Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 5th and 6th

my brain is sludge
but writing takes
the sludge away

I yearn for touch
for fingers on skin
both mine and hers

NOTE: I have a huge urge to count syllables, even if I know haiku isn't about that... the thing is, when I finish a haiku and it's not 5-7-5, I feel like I can never use it in a haiku death match. So, I re-worded these two to 5-7-5

the fog in my brain
is cleared away with a bit
of writing magic

I yearn for fingers
on long stretches of smooth skin
my fingers and hers

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"daily haiku" - Nov 2nd, 3rd, 4th

Started a new job on Monday, so have missed the haikus since then - it's been busy and tiring... Still, I want one per day, so will do that:

dear support phone role,
I don't want you any more,
sincerely, Travis

every first Wednesday
it's poetry in motion.
Spoken word, bitches!

Rap battles are great
mate, it's the bait and switch, the
letters on slate, word!

And since I missed out on a few, I'll add another one:

poetry collects
inside window and door frames
like empty spaces

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Daily haiku, December 1st

pick a great comic
read it from the beginning
SMBC rocks!

new job tomorrow
I start far too early. I'm
a 9AM guy.

Friday, November 29, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 30th

worldly possessions
lose importance as we age
and memory goes

daily haiku, Nov 29th

Word of the day: Manuka

Manuka honey
requires a special bee, but
the stings are the same

Thursday, November 28, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 28th

facebook wastes my time
like nothing else ever has
except jerking off

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

daily haiku, 27th Nov

word of the day: exaggerate

what do men do with
fish size and with penis size?
we exaggerate

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 26th

Word of the day: serendipity

my discovery
of poetry was simply

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 24th

My friend Ben, posted this haiku to facebook:

Welly's hungover
from its blindingly happy
end of year sun-binge

to which I replied:

the sunshine can cure
all of the year's maladies
and cause a few more

daily haiku, Nov 23rd

thousands of lovers,
all of your ancestors past
made you as you are

Well, isn't it silly that I duplicated yesterday's post? This must be remedied with this:

saintly fairies dance
upon the heads of pins where
they look like angels

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 21st

word of the day: trumpery

my daily haiku
is often simply

daily haiku, Nov 20th

the world is good again
job offer

NOTE: I'm departing from the 5-7-5 for a bit here. I like to do the 5-7-5 haikus as well, since I need to do that for any haiku death matches that come up and I like to keep in practice, but I can try and be a purist sometimes. :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 19th

word of the day: egress

your eyes are gorgeous
I'd love a conversation
but I egress

Monday, November 18, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 18th

Word of the day: capillary

I am a robot
my capillaries carry
only indifference

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Haiku competition - results

On November 6th, I offered up a haiku contest. The winner is Rebecca Hawkes with the following haiku:

I spend my weekend
worrying about
what weekends are for

Honourable mention goes to Marie-Claude Plourde, who submitted an impressive pangrammatic, which uses all the letters of the English language in one haiku (harder than you might think):

 Just a box for bed
News---make spells, copy letters
Freezing, she quivers

Another honourable mention goes to Natasha Dennerstein, with the single best line from all submissions - the middle line of this haiku:

Honey please don’t stay;
you smell so of yesterday; 
I forget you well.

So, I will get in touch with Rebecca, and send her Stephen Fry’s “The Ode Less Travelled”. Congrats!

 All entries, roughly in the order they arrived:

Rick Morrow:
So, too, trees desire—
leaves unfold to ground in whispers.

Hernan Blejer:
Nanowrimo match
every eleventh month
till the mind grows too old.

dedicated to Cape Reinga:

Foam-burnt and sun-washed,
Above rock and sea
The tree slowly erodes.

Marie Claude Plourde
A winter wind blows
Seasons keep coming around
Scarcity of time

Just a box for bed
News---make spells, copy letters
Freezing, she quivers
(A pangrammatic haiku. - all letters of the English language)

Rebecca Hawkes:
your expectations
are most unreasonable
whatever they are

I spend my weekend
worrying about
what weekends are for

Thom Botterill:
Unowned ode traveled
The lone literary sea
Verdant words for me

Santa claus is com
Haiku is corrupting me
Ho ho ho

pork is bacon
but not all bacon is pork
say no to tofo fakeon 

Natasha Dennerstein:
Honey please don’t stay;
you smell so of yesterday; 
I forget you well.

Coconut nightclub;
smooth moves to Hawaiian grooves:
frangipanis fall.

Karen Leslie
Fry's chocolate was, 
in Moab's washpot recurring, 
bittersweet goodness.

Laurel Jane May
I killed a dog yesterday
But where were you then?
You cried as I saved your life

daily haiku, Nov 17th

Word of the day: credulous

I love haikus but
it's credulous to believe
haikus save the world

daily haiku, Nov 16th

Word of the day: immutable

say immutable
to my face just one more time
and I will change you

Thursday, November 14, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 15th

Word of the day: gormless

gormless people are
too gormless to know that they're
actually gormless

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 14th

Word of the day: antipathy

My antipathy
for arrogance is well known.
do I hate myself?

Daily Haiku, Nov 13th

    Word of the day: Shard

red shards are scattered
on the ground in front of me
It's my broken heart

Monday, November 11, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 12th

I've got the munchies
far more frequently now that
I am unemployed

unemployment sucks
I barely have to explain
the blow to my ego

Now, more positive -
I am writing far more now
there's no pesky work.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Daily haiku, Nov 9th-11th

The National Poetry Slam too place at Meow, Edward Street this past Saturday, which has slowed me down with my haiku. :(

On a positive note, the slam was superb. Excellent, high quality slamming all the way through. It was superb. Michael Gray from Wellington took third, and Wellington in general did really well with all three Wellington finalists getting through the first round.

The new New Zealand national slam champion is Te Kahu Rolleston from Hamilton. Michael Moore, also from Hamilton took second. The funny thing is I drove them in from the airport in the afternoon and they performed for me in the car. Haha... at the time, I didn't even know they were competing.

It has inspired me to work harder on my writing, and presenting. I want to compete in next year's competition.

