We can has games

Down in the south end of the Metal detectorist's mysterious find thread, we've been kicking around the idea of running games in the comment threads. We've even played some short games there.

This has now been declared a Good Idea, so we're starting one with this entry. The winner gets applause, glory, and a spot at center stage in which to show off really well. The same goes for everyone else who turns in a good performance. The only difference is that Everyone Else doesn't also get a Gears of War 2 Special Edition Zune 120 GB (see description).

Note: it's a freebie, nothing more. If you're really worried about Boing Boing's purity, you can help protect it by winning the game. As you know, freebies emit a faint, kryptonite-like radiation that only affects Boingers; but since the arrangements call for donor Whitney Biaggi to ship the Zune directly to the winner, and since readers are of course immune to freebie-radiation, things should work out just fine.

We're going to be running more games and contests in the near future, with prizes from other donors. If you're planning to kick up a big fuss about some imagined commercialization, please bear in mind that (1.) freebies aren't terribly memorable unless someone makes a fuss about them; and (2.) eventually even you will get bored at having to kick up a fuss whenever someone snags a prize, and the rest of us will get bored a lot sooner than that.

You're a clever bunch. Let's play games instead.

The first one's simple: write some verse about one or more recurrent Boing Boing obsessions: steampunk, the TSA, unlikely mods, papercraft, mashups, gadgets, emergent properties of the Zombie Apocalypse, DIY, FISA, comics, photographers' rights, WTF, FTW, wristwatches, skiffy history, misused tasers, making a foo out of bar, cryptozoology, Tibet, animation, copyright abuse, drives, hacks, sex, robots, robot hacks, hacking sex, sex with robots, emergent properties of sex with steampunked robots during the Zombie Apocalypse forestalled by misuse of copyright by body-modded TSA official using LEDs and a 9-volt battery, et cetera, found dead on beach in Long Island. (Not a complete list.) Best poem wins. If you turn down the prize, you get a jar of marmalade, and the runner-up gets the Zune. The moderation guidelines still apply.

All other things being equal, your poem is likelier to win if it rhymes and scans; even more so if it's formal verse. Villanelles count more than limericks. Alternately, write it as a pastiche of a recognizable work or author. Pastiches may be prose, but may not be long, and had better be good. For extra extra credit, write your piece as an on-topic comment in some other thread, then re-post it here. All other things being equal, wit, language, and happy mutancy win.

Finally, feel free to suggest other games to be played in future threads.

Addendum: Tdawwg replies:

But limericks are formal verse,
the same as villanelles; you err
thus separating the two. Worse,
although their differences are fair,
they're unremarked by you: silk purse,
sow's ear, don't make of them a pair,
two distinct objects they, diverse.


  1. Ooooh boy. I’m gonna have to think about that one. I wish you hadn’t mentioned villanelles, though, because now everyone will be doing them. D:

  2. Mythus — Does that actually work? Like, if I say “pantoum”, will they all drive themselves bonkers trying to write one in English?

  3. Oh! Papercraft Sanrio iconography!

    How you pull the strings o’ my heart,

    and still my psyche as a pond under

    the still suns of a far-away Tuscany,

    with Europeans milling about every

    which way, and claming to know the

    face of the air-spirits around us.

    Papercraft Sanrio iconography you

    bless the land and the seas!

    On that day when we shall all have you

    upon our mantles,

    let us toast our fortune with red wine and almonds.


  4. #8: here’s what you get with too many topics.

    I know it’s bad and doesn’t rhyme or scan, but I think it still has an interesting form.

    Here goes:

    Neither steam nor punk,
    Zombies or sexbots,
    Political activists or hackers,
    Chinese government or the RIAA,
    Gimmicky timepieces or photographer-harassing security guards,
    Copyright enforcers or abusers,
    Gadgets or flying machines,
    Repurposed hardware or homebrewed software,
    Apple or Microsoft,
    Google or Yahoo!,
    Bloggers or writers,
    Comics or cartoons,
    Obama or McCain,
    Palin or That Other Guy, (so, sue me, I’m Canadian, what do I care)
    Books of the ‘e’ kind or books of the (non-‘e’) paper kind,
    The sublime or the banal (or the sublimely banal),
    Dead people or live people,
    The weird or the bizarre,
    The TSA or the BBC,
    MTV or FOX News,

    Nothing, nothing at all,
    Can prevent me from constantly checking Boing Boing
    Throughout the day (or night)
    Except when my Internet connection goes down
    Or when my Windows laptop crashes
    Or when I have to step out
    Or when I have to sleep
    Or when I have to cook my meals
    Or when a friend drops by (don’t want to be rude)
    Or when there’s something really good on TV (which is rare)
    Or when I have to get to or get back from work
    Or when I get a phone call
    Or when I’m giving tech support advice to a friend over IM (but I’ll still steal a glance every few minutes)
    Or when I’m playing video games
    Or when I’m reading a book
    Or when I’m not home and can’t get a wifi signal

    Nope, nothing can get between me and my Boing Boing fix.

  5. Damn, the comment system’s automatic closing of HTML tags caused the last line to not be in italics. It’s supposed to be part of the “piece”.

  6. Fixed, Shutz.

    It wasn’t the automatic tag-closing function; it was double-spacing. For some reason, a tag won’t jump that gap.

  7. A senryu:


    english translation:
    cannot be seen

    senryu has the same syllable pattern as haiku, but has much fewer rules. You’re allowed to talk about people, for example, and don’t have to have a word to denote the season.

  8. A senryu:


    english translation:
    cannot be seen

    senryu has the same syllable pattern as haiku, but has much fewer rules. You’re allowed to talk about people, for example, and don’t have to have a word to denote the season.

  9. The day ended in a bit of mystification,
    when he told me the third eye was his conception.
    It irks me paying for copyright protection,
    when clearly my third eye is a random mutation.

  10. Oh, if you’re a zombie, be an early zombie
    And catch the brains for your breakfast plate.
    If you’re a zombie, be an early early zombie–
    But if you’re a brain, sleep late.

    -with apologies to Shel

  11. Boing Boing the magical blog

    The more you read the more your slog

    Through daily life is zazzled up

    So check this site and 2girls1cup

  12. i carry my love with me(an etched golden
    wafer)i am never without it(anywhere
    with wifi, my dear; and whatever you twitter
    i hold dear to me,my darling)
    i am
    cybernetic(and my love is sweet silicon)i want
    no world(your facebook page is my world, my true)
    and it’s you are the sum of your favorite memes
    and whatever is an online identity is you

    here is the deepest secret of the usenet archive
    (here is the rootkit of the root and the boing of the boing
    and the silicon poetry of teh intarwebs;which fills
    the emptiness of isolated, physical existence)
    technology reduces all distances to zero

    i carry my love with me(an etched golden wafer)

    -inspired by ee cummings

  13. sounds fun!

    O Zeppelin fair
    ‘neath clouds of lead
    You tear the sky in two

    Sailing far and near
    in search of the were,
    bigfoot, and unlikely

    Papers please! You may
    not pass, lacking the one,
    key signed properly!

    All legos scatter
    under boot steely toed,
    A game unfairly played.

    Boy robot stands
    disemvowelled, clutching
    a clockwork dog

    A mangey friend, always true,
    he gives; never asking,
    Asking nothing of you

    My packets negotiate
    Maya link, fiber-chum
    hammerheads engorge

    I sign off here, everywhere
    leaving this, for you, to view

  14. ‘Twas the night before Warcraft, when all through the ‘Net
    Not a n00b was lurking, to a geek’s regret
    BoingBoing was read intently with care
    In hopes there’d be more of Maru to share

  15. My eyes can’t un-see.
    Only one thing will heal them.
    Unicorn chaser.

    Not a likely winner, but it just popped into my mind :)

  16. Though I suppose a double dactyl’s only a step up from a limerick:

    Boingity Boingity
    Cory Doctorow ap-
    Pears in a comic
    Called xkcd,

    And though the comic’s drawn
    His cape is always as
    Bright as can be!

  17. How, I said, was it for you?
    Light glowed in your eyes.
    You, in your monotone, you said:
    It. Was. A. De. Light. Ful. Ex.
    Pe.Re.Ience. Thank. You. John.

  18. —hummed to the ren and stimpu Log song–

    What gets strange stares, from Madrid to Paris
    With stories of insects in clogs?

    They’re a tight knit pack, got each others backs
    It’s Boing Boings Blog!

    A blog! a vlog!
    It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s good!

    A blog! a vlog!
    With gadgets thrown in ‘cuz they should!

    Everyone talks at their blog!
    Don’t like it? Then get your own blog!
    ‘Twas a ‘zine, but now it’s a blog!
    Free ice cream for all at their blog!

    BLOG… brought to you by PES-CO.

  19. Furry old lobsters and mutated gene code
    Fembots with lasers and self-destruct mode
    Empire Strikes Back and Lord of the Rings
    In my directory of wonderful things

    Steampunky gadgets and fan-powered autos
    Cute lil’ kittens with badly spelled mottos
    Leaf blower traps for preventing wasp stings
    In my directory of wonderful things

    Nano-Obamas and body-mod how-tos
    Comix worth reading and pop art to peruse
    Clockwork explosions of sprockets and springs
    In my directory of wonderful things

    When the bomb drops, when the dead walk, when I’m zombie-fooooood!
    My directory of wonderful things, helps me to feel less screwed!

  20. Ho-kay. Here are my poems, parodies tho they might be:

    “We heard a crunch before it died” – by Kristin Dickenson

    We heard a crunch before it died
    And though the fan droned on
    Its smokey soul perfumed the air
    Like lightning — and was gone.

    The data-center air was dry
    Despite the admins’ sweat —
    And countless were our Users’ prayers
    Cast from the internet.

    The day was saved when Foresight pulled
    A hot spare from its hoard —
    Our gratitude was entered in
    A ticket to the Lord!

    Disaster o’er, the cluster danced —
    Geek Angels on a pin —
    For joy is great whenever
    Holy Admin acks your syn.

    “Sometimes old should stay” – by Kristin Frost

    To “steampunk” add some brass
    (It lends a touch of class).
    Re-use the rounded keys
    Of an Underwood to please.
    Encase the thing in oak
    And make it give off smoke,
    For steampunk lets us say
    Sometimes “old” should stay.

    “AAARRRRGGGHHHHH” – by Kristin Carlos Kristins

    I have eaten
    the brains
    that were in your

    but which
    you rarely

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so slimy
    and so warm.

    “A file shared” – by Kristin Hughes

    What happens to a file shared?

    Does it languish
    Like a CD left unsold?

    Or fuel others’ interest
    And go gold?

    Does it make sales inflate?
    Or steal food from every
    RIAA exec’s plate?

    Maybe it just waits
    a request for download.

    Or does it explode?


