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Friday, March 30, 2012

Toylit for March 30, 2012: 2 Poems & Some #Combatwords

Toylit for March 30, 2012: 2 Poems & Some #Combatwords

Combatwords will be here from now on. To play, just post your composition in the comments section:

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Combatwords, March 30, 2012: Trayvon Martin vs George Zimmerman

Combatwords, March 30, 2012: Trayvon Martin vs George Zimmerman

Do you see Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman waving you over here? They're directing you to the new CombatWords arena. Do you even need a primer? Some pics should do it. I guarantee it. 

Combat Expiration: 12am PST, 4/2/2012

Bonuses/Penalties: Time: +1 if posted before 2am PST, 3/31/2012. -1 if posted before 6am 4/2/2012

Updated Rules:

Scoring: +1/-1 under the WITS structure:
Wit: wordplay, cleverness, clumsiness, choppiness etc
Ideas: good/bad, whatever. Got to be a cut above the ordinary poem.
Taste: Liked it/hated it
Structure: Is the sonnet a sonnet or the essay an essay? Does the structure help the composition? A bonus would go to an outstanding structure, not just a competent one.

The highest score any one critic can give could be a +4 & the lowest could be -4. Scores are cumulative.

Finally, you need to defend each portion of your WITS score. Either the composition has or doesn't have wit. It either does or doesn't have good ideas. Etc. These are not objective traits, but they can be calculated somewhat by the readers/critics.

Critique: Any critic can question any part of another critic's WITS score. Majority rules in deadlocked cases.

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The Quack's Lament [Today's News Poem by •••/@ten_ten_ten/TJ Edge, March 30, 2012]

The Quack's Lament [Today's News Poem by •••/@ten_ten_ten/TJ Edge, March 30, 2012]
By ••• (TJEdge)(@ten_ten_ten):

in the year of mercury rising
i ate white calomel
and applied salves to syphilis biding
in bodily alleys hid well
as we'd lie to patients sizing
up nostrums to sell

by the coarse cloth of night
we lit pine fat torches
danced hi-diddley-red blue and light
on coal dust-folded porches
stacked in burlap bags of blight
children smearing scorches

the taxman etched lines on my tongue
as into glass i bottled
white mercury powdered with a black lung
from a cracked skin infant who waddled
where mud and meat and flies were hung
and whores were manured and mottled

and in that year of mercury retrograde
we carved in dung and dust
diagrams in the skin of the sun to aid
us in assuming a more fatherly trust
and of many young girls women were made
to satisfy our daughter’d lust

til faces caked with tar and feather
we rode across the briar
horses whipped in blood and lather together
barely escaping the ire
of townspeople writ in cork and leather
with wings of broken fire

we let blood into smoke and chill
and round an empty mine
they strung us up and did their will
packed our bodies in brandy and brine
without even a hole to fill
fated thus, born under a mercuric sign

holding hands with mercury and sun we go
where hell wobbles to and breathes us fro

“Mercury may be hiding water ice, NASA spacecraft finds”
MSNBC,, 3/27/2012 3:28:39 PM ET
“Retired Pharmacist Arrested in Albany Mercury Poisoning Case”
Paul Grondahl, Times, Updated 01:57 p.m., Friday, March 30, 2012

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Friday, March 23, 2012

…and here be tygers [Today's News Poem by HikiMadwoman, March 23, 2012]

and here be tygers [Today's News Poem by HikiMadwoman, March 23, 2012]

in the mountained mouth of northeast asia, an empty gray tooth marks north korea
one red pin marks a model city, painted clean without pity, the lovely pyongyang
stuffed with concrete girls and empty tilt-a-whirls smelling of blood and dark urea
fringed 'round with wooden spooned schools, where watered women in hanboks sang

i have watched the young man mountains surrounding pyongyang's potent potted smile
holding silted rivers sleeping flanks with their banks free of boats neatly curled
in roofless shopping cart valleys stamping out the arduous march for another mile
pocked 'round with unknown holes, dead wells perforating their white paper world

in another map i found a name for the wooden saint plastic paint model railroad town
and named collective farms, plaster dams and coalmine arms, all drawed out in blue
prison camp lines sketched famine fine and where they lay the tin missiles down
i drank of jet fuel and submarines, and climbed the steppes of golden mount baekdu

there these sleepy-limbed sons of korgyo kings spoke in fury and threatened hell
from a republic of none and nuclear sun, red revolution in a boot on our neck
yet in rare photos i saw, a child playing in straw, an infant grasping a pale shell
two girls giggling pink at a sink, and a grand old man with a donkey in check

i knew them in one bright flash, and furious, i ask, how could it be the case
we could have forgotten there are people living and laughing in this place?

