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  • mistermuse 9:20 pm on July 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Age before beauty, , , , light verse,   

    PRIME RHYME, NO FIB (AND THAT’S THE RIB) 

    How about something I’ve not done for some time:
    Post a post so sublime, it don’t do nothing but rhyme.
    If I chose prose that’s verbose — longer than a rose is not a nose —
    What woes ‘twould expose, such that who knows how big it grows?

    Thus I propose, pun in hand, to avoid overflows
    And sink to new lows, to the confusion of my foes.
    So, friends, meat my poems that may stop on a dime;
    Just remember this tickler: not all ribs are prime.

    I WILL ONLY STOOP SO LOW

    I don’t do windows;
    I don’t do lawns —
    But when I doo-doo,
    I do do johns.

    AGE BE FOR BEAUTY

    Bald is beautiful —
    Or, so they say —
    But my head is only
    Bald half-way.

    Thus, I look forward,
    The more I age,
    To looking better
    At every stage.

    POST MORT ‘EM

    The world, it go to pot;
    Life literate is shot.
    O, woe is my bon mot….
    Bon mort, and thanks a lot!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
  • mistermuse 12:05 am on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: funny, , , laughter, light verse, , , , ,   

    LET’S CALL IT A DAY 

    Half the world doesn’t see how the other half can see anything funny in what it laughs at. –Evan Esar

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    As if there isn’t enough funny business going on in the world, today is INTERNATIONAL MOMENT OF LAUGHTER DAY. I don’t know who came up with this day (actually, I do…. but he’s not famous, so¬†let’s let him rest in peace, even if he’s still with us).¬†My point is, what is this world coming to¬†if anyone and their Aunt Charlie can proclaim a¬†DAY (an INTERNATIONAL day, no less) and¬†expect¬†it to be¬†recognized? Well, I have half a mind to proclaim a DAY myself, which certainly¬†makes me qualified. INTERNATIONAL HALF-WIT DAY, that’s what I’ll call it.¬†I¬†wonder¬†if¬†The Donald, if¬†he hears¬†of it,¬†will deny¬†it’s in his honor.

    Meanwhile, back at the wench, it’s time for those poems I promised last time:

    BUSYBODY¬†BERATES BUSY BODY; BEELZEBUB BLAS√Č

    “Say, have you been, sir, to Kathmandu?”
    “Nay, but I have sinned, sir, in Timbuktu.”
    “A tale of sin, sir? What did you do?”
    “Sailors would blush, sir, if I told you.”
    “My lips are hushed, sir — how ’bout a clue?”
    “Maidens of sin, sir, were none too few.”
    “May God rescind, sir, the sins you knew.”
    “I do not pray, sir, those sins to rue.”
    “Then may you pay, sir, the devil’s due!”
    “Satan¬†would say, sir, c’est entre nous!”

    THE ORIENT EXCESS

    One fine night in old Hong Kong,
    White-skinned lady meet Mr. Wong.
    Mr. Wong say, “You fine missy.
    Let me favor you with kissy.”
    White-skinned lady say not to bother —
    Wong old enough to be her father.
    Mr. Wong say, “But I got money.”
    White-skinned lady say, “Kiss me, honey!”
    Well, one fine thing lead to another;
    Next time, Wong bring older brother.
    This time, lady draw line tight:
    “You know two Wongs don’t make a white.”

    And with that, ladies,¬†what¬†do you say….

     
    • America On Coffee 12:39 am on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hahaha… !! So well scripted!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Carmen 8:11 am on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      What a beautiful voice Marlene Dietrich had! Now I‚Äôve got to start my day! ūüôā

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 9:58 am on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Carmen, this song was ‘made’ for Marlene. For comparison, here’s another great singer of the time singing the same song, but….

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 9:59 am on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I’m thinking there should be a Writer’s Day. Guess what? There is. March 3. Looks like we missed it. Why didn’t anyone tell us? But next year, if I’m still around I will make a big deal about it.

      Sinning in the Far East brought this song to mind.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 10:48 am on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Good selection, Don — and rather fitting that this Far East song’s lyrics were written by Tim (are you ready for this?) RICE!

        Like

    • Carmen 10:24 am on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Great old pics! I think I like MD’s better! ūüôā

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 12:49 pm on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Great old pics to go along with a great old song, Carmen. The more I listen to Lee Wiley’s version, the better I like it — still, M.D. and this song were made for each other. Let’s call it a way to say they are both superb!

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 12:35 pm on April 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think Trump qualifies for Halfwit Day, Sr. Muse. There would have to be an International Unbelievably Slimy Scumfuck Day in order to celebrate the true nature of the man.

      Liked by 3 people

    • pjlazos 12:46 pm on May 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      So great!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:23 pm on May 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! So, instead of just “LET’S CALL IT A DAY,” let’s call it a….

