Rhysling


Parody goes Speculative



The following pieces are collected here for consideration by SFPA members who want to make a Rhysling nomination. All necessary information for a nomination is provided:

Title: see poems below
Author: see authors below
Complete Text: you get the idea...

Periodical: Parody, Volume 5 Issue (1 or 2)
email: parodypoetry@gmail.com
Link to full online Table of Contents: http://parody.onimpression.com/p/read-online.html 
Link to this Rhysling page: http://parody.onimpression.com/p/rhysling.html
To read past Rhysling-worthy poems:  http://parody.onimpression.com/p/rhysling-history.html

About Parody:
Parody is a poetry journal for humorous and nerdy pieces. Whether you are a literary nerd who wants to re-craft the pieces of famous bards, a sci-f/fantasy nerd who wants to write about Sasquatch, aliens, and robots, or just a regular nerd with a hankering for poetry, you can feel at home with Parody. The biannual printing schedule aligns with April Fools and Halloween. Take a look at our submission guidelines and consider buying a copy or signing up for a subscription.




Volume 5, Issue 1
April 1, 2016

The Pavlovian Board
by Bruce Boston

Want to quit smoking,
drinking, overeating?
Order the Pavlovian
Board without delay.

Every time you want
a smoke, a drink,
that humongous wedge
of chocolate fudge cake
with cherry cream icing,
whack yourself over the head
with the Pavlovian Board.
Or have a friend do it.

This therapeutic technique
has been proven to cure
addictions, compulsions,
manias, phobias, and
excessive intelligence.

Don't let your petty faults
hold you back any longer.
Live life to the fullest.

Warning: May cause
concussion, blurred vision,
headaches, brain damage,
toothaches, baldness,
excessive bleeding,
splinters, hearing loss,
and premature death.


Consult your doctor
to see if the
Pavlovian Board
is right for you.

* ♃ *

Nursery Rhyme Personal Ads
by Richard Drace

Man seeks woman for outdoor fun–climbing hills, exploring waterways. First aid skills important. If you like to "tumble," contact TripwithJack.

Bi plate seeks fork, knife, or spoon for getaway adventure. If you love musical cats, humorous dogs, and gazing at incredible night sky events, don't diddle or dawdle. Contact WhataDish.

Two visually impaired mice seek third for bold but dangerous adventure. Thrills guaranteed, but risk of injury or even amputation. Contact 2Bmice.

Two men with culinary interests seek third for "tubbing" adventure. Lighting specialist preferred. Let's "rub and dub" together. Contact ButcherBaker.

Strong-minded woman seeks man to share love of gardening. If you love flowers, particularly silver bells, cockleshells, and little maids, contact MaryMary.

Equestrian man with avian interests seeks horsey fair lady who is into jewelry, especially rings and bells (on toes). Let's meet at Banbury Cross and make music together. Contact Roosterman.

Man seeks Rubenesque lady to share good times with good food. Some dietary restrictions, though. If you love sweets and rich food, contact JSprat.

Man seeks multiple partners for kissing fun and sharing sweet desserts. Prefer emotional types not afraid to show tears. Not into long-term relationships. Contact GeorgieP.

* ♃ *

Animal Haiku
by Michael Haviland

He gardens outside.
A whale falls on the lilacs.
"Oh no, not again."
--
Tyrannosaurus
enjoys milk and cereal—
Long spoons are needed.
--
Every zoo
is a petting zoo
if you can run fast.

* ♃ *

The Old Woman Lives in a Shoe
by Teresa Milbrodt

A modest leather three-story boot at the end of a cul-de-sac, toe
pointed west. Marigolds and zinnias line a path to the front door
and welcome mat. There is no garage, but she doesn't mind
scraping windshields in winter, a fact like ten pairs of shoes
that lined the hallway—can't wear them inside and dirty the floor.
Her days have always been composed of shortcuts, lists. Organized

as an army regiment: straight line of ten brown sacks organized
lunches, calendar crammed with activities, but they had to toe
the line, do chores—washing dishes and clothes, sweeping the floor—
until they moved out one by one. Seven gone, three duck the door
every night. Tall boys with football, basketball, track star shoes
as long as her forearm, wear out too quick, but the boys mind

their curfew and have sweet girlfriends. She can't complain, mind
you, she saw ten kids through storming puberty and organized
her budget to feed them on a church secretary salary—their shoes
patched with worn leather jackets from Goodwill, and the toe
of her home treated likewise. Little trash tossed out her door,
she scoured sales, saved grocery pennies. Coupons littered the floor.

Some wanted to elect her mayor. Clearly her feet didn't touch floor.
She was superhuman. She scoffed at the rumors, but had a mind
that knew how to run things, could save town from aliens at the door,
and while everyone questioned father's whereabouts, she organized
her private life to be her own, went to town council meetings to toe
the mayor into supporting after-school activities. Her sensible shoes,

that of a working mother no one would cross. So what if her shoes
had been high heels when she was younger, skirting the dance floor
from man to man. Now she was more handsome than pretty—the toe
of her home reserved for her desk—working part-time nights to mind
the books for several businesses, support three kids in college, organized
to fund the part of their education not covered by scholarship. The door

to a good life being to enhance one's mind. Four others grace her door
every Sunday for supper, chicken and potatoes and pie, leaving shoes,
as always, on the mat. Her dining room table cluttered but organized
for a crowd—chef, plumber, carpenter, mother. Grandkids on the floor
making messes before she sweeps them in her arms. She doesn't mind
the arthritis in her fingers, her face determined to swing them tiptoe

so they touch ceiling, her life organized to become generations, a door
to continuance. Heel to toe, walking straight, shoes buffed for work.
Her daily dance 'cross the floor. Smile devious and mind determined.

