Sunday, November 23, 2008

There is HOPE for America yet!

At a sci-fi con down at the Hyatt in Cambridge today, Story Musgrave, a retired astronaut with a ludicrous amount of flight-time logged onto the space shuttle, drew longer and more appreciative lines than did Star Trek veteran Robert Picardo or Peter Davidson, an all-up honest to ghod BBC "Dr. Who"!
And I wouldn't call Musgrave an a-list astronaut-celeb either...he was not presented with the opportunity to walk on the moon or anything like that. He merely toughed out the long slow roll out of the shuttle and flew that bad baby...a lot!
Of course the close proximity of Nerd Valhalla, M.I.T. helps...

A last word of thanks to everyone that made

the bad Poets Society '08 such a success 'd scandal this year.

Joseph Zamparelli Jr our director and nominal "celeb" reader.

And our readers:
Gene Doucette (Poetry Captain)
Sarah Bazydola
Colin Buckley
Julie Dapper
Janice Gobert
Diane Statkus
Mike Statkus

You guys rock the Bad Poets Society completely we are much in your debt...even if we will never pay you.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

At last Julia...

n about twenty four hours, the Bad Poets Society goes down for about the eight time since its inception back in 1996. Curiously I am not riddled with the usual anxieties...I've been up and down so much with this program down thru the years that I've become immune to its special brand of mishaugas.
One particular issue that crops up from year to year is who is gonna be the "anchor poet"?..that is a particular "known" bad poet whose works we can showcase three or four times in the course of a single program. We mostly do this to highlight the apex predator bad poets out there it also fills up four or so spots that would otherwise need to be taken research-heavy "new" bad poems. So it is an intellectual economy measure of a sort.
This year, I was SURE the anchor poet was gonna be a woman, the front runner being Julia Moore the infamous "sweet singer of Michigan" a profoundly inept and humorless poetess whose work compares with that of Scotland's William Topaz McGonagall on the poetical crapulence scale.
Alas, Julai didn't make the cut this year, she favors VERY LONG poems, almost too long for our purposes...but I'll keep digging for more of her work and keep proposing her for other shows, she'll make it someday. However to make the occasion I'd like to post some of her song lyrics her for the delectation of the hard core faithful:
Leave off the Agony in Style

Come all ye good people, listen to me, pray,
While I speak of fashion and style of today;
If you will notice, kind hearts it will beguile,
To keep in fashion and putting on style.
Chorus --
Leave off the agony, leave off style,
Unless you've got money by you all the while,
If you'll look about you you'll often have to smile,
To see so many people putting on style.
People in this country they think it is the best;
They work hard for money and lay it out in dress;
They think of the future with a pleasant smile,
And lay by no money while putting on style.
Chorus --
Some of the people will dress up so fine,
Will go out in company and have a pleasant time.
Will rob themselves of food, perhaps, all the while,
Sake of following fashions and putting on style.
Chorus --
I love to see the people dress neat and clean,
Likewise follow fashions, but not extremes;
Some friends will find it better in future awhile,
To lay by some money while putting on style.
Chorus --
Gentlemen on the jury decides the criminal's fate;
I pray you turn from wickedness before it is too late;
Sad, indeed, would be your friends to hear your name reviled,
Better be truly honest though putting on style.
Chorus --
Leave off the agony, leave off style,
Unless you've got money by you all the while.
If you look about you you'll often have to smile,
To see so many poor people putting on style.

Julia A Moore

You can see at once what makes Julia so special, she is sooo humorless so earnest so primitive in her rhyming scheme...any time a poet starts shaking his or her finger at hemlines and too ornate hats, you know you have a winner. Like McGonagall, Moore favored song lyrics with a particularly puritanical tone. As funny as these are to read it is almost impossible to imagine anyone singing such a joyless hectoring screed.

Meanwhile the balloon goes up on the Bad Poets Society tomorrow night please join us...


Don’t Miss this Unique Festival of Inferior Rhymes!

Friday November 21st at 8pm
The Spiegel Auditorium
56 Brattle Street
Harvard Square
Cambridge Ma.
Admission: $5 cheap!!!

November IS Bad Poetry Month!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

College Songs...

This is one of those odes to dipsomania that made the Ivy League great and feared. the author is unknown and the sentiments are appalling even by the standards of the Turn of the Century.
Dartmouth always had a reputation for barbarism, even back during the depression if they were playing the Crimson at Harvard Stadium sensible mothers would keep their daughters off the streets til the last train left for Hanover NH on Sunday night.
back in High School I used to work as a ticket-taker at Harvard University stadium, I think Dartmouth used to cram every oaf they could lay hands on and ship them down for the game to act as a sort of cheering section of cave dwellers. I once passed thru Hanover NH on a Sunday morning, the frats were already deep into the hair of the dog what bit them.
Like I said, barbarians....
Well I will let you all read it and see if you agree.

A Son Of A Gun
I wish I had a barrel of rum
and sugar three hundred pound.
I’d put it in the College bell
and stir it ‘round and ‘round.
Let ev’ry honest fellow
drink his glass of hearty cheer,
For I’m a student of old Dartmouth
and a son of a gun for beer.