        Like

    • America On Coffee 10:26 pm on May 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      You’re a romantic!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bad Day at Black Rock, , , , , light verse, , , , , ,   

    What’s In YOUR Toilet? 

    In his incisive biography of Spencer Tracy, author Bill Davidson tells of a problem which arose during planning stages of a Tracy film based on a short story titled BAD DAY AT HONDO. He quotes Millard Kaufman, who was writing the screenplay, as follows:

    Our picture still was called Bad Day at Hondo, when, to everyone’s surprise, there came the release of a John Wayne movie called HONDO. So our title went out the window.

    Davidson continues, “Such coincidental flaps can cause weeks of delays at a studio, while everyone tries to think of a new title. In this case, Kaufman was out in Arizona looking for locations for another picture, when [he] stopped for gas at one of the bleakest places [that] was not even a ‘wide place in the road’, just a gas station and a post office. Kaufman looked at the sign on the post office. The name was Black Rock, Arizona. Kaufman rushed to the phone and called the studio. ‘I’ve got the title for the Tracy picture,’ he said. “We’ll call it “Bad Day at Black Rock.”

    You may be wondering what the foregoing has to do with the title of this post….and the answer is diddly-squat (or just squat, for short). So what’s the deal? Simply to serve as a¬†pun-gent example of¬†a title’s¬†potential to¬†entice you in to¬†a creative work, whether it be film, story, poem or poop.¬†Did the serendipitous (and delay-saving)¬†spotting of¬†the Black Rock¬†post office sign¬†lead to¬†a perfect¬†fit for the title of the¬†movie? Perhaps this scene will¬†tell you all you need to know to answer that question (Tracy plays a one-armed WW II officer, just returned from the service, who goes¬†to a middle-of-nowhere desert town to¬†present a posthumous medal to the father of one of his soldiers):

    But¬†suppose, after¬†chewing¬†it over endlessly,¬†you still can’t come up with¬†a killer¬†title for your opus delicti? Friends,¬†just¬†swallow the¬†bitter pill¬†that there are times¬†indiscretion is the better part of valor, and¬†settle for a title¬†such as this post’s.¬†And¬†what if even¬†doo-doo doesn’t do the trick? There’s still¬†the when-all-else-fails¬†last resort I used¬†when I¬†titled this poem….

    UNTITLED

    This poem’s title is Untitled —
    Not because it is untitled,
    But because I am entitled
    To entitle it Untitled.

    If I’d not titled it Untitled,
    It would truly be untitled….
    Which would make me unentitled
    To entitle it Untitled.

    So it is vital, if untitled,
    Not to title it Untitled,
    And to leave that title idled,
    As a title is entitled.

    NOTE: This is the Random poem leftover from my previous post

     

     
    • calmkate 12:11 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      ha ha ha love your play on words … and titles do make a difference as to whether something is read or not .. but hey I’ve already done the squat loo post, no peeking ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • geo. raymond 12:23 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great word play. (Excellent movie, too)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garfield Hug 12:26 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      LOL! I loved your Untitled poemūüėä

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 6:50 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m just thankful they didn’t title it “Bad Day on the Toilet”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:09 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, you’re entitled to be untitled. But this reminds me of a Country Western song writer named Ray Whitley and he’d written a bunch of songs for Gene Autry and he was told they needed one more. So he sighed and headed for the studio. His wife asked him what was the matter and he told her. She said. “Guess you’re back in the saddle again.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:36 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I didn’t know the story behind it, but I remember the song well, Don. Odd that the clip portrays the likeness of Roy Rogers (Autry’s biggest rival for most popular screen cowboy in those days).

        Like

    • christie jones 1:26 pm on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I love the way you play with words! And btw, you have a great blogūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:39 am on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry for the tardy reply to your comment, Christie, but modest fellow that I am, your compliment made me so red in the face that I got a bad case of blisters, which may have improved my appearance, but I still didn’t know what to say. Anyway, now that I’ve recovered, I’m ready to be embarrassed again, whether I deserve it or not. ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

        • christie jones 2:30 pm on June 6, 2017 Permalink

          While two-thirds of the words are twisters, I didn‚Äôt mean to provoke any blisters. I‚Äôm happy you‚Äôre now recovered, and hope never again embarrassed. All the best! ChristieÔĀä

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ricardo 11:32 pm on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      May all your titles be short ones, and your un-titleds even shorter, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:56 am on June 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        That’s a Capital (One) proposal, Ricardo. It even has commercial possibilities connected to the title of this post.

        Like

    • RMW 1:12 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As a frequenter of art museums, I am always bemused by the pieces labeled “Untitled.” Worse yet they are titled “Untitled Number 3” or “Untitled March, 1987″… is this SUPPOSED to be ironic and I’m not getting it? Now I think about it, “Toilet Number 3” or “Toilet March, 1987” would work much better… and in many cases, be more appropriate!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:05 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        At the very least, they should title their restroom toilets Number 1 or Number 2 based, of course, on whether you have to go Number One or Number 2. They could even have Number 3 for those who have to do both, otherwise you’d have to move from Number One to Number Two or vice versa, depending on order of priority.

