth Ur deceives in dreams
Of prophesy. "The Empire's fall will be
By Nerevar's true flame and cunning schemes.
This justice for the People I forsee."
As Hortator, Nerevarine 'neath moon
And star, the Stranger journeys far to seek
His destiny. His aspect opportune,
He overcomes the Sharmat's fell mystique.
For hearth and home the Stranger's triumph is
An empty one: no home nor hearth is his.

#11 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 07:16 PM:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art not so hot.


[my uncle's old joke]

#12 ::: Ulrika ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 07:30 PM:

Behold, what soul would I a zombie make
What long-dead penman to this life renew?
For whose gilt words would brains forsake…
…well, not my own, if giving yours would do…

The puzzle posed its answer must contain:
No English language poet can compare
If giving up one’s living mind’s in train
No lesser author’s work is worth the dare.

So Bill-the-Bard we bow our heads to thee,
And hope to live to see your next Act III.


Possibly this will make more sense if you look read this James Nicoll LJ post

#13 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 07:31 PM:

Before the world came up with PowerPoint
There were better ways to make a presentation
There was busking, serenading and oration
And crowds within a jumping theater joint

Once ink flowed from a master bard's quill point
And actors gave these words their living breath
And words became immortal after death
In many paper folios disjoint

Before we had a YouTube video
Performance only happened in a crowd
And people had to be there to have stages
But now it's present everywhere you go
And people can hear words not said aloud
And performance is much choppier across the ages.

#14 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 07:52 PM:

Damn. There should have been an "in" after "aforetime" up there. I can proofread something five times, and still miss stuff like that.

#15 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 08:00 PM:

Debra Doyle #14: I can proofread something five times, and still miss stuff like that.

I misspelled "foresee" in mine.

#16 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 08:16 PM:

Sonnet of the Self-Doubting Lurker

No sonnet is too awful for this thread?
You haven't seen me write a sonnet, then!
Of all the horrors one can wreak with pen,
Four-fifths claim residency in my head.
The Fluorosphere convinces me to lurk
while others sonnetize like reborn Bards --
I'd kick our language straight-on in the nards
while thinking I'd composed a masterwork!
To Will, a happy birthday and a whack
upside the head: Your sonnets are too great.
(Shall I compare thee to a teacher's pet?)
Compared to you, we break words on the rack.
So fledgling sonneteers sink into hate --
(I haven't thought of how to end this yet.)

#17 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 08:17 PM:

We write these sonnets, but we've lost our Will
these many years and the way back is barred
so there's no consolation on this hill
nor any joy within the outer yard.
The lesser lights account the world restored
since they can write unchallenged by his wit,
yet they can't see the audience grow bored
by recitation of their useless shit.
We long to see the moment that Kate's kissed
and see again where fool Othello dies,
hoping to catch some nuance that we missed,
or hoping that he might see through the lies.
This is the case, and so without debate
we set it out, and don't extenuate.

#18 ::: Raph ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 08:17 PM:

Cheating here, since this was previously written, and not a sonnet.

We heft the oak beams, one two three, each count
A sturdy truss; smooth hewn and splintered, blunt
And heavy, painted gaily marbled, dun
And costumeless. By numbers shall we know
Their place, when Southwark greets our lumber load;
The Theatre is no more, and soon we’ll have a Globe.
In Shoreditch now there stands a hole, on lease-
Land Burbage didn’t own. And past the trees,
By open fields, his Men will have a Streete-
Built O, wherein proud Oberon will prance
And Lear cry out his woe; where faery dance
For groundlings’ sake, and Puck plays out his pranks.
We’ll sift the straw and lay it straight on top,
And paint anew the spangled sky aloft
Above proscenium’s boards. We’ll stop
The crowd with good stout rails, so high-pitch boys
Can stain their lips and flounce their tails, and raise
A ruckus to the skies, the center of our noise.
But first, we must dismantle, first we take
Apart. If all the world’s a stage and planks
Are how it’s made, then for our Good Lord’s sake
I hope he spent his seven days as well,
Assembling worlds in beams of thirty ells,
A Shakespere for his script, Queen Bess, and all
A-toiling midst the sound of London’s bells.

Annotations here: http://www.raphkoster.com/2008/04/27/the-sunday-poem-building-the-globe

#19 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 08:24 PM:

This age of wonders cannot help but think
That Shakespeare, with his parchment and his pen,
Such genius scribbled out in leaky ink--
If he'd had a word processor, what then?
No blotted changes, rewrit from the start,
When Cut, Paste, and Delete take but a thought;
No broken nibs to halt the flow of Art;
No Quartos to be reconciled, or not.
Alas, we cannot leave it there; the wars
Our era spawns are discontent with play,
With each side set to claim the Bard as Ours,
So thought experiments too soon give way
To arguments by ardent partisans
If Will would be a Mac or Windows man.

#20 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 09:11 PM:

What this thread needs is a link to Harry of Five Points

#21 ::: Zander ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 09:14 PM:

I wouldn't say he was a genius;
Not without knowing more about his ways.
Did he go round distracted, in a daze,
Or, when things bothered him, kick up a fuss?
Was he oft moody or obstreperous,
Apt to erupt from stillness to a blaze,
Chasing his muse through an eternal maze,
While Burbage waited for Andronicus?
Or was he just a quiet, busy soul
Who turned out plays to order and on time,
A practised craftsman, skilled in prose and rhyme,
Good days and bad, but all right as a whole?
I don't know, but let this at least be said;
Genius or not, he surely isn't dead.

#22 ::: Julia S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 09:18 PM:

I am no genius, and I'm still alive
But have the benefit of typing skill
(Of fingers on each hand, I use all five!)
To craft this doggerel in praise of Will.
Or "Mr. Shakespeare," as I'd call the Bard
(I learned my manners when I was a youth)
If e'er I chanced encounter his regard
(I'd fangirl madly, if you want the truth).
Alas, it must be, Swan of Avon, said--
"You were a genius, but now you're dead."

#23 ::: Julia S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 09:19 PM:

Note: The above incorporates both pronunciations of "genius" just because.

#24 ::: Julia S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 09:24 PM:

Gah! My typing skills are obviously superior to my cutting-and-pasting skills. Let's try that again:

I am no genius, and I'm still alive
But have the benefit of typing skill
(Of fingers on each hand, I use all five!)
To craft this doggerel in praise of Will.
Or "Mr. Shakespeare," as I'd call the Bard
(I learned my manners when I was a youth)
If e'er I chanced encounter his regard
(I'd fangirl madly, if you want the truth).
These days of "Stuff for Dummies" and such mush
Send those of us who publish into doubt
That even if we're diamonds in the slush,
We'll be forgotten ere the year is out.
Alas, it must be, Swan of Avon, said--
"You were a genius, but now you're dead."

#25 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 09:34 PM:

there's a very witty and elegant sonnet in this comment, depicted by a letter 'Q'.

happy birthday, will!

#26 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 10:08 PM:

I'm going to take abi at her word: The point of this thread is that there is literally no sonnet too bad for it.

Although a sonnet's not my bestest kind,
I will attempt to write a line or two
Of limping iambs in some sort of rhyme
Until at last I can declare I'm through.
Oh, it is so much harder than it seems
To write a rhyme to raise the genius dead
Who wrote such brilliant plays, with scenes
Of beauty, laughter, tears, and creeping dread.
(How much is that? Just half the way, no more?
You mean I have to write a few more lines
Before I can declare that this is done?
(And yes, I know that that was not a rhyme.))
Poor Will must now be turning in his sleep;
Such dreadful rhymes would surely make him weep.

#27 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 10:08 PM:

(I can't believe I actually posted that.)

#28 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 10:12 PM:

I wish I had the time for sonnet writ-
ing. Let’s be frank: the time for anything
at all. The teacher’s life runs day to night,
The midnight oil a-burning, unsheathing
assignments meant to challenge student minds,
examining impartially the work
they have submitted, and each error finds
a balance with well-executed perk.
The tightrope walked most every day -- Nay, walked?
Say rather “Run” -- teacher, parent, healer,
coach, babysitter, friend; Every day locked
Together, making life clearer, realer
Preparing these children with strength and pride
To captain the vessel of their life’s ride.

#29 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 10:18 PM:

I will have loved you, Will, for thirty years
when icy winds hang by the wall again.
It’s longer than I have loved any man—
much longer, better, and with fewer tears—

but not without its difficulties. I
confess I still don’t like your Roman stuff
and think your Cymbeline is fairly rough
to get through. It’s my fault. I don’t deny

it, darling. Oh, but think how far I’ve come
with you. I used to be the fawning girl
who could not find a fault, could only curl
up with your words and sigh, gone dumb…and dumb

with awe. We know each other better now
and we converse--at least we’re learning how.

#30 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 10:20 PM:

*sigh*

when ICICLES hang by the wall again.

confound it.

#31 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 10:24 PM:

To Will Shakespeare, on his birth day

We oft are full of praise for William
Shakespeare, or Shaxpere, as he would scribe
Indeed well knowing that his name would helm
Those quartos, sonnets, plays that we still strive
To understand, all our dear Guglielmo
Created with the genius from his pen
Bold our Liam, he was, youthful oratorio
Glamour, stagecraft, drama, swordplay – and then
Gwilym, Vilmos, Vilhalmur, Guillerme, or
Willem, Wiremu, Guillaume, Guillén, and
Still other languages lay claim to adore
The man behind those rhyming couplets grand
Be he Bacon (Francis) or de Vere (Ed)
William Shakespeare’s genius is long dead.

#32 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2010, 10:33 PM:

What Leonard Bernstein dragged to NYC,
And Kurosawa into old Japan,
Can surely stand a clumsy swipe or three
From this cheap poetaster's sweaty hand.
Will, others may debate your point of view,
Your sources' sources, how well you were bred,
Or how much Latin, how much Greek you knew,
Or why you left your wife your next-best bed.
None of it means a thing. Nobody cares
Who 'twas you slept with, who you wanted to,
Whose plots you stole, how much the groundlings' fares,
What lady dark or fair enchanted you.
There's only one thing matters worth a lick--
You damn well understood what makes us tick.