    I did a haiku of my own recently, and while it isn’t funny or based on anything in the given list of guidelines (outside of being written in Japanese, which seems to strike some as cool), I though its explanation would be fun for those who are unacquainted with the Japanese version of what children are told about the moon. Unlike Westerners, who have their “Man in the Moon” or perhaps some cheese, when the Japanese see the full moon, they see the shadow of a rabbit making 餅 (mochi, or sticky rice cakes) – usually done by pounding 餅米(mochi rice) with a wooden mallet. The other morning when I was driving to work, I noted that the rabbit in the full moon at dawn was ears-down toward the horizon, and so I wrote:
    (Morning moon-viewing
    [the] sinking rabbit
    [is] upside-down)
    Like I said, not exciting, but interesting, no? Now, off to bed with me before I blather more than I already have.

  21. `Twas Xeni, and the pesk of wits
    Hid schneier and battelle in the make:
    All cory were the jackinjills,
    For the felder frau enrake.

    We bare the Jardinsex, my Sis,
    The punks that steam, the cats that lol!
    We bare the BeeBee butt, and diss
    The zuneious Craphound mall!”

    She took her drupal script with tea,
    Long time the lessig foe she wrought —
    Podcasted she for BoingBoing tv,
    And blogged a bit for nought.

    And, as in breslin prose she squid,
    The Jardinsex, with gama game,
    Came hacking through the comic vid,
    And dropping not a frame!

    It’s diffed, it’s daft! through chore and craft
    The drupaled text had wit and whack!
    She got it grrrld, and with it urled
    She permalinked her stack.

    “Have you defrocked the Jardinsex?
    Strum on my uke, my jesting Jill!
    O roq la rue! Audrey! Adieu!”
    She twittered back a thrill.

    `Twas Xeni, and the pesk of wits
    Hid schneier and battelle in the make:
    All cory were the jackinjills,
    For the felder frau enrake.

  22. Punks, get ready to be schooled! Yeah, that’s right, I wrote a god-dammed steampunk villanelle! Suck on that, bitches!

    I have found the solution!
    The world is screwed, the sky is gray
    All hail the steampunk revolution!

    We need to rewrite our constitution
    It doesn’t allow for anachronistic play
    I have found the solution!

    The past is getting a stay of execution
    Welded Victorian metal, but made in this day
    All hail the steampunk revolution!

    With brass cups, we could have cold fusion
    All the worlds problems, going away
    I have found the solution!

    We need to get rid of this institution
    Of plastic, silicon, digital display
    All hail the steampunk revolution!

    Every man seeks absolution
    But there is only one way
    I have found the solution!
    All hail the steampunk revolution!

    Ok, so it’s not a very good villanelle, but hey, it’s a fucking villanelle! You try sticking to a meter that’s so rigid you could build the frickin’ space elevator on it! Seriously, the people that came up with this thing must’ve been deranged.

    (I really wanted to find a way to fit “binomial distribution” in there, but I couldn’t make it fit)

  23. From the classic film, Breakfast at Xeni’s i present “Boing Boinger”.


    Zuuuuune tattoo’s, jokes to bring a smile,
    Folks chasing their own style, their way.

    Oh l33t makers, and code breakers,
    You open our eyes to wonders each day

    Five hipsters, talking ’bout the world
    ’bout unicode and and perl, and C.

    An-i-me and pow–ers of ten,
    ninjas and ‘will it blend’,
    my happy mutant friends,
    Won-derful…. for me.

  24. can someone please point me in the direction of a small, lightweight, wireless camera that i can affix to a rc airplane — oh yes.

  25. Sestina of a Reluctant Copyfighter
    (in iambic pentameter)

    I download stuff. Not all of it is “free” —
    Or meant to be, at least. But people share.
    It’s alright if you take what I create.
    I’d never copy-shackle my own art.
    I have a hankering for the obscure,
    And I will stay obscure as well, by rights.

    I know, of course, i haven’t got the right:
    no “information-wanting-to-be-free”
    or any other jargon can obscure
    the fact that when we, as we put it, “share,”
    we replicate another person’s art.
    Are copies something I should not create?

    But in the past, we couldn’t just create;
    the learnéd men who scribbled out our rights
    did not foresee this replicable art,
    which makes another of itself for free.
    And if they did, why tell us not to share?
    Conspiracy? Some purpose more obscure?

    I know, the artist’s needs are not “obscure.”
    But I don’t see the people who create
    receiving, from the middle-man, their share —
    they’ve all too often signed away their rights,
    and found themselves endeavoring for free
    to do a deed that’s less and less an art.

    But certainly this isn’t all of art;
    just most of art that isn’t so obscure.
    The margins (blesséd margins!) leave you free,
    uncensored and unhindered, to create.
    But on the margin, who protects your rights?
    Forget your rights. Embrace your fanbase. Share.

    If just a thousand, seeing that you share,
    decide they love you and they love your art,
    then you won’t need to sweat about your rights.
    You can be happy, healthy, and obscure,
    as long as you remember to create
    at least a couple things that aren’t free.

    So free your mind before you grab your share.
    Don’t litigate, just go create some art!
    And let the lawyers sort obscurer rights.

  26. Since I’m not entirely sure how short short is, I’m warning that this is a prose piece. Hopefully it’s short enough!

    I was looking around the Secret Boutique on my daily pilgrimage when I saw the Raconteur. I knew it would take convincing Scott that it fit with the Western theme, but that it would be worth the effort. It was a gorgeous piece of machinery that someone would pay good money for.

    On my way into the store, I made sure to touch the miniature steamer trunk that The Beaver stood on. Ever since he went up in the window, my superstitions had expanded to include touching him on my way back from expeditions. Scott thinks that it is an action to remember Craphound, and I tell him I think he is getting soft since his retirement.

    I think it is too soon to tell that story.

    With a hint of dread for the coming conversation, I headed to the back room of the Queen Street boutique with my prize. Scott looked up from the books and I could see an expression of confusion cross his face and mix with concern. Scott trusted my hounding skills, but I could see the Raconteur testing his faith.

    “What’s that?” he asked with an edge of forced nonchalance.

    “It’s called a Raconteur, makes music by twisting a key.”

    “Oh. Is it big with cowboy collectors? I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”

    “Well, it’s a niche that’s gaining. It’s called ‘Steampunk.’ People will pay a fortune for it.” I wasn’t entirely sure on this last point, but I made sure not to let on. You can’t give away your bluff in the middle of a hand.

    But it ended up that I didn’t need to worry about my speech. Scott accepted me at my word and we set the Raconteur out in a place where it would get enough traffic and gather interest. As it turned out, I picked it up right as the Steampunk wave was rising. I started finding more of this stuff in the rummage sales and thrift stores, and slowly Scott’s boutique began to expand. We moved out from strictly cowboy stuff to include more of my Victorian-esque finds.

    The Beaver still stands in the window in his cowboy gear, but he’s accompanied by several Alice in Wonderland tin wind-up toys now. I’m putting up a picture behind him today that must have been painted close to an opium den. I get the slightest twinge that I’m betraying something with each addition, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned being a craphound, it’s that, no matter how hard we try to preserve the life we know, it has a nasty way of changing. It works out best if we accept this and change with it. Only through change can we truly live.

  27. My suggestions for future games/contests:

    6-word stories, like the ones from the Wired article that was linked here a couple of years ago. That was a lot of fun (plus, I have a few good ones in the bank, already…)

    50-word stories: I also have some practice with this. Unlike the 6-word stories, you get less of a “headline” feel, and more of an actual story feel.

    Fake Boing Boing posts: either pastiches of the posts one particular Happy Mutant does, or just “fake news” of the Onion kind, but in the Boing Boing style. With bonus points for providing photoshopped “evidence”.

    There could also be more elaborate games that require pre-registration.

    For example, you announce the game a week in advance, and let as many participants register as you can (or you set a limit.) Then, when the time comes, you send each participant a private message telling them on which side of a bogus argument they’re on, and then you open the thread for discussion.

    For example, the question could be “Should digital religions be taxable?” and then the debate would have half the participants for taxation, with the other half against. If you really need a winner, you could give each participant 5 votes (or some appropriate number) they can then apply to the best arguments (posts) from their side. A player can only vote for one of his comments, and each player must spread his 5 votes to 5 different comments from 5 different posters.

    Then, the Happy Mutants, or whoever is assigned as judge, choose the top 10 posts for each side. The number of votes is then revealed, and for every vote that each of these 10 posts have received, one point is assigned to that side.

    The side with the most points wins, and out of the 10 selected posts from that side, the one with the most votes is declared the winner.

  28. @Bogus #29 – and Respected Moderateurs –

    if a picture

    paint a thousand words,

    does this

    take it over the limit?

    (Hell, that’s almost Poetry right there!)


    Le Rev Dr

  29. Ahem.
    (Clears throat and prepares best reading voice.)

    Steampunk, steampunk, steampunk!

    Oh, Boing Boing is ridden with Steampunk
    A most wonderful Victorian array
    Of zeppelins and brass gears and tailcoats
    And gramophones, steam-driven – they play

    Of folks who sneak into old factories
    Edwardian-clad to play croquet
    Of anarcho-techno-fetishism
    And brass-covered hand-wielded deathrays

    We’ve had Charles Booth visualising beautifully
    The London poverty survey
    And amongst all this wonderful madness
    We may even have had steampunk crochet?

    Of course in the depths of the comments
    There are those who emerge to say “Nay”
    And constantly try to exhort us:
    “No more steampunk, it’s awful. Cliché!”

    Well, Cory’s not one to be ordered
    And swoops to the doubters to say:
    “If you don’t like it you can go elsewhere
    Steampunk! Steampunk! Steampunk! Okay?”

    “But where is our ration of steampunk?”
    For more, Boingers ardently pray
    Alas, Cory is not here with us, but
    On an island, honeymooning away

    (Hope he’s having a good time, though.)

    It has a rhyming pattern (uniform throughout) and formal metre, though I’m screwed if I have the slightest idea what it’s called, or if it even has an established name. Oh, and there are references to as many posts as I could fit into the rhyme and metre at 2 AM when I need to be awake tomorrow.

  30. The bloggers first I sing, who ever plumb
    The net’s great depths, and so unclog its tubes,
    And flush away the excrement of rubes
    So that the links we drink are never dumb.

    The coders too, with every new <br />
    I praise, and crafters; all who have the joules
    To comprehend the languages of tools
    And hack to make instead of merely mar.

    I bow as well before the unicorn
    Who chases all NSFW
    Away, and brings delight, but still, who knew
    There could be such perversion without porn?

    I’d write panegyric verses by the score
    But if you please, I’ll just read BoingBoing more.

    If you can’t beat it, sonnet!

  31. For line 5: With every new open angle bracket slash br close angle bracket.

    Thank you very much Mr. (you may use HTML tags for style), but I was trying to be clever!

  32. Bent double, like old beggars on Goatse.cx,
    Knock-kneed, Coprophagia-ing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    And from the haunting screens you turned your backs
    And towards new victims you began to trudge.
    The RIAA marched in their sleep fronted by an army of suits
    But Tanya Andersen limped on, She-God. All lamed; all blinded;
    Drunk with the riches gained from those in cahoots
    With DRM’d, unstripped music that drops behind.
    Yes! Yes! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the rubbery helmet just in time;
    But then there was yelling out and stumbling,
    And wtf-ing at this purported vehicle of private time…
    Dim, through my misty panes and thick milky white,
    Under the letters Y and T, I heard him singing,
    “Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see…”
    “I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling”.