        How this would be enforced I don’t know — I can’t think of everything!

        Like

        • RMW 12:35 am on June 8, 2017 Permalink

          I’m sure North Carolina could come up with an idea to handle it!

          Like

  • mistermuse 12:02 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , light verse, , Narcissus, , ,   

    RHYMES AT RANDOM 

    In a comment to my¬†last post (CERF’S UP), I¬†raised the possibility of re-publishing several of my poetic¬†baubles from THE RANDOM HOUSE TREASURY OF LIGHT VERSE. Generous soul that I am, suppose I add a bonus of¬†bangles and beads to the baubles….for man does not live by words alone, but¬†with the¬†inspiration of¬†Blyth spirit beautifully begetting beguiling music, without which our Kismet (fate)¬†would be drab indeed:

    Yes, my friends,¬†I have rhymes — or, conversely,¬†should I say….

    And now, having strung¬†my lead-in out this far /¬†I wish upon a wishing star /¬†to¬†make appear¬†my Random rhymes /¬†from the pages of bygone times.¬†/ These rhymes¬†abode in poems¬†four¬†/ nothing less and nothing more¬†/ but¬†not having used up¬†all my string¬†/¬†I’ll save one of the poems¬†for¬†my next post-ing:

    LOVER BOY

    Narcissus was too perfect for sex or pelf —
    He longed only to gaze in love at himself….
    The moral of which is that, even in myths,
    Too much reflection may be your nemesis.

    THE BOOK OF WISDOM

    Thou shalt not commit adultery;
    Nor shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s spouse.
    Shouldst thou succumbeth to temptation,
    Thou shalt not do it in thy neighbor’s house.

    CONCEIVABLY, THE COMPLEAT HISTORY OF HUMAN SEX

    Adam and Eve,
    I believe,
    Were the start of it.

    Everyone since,
    I’m convinced,
    Played a part in it.

    NOTE: Ann Blyth, who played Marsinah (daughter of The Poet, played by Howard Keel) in the film version of Kismet, is one of the¬†last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

     

     

     
    • calmkate 1:14 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      nice poetry, thanks ūüôā
      the shortest poem I know
      FLEAS
      Adam had ’em

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:02 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Adam must have been quite the dog
      For fleas to go for him whole hog.
      ūüė¶

      Like

    • linnetmoss 7:16 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Haha! I had to look up “pelf” to see if it meant what I thought ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:01 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I came across the word many years ago, but I don’t remember where — probably in something written by someone like Noel Coward. For the benefit of those who don’t know Coward, he was a sophisticated English playwright and composer, and “pelf” means money or riches.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ricardo 2:08 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Was trying to figure out which of my childhood cartoon characters was fond of saying “Gadzooks,” so I Googled it and came upon its etymology instead: “Dictionary references date gadzooks as far back as the late 1600s as a shortening of “by God’s hooks,” a reference to the nails on Christ’s cross.”

      Suffering succotash, as Sylvester the cat, one of my ‘gadzooks’ suspects, was also prone to saying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:42 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I seen to recall a long-ago cartoon character saying “Gadzooks” too, Ricardo, but I had no better luck than you with a quick Google search. If any bounders or blighters out there remember who it was, please speak up or forever hold your Gadzooks.

        Like

    • RMW 2:54 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Now I have to dust off my Kismet DVD from the back of the cabinet and pop it in my machine. I’ve been revisiting my musicals collection recently… that one will be next.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:49 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I selected the two KISMET songs for this post based on how well they suited my purposes. I think the best songs in the show (or at least the ones I like best) are NOT SINCE NINEVEH, NIGHT OF MY NIGHTS, and THE OLIVE TREE. The only one that became a big hit was STRANGER IN PARADISE.

        Enjoy your DVD!

        Like

        • RMW 12:28 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink

          Night of my Nights.. as sung by Richard Kiley, not the Damone movie version!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 5:12 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink

          You apparently have the original Broadway cast (including Kiley) on your DVD — I have the same on an LP album. Both Kiley and Damone sing the song well, but Kiley was also a distinguished actor, whereas Damone was strictly a pop singer whose acting left something to be desired, in my opinion.

          Liked by 1 person

    • intrepid8 11:21 pm on June 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You like Poetry. Have you ever read Pablo Neruda’s by any chance?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:10 am on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I have come across a poem or two of Neruda’s, but have not specifically sought his work out because my talent and tastes lead me in the direction of humorous and light verse, such as that of Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, Lewis Carroll and, of course, that “greatest of all humorists, Anonymous.” That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate serious poetry if it’s right down my alley, but my alley is relatively confined.