#33 ::: Mr. Velocipede ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 12:47 AM:

Hello, all! Long-time lurker here, telling myself to just go ahead and post this embarrassing bit of doggerel.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thy temperature is ninety-eight point six.
Enfolded in the warmth of your embrace,
I sweat 'til all my clothing to me sticks.
The summer sky is purely, simply blue,
The color of your eyes much more complex.
And though I love to watch both sky and you,
The firmament inspires few thoughts of sex.
Dark follows twilight, and you may be sure
A summer's day lasts no more than a day.
Bright fickle sunlight cannot long endure,
Through evening's indigo my love will stay.
So be it summer, winter, spring, or fall,
Dear heart, you're hardly like a day at all.

#34 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 12:53 AM:

He's dead, and all his coloured world is done.
In fact, it never was. In Caesar's day
No hour struck. Verona's children stay
At home, or else elope. John Fastolf won
His battle, died in honour, and then spun
His cobwebs into ropes at "Falstaff". Say,
Where is Bohemia's seacoast, anyway?
Prospero's Isle? Lear's palace? Anyone?

And yet, he lives. His falsehood's true. We weep
For shadows; know it; still we weep. How real
Is what is real? How false the things we feel?
We know it's stuff of dreams. We know we sleep
Because he told us. This is true, we know,
And false, like everything. He told us so.

#35 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 02:36 AM:

Marlowe was dead, to begin with. This
Should be made clear. Of all candidates
Set forth for the Bard's identity, his
Is the name one would think to submit.

With Marlowe dead, one should consider
A loftier claim for the playwright:
Some put forth the lord Edward de Vere
"Son of bricklayer" doesn't seem right.

Or there's Bacon (not taped to a cat);
Fairly brilliant, say those in the know.
If he published as Shakespeare then that
Is just modesty he was to show.

It comes to elitism looking for thrills;
They don't believe genius can come out like Will's.

(bleh. Formal poetry done extemporaneously doesn't work unless you're Fragano.)

#36 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 08:51 AM:

The ghostly Bard reloads the thread again
He knows he should be working on a script
But no one sees he's surfing in his crypt
And he deserves distraction now and then.
The iPad gets a signal even there
(Will Shakespeare ever was Teh Shiny's slave
From words to gadgets, even in the grave.)
Then from the crypt, a cry of deep despair.
"I thought she said the sonnets would be bad,
So I could take a break, and have fun haunting
All who defiled my art! I'd hover, daunting
The versifiers! Drive them mute and mad!
But I can't punish these instead of work.
I wish they'd write some trash so I can shirk!"

(I meant it: there is no bar. You guys keep studying your shoes and muttering stuff about not being any good, but that's not what I'm seeing on this thread. Feel free to do worse!)

(Good stuff is welcome, too, all ye who have posted here. Not trying to make you feel you've overachieved.)

#37 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 08:53 AM:

No sonnet is too awful for this thread.
I sit before my keyboard and I find
My genius for rhyming’s not quite dead,
Though subject to distractions of a kind
Will Shakespeare never knew. Karen replied
Unto your status on Facebook.
Now I
Must go and see how cleverly she’s tried
To cap my witty comments. And now vi_
in_hull I see has written on my Wall.
You speculate: would William Shakespeare favour
Windows or Mac? Or Linux over all?
Penguin of Avon! there’s a thought to savour!
And now I search again to find a rhyme.
Installing software: this may take some time.

#38 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 09:02 AM:

Sarah S's #29 is a lovely, lovely piece. And let me say that the general standard daunts me.

#39 ::: dlbowman76 ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 09:15 AM:

Re. 38: Though we would disagree deeply on the subject of Vaughan-Williams and Rock & Roll (ibid), on matters of prosody, we are in deep accord. I will compose carefully this evening beneath the soundtrack of Bayern-München vs. Lyon.

#40 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 10:51 AM:

JM @ #16:

If that's meant to be awful, you're not trying nearly hard enough. It rhymes, almost all of the lines scan, the bit about the teacher's pet is great, and the ending made me laugh.

#41 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 10:53 AM:

...and now I'm trying to figure out what a badly-rhyming sonnet would look like. It would require careful balance: you can't simply make it so that none of the lines rhyme, because that would just be blank verse.

#42 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 10:55 AM:

You could try the technique the Beatles used in Lovely Rita, Meter Maid, where you evoke the rhyme in the user's head, then don't use it.

In a cap she looked much older
And the bag across her shoulder
Made her look a little like a military man

...right when you're expecting "soldier".

#43 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 11:15 AM:

Or come up with words that almost, but don't quite, rhyme.


My mistress' cakes are nothing like a cake
Although her rock-cakes are quite like to rocks
But never tell her they are less than great
For she will break you if you think to mock

#44 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 11:21 AM:

On the clear understanding that no sonnet is too terrible (You promised!):

Not Oxford, Bacon or some other bloke;
the sonneteer, the playwright and the soul,
the bell that down the centuries does toll,
was you, sweet Will, our literary oak.
I'm sorry for the doubters and the dopes
who ponder how a yokel from the sticks
could understand how vile Iago ticks
or what could put poor Hamlet on the ropes.
Lack they imagination? Do they think
that nurture's all and genius not so much?
That noble feelings need a noble's touch,
That poetry must have a missing link?
This "Shakespeare wasn't writ by Shakespeare" shit?
I say it's spinach, and to hell with it.

#45 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 12:03 PM:

Paul @ #40:

Thanks! I wasn't trying for awful, just figured I'd manage to get there.

Velocipede's #33 made me say "Awww," in a good way. Sweetly done.

#47 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 02:19 PM:

ton of good stuff up there, and i agree with dave @38 that sarah s's @29 is a standout.

but i don't want to let b. durbin's brilliant nod to 'a christmas carol' pass unappreciated.

#48 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 02:24 PM:

Maybe I'll finish this later:

Wrote Will,"Good friend for Jesus' sake forbeare,
"To digg the dust enclosed heare," and he
For modern resurection might not care,
Even to toast our feable poetry . . .

#49 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 02:34 PM:

@33:

Your final couplet reminds me of Ogden Nash's "Indeed, unless the billboards fall/ I'll never see a tree at all." Were you thinking that?

#50 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 02:45 PM:

When Caesar wrote to Cicero,
"I need your plans. Come back to Rome,"
neither general could know
the way those knives would find their home.

The prophecy, the ides, the death:
we know the way this story ends.
We know the words on Caesar's breath:
we know the treachery of friends.

The clocks weren't there, the fateful stars
predicting naught: and yet the play
gave actors rights to show old scars
for our amusement. Joy? Dismay?

From Shakespeare's pen we learned we must
spurn all our friends, or, dying, trust.


(Despite all my best efforts, my poetry refuses to give ten syllables to a line when it can give eight instead. So be it; as the post says, even bad sonnets are welcome.)

(Also, I waffled between "general" and "senator". But the letter I was translating used "Imperator" for both, so I ran with it. They scan the same, anyway.)

#51 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 03:40 PM:

Here's a silly way to write a rotten
Sonnet. Making sure that every line is
Made of trochees makes it misbegotten—
Then your poem will be as bad as mine is.
(Wow, I'm not so sure that I can keep it
Up; my brain slips back into iambic.
Every time, I start to curse, then bleep it,
This, I'll have you know, is really damn sick.)

Damn, I messed it up again; that last one
Was a spondee, not a trochee. Well, I
Had to take the challenge up; I passed on
Lots of them before; this one seemed swell. I
Thought I'd go and write a rotten sonnet;
Now you all must heap derision on it.

#52 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 03:44 PM:

Fade: Mine went to nine, and not even iambic. Hence my 'bleh."

#53 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 03:47 PM:

Jon Baker @49: I thought #33 was invoking Lerner and Loews "Camelot":

"Oh, no! Not in Springtime, Summer, Winter or Fall--
No never would I leave you -- at all..."

#54 ::: Mr. Velocipede ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 04:18 PM:

@45 Thank you!

@49 I wasn't consciously thinking of Ogden Nash, but it's very likely that his lines were rattling around in the back of my head someplace.

#55 ::: Shinydan Howells ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 05:16 PM:

The Bard of Avon didn't write the plays?
Just jealousy. How could one man create
Such meaning - claimed by poets, Marxists, gays
and still, aged four-four-six, not out of date.
No-one says Raphael was just a cheat
Or Leonardo was a Roman jerk
But Hamlet stands with David as elite
And the Vitruvian Man's a piece of work.
So when Bill's seen In Love, as Sharks and Jets
Saved by Lord Chamberlains or Lords of Time
We see his labours loved are not lost yet
While poets write in ten-syllable lines.
Will Shakespeare's works ever stop making light?
One day, perhaps. But heaven help that night.

#56 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 05:28 PM:

White pages blank still all piled up full high
Ink-spattered sonnets careless on the floor
Leave love's detritus fading here to die;
Lost lust sucked dry, Erato is a whore.
So try instead to pen some hist'ry plays
Here's to a touch of Harry in the night
At Agincourt he wins, in later days
King's son uneasy lies, and then takes flight.
Exclude the real, create such make-believe
Seacoasts Bohemia give, disguise cross-sex
Provide some tempests strong, and love spells weave
Enchantments make, but cause some timely wrecks.
Artistic life's the sum of all its parts
Revise your plays and poems, drink ale in quarts.

#57 ::: Joseph S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 06:28 PM:

Inspired, I hired a search to find
the rhyme that finds a sonnet's sound
results: a host, a swarm, a bind
what rhyme, what verse, what tone newfound?

Blank sheet, no words, my mind unfound
stared off in thought after oration
(dispatched to ears most welcome, I hasten)
how now, to scribe words that astound?

on google, on wiki, on sites I found
the verse, the rhyme, the rules enshrined.
tip-toe, I traced the words and frowned
why rules? what rhyme? the stress I find

too strict, must break! I am unbound!
alas, the sonnet stays unsound.


Thank you for having a place where I can try to make poetry, and not care if I get it exactly right. Today was stressful, and the release of just playing with words really helped.

#58 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 06:48 PM:

B. Durbin, the whole 8 vs. 10 thing plagued me endlessly in my Poetry class; every time I was supposed to write in iambic pentameter, I'd have to go back over my lines to shovel in an extra two syllables. I found that, ultimately, I was better off writing out my beats (variant or standard) ahead of time, and matching them, to writing and then counting; a line that's written to be eight syllables long will seldom sound "right" when forced to ten, even if every single beat in there is set in the right place.

I did come out with a few iambic pentameter sonnets (and one close Frost imitation that isn't, quite, but is nonetheless an excellent hedgehog poem if I do say so myself), but they always struck me as a bit...awkward. Rather like the handwriting of someone who's naturally left-handed, but has learned to write with the right hand nonetheless. If my brain wishes to stick to eight syllables per line, so be it; I am only willing to fight it so far.

