Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May the devil write your obituary in weasel’s piss. –old Irish curse

Hold on — how did that get there? Either the devil made me do it, or me computer is up to no good (which wouldn’t be the first time). To be sure, me fine lads and lassies, this post is about curses in verses, but a curse alone does not a poem make. As for that derelict curse above, there are no weasels in Ireland unless you count the sloat (which is often mistaken for a weasel) or the lowly human (which often acts like a weasel, but technically is not).

Be that as it may, I haven’t got all (St. Patrick’s) day, so let’s get on with it. Here is a cultivated selection of VERSES WITH CURSES which, not least among its Hibernian virtues, could serve to show America’s petulant President how to insult his inferiors with a bit more savoir fairy (class, in plain English) than is typical in his limited vocabulary:

THE CURSE by John Millington Synge

Lord, confound this surly sister,
Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
Cramp her larynx, lung, and liver,
In her guts a galling give her.

Let her live to earn her dinners
In Mountjoy with seedy sinners:
Lord, this judgment quickly bring,
And I’m your servant, J. M. Synge.

from THE CURSE OF DONERAILE by Patrick O’Kelly

Alas! how dismal is my tale,
I lost my watch in Doneraile.
My Dublin watch, my chain and seal,
Pilfered at once in Doneraile.
May Fire and Brimstone never fail,
To fall in showers on Doneraile.
May all the leading fiends assail
The thieving town of Doneraile,
As lightnings flash across the vale,
So down to Hell with Doneraile.
The fate of Pompey at Pharsale,
Be that the curse of Doneraile.
May beef, or mutton, lamb or veal
Be never found in Doneraile,
But garlic soup and scurvy kale
Be still the food of Doneraile.
And forward as the creeping snail,
Th’ industry be, of Doneraile.
May ev’ry churn and milking pail
Fall dry to staves in Doneraile.
May cold and hunger still congeal
The stagnant blood of Doneraile.
May ev’ry hour new woes reveal
That Hell reserves for Doneraile.
May ev’ry chosen ill prevail
O’er all the imps of Doneraile.
May not one prayer or wish avail
To sooth the woes of Doneraile.
May the Inquisition straight impale
The rapparees of Doneraile.
May curse of Sodom now prevail
And sink to ashes Doneraile.
May Charon’s Boat triumphant sail
Completely manned from Doneraile.
Oh! may my couplets never fail
To find new curse for Doneraile.
And may grim Pluto’s inner jail
Forever groan with Doneraile.

RIGHTEOUS ANGER by James Stephens

The lanky hank of a she over there
Nearly killed me for asking the loan of a glass of beer:
May the devil grip the whey-faced slut by the hair,
And beat bad manners out of her skin for a year.

That parboiled imp, with the hardest jaw you will see
On virtue’s path, and a voice that would rasp the dead,
Came roaring and raging the minute she looked on me,
And threw me out of the house on the back of my head!

If I asked her master, he’d give me a cask a day;
But she, with the beer at hand, not a gill would arrange!
May she marry a ghost and bear him a kitten, and may
The High King of Glory permit her to get the mange.


And so we can see, Donald T.,
What the problem may well be:
In your entire immigrant ancestry,
Of Irish blood, you’re entirely free.

But on St. Patrick’s Day, luckily,
Every man is an Irishman, glory be!
So depart for today from your family tree,
Uproot this curse, branch out, and be free!

From ass act to class act, verily
This very day, you can transformed be….
Therefore, by virtue of the Irish in me,
I dub thee, please God, President Donald O’T.





“Would you explain your writing to me?”
“Certainly — I write what I see.”

“So, what you see is what you say?”
“In my mind, I see it that way.”

“But things aren’t always what they seem.”
“In that case, I write what I dream.”

“Pray, how to tell the two apart?”
“Some might say, therein’s the art.”

“Then, that’s the art — to part the two?”
“No, that’s the part that’s up to you.”

“Up to me? But you’re the writer!”
“Truth be told, aren’t you the decider?”



The title of my last post got me thinking about how much time I spend on the first paragraph of most of my posts, introducing or setting up what I’m getting at — sort of what I’m doing now, except I realize that some set-ups are necessary and others could just as well be dispensed with, thereby freeing time for better things, such as reading your stuff (if that doesn’t ingratiate me with you, you’re just plain un-ingratiateable). My point is that this set-up is necessary in order to explain what I’m getting at here, OK?