        Thank you for your comment.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 2:19 pm on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse I was thinking this music is really beautiful. Like some wonderful fate, like kismet. Then I realized it is Kismet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:46 pm on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Kismet has a storied history, Don. It was first produced on stage in New York in 1911 and on film in 1930 and again in 1942 starring Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich. The 1950s Broadway and Hollywood versions (starring Alfred Drake and Howard Keel, respectively) contain one of my all-time favorite musical scores.

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bennett Cerf, game shows, , light verse, , , , , TV history, What's My Line?,   

    CERF’S UP 

    In his¬†comment to 20/20 BEHINDSIGHT (my May 20¬†post which contained a look back at TWENTY QUESTIONS), long-time blog buddy Don Frankel mentioned WHAT’S MY LINE?¬†(another old TV game show). It so¬†happens that¬†one of the regulars on that show, humor writer and¬†publisher (co-founder of RANDOM HOUSE)¬†Bennett Cerf had chosen the 25th of¬†May (1898) to be born; thus,¬†today I¬†honor his birthday¬†by posting¬†a selection of favorite Cerf puns and quotes (and¬†high time¬†I returned the favor,¬†considering that lo, some twenty-plus years ago,¬†RANDOM HOUSE published several of my poems in THE RANDOM HOUSE TREASURY OF LIGHT VERSE).

    But first,¬†let’s take¬†a look back at¬†one of the¬†WHAT’S MY LINE? programs¬†from the same year as the TWENTY QUESTIONS¬†clip shown in my previous post:

    There is¬†little¬†question, I think you’ll agree, that¬†WHAT’S MY LINE?¬†was a step up in class¬†compared to TWENTY QUESTIONS…..so it’s time to¬†hit the Cerf (as¬†beach¬†bums refer to¬†the swells)¬†and ride the wave….to wit:

    Gross ignorance is 144 times worse than ordinary ignorance.

    The confused young man couldn’t decide whether to marry Kathryn or Edith. Try as he might,¬†he just could not make¬†up his mind. Unwilling to give up either, he strung them along far too long. This indecision continued¬†until both women tired of the situation and left him for good. Moral of the story: You can’t have your Kate and Edith too.

    Then there was the young female comic who was promised good roles in a hit TV show. All she had to do was divide her favors between the star and the producer. But it was just a sham; she never got any air time at all. You might even say she was….shared skit less.

    There once was a student named Bessor
    Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser.
    It at last grew so small
    He knew nothing at all
    And today he’s a college professor.

    The Detroit String Quartet played Brahms last night. Brahms lost.

    I shouldn’t be surprised ¬†— it was four against one.

    And on that note, I bid thee a fond fare well.

     

     

     

     
    • Ricardo 12:30 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Substantial puniness, Sr. Muse. Substantial.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:35 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Gracias, Ricardo. At first I thought you might be accusing me of substantial puniness in the sense of weakness, but being both puny and substantial would be an oxymoron, which also sounds rather unflattering. So, knowing you’re too much of a gentlemen to be doubly insulting, I graciously re-gracias you.

        Like

    • calmkate 1:25 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      put a smile on my dial … a published poet and I didn’t know it! Had anymore published since?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:42 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I had hundreds of poems published in my former life, Edith — I mean, Kate — but THE RANDOM HOUSE TREASURY OF LIGHT VERSE publication was probably the most rewarding. Maybe I’ll re-publish those light verse poems in my next post. ūüôā

        Liked by 2 people

        • calmkate 7:50 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink

          lovely that would be greatly appreciated ūüôā well which of us do you prefer … lol

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 2:50 pm on May 25, 2017 Permalink

          I prefer Kate over Edith, of course — otherwise, you might become agitatedkate, and I wouldn’t want that to happen! ūüôā

          Like

    • Don Frankel 12:14 pm on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to be of some assist Muse. I’m struck by the level of discourse here. This is a far cry from the Kardhasians.

      I think the Mick blew it as soon as he said. “Yep.” To the first question. Not just the Oklahoma accent but he had a very distinct voice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:42 pm on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Don, from what I hear, just about anything is a far cry from the Kardashians. But I agree that Mick could’ve done a much better job of disguising his voice and saying something other than “Yep.” BTW, I was glad to see Steve Allen on the panel — he was one of the shining lights in the ‘dark ages’ of early TV.

        Liked by 2 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 12:47 pm on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Very entertaining. Thanks for the laughs. Kate and Edith was hysterical, but the one I’m going to remember is gross ignorance. Ha ha. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:07 pm on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. In the interest of maintaining a peaceful relationship with another commenter (above), I agree with only Edith being hysterical. Kate is as calm as a clam (at least, I think clams are calm, though I suppose they have bad days just like anyone else).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Scheel 2:57 pm on May 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      muse,

      Well, that takes me back. I remember old Bennett and his wit. And, hey, congrats on getting into that anthology! A most pleasing accomplishment.

      Have a pleasant Memorial Day weekend.