* ♃ *

The Pumpkin Eaters
by Teresa Milbrodt

They're first in the coffee shop every morning, six a.m. sharp,
her drinking a mocha, him only black coffee, as they pass
the morning paper, a Wall Street Journal, from her thick hand
to his thin one. She wears dark pants and a peach-colored blouse,
her kitchen uniform will be specked with white flour by noon.
He's in jeans and white button-down shirt, simple working

man's clothes, honest. He's someone who enjoys working
with his hands and brushes, in the store he must look sharp.
She's never had a manicure, her hands dirty every noon,
washed too many times but back in biscuits dough, pass
on beauty treatments. She works ovens and grills, her blouse
stained with grease and sweat. Lunch—a sandwich in one hand

eaten at the counter as she chats with patrons, her other hand
gestures to the pumpkin ravioli, a new recipe she's working
on, soliciting opinions. Name embroidered on her blouse,
diners call her over to compliment pumpkin bread, the sharp
garlic kiss in her pumpkin soup, pumpkin cake you can't pass
up. Coffee runs through her veins, pumps her during noon

lunch rushes for curried split pea pumpkin burgers, noon
delicacies found nowhere but her cafe. Her knife in hand
to cut thick orange pumpkin rinds, scoop out the flesh, pass
through a food mill, a puree used in twenty menu items. Working
eighteen-hour days, she tinkers with pumpkin ice cream, sharp
scent of nutmeg a perfect complement, a flavor to blouse

the tongue. An odor of squash permeates all—her blouse,
skin, and hair. She is warm and bright, radiates heat like noon
sun and doesn't need rest, a night baker making cookies, sharp
at three a.m. while her husband sleeps. He touches her hand
mostly during morning coffee, why they live apart. It's working
as marriage—he grows pumpkins in their backyard, you pass

her apartment and don't even realize it's there—it could pass
as another squash but for the door, windows, and her blouse
hanging on the line outside. His art and investment, working
to cultivate prize-winning pumpkins, state fair champs. At noon
she transforms them to pies, fluting pastry crust with a deft hand
he appreciates when he stops by for lunch, paint fumes sharp

on his jeans. She breaks from working, they chat, pass biscuits,
trade a sharp kiss on the lips, he pats her arm under her blouse
the noon ritual, squeezing each others' hands behind the counter.

* ♃ *

A Puzzle of the United States of America
by Joseph Reich

one wonders if when
john glenn took off
to the moon left
a note in the milk
box for his kid
that said—"i'll
be back in
about a
week or
so, will
see you
then..."

* ♃ *

Death Rides USAir At Night
a parody of Because I could not stop for Death
by Jane Yolen


The wings of Death are de-iced now,
He shakes his hoary head.
He waits for me to settle down
Amongst the newly Dead.

Unlike a hundred years ago
When Death took carriage rides,
When Civil was the final word
With never snark asides.

We spit our greetings 'cross the Aisle,
Complain about the Seats.
No leg room, drinks at quite a cost,
And no more funeral meats.

We taxi to the Runway where
Planes idle in a row—
We pass the fields of grazing geese,
We've nowhere else to go.

The Clock ticks off our final seconds,
We take off at last—
The seat belts buckle in our Coffins,
Hold us dear and fast.

I hear the Engines all a-roar,
As we fly out of sight—
Into Eternity, I guess,
Or into endless Night.

* ♃ *


Volume 5, Issue 2
October 31, 2016

by Diane de Anda

If the moon is cheese
cratered Swiss, we must conclude:
the sun is PIZZA!

* ♃ *

Gaping Grave's Gaiety
by Alex Dreppec

Ghostly grunting galls grandmother gracelessly:
"Go, grip gone good granddaddy's gaiety guarantee:
granny, go goosey, go, grandmother, glamorize,
granddaddy grooves, girl, grave's gaiety gratifies."
Grumpy grandmother growls: "Greasy ghoulishness!
Gravelessly, gormlessly, gracelessly garmentless!"
Grandmother gabbles, gyrates, gnashing giddily:
"Guts, ghastly ghosts, go! Get gone, guileful gimmickry!"
Ghosts grumble: "Grey goldilocks, gobbling gin!
Gallstone grace, graveyard gravy, good gummy grin!
Gouty granny, grip granddaddy's guarantee:
grasp graveyard's glutinous gaiety!"
Granny groans: "Gothic grave groupies, gruesome!
Greedy, greasy ghosts, grisly ghosts," getting gum:
"Get gone, gratuitous ghosts!" Granny gets garlic.
Ghosts giggle garrulously. Granny goes Gothic.

* ♃ *

Algonquin Suicide Squad
a parody of Resumé
by Joseph S. Pete

Rick Flag's super-obvious surname pains you;
Killer Crocs are damp;
Ace Chemicals stain you;
And Harley Quinn's storyline is camp;
Deadshot's guns aren't lawful;
Slipknot's nooses give;
Captain Boomerang is all-around awful;
And despite the title, almost everyone lives.

* ♃ *


---  End of pieces published in 2016  ---
_____________________________________________________________________

Want to read the speculative poems from previous years?

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