Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Contest: Eugene Walter Memorial Doggerel Competition

"I'll celebrate all wayward things
From man's mind born:
The private elves of disprespect
No less than unicorn."
--Eugene Walker, "The Fireworks at Versailles"

Eugene Walter was a man of many talents: prose, poetry, essays, cookbooks, marionette shows, socializing. Upon his return to Mobile after years spent in New York, Paris, Italy, and the Arctic Circle, Eugene moved back to Mobile and took up residence in a house lent to him by the city.

It was promptly trashed by Hurricane Frederick. Eugene threw a dinner party the next evening. As he put it in Katherine Clark's excellent life history/oral autobiography Milking the Moon, "Today may bring money in the mail. Today may bring a hurricane. You have to be ready for either one. In either case, give a party."

I'll be posting a review of his prize-winning novel, The Untidy Pilgrim, later tonight. But now I'd like to open up the Eugene Walter Memorial Doggerel Contest.

Your job? Compose a couple or a few lines of nonsense/less-than-serious verse. Verse, as the back jacket of one of Eugene's poetry collections puts it, that is "satirical, lyrical, comical, paradoxical, dipsical, doksical, hortatory, plumatory, amatory, bibliophilic, astrophilic, botanophilic, ailerophilic, gustatory, fun-cranky, and whoopsical". Post 'em in the comments.

Difficulty: No limericks.

To get you started, here's a link to an mp3 (scroll down and click) of Eugene reading the "The Fireworks of Versailles", brought to you by the good people at Nomad Music Studio, where you can purchase a cd of Eugene reading his poems and stories, and singing his songs.

And here's one of my favorites of his:

"Young Poet to Old Anthologist"
by Eugene Walker
(From The Pack Rat & Other Antics, 1937-1987)

When I tear the sun from his socket
And rearrange the stars in rows,
Cause the sea to blacken and churn,
Casting up green goblins on prosaic shores-
When you behold me, on a moonless night,
Clad in ire and white fire,
Then O then indeed
You shall be very sorry
You were not listening when I spoke.

7 comments:

Abzdragon said...

"prosaic" is one of my favorite words ... random... but it is :)

jeremy said...

You.
Ignoring me.
Reflecting on the nature of sunshine.
Beating up a quokka.
I was reading blogs.
Same thing.
I just ate a salad.
You think I'm a clown.
You think all I need are the shoes.
And the nose.
I had ice cream earlier.
And the facepaint.
Why did you just eat ice cream?
Why would I think you're a clown?
This is my negative influence.
I walked home from the library and it was hot.
You were going to give blood.
I don't want your Coke Zero.
You were once an unstinting blood-giver.
This was before I became a cancer upon your soul.
I don't like fizzy drinks.
This was before you fell in with me, the bad crowd.
I have a headache.
My broken wrist from yesterday has completely healed.
You are the good apple that is put in the barrel beside the bad one.

Kjersti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kjersti said...

sun-bleached
turning pages white
with forgetting
of your step
light and quick
in the dark night,
hot as breath
against our skins.
white wings
glowing in the light
of souls
searching
for beauty
in a frame
and loose
in the gravel.
in vibrations,
hot breath
crooning in out hearts
quickening that step
to the tempo of other jungles
that see
deep within
only the slightest
light of day.


Once y'all are done with the crazy blogging thing, could mary send me an e-mail? kjerstinator@gmail.com I want to ask about library school, a serious possibility for me in the next year.

thanks.
Kj.

mary_m said...

Kjersti, I'd be more than happy to. Always eager to bring more people into the librarian cult.

Gwen said...

I think my possum poem should be double-entered. It most certainly meets the criteria of being non-serious.

There is probably a rule against such things, but I'm just sayin'.

James Welsch said...

Bravo!