      Mark

      Liked by 1 person

    • RMW 3:01 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Remember watching What’s My Line as a kid in England… loved it…. coming to the US I was surprised to learn it was an American invention!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:59 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Don’t forget Donald Trump is an American invention too, which just goes to show that you never know when you’re going to hit a clunker! ūüôā

        Like

        • RMW 12:15 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink

          If we did a DNA test on the Donald I believe we would discover he is actually an alien… from another planet! Some other politicians I could think of too….

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 5:39 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink

          Trump’s an alien, all right — alien to practically every decent human instinct.

          Liked by 1 person

    • literaryeyes 9:33 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I like the Brahms one. There’s been many variations on it, but it’s good to know the original – and Cerf was an original.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:21 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely!

      Like

    • barkhabale 2:28 am on June 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Beautifully written

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:43 am on June 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you!

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:02 am on August 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , light verse, , , ,   

    ALL’S FARE IN LOVE AND FOUR 

    With my mind drawing blanks and little time to spare
    ….as this post¬†comes due,¬†I hope you will bear
    with¬†four poems previously published, not saying¬†where….
    but near in spirit¬†to¬†my¬†last post’s bill of fare:

    LOVER BOY

    Narcissus was too perfect for sex or pelf;
    He longed only to gaze in love at himself….
    The moral of which is that, even in myths,
    Too much reflection may be your nemesis.

    THE BOOK OF WISDOM

    Thou shalt not commit adultery,
    Nor shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s spouse.
    Shouldst thou succumbeth to temptation,
    Thou shalt not covet in thy neighbor’s house.

    FAIR WARNING

    And so, when wise men say to you
    Love’s a game for dreamers and fools….
    Buddy, beware
    That a lady fair
    Doesn’t play by the¬†wise men’s rules.

    TREASURE CHEST

    \/¬†¬†¬† Madame’s cleavage¬†so fair;¬†yet
    xx    he must pretend not to see;
    ~~   he knows well the song:
    /\    Let it be; Let it be.

    She may say, if he peeks,
    he’s just looking for thrills….
    but innocence is a broad, and she
    gets There’s ogle in them thar hills.

     
    • arekhill1 10:30 am on August 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not much of a composer of verse, but every once in a while I come up with a line that I think would sell on a T-shirt, and as far as ogling goes, I could see myself wearing a shirt with”If you want me to look at your face, wear a turtleneck” printed on it.

      Like

      • mistermuse 12:56 pm on August 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I like it….though if I were a turtle, I doubt I’d stick my neck out for it. But (my bad pun aside), I’d be interested in opinions of your line from the distaff side.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 8:26 am on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This column wouldn’t be complete without this. I was surprised to find Stevie Wonder wrote it. Sounds like something from Kander and Ebb or Burt Bacharach.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:50 am on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good song choice, Don, but Jennifer Hudson doesn’t enunciate the lyrics as distinctly as Barbra Streisand or Stevie Wonder himself. When I listen to their versions after hearing Hudson’s, there is a “clear” difference. In my opinion, if you can’t understand each word, even a good voice leaves you somewhat disappointed.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 7:35 pm on August 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, I always look for a clip without commercials that’s my first priority. I don’t want to put something up with a lead in to some bad movie or one of those annoying car insurance commercials.

      Liked by 1 person

    • eths 8:36 pm on August 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      “War” made me think of our crazy language. “War” is not pronounced like “far” or “car” and is not spelled similarly to “wore” or “tore,” etc. How does anyone learn English as a second language?

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:28 pm on August 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I could say that those who can remember war-like is OAR-like, won’t be in the same boat as those who don’t practice word association, but I agree that English has too many exceptions to the rule for it to be easy to learn as a second language. Nonetheless, my guess is that English is an easier second language to learn than many other languages. Just sayin’. ūüôā

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Academy of American Poets, , , light verse, , , , , , ,   

    A TOWERING FIGURE IN POETRY 

    April is NATIONAL POETRY MONTH (as decreed by the Academy of American Poets in 1996). Can there be any doubt that a poet of my stature* would be expected to contribute a poem to the celebration?

    *about 5′ 7″

    As it happens,¬†I had¬†a poem in my¬†April 20¬†post, but that doesn’t count….unless I say it does, which I don’t,¬†because I’ve composed¬†a¬†new poem for the occasion (or any occasion, for that matter).¬†The point is that¬†this occasion happens to be at hand and is sufficiently worthy of a work of such¬†distingu√© distinktion:

    ONCE A POET

    Once I wrote poems;
    Writing poems was fun.
    Once I wrote poems;
    Now I write none.

    Once I wrote poems;
    Poems were my life.
    Once I wrote poems;
    Then I met my wife.

    I’m just¬†joking, of course;
    I still write, as you see —
    For my wife loves my poems,
    And I still loves she*.

    *That end word was going to be me, but that might be the end of me, so I reconsidered.