I’m a son of a, son of a, son of a,
son of a gun for beer.
I’m a son of a, son of a, son of a,
son of a gun for beer,
Like ev’ry honest fellow I like my whiskey clear.
For I’m a student of Old Dartmouth
and a son of a gun for beer.

And if I had a daughter, sir,
I’d dress her up in green;
I’d put her on the campus
just to coach the freshman team.
And if I had a son, sir,
I’ll tell you what he’d do
He’d yell, ‘To Hell with Harvard!’
like his Daddy used to do.

Gee that last stanza is CLASS all the way isn't it?

Anyway let me again note, as vulgar and bizarre as the above lyrics are, they were not nearly enough to merit inclusion in this year's Bad Poet's Society.
Which of course convenes in but forty eight hours or so...tell your friends...

The Bad Poets Society
Friday November 21st at 8pm
The Spiegel Auditorium
56 Brattle Street
Harvard Square
Cambridge Ma.
Admission: $5 cheap!!!

Boston's Best Kept Aesthetic Catastrophe now in it's eight or maybe ninth year....
November IS Bad Poetry Month!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Presidential Free-verse....

Given the recent hotly contested election I decided to stick with a theme tonight a present another campaign speech cut-up, this time from Lyndon Baines Johnson. Ole' Lyndon could be a real scenery chewe on the stump, some of his harangues at the outset of his political career compare favorably to the exquisite bluster of the late Governor of Louisiana Earl K. Long. Alas though when they flipped on the kleig lights Lyndon would put on his dignity act which was something akin to a Houston undertaker with a few too many deadbeat stiffs in the cooler. Much of his best Texas sized bombast is therefore lost to us...but this little gem uttered late in the midst of his 1964 Presidential campaign captures for a moment the grand Johnsonian style.

A short idyll from Lyndon Baines Johnson

"Ah jus' wish
we had as good a chance
for rain down home
as yew have here.
We have been cakin' our old cows all summer,
and we are almost out of pears down there".

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 25 1964

And again I note with all due humility as weird and incoherent as the above quote is, like ALL bad poetry it made perfect sense to it's "poet". And I'd also like to point out that the above "text bite" wasn't "bad enough" to merit conclusion in this year's Bad Poets Society.
To hear all the really appalling dreck we dredged up for this year drop on by...

The Bad Poets Society!!!

Don’t Miss this Unique Festival of Inferior Rhymes!

THIS Friday November 21st at 8pm
The Spiegel Auditorium
56 Brattle Street
Harvard Square
Cambridge Ma.
Admission: $5 cheap!!!

November IS Bad Poetry Month!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Five days and counting til the Curtain goes up on the Bad Poets Society...

Still so much to do, flyers to drop, readers to finalize and of course last minute publicity...tons of details really. After eight years this event gets no easier to organize, I am however surprisingly free of pre-show anxiety. I figure I've already hit rock bottom with this sumbitch the worst has already happened.
Below is a Burroughsian "cut up" of various key sentences from Warren Harding's inaugural address in March 1921.
Harding was such a maladroit writer and speaker I've always thought that his stumblebum syntax would make a great free-verse found-art poem According I post herein for the first time "The Love Song of Warren Gameliel Harding:

My Countrymen:

Ours is an organic law which had but one ambiguity, and we saw that effaced in a baptism of sacrifice and blood, with union maintained, the Nation supreme, and its concord inspiring.

one ambiguity,

I can vision the ideal republic, where every man and woman is called under the flag for assignment to duty for whatever service, military or civic, the individual is best fitted; where we may call to universal service every plant, agency, or facility, all in the sublime sacrifice for country, and not one penny of war profit shall inure to the benefit of private individual, corporation, or combination, but all above the normal shall flow into the defense chest of the Nation.

one ambiguity,

There is a luring fallacy in the theory of banished barriers of trade, but preserved American standards require our higher production costs to be reflected in our tariffs on imports.

one ambiguity,

With the nation-wide induction of womanhood into our political life, we may count upon her intuitions, her refinements, her intelligence, and her influence to exalt the social order.

one ambiguity,

This is not selfishness, it is sanctity. It is not aloofness, it is security. It is not suspicion of others, it is patriotic adherence to the things which made us what we are.

one ambiguity,

I would like government to do all it can to mitigate; then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved.

Whether it works or not...and perhaps it doesn't..let me nonetheless note, this poem was not considered bad enough to make the final cute for this year's Bad Poets Society. Take that as your benchmark.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pick of the Week:

"It's a Gift" starring the great man hisself W.C. Fields screens at 8:45pm.
It's part of a "Tribute to Gerald Peary" thang...shee-it that is fine and all, but when is someone gonna execute a tribute to John L. Galligan?? I've written thousands of pages of criticism, revived fundamentally un-revivable films ("Hercules in the Haunted World, "Black Belt Jones", "The Gorilla" starring the Ritz Brothers to name but three) as well found new audiences for all kinds of titles AND presided over the Bad Poets Society, the COOLEST poetry reading Metro Boston no-one has ever heard of!