  33. There was a beast washed up at Nantucket
    Zombies and robots fight each other to want it
    Youtubed by some horny unicorn
    NSFW rightwing censored porn
    My disemvoweled comment, “FCK T!”

  34. Boing Boing + Haiku = BongKu

    Boing its not just Boing
    Its not just sex with robots
    There are hoboes too

  35. I was at one of MC Frontalot’s concerts last week and Front went completely insane on stage, doing an alternative version of Tongue-Clucking Grammarian, something about punishing senior citizens. I believe the lyrics went something like:

    fuck fuck
    tongue fucking barbarian yo
    fuck fuck
    check your aunt’s dilation

    anybody wonder what you’re up against
    you get tongue fucked, what’s your best defence
    you just relax, you’re too old not to do it
    you go prffft on that and all attendants knew it
    and while I’m on the topic of frontalots tongue
    I should mention that it’s coming after anyone
    and as it unravels, your asscheeks split
    the discipline in your rear, stuck in your butt like a tit (goes)

    fuck fuck
    fuck fuck

    listening to infomercials led to your sad state
    you ought to take stool seriously, you keep-a straight
    and it’ll slip in, here’s my suppository
    and I suppose in conjunction I could tell you a story
    ‘bout how not to feel so vexed for once
    it’s impalpable, take out the trash, syringe
    turn your back and front’s on track to your drain
    hope that made it plain, the nerdcore refrain (goes)

    fuck fuck
    tongue fucking barbarian yo
    fuck fuck
    check your aunt’s dilation

    quit arguing, you geriatrics need to agree
    that this is a question of morality
    and I cannot believe you bask in the glow
    while family members cough up fecal particles that you let go
    dropping my nan at the local distillery yo
    I should, it’s time, I mean begin with the drillery so
    deep underground, isn’t it nice
    I need a tissue, the slithering that I fantasize (goes)

    fuck fuck
    fuck fuck

    I will throw fucks at you ignorant rednecks
    you want to denounce me, you need more than butt sex
    keep still, when the tongue comes seeking
    every stiff wind you break, any sewage you’re leaking
    it’s true I’ve been guilty of more than a fart
    I don’t preach how I practice, ‘cause with me it’s art
    if it’s mine it’s good there’s no need to fear it
    but when you oldies let rip the whole world gets to hear it

    (I really wanted to find a way to fit “corn chucking mammalian” in there, but I couldn’t make it fit)

  36. You were different from all the others.
    I always felt awkward at those dances,
    Those ‘thrilling’ free and drunk romances
    Never seemed to happen to me

    But there they were – in ones or twos
    Or even groups of threes they screwed –
    To me they were so very rude
    When I viewed them from the window.

    I stood watching them on tiptoe,
    And though they ran screaming into the night
    You alone did not take fright
    As you lay there nude on the ornate rug.

    So I clambered through into the room
    And told you of my one desire
    Your dear bright eyes grew so much wider:
    For you thought we were to bed.

    But then I ate your brains instead,
    For I am come back from the dead.

  37. This Is Just To Say

    I have eaten
    the brains
    that were in
    the ice box

    and which
    you were probably
    for the Zombie Apocalypse

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so meaty
    and so cold

    -I’ve been a long time reader and as soon as i read this post i knew i had to submit this pastiche of William Carlos Williams’ poem This Is Just To Say.

  38. Anonymous,
    This shield I wield has been forever sealed,
    in a tomb it shall lay.
    Through bitter trolls and x-ray polls,
    it served to save the day.
    Though held for moderation,
    it required little consideration,
    For it worked both night and day.
    Alas it’s defeat has come dressed as a sheep,
    I was invited to come and play.

  39. Great contest. I will try to work up an entry.

    For now, I just have a suggestion for extra points for this contest: any time there’s a reference to a Boing Boing subject, the line in the poem should contain a link to an article about that topic.

    If this is adopted, then all posters prior to the adoption get a free chance to repost their poem with links.

  40. (true story)

    To whom it may concern

    I write to you
    to share in my complaint
    as I was singled out in line
    while trying to board my plane

    They said that my name
    was the same as on a list
    my identity was cleared
    but still I am rightly pissed

  41. The Steampunk Goatse (with deepest apologies all around)

    so much depends

    a steampunk


    with unicorn

  42. Personally, introducing new roles other than first stated in THIS game seems finickity. I’d be happy to participate in a future game with rules like linking to subjects. But applying backwards compatible rules to this topic when it’s had around 60 players already means an awful lot of resubmissions to get everyone on an even playing-ground – when we’re already on an even playing-ground.

  43. Sestina
    Computers change culture.
    Culture, which is to say learning, changes how we think.
    Thinking is many and makes the world.
    The world, which is to say our thoughts about the world, will, if made by computers
    Be a series of plausible screens.
    A screen makes or takes light. It is binary.

    Mind, in the light, is not binary
    Like the dying heart whose muscles make culture.
    I have seen this on innumerable screens.
    When I think
    Of what goes off and on only, as with computers,
    I do not imagine what I imagine to be the world.

    What if the world,
    Where dawn every day blurs into six billion dawns, was binary
    In the extreme, day night day night, so that computers,
    Plotting their revolutions, could only say culture,
    Which is to say learning, is less than we think:
    Only useless loose mud washed through small holes or yellow ore left on screens.

    Then small articulate spaces carved through Japanese screens
    Would be filled and silent in the world,
    And someone, someone on horseback who cannot think,
    Would fold unfolded wings and say: Let’s get binary,
    babe, you and me. Culture,
    Which is to say learning, is for old men without computers.

    We hear that the young see only computers,
    And leaving behind even television screens
    They shrug off learning, which is to say culture.
    They will invent the world
    And young and old will be a binary
    Within that machine, all knowing twice how not and how to think.

    Do you think
    That that can be so? Yes and no no more, only a nest of computers
    Raising forked princes to hopscotch ,yes or no, over mysterious numbers, only binary
    Animals mad for division, multiplying screens
    On clever walls in a clever world—
    All nestled like foods on a child’s plate, discreet, no blending, which is to say, without culture.

    When I think of innumerable screens,
    Of dividing machines (which is to say computers) in the seamless profligate world,
    Which we will see is not binary, I think I am not learning, which is to say I am old, which is to say I am not without culture.

  44. hehe

    Ala Yeats
    A Lone Soldier Contemplates His Loss

    Surrounded by blooming heather a withered old man in a ruinous uniform remembers.
    He remembers August day when the finest of Scotland went to their fate in the bloody mist of
    a summer day, simple soldier he a bastion, eternal.
    A Colossus, a pillar of Rhodes was he, yet green with youth and splendor.

    His left arm is missing now, tis naught but a shriven stump.
    Where it once did hold a verdant shield against all victorious is now lost and barren.
    His right arm the strength it did wield sheltered all who sought comfort;
    a crook now, a mere support upon a wall of thrumming stone set twixt the past and present.

    That fateful day he did stand proud before the onslaught of the British.
    The wind did shriek and the wind did howl but so hardy and hale was he.
    ‘Twas a rallying point of peace and calm; how many fell beneath his shadow?
    He is bent now a withered husk where horses still pass by, though he may never follow.

    A Sheppard now lies at his once proud feet; straight of limb and flushed with youth.
    He dreams of a lass with flaxen hair and his wedding day this September.
    He cares little about the past and perceives less about the future.
    This bent and lonely tree will fan his dreams and guard him with ever watchful eyes.

  45. and LOL
    ala. a Sonnet

    For my Father

    Rene! Why hast thou left? Thoust fields are afire
    Your children have fled and the hearth is unmanned.
    The axes you have forged have dulled sunk into mire
    The hour is here, your heart must demand.
    You taught us worship upon foreign thrones
    Our minds and our hearts yearn for your wisdom
    But for wisdom we glean tis naught but slick stones
    Vast pillar of knowledge and lore keeper undone
    Abandoned, left tortured forsaken acquit
    Many battles been fought true many been won
    Not all hast come to naught I am bound to admit
    Your memory is as ageless thou mighty gorgon

    Bereaved and bereft is our esprit, with no tiller to steer
    I pray I write loud enough for your immortal soul to hear

  46. Ahem….

    There once was this fanboy at Wired
    Determined to get himself fired
    Tatooed BoingBoing on his *ss
    And it’s not hard to guess
    Where the drillfigure may be admired

  47. Annabel LED

    It was many and many a year ago,
    In a dirigible by the sea,
    That a robot there lived whom you may know
    By the name of ANNABEL LED;
    And this robot she lived with no other thought
    Than to mod and be modded by me.

    I was a welder and she was welded,
    In this dirigible by the sea;
    But we modded with a mod that was more than mod-
    I and my Annabel LED;
    With a love that the ominous lawyers
    Resented her and me.

    And this was the reason that, long ago,
    In this dirigible by the sea,
    A plane flew out of a cloud, scanning
    My beautiful Annabel LED;
    So that its camera eyes peered
    And broadcast her mods on CCTV,
    To surveil her hardware with persistence
    In this dirigible by the sea.

    The lawyers, not half so happy in boardrooms,
    Went spying on her and me-
    Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
    In this dirigible by the sea)
    That the plane came out of the cloud by night,
    Scanning and surveilling my Annabel LED.

    But our mods they were stronger by far than the laws
    Of those who were greedier than we-
    Of many far slimier than we-
    And neither the lawyers in boardrooms above,
    Nor the RIAA down under the sea,
    Can ever dissever my mods from the hardware
    Of the beautiful Annabel LED.

    For the blogs never update without bringing me memories
    Of the beautiful Annabel LED;
    And the copyright never ends but I feel the bright eyes
    Of the beautiful Annabel LED;
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
    Of my darling- my darling- my work and my pride,
    In the junkyard there by the sea,
    In a parts bin by the sounding sea.

  48. As I emerge from my slumber
    Barely able to make a sound
    I shuffle, my steps encumbered
    I collapse upon the ground

    With effort I regain my stance
    A snarl escapes my throat
    I pass a mirror and at it glance
    and note my body’s bloat

    Discoloration of my skin
    My face is swollen and marred
    I try to recall where I’ve been
    But thinking hurts, it’s hard

    Into the kitchen, I shuffle towards
    My roommate sitting there
    I advance and seek my just rewards
    Encased in skull in hair

    She cries out as I attack
    We struggle, tumbling to the floor
    She fends me off with a cranial smack
    She looks shaken to the core

    “What the hell!” she shouts at me
    “You’re mind is really askew”
    I growl and she laughs with glee
    “You’re not a zombie, jerk, you have the flu”

  49. What sense have I of privacy
    Captured worldwide by CCD
    What? My T-shirt-blinking LCD
    A science project, can’t you see?

    A rogue I’m not, nor terrorist
    In my heart and hopes a place exists
    Where creativity, joy, and love persist
    In tweaking capacitors, batteries…you know the list

    I crave not mountains of money, just recognition
    My work is mine, not yours, my precondition
    To speak freely and truly is my ambition
    Without gratuitous charges of acts of sedition

    For all the pluses of this great nation
    Our leadership (not Obama!?!) suffers a failure of imagination

  50. Posting for later.

    I want that GoW2 Zune really bad, my current Zune is nearing the end of his life.