    Thank you very much, ladies and sentimentalmen.¬†I’m glad you appreciate the¬†heartfelt passion and savoir fairy that went into said poem.¬†Your defecating applause on this historic day warms my cockles to the core. This calls for a curtain call. But I don’t have another new poem handy, so¬†how about¬†two oldies that survived previous publication:

    RHYME GONE TO HELL

    I don’t comprehend
    why poems that rhyme
    must, most of the time,
    just rhyme at line’s end.
    Who so decreed it to, as though it needed
    to? And would it spell

    nonsense if most rhymes
    commence where lines start?
    Dare we call it art?
    Where I’m at, at times,
    is: does it matter where rhyme is, if indeed
    it’s where mine is? Hell!!!

    TRYING TIMES

    Forgive me, please, my verse you’ve read —
    Much better works are in my head….
    –¬† But they’ll remain there
    –¬† Until the brain there
    Learns how to extract gold from lead.

    But enough about me. Let us close on a serious quote from ex-Chancellor of the aforementioned Academy of American Poets, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet/novelist, Robert Penn Warren, who was fittingly born (April, 1905) in what would become National Poetry Month:
    Historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if poetry is the little myth we make, history is the big myth we live, and in our living, constantly remake.

     

     

     
    • scifihammy 1:48 am on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Love your poems! ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 2:25 am on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Me too! And I also admire my humility! ūüôā

      Like

    • Cynthia Jobin 8:07 am on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I had not thought of begin-rhyme as an alternative to end-rhyme…an ingenious idea! And I see your poetry as taking a place in the great canon of verse somewhere beside/between Edward Lear and Ogden Nash…but I could be mythtaken…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:13 pm on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Cynthia, if Robert Penn Warren was right, we’re both mythtaken (a designation I’m honored to have in common with you). I would suggest reflecting our status by changing our names to myth-termuse and Mythnia Jobin, but our readers might think we both lisp.

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 9:23 am on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I wish you would remind me earlier of these national month celebrations, Sr. Muse. It’s the 25th and I haven’t rhymed a damn thing.

      Like

      • mistermuse 3:35 pm on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        As Yogi Berra once said,
        It ain’t over till it’s….dead.
        Others say, not until the fat lady doth sing —
        So you still have 5 days to rhyme a damn thing.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 9:49 am on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I think you’ve got the gold from lead down pat Muse.

      I also think rhyme comes from the need to memorize. It’s a memory trick. Don’t forget people were writing poetry long before anyone figured out how to write it all down.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:39 pm on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good point, Don. At my age, I need all the memory tricks I can get.

      Like

    • BroadBlogs 3:48 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Fun poems!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:50 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’m just a fungi — I mean, fun guy! In any case, I’m glad you enjoyed the poems.

      Like

    • RMW 10:47 am on April 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Did not realize this was National Poetry Month… So when is National Prose Month?

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:24 pm on April 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for that thorny question.
      There doesn’t seem to be a National Prose Month, but there is a National Rose Month (June). Those who prefer prose to rose could “p” on a rose and make it prose, and perhaps it will catch on and become National Prose Month. After all, a rose by any other name would….whatever.

      Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 9:11 pm on April 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I hope you can hear the “deafening” applause from over here! Loved them. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:02 pm on May 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. Sorry for the late response to your comment, but your applause was so deafening, I didn’t hear it until now. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christmas song, , , , light verse, , tongue twister, wish list   

    MARRYING MADE MAID MARY MERRY 

    Mary Christmas is her name.
    Merry Christmas is her game.
    So, Merry Christmas, Mary Christmas!
    Merry, the way you made your list less
    The merry day you lined off your wish list
    The last name that you became
    When you married Mister Christmas.

    And¬†now you’ve heard the¬†gospel of how¬†Christmas, Mister,
    Made Maid Mary’s Merry Little Christmas….a tongue twister.

     

     
    • ladysighs 6:59 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I said the twister twice. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:46 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The title is the real twister. It was on the tip of my tongue before it came tripping to my mind. ūüôā

      Like

    • Don Frankel 5:23 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t even say it once. But I think we need a little music.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:00 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I actually considered Sinatra’s rendition of MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS but decided on Judy Garland’s because it’s the scene from the film MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS with little Margaret O’Brien, a film I like a lot….as I do the song. But you can’t go wrong with either version.

      Like

    • arekhill1 3:21 pm on December 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Have yourself a merry Christmas, Sr. Muse. Or Chrismakwanzzakuh, or Festivus, however it pleases you.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:10 pm on December 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Likewise, man….and may all your satire be a satori of sartorial splendor (or words to that effect).