And, heck, any poem wherein I get to rhyme 'Cicero' in an unforced manner is, to my opinion, a pleasing one.

#59 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2010, 07:01 PM:

Fade, if octosyllables were good enough for Chrétien de Troyes...

#60 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 12:44 AM:

Will brought down words of fire from heavenly spheres;
their sound and sense filled up the stage right full.
He wove all hopes, all loves, all hates, all fears
into a prince who gazed upon a skull.
His greatest words he gave to eldritch sprites,
a king made mad by loss, his heart abreak,
a Jew brought down by neighbors' hates and spites,
a queen bereft, betrayed, embraced a snake.
That stage was bare when first his plays were shown,
young men took parts as women t'obey the law.
The groundlings roared at japes just like their own,
scenery for the words that earned their awe.
Those words have sounded down the years since then
To show us who we are as women and as men.

#61 ::: Joseph S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 02:15 AM:

A summer's day, all drenched with dew
Compares unfavor'bly to you
Too hot; too short; intemperate
Your beauty is more perfect yet

  Here, chap, you seem so close to accurate
  Just bounce the stress with vigor and in time
  Make sure you count to five; now don't forget
  i-AM bic-PEN ta-ME ter, then a rhyme!

Though Death doth come for one and all
And soon declines that which we care
You shall remain, Winter or Fall
A never-ending Summer fair

  You dolt! You dullard, try again! In verse
  Your epitaph: too terse.


My wife helped write this one; all the good parts are hers.

Fade, B. Durbin: I have the 8 vs 10 problem and I didn't even realize it. The use in @57 was completely unconscious, and it wasn't until revising the second stanza of this attempt that I realized it. I completely agree with how difficult it is to add two more syllables once you have figured out the eight.

#62 ::: Another Sarah E ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 03:46 AM:

Shall I compare thee to a summer day?
I'd like to. Winter stays somewhat too long.
Rude snows do freeze the darling buds of May[1].
As I was saying, ere sleet clogged my song,
I would like some grounds for comparison:
A picnic perhaps -- without hail or mud
No need for down or other cozy caparison
But sap gently rising and warmth in the blood;
Long walks at sundown, staying out late
Spying on swans and cranes in the marsh --
My t-shirts and sandals are in a crate,
The weather having been usually harsh.
A summer day, sweet as Will's brief sonnets--
Lovesome and rare as a miser's treasure,
Unmarred by gloves, coat, or fusty bonnets--
Now that would give me great pleasure.
Your sighs are charming, I'm telling you true,
but I'd rather the day, with or without you.

[1] Okay, it's not May yet, but it snowed last week.

#63 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 09:43 AM:

8 vs 10: (Inspired by the Joyce Kilmer Rest Stop on the NJ turnpike)
I think that I shall never fuckin' see
A poem lovely as a fuckin' tree.

I'm going to see if I can still do a Real Time Sonnet:
(9:30)
It seems that people have a need to feel
That there's a reason genius 'scapes their hand.
That minds so strong must break, or groan or squeal
Or come from some great ruler of the land.

Was Newton crazy? Leibnitz was quite sane
And Goethe lived a happy bourgeoise span
Mary Shelley was far calmer than her swain
And Feynman- bongos don't make a wild man.

It's true- a genius is not quite me or you
But that's not proof of mad or noble blood
They crown themselves in glory, these great few
While we stay, jealous, grumbling, in the mud.

To rob poor William of his proper role
Is labor for the weak and small of soul.
(9:42, after rereading)

...I can't do good, but I can do fast.

#64 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 09:48 AM:

In other, less relevant, news; I did not realize Joyce Kilmer was male.

#65 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 11:40 AM:

Dry from all these, for sweeter springs I thirst:
As empty noise that rides on every air,
And saviour deed by Health and Safety curst
And pointed wit oppress'd by pointy hair,
And vows of honour lawyerly misspoke,
And very science whoring for its hire,
And gamblers banqueting off graver folk,
And godliness grown hot with nether fire,
And love named loathlier than baying hate,
And dastard night-works shaming gallant day,
And tales too true deemed inappropriate,
And PC Plod arresting pleasant play:
When souls run dry, who strikes the spring from stone?
Love, thou hast died; yet left us not alone.

#66 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 11:55 AM:

I'll try to have a crack at a sonnet later, but for now I am going to cheat by a) reposting b) something that isn't a sonnet:

Scene 4. Another part of the jungle.

NYM: But Bardolph, ho! Where is our Bardolph now? What, Bardolph! Speak!

FLUELLEN: He's gone. Certain, he is gone, there is not a sign of him; there is not a Bardolph anywhere, look you, he is complete vapour'd.

PISTOL: Let's ask the wench Elaine. Boy, do you practice your French tongue upon her.

NYM: An I would she would practice her French tongue upon me, Ancient Pistol.

BOY: Peace, good Nym. Alors, mademoiselle, savez vous ou est le monsieur Bardolph? Le soldat anglais avec le nez enrougi? Est-ce que quelqu'un l'a pris?

ELAINE: Ah, monsieur, le foret est devenu vif et l'a pris.

BOY: Why, sure, the woman's mad.

FALSTAFF: Gentle Boy, what says she?

BOY: The very forest, she said, did come to life, and take him.

NYM: Damnation to her!

FLUELLEN: I must confess to you now, good Sir John, that this is entirely outside the principles of war; for I have soldiered in the wars now twenty years, look you, and there is nothing in my experience to account for it; no, not in the wars of great Pompey, at all.

FALSTAFF: Good Fluellen, you do belie your fame; for I have heard it said you have no fear of aught of woman born.

PISTOL: Aye, Fluellen, what ails thee? For thou art weakened. Haply thou hast become feeble with thy service i' the Herald's office; for surely a herald's knave must lift naught heavier than quill. Hast pushed too many quills, I warrant.

FLUELLEN: Why, Sir John, you are wrong, and my fame is not belied, not in any measure; for I do not believe that this is a thing of woman born. And, honest Pistol, most noble and deadly Pistol, I have broken many a spear and shield in my time and, by St David I will break a stick anon, and break a Pistol at the stroke o'it.

JAMY: Look here! Where Bardolph sat!

PISTOL: A horrid mark of clotted blood!

FLUELLEN: It cannot be Bardolph's blood; for see, it shines as green as clover; and his face was ever as purple as the grape, and no wine of this colour was ever pressed from any grape, it is completely against nature.

NYM: Why, cullies, if it bleeds, we'll make it bleed again!

(All discharge pieces and exeunt shouting.)

#67 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 05:24 PM:

Just because:

This sonnet is left here upon the door
in fine because blunt words have harsh impact;
it's not a sign of some urgent amour
or new-found love. Indeed I'm showing tact
by telling you the sweet, stone-hearted fruit
you'd been keeping in refrigerator;
the tasty stuff, the golden, scented loot
you had been planning to devour much later,
I've scoffed it now, I've had it for my meal;
I am ashamed I took it, but 'twas there
and I just grabbed it in excess of zeal
thinking it common as the mountain air.
I beg your pardon for being so bold,
but they were tasty, so sweet and so cold.

#68 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 06:27 PM:

My crush on Fragano knows no bounds.

#69 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 07:12 PM:

He was a genius and now he's dead.
"Which one?", you ask, as sev'ral have been held
to be the Bard, Shake-Spear, you see instead
Francis Bacon, as some aver, impelled
to hide his authoring of common verse.
Mayhap instead 'twas Earl of Oxford wrote
those lines of magic that our souls immerse.
He was a poet and playwright of note.
Some hold out for Marlow, poet/spy.
He had the talent and the words to spare.
If so, Deptford just seemed his place to die;
he hid from those who'd punish lack of prayer.
But I wil hold to my Bardolatry,
The Bard of Avon I accept with glee.

#70 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 08:16 PM:

the voices must have deafened you at times,
rash hotspurs, vaunting richards, howling lears,
laments and bombast roaring in your ears,
in prose, in blank verse, or in coupled rhymes.
you were invaded, occupied, possessed,
a mad-brained sybil speaking for a race,
a babel, kings and rabble, noble, base,
while your own whisper slowly evanesced.
like mary, blessed cipher, who bore fruit,
one person by whose voice we’re all redeemed,
the blank sheet of your brain-womb over-teemed
with personae whose voices left you mute.
what did you sound like? you yourself: our will.
still we hear it. still your voice is: still.

#71 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 09:41 PM:

Kid Bitzer... Jesus, that's...

Dear God.

That's poetry. Yes, it's verse, but it's poetry.

To the moderators: did you see the thing he just did?

#72 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2010, 09:48 PM:

dave, i'm immensely touched at your reaction. i have enjoyed your poems on many occasions, and i value your praise very highly. thanks.

#73 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 12:19 AM:

So I got the idea that I'd write a sonnet.
Unfortunately it's not in the right meter.
I certainly hope I can make something of it
Or people will say, "well,she let it defeat her"

Now what can I say in a bad second quatrain?
Oh yes, it's supposed to be something on Shakespeare
Or genius or death, but my pitifully poor brain
Has nothing to add on the subject, I fear.

Did Will ever struggle to make a line scan right?
Did verses just trippingly flow from his mind
To fall upon ears with a honey-like sweetness?
If Will was the brightest, then maybe I'm half-bright
Composing my poem of sonnetish kind
And this is as close as it gets to completeness.

#74 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 12:33 AM:

Sightly OT: I've become addicted to reruns of a 6 or 7 year old Canadian TV program called "Slings and Arrows". It's about a somewhat dysfunctional Shakespeare rep company. The Artistic Director is played by Paul Gross (the über-Mountie in "Due South"); he has a love/hate relationship with the ghost of his mentor, the former Artistic Director.

The show ran for 3 seasons; in each season they produced one of Shakespeare's plays: Hamlet, then the Scottish Play, then Lear. Each season had it's own intro theme song: an English music hall sendup of the play for that season. The theme for Hamlet, "Cheer Up You Melancholy Dane", was roll-on-the-floor funny; hear it here.

#75 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 10:52 AM:

kid! You're getting your art in our sonnets!