  51. The Dead have risen this very day
    Friends once but now undead,
    There’s nothing you can do or say.

    Through doors and windows, night and day
    They come to end your life.
    There’s nothing you can do or say.

    Scream out “Mother” “Father” “Lover”
    Their reply is to tear out your throat.
    No hope, but hell to pay.

    Will your blog or twitter show the way
    To survive this dark multitude,
    And survive another day?

    Your smarm and writing won’t stop the fray
    Your flesh tears as easily as the homeless.
    So much for your BFA.

    -apologies to Edwin Arlington Robinson

  52. A Pantoum? Okay then:

    Web Zen

    So, we hit ‘Refresh’ again
    To read a newer page
    An electric kind of zen
    In our present BoingBoing age

    To read a newer page
    Is the motive of the act
    In our present BoingBoing age.
    To record, and not redact.

    Is the motive of the act
    To have our discourse capped?
    To record and not redact
    When disemvoweling may be apt?

    To have our discourse capped;
    An electric kind of zen
    When disemvoweling may be apt.
    So we hit ‘Refresh’ again.

  53. I think that I shall never see
    A pundit as vocal as Cory.
    On DRM, his heart does rage
    For page and page and page and page.

    From Silver Lake to London Square
    He fights oppression everywhere.
    He will not tolerate a crook
    nd thn h sys, “Hy, by my bk!”

  54. The magic smoke did waft
    Through my nostrils which oft
    Gathered the rich sent of fresh technology
    From the farm of cubicles
    Where the rockstars shine like astrology
    And I practice the budding field of zombology
    Copper, aluminum, and steel
    Instead we’re made to kneel
    Minds empty and stiff as boards
    I for one welcome our new insect overlords
    When what to my wondering eye should appear?
    But a purple sparkly unicorn
    With a rainbow sprung from its rear
    Video of such a feat must surely be near
    Thus has my surfing come to its end,
    What hath science wrought?
    In this time that I spend
    Back to those selfsame overlords
    But this shit sucks and now I’m bored

  55. An English sonnet in iambic pentameter:

    O, British Columbia, on your coast
    lone feet are found; men’s size ten Adidas
    mysteriously severed from their host
    thrown from sea to sand and bracken brush.

    O, feet, do you hark from fiery crash?
    Or a fisherman whose widow still waits?
    Was your body taken by the sea, vast
    and cruel, one-footed to Poseidon’s gates?

    How curious! Boing-Boingers conjecture
    on foul play, murder, and foot fetish:
    Scrolling past posts about crafts and Darfur
    to comment on the crimes with five-toed twists.

    But ask the man whose leg ends at the shin:
    Are wet, severed feet a wonderful thing?

  56. One day, the ghost of Tennyson’s going to get me.
    One post more, one post more,
    One post more to read,
    All in the Series of Tubes
    Surfed the BoingBoingers.
    “Forward the Steampunk Brigade!
    Charge for the Commons!” he said.
    Into the Series of Tubes
    Surfed the BoingBoingers.

    “Forward, the Steampunk Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the steampunks knew
    Some one had betray’d.
    They, sure to make reply,
    They, sure to reason why,
    They, sure to DIY.
    Into the Series of Tubes
    Surfed the BoingBoingers.

    RIAA to right of them,
    MPAA to left of them,
    DRM in front of them
    Bluster’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with virus and shell,
    Boldly they streamed and well,
    Into the copyright of Death,
    Into the EULA of hell
    Surfed the BoingBoingers.

    Humm’d all their zeppelins there,
    Humm’d as they turn’d in air
    Bombarding the lawyers there,
    Defying an army, while
    All the Tubes wonder’d.
    Plunged in the harddrive-smoke
    Right thro’ security they broke;
    RIAA and MPAA
    Reel’d from the people’s stroke
    Shatter’d, proud enjoiners.
    Then they rode back, but not,
    Not the BoingBoingers.

    RIAA to right of them,
    MPAA to left of them,
    DRM behind them
    Bluster’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with virus and shell,
    While OS and user fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro’ the copyright of Death,
    Back from the EULA of hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of the BoingBoingers.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild torrent they made!
    All the Tubes wonder’d.
    Honor the charge they made!
    Honor the Steampunk Brigade,
    Noble BoingBoingers!

  57. Photos, Futuretense (Robots & The Imagination of the World)

    In black and white:

    A chrome arm, speckled in grommets and rivets,
    and wrapped in black-black wire,
    pulled away from the body
    and resting against a bed of dark, ringlet curls.

    In color:

    Cinnamon-tanned toes,
    nails unpainted and ripped short,
    hiding in plastic-shined fake grass.

    In sepia:

    Little girls in polka-dotted party dresses,
    pressing their lips against either side
    of a square-headed, square-bodied, square-legged robot,
    whose belly of lights form a heart.

  58. Xeni with her sex and nerd,
    Frauenfelder’s art.
    Pesco comes with “have you heard?”
    Doctorow is smart.

    Every Boinger has his meme,
    Choosing with intoning,
    The worst obsession I find, then,
    Would have to be ear coning.

  59. Check out Charles Platt
    No fear of going splat

    Finally finds his flying car
    Built by a guy whos name is car-

    dozo from the isle of Brit
    Bozo’s gonna pilot it

    From London on to Timbuktu
    Now can I please have one, too?

  60. What Luck! I just wrote a short little zombie-ditty the other day, inspired by my recent discovery of the COMPLETELY AWESOME existence of the honest-to-goodness “Physics Catacombs” in the basement of my Uni’s science building (they have fricking uranium down there). There’s a cheery, folksy guitar part as well!

    Here goes:

    Oh I love the catacombs
    Where the zombies go to play
    They will eat you, rip out your brains
    And your corpse will join their ranks

    But the wise ones will be wary
    Ceasing not their vigilance
    Zombie flesh and skulls aplenty
    Their shotguns shall duly mince

    The catacombs welcome you too
    Drab though their corridors may be
    Residents more eager for your presence
    You will not find easily

    When the zombies are away
    Survivors fortify their defense
    This small band of grisly brethren
    Must for meager numbers recompense

    The catacombs are such great fun
    We can shoot and scream all day
    And if we ever get too weary
    Death is one small bite away

    The remainder will be troubled
    For no matter what they do
    Their trusty firearms will need bullets
    And their ammo is nearly through

    Oh I love the catacombs
    Where the zombies go to play
    They will eat you, rip out your brains
    And your corpse will join their ranks

  61. oh! I read the magic boing-boing
    here on the net
    and troll amongst her commentors
    with my right-wing sobriquet
    teresa, anti, avram
    watch what we discuss
    and moderate my astroturf
    in a disemvowelling huff

  62. damn! the formatting didnt work out. it was supposed to read like ” puff the magic dragon”. oh, well.

  63. As posted as a comment on:

    The World had changed. No one said
    for the better. The towers fell, all reeled
    from the disaster. A change they said was what
    was needed after. TSA would save us all forever.

    Hiring people was what I knew. The coffers opened for
    us to use. A monumental project to correct the actions of
    the few. A brave new day for all of us to finally do some good.

    Across the country I flew, to speak and teach, and preach to the
    choir. Good times, new times, jobs for all. We had been hit, but
    stronger it would make us all.

    They came in droves to apply for their new life. Old and young,
    smart and dumb. Hold the mouse in the air, click and yell towards the screen,
    you have been counted, move along, continue with your dream.

    Hotel conference rooms, Inside of airports, airplanes,
    shuttle busses, one after another. Recirculated air brings sickness and gives no
    pleasure. On and on it went one day into the other.

    Contract ends, life moves on, my work did not seem to matter. What came
    then was no better than what preceded the disaster. Years had passed
    here I came with a two year old in tow off to see Orlando. I’m sorry sir his shoes
    must come of, for your safety, and that of others I am just doing as I am told.

  64. MintP – It’s very much better now that I know that. For mine I included a link to the piece I was subverting to clarify the meter. (Moon River).

  65. Jamie Sue – the comment numbers change when anonymous comments are cleared and added into the middle of the convo.

    If we’re voting we should prob use names instead of numbers.


    Who lives in a zeppelin full of zombies?
    Co-ry Doc-torow!
    Begoggled and flippant and naughty is he!
    Co-ry Doc-torow!
    If steampunk and blogging be something you need
    Co-ry Doc-torow!
    Then offer your brains for Cory to feed!

    Co-ry Doc-torow! Co-ry Doc-torow! Co-ry Doc-torow!

    Co-ry Doc-torow!

  67. Finally, feel free to suggest other games to be played in future threads.

    I think I’d like to see something that doesn’t bring out the inner Vogon so much.

  68. I prefer the shotgun method of winning.

    Steam shooting sharp sings
    catching cogs cause commotion
    Fins flap forcing flight

    the gauge is filling
    put on your goggles
    don’t fail at flying

    pressure builds up fast
    the pipes begin to quake loud
    time to turn on the machine

    Nothing is as fun
    To fly straight through your first cloud
    and come out alive

    Condensations forms
    inside goggles dark and odd
    i love free fall repairs

    I Gama-Go you
    Gama-go We Gama-go
    Boing-Boing shirts on sale

    If only someone
    made a bazooka that shot
    unicorns. Holy crap.

    Cory Doctorow
    Master of the Internet
    Human or MACHINE?

    My Boing-Boing
    Dives deep into art and tech
    quiet beauty shown

    Xeni Xeni Xeni Jardin
    breath fresh air into this day
    and make the news fun

    Kung Fu master is
    Standing, staring straight at me
    Never cross Mark F.

    Wind rushes by me
    Fell off the bike-plane again
    this is going to hurt.

    Haikus are easy
    Maybe I will swoop in here
    and take Zune from you.

    Marmalade is good
    if you are not in Texas
    But I am. Yee-haw.

    Talk in code, you fool
    The government is tapping
    this haiku ‘click’ ‘click’

    My Zune broke last year
    And I loved it oh so much
    Give me yours please.

    Was that bigfoot there?
    He was tall, dark and handsome.
    You fool, that was Mark.

    I will win with force
    haiku zerg rush this contest
    Please give me the Zune.

    Watch out for David.
    I heard once that he might be
    the chupicabra.

    Please pick the best here.
    and please let one of them win.
    Pretty, pretty please.

    Even if I don’t win, I hope all of you found these amusing.

  69. Hope this counts. Set to “We Didn’t Light the Fire” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8lrRvuwczk
    See if you know all the references! :D

    Left 4 Dead, Ro-mair-Oh, Fallout 3 has ghoul-ee-ohs
    Shopping malls, brains on walls, zombie dogs attack us all

    Walking dead, lifeless eyes, broken limbs, rotting thighs,
    Evil Dead, Simon Pegg, Resident Evil

    Shotguns, pistols, automatic missiles
    Minigun attached to legs: always good to go

    Aim for the head, watch the spray, reload your gun, go and pray
    Throw another Molotov, get off your ass and run

    We didn’t start the zombies
    No, we tried to fight them
    Metaphors describe them

    We didn’t start the zombies
    It was chemical agents
    Or outer space rayguns

    Fido was a funny show, voodoo will enslave us all,
    had a blast with Evil Ash and undead Monroe

    Dead Alive, Half Life 2, Apocalypse, Extinction,
    Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town, where’s the fucking ammo?