Now where was I? Oh, yes — inasmuch as the drain on my brain is a pain to explain, each of my next x number of posts will consist of a single poem, un-introduced and un-set up….so don’t be upset if you’re on your own to navigate the depths of such odes as this:


Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray there’s been one helluva mistake.

No need to get all hot and bothered if you don’t ‘dig it.’ Simply send $100 cash or money order (if you order before 10:01 a.m. next month, add $10.01 because I’m kinda busy right now) to the address on your screen, and you’ll receive an explanation that’s as transparent as the address on your screen. Satisfaction guaranteed, or double your dissatisfaction back. As our gift to you, the first 100 callers will also receive who-knows-what absolutely free (simply pay an additional $101 to cover the cost of bs&h*). This offer is limited to the first 100 callers, and because I’m not giving out my phone number, the odds against your being the 101st (or later) caller are all in your favor. So act NOW! And pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

*bullshit and handling


My next guest in this series is a bunch
of 1930s musicians* who had a hunch
that most orchestras of that time
played less than lofty and sublime
so they formed a band whose bliss was
to fashion high-class music such as this was:

Speaking of a bunch, do you like bananas? I like bananas, no bones about it. Here’s why:

And now for a little traveling music….

Well, if you ask me, that’s taking traveling a bit too far. Why wander the world in limbo with limbs akimbo when I can settle down with a bimbo down on the Bamboo Isle?

And with that, Isle see ya next time, music lovers.




Part 02 is such sweet sorrow,
I could not wait till it be morrow
To bring to you 02 before
I bring to you Parts 03 and 04.
Beyond 04 I cannot see,
But two to one it won’t be 03.

It’s not every day you see a poem co-authored by Shakespeare and Mistermuse….or a post about a man (Fats Waller) who was born in May and died in December, three days after my previous post featured a man (Spike Jones) who was born in December and died in May. A bit odd, perhaps, but hardly more noteworthy than a May-December romance….so, just for laughs, let’s call it a May-December Much Ado About Nothing.

Thomas “Fats” Waller, for those whose knowledge of jazz history is thin, was born May 21, 1904 in NYC. His father, a minister, was strict and tried to restrict his son to church music, but Fats was more attracted to popular music, and after his mother died, he moved in with a man who befriended him, stride pianist James P. Johnson. At age 15, Waller was hired by the Lincoln Theatre as house organist, providing improvisational background music for silent movies. Thus began his career as one of the most beloved jazz musicians and prolific song writers of his time, ending with his premature death at age 39.

Perhaps Waller is best remembered (if at all) for is his jovial personality and humorous way with popular songs such as this….

….and this:

But Fats could do ’em straight, too, as with this 1936 classic:

It’s only fitting to close with his 1929 composition and most famous song, which he often performed tongue-in-cheek, but took (mostly) seriously here:

Until the next post in this series, behave yourself.



I’m a big fan of old sayings, but even I concede that some sayings could no more pass the proverbial smell test than a rodent could pass a spell(ing) test. They may seem innoscent enough, but smellegant isn’t the same as elegant, and you must admit that a proverb like A turd in the hand is worth two in the tush is less than elegant. Really, close encounters of the turd kind could leave you holding your nose….if not checking your rear-view mirror.

That said, are such askew old sayings any less farcical than the twisted tweets America’s Tweeter-in-Chief oft twitters? “Fake news!”…”fake news!”…”fake news!” And if ANYONE can smell (like) a rat when it comes to fake news, it is obviously President Tweety Turd.

Leaving the President’s behind for a moment, here are some classic old sayings. Can you make out the fakeout — aka smell the rat — in these venerable gems?

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and mocks like a mocking bird, duck — it’s The Donald.

A watched pot never boils….but it may get a bit peeved.

A rolling stone gathers no animosity.

A fool and his honey are soon parted.

Faint heart ne’er won bare lady.

Oil and water don’t mix — got that, Slick?

You can’t get blood out of a turnip, but you can get honey out of two-lips.

Monkey pee pee, monkey do do (easy come, easy go).

Dead men tell no tales, but some may leave a will which does.

Friends and would-be heirs, some of the above were almost enough to make me gag, but I can assure your butt that not every old phrase strays in dubious ways. For example:

….and this:

….and this:

Oh….and I almost forgot this old saying: HAPPY NEW YEAR!