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The Thirds, Engendered [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, March 23, 2012]

The Thirds, Engendered [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, March 23, 2012]

Ghost of my loins, you have fingers that counter-digest me,
Reach through my gullet to pinch-off the brain from my spine,
Sex then unsex me; you hollow my innards—direct me.

Gonads appear in a visage before me—vagina,
Penis, an organ combining the two so the sex
Breaks to an embryo, withers before its arousal.

Ghosts of my loins, the extinction that's coming is calling
Accidents: sperm like a genie from lamp, I'll regret
Life that I never created for fear of creation.

“Mirkarimi pleaded guilty last week to one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment of his wife on New Year's Eve. Prosecutors say he inflicted a bruise on his wife's arm during an argument in front of their 2-year-old son. The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain agreement in which prosecutors agreed to drop three other domestic-violence-related charges.”

—Rachel Gordon, John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 03/23/12

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Standing Hampton [News Poem by Steven M Grant, March 3, 2012]

Standing Hampton [News Poem by Steven M Grant, March 3, 2012]

Boys of 13 can be
Ill at ease with the
Girls their own age

Sophomoric and
Awkward; their advances
Untoward grasps at
Something still not understood.
Afraid of rejection, a boys mind
Gravitates toward a place where
Embarrassment is unthinkable.

Pubescent teacher fantasies,
Inevitably follow, in the confused
Zeitgeist of middle school and
Zaftig pants days that always
Accompany adolescence.

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Colony of Statues [News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, March 9, 2012]

Colony of Statues [News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, March 9, 2012]

Think us a colony—penguins or pinnipeds—
Only we're grizzlies that line up by riverside
Polishing pebbles, or carving them... bashing them
Eager for logos: the pith Michelangelo
Sought in the marble; the flavor pre-Pantheon
Children contained and their father contained—and if
He had a father, then surely the mythos is
Wrong: we're degenerates, castoffs, inferior—
Smaller than granules and less than the ancestors—
Even the best of all human-kinds possible
Cannot converge with the grace of all origin.
Somehow in sight of ourselves we've become what we
See and in sight of ourselves we converge with the
Best of the origin, best of all possible
Ancestors, righteousness, mothers, containers for
Atheist statues resembling epiphany,
Carvings of planets—we've colonized earth.

A Sunnyvale woman who told a neighbor she felt overwhelmed by caring for her adult autistic son shot him to death before turning her gun on herself, authorities said Wednesday. Elizabeth Hodgins, 53, shot her son, George Hodgins, 22, on Tuesday in a bedroom of their home on the 800 block of Nectarine Avenue, according to police and neighbors.”
—Will Kane,Demian Bulwa; San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, March 8, 2012

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Water Or Blood? [Today's News Poem, March 2, 2012]

Water Or Blood? [Today's News Poem, March 2, 2012]

Blizzards reversed the polarity,
Conjured the pivot to juncture:
Breathing was never the same again.

Ice for a godmother:
Bikes to the office park
Vanquished by winterness.
Revive them with bourbon
And bless them with stupor.

Slip on the ice—use crampons and slip
(You'll keep slipping)
Off of the surface. Harvest the luck
(Like a truffle
You fed with your excrement
[Kindly intentions]):
Swallow, inhale and recycle
That fragment of nothingness.
Grasp to the luckiest railing,
Treebranch—in fact snap off the first twigs
Spring has to offer and cushion
The imminent fall
(You are falling):
Smother the buzzings of springtime.

A bough is a whip in disguise
As neckties are nooses disguised.
Chase every sunset to rot on horizon.
Grind in the caverns—bury yourself in the mines.
Dodge the commitment.
Trap the undying.
Praise the unyielding absences.

Snow is the dandruff that falls from temples,
Fragments that signal the stillness deep winter
Offers is gone and that motion's conceivable.
Thaw and thus water is where I am headed.
Water, or blood; am I water or blood?
Nighttime has eyes in the cameras, sky, and faces;
An eye that has blinked itself shut,
Squeezed out a tear and might open again.

“As of 6 p.m. ET, the weather service had 21 active tornado warnings, plus less urgent tornado watches that spanned 11 states.”
—CNN Wire Staff, CNN; 6:29 PM EST, Fri March 2, 2012

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