On the blinding of Gloucester

I think people don't give the Bard the credit
That he deserves- for what he did create
The slasher flick- give him a face, he'd shred it
Gouge eyes, stab bellies, break an ancient pate

The groundlings then as now cry out for blood
The subtleties wash all of them right o'er
The sonnets were refined, washed clean of mud
But plays, like TV, were to sate the boor

I think we should respect Will Shakespeare's work
And write in iambs something he'd respect
"Watch out for inbred psychos, son, and -urk!"
(exeunt, stage right, with bloody spray and speck)

And so the entertainment circles round
Upon this crude and rude and bloody ground.

(5 min 12 sec.)
... plus time to come up with a title.

#76 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 11:07 AM:

thanks, sandy. but: madam, i swear i use no art at all.

allow me to express artless admiration at your latest, which would be brilliant even as the work of several hours (like mine), and as the work of five minutes is practically uncanny.

how you do that? please do more!

(and ot--i loved your joyce kilmer in joisey couplet).

#77 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 11:38 AM:

poetryfail: I just tried to convert the lyrics to Lady Gaga's "Telephone" into a sonnet, and it didn't work out; all I can say is that it sounded like a good idea at the time....

#78 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 11:40 AM:

@78--

which gives me another chance to plug pomplamoose, my favoritest band in the whole wide world. watch their cover of "telephone"--i find it a zillion times more interesting than the original.

#79 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 12:47 PM:

Sandy B. @ #64:

Some years ago, I was in a production of the musical Annie, which as you may know features a cameo appearance by Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Cabinet. We were none of us up to scratch on seventy-year-old foreign history, and the scripts didn't have a gender-segregated cast list, so it wasn't until the sample book arrived from the costume hire place that we discovered the truth about Francis Perkins.

(It being by that point nearer the end of the rehearsal period than the beginning, the decision was made to stick with the actor who'd been cast and hope that nobody in the audience knew any better than we had.)

#80 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 12:50 PM:

Well, *someone's* got to bring down the level of artistry here...

--

I've eaten all the plums you'd saved for lunch,
And stashed, so tempting, in the icebox door,
But, as I write these words, I feel a hunch
That someone's left a note like this before.

I took them to the lounge to share with Herman,
But he and all his staff were in the hall,
While inside, Hitler raved in anguished German
To subtitles that didn't match at all.

My sense of deja vu grew sharply higher,
"It's like I'm stuck in parody!" I spoke--
"If I flog it to death, will readers tire,
And thus release me from their inside joke?"

The answer to this thought you may be ruing
Because for that is (now) what I am doing.

#81 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 01:09 PM:

The confluence of #77 and #79 led, somehow, to this:


The sun will rise tomorrow, you can bet,
Assuming that it doesn't rise today.
Just think upon that prospect; it will set
Your fears to flight, and clear your gloom away.
What though the day is lonely, and the sky
Is greyer than in Gibson's metaphor?
Lift up your chin, and smile, and don't be shy,
But tell the world, in whisper or in roar:
The sun will rise tomorrow, and today
Will be forgotten; until then, hang on
And bear whatever hardship comes your way.
Tomorrow, all your sorrows will be gone.
"The sun will rise tomorrow" - 'tis no lie:
Until tomorrow comes, hope cannot die.

#82 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 02:21 PM:

@80--

jmo, wow, you get the quadriple letter score overlaid on the quinzuple word score! yikes! (in a good way!)

#83 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 04:03 PM:

kid bitzer and Dave Luckett

There could be no better compliment, and no better sources for it.

Thank you both.

#84 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 05:44 PM:

TexAnn #68: Gail says to tell you she doesn't share.

#85 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2010, 10:08 PM:

is there a sentiment, a thought, on earth
a hatred, hope, hilarity, or cry
an anguished or rejoicing lover’s sigh
that in your work does not receive full worth?
no; adam-like, you name each mood you meet
your plays a glossary, a rich thesaurus.
we speak the language that you spoke before us,
a lexicon expressively complete.
in you, the full affective potency
of feeling is made act; your scenes display
the palette of emotion’s full array:
this gift of speech your greatest legacy.
if asked which word all other words outranks
i can no other answer make but "thanks”.

#86 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:12 AM:

I cannot spell "TexAnne". Ouch.

#87 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:50 AM:

no, no. it won’t do. there’s no point. i quit.
more effort isn’t helping. never does.
what’s forced and labored stands opposed to wit
as duty is opposed to “just because”.
the verses should flow easily as breathing
spontaneous as dancing apple boughs
instead I’m stuck in fetters, moping, seething
confined to what pentameter allows.
whose flash illumines whatsoe’er it hits
in solemn discourse or in gladsome song?
who is that glass of fashion, mold of wits,
whose pen drips verses as it speeds along?
it’s you, confound you: you who made it seem
that writing should be effortless as dream.

#88 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:02 AM:

well; you and sandy b., who would have written it better in one-tenth the time. confound you both.

#89 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:40 AM:

"then how bout this: a sonnet dialogue!
i'll write one quatrain, then you write the rest.
i'll be the front-page poster, you the blog!
(i.e. the comments, which are always best.)"

"oh great--so i bat clean-up to your themes.
you set the terms, and i have to fulfill 'em.
my job is just to reproduce your memes.
no dice. if you've got things to say, then spill 'em."

"relax! i just thought maybe we'd combine,
collaborate, coordinate the task.
you know: i write a line, you write a line,
you write the couplet. 'zat too much to ask?"

"yes." "so you're leaving?" "i was never here."
how did you do it, myriad-minded dear?

#90 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 01:30 PM:

kid bitzer #89: then how bout this: a sonnet dialogue! i'll write one quatrain, then you write the rest.

Back in college, I used to call that the Typewriter Game (mostly used for prose, though), except that when it was the second person's turn, the first person would often stop typing in the mid

#91 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 01:33 PM:

-thought, and then we'd have to fill them up with gas, or oil, or even imperial stout before they'd continue.

One time we ran out of

#92 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 02:15 PM:

the room mid-game when a fire alarm went off. When we came back we were somewhat nonplussed to realize

#93 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 02:24 PM:

that the sprinklers had gone off and soaked everything. While we were dealing with

#94 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 02:28 PM:

drying things out, the senior who lived across the hall came to the door and asked

#95 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 02:33 PM:

if any one had seen his wife, as she had a tendency to wander off, looking for

#96 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 02:43 PM:

advice on knitting. We said we hadn't seen her but he should ask

#97 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 02:47 PM:

for a Bruce Willis next time he went to the hairdresser, because the combover was not helping. No one expected

#98 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 02:53 PM:

him to show up a week later with cherry-red hair, but that was then and now was

#99 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 03:07 PM:

like a scene from tatooine, complete with freakin' jawas.

he looked like wookie-nookie, he was so in need of shaving,


[fourteeners, anyone?]

#100 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 03:26 PM:

But his plaid pajama bottoms had everybody raving.
They were

#101 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 03:39 PM:

bulging in the front, and he claimed it was his breakfast banana, but we knew he

#102 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 04:39 PM:

always sliced that into his cereal, which he ate with milk and brown

#103 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 04:58 PM:

crayons dipped in warm

#104 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 05:27 PM:

and hideously introspective guilt-flavored oatmeal over having jacked the threat to this alarming

#105 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 05:36 PM:

track where people use the word 'jack' without even thinking. I tell you, it's

#106 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 05:38 PM:

meta, that's what it

#107 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 05:48 PM:

seems like from this perspective, similar to a hedgehog without

#108 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 05:54 PM:

apples to stick on his spines. Not that they actually

#109 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:13 PM:

stick apples on their spines, I mean where the hell did that even come from, I'm going to complain to the Hedgehogs' Anti-Defamation League, see if I don't, and then you'll be

#110 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:25 PM:

up the creek without a turbo encabulator, which is not a position

#111 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:28 PM:

you want to be in when your dilithium crystals have

#112 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:32 PM:

been stolen to make into a necklace for

#113 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:34 PM:

been classified COSMIC TOP SECRET and misfiled in a crate almost identical to the Ark of the Covenant. I mean, would you

#114 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:42 PM:

people who give overlapping prompts

#115 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:44 PM:

[meta: my last works for both 112 and 113, but I'm not sure how/if it can go on from there.]

#116 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:47 PM:

transfers the problem rather than solving it, like a bunch of Californian mathematicians who

#117 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:50 PM:

were too busy updating ubun
tu linux to

#118 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:51 PM:

treat every problem like a set and then refuse to

#119 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 06:52 PM:

teach assertiveness training courses for passive solar water heaters in the barren desert valleys of

#120 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 07:06 PM:

Lower Dipstikistan where men are men and women

#121 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 07:09 PM:

rewrite the Kama Sutra in INTERCAL because

#122 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 07:10 PM:

they have nothing better to do because the men pay them no attention at all, since they

#123 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 07:47 PM:

started reading Western romance novels and expect the men to

#124 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 07:49 PM:

be able to find their g-spot with the light off

#125 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 07:51 PM:

. But the men are too busy, having just received a consignment of velcro gloves and set off to terrorize

#126 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 07:57 PM:

people in Arizona with unacceptable accents

#127 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 07:59 PM:

- i.e., those from the Northern reaches of England. Have you ever heard them try to

#128 ::: Mattathias ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 08:01 PM:

dictate poetry into their text-to-speech apps on their phones? Meanwhile, back at the ranch,

#129 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 08:02 PM:

sing the line, "from Tucson to Tucumcari / Tehachapi to Tonopah"? it's not at all

#130 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 08:09 PM:

useful or interesting, since who cares about Arizona anyway? Good state to avoid since they

#131 ::: Mattathias ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 08:10 PM:

as if synchronicity problems manifest in myriad ways, like ducklings in the spring. Such a thing

#132 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 08:26 PM:

could never happen in Arizona, since they went all racist on their laws. So who cares about

#133 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 08:59 PM:

the sane people in Arizona (there must be some) who are probably all considering

#134 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:04 PM:

the three-body problem, particularly as it applies to

#135 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:04 PM:

moving to a state that doesn't have a stupid racist ledge and a stupid racist governor, but not all of them can because they

#136 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:08 PM:

volunteered to spend the summer helping to clean off oil-covered

#137 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:16 PM:

balloons. But then they discovered that

#138 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:19 PM:

the balloons were actually dirigibles and so

#139 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:22 PM:

they rode slowly up into the strange cloud of

#140 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:23 PM:

Arizona's cactus didn't soak up those Louisiana oil balloons, so they had to go to

#141 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:24 PM:

the lesser Arizona cactus cloud, where

#142 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:29 PM:

seventeen angry Klingons were dancing Klingon ballet, which requires some cleanup of the blood after

#143 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:35 PM:

the Klingons threw their partners into the cloud of

#144 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:37 PM:

Oort, which was oddly

#145 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 09:58 PM:

orange and oomorphic, but the Klingons' blood was pink, which clashed horribly, so they decided to

#146 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:03 PM:

move to Mars and take up

[I thought Klingons had purple blood?]