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Goosey Goosey Gander, , , , light verse, , Mother Goose, Nursery rhymes, , , second childhood, The Tortoise and the Hare, Universal Children's Day   

    NOVEMBER 20 POEMS ARE CHILD’S PLAY 

    Because I have long taken a fancy to light verse,¬†I wrote a¬†number of¬†nursery rhyme-like poems¬†in my early¬†poetry writing days because¬†such poems¬†are in the light verse vein, though¬†seemingly just for children….but look at Mother Goose:¬†if a bit¬†of wit (in the telling)¬†warrants a closer¬†gander,¬†the¬†simplicity¬†may not¬†lay an egg in the eyes of grown-ups.

    November 20 being UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY and WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY, I thought I would bring back¬†a selection¬†of¬†those poems¬†— say¬†20% of 20¬†— for a second childhood look.¬†Two¬†have been published in children’s magazines,¬†two have not. You might even say that two of the four¬†are for the birds.¬†Well, as Humpty Dumpty may¬†have¬†shrugged after¬†his fall, “Wall, ¬†you can’t win ’em all.”

    A GOOD QUESTION

    Free as a bird —
    That’s what I’d like to be.
    But, if I were a bird —
    Who would be me?

    THE ONE WHO WON

    The tortoise and the hare
    Ran a race from here to there.
    The winner, of the pair,
    Was the tortoise, by a hair.

    OF ALL PLACES!

    Birds build nests
    Where they will —
    Gutter, building ledge,
    Window sill.

    One I saw
    Amazed me —
    It was nestled
    In a tree!

    (N)ICE TRY!

    There was once a brave lad from Nebraska
    Who went off on a trip to Alaska.
    To climb up steep slopes, he bid —
    But they were so slick, he slid
    Almost all the way back to Nebraska!

    Is¬†word play child’s play or hard work, you ask? As both a light verse and jazz lover, I can tell you¬†it helped¬†to have….

     

     
    • scifihammy 2:11 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Your Nursery Rhymes are great fun. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:31 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. I guess you can take the boy out of the “pun tree” (country), but you can’t take the “pun tree” out of the boy.

        So much for bad punditry.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joseph Nebus 2:36 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like the bird one. I know more than a couple folks who wouldn’t mind swapping with a bird, actually, although I haven’t met any birds who were looking for a trade.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:37 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I were a bird, I probably wouldn’t trade either. It doesn’t take a wise old owl to figure out human nature is (not) for the birds.

      Like

    • arekhill1 10:03 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I vote for the limerick, one of my favorite art forms.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:54 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like limericks too, but the format doesn’t adapt to appearing in a blog like it should. For example, in the old days bc (before computers), the 3rd & 4th lines of a limerick were always indented about 3 spaces, which of course is no problem on a typewriter….but I couldn’t do that with the limerick in my post because the 3 blank spaces won’t “stick.” Thus, the 3rd & 4th lines begin even with the 1st, 2nd & 5th lines, and there’s nothing I can do about it (that I know of). I know it seems a minor thing, but poetry in general and limericks in particular are precise literary forms, and it irritates me that, for all its wonders, technology can’t do something so simple.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 5:45 pm on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t ask me why this song jumped in my head other than it has an element of a nursery rhyme.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:02 pm on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I’m not mistaken, Don, that song is by Cole Porter – a sophisticated composer one normally wouldn’t associate with nursery rhymes, but in this case, I can see your point. In a certain sense, I guess you could describe many popular songs of that era as light verse set to music.

      Like

    • RMW 11:29 am on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed your rhymes very much. I still have my first book of nursery rhymes “Original Nursery Rhymes with Variations” by Anne Hope. No date but must be circa 1950, printed in England with an illustration of Bo Peep on the cover. When I was about eight my mother donated the book to some organization and she says I was so upset she had to go retrieve it! Thanks for the video, I was tapping my toes while drinking my first cup of coffee!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:56 am on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      RMW, you made my day by appreciating (and toe-tapping to) the video “Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes.” It’s a song I knew of and like, but I didn’t expect to find such a “swinging” version of it (shown with accompanying nursery rhymes) on YouTube. As you probably noticed, both the recording and the nursery rhyme pages were English, just like your first book of nursery rhymes….which I’m very glad your mother retrieved for you! ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • inesephoto 3:03 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Witty and fun, thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:59 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My pleasure.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 9:16 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Muse that’s it. Yeah, there’s a certain lightheartedness to the song and the music even though she shot her man and they hung her.

      I love the song and my favorite rendition is the one I found here by the great Nancy Wilson. I’m always happy that I managed to use her image in one of my short stories.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:49 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, Nancy Wilson indeed does the song justice. For some reason, I never appreciated her voice as much as I should have — perhaps because I’ve always been such a big fan of Billie, Ella, and some others who are mostly forgotten today.

      Like

    • Leyla 12:13 pm on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ohh so cute!! ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 9:27 am on October 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , light verse, , , ,   

    COLE IN ONE (PART TWO) 

    One year ago today, on the 50th anniversary of the death of Cole Porter, I published a post titled COLE IN ONE. Porter was one of the two preeminent composer-lyricists¬† (the other being Irving Berlin) of his day, a time in the history of popular music when¬†most songs were¬†written by a team of one (or more) composer(s) and one (or more) lyricist(s)….think George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and DeSylva, Brown and Henderson, for examples.

