Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A.B C. Jeu D'Esprit.

Quick note: I'll keep these poems up for my Poetry Friday contribution!

There's no stopping a double abecedarian. It's like a rickety old roller coaster (not like a Great America version - no, it's definitley Coney Island's Cyclone, circa 1940.) Tricia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect set the challenge, to write a single abecedarian, and the example given was one of single-word lines. I have trouble with that, coming up with single-word lines that spell out a story - the narrative doesn't hold and it ends up sounding forced. I'll try to come up with one before the end of the week. Meanwhile, here are my own results - Double ABC's - A-Z down the left hand side, Z-A down the right.


Alphabet poems doubled aren't E-Z.
Basically, you have to go A to Z, B to Y,
C to X, etc. And you hit that X,
Don't forget, coming and going. That's raw
End a line with a V? English words don't end with V.
Figure our next what ends with U. Ugh. I mean U-
Gh. Some letters are just
I guess for
Jugular-vein, you've got the final Q.
Kills me every time, trip-trap
Little goat, the big troll is singing, O!
Meanwhile, the easy ones like D and N--
nice, numerous, dull, dim.
On the other hand, I love every opening vowel:
Plump a-e-o's, i's thin, u's thick.
Quick, jump over the Q. Find a DJ or a raj
Ready to help you solve the mini-
Situation with the final J. Then look for a bush
That burns, and see if you can find a dog
Under the table. By the time you get to an ending F,
Very late in the game, you'll have committed the
Worst possible mistakes & gone mental, you'll have had
X slap you down twice, you'll go to bed with that ABC
Yacking away inside your head, you'll be ruined, you'll be gob-
zacked. Gob-sacked? Gob-smacked? As in l-m-n-Oh, Mama.



A man goes into a bar with a donkey. A small jazz

Band is playing, and the man says, “Hey, my donkey

Can play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on a sax.

Drinks on the house if he can’t.” “No way,”

Everyone in the bar says. A woman named Bev

Finds the donkey a sax, but the real sax player, Lou,

Gets annoyed. “Any idiot knows you need a clarinet,”

He says, “for Gershwin’s opening glissando.” Everyone agrees.

“I’m not sure,” says the donkey. He and his owner confer.

“Just get me outta here,” the donkey whispers, “P.D.Q.”

“Keep your shirt on,” says the man, who has his hopes up.

“Look,” he says to Lou, “how about Bernstein on a cello?”

“Maybe I Feel Pretty…?” calls out another man.

“No, no, no,” says his date. "Play Dance in the Gym!"

“On a cello?” everyone snorts, and she begins to yell.

“Please get me outta here,” whispers the donkey again. “Quick.”

“Quickly,” corrects the man. “it’s an adv. not an adj.”

“Right, I stand corrected. But I really think I….”

Suddenly the bartender, a big guy with tattoos, says “I wish

The donkey knew some early Louis Armstrong.”

“Under the circumstances,” the animal concedes, “if

Virtually everyone in the bar will sing along, I’ll be fine.”

“Woody Allen should be filming this,” says the drummer. “And

Xavier Cugat should be the bandleader. That's basic."

“Yeah, or maybe Spike Lee and Calloway." "Calloway?" "Cab.”

“Zubin!” someone shouts out. “Spielberg and Zubin Mehta!”


Like I said, they go where they go. Jeu d'esprit.

(I can't believe I found that photo of donkeys in a bar. The internet was made for poets!)


  1. A double abecedarian. Hats off to Ms. Originality.

  2. OMG! Double abecedarians! LOVE these. Donkeys in a bar = especially brilliant :)!

  3. Oh my lord. You are amazing. Love both of these. I was snorting o.j. over the donkey--poor thing. And the first one reminded me of Billy Collins' Sonnet (http://www.billy-collins.com/2005/06/sonnet_billy_co.html). A purposeful self-consciousness and dialog about the form, but all with such style and humor that you love it!

  4. Lord Have Mercy. You have raised the bar. I LOVE that donkey goes into a bar poem. wowza!

  5. how fun! and what a lot of work!

  6. Holy Cow! (or donkey, as the case may be)

    Double doubles!

    I'm breathless with admiration!!

  7. Your ABCs is hilarious and very inventive. Enjoyed it. Thanks.