    Planet Terror, fight or run? Boy Eats Girl, Brain Suckers
    Selena killed Mark with a knife

    Slow, fast, eat your ass,
    Pull out your insides

    We didn’t start the zombies
    They were always walkin’
    Where we used to park ‘em

    We didn’t start the zombies
    They should be slow
    Zack Snyder did bad

    We didn’t start the zombies
    They’ll eat your brain
    Make you live again

    We didn’t start the zombies
    I started one burnin’
    But now they’re learnin’

  70. With apologies to Wesley Willis

    Barack Obama

    Barack Obama!
    You are the President!
    You are the greatest!
    You whupped the Republicans’ ass!

    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!

    You are a powerful cheetah!
    You are a presidential rock star!
    Sarah Palin can go back to Alaska,
    And eat a Moose’s ass!

    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!

    Your middle name is Hussein!
    You are my main dude in the White House!
    You whupped John McCain’s ass!
    You are going to rock out all over the economy!

    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!
    Bar-ack Obam-a!

    Rock over London!
    Rock over Chicago!
    Insure One!
    It’s a name you can trust!

  71. I had a blast with this. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it…

    my sex-bot she protected me
    from the army of the dead
    jaws agape they dragged themselves
    to feast upon my head

    the doors they splintered under fist
    and claw of undead hand
    with nowhere left for me to go
    I made my final stand

    dismembering my undead foes
    I fought with all my might
    revolver blasts from my left hand
    and a hatchet in my right

    a second death I gave to them
    more lasting than the first
    tore limb from body, flesh from bone
    I made their heads burst

    but like a bloody tide of ocean
    rushing into shore
    I hacked and maimed and killed and slew
    but always were there more

    behind my weak and tired body
    my sex-bot stood so still
    not programmed for the death at hand
    not programmed how to kill

    finally I tripped and fell
    the end truly in sight
    and that’s when she came to me
    an angel haloed in light

    she tore the clothes off herself
    exposed her erotic form
    synthetic flesh designed for lust
    became center of their storm

    my lover made of gears and cogs
    designed to give me pleasure
    appeared to them the ultimate
    in ripe and fleshy treasure

    their zombie minds in lust of blood
    left me there forgotten
    her perfect body torn limb from limb
    by creatures dark and rotten

    and as I ran into the night
    to hide until the morn
    I saw that love could exist
    in a robot made for porn


  72. The Boing Boing Mash

    A finer writ there never was,
    On papercraft and omnibus.
    A gadgets page for techno-stuff,
    The Regular for fun and fluff.

    It’s not these two that draw us in,
    but brass goggles and rotting skin.
    We came for laugh and came for jeer,
    but it’s zombie-punk that keeps us here.

    Rancid-flesh mad-scientist,
    Shine and gore you can’t resist.
    Draw us deep within the style,
    whirring gears and undead bile.

    Steam-driven deaths that plague the pages,
    Two great loves and two great rages.
    A marriage of things we enjoy,
    The tie-on of our brain’s employ.

    And so I say there never was,
    A better mix; below; above,
    BoingBoing’s grave-soil-clockwork-dove,
    Brought joy to a reader….

    With Love,
    Cigar Hero

  73. Fragment of an epic attributed to Homer:

    Book IV

    Sing, O Muse, of the War Among the Stars
    Sing of the Galaxy Far Away and the Time Long Ago
    When fatherless Vader, face-scarred, driven by Ares and Enyo
    Chased the ship of flashing-eyed Leia and threw fire upon its decks
    Burning many men, others struck down as though by arrows or shot
    Many wounded, yet more dragged down to the houses of the Dead
    Their bodies a feast for dogs and carrion birds
    Their halls empty save for the wailing of women

    Sing of the island Tatooine, shining jewel in the night sky
    But barren-shored, burning, home to pirates and lizards
    And of the two men, closer than brothers
    One gold-formed, the other alabaster, worked with silver and fine lapis
    Cast down onto the sand by the Fates, to wander
    With messages from their princess, taken by warlike Vader, his prize
    Though watched over by bold Athena and fleet-footed Hermes

  74. Ode To BoingBoing

    I see that Cory penned another tome!
    It’s free for download and it’s all the rage!
    He signed ten thousand copies in his home
    In England, where it’s still the steam train age.

    Dear Xeni’s gone again out on the road:
    Apparently she’ll get to talk to God!
    Of course there will be pictures to upload-
    Let’s hope that Xeni’s make-up’s not too odd!

    George Harrison was of a former age:
    Our Dave’s the one whose inner life runs deep.
    Today we had one comment from this sage:
    For two more months we will not hear a peep.

    A sonnet’s short; I hope that for Mark’s sake
    It’s good enough to say he’s on the make.

  75. A Poetickall Epistle Direckted at Our Moderator By Way of Metrickall Clarification:

    But limericks are formal verse,
    the same as vilanelles; you err
    thus separating the two. Worse,
    although their differences are fair,
    they’re unremarked by you: silk purse,
    sow’s ear, don’t make of them a pair,
    two distinct objects they, diverse.


  76. Once, as I installed Ubuntu
    on my modded laptop (soon to
    be the envy of the con) and
    headbanged to some chiptune jazz,

    suddenly I craved a Zune to
    load with shots of fembot poon, to–
    what’s that noise? Who’s in my room? Arrrfhg!
    Quoth the Cthulhu, “You can haz.”

  77. This is just to say…

    I’m sorry I tortured your citizens of the world and made you take your shoes off at the airport.
    It’s just that terrorists hate our freedom and you would rather feel safe than actually be safe.

  78. Ahem:

    Our planet is third from the sun
    And on it we’ve nothing but fun.
    We laugh and we play
    And we all get our say,
    And in a few years, we are done.

    Or, rather

    Our planet is moving in space.
    It’s drudgery’s what sets our pace.
    We toil and we toil,
    Then it’s back to the soil:
    Only thus can we finish the race.

  79. Although I’m ineligible, Teresa suggested that I reprint my offering from this thread:

    I am the very model of a pustule horological
    With information temporal, arcane and chronological
    My retrograde time zones display with double linearity
    With indication arrows to avoid any disparity.

    My timbre rings the hours with a tone ecclesiastical
    My two and sixty jewels keep time in measure most fantastical
    I’ve eighteen K vibrations in an hour for my frequency


    My price strikes some as being an offense to common decency!

    My price strikes some as being an offense to common decency!
    My price strikes some as being an offense to common decency!
    My price strikes some as being an offense to common decency!

  80. As darkness gathers round
    With fans the only sound
    Strange bits from far and wide
    Assemble side by side

    Tales of the arts and crafts
    Of politics and graft
    To tickle and incite
    Each link a tasty bite

    Eight brave curious scribes
    On EM waves do ride
    They search a tangled web
    Hungry mutants must be fed

    Both bodily functions
    And lofty conjunctions
    Share these blogger’s pages
    Ark of fools and sages

    Amazing creations, gadget porn
    Zombie kittens, steamed unicorns
    A cryptozoo of loveable freaks
    Scary monsters and super geeks

    So each night as darkness creeps
    Whilst my little house doth sleep
    I read their posts and share my tea
    With friends I’ll surely never see

    Trading opinions, music, and poems
    Line by line we write this tome
    Disemvoweled cmmnts, unpublished rants
    Whether at work or home in underpants
    The mutants dance, they dance and dance

  81. MDH: Thanks for that! I never noticed that they changed. :)

    Ok, High Five for FriendlyNeighborhood, OLOF, fleaboy and my personal fav: CloudForm

  82. antinous @ 120

    I mentioned that same 4-month old thread above because I want you to win this contest for that comment.

    1. I want you to win this contest for that comment.

      Thank you, but employees, subcontractors, long lost cousins, etc. of Happy Mutants LLC aren’t eligible.

  83. Suggestion for future games in comments: I created a baroque set of rules to be played on message boards called “Prepare To Be Boarded!”, which could easily work in BB comments. The main gimmick is to “reduce” date/time/post numbers into a practically random number, and use it the same way you’d use dice.


    I posted the rules on The Forge (www.indie-rpgs.com) in hopes of getting feedback, but it was criticized as encouraging trolling behavior, so I never got around to playtesting it. The trolly bits could be modified out of it without too much trouble. Or maybe boingers wouldn’t judge it to be as trolly as some Forgers felt.

    Here are some blurbs that actual people wrote about it without me paying them to:


    “Ethically questionable but brilliant”

    “The game you propose squicks my consensuality nerve.”

    “…The idea of this game [is] a fascinating study in social manipulation and human behavior.”

  84. @44 Shutz
    I like your ideas of imaginary BB articles & 6- and 50-word stories–for the latter, middle ground could be a 130 character limit to make them SMS-/tweet-able…

    @83 Kuanes, @123 Jamie Sue
    Thanks for the shout-outs on my Annabel Lee adaptation!

  85. 残念ながら

  86. Until Boing Boing Rests

    There is a place where Robots play,
    The yellow LEDs lead the way.
    A sea of hackers loot the bay.
    Steamy Punks wet in leathery dew,
    Pound that Robot, make love stew.
    The RIAA watches you.

    Wars are fought among the Stars,
    Your buddy Chewie navigates your papercraft car.
    Does Copyright bother you?
    Deathly zombies are not we?
    Never, Cory has set us free!
    Ideas flow free, built upon by the community.

    This our mantra we will not stray.
    We stand tall to the darkest day,
    Till the TSA haul us all away.

  87. I gotta flip this track like wick the wack
    grab the mic, log in, up the comment stack
    FIFO … but I’m late to the game
    Guess better that than being totally lame
    Forsooth! Tally-ho! Bionicled and Dapper
    Mayhaps I’ll just claim to be a Steampunk Rapper
    Spraypaint my rhymes bronze add a gear or two
    Advise Graham Bell with my tooth of blue
    Maybe jump to the front lines of the copyfight
    Stand up for the people, bring the truth to light
    But Doctorow’s on and leaves the labels boggled
    Greedy, outdated business models totally scroggled
    (Get it? It’s about his eyewear something or other
    and a story where Google goes all big brother)
    OK, I agree – it was a bit overthought
    But this is Boing Boing! We’re overthinkers the lot!
    Right, back to the point before they disemvowell
    Ummmm – ever considered raising urban fowl?
    Making craft out of paper, reading XKCD?
    Setting up a title fight between Joel and Brownlee?
    It’s all right here at the place to go
    Where I know that they won’t ever tase me, bro.

    They Unicorn Chase me, bro

  88. Disclaimer : the contents of my amazing poem don’t necessarily reflect my real thoughts.


    Lots of posts on Boing Boing annoy me
    But I still check the site daily

    Is it because of the steampunk?
    No! Mixing Fantasy and Westerns
    drives me into a funk!

    Do I just wanna hate on the TSA?
    No! Though they are frightening,
    I’m not a terrorist, okay?

    Do I wish to try some unlikely mods?
    No! Being good with my hands is not,
    a talent granted to me by God.