I chatted with Michael Moore at the end, and apparently, his time in Hamilton was his first ever slam. He'd never done it before. Also, he hadn't done any theatre or other types of performance before. He'd just watched lots of slam poems on youtube and then gave it a go. This is, of course, an insult to all the other slammers. Hahahah... But, it does mean that we can expect even better from him going forward. I can't wait.

Anyway, on to the haiku:

Nov 9th:

No reading for me
since unemployment. Except
poetry. Of course!

Nov 10th:

That sounds like some porn.
Nudity, sex, drugs, and pain.
Nah.. it's HBO.

Nov 11th:

I'm giving away
"The Ode Less Travelled" by Fry
Win with a haiku!

Friday, November 8, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 8th

Shakespeare spun his words
somehow, without the help of
even a laptop

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Haiku contest.... Win Stephen Fry's "The Ode Less Travelled" - deadline Nov 15th, 2013

Through a bit of a fluke with, I ended up with an extra copy of Stephen Fry's excellent book, "The Ode Less Travelled".

A friend of mine (thanks Thom B) suggested that I have a haiku contest, where I ask for original haikus and the best one wins, as judged by myself.

An extra copy of my favourite book on poetry.

Rules: Submit as many haikus as you like. I am free with the format, as long as it is a 3-line, short poem. No more than 5-7-5 syllables per line though. You can submit here, in the comments, on my facebook wall (I'll be announcing it there), or via email:

I will judge the winner, and announce the results one week from tomorrow, November 15th, 2013.

NOTE: I am happy to send the book anywhere in the world, so feel free to share with your friends, even if they are overseas. It's worth a good haiku.

I will put the top haikus here on my blog at the end, so only submit if you don't mind them being on-line.

Thanks and happy haikuing!

NOTE: I prefer clever/funny. If your haiku can make me laugh, I'll give it high points! If you can do that an make it deep at the same time, you've got a winner. :)

Noveljutsu - the title...

I feel that I'm failing a bit on the title of this blog.

Firstly, I haven't done any novel writing to speak of. I have started this year's Nanowrimo, but really, it's a half-hearted effort. I'm far more interested in writing poetry these days.

Also "jutsu" is borrowed from "Jujutsu" or "Karate-jutsu".

"Jujutsu" is 2 pieces, "Ju" meaning "soft" or "softness", and "jutsu" meaning "art" or "technique". This is different from "Judo", which means the "way of softness", which is far more spiritual in meaning. I won't bore you with my martial arts history background, but the "jutsu" is about techniques, and the art of things. It can be applied to almost anything, including poetry, sculpting, fighting, driving a car etc...

Essentially, it is everything that goes into making something effective, not just a collection of techniques, but how to use them, drills for practicing and any way that can be used to make X effective for Xjutsu.

So, I have been lax in not having the blog live up to its name, i.e. what are some exercises, techniques and so on that will help you write.

Free Writing:

I have to say, the most useful of all the tools I've used to help with poetry is free writing. That is, just block off a portion of time, ten minutes works well, set your alarm and just write, write, write until the alarm goes off. I like to do this a few times with a break in-between.

This switches off  your internal editor and lets your brain loose and your subconscious out a little more than usual. You'd be amazed what can come of free writing. Most of it is just random junk, but some of the best lines from my poems come from there. I don't get entire poems out of it very often, but usually the seed of something more.

And, if you are suffering from writer's block, this is a great way to unblock yourself. Just get something moving and it's a step in right direction.

If nothing is coming to mind, just start saying, "Nothing is coming to mind. I can see the tv in the corner, a stain on the rug... etc..." and you'll gradually come unstuck. Some books I've read on the topic say you should just keep writing, "Nothing is coming to mind. Nothing is coming to mind. Nothing is coming to mind..." until something does. There's something to be said for the fingers doing writing.

I prefer typing, since it goes even faster than writing on paper, but there's a tactile aspect to using a pen and paper, so I will use both at different times.

I will try and throw a few other exercises in future posts. I've started with what I consider most useful.

In essence, all writing exercises have one thing in common, i.e. start with SOMETHING rather than nothing. Common in writing exercises that I've seen is starting in a different place from where you usually start, so a specific word you wouldn't normally use, "crackerjack" or "root" or "shiv" and away you go in a different direction.

daily haiku, Nov 7th

job interview fail
what does it take to secure
a life of bordom?

daily haiku, Nov 6th

I love a neck rub
When I am feeling depressed.
and when I'm happy.

Monday, November 4, 2013

daily haiku, Nov 5th

"That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also." ~Heinrich Heine

I would rather put
my hand into raging fire
than have my books burned

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

daily haiku, October 29th

I can feel the warmth
starting to spread through my legs.
a cat on my lap

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

daily haiku, October 25th

poetry slam night
preparations are over
and inadequate

daily haiku, October 24th

smells of oranges
permeate the kitchen air.
Who's taking the pith?

"Taking the pith" is such a witty line. It's not something I came up with myself. I read it in my friend Penelope's blog post.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

daily haiku, October 21st

last second ticking
one point behind, two point shot
the swish is so sweet

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

daily Haiku, Oct 18th

This is a bit late, but I had a dinner to go to tonight and just got back:

I am now writing
poetry exercises.
so far all drivel.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some video haiku for your entertainment...

I just saw my friend, Ken Arkind's most recent TEDx talk, which reminded me that I'd performed with him back in June and gotten the video back from Lonnard Watkins who'd been kind enough to record it.

Ken's most recent TEDx talk: 

Ken Arkind: My name is a poem

(I have no idea why this won't show up as a video :( )

I love this guy... so many poignant, funny, sad and clever moments throughout. This is his 3rd TED talk.

Ken and I on stage at Fringe Bar.

Comments welcome. :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

daily haiku, October 14th/15th

Oh my... why can't I just do one a day? Why do I keep missing them? This is one of my few forms of writing, so how hard can it be? I'm not working at the moment, so should have lots of time!

wasting all my time,
and there is plenty of it,
looking for a job

words always fail me
whenever I need them most.
seduction crisis!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

daily haiku, October 13th

Random word: couloir (a steep mountainside gorge)

within the couloir
a mountain sheep butts against
the mountain's steepness

Sorry - nothing even remotely funny today. Suggestions on how to make "couloir" funny? I got that from Marriam Webster's "word of the day" FYI.

daily haiku, October 11th/12th

Bah! I somehow missed yesterday, and I was so good...

