Tag Archives: Slimverse

2 Poems and a Song Lyric at The Basil O’Flaherty.

I have 2 poems (“Living Off the Grid”, “Railspur Alley Park”) and a song lyric (“Willie’s Oasis”) up at the tri-quarterly web magazine “The Basil O’Flaherty”.

Regular visitors to this blog will recognise the second poem as a triple slimverse. Only the second time this verse form has appeared outside this blog….is that momentum I feel?

I’m never totally sure about publishing song lyrics as they sometimes seem a bit thin on the page without melody and music, but I hope this one stands up! You can check out a sample of the recorded version here.

The Best of Slimverse, 2016

When 2016 began, slimverse was an obscure 12 syllable (3-3-3-3) verse form, standing in the shadow of its older sibling, the seventeen syllable (5-7-5) haiku and now that 2016 is being carried, battered and bruised, out of the building, slimverse is an obscure 12 syllable (3-3-3-3) verse form, standing in the shadow of its older sibling, the seventeen syllable (5-7-5) haiku. This is a collection of the best of 2016, compiled by Slim and I in the early hours of the morning following “the Poet’s Circle” Christmas Party which was held at the Accomplished Poet’s house.  It was a fun-filled night of poetic over-indulgence and excess. The Accomplished Poet read a poem about pruning as a metaphor for the editing process involved in writing  a poem, it was tortuous but accomplished. The Upper Case Poet had a minor shoving match with our newest and youngest member, who edits an edgy E-zine called “Capslock Off” – no prizes for guessing what the argument was about. Slim hung around the buffet all night like a dog that had come across a bag of pork chops while walking in the woods, then later insisted that he had an invented a new word : “tumultaneous” – when tumultuous events occur simultaneously. He was met with benign indifference.

Here’s the List:

Bison

Like an old

Christian

Brother, an

unkempt monk.

***

Golf

 the one sport

that demands

blandness from

its heroes.

***

The Stack (remix)

And what a

beautiful

plume we have

here, Nigel,

 

a plume with

time on its

hands, look at

it loping

 

across the

sky like a

giant Chinese

dragon, let’s

 

hail a cab

to find the

plume’s end, where

the last wisps

 

of vapor

drift upwards

and a blue

mist hangs, yes,

 

there it is

in the sky

to the west

stalking the

 

cars in the

parking lot

outside the

big box mall

 

while the sun

bawls and the

sky gets all

indignant.

 ***

Holy Scripture

when asked to

pick a font

he replied:

baptismal.

***

And No Tom

 Danger Mouse

Modest Mouse

DeadMau5. It’s

all Jerry…….

***

Vancouver Jazz Festival (Re-Mix)

 a humid

lion house

hogo hangs

on the air

 

dogs and trees

dogs and trees

free jazz, jazz

for free, the

 

bass player

leans like a

drunk around

a lamp post.

 ***

Names 

those that can

stand alone

those that can’t

hyphenate.

 ***

Old Cowboy

bowed legs

straddling a

ghost horse, beef

jerky thin

 

Holiday

Inn, buffet

breakfast, far

from the range.

***

When the Twittering Stops

it’s all fun

and games ’til

the body

bags come home.

 

***

On Hearing that Justin Trudeau had approved the Kinder Morgan Pipeline

there are 3

certainties

death, taxes,

corrosion.

 

Photo: Cranberriment

 

 

The Party’s Over (3 poems and a bonus poem)

My head is throbbing like a car stereo, there’s stubble on my tongue. Last night, I invited Slim and the rest of his Poet’s Circle over for a few drinks to celebrate the end of April-Month of Slim and it was quite a night, or at least, I think it was. It began relatively smoothly with an intense discussion about accessibility (no surprises there) and I remember making an emotional speech about the end rhymes in “Suzanne”. Then the conversation moved on to verse forms – cinquains, tankas, sestinas, halibuns, what happens if one turns a haiku upside down -fascinating stuff. Then Slim chimed in and asked where his own invention, the slimverse, fitted in to this pantheon. There was an embarrassed silence. Eventually,  one of the poets – the one we refer to as The Accomplished Poet -spoke up. I should add that he is indeed accomplished and his compact vivid poems , mostly about his garden, have been widely published. He politely suggested that perhaps a 3 syllable line was too limiting, that making music with such a restriction is quite difficult. Now there was another kind of silence, the kind that ensues when a lion tamer drops his whip. Slim says quietly “fuck you and your fucking garden” and aims a punch at The Accomplished Poet’s head, who, perhaps because of all that work in the garden, turns out to be quite agile. He ducks Slim’s punch and kicks him adroitly in the nuts. When the applause died down and Slim could speak again, he uncharacteristically apologized and gave The Accomplished Poet a hug, a doubtful pleasure given Slim’s personal hygiene issues. The evening ended on a happy note with a raucous rendition of “Suzanne”, everyone hitting the end rhymes hard.