#147 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:29 PM:

knitting, which meant they had to contact Teresa and ask her to teach them how to use knitting needles for something besides piercing their enemies repeatedly. So they wrote to her, misspelling her name as "Theresa Neilson Heidan," and asked her if she would

#148 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:47 PM:

loosen a man's tongue with root beer. Surprisingly,

#149 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:47 PM:

send them a case of string and some pencils and

#150 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:49 PM:

she wrote to them with several patterns, which they enthusiastically knitted. Little did they know

#151 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:49 PM:

intestines

#152 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:50 PM:

and hearts and gizzards

#153 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:52 PM:

have a way of coming back to haunt

#154 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:55 PM:

flower gardens.

#155 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:57 PM:

Flower gardens, of course, were forbidden by the late Klingon regent, after the embarrassing

#156 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:58 PM:

incident where the aphids ate the

#157 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 10:59 PM:

intestines

#158 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:03 PM:

that he was saving for lunch

#159 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:07 PM:

right next to the plums, which were so cold and so sweet, and which

#160 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:17 PM:

Spock ate, because to let them go unconsumed would be illogical.

Meanwhile, in Kansas a small boy was

#161 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:35 PM:

growing up and slowly beginning to realize that he wasn't like other boys. Instead, he was

#162 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:36 PM:

turning green and sprouting

#163 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:40 PM:

great green wings that carried him high above the highest steeples of his town. This allowed him to

#164 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:55 PM:

admit he never tears for California. That said, he made a point of always

#165 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2010, 11:57 PM:

photosynthesize

[what did you think he was going to do up there?]

#166 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:02 AM:

singing "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" when coming in for a landing, though he himself could not explain why. "For that is what I am doing," he would always say to

#167 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:22 AM:

the instant-news camera crew who would

#168 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:27 AM:

stick a microphone in his face and ask breathlessly

#169 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:27 AM:

for him to explain it all to

#170 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:54 AM:

the politicians

#171 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 01:03 AM:

Pat Robertson claimed great green wings were a sign of the devil, and Rush Limbaugh threatened to move to

#172 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 01:06 AM:

Somalia, the land of free enterprise, and

#173 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 01:11 AM:

easy prescriptions from a universal health care system, and transcendental meditation which is a passion of his ever since

#174 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 01:11 AM:

where you don't have to press 1 for English or 2 for

#175 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:54 AM:

the three seashells. But who would have predicted that on that day,

#176 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 04:00 AM:

an old man in a scarf would stalk past muttering, "They say everything's better with Daleks. Ha! I'd like to see them get a Dalek to

#177 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 04:02 AM:

compete on Iron Chef, there's only so much you can do with a

#178 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 04:14 AM:

blog, for as ben jonson said, "I remember the players have often mentioned it as an honor to Shakespeare, that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never blogged a line. My answer hath been, 'Would he had blogged a thousand,' which they thought

#179 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 06:58 AM:

very unlike him, really. Not at all like Joseph Fiennes, and this led to some

#180 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:34 AM:

consternation and confusion, but a general agreement that it was better than if it had been Ralph Feinnes, because then

#181 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:03 AM:

we'd have the whole nose thing to deal with, and eew. (Mind you, the Voldemort fanatics do

#182 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:36 AM:

unto others early and often, yet they never seem to

#183 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:37 AM:

claim that *he* was a genius, too, and then when you say, "well, he sure is dead, anyhow," they

#184 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:40 AM:

mumble and turn bright pink and then

#185 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:42 AM:

suddenly you burst into flames. Again. Bugger.) Meanwhile, no one ever notices

#186 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:03 AM:

the tentacle (possibly rugose, but definitely squamous)

#187 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:08 AM:

that twitches gently back and forth in time with the music of

#188 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:31 AM:

dinosaurs

#189 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:32 AM:

practicing sodomy (not that they needed the practice)

#190 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:55 AM:

. But to get back to my main point, I must say that

#191 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 11:07 AM:

Xopher's Black Hole Brownies of Death

#192 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 11:16 AM:

are the bomb. Unfortunately, I mean that literally. For everyone's sake, please

#193 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 11:48 AM:

finish eating so we can start dancing

#194 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:13 PM:

our way through the explosive

#195 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:13 PM:

because Steven Brust is quite eager to play the tune to which he just set this thread. He and Reesa

#196 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:26 PM:

have the cimbalom tuned, and are just waiting for the kaval player to extricate herself from the

#197 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:39 PM:

hive mind, which envelops and absorbs all into its fluorospheric

#198 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 12:40 PM:

plot simmering in the kitchen, which threatened to leave beetroot stains on

#199 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 01:06 PM:

the ceiling. Nevertheless

--------------------------
Each poster writes a line or two to keep
The story going. Telephone is now
The game; the fluorosphere is ankle deep
In nonsense and in brilliance. I avow
"I love this place!" In poetry and prose,
Our flights of fancy always make me smile.
The rhymes aren't always easy, heaven knows,
But difficulty is itself worthwhile.
(Or so they say, whoever They may be.)
The plums are in the icebox--or they were,
The dinosaurs engaged in sodomy,
The sonnets will return soon, I aver.
For thread derail was Earl a bit contrite,
But playing games is part of Making Light.

#200 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 01:34 PM:

the poetry always returns, because

#201 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 01:50 PM:

it never leaves. It just goes underground

#202 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 01:55 PM:

where we can't see the adventitious roots dig deeper

#203 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:00 PM:

than Dwarves did delve in Moria. Nonetheless,

#204 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:22 PM:

there's more beneath this ground than fish and Balrog

#205 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:25 PM:

some precious thing that binds us all

#206 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:26 PM:

such as magma and diamonds. Moreover

#207 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:31 PM:

less under!, said the hobbitses, tired to death of cobwebs and

#208 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:32 PM:

improper pluralizations

#209 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:37 PM:

they dragged Gollum off to the schoolhouse, where

#210 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:37 PM:

"and pleurisy" wheezed Gollum, "we hates

#211 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 02:38 PM:

and wishing for more light in their dark

#212 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 03:20 PM:

inevitable simultaneous posting; hates it, we do!"

#213 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 03:25 PM:

212
Think of the different versions of the story you can make with those!

#214 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 03:25 PM:

But Sam went right on cutting up the two coneys for stew, using an elliptical slicing technique to cut them into conic sections. Then he

#215 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 03:26 PM:

And Gollum rubbed the Ring and wished for

#216 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 03:56 PM:

214: Put them in the pot. Alas,

215: Happy ever after (well, why not). Alas,

#217 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 03:59 PM:

the conic sections made them cook faster than the

#218 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 04:12 PM:

Riders of Rohan

#219 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 04:26 PM:

, who don't really cook all that fast, but whatever. At any rate, the overdone coneys

#220 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 04:33 PM:

attracted the attention of

#221 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 04:35 PM:

the Elder Gods

#222 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 04:39 PM:

who rotated them into one too many dimensions, drawing the ire of the Riders of Rohan, who

#223 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 05:11 PM:

were annoyed at being interrupted in their own "rotating in several dimensions," hastily dressed, and

#224 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 05:24 PM:

found their horses were taking tea with

#225 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 05:27 PM:

the Black Dragon, who had stopped by from San Francisco and swiftly joined them in

#226 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 05:31 PM:

discussing the story so far. All agreed that

#227 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 05:39 PM:

we should have some rock candy and rye ((in case we are getting a cold). Furthermore, the Lemon Drop Kid reckoned

#228 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 05:52 PM:

the Mountains of Madness weren't too far off, and if strangers have the best candy then Elder Thing candy must be out of this world. So they

#229 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 06:25 PM:

girded their loins, min-maxed their character sheets for extra sanity points, and put on hats, because a Nize Hat is

#230 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 06:26 PM:

put on their slippers and danced down the Yellow Brick Road, singing off-key. This was more than

#231 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 06:41 PM:

the Klingon ballet dancers could stand, so they

#232 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 06:44 PM:

swapped them out for Jägermonsters, who were lighter on their feet though regrettably also

#233 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 06:53 PM:

a little too sarcastic to take the entire performance seriously. I mean, one doesn't mind improv, but audiences draw the line at

#234 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 06:55 PM:

"The Hunting of the Snark." So the monsters

#235 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:01 PM:

were not really boojums but

#236 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:03 PM:

the borogoves were some

#237 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:08 PM:

serious set design, what with all the clockwork needed to make them mimsy properly, a real triumph of architectural whatsit for

#238 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:19 PM:

Mrs. Who, as she really did not like to think in only two -- or was it three? -- dimensions. Instead, she preferred


@229: is required if one wishes to attend the

#239 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:21 PM:

to do her designs in eleven-dimensional p-branes, wobble them, and allow the set to occur as the natural result of

#240 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:29 PM:

@238 AND 239 (tying back together):

Inter-Galactic Seminars on Non-Euclidean

#241 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:34 PM:

Filk Singing. This, as you might imagine, is not wholly compatible with

#242 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:38 PM:

sanity, but then neither is any kind of filk singing. Why, I remember a time when a bunch of filk singers

#243 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:54 PM:

caused the entire convention to

#244 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:58 PM:

swear off buttermilk, resulting in

#245 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 07:59 PM:

bug out, screaming "gods, will you stop! I can't stand it any more!" and breaking the

#246 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:06 PM:

Tacoma Narrows Bridge by way of resonance frequency mayhem. This led to the creative application of

#247 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:15 PM:

silly string -- which as all True Scotsmen know, is really the fundamental force that ties

#248 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:16 PM:

the fabric of socks and of Reality, which is but

#249 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:16 PM:

gingersnaps and buttered parsnips. Meanwhile, back at the

#250 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:19 PM:

ranch on Titan

#251 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:23 PM:

dinosaurs knitted kilts and discussed

#252 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:26 PM:

the foreboding omens that had appeared in their last batch of cookies. It appeared as though

#253 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:34 PM:

we're ready to resume our game. Now rol--
--L INITIATIVE! SEE! I ROLLED 6. ATTACKING!
--eplay like our knights, forsooth; not like a troll
--l your eyes. This game's no fun. It's lacking...