Another day missed.
I will have to make it up,
with a witty poem

a little voice says
"You are just not good enough."
It's my lover's voice.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

daily haiku, oct 9th

Heinlein's writing rules
are very, very simple
rule one: you must write

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

daily haiku, October 8th

Contributions from
from our Canadian fellows
mmmm... maple syrup

Really, that's it... I can't think of anything else Canada has supplied. Oh.. boredom...

Monday, October 7, 2013

daily haiku, Oct 7th

random word: incarcerate

how to tell if you've
had a good stag do party?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

daily haiku, October 5th

Another unpublished one that I did on the night of the haiku death match:

We're attention whores
you’ll know this if you know poets.
Please like this haiku

Thursday, October 3, 2013

daily haiku, October 4th

Not all the haiku from the deathmatch was published here, so here's one from the night. Don't blame me if the audience liked low-brow poetry. :p


Fuck society!
but then there is an issue.
Where does the cock go?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

daily haiku, October 3rd

Last night was Poetry in Motion's Haiku Death Match. Last year, I was 2nd, but I won it this year.

Not only that, it was a rematch of last year's final. Some fantastic haiku, but unfortunately, there were only 8 competitors rather than last year's 16, so the energy wasn't quite as good this time out.

The only new ones were the 3 that I wrote on the night... everything else has been posted here recently.

The audience had 3 topics, "asparagus", "cannibalism", and "baby sitting::

asparagus haiku:

everyone rejoice
it's asparagus season
your pee will smell bad

cannibalism haiku:

surviving alone
on a desert island? NOT

baby sitting haiku:

how to get out of
being asked for baby sitting?
Sit on a baby.

The cannibalism haiku was THOROUGHLY bested (it's the only unanimous vote, and the whole audience was voting!) by last year's champion with one of the best haiku of the night... I don't remember it exactly, but it was something like:

what's eating the poor?
cannibalism? No! That's

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

daily haiku, Sept 30th

there is nothing like
fear to fuel creativity
deadlines fuel the fear

Meh... I don't like this haiku that much. I find the last few have been pretty lame.

As one of my recent ones said, I'm trying to get enough good (i.e. funny) haiku together for the haiku death match happening on Wednesday (it's Monday today), and I don't feel I have them.

I just need to write enough in a row that one will eventually be ok. Last year, Una and I were feeding off each other, and we had a lot of good ones.

I started with the idea of:

X statistics - where X was a 2 syllable word, i.e. vampires, zombies, werewolves and playing off that.

zombie statistics
3 in every 4 zombie
prefers live, fast food

vampire statistics
3 in every 4 vampire
hates the twilight books


Hmmm... yeah, need to sit and brainstorm a bit more. I'm a lot less prepared than last  year. :(

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

daily haiku, Sept 27th

it rains then sunny
then rain, then sun again then
rain. It's Wellington

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

daily haiku, Sept 21st

quote: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."  ~Leonardo DaVinci

the simplicity
of a touch, the ultimate

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

daily haiku, Sept 17th

don't play candy crush
the latest facebook game craze
it will eat your soul

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

daily haiku, Sept 15th

I know, I just had one with this title, but I missed a couple of days from being on interviews in Auckland.

don't feel contempt for
the guy with the ferrari
he's compensating

daily haiku, Sept 15th

a ball in the face
hurts less than missing the catch
don't ever do both

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

frequent haiku, September 12th

I missed yesterday
and also the day before
I need to write three

one down and two more
I decided everything
will be in haiku

windy Wellington
the plant life is so friendly
it's always waving

Monday, September 9, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

daily haiku, Sept 8th

an airplane back home
to my girl, who I don't love
I hate connections

Got this idea from: "Take this Waltz", a great movie... the haiku needs some work

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Daily haiku, Sept 6th

a butterfly lands
then takes flight from your shoulder
your world stays the same

"State of Being" opera

I know, I know, that's three posts in a day, but this one is exciting.

Back in May, someone got in touch with Poetry in Motion (my poetry group) to do the libretto for an opera. It's called "State of Being" and music was composed by Warwick Blair, a New Zealand composer. The video of the opera was just released yesterday and I watched it today.

There were four volunteering poets, including myself, and I did all the coordination with our contact in Auckland. We were supplied music for each section on Soundcloud, and were asked to write 8 pieces of about 10 minutes each. I aimed for 500-600 words per section.

We quickly divided up the different sections, which were based on eight different concepts: love, maths, jazz, sex, death, drugs and truth (dance is another section, but has no libretto).

I wrote maths and love, words attached below.

Warwick Blair was quite liberal with the libretto. There were very few parameters put in place to tell us how it would be sung, or how it would be used. When I listened to the video, I realized he took, at most, 3 or 4 lines in a row, sometimes modifying, sometimes repeating a line over. Very little of the two poems below remain - just a stanza or two of each. Still - it's fantastic and somewhat surreal to hear your own libretto sung by very talented singers.

I've learned a lot about poetry since May, so I'm a bit embarrassed by these pieces, but hey - they were good when I wrote them. :) I think I would concentrate on making them tighter, with more control over stanzas and meter, and pay especially attention to the internal rhymes and sounds/chimes. Still, I enjoy reading these still, so that's a good sign.


It makes perfect sense
that evolution and biology play a role in our daily lives
Irrational in the extreme, every scheme is of infatuation
A flick of hair, a flash of cheek, give weakened knees
Our horny and joy roar, like the shore’s crashing waves
Where then fits love? Is it the shining light we imagine?
Or just the pumping, pulsing flow of hormones?
We do not know.

All of us are, at best, sitting in the darkest places, holding the smallest candle
Lighting up the flickering, unsteady space around us
Once in awhile, someone finds a corner and sits
Those are the knowledgeable, the scholarly, the enlightened
Purposeless and endlessness fit together like pieces of an ever-changing puzzle
And any solid space feels like certainty in the vast darkness

So, how do you know when you’re in love?
Rather than picture her naked
You think of
The smell of her skin
the sun shining on her hair
the curve of her cheek
and softness of her lips
her eyes on yours
the throaty laugh
and smart remark
her timely blush
the crinkle of her eye
when she smiles
her attention
her discussion
her every word
No. That’s infatuation!

