December 06, 2004
As I've described before in my occasional poetry postings, I've been the regular emcee for a monthly poetry and prose open-mic night for the past several years. One of the events we have every four months is an "Island Style Slam", wherein participants put in three bucks, get three words back, and then have twenty minutes to come up with something that uses those three words.
There are typically three or four sets of words at any given Island Style Slam, and I've enjoyed taking on the task of trying to come up with an "uber poem" that uses every word from every set, which I then read as the first "sacrificial poem" to get things started.
The following uber poem, from earlier this year, was a bit of a departure from my other poems, in that I tried to go for the serious artsy-fartsy style that is so popular among the younger slam poets. I put myself in the frame of mind by thinking, "If I were young, what serious things would I write about?"
So here is my attempt at being a serious, artsy-fartsy poet. My nine words were grapple, shingles, girlfriend, yield, wind, mother, curl, piercing, and celtic:
My girlfriend and I
grapple at clothing
which yield easily enough
Just As the wind
struggles to get past the shingles
on our roof
-which do not.
Then comes the celtic shriek
piercing enough to
straighten that which is curled
curl that which is straight
The most unwelcome visitor of all.
July 20, 2004
This website of mine first went live on February 27, 1998. For almost two years, I hand coded the site, before finally adopting a content management system (written by my friend Jehan) in November of 2000. For various reasons, I've been going through what remains of my archives of this site from its pre-CMS days.
The very first entry included, among other things, this poem:
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beeholder
To find true beauty,
Locate a bee keeper with
a bee in his hand.
It's nice to know that some things don't change, eh? Mmmm. Poetry and puns....
June 28, 2004
Here's one of my many self-referential haikus:
takes up two whole lines.
April 06, 2004
As I mentioned in an earlier entry, I emcee a monthly open mic (open mike?) night at a coffee house where, every four months or so, we feature an "Island Style Slam". In the ISS, you put in three bucks, you get three words, and you have twenty to twenty-five minutes to write poetry or prose that use those three words. Each participant draws their three words randomly from three or four sets of words that are drawn from a fish bowl.
I've had a tradition for the past several years of writing an uber poem that uses *all* of the words from all of the sets available. This past Sunday, there were three sets of three words, for a total of nine. They were: glisten, peak, fallow, illicit, amber, downpour, scent, cell, visible
Here's what I came up with:
Like many men, I've mourned my increasingly fallow crop of hair
As amber waves of follicle cells
retreat into widow's peaks
Leaving so much more... forehead visible
to glisten after a downpour
Still, I have yet to resort to Propecia
or other drugs, licit or illicit
And I love the scent of shampoo in the morning
. . . it smells of victory!
November 06, 2003
I'm cleaning up my office. Going through the piles of paper is like going through an archeological dig into my own past.
What were the hopes and dreams of, and what kind of person was "Allan Rousselle 2000"?
Yes, I'm going through piles of paper that date back three years, so I guess one of the immediate answers is, "He was a disorganized paper piler."
He was also, apparently, into writing bad haikus:
makes all of my words come out
in order the wrong
When not making fun of the handicapable, he was apparently into social satire:
Don't wait for the rhyme
If this were a haiku, then
You'd be po'm by now.
And this little gem shows the judgemental side of Allan Rousselle 2000:
a bad idea
In short, it would appear that the Allan Rousselle of 2000 isn't all that much different from Allan Rousselle 2003. Hubba, hubba.
January 16, 2003
Some days, I feel great. Or, at least, pretty good. Other days, I feel awful... well, at least not that great. Perhaps you've had this happen to you.
A couple of days ago, I had a most amazingly productive day, and I was on top of the world. Gettin' stuff done, bringing home the bacon, feeling like everything was just peachy. Today is not one of those days.
I wrote a song about it. Would you like to hear it? I call it:
The Not Feeling Productive Today Blues
Woke up this mornin'
To the sound of my baby cryin'
Said I woke up this mornin'
To the sound of my baby cryin'
It's the routine
Well I changed his diaper, gave him to his mom for feedin'
Then realized I hadn't set my alarm and, gee, look at the time.
I was runnin' late
Made some chocolate milk and I
And I took a vitamin pill
That's my breffast
Came down to my office and I
And I read through my e-mail
Classic work avoidance
Well I'm supposed to get two hours between 8 and 10 just for workin'
But it's already 9:30, and lookit all the time I killed
not very productive
Now let me tell ya:
I was born in the middle class
Stainless steel spoon in my mouth
Got tired of the snow in the northeast
But my wife didn't want to move south
Now I'm living in the suburbs
'Neath Seattle's partly-cloudy skies
I work from home in the basement
I don't have to wear no ties
But I got the bluuuuuuuues real bad
Or, at least, I'm dissatisfied
Got to be more to life than this
Think I'll hop in my mini-van and ride
October 21, 2002
At this month's RASP open-mic night at Victor's Coffee Company, I learned that one of our regular performers is losing her eyesight. This explained why she made such pains to compose and memorize her poetry, rather than read something committed to paper. I devised a poem on the spot in an effort to try to make a humorous homage, but I have since forgotten it. I am reminded, however, of an attempt I once made at combining poetry techniques and memorizing it. It went something like this:
Roses are Red and
Violets are Blue. This po'm
Rhymes, and it's haiku!
December 05, 2000
So, on the first Saturday of every month there's a little event at Victor's Coffee House in quaint downtown Redmond called RASP: the Redmond Assosiation of SPokenword. With spelling like that, you can understand why they favor the spoken word.
As a general rule, each month's proceedings feature a guest reader (always a poet of one kind or another), and then there's also an open mike before and afterward. However, three times a year, RASP hosts an "Island Style Slam", which is a special kind of poetry slam. Here's how it works:
Each participant puts in a couple bucks and receives three words in exchange. The participants then have twenty minutes to compose a poem using those three words. You may trade *sets* of words with others, but not individual words. The participants are called up in random order to read their work. Three judges score the performers on creative use of the words, composition of the poem, and delivery style. After everyone's done, the scores are tabulated and the top five get up to do it again. From these five, the top three winners are determined; the top three split the money.
Since I'm known for overdoing it, I decided this month to try for all nine words from the three different sets that were handed out, and I tried to compose a poem that used all nine words in two three-line stanzas. It was a fun experiment.
The nine words: mirror, lean, savage, wrinkle, machine, hallelujah, cusp, adjacent, and motor.
The poem was inspired by teenage angst (which tends to pervade poetry slams). I dedicated it to the teens in the audience, and told them that it represents something they have to look forward to.
Note: For the first time ever (okay, okay... out of two tries), I placed in the top five. Must have been the delivery. :)
...but, no, I did not walk home with the money.
As I lean into the mirror Another savage wrinkle Hallelujah, I'm a cog in the machine
At the cusp of understanding
Gotta keep that motor running
Adjecent to, but never reach my dream
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