    Is it because of the art of papercraft?
    No! Papercuts really hurt and
    I want to avoid needing a skin graft.

    Am I interested in mashups?
    No! Are you kidding me?
    I wish they’d all shut up!

    Is it because of the gadgets?
    No! I’m just not into them!
    Sorry for being such a wet blanket.

    Emergent properties of the Zombie Apocalypse?
    No! Thinking of my inevitable doom
    makes me talk with a lisp.

    DIY or FISA or LEDs, FTW?
    No! WTF!
    I hate using acronyms.

    Do I want to find out more about comics?
    No! Those posts are kinda scary,
    filled with fanatics.

    Am I interested in photographer’s rights?
    No! I respect people’s privacy so
    I sleep well at night.

    Is it wristwatches or clocks?
    No! They’re about as interesting
    as watching my grandma knit socks.

    Could it be I like skiffy history?
    No! Though I like science fiction,
    my hate for history is legendary.

    Am I worried about misused tasers?
    No! Those tools were made necessary
    by a national disaster.

    Do I like making a foo out of a bar?
    No! Who would like
    doing something so bizarre?

    Then am I into cryptozoology?
    No! That word makes no sense,
    even when I look at its etymology

    Am I looking for news on Tibet?
    No! It’s a foreign country,
    I don’t care about yet.

    Do I want to read about animation?
    No! When I see some on tv,
    I change the station.

    Is it copyright abuse?
    No! Stealing is bad,
    and I have a very short fuse.

    Could it be I like drives?
    No! I don’t even understand,
    why that subject survives.

    Do I like reading about hacks?
    No! The thought of someone in my computer
    gives me panic attacks.

    Is it posts on sex?
    No! I find it disgusting when
    woman get treated as objects.

    Lots of posts on Boing Boing annoy me
    But I still check the site daily

    Because of robots! I love robots!
    They make me feel as if
    Boingers and I are compatriots.

  89. From “Your shoe is jacked into my eye” and “Call to makers: woman wants webcam to replace lost eye”

    What does it mean? Phos says, not much. And yet
    let’s Make a web cam eye, a brave new phiz,
    a window one way, Moody’s patch, to set
    things right for one eyed Jill, no Maker wiz.

    A shame it is no new idea. G’kar
    had one. In Ender’s Game, as well. And ere
    it’s built, and on, and we can spy from far
    away her day to day, ’tis vaporware.

    No way to hide a battery, and wires
    won’t do. No robots, we. Our guts, our chains
    we hide beneath our skins: we all are liars.
    It’s art that tells the truth, and not our brains.

    And where to hold the ones and ohs that spew?
    A thumb drive, or an EyePod? or her shoe?

  90. #35 posted by jazzbo , November 12, 2008 9:41 AM


  91. Oh, this is splendid. I’m wondering whether I should get an outside judge to help me.

  92. I set upon the task of gaming
    “We Can Has Games” and naming
    my lines, my words, recalling verse
    of robots, no more, nothing worse:

    Circuit-bending bots beware-y
    of newer posts and dispatches more scary
    than your attenuated sinews’ reach,
    Telling each instance of social breach,
    Lingering clicks in our analog sleep.

    Perchance to blog at GMT -14
    Sunrise on Chiba’s rail system steam
    Where droids and mechs linger uncharged,
    in hangars and houses of warez, at large,
    waiting to govern the fate of the meat.

    Big-endian machinations, the jugger- and dreadnought,
    Skynet, AI, “Monkey Uses Thought to Move Robot”
    or “Elderly Japanese Attended by Cyber Nurse”…
    Alas! I am not programmed for formal verse.

  93. Cloudform said:
    I like your ideas of imaginary BB articles & 6- and 50-word stories–for the latter, middle ground could be a 130 character limit to make them SMS-/tweet-able…

    I’ve written a bunch of 50-word stories already, and believe me, none of them fit within the 130 character limit of SMS messages. Think about it, you’re asking for stories with words that are less than 2 letters long, on average (since spaces and punctuation has to be counted, as well.)

    But a separate game/contest of telling stories in SMSpeak, with the 130 character limit (I’d like to get a confirmation as to the official limit, as I remember reading somewhere that the limit was 126, but that some carriers support much longer messages.)

    Another game of sorts we could do is declare “forum war” on another, similar site, such as Fark or Digg, but specify in the rules that the war has to be circumscribed to one or a limited few articles/threads, and that any “collateral damage” would result in penalties for the people involved.

  94. Hi. I’m new. Here’s what came out. It started like something out of “Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio,” then kind of took a “We Didn’t Start the Fire” turn in the middle there. I usually don’t like to argue with my art, so I went with it.

    I come as a newbie and this must be said
    The lure of such freebies this lurker has dread
    I lived in the shadows and read all your posts
    But now I’m exposed to the thing I fear most
    Your WTF DIY cyberpunk ethic
    Has made a big dent in my life all too hectic
    The steampunk of Gibson, the rotten beach dog
    (I found John Entwistle a most unlikely Mod)
    The mashup of subjects like cryptids and cows
    The threat of a Zombie Apocalypse Now

    FISA listens on the phone
    Monitors my posted poem
    Creative Commons copyrights
    Taser beams in dawn’s daylight
    Robot sex and robot hacks
    Hacking sex and hackysacks
    Photo rights and photo wrongs
    Sing the Dalai Lama’s songs
    Nine-volt AM radio
    (Is Zune a better way to go?)
    Gadgets, gear and papercraft
    Billy Joel without a raft
    Bars of foo and skiffy stories
    Tom and Jerry gettin’ gory

    (LBJ took the IRT down to central TSA.
    When he got there what did he see?
    A spoof of a “Hair” lyric in LEDs)

    If in my mind a leuk I’ve sproing
    I leave this note to blame Boing Boing
    And if you don’t find my entry cunning
    Please lie and say I’m in the running


    There was a hum of music in the air
    before the war,
    The Great War, when everything changed,
    Or so said Virginia Woolf, a sad Cassandra
    astride the cusp of ages.
    Cold, sleek boxes, machines assembling machines,
    obliterate the opulent surfaces of our past,
    Lurid, flickering screens feed our electric dreams
    in post-modern, hard-edged cages.

    Gaslight shadows cast a glamour of promise
    and mystery,
    Men firm of jaw and purpose roam the world
    making history.
    Linen and silver, an elegant formality,
    Steam and brass, industry, brutality.
    Strongminded women in high-collared laces,
    Waltzes catch lovers in swooning embraces.

    The Clockmaker is grandfather to the cloner
    and coders,
    We view our world from Victorian shoulders.
    Honor the fabricator, make the workings plain,
    Fabulous engines in processional train.
    Stride forth, your boots and corsets laced,
    Goggles blurring gimcrack waste.
    As we look back and count the cost,
    Progress gained need not mean beauty lost.

  96. This one is slightly more serious, written in villanelle (my first ever!) in response to this comment by Antinous

    Your country’s gender disjunction

    An anal-vaginal conjunction
    A fusion that’s quite sure to vex
    Your country’s gender disjunction

    Fundamental psychological function
    Expression of person and sex
    An anal-vaginal conjunction

    State-enforced laws and compunction
    The victims emotional wrecks
    Your country’s gender disjunction

    Cries of moral dysfunction
    Gut-level emotive reflex
    An anal-vaginal conjunction

    An immoral legal injunction
    Over-wrought balances and checks
    Your country’s gender disjunction

    For this problem I see no unction
    The issues are deep and complex
    An anal-vaginal conjunction
    Your country’s gender disjunction

  97. Zombiefication

    Indeed, I am a zombie now.
    I’m dead.
    A fact with wich I’m not entirely
    I rather wish I was alive
    But here I am, quite thoroughly

    “Tell us,” you demand, “what death is
    But I don’t think you want to know that
    It is like learning how to ride a
    For once you know you never can

    The zombie deal i really not that
    though. My fun is pretty much all in the
    I really have to stay out of the
    And eating brains gets old extremely

  98. I submit a sestina about the power of visual art, the decline of western civilization, obsessive collecting, and Pan, Greek god of music and sex, among other things. To make it even more structured than a normal loosey-goosey sestina, I followed the added restriction of building the endings of the key-words sequentially, as in: -p, -pa, pan, pane, panel, panels. Enjoy (or endure)!

    When finally the dust had settled, only one did reach the top
    Of the wild and waxen bloody heap that once was old Europa.
    Who else should rise and caper there, but the sordid satyr known as Pan.
    His odor rank and pelt so ruffled, but his eyes did shine like a polished pane.
    His prize a painted picture panel
    Prized above all other panels.

    And this much can be said of panels
    Be they blank or painted, front or top
    That whosoever should prize a single panel
    Above the spoils of all Europa,
    His heart is not a cloudless vista, nor his mind a polished pane.
    Nor has any made such claims of the perfectly peerless piper Pan.

    And what is known of nefarious Pan,
    Fancier of fancy panels,
    Bane of maidens’ counterpane?
    Simply that he claimed the top
    Of the heap of old Europa
    Secure in his stock of only one portentously potent panel.

    And what was painted on this panel
    Pursued with persistence by pernicious Pan?
    The heavy heart of old Europa
    Halfway held in a host of panels,
    Here was held in full and to the top
    And seen as through the purest polished pane

    So through this perfect polished pane
    At the exsanguine heart of the painted panel
    Did gaze upon his claiming of the top
    The sagest of the satyrs, solitary Pan,
    A connoisseur of crafted panels
    Unmatched in all Europa.

    And on the slag of old Europa
    In shards and slivers like a shattered pane
    All for the love of precious panels
    And especially one special panel
    Even Pan
    Did cast a tear from his lonely redoubt at the top

    Of the heap of old Europa. In his hand at the precious panel,
    Gazing through his eyes of polished pane, did weary Pan
    Reflect upon the worth of panels and himself, the only lonely one who reached the top.

  99. I am having a blast reading all of these, as well as participating.

    it is clear that I won’t win, but still.

    It’s well worth it.

  100. Gear Heart, How like you this?
    Red, repeating, and full of space, for
    Eros’, and his stinging arrows to wedge, like a toothpick shard.
    Ah, to be a constant target, and yet to continue
    To churn and churn,
    It’s more than you can bear
    Am I right?
    Mad as I am, for assuming that you wish for
    A life, free from turning hand?
    Don’t tell me, wait, wait-
    Don’t tell me,
    I know the answer to this, you whispered it to me, on a night
    Clear from steampunk gears.
    “To beat!” you cried
    “Eternal, independent.”
    Driving away tears, you pumped out a creaky
    Or not to beat!” and
    In this, you collapsed, for there was
    No oil, for your gears.
    God, how I wish you could live, times two.

    //it’s also an acrostic.

  101. #144: HAHAHAHAHA!

    Well, you opened that Pandora’s box with your comment. (And hell, I guess it needs opening.)

  102. What a cool idea! I am one of those proverbial long-time reader/first-time posters. A little riff on McCrae’s “In Flanders Field”

    On Martian Plains

    On Martian plains the titans rust
    Besides brave men who bore our trust.
    Their iron shells reach to the sky
    To mark the place where men did die.
    Man and machine now turned to dust.