And unrequited infatuation at that
So, what is love?
The Greeks got it wrong
They think all blonde curls and batting eyelashes
Love is not the soft, pretty, feminine figure they imagine
No. Love is the twin sister to war
She is as fierce and her armour has barbed spikes
She can sometimes look so appealing, so sweetly curved
Do not be fooled, she is the harshest avenger
Ruthless and uncaring about the damage she leaves behind

If Love comes to you, run away from her
But know this, know this
You can never run fast or far enough
For her legs are long and tireless
Her breath steady through the miles
And even if she catches you alone in the wilderness,
She can reach into your chest
Tear out your heart, rip it into pieces
and fling them into every direction
Somehow, you still remain alive
Your heart keeps beating, shattered though it may be
And life goes on

Later, you meet love again
But this time, her foul mood has abated
And your heart remains intact
And she touches you lightly on the cheek
Gives you a hug and tells you to be well
Life is good, the birds are singing
The world is brighter and more colourful
Food tastes better,
Even the bruise black clouds do nothing to dampen your mood
The rain feels like sunshine
The pain in your muscles feel like rest
And your golden glow cheers all around you.
I am still waiting for her good mood.

Lost and listless, loveless and restless
Strangers are my only comfort, my only comfort
Cold, distant, the horizon seems closer than you
Take the distance and hug it tight
Take it to your breast and hear its heartbeat
the rhythm matches “I don’t love you any more”
And,while wishing you the best, it cannot comfort
Still, is this the essence of desire, or attraction?
Somehow, in the loneliness, you conclude
All love is self-love
You are surrounded by yourself always


Shaking the tree of mathematics yields
a biosphere of tensor termites
algebraic ants, exponential earwigs
logarithmic locust and binomial beetles
truths falls before our eyes
derived from nothing but the letter x

A special search for truth
One that might actually yield results
unlike “What is the meaning of life?”
or “Where did we come from?”
questions asked and unanswered
through the generations
Not math; math gives answers,
Time after time, it teases
Time from time and answers from answers

Sorely needed, desperately seeking
The deepest truth past number’s meaning
Truth seeking mathematicians spend lifetimes understanding why
One plus one equals three won’t fly
The very mind of God revealed
Years and decades go by
and as they come near
These truth seekers become like gods themselves,
gods of imagined spaces, warriors of the mind
lords of numbers

Searching, peeking, hunting, seeking
lighting a candle in the darkest places
not snuffed out by ignorance taking
no interest in their spaces

Imagine a life of searching, truth seeking
Answers always just around the bend
closer and closer with each derivation
but when you round the very last corner
What do you see?

Godel’s wall, looming large
bricks of incompleteness
and mortar of uncertainty
form tightest tightness, no cracks, no brightness
shine through
Truth is on the other side, forever from reach
Godel didn’t build it, but was the first to find it
And was the first to write graffiti upon its vastness
In bold, red, spray-painted letters
sit, “This sentence is false”
But if the sentence is really false
then it must be true, and if it’s true
it must be false

Many have tried, but when they find the wall
They know better, stop, take stalk, sigh and turn back
The best but skirt its infinite edges
getting lost in self references, logical paradox
unworthy of mention, axiomatic suspensions
Newer, unrevealing invention

So instead, they turn to sexy hyperbolas, curves of choice
Twisting to the apex of spiral joy
Shapes of planar-cones intersections
Injuring the soul of the circle, always bound end to end
the snake swallowing its own tail
forever lusting for freedom, but denied

Or, the Pythagorean truth where
the trig fairy sits on their shoulder
Whispering “hypotenuse”, “hypotenuse”
over and over into their ear
The very height of mountains,
the diameter of the sphere
distances to anything of worth
a giant euclidean tangle
from the sun to the earth
contained in the smallest triangle

Or, they slum with the layman and accountant
planar geometry and basic arithmetic
barely mathematics, of lowly aesthetic
columns of figures - addition and subtraction
where one and one, of course, make two
Where no one even question their actions
No formulae of Newton’s domain
No abstraction more complex than a fraction
The gods left alone on the higher plane
No Reinman, Gauss or Leibnitz
Just bean counters counting their beans
stones tossed into clay bins
to count the minutes and the seconds
no lords of numbers
no warriors of the mind
no mathematicians

NOTE: the idea of the maths poem comes from the story of Kurt Godel, a mathematician/logician from the mid-20th century who is famous for Godel's incompleteness theorems. Many mathematicians of the day spend nearly their lifetimes working on a axiomatic definition of all of mathematics. One of these was the famous mathematician and atheist Bertrand Russell. Much of their life's work was destroyed by Godel's theorems, who determined than an axiomatic definition of mathematics was not just difficult, but impossible. So, once your life work is destroyed, what do you do next?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Poetry exercises

I asked on facebook for some poetry writing exercises, since I have felt a little stale lately. It's quite amazing what a few random exercises thrown out can do. I'm pleased with some of the output, which might form the basis of a new slam poem sometime soon. It's certainly much better than the tripe I've been writing lately. I notice that I am quite heavy with both internal rhyme and chimes, that is, words that sound somewhat similar, but aren't actually rhymes. I like the sounds when read out loud.

1) Find a poem you love, start your own poem with the first line of that poem. When you're finished, throw away the first line.

Starting with Galway Kinnell's Blackberry Eating:

I feel the cold seep into my skin
the first signs that summer's fled
the light dying early in the dry, cool air
it's comforting in a way, but I can't say
the same for everyone, they're some who
hate the late days of summer, the dying
grasp of warmth, the claws of winter
scraping at the door you've closed
to keep in the heat, you'll soon meet
the fire in your stove, the deep pockets
of the armchair in the corner,
the love of a good book and
many reasons you want to stay indoors

my favourite bits: "late days of summer", "the claws of winter/scraping at the door", "the deep pockets of the armchair"

2) Write a poem from your latest grocery list:

Are you taking the pith from that mandarin
because it feels like you are, and I don't appreciate
the strips of mandarin peel that lay on the counter
when they should be in the compost bin
next to the browning carrots and the
thin onion skins and the twin broccoli stalks

turn away from my voice, put some cream
in your coffee and walk away, towards music
and heat in the other room, pretending that
you just want to eat cookies and read your book
when I know your truth, our truth
that you never wanted cream in your coffee

my favourite bits: "taking the pith" (that always makes me laugh), "compost bin" -> "thin onion skins and the twin broccoli stalks", the sounds just feel good here - lots of similar sounds in thin, onion, skin and twin, and "broccoli stalks" has a lovely cadence that I enjoy. I also really like "that you never wanted cream in your coffee", but don't quite get why. The whole 2nd stanza is packed with implied meaning, but without stating anything explicitly.

