I think, therefore

Iambic penthouse! Let me in your rooms
To soil your carpets with my piles of words,
And irrigate your sofas with my herds
Of periods and, from their fertile wombs,
Quotations, semi-colons, question marks—
Each one a-suckle at the foul milk
Of hubris, angst, pretension, and their ilk.
Hey! Knock-knock! At your door a poem barks!
Or moos, or squawks—whatever poems do.
It craves the luscious clarity within—
Suave diction smeared with pentametric glue—
That lets a poem rise above the din
Of this prose-aic, nether-wordly stew.
You can’t refuse! Now come invite me in.

(Thanks to my Christmas present.)

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10 Responses to “I think, therefore”


  1. 1 jenlinnan January 4, 2007 at 4:01 am

    neth*er*word

    noun (the netherword)
    1) the word of the dead
    2) a hidden under-word or ill-defined part of speech; subtext
    3) an alien word across the water

    Derivatives:
    adverb (nether-wordly)

  2. 2 alden January 4, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Are you mocking me?

    I thought it was a word that’s neither here nor there. Word-count fodder, for instance. Though who the Word Count is, I’ve no idea. Let’s hope he doesn’t have fangs.

  3. 3 jenlinnan January 5, 2007 at 5:21 am

    I would never! Well, maybe a little bit with the alien world across the water. But only a little bit.

    Is that poem a Robinson original or a Christmas Present excerpt? The inclusion of wombs, suckling, squawks, and, of course, the nether-word seems to indicate the former, but I wasn’t sure. Either way, it is kind of awesome.

    Also, I’ve always pictured the Word Count as more of a benevolent purple guy made out of felt, rather than a scary dead guy with pointy teeth.

  4. 4 alden January 5, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    It’s the result of performing an exercise in the Christmas present. I think the Word Count is pretty scary, at least he used to be when I wrote papers.

  5. 5 jenlinnan January 5, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    I like the idea of iambic penthouses. Gold star!

    The Word Count may seem scary, especially with all of those bolts of lightning, but he’s pretty harmless. The one you really need to watch out for is the Page Count, who might go so far as to siphon off some of your type A if you don’t mollify him.

  6. 6 alden January 5, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    I thought the Page Count worked in Congress? Now I’m just baffled.

  7. 7 jenlinnan January 5, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Maybe the Library of Congress?

    …this conversation is too hard.

  8. 8 Mary Beth January 6, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    You guys forgot about the elusive Character Count. He rarely makes an appearance, but when he does…oh boy.

    (I’m serious. I’m writing a fellowship application right now, and my summary of goals must be 3,000 characters (including spaces) or less. I mean really. Who puts CHARACTER limits on things?!)

  9. 9 jenlinnan January 7, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!! Who would want to put limits on characters?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  10. 10 Joseph Shoer January 8, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    My character recognizes no limits.


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