But before we wrap it all up, just one more po-faced gem from Slim.

The Universe is Unexplainable

like a frog

down a well

we only

know the walls.

Maybe it’s the hangover but  I am having an adverse reaction to that last poem.

For Chrissakes

 doesn’t that

make you want

to smash a

garden gnome!

Before this deteriorates let’s turn to my good friend, Snoop D Doggerel, currently on tour in Southwest Ontario, who took time out to pen this following opus which I think puts it all in perspective.

COMING UP SHORT

aphorists

are gnomic

the dwarfs of

lit’rature

And that’s it! No finer ending!

I would like to point out that no animals were harmed in the making of this month of blog posts, although a few (a frog, a bull, dogs, mice) were shamelessly used as props or on the business end of a simile.

What Can I Say

 to leave no

footprint we

must fly but

never land.

 

 

 

Vancouver Jazz Festival (Re-Mix) – a poem, a discussion, a bonus poem.

Vancouver Jazz Festival (Re-Mix)

 a humid

lion house

hogo hangs

on the air

 

dogs and trees

dogs and trees

free jazz, jazz

for free, the

 

bass player

leans like a

drunk around

a lamp post.

 

Well, 3 posts into April – Month of Slim and I’m wondering will this 12 syllable madness ever end? I asked Slim if he found this verse form, this 3 syllable line too confining. Did he not want to escape its shackles and roam free, go for 5, 6 syllables or even stretch a line across the width of the page. “Au contraire”, he said. He actually said that, “au contraire”, and I thought that’s a bit effete, a bit foppish for a bald guy with gravity issues.

“Au contraire, in fact I find it liberating to escape the tyranny of free verse, the endless decisions – upper case, lower case, line length, is it really a poem or is it just chopped up prose, if I am writing a poem about a flower, should the poem be in the shape of a flower, should I rhyme or not rhyme, what is doggerel anyway? – this is like fundamentalism, the boundaries are clearly defined, this far and no further, the Lord gave you 12 syllables, make the best of it!”

Well, that answer was a bit more than I needed or wanted, if I owned a watch I would have been looking at it.

“Got to go, Slim” I said.

“Hang on” he said, “talking of religion, I saw that movie ‘Spotlight’, here’s my review.

 

Spotlight (slim review)

 Catholic

priests find the

immoral

higher ground.

Golf, Of Mice and Musicians, Another Bull Simile

Well, April-Month of Slim is slowly drawing to a close and this blog is starting to feel like a seaside resort at the end of the season…

a rain-swept pier

all the tourists gone

a few locals

bending into the wind

et moi, I am feeling a vague ennui, a certain je ne sais quoi and I have this urge to use every hackneyed French phrase I know in a pathetic attempt to sound world-weary, like I’m sitting in an outdoor café, a scarf knotted at my neck, smoking a Gitane and nursing an existential crisis.

Right so, more 12 syllable madness, here we go, something new, something old, something revised:

Golf

 the one sport

that demands

blandness from

its heroes.

 

And No Tom

 Danger Mouse

Modest Mouse

DeadMau5. It’s

all Jerry…….

 

Party Animal

 he walks in

the room like

a bull to

a paddock

 

the air shifts

nervously

eyes lower

bells jangle.

 

Slim’s Sudbury Vacation ( a poem and a post-poem interview)

The Stack (remix)

And what a

beautiful

plume we have

here, Nigel,

 

a plume with

time on its

hands, look at

it loping

 

across the

sky like a

giant Chinese

dragon, let’s

 

hail a cab

to find the

plume’s end, where

the last wisps

 

of vapor

drift upwards

and a blue

mist hangs, yes,

 

there it is

in the sky

to the west

stalking the

 

cars in the

parking lot

outside the

big box mall

 

while the sun

bawls and the

sky gets all

indignant.

 

Post Poem Interview 

You played well out there tonight, Slim.

Slim: Well, you know it’s not about me, it’s about the poem, I’m just part of the process.

Are you suggesting that you are perhaps some kind of conduit linked to some higher power, some higher resource.

Slim: No, I am just mouthing platitudes, isn’t that the idea?

Quite, so I am sure everyone is wondering, who is Nigel?

Slim: He’s my cousin.

That’s a very English name.

Slim: That’s hardly surprising, he is English.

Do you call him ’Nige’ for short?

Slim: No!