"truth" is on my grocery list. It's always the first item. I've never found it at the grocery store, but I keep looking, just in case.

3) Go to a cafĂ© and write a little poem about someone you see there - imagine their life and troubles or joys and write them a little summin summin.

he's alone at his table
every other stable with
groups of two or three
he's not quite sad looking
but concerned, or discerning
why she didn't come home
at her usual time

Favourite bits: I like the implication here of what he's thinking about and all the many, many pieces of his life that are implied by him being concerned that his partner didn't come back at her usual time... it's probably nothing, but maybe it is... he doesn't know.

4) Start with a critical yet reasonable stance on something then, line-by-line, let your argument deteriorate into invective and hyperbole

They really shouldn't beat nuns in Syria
I mean, really - what have they ever done?
Well, I mean, except for the ones
Who were mean to kids in school, act
as stubborn as mules, who might not
understand the plight of the average,
and think that the church isn't
abusing children, you know - all of them
Really - they might deserve a beating
Not that I would support behaviour
of that sort, not for sure, well, I've never
been in that situation to know
I might, especially if they looked at me
wrong, or talked in some funny language
or, you know, acted like Catholic nuns

my favourite bits: I enjoy using "really" and "I mean", "you know", "well" etc... sometimes several times, to add a conversational sound to it. I also like the internal rhymes and near rhymes, "done"/"ones", "school"/"mules", "might"/"plight", "support"/"sort". Many of them came about naturally when I was writing, but some were added after a bit of revision...

5) Let your current location be an inspiration.

my mind is blank under my blanket
as I slouch on my couch
I blaze through what I'm browsing
nothing sticks, and my mind remains blank
under my blanket
as I slouch on my couch

Favourite bits: nothing - this one was just silly. I did like blank/blanket though.

6) Write a poem from the perspective of someone who is something you are not - (e.g.) blind, deaf, gay (or hetero)...

I chose someone who is deaf:

I feel the deep rumble of the cars going by
and see their bright surfaces flash
or the splash of rain from their frames
the silence comforts, the lack distorts
but silent, always silent

they say the waves crashing make a lovely sound
to me, they are always the whitest white
curving, laying, bowing down to the shore
pushing pebbles quietly, smoothing divots
equalizing, traumatizing the beaches

Favourite bits: I enjoyed implying deafness, i.e. "I feel the deep rumble", "they say the waves ... make a lovely sound". I think I went too far with "the silence" and "... silent, always silent"

7) How about a poem or prose poem in which you have to include 5 things: orange, a child in water, easterly breeze, a Stop sign, and an alarm!

there’s a child in water, screaming
the scream streams in through my ears
screech, stop, screech, stop, for a long time.
It’s splashing is violent, but silent
my alarm: screaming, as my eyes open
violent, NOT silent, a buzz that generates a groan
from my lips, my daily zen koan, daily irritant
sheets wet, the child’s water, keeping me cold

the first chore, steep steps from my door, dragging
feet, raggedly tracking my home into the real world,
pulling collar to collar bone as I meet the whirling easterly breeze
my car stutters at the stop sign and I find time
to scoff an orange, spraying my hands with juice
the orange scent mixes with the spruce-scented
air freshener, mixing into a surprisingly unpleasant odour.

Favourite bits: I enjoyed this one quite a lot - I have been playing the internal rhymes and chimes, "scream"/"screech", "stop"/"long", "violent"/"silent", "groan"/"koan"/"cold", "dragging"/"raggedly".

I do like "collar to collar bone" and the image it implies of steeling against the wind.

The dream of a child screaming being an alarm was a bit heavy I felt. Also, the blatantness of the child's water being sweat on the sheets feels a bit unnecessary. Maybe leave that out in revision. I also was a bit uneasy with "chore"/"door". Still, fun. There are lots of pieces of these things that I can use later.

I feel that I could improve my use of chimes and be more deliberate, and less obvious with rhymes - if they are natural, fine, but otherwise, they feel a bit forced and there's no point. At the moment, chimes are used nearly arbitrarily, simply for sound. I think I would like to pick and choose and imply more. I like the implied pieces quite a bit. I think if I continue to write regularly, there will be more and more of this that comes out.

Also, none of these used meter at all... I didn't think of meter even once while writing them. Line length and stanza length were deliberately (approximately) uniform, but nothing else. I was listening for the sounds more than anything.

Daily Haiku, Sept 5th

a baby screaming
I awake from my nightmare
my alarm screaming

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"daily" haiku, Sept "3rd"

I realized that I might as well write another haiku for Sept 3th, since I missed it

Fuck society!
I realize the issue
where does the cock go?

"daily" haiku, Sept 4th

I missed yesterday - things happen. I'm looking for work... life gets in the way.

Anyway, onto the haiku:

please like this haiku
if you're a poet, you'll know
we're attention whores

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

dialy haiku, August 28th

chasing two rabbits
at the same time, guarantees
that you will lose both

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

daily haiku, August 25th

the muse is a flame
but cold, it licks at your skin
its burns are ideas

Friday, August 23, 2013

daily haiku, August 24th

Ha! Just after midnight, so this counts for the 24th

A friend of mine issued a challenge. He asked me to write a haiku in "pilish", which is an unusual restriction, where the number of letters in each word follows the digits of Pi, so 3 letters in the first word, 1 in the 2nd, 4 in the 3rd etc... (to a few decimal places, this is the pattern: 3.1415926538979323...)

