Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Absurdity

by lizard

Inspired by bad lip reading this morning, I’ve been thinking about the absurd. More specifically, I’ve been wondering if the absurd helps keep language agile, healthy even. Much of our language is diseased. Can the absurd provide insight into our national spectacle?

Below the fold, I offer my poetic riff on the above clip, and a poem by Michael Robbins, a very weird poet who successfully pulls off using pop culture in his book of poems, ALIEN VS PREDATOR.

This last weekend before AMERICA CHOOSES! let the absurd make a little bunker for your heart. Enjoy!



in the accident machine
skull farm commodities
buffer troll zones
inside the posterity matrix
the mouth of the trash can
gives ostrich citizens
jewel teeth translations
hung from the tongues of wonder watchers
they stole in
to snatch, thy potluck heart of mountain town
or blast porous bone with copper
kids on coal beds
dreamteam sad pantheons of shine
in the meantime
whorls of crap
and damn it it’s too early for
an afternoon



I dare not speak my name, it is so long
and unpronounceable. I enforce the thaw
here among the timbered few. We despise you
and whatever you rode in on—is that a swan?
I’m not really like this. I’m over the moon.

Still, we jar marmalade. We plow.
We don’t need Neil Young around anyhow.
Your tribe’s Doritos are infested with a stegosaur.
That Forever 21 used to be a Virgin Megastore.

Scott Baio in full feathered glory
was everything I’m not. I am everything I am
and then some. I’m coming along nicely.
Don’t stick your fork in me till I’m done.

—Michael Robbins

  1. MichaelRobbins

    Please format my poem correctly (italics, etc.) if you want to reprint it here. Many thanks.

  2. Big Johansson

    Liked this one.

    Author Unknown
    Probably Major Caudill, USMC (Ret.):

    We’re the Battling Bastards of Benghazi,
    no fame, no glory, no paparazzi.

    Just a fiery death in a blazing hell,
    defending the country we loved so well.

    It wasn’t our job, but we answered the call,
    fought to the consulate, ‘n scaled th’ wall.

    We pulled twenty countrymen from the jaws of fate,
    led them to safety, ‘n stood at th’ gate.

    Just two of us, ‘n foe by th’ score,
    but we stood fast to bar th’ door.

    We called for reinforcement, but were denied,
    so we fought, ‘n we fought, ‘n we fought, ‘n we died.

    We gave our all for our Uncle Sam,
    ‘n Obama didn’t give a damn.

    Just two dead SEALS, who carried the load,
    no thanks to us, we were bumps in the road.

    • Steve W

      Here is a poem I wrote for BJ. It’s called

      Talk Is Cheaper Than Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
      I dedicate it to Eric, Pogo, and of course, BJ

      Swede would to make a virtual killing
      If back up mouth with money was wiling

      Intrade appears to be ripe for picking
      If after tomorrow Mitt’s still kicking.

      But at the precipice he does waver
      Far too unsure to risk a big wager

      The right’s goal of removing Obama
      With lying Mitt, the poor queen of drama

      Looks doomed folly by the futures markets
      amid broken dreams of snake-oil barkers.

      Why, they won’t even take back the Senate
      Poor BJ’s just not in it to win it.

      Better luck to you the next time old chap
      cheaters don’t prosper they just shovel crap

      By Steve W -11/5/2012

  1. 1 Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Obama’s #FiascoGate And A Drone Poem By Michael Robbins « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] author, Michael Robbins, is a great poetic mish-masher of culture. I wrote up this post a few months ago about absurdity, which concluded with a poem from Robbins, from his book Alien Vs. […]

  2. 2 Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Anticipating April | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Absurdity […]

  3. 3 152 Poetry Posts to Celebrate April, National Poetry Month | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Absurdity […]

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