Thursday, October 29, 2009

On Mt. Oulipos

On Mt. Oulipos Harry Matthews
Is depicted in his statues
Wearing laurels on his bald head,
A collar and a tie.

He's inspecting an expensive vintage,
A marble glimmer in his eye.

His carven slacks and coat are bulging
Over massive shoulder and thigh.

Many a weighty tome is found
On deep and sturdy shelves behind.

Italo Calvino, Surrealistes,
Old Andre Breton, in embossed leather,
Perec, Queneau, men of letters,
Stacked-up wide and high.

At his feet (in marble Ferragamos)
Are chiseled tablets, and they're missing
The letters O and A. Luckily, he could use an E
He was also allowed a U and I.

Graven text reads cryptically.

Harry Matthews, the sole American "Oulipian," was
recently lionized in a NYTIMES.COM "Schott's Vocab" feature.

Ala Georges Perec, who notoriously wrote a novel without
the letter E, Oulipians write their way around certain self-imposed limitations.
How Perec listed his name on the title page is uncertain to me.
Perhaps P*r*c, G*org*s?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

News Haikus

all the news that fits in 17 syllables


He's hurled from wi-fi cafe,
He'd squat for hours with steeped tea:



Crowed grey financiers,
"TARP worked! Staunched the starving!"
Hey, um, I could eat.



Chief McChrystal, he
See far, want heap big war surge.
Prez: Thanks for your views.

Michael Dennis Mooney


Got up 'bout noon,
day off, on a fryday

Smelt the fish
cookin in the fat

Why have coffee?
So I had the decapitated

Just for the smell of it,
the creamy arf & arf

But I felt like my head
was a foot above my neck

Wrote haiku parodies
for the contest in the paper

Then another & another,
can't do just one

They're like the chips, salty
fresh from the deep-fry basket

I was on the tip top pinochle of excess
I was in the chips, also in the smelt

And on the net

"Confusionisms" appeared as a comment in the Schott's
weblog of NYTIMES.COM on October 9, 2009.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer,
Once an Organized Crime resister,
Succumbed to the hook
Of a call girl, helped cook
The crime ring's books
With small wired payments to a dummy corp.,
Yet he never got his day in court!

The Feds booked the appointment-booker
Who'd booked his trysts with a comely looker,
Yet not the Gov. nor well-paid hooker!
Feds had just enough legal juice
In interstate commerce statutes
To prosecute the escort service
But not "prosecutor" nor his prostitute!
Neither this John nor his Jilly!

Oh, when he faces Kompromat
It gives a Gov. the willies!
Now he is a "prostitutor,"
It gives a Gov. the willies.

So the Gov. has to deal with Silda Wall.
She surely could have killed em all,
The Gov., the whores, the perverts.
It's enough to make a wife nervous.

Poor willowy Silda gets to see the "cute"
Face and figure of the hot-eyed prostitute
On the cover of every paper and mag,
While she dutifully stands by her man.
One has to assume she could kill him.
Being paparrazed is such a drag.

Still, the former prosecutor,
Now a notorious prostitutor,
Helped fell another crime ring
With his, um, peccable timing.
Pay cable might've met his needs nicely.

He teaches, now, at City College,
He shares the great depth of his knowledge.
"He didn't screw me!"
Say his new students, duly.
"He'd make a fine senator, truly."

(*Note: Kompromat is compromising materials, e.g.,
the bank records of his wire transfers to a crime ring.)

"Kompromat" appeared on NYTIMES.COM as a comment on the Fashion and Style Section
article posted April 7, 2010, "Eliot Spitzer's Long Road To Redemption."

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