My friend got the idea from the short story Cadaeic Cadenza, which is all written in "pilish". Cadaeic Cadenze is an amazing piece of work, using crazy restrictions, and reads quite well. The story is long enough to reproduce 3835 digits of Pi. His section mimicking Poe's style of "the Raven" has to be read to be believed.

My humble haiku:

ink a line, a group.
seventeen to create verse.
the haiku appeared.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

daily haiku, August 23rd

a cover letter
seems like such a simple thing
sorry, no job here

A sonnet - lazy voters

From Stephen Fry's "The Ode Less Travelled", a poetry exercise in the latter stages of the book asked for a Petrarchan Sonnet about the laziness of the voting public, but with a volta (twist, usually in the last 6 lines) where you come around to their point of view in the end.

NOTE: the Petrarchan/Italian sonnet has 14 lines, written in iambic pentameter (ta-TUM, ta-TUM...) with a rhyming scheme of: abba abba cdecde (the last 6 lines is more flexible than that, but I picked the default).

average voters are a lazy lot
they simply blind themselves to politics
they watch their tv; watch their silly flicks
while drinking wine and beer and smoking pot

while living lives of blood and piss and snot
a remote control one lazily clicks
to watch some porno, T&A and hanging dicks
it’s every day the same, their lives a knot

but think a little on this voting thing
most voters would mostly likely drink more beer
than float the useless political boat

so bring another voter under wing
no voting today, make it very clear
there’s pointless, then there’s voting; don’t vote!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

daily haiku - August 21st

today's quote: "However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?" ~Buddha

love to read and speak
but critically - remember
you are your actions

Monday, August 19, 2013

daily haiku - August 20th

Today's quote: “Show me a man with both feet on the ground, and I’ll show you a man who can’t put his pants on.” ~ Arthur K. Watson

both feet are needed
in order to put on pants
don't ever forget

Sunday, August 18, 2013

daily haiku, August 19th

I think I'll have to change the name from "Daily haiku" to "frequent haiku" or something. While I intend to write every day, I somehow don't always get around to it.

Today's quote: "The mind is everything. What you think you become." ~Buddha

ask, "What do you want?"
take council in the answers,
resolve the conflicts

Friday, August 16, 2013

dialy haiku - August 17th

today's quote: "An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind." ~Buddha

the tiger can bite
a friend can injure my mind
she can make me sad

Thursday, August 15, 2013

daily haiku - August 16th

I've been away in Fiji for a couple of weeks.

Today's quote: "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." ~Buddha

"live in the present"
much easier said than done
the past is longer

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Poems while you wait

I love this story. Jacqueline Suskin is now one of my heroes.

Oh, and this:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stephen Fry's "The Ode Less Travelled"

I was perusing the library the other day when I came across this gem, "The Ode Less Travelled" by Stephen Fry. Fry is a wit, brilliant, knowledgable and easy to read. This is a superb introduction to poetic form.

Interestingly, I know lots of poets, slam poets and page poets and poets who don't share their material, to poets who share almost everything they write. I have not really, to my knowledge, discussed poetic form beyond haiku and limerick forms. Of course, I've heard of sonnets and even had a go at writing one, but they just seem like an archaic, dusty old form that most people don't bother learning about.

Fry, on the other hand, digs in right away, into different types of meter. The iamb and trochee, spondee and phyric meters, as well as the longer, like anapaest, dactyl etc...

While these aren't really commonly used with purpose, even for most poets I know, Fry makes them accessible and interesting and fun and he is so very excited about all of it that it's infectious. I can't help but be interested in his many examples of pure form and the small variations employed by the masters.

If you want to be a better poet, then knowing these things and how to use them can only help.

I'm about half way through and am loving this book. I will certainly buy a copy in the near future, since I only have the library's copy.

I am sure there are friends of mine who are reading this who say, "Awww... that's adorable, Travis doesn't know about meter.", but as I said, I've not really discussed these things before.

The joy of understanding iambic pentameter to the point where I can actually compose it (badly, I must say) cannot be overstated. I feel like I've learned quite a lot in the last week or so. 2013 is my year of learning poetry.

Some examples of my iambic pentameter:

if we were likely to affect our lives
in such a simple way, then never can
it be again except perhaps today
and strictly speaking can't be worth a lot

some homemade seafood chowder hits the spot
a piece of pumpkin pie for dessert please

Miramar peninsula sitting there,
a house or three under our window too.

with only breath I fill my life with song
so less a self and more a beat, we shout
a tune to fill the air with sounds so loud
the air will shake and move and litter notes.

Haha... those are so awful, but fun to write. As Fry states, they are more like doing scales on the piano. It's not real poetry, but gives the feeling of what it must be like. It is fun and finishing a line or couplet in iambic pentameter is satisfying.

daily haiku august 9th

I've been in Fiji for a while. This is from the free wifi in my room:

I feel a deep shame
a deep and soul wrenching shame.
Beiber sing-along.

Friday, August 2, 2013

haiku, August 3rd

today's quote 'the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are', joseph campbell.

my haiku

be who you are, a
lesson that bears repeating
and still often lost

Thursday, August 1, 2013

daily haiku, August 2nd

Today's quote: "Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself." ~Joseph Campbell

for your history
you have only you to blame
this is injustice

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A random poem... "You should date an illiterate girl"

I love this poem... Thanks to Chris Huet for sharing it on facebook.

haiku challenge - continued

I've really enjoyed doing the haiku challenge in July.

Now that it's August 1st, I just feel like continuing. I'll dig up some quotes and see what happens.

Since I did a Joseph Campbell quote yesterday, and there are lots of quotes of his around, I will continue for a while and see where it goes.

today's quote: "God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that." ~Joseph Campbell

God is an idea
ponder on The metaphor
expect no answers

Haiku challenge, bonus haiku

Joseph Campbell is an inspiration to me. I've you've never read or heard of him, I would suggest "The Power of Myth" DVD, a few hours of interviews with the man. It changed my life.