    What made Porter one of a kind was¬†a combination of the¬†unique quality¬†of his¬†melodies and the wit and urbane¬†sophistication of his lyrics,¬†for which¬†he¬†was unrivaled (excepting Lorenz Hart, who wrote lyrics only). This made such¬†a big impression on me when I was young that I “fell in love” with witty, amusing and sometimes¬†poignant rhyme — the kind exemplified non-musically by light verse master Ogden Nash….and even Nash could team up on¬†occasion to write a great¬†song, such as Speak Low (When You Speak Love) with composer Kurt Weill for the 1943¬†musical One Touch of Venus.

    For this post, I have taken the liberty of taking Cole Porter’s What Is This Thing Called Love for a re-write, interposing¬†my interpretation of the well-known refrain onto¬†Porter’s¬†as-written (but seldom-heard) verse which precedes it. You might call it COLE PORTER A LA MUSE:

    I was a humdrum person,
    Leading a life apart,
    When love flew in through my window wide
    And quickened my humdrum heart.
    Love flew in through my window,
    I was so happy then.
    But after love had stayed a little while,
    Love flew out again.

    What is this thing
    Called love of light verse?
    This funny thing
    I love, called light verse.

    Just who can solve
    Its mystery.
    Why should it make
    A muse of me?

    I saw humor there
    One wonderful day;
    Youth took my heart
    And threw it away.

    That’s why I ask the Lord
    In light of this curse
    What is this thing
    Called love of light verse?

    In case you’ve forgotten how the real refrain goes, here is¬†the song sung¬†as originally written:

     
    • Don Frankel 4:01 pm on October 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re not going to believe this Muse and I’m not joking. Earlier this morning I played golf. On the second tee which is a short par 3, 120 hole, I hit a very nice shot that was headed for the tee. Now if was early and foggy and the green was covered with dew. So when I got the green i couldn’t find the ball. After looking around for a good five minutes it dawned on me where the ball might be that I wouldn’t see it. You got it in the hole. An actual hole in one.

      The fates sometimes are kind and that’s why you are a Muse or should I say The Muse.

      Like

    • mistermuse 5:49 pm on October 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats on the hole-in-one, Don. What would be even more amazing is if that was the second hole-in-one you’d ever shot (to match the “PART TWO” of my post). Actually, if you want to claim it’s your second hole-in-one (even if it’s not), I won’t tell anyone. ūüôā

      Like

    • linnetmoss 6:16 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing early version of the song! I’m fond of Porter and Nash too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:39 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The vocalist here was Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson, who was the Bobby Short of his day (both were sophisticated black cabaret singers with a preference for the songs of sophisticated song writers like Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, etc.). Hutch (a generation before Short) was one of the biggest stars in England in the 1920s & 30s and recorded prolifically – I own a few dozen of his original 78 rpm records.

      Like

    • arekhill1 8:03 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Cole and a hole? Golf is one of the few vices I haven’t experimented with so far, Sir Don, but congratulations.

      Like

    • ladysighs 8:55 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Something needs to be done about this. ūüôā

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:55 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Not sure what, but I’m open to suggestions. ūüôā

      Like

    • BroadBlogs 3:02 pm on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Have you seen the movie, De-Lovely, based on his life? I thought it was pretty interesting.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:57 pm on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Haven’t seen it, but (despite mixed reviews) I hear the improvement over the first Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant was like the difference between Night and Day, which just happens to be the title of the first one (which I did see, & thought was awful). Most reviewers say Kevin Kline was excellent as Cole Porter in De-Lovely.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:27 am on October 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      With reference to ladysighs’ comment above that “Something needs to be done about this,” she has indeed “done something” – something completely unexpected, but greatly appreciated. Why not scroll up to her comment, click on her blog and see (and hear) what I mean?

      Like

    • rielyn 7:57 pm on October 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Here is the direct link to ladysighs’ vocal stylings for you, Dad, and your readers too. I sense a great collaboration in the making!

      Amusing Muser

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:11 pm on October 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Your internet-challenged dad thanks you very much. One of these years I must learn to do that myself. ūüôā

      Like

    • barkinginthedark 5:10 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      so great! but where do you find these rare gems? anyway, continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 5:11 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      P.S. you must have a terrific record collection.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:46 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I did have a terrific record collection, but now I have only half a terrific record collection, as I sold my thousands of 78s for reasons I’d rather not think about. I still have my LPs, many of which are compilations or re-issues of old 78s, so between those and the memories of what is gone, I have a lot to draw on when it comes to posting “rare gems.”

        Like

    • barkinginthedark 1:02 am on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      thousands – wow…i’m sorry you had to sell them…a shame. i can only imagine from what you’ve posted what you had. “rare gems” indeed. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

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