Monday, September 28, 2009

Fruit Basket: The Pineapple

The Pineapple

“Pineapple” translates to “puzzlement,”
In some forms of tropical dialect.
For it’s quite hard to know really what is meant
By “pine.” And to “apple,” I must object.
For this lexicon-twisting infraction,
Some fruits might demand legal action.
But the case would dismiss rather quickly,
Since the evidence is clearly too prickly.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ode To My Boyfriend's New Female Roommate

Jesseanna's note: A little insecurity from May 8, 2007. Epilogue - the "new roommate" was cute, but my boyfriend is now my husband. So, everything worked out.

Ode To My Boyfriend's New Female Roommate

Before you walk upon the rug,
I hope you’ll wipe your feet.
Before you cook, I hope you’ll ask:
“What would you like to eat?”
Before you go to work each day,
I hope you’ll check the lights.
Before you dump your laundry in,
Take your darks from his whites.
Before you watch a DVD,
You’ll see the volume’s low?
Before you split the bills, I hope
You’ll figure what you owe.

Before you sign the lease, I hope
You’ll take this with some salt:
I hope you’re quiet, clean, sincere, and gen’rous to a fault.
But one more wish, permit me, and I will not ask for more --
Those "before and after" photos?
...hope you look like the “before.”

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fruit Basket: The Cantaloupe and The Watermelon

Gotta squeeze in my rhymes about melons before the summer ends! The first one's heavy on the punning - might be better read aloud.

The Cantaloupe

The cantaloupe is solitary –
A melon who will never marry.
He has two tickets to Tahiti,
But simply can’t approach his sweetie.
Meanwhile, she turns a greenish hue:
Whatever will his honeydew?

The Watermelon

The watermelon can’t lay claim
To the “water” in its name.
There is no fruit more ill equip’d
To be the captain of a ship.
It cannot swim, or even float
So, please don’t let it drive your boat.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ode to My Crawfish Etouffe

Jesseanna's note: Have a NOLA delicacy with your fruit! This poem is straight from a summer's day on the bayou - July 3, 2006.

Ode to My Crawfish Etouffe

O spicy crawfish etouffe!
Such fun to eat -
So tough to say.
Gumbo is not quite so willful
For it lacks the extra syll’ble.
Then, the choice of “cray” and “craw”
Which one to pick? Let’s call a draw.
For, after all, they are both fishes
Which makes them equally delicious.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fruit Basket: The Grape and The Apple

Ogden Nash never quite makes it on the syllabus in “serious” poetry courses, but he has always been my kind of guy. In 7th grade English, I was required to select a 4-minute snippet of literature to recite in front of my classmates. I chose nine or ten poems from Nash’s Zoo, a collection of rhymes about animals. Almost two decades later, I still remember “The Cow”: “The cow is of the bovine ilk / One end is moo, the other milk.” Also, “The Panther”: “When called by a panther / Don’t anther.” Not Shakespeare, but good for laughs (and an “A”).

I’ve always thought Zoo deserved a companion volume: a series of rhymes about food. Like llamas and monkeys, food can be big or small, gray or orange or spotted. And food is funny – just ask the guy who created the old banana peel gag.

Speaking of bananas, I’ll start with fruit.

The Grape

No pills or powders aid the grape
In slimming down its rotund shape
Instead, it basks au natural
On every beach in Southern Cal
And when its tanning session’s done
It puts on shades to shield the sun
Joining in a sleek quartet
It struts and sings a Motown set
But shrugging at its purple skin,
Its friends still say, “I knew you when.”

The Apple

The apple wears a cheerful glow,
But at its core, it’s full of woe.
Its post-traumatic stress runs deep,
As history’s arrows pierce its sleep.
It quakes and stirs in utter dread
Of toppling on Sir Isaac’s head.
And in the morning, more the same:
The apple can’t recall its name.
Granny Smith? Or is it Mac?
A sad dilemma for a snack!
It craves a pill to cure the pain,
But all its wishing is in vain –
For though it pleads both night and day,
The apple’s doctor stays away.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ode To Graffiti I Spotted Yesterday

Jesseanna's note: Actually, my mom spotted this graffiti (in Florida, I think). But she let me rhyme about it on June 19, 2007 - 'cause that's what moms do. Wish I had a photo for the last line!

Ode To Graffiti I Spotted Yesterday

When I see most graffiti displayed,
I think, “Words should be said and not sprayed.”
For I’m sure if my trashcan could talk,
It wouldn’t yell, “CHRISTOPHER RAWKS!”
And I doubt that most bathroom stalls care
Whether “JENNA WUZ HERE” or wuz there.
Surely exit ramps think thoughts more clever
(If they don’t, well, they’ve still got more class
Than the average road underpass.)

But here’s an exception to note -
One stop sign had reason to gloat.
Its message rang both strong and true,
As a spray-written missive should do.
‘Neath STOP, an extra command
In lettering rendered by hand -
No four-letter-studded design,
Just one simple phrase: "HAMMER TIME."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Elegy For My Emoticons

Jesseanna's note: I've written a lot of doggerel (arf!), but this poem from September 8, 2006, is probably my favorite. Three years later, it's time for an update - love sonnets in 140 characters or less, maybe?

Elegy For My Emoticons

It seems I’ve o’erstepped my bounds
In making cyber smiles and frowns.
As habits go, this one needs quelling,
Lest punctuation starts rebelling.
The colon groans, then gently sighs,
“Do quit using me for eyes.
I stand for lists, objects in rows,
Not atop a hyphen nose.”
Parentheses, they cannot speak -
Too horrified and incomplete.
The left one smirks; the right one glowers,
Forced apart by unseen powers.
Letter P retracts its tongue,
“My -oor heart, -ositively stung!”
And D, alas, finds nothing funny
Its -emeanor’s -oubtless less-than-sunny.
Letter O is not in shock;
X desires the chance to talk.
B’s opti-wear will soon be shed,
“Contact lenses, please, instead?”
Yes, yes, my dears, I’m quite aware,
The S likes -traight, not wavy hair.
Emoticons, I’ve listened well!
But, tell me . . . might I LOL?


In the interest of full disclosure, you should know: this is not my first blog.

For vintage doggerel and frequently self-indulgent essays, you can visit “Goofus Musings,” the blog I started in 2005 when I worked as an editorial intern for Highlights magazine (i.e. literary home of Goofus and Gallant, the blonde twins who hang around in dentists’ waiting rooms). There’s really no need though, since I’m pulling the “best of Goofus” onto this blog. It’s the brotherly thing to do.

Why am I bothering to create a new blog? I’m a newlywed, and much of “Goofus” feels past. I now live in Boston, not PA or post-Katrina New Orleans (as I did for two blogging years). My mentality has changed, too. If good writing requires a tortured soul, then I was better off in ’05. But I’m going to ignore history’s Faulkners and Plaths, for now, and say that the best is yet to come. So, visit often!
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