“Regrets are illuminations come too late.” ~Joseph Campbell

My haiku:
do you have regret?
Regrets always come too late
but that can't be helped

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 31

today's quote:

The taste
    of rain
– Why kneel? ~Jack Kerouac

My haiku:

when dark clouds hover,
the sky reaches for delight.
denied, it cries tears

Monday, July 29, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 30

Today's seed: "To begin writing haiku, and to make progress to any significant extent, requires two gifts: the ability to be alert to the subtleties of sensory or psychological experience (i.e. to notice things); and a sensitivity to the subtleties of language (i.e. to be able to express things). However it isn't necessary to know that you possess these gifts before beginning to write: the gifts are very often revealed – and developed – in the writing. The haiku path is an unfolding process of discovery , and the only magic words of access are the words of each haiku that you read and write. If there is some special or exceptional condition called 'haiku mind' then I, for one, don't have it. As far as I'm concerned, there are as many haiku minds as there are readers and writers of haiku." ~Martin Lucas, Stepping Stones: a way into haiku

Today's haiku:
I would like haiku
taught in precise, succinct ways
haiku like teaching

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Haiku Challenge, day 29

Today's seed: “The only reason for wanting to be a writer is because you love doing it. All the rest is confetti.” ~Susan Hill

My haiku:
the only reason
why we would do anything
is because of love

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 28

Today's seed: “The richer our sensory environment and the greater our freedom to explore it, the more intricate will be the patterns for learning, thought and creativity.” ~Carla Hannaford

My haiku:
build up your senses
so you can learn everything
in the smallest glance

Haiku challenge - bonus haiku

time is a machine
it buzzes and clicks and whirrs
and smells like old books

Friday, July 26, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 27

Today's seed: “The idea that memory is linear is nonsense. What we have in our heads is a collection of frames. As to time itself – can it be linear when all these snatches of other presents exist at once in your mind? A very elusive and tricky concept, time.” ~Penelope Lively

My haiku:

of time and women
all frames in his mind at once
he takes off her clothes

Haiku challenge, day 26

Today's seed: "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about." ~Rumi

My haiku:

imagine the world
of ideas and of concepts
as fields in the woods

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Haiku challenge - bonus haiku

I did an night of improv poetry last night and got a series of random words and phrases to produce poetry from. I chose to do haiku poetry.

The only one I really liked was from the word "deciduous":

I hung a tyre swing
from deciduous poetries
it swung with rhythm

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 25

Today's seed: "Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart."~Ancient Indian Proverb

My haiku:

Things do not capture
ideas and people capture
things follow behind

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 24

Today's seed: "If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced." ~Vincent Van Gogh

My haiku:

Many voices talk,
telling you you aren't enough.
Make sure you talk back

Haiku Challenge, Day 23

Today's seed: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou

Hy Haiku:

I don't remember,
you sang or danced or something
and you filled my heart

Monday, July 22, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 22

Today's seed:  "Jung observed that dreams perform restorative, corrective, compensatory, prophetic, and developmental roles in our psyche; that to attend to our dreams is to attend to the cry of the soul." ~ Jill Mellick in The Art of Dreaming

My haiku:

When my soul cries out
my dream leans in close to me
whispering silence

Friday, July 19, 2013

Haiku Challenge, day 20

Today's seed: "Once I knew only darkness and stillness... my life was without past or future... but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living." ~Helen Keller

My haiku:

what is handicapped
when the blind see so clearly
and speak such wisdom?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Haiku Challenge, day 19

Today's Seed: "You sometimes think you want to disappear but all you really want is to be found." ~Kid Cudi

my haiku:

if you are mixing
finding with disappearing
self-reflection time

Haiku Challenge, Day 18

Today's seed: "Let you life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf." ~Rabindranath Tagore

My haiku:
May you phrase just right
like Rabindranath Tagor
you time dancing dew!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 17

Today's seed:

"Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go." ~Hermann Hesse

My haiku:

The messiah says
if I can teach people just
this: "learn to let go"

Haiku Challenge, day 16

Today's seed: "I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding." ~John O'Donohue

my haiku:

to live how a river does
firstly, remove decisions
and then close your eyes

Monday, July 15, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 15

Today's seed: "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." ~Mark Twain

My Haiku:
when you think you see
turn instead to your mind's eye
and know you were blind

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 13 & 14

Day 13:
I am
A hole in a flute
That the Christ's breath moves through –
Listen to this

My haiku:
"Christ" and "Messiah"
Just mean, "anointed with oil"
mechanics are christs

There exists a flute.
you only have to believe
and you can be saved

Day 14:

""It doesn't interest me 
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
& if you dare to dream
of meeting
your heart's longing." ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

My haiku:
The mountain dreamer
says something interesting
but no one listens

The secret remains
performing your heart's desire
As a way of life

Friday, July 12, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 12

Today's seed: “Suppose someone told you that there was something that spoke to you every night, that always presented you with a truth about your own life and soul, that was tailor-made to your individual needs and particular life-story, and that offered to guide you throughout your lifetime, and connect you with a source of wisdom far beyond yourself. And, furthermore, suppose that all of this was absolutely free. Naturally you would be astonished that something like this existed. Yet this is exactly the way it is with our dreams.” ~John A. Sanford in Dreams and Healing

My haiku:

My dreams and nightmares
have a quality of truth
but cannot be truth

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 11

Today's seed: "I wear my heart on my sleeve, only to find I have to wipe my nose on it later." ~A friend

My haiku:

blood, toil, tears and sweat
things you want for your success
but not to clean up

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 10

Today's seed: "The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience." ~Emily Dickinson

My haiku:

The soul stands ajar
ecstatic experience
steps in through the door

Monday, July 8, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 9

Today's seed: "When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has found." ~Sufi saying

My haiku:

My heart pumping blood
finds time out of its schedule
to have a nice cry

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Haiku Challenge, day 8

Today's seed: "That's where writing comes in. It is necessary for the survival of my haughty sanity as bread is to my flesh." ~Sylvia Plath, Journals, September, 1951.

My eyes swallow words
My ears swallow even more
gorged, I vomit poems.

Haiku challenge, day 7

Today's seed: "“We are all dreaming children as we read. And as we write.” ~Tessa Hadley

My Haiku:

You should wake up from
your childlike dream of reading
No, it's too much fun!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Haiku Challenge, day 6

Day 6 seed: "Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the dawn. So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, 'Good morning! What are you doing?' 
The young man paused, looked up and replied, 'Throwing starfish in the ocean.' 
'I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?' 
'The sun is coming up, and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die.' 
'But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!'