Slow down. One at a time. Now first, let's see--
-- MY SWING; A 20! YOU"RE A DEAD MAN WALKING!
-- our quest completed, not this banditry,
-- that chaos rules! I love it! Now we're talking!

Enough. Back up; we'll start again where you--
-- ROLL DAMAGE! CRUSHED HIM! I GO UP A LEVEL...
-- wish certain players eaten by a grue...
-- say random catchwords, which invoke a devil...

Can we--
-- GO LOOT --
-- this travesty --
-- with fries?
That's it. Rocks fall, and everybody dies.

#254 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:35 PM:

the coelacanth had slipped away. "When the meteor arrives," the dinosaurs said, "what

#255 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:41 PM:

would you like on your banana split?"

#256 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:47 PM:

"Schadenfreude," answered the Wombat. "With shavings of reproach."

#257 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:50 PM:

"Hot fudge on the side?"

#258 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:52 PM:

Meanwhile, off at the side, the bandersnatch

#259 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:54 PM:

dripping with hot fudge and wondering where its cherry had gone,

#260 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 08:54 PM:

seemed, from the above line, to be in a very different kind of movie than this.

#261 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:04 PM:

"Great grue!" he exclaimed, "There's an elephant in the

#262 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:06 PM:

soup!"

#263 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:08 PM:

(Shame on you, P J Evans, for not continuing the game.)

"What's it doing there?"

"Looks like the backstroke," he replied to general laughter, which was cut off short by

#264 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:10 PM:

[It's suppertime]

the elephant's cellphone starting to play

#265 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:10 PM:

"Cor blimey!" she said, "an elephant?". "How incongrueous

#266 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:13 PM:

wrote he, after which someone berated him for the typo that was such an horror that

#267 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:19 PM:

the elephant held it's nose, just to demonstrate its disgust, by wrapping a thread around it's trunk. "the point of this thread," said the elephant, is that there's literally nose on it! too bad for it!" just then the crocodile

#268 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:22 PM:

noticed the time on the clock in its belly, and

#269 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:27 PM:

crying "I'm late!" hurried down the path toward

#270 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:30 PM:

went to the kitchen to make tea. He had just put the Kiwi jam down next to the biscuit tin when

#271 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:30 PM:

zeebas house, casting Pearls before Swine as he went. The zebra, seeing this

#272 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:38 PM:

crossposting, went looking for the jam, which

#273 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:41 PM:

had been carried off by the flying monkeys to

#274 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:49 PM:

the post-zombie-apocalypse stronghold, surrounded by mindless undead chanting

#275 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:51 PM:

"Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's eating braaaaains we go," which

#276 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:52 PM:

"Cthulhu f'thagn, and I don't care", when suddenly

#277 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 09:57 PM:

caused the world to spin backwards, and the mountains to move west, so that

#278 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:01 PM:

even jim macdonald got disoriented, and said, "well, how did i get here?", which startled david byrne so violently that he

#279 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:01 PM:

the stronghold fell off the rock it was on and dumped all the treasure on

#280 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:02 PM:

[well, maybe the stronghold's treasure fell on David Byrne]

#281 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:04 PM:

[David Byrne, who] exclaimed "these are not my elder gods!" and then

#282 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:05 PM:

who said, "this is not my beautiful treasure/
this is not my beautiful

#283 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:10 PM:

non sequitur! He was then eaten by an incongrue, which

#284 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:11 PM:

skeleton!" as the Elder Gods ripped it out of his body. Meanwhile, back at

#285 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:12 PM:

[incongrue, which] escaped down a maze of twisty little passages, all different. And then

#286 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:21 PM:

," said the Professor, puffing on his pipe. "A most marvelous thing happened. Why, it was

#287 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:22 PM:

just yesterday, while I was grading papers, I found

#288 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:24 PM:

xtrawd'n'ry! Mr Holmes talked all about the dog in the nighttime, until we all fell asleep from sheer boredom. And then he went around and took all of our

#289 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:24 PM:

the answer to the question that has puzzled me all my life:

#290 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:26 PM:

What about Naomi?" And the professor fell silent, puffing thoughtfully on his pipe. "Indeed," he said again, "what about Naomi?" And then he

#291 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:26 PM:

the recipe for 'Pygmy Mammoth and Jumbo Shrimp Salad' in

#292 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:34 PM:

the book the Professor had left behind in the

#293 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:37 PM:

salon with the candlestick and

#294 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:41 PM:

Mrs. Plum (again!) showed up in the kitchen, only this time she was prepared for

#295 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:45 PM:

Iron Chef, because

#296 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 10:50 PM:

she had an enormous chopper, and an interesting device for

#297 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 11:00 PM:

analyzing the fat content of vinegar, thereby

#298 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2010, 11:03 PM:

discovering new uses for zero. But that was nothing to her

#299 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:17 AM:

steampunk-driven style of knitting

#300 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:47 AM:

it was amazing to watch the way those needles

#301 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:18 AM:

knit together everything in sight--yarn, leaves, hair, even small children--into an emergent fabric-based artificial intelligence demanding only one thing

#302 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:29 AM:

—a good yarn! Good yarn, indeed! Why, it's amazing how

#303 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:46 AM:

The needles clack propelled somehow by steam
The Klingons gyre and dance, a young boy flies
On great green wings as fragile as a dream
The dinosaurs are sinful -no surprise!

The threads combine and separate and weave
The hobbits, Dr Who, a southwest state
A graceful save when overlap can leave
Confusion over words that come too late

Or maybe they're just from a different view
Of how we came to just this point in time
Where Holmes, Naomi, grues, a plum or two
Are brought together in a bit of rhyme

The thread was jacked, but really it's all right
It's all part of the fun of Making Light

#304 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:03 AM:

"And so you see," the professor concluded, "there are times that a bit of impromptu verse can be far more

#305 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:49 AM:

than...than...” He stared in horror as the enormous chopper flashed once, twice, cutting off his choking scream of agony. With his dying breath he could only manage to feebly croak the name of his assailant:

#306 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:08 AM:

"Holmes! Holmes!", he cried. "Look! It's

#307 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:16 AM:

slash fic! "oh my word," said Watson, "whatever could they mean by

#308 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:23 AM:

splitting an infinitive like that? It can only be

#309 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 08:14 AM:

--urk", and with that he expired, in a death scene to rival those delivered operatically. The hunting dogs moved in slowly, sniffing

#310 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 08:23 AM:

each others' fundaments, as no other scent was evident. Morosely, they patrolled the gruesome scene, until their leader, Naomi, began excitedly barking and running back and forth amid the carnage. The door burst open, and

#311 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:31 AM:

the coelacanth burst in. "Guys! You'll never believe what I

#312 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:31 AM:

she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie;  and at the same time

#313 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:32 AM:

Debbie posted something much better, but

#314 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:39 AM:

saw on Mulberry Street!

#315 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:48 AM:

Now this involves a feline with a very tall

#316 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:57 AM:

tale.

#317 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 10:03 AM:

of how he saved Timmy when he fell into the well

#318 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 10:33 AM:

and was pulled out by Dr. Fell, who

#319 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:01 AM:

liked lassies very much, he did, and

#320 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:17 AM:

tended to exclaim, "and a hey! ho! hey nonny no!" at random intervals while

#321 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:20 AM:

riding his pony, which was named "Macaroni", and carrying

#322 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:25 AM:

several lassies at a time on the saddle with him. Until he heard

#323 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:35 AM:

the barking of the Elder Dogs at the

#324 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:38 AM:

Bones of Tyndalos, which came from the bodies of

#325 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:42 AM:

the Riders of Rohan and

#326 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:04 PM:

which were painstakingly shrink-wrapped, including

#327 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:11 PM:

the rings on their

#328 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:17 PM:

FINGERS OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE LIKE YOU CAN EVEN HAVE RINGS ANYWHERE ELSE AHEM AHEM AHEM

#329 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:18 PM:

(Meanwhile, somewhere else:)

Nobody seems to have mentioned #253 yet.

I love it.

By the way, on another board I go to, the threadwrack caused by simultaneous posting is called "dysfractionation." It's a wonderfully useful word and I sometimes forget that it's subgroup-specific. Is it worth adopting here,do you think?

#330 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:24 PM:

and the rings on their chain mail, too, because it's all rings when you look at it

#331 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:31 PM:

so reminded of the rings around their collars, he grabbed an industrial-sized

#332 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:37 PM:

weasel

#333 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 12:47 PM:

which ripped his flesh and formed another band from L.A., causing

#334 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:33 PM:

a massive outbreak of punk rock unrivaled since the 1970s. But even that was overshadowed by

#335 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:40 PM:

Lamont Cranston, who was reported to be inside a Godzilla suit. It was actually Santa Claus, who was

#336 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:40 PM:

(Love 253 too! Also 303.)

#337 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:43 PM:

speaking in secret numeric code, which

#338 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:45 PM:

revealed the secret location of Da Vinci's pope/antipope slashfic stash

#339 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:48 PM:

as being in the New York Public Library, in a hollowed-out copy of Delany's Dhalgren, which

#340 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:50 PM:

unleashed Daleks all over the

#341 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:52 PM:

Staten Island Ferry and

#342 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:54 PM:

Neil Gaiman's blog, much to the consternation of

#343 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:57 PM:

ten thousand fangirls demonstrating the Danse Macabre. But as you all know, the Dance Macabre, like morris dancing, can unleash

#344 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 01:59 PM:

[Aargh! Danse! Danse!]

#345 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 02:07 PM:

Dark Spirits, like the Lord of the Dance (not the scary one, just a demon). This can result in

#346 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 02:07 PM:

the Apocalypse of Bunnies

#347 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 02:09 PM:

(what do they need such good eyesight for anyway?)

#348 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 02:42 PM:

because of the lack of lepine (?) ophthalmologists, who need to see to

#349 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 03:06 PM:

the Carrots of Penzance, who sowed terror all over the

#350 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 03:06 PM:

the Carrots of Penzance, who sowed terror all over the

#351 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 03:13 PM:

legendary multiple postings of Cornwall!