    We are the Ghosts. Light years ago
    We fought and fell, saw comets glow,
    Crossed so much space, and now we lie
    On Martian plains.

    Put down your ‘tomic powered arms:
    Turn from the path that deals out harm.
    Reach for the stars with open minds,
    Embrace the wonders that you find
    An’ let us sleep, ‘til poppies grow
    On Martian plains.

  103. I’d like to resubmit (you can erase my first one if you like: #112). I thought that rhyming ‘God’ with ‘odd’ was a little too doggerel even for my doggerel sonnet, and the slightly sexist remark about Xeni didn’t sit well with me as time passed (sorry, Xeni- it was early AM when I wrote it. Your make-up is fine. I called you ‘lovely’ this time to make up for it.) So I changed that stanza, and reversed two words to make it scan better.

    Suggestion: Next time please set an official time limit so I know whether I should submit ASAP to get it in, or nurse my muse. It would also be good to have a ruling on multiple submissions.


    Ode To BoingBoing

    I see that Cory penned another tome!
    It’s free for download and it’s all the rage!
    He signed ten thousand copies in his home
    In England, where it’s still the steam train age.

    The lovely Xeni’s always on the road:
    She writes and talks and speaks from where she goes.
    Of course there will be pictures to upload.
    Of course there’ll be more BoingBoing TV shows.

    George Harrison was of a former age:
    Our Dave’s the one whose inner life runs deep.
    Today we had one comment from this sage:
    For two months more we will not hear a peep.

    A sonnet’s short; I hope that for Mark’s sake
    It’s good enough to say he’s on the make.

  104. Good idea. First post on bb, but not the last.
    Here’s one in iambic pentameter, Shakespearean sonnet form.


    The Alice, wind-born paper craft, flies high,
    From washi, brass and  twisted rope she’s wrought,
    She soars through clouds and dusk and weirding sky,
    Her engine modz GNU by zombie bots.
    Commander Bob, this airship’s captain, dreams
    Encrypted words to free the common weal,
    From Timbuktu to Xanadu he steams
    And seeks to cleanse from minds foul Riaa’s beal.
    The copyfight’s not his alone to wage,
    For All the clockwork tools to Make: and share
    To bring rebirth of culture in this age
    Is not alone his albatross to bear.
    These mottos on her bow  enlayed in brass:
    Do It Thineself and In Libris Libertas!

    notes on words:

    beal(n): a pustule, pimple, lawyer (ahem).
    Riaa: rhymes with diarrhea…

  105. #153: No submission from you, Tak? Your English is clearly up to it. Or do you consider yourself too close to the management to enter? (You could still compose something, even if it weren’t considered.)

  106. In times of trouble, challenge or unrest,
    many choose the low road as their way.
    Perhaps subconsciously abandoning the best,
    essential nature we all share in better days.

    Anyone may stumble, trip and fall.
    Can we expect perfection in one man?
    Humility demands that we judge all
    good intentions fairly. Yet we can

    eaily forget that signs are there,
    obvious to see and to convey
    rigorous attention to the glare
    governing the laws we all obey.

    Each sign that sends another to a fall
    will sign our trust is misplaced overall.

    [posted as a comment to and as a comment on this post: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/11/burmese-blogger-rece.html%5D

    [[a poem with a hidden message on a blog post about a poem with a hidden message; double recursive ;-) ]]

  107. Guerrilla Gardener

    The lanes too narrow, the streets too bland,
    Faded colours of a concrete land,
    Bricks and wire have taken their toll,
    He cannot rest, this tortured soul

    He sees the metal, chrome and glass
    But dreams of flowers and luscious grass,
    Of vegetables and herbs taking root,
    Of trees blossoming and bearing fruit

    He creeps the streets with rake and hoe,
    Stealthily clad from head to toe,
    A concrete state he will prevent,
    He sows his seeds of discontent.

  108. Ozymandias
    Two vast and rusty legs of Iron stand
    Immovable upon the desert sand
    Half-hidden in its own debris, a cold and
    Tarnished visage lies, decaying in the ground
    On its breastplate scattered ‘round
    Is written this mechanized hand:
    “Look on me, Ye Mighty, and
    Despair!” Gigantic metal bands,
    Springs, Cogs and Pieces of its unpowered hand
    Lie lifeless on the powdered sand
    And what was once enhanced with steam
    Now only gleams in sunny ray
    Eternally the lonely, level sands stretch far away

  109. Kieran @159:

    Indeed, th’ inscrutable Peter Murphy
    Wound up as something of a Surphy.
    Enlightenment wears many guises.
    May it find you soon: CAN HAZ SURPRISES.

  110. Whose site this is I think I know
    This art is from the village though
    The boss won’t see me stopping here
    To watch this baby pygmy Hippo

    My little LOLCat must think it queer
    that my mouse should linger here
    Between the gadgets and various Make
    The donations ‘gainst Censorware

    I give my steampunk blender a shake
    beg the moderator for a break
    but the only other sound’s the sweep
    of my vowels on the take

    The posts are lovely, weird and deep
    But I have promises to keep
    And lines to go before I sleep
    And lines to go before I sleep

  111. #161: Claps hands in delight.

    Honestly, any happenstance of rhyme in that post was entirely unconscious.

    #158: Aila, I can totally imagine weebls-stuff putting animation and music to that, a la The Electro Gypsy

  112. I have another idea for a future game:

    Describe Boing Boing after the Singularity. This implies that you’ll have to write about the singularity itself, but the focus of the piece should be what Boing Boing turns into after the event.

  113. Going from Hello Kitty
    to hello kinky
    in two posts with a
    unicorn closely following

    It rises in the east (or is it the west?)
    a chimeric zombie cyborg
    augmented with megabit speed
    and terabyte storage

    Cut off its LCD head and
    another guest blogger
    rises with tales of bigfoot
    and clever recycling

    It has birthed and
    destroyed nations
    on a whim
    (Infomercia you annoyed too many)

    A probing data tentacle
    exposing security misconduct
    young adult novels
    and redacted documents

    It is
    above all else
    a directory of
    wonderful things

  114. Carousel
    On A Reading Of BoingBoing

    John Manoochehri

    It was a day like any other day
    A lingering perusal of the net.
    But then: I found it straddling the way,
    BoingBoing, a site, a sound, a ‘tude, that set
    The bar for kicks from talking…stuff.

    It’s clear: we know it’s all gone off out there.
    The future crashes in upon us, where
    If war’s not virtual by Baudrillard
    It sure as hell is so by Gears of War.
    The surface of the now is all too tough.

    Lives lived in midst of ceaseless reinvention
    Can choose to lose their view on whose values
    Texture the modern moment’s flow; or shun
    Such novelty as them would hapless use.
    The content of that now is not enough.

    The human soul is not a difference engine
    And it has reached a point in progress when Yin
    Must wrap its gentling arms around the Yang
    And hum the songs that once the wiseones sang
    “Don’t tell me what you have…just what you Love”.

    A living now is not a flick’ring screen –
    Panic billboard crush-filled with noise and speed –
    Instead a carousel, whose spinning, seen,
    Lends past and future, both, a giddy heed.
    Let’s stand some ground and call the modern bluff.

    Let Larry talk of who owns what and how;
    Let Barry walk the walk, until, well, wow…
    Let Cory caulk the timbers of the ship
    Of stories so improbable they tip
    Our mental gyroscopes: how we know stuff.

    The modded bod, the blogging mog, HOWTO
    Ballard Banhhart BuHoo Batman Bauhaus
    Meltdown-Mashup, Steampunk-Gadgets, R2
    Carlin Curtis Chinglish Kittens Congress
    Chanel Shortsell Shanghai Shareware Shitknife

    This is the site, the sound, the ‘Tube, where tumbls
    The carousel of all these modern moments.
    A celebration of live nows which humbles
    Hegemony and sloth, whose conscience foments
    Our wakefulness: click here for Change.gov.


    The poem is in classical iambic pentameter, with a quasi-classical ababc ddeec etc form. There some metrical breakbeats, of course; but the interest for me is in tackling the problem of rhyme. Rhyme is a problematic part of classical poetry – essentially it’s usually stultifying, and often just bad – to deal with which, we can roughen the edges with half-rhyme, assonance, and de facto rhymes permited or forged by pronunciation. It’s harder to jazz a rhyme – especially with a last-line rhyme locked across each stanza of the whole poem – than to jazz the metre. The other power of modern poetry (which tends to require from us less pure metrical invention, hence decline of metre) is punctuation: after cummings and Dickinson, poetry was definitively for reading from the page, not for listening to from recital, and thus punctuation became a legit part of the toolkit. There’s other toys in here, obviously. And ‘Barry’ is Barry Obama, by the way; somehow that he was called this early on didn’t make it out of his backstory, or from Fake Steve, to the frontpages, but is true.

  115. Sex-Bot Villanelle

    “Beep boop whistle click click whistle boop beep.”
    A shame I cannot process binary.
    So close this sex-bot I desire to keep.

    Four more passionate hours pass without sleep.
    Her song sung sweetly as a canary,
    “Beep boop whistle click click whistle boop beep.”

    Her android eyes peer into mine so deep.
    I grab my English-Bot Dictionary.
    So close this sex-bot I desire to keep.

    Decoding her message: a slope so steep,
    Interpreting my little steel fairy.
    “Beep boop whistle click click whistle boop beep.”

    My feelings change for this lousy scrap heap,
    As translation reveals words so scary.
    So close this sex-bot I desire to keep.

    Thanks be to God that robots cannot weep.
    I run from her love and plans to marry.
    “Beep boop whistle click click whistle boop beep.”
    So close this sex-bot I desire to keep?

  116. TSA Haiku

    TSA takin’
    Ma MacBookPro for why
    I can has O2?

    No shoes, jacket, belt, watch
    Scan me, wand me, expose my
    Bits for all to see

    Harass granny, toddler, vets
    Returning from Iraq yeah!

    Schneier, Goldberg show
    Security theater
    Pwn Hawley, Chertoff

    Protect Rodina
    Homeland Security is
    Enemy my home

  117. The dead man in the afternoon, alone,
    Takes careful sips of spiced and pureed brains.
    His watch chain is made up of finger bones.
    His waistcoat sewn by violently insane,
    Though gifted, tailors. Self-made, self-cursed man,
    By his own careful labors self-exhumed
    With rotten bootstraps clutched in shriveled hands;
    Not one to shamble with the common brood.
    Relentlessly he built his fortune high
    And gnawed through rival throats without a qualm.
    His bulbous airships now command the sky,
    And boiled infant lotion grease his palms.
    Success of such a sort is hollowing,
    But he, embalmed, can hardly feel the sting.

  118. My Senator Ted hails from Mass
    His agenda has been stalled, could not pass
    Because of a pork-minded
    Ted from state forty-nine
    Who has just been handed, his ass.

  119. I looked up
    Opened my eyes

    And saw before me
    Wonderful people and wonderful things.

    But did it matter what they were?
    Or only that I saw?