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, 'It made a difference for that one.' " ~Author Unknown

My haiku:

How does one clean all
The grains of sand on a beach?
One grain at a time.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Haiku Challenge, day 4 & 5

I missed day 4 for no reason. I will do 2 haiku today:

Day 4's seed:

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?" ~Frida Kahlo

My wings now fail me.
Feet, I need you now to move.
atrophe's a bitch

Day 5's seed:

"This we know, the earth does not belong to man - man belongs to the earth.
All things are connected - whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it- whatever he does to the web, he does to himself!" ~Chief Seattle

What is climate change?
The planet has a fever.
We are the disease.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Haiku challenge, day 3

The seed today: "If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.":

My haiku:

my green bough inside
shudders under your presence
the singing bird flys

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Haiku challenge, day 2

Today's quote:

"This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. "
~Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2, Shakespeare 

My haiku:

Busting a flower
Isn't really romantic.
The blood is icky.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Haiku challenge

I've decided to take this haiku challenge for the month of July. So, I just have to find an image here, and then use it to create a haiku.

The first seed was, this quote “Looking at a rainbow is a very personal experience, as even someone standing close to you is actually seeing a rainbow created by a different set of raindrops.”

My haiku:

If you beat him hard,
A leprechaun will shit gold
under the rainbow.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Limerick Death Match - April 10th, 2013

So, I had to settle for a 2nd place in the limerick death match put on by Poetry in Motion. Michael Gray, a regular on the Wellington Slam scene was on form and the clear winner. The 3rd round was written on the spot and I was stunned at his polished spew. :)

I want to share my limericks somewhere, so here they are.

1st Round (best of 5)

There once was a spry octogenarian
who always brought his girl to the planetarium
she said to add spice
something different would be nice
so he nailed her at the aquarium

We all know of the wizard of fire
He was someone I used to admire
it’s somewhat baffling
his fetish for halflings 
His pants come down in the shire

Once out to sea during Christmas 
composing a limerick for his young miss
The poet said "Fuck it!
Turn this crate to Nantucket
Where they shit better limericks than this!"

Inside the playboy’s lair
you can’t find a single chair
Rather instead
it is covered in beds
For all the orgies in there

I am certainly very well bred
and more than a wizard in bed
you may not agree
but it’s not up to me
It’s just something your mother said

2nd round (best of 3)

A gambler who could never lose
Went for a Las Vegas shmooze
He was set up for life
Considered a wife
Then blew it on hookers and booze

There was a girl named Janine
Who said limericks should always be clean
No talking about cocks
with a whole bunch of jocks
Or nasty orgies with the queen

There once was a man from Guelph
Who saw a girl through a library shelf
Despite his advances
She was taking no chances
And he was forced to service himself

Final Round (best of 3 - ideas from the audience)

(toe fungus)

Some think toe fungus is cool
There is something I learned in school
If you eat toe fungus
there will be coughing among us
It's just one of those sciency rules


I once knew a man named Ted
Who owned a heart shaped bed
It wasn’t a hit
girls didn’t like it a bit
They fall off when getting head

(your competition)

We love to hear this poet each day
He serves up humour on a tray
He talks about second chances
And most hairy romances
It’s 50 shades of Michael Gray

dirtiest limerick contest

There was a male antequarian
Who recently became a pescatarian
He said, "That means I eats fish.
It’s my favourite dish."
as he went down on the librarian


There was a fat man in a sleigh
Who was lazy except for one day
The poor elves slaved
but had a brainwave
The sleigh blew up over Bombay

What’s it like to throw down a gauntlet?
It’s very like a testosterone faucet
Two men fell in love
with the same, little dove
Her, she’d rather just fall in chocolate

There was a man from away
Who had a glorious toupee
And by hades
it made him hot with the ladies
It’s really too bad he was gay

There was a young drunk named Moore
Who woke to find his wife out the door
He was dazed and confused
At being so abused
But he’d swapped her for a pint just before

He suffered from great bouts of jealousy
And stopped at all acting sensibly
she started to stare
and was out of there
He was ‘marking his territ’ry’ literally

There was a young man named Scottie
Who found that his clothes were all spotty
He shed all his clothes
Right down to his toes
I bet you thought this line would be naughty

He thought that her eyes said come hither
And he was attracted to her womanly figure
But when push came to shove
It should have fit like a glove
But his most manly limb did just wither

There once was a stately young moron
Whose favourite element was boron
Be believed in the truth
even past his youth
But to him, thinking; an oxymoron

There was a young woman named Ali
In the footsteps of Taylor Mali
Said, I know what I’ll do
A poem I will spew
A most effective verbal volley

Some guys I know lost their friendship
Of course it was all sex-centric
The  two competed for a girl
all lovely brown curls
She said, I want both, I’m eccentric

Put your rod to the sky for a lightning bolt
I will be talking over million volts
you realize real quick
I mean the end of your dick
And you’ll be in for a massive jolt

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Kerouac Effect Wellington

Join us at 8PM, Tuesday March 12th at Meow Cafe on Edward Street for the Wellington edition of The Kerouac Effect. This is the first time The Kerouac Effect has gone global and Wellington is happy to join in!

The Kerouac Effect Wellington

March 12th is Jack Kerouac's birthday.

Famous as one of the founders of the beat movement, Jack Kerouac was renowned for pairing his poetry with music.

Listen to him read from "On The Road":

To celebrate, we've gathered some of the best performance poets in the region and paired them up with a wide variety of musicians. The pairings were random - and we don't know what to expect, but we know it will be so, so cool and lots of fun. Come and join us.

They have been preparing for this for weeks and the performance on the night should be slick and smooth and they may even come up with some entirely new styles.

The pairings are:

Ben Fagan and Vince Cabrera
Lonnard Dean Watkins and Steve Morrison
Michael Gray and Michael Kingston
Madelaine Empson and April Fish
Randi Janell Eaton and Paul Bognuda
Amanda Arrieta Rodriguez and Lilith Eden

Koha entry, between $5 and $10 is fine. A lovely night of poetry and music. We look forward to seeing you there.