It sounds like he could be a member of one of those floppy-haired synth bands from the eighties, you know, like Soft Cell or Human League or The Pet Shop Boys. Didn’t XTC have a song about a guy called Nigel. Is he in a band?

Slim: He’s a welder.

Does his hair not get in the way?

Slim: He’s bald, where is this going?

(mumbles) somewhere slow or nowhere fast. So tell me about the structure of this poem.

Slim: I took the 3 syllable line, 4 line verse , I have been using, and applied it to a poem that I was never happy with and it worked, at least it made me trim a lot of the fat and I came up with a better poem, I think?

……….what? Sorry I nodded off there for a bit. Well, I’m sure you are itching to get back to the dressing room and join the rest of the lads in a lukewarm bath of diluted sweat.

Slim: Can’t wait!

 

 

 

Slimverse Down Under (Quantum Foam and the Subjunctive)

Well, this is exciting, slimverse goes antipodal! My good friend Snoop Doggerel in Adelaide, Australia has just joined the international movement towards slimverse. Can anything, other than widespread apathy, stop this juggernaut now? Here it is, Snoop D’s paean to the power of nothing:

NOTHING MUCH

By Snoop D. Doggerel

Nothing’s great

It can sate

Quantum foam

I can roam

By way of explanation, from Wikipedia:

“Quantum mechanics predicts that space-time is not smooth; instead, space-time would have a foamy, jittery nature and would consist of many small, ever-changing, regions in which space and time are not definite, but fluctuate.

The predicted scale of space-time foam is about ten times a billionth of the diameter of a hydrogen atom’s nucleus, which cannot be measured directly. A foamy space-time would have limits on the accuracy with which distances can be measured because the size of the many quantum bubbles through which light travels will fluctuate. Depending on the space-time model used, the space-time uncertainties accumulate at different rates as light travels through the vast distances.”

Speaking of a foamy, jittery nature, I asked Slim to comment on ‘quantum foam’ and how it could enhance Snoop D’s ability to roam. He had this to say:

CHILL

 the answer

lies in the

wondering.

gnomic? moi?

What can I say? We are experiencing an embarrassment of riches. But wait, this just in, another gem from Snoop Doggerel:

TENSE TIME

By Snoop D. Doggerel

As it were

Subjunctive

No-one saw

It coming

Strut that subjunctive, Snoop.

I present this to Slim and he goes silent like he’s experiencing a food chain moment, like he feels he’s been out-versed. But wait, something is coming in….

SHOCK AND AWE

 It’s enough

to make me

floss outside

corn season.

Yep, if you want gnomic, if you want cryptic, if you want  non-sequiturs, this is the blog for you!!

 

 

12 Syllables that Shook the World

Well, after a brief diversion into haikuland, April – Month of Slim returns with the first sighting of slimverse outside of North America (well, actually, outside of this blog) and it comes from Stiofan O’Broin   (over in Ireland/ Italy ?) who shows a complete mastery of the form in his first attempt! Here it is:

Slimverse

a slimverse

is an odd

metrical

exercise.

On closer examination, this is actually a poem in which the poem is the subject of the poem itself, a kind of poetic selfie. It’s like writing a sonnet about a sonnet, or a haiku about a haiku. For example:

Haiku 

haiku: seventeen

ineffable syllables

five, seven and five.

 

I think we’ll call it a“ Narcissus”.

Here’s a vaguely related blast from the past from Slim:

 

The Pre-Selfie Years (a slimverse)

fifteen years

ago, no

one could spell

narcissist.

 

(Be sure to check out Stiofan’s blog, it’s an eclectic mix of poetry, Irish politics and music and always interesting.).

 

April – Month of Slim 1 (2 poems)

Yes, as promised, April  just got a bit crueler. In response to Slim’s recent complaints about being ignored, we kick off with 2 poems – a slimverse and a slimverse lite (12 syllables, 4 lines, 3 syllables per line, utilizing only 6 letters).

Names (a slimverse)

those that can

stand alone

those that can’t

hyphenate.

 

(Inspired by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaine )

 

Too Many Questions (a slimverse lite)

 U is at?

Is u at?

At issue?

Is it u?

Coming Soon! April – Month Of Slim

The great TS Eliot once  wrote :”April is the cruelest month”, well it’s about to get crueler. In response to almost no demand at all, for the month of April this blog, as was it’s original intent, will be devoted to the writings of resident poet, Slim Volume. There will of course be slimverse, slimverse lite. a reboot of the Lad Poetry project and one or two guest appearances.

Also, I encourage all you poets out there to create your own slimverse. It’s the simplest of forms – 12 syllables, 4 lines, 3 syllables each line. Knock yourself out! And let me know about it!