Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Way from It All

For five days. At a villa overlooking the Ionian, courtesy of a dear friend.

An Oral-Visual Presentation of Aural (Second Attempt)

Yeah, I know the visual quality’s bad but after all, the sequence is called Aural! However, do not despair— if you open another window
here, you’ll be able to see the poet’s actual words, while his voice mellifluously takes you down an imaginary stream of oral emissions.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

How I Became a Heartless Gourmand

It’s easy. Let’s say you find yourself hungry enough to eat a horse in the charming seaside village of Marathoupoli on the Ionian coast of Messenias, so you decide to bogue at a leisurely gait up and down the promenade looking for something to eat and you come across this inviting(!) menu board. Entering the establishment and not seeing any aproned squids frying elegant pieces of chopped chintz lampshade, nor any succulent sarcodines surreptitiously lying low beyond the reach of your pseudopodal taste sensors, you choose to go for the piglet that has somehow miraculously escaped from a fate worse than death and is now—lo and behold—glaring at you (probably feeling piggy arrogant and haughty) from a vantage point high on top of a red-hot oven! Before you can make your move however, the well-oiled porker accidently slips from the oven straight down into a waiting pot and finally surrenders to his fate, becoming a roast etc. Too flabbergasted by all the surreal gastronomic goings on, you finally resign yourself to settling for something more commonplace—today’s plate, for example—and eat your heart out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Your Just Desserts--Just What the Doctor Ordered!

My dear Elsie, this is just
To say you better

Keep it between you
And me and no

One else—especially
Flossie or else—

You’ll plum get yours too if you
Know what I mean?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011















Sunday, July 24, 2011

Huuklyeand Cinquor's First Published Poem?

"The Fascination of Difficult Questions"

Because I have spent my life
Struggling with insurmountable difficulties—
Women’s sexual hang-ups, straggling girdles,
My own rattling knock-knees—
Will I be able?

Because I have met riddles threatening to ruin me—
How to pour out ketchup or how to spell it,
The getting rid of prune pits and gum gracefully—
Will I succeed?

And because I have seen nightmares
Flying at me in daydreams—
Yeats riding sidesaddle,
Beating a dead and falling horse—
Shall I now say t. s. and eat another peach?

Moderator’s comments: A reader (whom I suspect is writing under a pseudonym) recently sent me the above poem together with the following note:

Dear Mr. Vazambam:

I have been following with great interest your posts dedicated to the so-called Apophthegmata of Huuklyeand Cinquor, not because I’m a fan of his work—far from it—deep down I’ve always had the gut feeling he’s a sham and fake and over the past three months I’ve been trying to dig up enough evidence to support these accusations. I think what I’ve unearthed so far is damning enough evidence to reveal him as purveyor of base metals and plagiarist par excellence. Take the above poem, for example. It claims to be his first published work, appearing in the early 70s in one of the most prestigious poetry magazines of its day—Poetry Northwest. Even a cursory examination shows that it has all the necessary conceits befitting a mainstream poem of its period—wit, irony, puns, overblown literary metaphors, a slight dose of male chauvinism, snide allusions to Yeats’ masculinity and Eliot’s bowel movements, rhetorical questions up the bung hole, etc.—in short, just the prescription needed to fit this particular editor’s bill. This is all fine and well but the riddle remains—is this poem really Cinquor’s?

The table of contents states that it is indeed written by one Huuklyeand Cinquor, but when the reader goes to the contributors’ notes, he is duly informed that Cinquor was a graduate student at the University of Washington when this particular poem was published; however, an extensive search of the files of the Registrar’s Office conducted by yours truly shows that there is no record of anybody named Huuklyeand Cinquor ever having attended the University of Washington!

I shall be presenting more evidence supporting my claims re Mr. Cinquor in due time. In the meanwhile, I remain

Yours truly,

I.M. Sully-Maculate Zaengmac

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Huuklyeand Cinquor on Practical Criticism

If I remember correctly, the last poem
You wrote was about writing a poem;

Your next one should be about forgetting it.

Moderator’s comments: I suspect few people read I. A. Richards anymore but he was the latest rage in literary criticism throughout the first half of the previous century and it seems that Cinquor is paying homage to him with this little poem. Not to belittle Richards' many talents but I don’t think he possessed that rapier wit we see Cinquor wielding with so much admirable dispensation here, to wit and to the point: Did Richards ever say anything so downright good and practical?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Department of the Interior

Confined inside

Each polluted river is a sprite
Babbling through clear

Reeds to the heart
Of the homeland—

God, how can you people
Brook not hearing it?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Golden Mystery Train

It’s no trade secret, Mr. 
Mordecue Ruepart Giltrip—

It’s not going to stop in time
To let you off unless you promise

Never to get back on again.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Inn of Worldly Delights

Each of its rooms was large enough
To hold millions of travelers,

But too small to keep
Each one happy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Parents, Larger Than Life

Framed in sterling nuptial silver
To this very day, they are still

Backing into the picture before
Something else develops and the reason

They were here fades away.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Early Morning Talk Show

Though it’s a far cry
From winter,

As soon as I see snow,
I know that early bird

Of a mourning dove has stopped by
Our wobbly TV aerial again,

And is going on and on, talking
On his pedestal to anybody

Who is somebody about anything—
Even something as pedestrian

As the time of day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The God Poems

You remember Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, right? Well, here is Vazambam’s The Poet Delusion—five poems in which the poet deludes himself and misleads his hapless followers by pretending to have rescued the lost art of divine poetic bathos from the primordial depths of sludge it had so easily fallen into.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Huuklyeand Cinquor on Talking to One's Self

The writer is a dying man who is trying to speak.
—Michel Foucault


And all this time I thought
I was coeval, talking

To my immortal soul.

Moderator's comments: Well, Cinquor, I don’t have to remind you 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Trail-blazing, Law-breaking Easy Bicycle Riders

Watch as two intrepid, middle-aged bikers--Vassilis Zambaras and George Tsiros--break the law and create history in the process by being the first to execute a record-breaking bicycle trip on a portion of the still-yet-to-be-opened new superhighway cutting through the heart of Messenias; this sequence shows them on their trail-blazing journey from the village of Oichalia to the Meligalas-Katsarou interchange--just before they were asked by two security guards to cut short  their law-breaking escapade. The video is accompanied by commentaries in both Greek and English.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zucchini Flower Power


Smokin’ morsels in your mouth
And smite that friggin' junk

Food beast forever.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Rejoice, I say—

Myriad honey
Bees sucking

Myrtle flowers!

Definitely Not Lemmings #34

A hearty Vazambam welcome to Old 333 aka Peter Greene, a poet who comes to us from Canada. Thanks, Peter for deciding not to jump into the yawning abyss!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Undying Source of Immortality

—after a comment by William Michaelian

Mortal, whatever

It must be,
It can’t have sprung
From something

That has nothing
To do with those
Who live forever within

The space of a single,
Undefined moment—
It has to be

More than that.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bridge over Troubled Water (Reader's Digest Version)

Dear Paul
Simon and Art

For the sad-eyed crooner that was
Croaking on
The calm

Surface of the water
Before the turtle that spied him
From the depths shot up to snap

Him in two, for lack
Of your more heartrending
Drawn-out rendition, this abridged

One will have to do.

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