#352 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 03:16 PM:

until the Lapinafore struck back against

#353 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 03:22 PM:

the betacarotine (sp?) vampires, who had malfunctioning software and were even more anemic than

#354 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 03:27 PM:

the plot of your average Michael Bay film. Fortunately the Mikado was

#355 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 03:46 PM:

being produced just up the road, featuring dinosaurs, Chthulu and

#356 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 03:48 PM:

two gardeners in a horse costume, with buttons up the

#357 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 04:40 PM:

ahem! We shan't get into that, he muttered as he paced across the room and pondered the object in his hand, which was

#358 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 04:57 PM:

tickling his palm, cooing, and making damp spots. "Zounds!" He ejaculated. 'This must be my Victorian great-uncle's

#359 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 05:47 PM:

automatic lubricator for his Babbage Engine, I can finally complete its restoration once I

#360 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 05:51 PM:

get that turbo-encabulator installed on

#361 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:02 PM:

the interrocitor, sold by Exeter to

#362 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:13 PM:

the Torchwood Group, LLC. He often wondered about them. Why did they always seem so

#363 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:18 PM:

reluctant to ask for refunds when, every time they plugged a device in, it

#364 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:19 PM:

randy and yet also depressed? It was hanging out with a pack of thirty-something teenagers, except

#365 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:20 PM:

generated a hologram of Elvish Elvis impersonators, which was clearly

#366 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:25 PM:

the developer's idea of an amusing error message, though not as funny as the "Press to test/Release to detonate"button they put on

#367 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:31 PM:

the coffeemaker in the breakroom at

#368 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:34 PM:

Muppet Labs.

#369 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:45 PM:

"Mimimimimimimi!" cried Beaker when he saw

#370 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 06:53 PM:

the effects a quadruple espresso had on the Swedish Chef. Meanwhile, Zoot was cleaning his Sax and wondering

#371 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:05 PM:

if Animal was available for

#372 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:08 PM:

a long and satisfying set on the drum kit, but

#373 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:13 PM:

not if Crazy Harry was anywhere in the vicinity after the last incident involving the bomb squad and a ridiculous amount of whipped cream that ended up

#374 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:15 PM:

all over the ceiling in the foyer - and it was a twenty-foot

#375 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:16 PM:

making first contact with several new interstellar races, a few of which turned out to be quite delicious--especially

#376 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:23 PM:

the dreaded zorknids from the Planet Without a Refresh Button, which borked threads terribly but went wonderfully with horseradish sauce and

#377 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:23 PM:

two of thirty-eight, who really appreciated

#378 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:29 PM:

horseradish sauce on zorknids and

#379 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:32 PM:

blymazer sauce--what do you mean you don't have blyzamer sauce, what is this, the Dark Ages? What? It is? Oh dear, I must have set my time machine incorrectly! How

#380 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:35 PM:

[er, "blymazer steaks" instead? That's the problem with fast-paced context-sensitive games like this on]

#381 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 07:36 PM:

[e]

#382 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 08:05 PM:

(pulls out sonic screwdriver)

#383 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 08:15 PM:

and advances slowly on

#384 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 08:15 PM:

interesting. So, you boil water for drinking here too? They do that in twenty-first century Boston

#385 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 08:31 PM:

The Doctor stopped abruptly, surprised by the other time-traveling visitor who seemed unaware of the dangerous situation he'd just dropped into. In fact, the Doctor noted coolly, the new visitor was just about to step into

#386 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 08:40 PM:

zero g, but in fact it was

#387 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:07 PM:

a really large pile of

#388 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:10 PM:

bifurcated fluorescent hamsters. The hamsters, in perfect unison, emitted a

#389 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:18 PM:

pleasant hum which coincidentally rendered the Doctor's screwdriver useless, forcing

#390 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:33 PM:

her to shout "RUN!" to her companion.

#391 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 09:41 PM:

They hit the stepping disk just as

#392 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 10:00 PM:

the Singularity virus deployed onto every iPhone, due to

#393 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 10:14 PM:

an Accounting Division mistake at Laundry headquarters

#394 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 10:14 PM:

installing Flash on everything except

#395 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 10:22 PM:

the kitchen sink and Bob's computers, but

#396 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 10:33 PM:

the Making Light servers

#397 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:08 PM:

having achieved sentience some time ago in the wake of a particularly witty villanelle

#398 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:09 PM:

were involved with a pinochle game and

#399 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2010, 11:13 PM:

Death had just learned the game, so when pinochle was raised at the same moment

#400 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 12:10 AM:

he was so surprised he

#401 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 12:14 AM:

dropped his scythe, which cut off

#402 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 12:36 AM:

electricity to the entire Eastern Seaboard. He couldn't seem to talk in small caps, however, which rendered him mute*, so the substitute Death wandered over from the Sandman-verse, nonchalantly applied her eyeliner in the dark, and said


*(Tried even faking it by font sizes, but ML was having none of it!)

#403 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 02:06 AM:

"oombada neckinada comment allez vous. Rock it on me, sugar baby. Love me like you do. Love is the word. Nardo's the name. Ask me again, I'll

#404 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 02:09 AM:

show you my goldfish." Then Delerium wiped off the makeup and wondered what that shiny scythe could do if she

#405 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 02:20 AM:

turned it into a balloon the exact shape, size, and hardness of a scythe, but then she was distracted by

#406 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 02:51 AM:

that stone statue over there. Hadn't it just been facing the other direction?

#407 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 05:44 AM:

Just then, a cheering mob of football fans from Blaenau Ffestiniog rushed past, celebrating the Dynamo Dinorwig victory in the cup final. She forgot about the statue and

#408 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 05:52 AM:

turned her back on it, at which time the gargoyle opened his eyes, stretched and said, "Excuse me, but can I have a

#409 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:22 AM:

pizza? Extra cheese and

#410 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:32 AM:

Pygmy Mammoth. Hold the Jumbo Shrimp

#411 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:51 AM:

. What I need now is a tall glass of

#412 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:29 AM:

Blog, and some crottled greeps to wash down with it. Do you suppose

#413 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:19 AM:

you could crottle some for me?" But she had lost track of this thread, and was absent-mindedly

#414 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:22 AM:

trying to remember who she was now

#415 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:31 AM:

but it probably didn't matter unless she was a well-known writer of sonnets. Seizing the opportunity to change identities, she remembered that she had always wanted to

#416 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:35 AM:

sail across the ocean, alone. Now, all she needed was

#417 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:35 AM:

be Francis Bacon. Or was it eat bacon in France? She wanted to ask her brother, but he

#418 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 09:04 AM:

was down by the docks,

#419 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 09:08 AM:

with Kevin Bacon, who was six degrees away from

#420 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 09:20 AM:

Boss Hogg. "Well," she thought, "I'd best get my pearls and my

#421 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 09:37 AM:

autographed Paul Erdos collaboration

#422 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 10:11 AM:

which was cleverly disguised as

#423 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 10:22 AM:

a completely different autographed Paul Erdos collaboration, one which

#424 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 10:39 AM:

looked like a Squashed Armadillo Cake, and

#425 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 10:40 AM:

tucked neatly into her sows-ear purse. Clutching her pearls,

#426 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 10:43 AM:

she dashed across the cape held by Sir

#427 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 11:22 AM:

Doctor of TARDIS, who was pleased to be back in the story but annoyed by the

#428 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 11:59 AM:

lack of jellybabies (the gargoyle had eaten all of them)

#429 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 12:23 PM:

and the fact that the army of thousands of Daleks in the next room was quite obviously a collection of toy Daleks filmed in extreme close-up. "I've heard of budget cuts," he muttered, "but this is

#430 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 12:25 PM:

a horse of a different color." He whipped out his dysfractionater, but mistakenly

#431 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 01:01 PM:

stopped the thread dead in its tracks. "Why won't this thing

#432 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 01:47 PM:

work when you want

#433 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 02:13 PM:

a calzone

#434 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 02:16 PM:

, when you want a pizza, play

#435 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 03:11 PM:

G# on the ocarina and you will be answered by

#436 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 03:17 PM:

LINK! And Zelda! And a dragon boat, which makes wisecracks about

#437 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 03:20 PM:

the inevitability of death, taxes and someone on the Internet being wrong, which according to four out of five Doctors is a leading cause of

#438 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 03:24 PM:

the Heartbreak of Psoriasis and

#439 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 03:32 PM:

heartburn. Act now, and we'll throw in --Free! -- this complete set of Ginsu

#440 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 03:58 PM:

tomatoes, for just 19.95. But wait! there's

#441 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 04:09 PM:

moar. You can has cheezeburger too, and bukkit, jus 4

#442 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 04:12 PM:

all ur base

#443 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 04:13 PM:

which are belong to Goldman Sachs

#444 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 04:57 PM:

Coburg and Gotha

#445 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 05:18 PM:

m City, before the Bat Signal

#446 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 05:39 PM:

shone through the clouds of a dark and stormy night

#447 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 05:58 PM:

and the ghost of Edward Bulwer-Lytton

#448 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:01 PM:

whose pen wasn't mightier than a sword that

#449 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:03 PM:

the pirate who suddenly appeared on the horizon carried

#450 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:14 PM:

before the white whale

#451 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:19 PM:

and the white hart

#452 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:33 PM:

(Meta: I'm almost inspired to transcribe this game, illustrate it in crayon and title it "A Very Exciting Storey by Making Light, Age (however old this blog is anyway).")

#453 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 06:36 PM:

A.J. Luxton@452: Ooh, yes! That could be good.

Preferably before it goes on much longer, I think. Although there might be breakthrough brilliance just around the corner, of course.

#454 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:13 PM:

, wearily muttering to himself, "Kittens. Why does it always have to be

#455 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:18 PM:

beer stains on the carpet? You'd think they didn't know how to

#456 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:22 PM:

clean pizza? Or argue with a Sicilian

#457 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:24 PM:

shoemaker. But distilling whiskey from Whiskas was not beyond

#458 ::: Wrye ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:25 PM:

the sticking-point your courage must be

#459 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:26 PM:

when death is on the line

#460 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:40 PM:

(Meta: @452-3 "transcribe this game"

You mean like this? Sorry, no pictures on a rush copy job.)

#461 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 07:49 PM:

or when it's just sort of close to the line, he finished. However,

#462 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:02 PM:

since both glasses of wine were from Gallo, no one drank any of it, and the contest

#463 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:36 PM:

escalated rapidly when someone exclaimed,

#464 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:41 PM:

"What a dream that was, Auntie Em!"

#465 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 08:44 PM:

...There's no place like home...

[I love this place]

#466 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 09:00 PM:

(meta) I'd call that a wrap at 465.