  120. Torture Is the New Chic
    November 14, 2008 12:14pm

    Ignorance’s Victims

    Tell me what the fuck you think you know
    From whose seed did your ideas grow
    How much of what makes up your mind
    Did you consciously put there or me in mine
    Do we have any fucking idea
    The depth of the problem
    The extent of the fear
    So much shit in our heads
    No control of our times
    We parrot the lies and walk the lines
    Piss in their bottles and give up our guns
    Pay for their wars, hurray our side won
    So just shut the fuck up
    You’re only a victim
    Another casualty
    Of the fraud in the system
    Just lay back
    Forget everything you know
    You’ve been beaten, raped
    Arranged in neat rows
    Mentally deceased
    Voluntarily disarmed
    Ignorance’s victims
    Kept safe from harm

  121. “The time has come,” the Boingers said,
    “To rhyme of many things:
    Of makes, and squid,and ceiling cats,
    Of Cory’s cryptic rings…
    And why the sea is full of feet,
    And why ~shouldn’t~ men have wings?”

    “Get out of my head!!” the carpenter said,”I’m struggling with some horribly four-dimensional esoteric joinery to be fitted into a wildly and obstinately non-rectilinear recess, where the walls comprise of a patchwork of loose lime powder and solid granite.
    I thought I had my boingboing habit under control…”

  122. I think the finalists for this contest should have a tie-breaker melee in a jello-pit, clad only in thongs, capes and goggles. Lime jello. Televised to the web.

  123. Your Virtual Girlfriend
    November 15, 2008 10:50am

    Beasts Nouveau

    Our Modern Age
    Our fragile cage

    Animals with art
    Beasts at heart

    Hump and dump
    Cheat on chumps

    One new condition
    Willing submission

    Don’t rape me
    Please take me

    Don’t love me
    Just fuck me

    Over a chair
    Handfuls of hair

    Freely tied
    Whipped with pride

    Hot wax drips
    Timeless trips

    Take a chance
    Sex in a trance

    Plenty of time
    For candles and wine

    Love will wait
    Take the bait

  124. LOL! ‘t is a rokkin night
    Without the comfort of a beer.
    A tranny’s thong, bedewed, hindsight
    entails the bend of ears,
    Sit in virtual theatre to see
    A play of steam and gears,
    While the band was kickin fitfully
    The the ’80’s/big-hair/ christian/ rap/metal/prog/electronic/rock of the spheres.

    Trolls, in the form of Gawd on high,
    Mttr nd mmble lw,
    And hthr and ththr fly;
    sock puppets they, who spew and foam
    At behest of vast conspiricies
    That shoot the green-screen ‘shoppe like pro,
    Pooping from out their keyboard fing’s
    Takuan’s Visible Woe.

    That lowbrow drama—oh, be sure
    It shall not be forgot!
    With its artists Coop and Shag and Schorr
    At the Roc La Rue or trendy spot,
    Through a canvas that ne’er endeth in
    A cranium- melting rot;
    And a flickr of Madness, and intarwebs of Sin,
    And Goatse the soul of the plot.

    But spy amongst the digit rout
    A lurching shape intrude:
    An undead thing that dryly shouts:
    “It’sss ay ssseereeessz uvv tooobzz!”
    It writhes—it writhes!—with birthing pangs
    The memes become its FUD,
    And licking fingers quivering from
    Gelatinous brains it stewde.

    FTW—FTW are the Geektards—FTW all!
    And o’er each robotic form
    Moderation, a disemvowelling fist,
    like a watch with spring that hath sproing,
    With Xeni Mark Cory and all whom they flog ,
    Where Authors and Artists and and Thinkers conjoin
    That the fan-fic is the tragedy, “Blog,”
    Its underwear-pervert hero, the Conqueror Boing.

  125. Beasts Nouveau Revisited

    Our Modern Age, animals with art
    Our fragile cage, beasts at heart
    Cheat on chumps, one new condition
    Hump and dump, willing submission

    Don’t rape me, don’t love me
    Please take me, just fuck me
    Over a chair, freely tied
    Handfuls of hair, whipped with pride

    Hot wax drips, take a chance
    Timeless trips, sex in a trance
    Plenty of time, love will wait
    Candles and wine, take the Bait

  126. Foetus,
    I’m just reading some of these for the first time and as I much as I can enjoy them while one handedly fending off a toddler doing cannonballs on my chest, they are awesp,e/

  127. Foetus,
    Just one question. Am I a sage or fool? Fool, definitely.

    The amount of work that went to so many of these poems is pretty astounding. The Wesley Willis/Obama tribute is the funniest damn thing I’ve every heard. My brother made me listen to WW. I will have to turn him on to BB.

    So great job everybody. If you are like me, you check these boards incessantly, especially when you’ve put something out there, curious for the response.

    Thank you brave commentators all for throwing your gems to the silent masses.

  128. #191:
    And thanks to those silent who came to this thread
    To post all their wonderful poems to be read

  129. This is late, Dead Kennedy’s post:

    Punk was Guthrie’s ol’ guitar writ large
    we’d kill the fascists, and lead the charge
    a rally for the suburban reject
    a grail for teenagers abject
    Parents and congressmen became
    open to study, scrutiny and shame
    Punk killed the father like Oedipus
    but then grew old like the rest of us
    Now the pop killer has been spent
    It commodifies it’s own dissent

  130. MDHatter, this place rocks!

    Well written Anthony; Iggy Pop is still kicking ass at 61, and probably in better shape than he was at 25; Lee Ving still wants to start a war at 58; Captain Sensible is damned forever at 54; Jello, at 50, ain’t dead yet, though a bit jiggly; Henry Rollins is still a mouthy youngster at 47.

  131. We’ve read these wonderful, wordy webs
    With joy, delight and amazement
    Now that the excitement gently ebbs
    We wait, patiently, for the judgment

  132. Ahem: Upon the “magical” infomercial, employing alliterative verse and suitably archaic diction to impart an antiquated feel:

    Such magically maximized mammary glands
    What man could malign such matriarchy?
    ‘twould marshall his mast stiff as a marrowbone
    And maneuvre him to malignant materialism

  133. Thanks, Foetus- It can be sung to any MDC melody.
    Steve Albini’s still around. And the Dischord fellas are still around and still activists. It’s good to know.

  134. The deadline for entries in this game is midnight tonight, Pacific Standard Time.

    I have, at great trouble and expense, persuaded the editorial head of the science fiction line at the world’s largest English-language SF publishing house to help judge the competition.

  135. Inspired authors (lucky lads) attest
    That when in them the gentle muses move
    It feels a bit like childbirth, and so I
    Attempt via analogy, to prove

    That when you on a whim pick up the pen
    And having cursed in print your writer’s block,
    Recurse and curse recursion, it’s a bit
    Like playing with your (Editor: what schlock!)

    Both acts are pleasant, private, and begin
    With hand on tool, till at some length they loose
    A substance on a sheet . You have preserved
    The seepage of your pen, and so I muse:

    Perhaps somewhere, you keep the other’s issue.
    I sneeze to think! But must decline your tissue.

  136. This was a tough call!

    I’m sorry I don’t have two Zunes, and so can’t give a second prize to the poem that was an obvious popular favorite. In defense of my decision, I can only point out that while LEE is one syllable, LED is three. I fully expect that in future we’ll see Cloudform win some other poetry competition.

    (Picks up envelope)

    And the winner is …

    SpatulaLilacs @41, “Sestina of a Reluctant Copyfighter.” Which, O my word, is a rigidly formal sestina that maintains both natural language and perfect iambic pentameter, while developing a coherent argument about copyright issues.

    Now, there’s something you don’t see every day.

    It really was very, very close, and it didn’t come down to just those two poems.

    There’ll be a separate entry to follow, with extensive commendations, a top ten list, and other good things.

    Thank you, all of you!

  137. Congratulations SpatulaLilacs! I don’t think I read that one properly the first time through. On detailed reading, I am in awe.

  138. Second that Yaayyyyyyy! to SpatulaLilacs, take a lap.

    P.S. Does this mean there won’t be a televised tie-breaker mêlée of finalists clad only in thongs, capes and goggles in the lime jello-pit of fate? We’ve already sent out the e-vites and bought the popcorn and beer.

  139. Congratulations Spatulalilacs, well won!
    Perhaps there will be some kind of Offworld coronation ceremony, if not an actual wrestling event.

  140. There will be a substantial main-sequence entry about it, but not until Monday, when everyone’s watching.

    I’d like to save the “making up personal ads for each other” for later, when more people have gotten to know each other better. If we did it now, it would seem in-groupish.

    I’m tempted to run a quick competition for Best Unicorn Chaser, and thereby accumulate a stash of them — I’m always running short. We could credit the donor when the chaser got used.

    I liked Shutz’s suggestions about six-word and fifty-word stories, and Cloudform’s suggestion that 130 characters is a good length.

    Fake Boing Boing stories would be fun. So would fake Boing Boing headlines (there’s the short fast version again). I think I’d want entrants to declare which Boinger or guest blogger supposedly wrote the supposed story, so we can judge whether the entry is truly indistinguishable from the real thing.

    I think we’ll leave games requiring pre-registration until that happy day when we’ve thoroughly debugged the real registration process.

    While a contest that asked entrants to describe a post-singularity Boing Boing is a very original idea, I’m going to stand on my authority as a longtime science fiction editor and say that if you locked Vernor Vinge, Bill Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Charlie Stross, Ken MacLeod, and Hunter S. Thompson’s briefcase into a large hotel suite together, and set them that same challenge as a condition of their being allowed to leave, they still wouldn’t be able to come up with an answer. One of the defining characteristics of the Transcend is that it’s incomprehensible.

    Finally, I’m opposed to having forum wars because I couldn’t guarantee the good behavior of everyone who turned up in another forum and claimed to be part of a Boing Boing raiding party.

    Good ideas, though.

    The best games are simple structures that generate complex behaviors. If we were having this conversation in person, I would now offer to teach you guys to play Mafia and Thing as they’re played at SF writing workshops. The rules are very simple, the roles are few, the games are never the same twice, and they’re never boring.

  141. The slight problem – for me as yet another of the ‘first time posters, long term lurkers’, with I hope a decent poem – is wanting to play, but not wanting to have be ‘in’ to have fun. In addition to a good simple gameplay/complex game ratio, I encourage also a good newcomer/good experience ratio.

    Anyway, I also think a regular poetry competition is a good idea. But to make it more ‘fair’, I feel a form should be set and a topic, and other conditions. That way it’s a level playing field. I myself don’t think a sestina is a nice form, but if its set, so be it.

  142. Like eight-line stanzas in iambic tetrameter, ABACBABC, where A and B are monosyllabic and C is trisyllabic?

  143. Personally, I really like #80, “Web Zen.” Nice unification of form & substance. And use of the word “disemvoweling.”

    Ms. Hayden, thank you so, so much. :)

    Now i just have to get the Zune to work on my mac…

  144. Spatula Lilacs, “Web Zen” is in the top ten, and was a hot contender. Now what you need to do is click on the eyeball and send me your name and your mailing address. Oh, and do you want me to use your real name in the main post?

    JManooch, one of the joys of this game has been the first-time posters joining in.

    I dislike setting forms, because I never expect things like crossword puzzles, and then I get them anyway.

  145. Neurotic lament: The main entry’s been up for … minutes! … and no one’s commented. They must not like it.

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