#467 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 09:12 PM:

A hearty round of applause for all contributors, and to Earl, for starting us off on a fantastic game! And AJ Buxton, and Jon Baker, for the idea and the transcription.

#468 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 09:13 PM:

(Roll credits in 2-point type to fit in all the writers' names.)

#469 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 10:09 PM:

Yay!

#470 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2010, 10:20 PM:

Hurrah!

Now, who's going to submit it to PublishAmerica?

#471 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2010, 08:02 AM:

Mary Dell@470

But how will you get it past their editor?

:-)

#472 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2010, 04:37 PM:

Returning to something that was partially written when this thread departed for parts unknown (and perhaps unknowable)

He's dead, which all in all may be as well
It gives him scope for spinning in his grave
He was a genius, time's had time to tell
But as such target for both fool and knave
He's close to universal, none be more
Familiar, though we may not place the quote
(Is that the Bible? Is it Shakespeare? Or
Perhaps Mark Twain, or some old Greek of note?)
He reworked plots of others, but his words
Had music all his own. I fear the lot
Left footsteps clear - too clear - for common herds
How many versions of "To be, or not"
Can author stand the perpetration of?
Here parody's the thing, a form of love

#473 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2010, 06:15 PM:

Well done, OtterB.
This thread was a lot of fun.

#474 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2010, 07:26 PM:

transcription updated through 465.

#475 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2010, 06:35 PM:

He was a genius but he's dead, Jim. I'll get his tricorder.

#476 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2010, 03:27 AM:

Were you on Twitter, I would call you "friend",
And you would spin at murder done to sense.
Your words, through time, shall travel without end;
Your past shall echo through some future tense.
Of all you write, of love and war and hate,
Of strife misled, of lovers reconciled.
In vain may man oppose his doleful fate,
But how he stands may bring him judgement mild.
And Oh! The joys of love, how bittersweet?
And look to see who wins that frantic race.
A Romeo, in passion, will worms meet,
While Benedick will wake, and see her face.
Take heed, tread carefully the measure.
Let life be long, filled with gentle pleasure.

#477 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2010, 10:27 AM:

Three for Vulcans lost under Earth's sky
Seven in a series totalling nine;
Nine deep space stations which don't really fly
One to beam up (Spock, I'm doing fine!)

... OK, this sonnet isn't going any better than the "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer" one.

Might help if I was an actual Trekkie instead of just having a history of second-hand Trek inhalation.

#478 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2010, 12:26 PM:

a history of second-hand Trek inhalation

First Contact high?

#479 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2010, 01:02 PM:

How about "I am a doctor, not a mason grim" (which sets up for a later line of the quatrain to end with "Jim")?

#480 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2010, 10:55 AM:

I was trying to build a sonnet out of exact quotes with approximate scansion and rhyming. I got three lines in and decided it wouldn't work.

One of those "why has nobody ever built a clothes dryer that uses table salt to remove moisture?" moments.

#481 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 09:51 AM:

Oh dear. I'm told that SF poetry has no rhyme nor meter.

I am compelled to respond, by a force greater than myself, in the Terrible Sonnet Thread.


"I just deleted 150 Gb of garbage."

You didn't get your jetpack; I don't care.
We have much cooler things than your best guess.
A robot laser cornea surgeon- fair?
Four thousand songs in my jean pocket, yes.

There are some things that I'd still like to see
a living human colony on Mars;
Men looking down on sky and earth and sea
I'd like to see my brethren in the stars.

But cybernetic hearts and cyberhips
aren't cool (because we put them in the old);
A billion billion information bits
just made us fat and slack -or so I'm told.

We've moved beyond the future of our past;
and you can shove your jetpack up your ass.

#482 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 10:30 AM:

Sandy B. (481): *Applause*

#483 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 10:59 AM:

Sandy B. @ 481 -- I'm told that SF poetry has no rhyme nor meter.

That would probably be a big surprise to a lot of filkers.

#484 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 03:09 PM:

Joel, that depends on your definition of 'poetry', and whether you separate it from 'doggerel'!

OK, OK, a lot of filk is pretty good poetry, even some of the stuff that's just an SFF parody of the original lyric like the term originally meant. But a lot of it is SCHLOCK.

#485 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 03:44 PM:

Xopher -- of course. As with pretty much any creative endeavour, Sturgeon's Law applies. Though I'd have to say that if I were to do a statistical analysis of "how worth listening to" pieces are, I think that the set of {filk that's given public exposure} would probably come out a lot better than the set of {poetry that's given public exposure}.

#486 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 04:50 PM:

Hope Eyrie
Copyright ©1975 by Leslie Fish
Copyright assigned to Random Factors
Lyrics posted by permission

Worlds grow old and suns grow cold
And death we never can doubt.
Time's cold wind, wailing down the past,
Reminds us that all flesh is grass
And history's lamps blow out.

But the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
Time won't drive us down to dust again.

Cycles turn while the far stars burn,
And people and planets age.
Life's crown passes to younger lands,
Time brushes dust of hope from his hands
And turns another page.

But the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
Time won't drive us down to dust again.

But we who feel the weight of the wheel
When winter falls over our world
Can hope for tomorrow and raise our eyes
To a silver moon in the opened skies
And a single flag unfurled.

But the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
Time won't drive us down to dust again.

We know well what Life can tell:
If you would not perish, then grow.
And today our fragile flesh and steel
Have laid our hands on a vaster wheel
With all of the stars to know

That the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
Time won't drive us down to dust again.

From all who tried out of history's tide,
Salute for the team that won.
And the old Earth smiles at her children's reach,
The wave that carried us up the beach
To reach for the shining sun.

For the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
Time won't drive us down to dust again.

#487 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 05:03 PM:

Lori, That's a pretty good poem/lyric. What song is the tune taken from?

(I'm asking because if Leslie Fish wrote the tune, too, it's not a filk but an original song.)

#488 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 05:13 PM:

The tune is Leslie's as well -- but IT IS FILK.

It won the first "Best Filk Song" Pegasus Award in 1984. "Hope Eyrie" is considered the Filkers' Anthem, there are even rock settings of it (Black Book Band).

(I humbly submit that as one of the original committee members for the Ohio Valley Filk Fest and one of the creators of the Pegasus Award, I know filk when I see/hear it!)

#489 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 05:24 PM:

That's an innovation of recent provenance to the meaning of the word 'filk'. That's all I'm saying.

#490 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 05:26 PM:

And Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" isn't filk, right?

Sometimes I wonder if we actually have meaningful definitions for -- well, actually about any genre of music.

#491 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 05:42 PM:

ddb, Lehrer's tunes (and those by other professional musicians) are known as "found filk." For the Pegasus Award purposes, if the writer/performer/composer does not identify themselves as a member of the filking community, then their songs are not eligible for nomination.

Xopher, original words and music have been part of filk since I joined filkdom in 1974, over 36 years ago. From some viewpoints, I suppose that is recent...

#492 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 05:47 PM:

Xopher @ 489: That's an innovation of recent provenance to the meaning of the word 'filk'. That's all I'm saying.

Only if "recent" means more than thirty years ago, because I've never heard anyone use your restricted definition until now.

ddb @ 490: Genres are more about association than definition. This is a feature rather than a bug--a fully defined genre is a dead genre. (Says the guy who auditioned to play electric bass in a rock version of Mozart's Requiem--a Rockquiem, if you will--last night. It turns out I can't sight-read the Dies Irae bass part, but I think I got the gig anyway.)

#493 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 06:03 PM:

Xopher, #489: Depends on what you mean by "recent". Original songs on SF&F themes have been considered part of the filk canon since at least the mid-80s (that I can swear to definitely, and probably long before that). You've fallen for one of the Pernicious Myths* here.

* Of which there are a number circulating among people who are only vaguely familiar with filk. This one -- that "filk" only refers to parody work -- is one of the most common. Others: all filk is BAD, all filksingers are BAD and can't carry a tune**, only humorous songs count as filk, all filk is about books/media... I lose track.

** Yes, I've heard that one right here on ML, within the last year or so.

#494 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 06:10 PM:

'The Asteroid Light' is certainly filk, and it's been around at least since the 60s.

I first met filk in the mid-70s, and the term was used for original work as well as parody then.

#495 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 06:24 PM:

'The Asteroid Light' is classic filk -- new, stfnal, words to an old, traditional, tune ("The Eddystone Light" in this case).

(Not saying other things aren't filk, but that seems to me to be the classic form of a filk song; it's certainly what the term was used for when I first got into fandom, around 1972.)

#496 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 06:32 PM:

I have defined 'filk' (to non-fans) as 'the folk music of science fiction fandom'.

#497 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 06:33 PM:

For purposes of awards, they have to have some level of definition for their field, certainly. Though the Hugos finesse that rather elegantly by saying they are for "sf and fantasy" and then letting the voters nominate what they think qualifies. And it makes total sense especially for something like the Pegasus awards to limit them to people who self-identify as doing filk.

On the other hand, I wouldn't take their definition as gospel for what is "really" filk, either. Like so many other important words, I doubt there is any generally-agreed definition, really. (SF is in that category; I don't mean to be picking on filk here!)

Original songs that happen to be about stfnal topics (or otherwise appeal to stfnal sensibilities) are good, but not, to me, any better than repurposing of classic tunes for stfnal lyrics.

And it seems weird to me to say The Intergalactic Touring Band, say, or Yes' Starship Troopers, "are filk". They're professional, original, work, which was sold in about every record store on the planet; not in any way connected to fandom except for some content.

But then, my uncle didn't think of himself as a folksinger, either; he was a minstrel, a professional performer performing largely traditional songs.

#498 ::: y ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2010, 06:43 PM:

Shorter version: filk is the folk of the fen.

I note that the NESFA hymnal includes several works with original music. Certainly not many by comparison with the others, but they are there. I would just say that the percentage of original compositions in filk has grown over the years.

#499 ::: Mary Aileen suspects spam ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2011, 07:10 PM:

Um, what?

(There's no payload, but was that supposed to make sense?)

#500 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2011, 07:47 PM:

Yeah me too -- I'm hesitant to call it "Spam" though when there is no link to be deleted. Unless its author Ms. Langlands be a particularly incompetent spammer.

#501 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2011, 08:47 PM:

In some cases, apparently, spammers send out probes to see how quickly they're deleted. Fast deletion means this isn't a good venue; non-deletion leads to much more hitting of the site.

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