Tag Archives: poetry

Star Wars … retold entirely in Haiku!

Haiku? This is madness!

Haiku? This is madness!

*

Words scroll up the screen

Something about “Death Star plans”

Please pass the popcorn

*

Rebel ship is chased

Giant spaceship fills the shot

“Get in my belly”

*

Chick in a white dress

Talking to a garbage can

Oops. It’s a robot

*

R2 has the plans

Robots take the escape pod

Darth Vader looks pissed

Peripheral vision is for losers.

Peripheral vision is for losers.

*

Down on Tatooine

Gold bot has sand in his pants

Here come the Jawas

*

Luke works on a farm

With no animals or crops

This is the hero?

*

R2 does it all

C-3PO speaks “Bocce”

Buy one; get one free?

*

R2 runs away

He’s chased by a floating car

I want one of those!

*

Meanwhile, up in space

Vader chokes his co-workers

What will HR think?

*

Sandpeople shake sticks

Luke gets scared and passes out

This is the hero?

*

Obi-Wan saves them

He gives Luke a light saber

I want one of those!

*

Uncle Owen dies

Aunt Beru is baked alive

So much for Luke’s chores

*

Quite the wretched hive

Mos Eisley is not for wimps

You might lose an arm

*

 A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, men wore disco clothes, and their friends were naked. Or it was just the 1970s.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, men wore disco clothes, and their friends were naked. Or maybe it was just the 1970s.

They meet Han Solo

His ship made the Kessel run

Less than twelve parsecs

*

Off they head to space

Robots, ape man, and three dudes

Sounds like a good time

*

The princess won’t talk

How to teach her a lesson?

Blow up Alderaan

*

The Force cries in pain

Obi Wan says “Suddenly”

Twice in one sentence

*

Say, is that a moon?

We’re caught in a tractor beam!

Does Han still get paid?

*

death star

The Death Star is huge

They find Leia right away

That was pretty odd

*

They jump in garbage

Rather than run down the hall

They deserve squashing

*

Lasers everywhere

Storm troopers can’t shoot for shit

I blame budget cuts

*

Storm troopers fall dead

Plastic armor is useless

I blame budget cuts

*

The chasm is too wide

Leia kisses her brother

Ew. They swing across.

*

Darth and Obi Wan

Grampa-speed light saber fight

Obi-wan pops off

*

Luke is so depressed

A guy he met yesterday

Vaporized himself

*

Meanwhile, the princess

Her whole planet was destroyed

Double-u tee eff?

"Luke. My entire planet... everyone I've ever known or cared about... has just been obliterated. But here, have a blanket.

“Luke. My entire planet… everyone I’ve ever known or cared about… has just been obliterated. But here, have a blanket you poor thing.

*

To the rebel base!

But the Death Star followed them

Tricky S.O.B.s

*

Han get his reward

Apparently plastic crates

He’s easy to please

*

Attack the Death Star

It’s a suicide mission

Best scene ever filmed

*

Luke is all alone

Until Han Solo comes back

Darth Vader goes “Whaaaaaaat?”

*

Luke uses the force

His lasers turn a corner

That would never work

*

The death star goes BOOM

Luke and Han get gold medals

Chewy gets a bronze.

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What do you write and why?

Writing is like figure skating: A mix of creativity, discipline, and sweat. But it's not as pretty to watch.

Writing is like figure skating: A mix of creativity, discipline, and sweat. But it’s not as pretty to watch or as hard on the knees.

We only have so much time to write and so much energy to devote to each project. I know many of you can relate, because you blog about it.

This week I’ve begun pushing myself to work on my novel. Yay me! Unfortunately, I have finite writing mojo, which means that I am too lazy to come up with an insightful post tonight. My mental energy went to the novel. Fortunately, I have you, so I am going to put you to work!

Please, in the comments, tell me what you write and why you choose (or are compelled) to write it. The “what” is up to you. It can mean poetry, fiction, or non-fiction or even blogging. It can be genre, like Romance or Haiku or Personal Essay; as long as it’s writing and it’s for creative expression. Shopping lists don’t count because I know why you write those. Duh.

The WordPress comment processor, bolted to the wall at WP headquarters is Greenland. Note the spam filter just below the three combobulators.

The WordPress comment processor, bolted to the wall at WP headquarters is Greenland. Note the spam filter just below the three combobulators.

I’ll go first:

What: I write fiction that falls in the general category “speculative,” typically thought to include horror, science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural. If the description “twilight zonish” resonates with you, then you probably have a good sense of my material.

Why: I enjoy speculative fiction for the freedom it offers. I can set a story anywhere in the universe, or even outside the universe. I can change the rules of physics. I can go anywhere, anytime, and do anything. At the same time, I can and often do keep it very close to reality. An odd coincidence in an otherwise ordinary setting and situation is enough to set a character on a strange journey, physical or metaphorical or both. I’m a sucker for a surprise ending or a twist as well, and the possibilities for such in speculative fiction are limitless.

There; that was easy. You don’t have to be so long-winded if you don’t want, or you can post a gigantic comment and text the very limits of WordPress’s comment processor. You take it from here…


Haiku limericks… and other vapid verse

Let’s be clear: This post does not offer Haiku. It offers limericks—Haiku’s inbred second cousin—about the Japanese poetry form. However, I’m sure the hypothetical Haiku I’m discussing would be lovely if we could only see it…

Here's...

Here’s…

A man once wrote some Haiku

He thought it was brilliant, too.

It turns out he blundered

His readers all wondered,

“What, is this guy sniffing glue?”

~~~

Haiku’s made of 17 bits

It sure can give some writers fits

When in such a funk

Writers tend to eat junk

Which later gives them the… gastrointestinal distress

How...

How…

Who writes a poem about poems?

Strange thoughts under cranial domes

Surrealistic scenes

No one knows what they mean

Not even old Sherlock Holmes

~~~

I have to admit it is true

I have no more to say on Haiku

I doubt you are sad

You might even be glad

Since the three poems above this one blew

I...

I…

I think we all can agree

Focus in writing is key

I should be creating

Not procrastinating

As I sit here binge-watching TV

~~~

I haven’t got too many vices

Neither smoking nor drinking entices

But if you happen to bake

I could sure use some cake

Though anything with sugar suffices

Troll...

Troll…

Being a governor is handy

Using people as pawns is just dandy!

But can Chris Christie handle

When it turns to a scandal?

And we forget about Hurricane Sandy?

~~~

“I want every voter in reach,”

The governor said in a speech

He closed lanes to a bridge

While raiding his fridge

Now he might get impeached

For...

For…

Do people really look like these folks?

Or is it some Photoshop hoax?

If I’d shown Chris Christie

Would you have dismissed me?

Lord knows, Haiku pics are jokes!

~~~

Bloggers are searching for clicks

We’ll try all kinds of tricks

It seems such a shame

When our content is lame

That we lure people with pretty pics

Clicks...

Clicks…

 

 


Horrible Holiday Haiku!

killer santa

In the tradition of my Worst Christmas Story Ever Written post from last year, I bring you a batch of all new, never before seen Heinously Horrid Holiday Haiku. Whereas last time I went out of my way to write something awful, today’s holiday offering is naturally occurring  bad poetry. In other words, with me and poetry, this is as good as it gets!

Enjoy (or suffer):

Joy in giving gifts

Just don’t use a credit card

Digits could be hacked

***

“Santa Claus is white”

Opines one Megyn Kelly

Jesus must be, too

***

Christmas carols rock

They can even melt the hearts

Of heathens like me

***

I must disagree

That gift cards make cheesy gifts

Amazon is fine

***

Dear Senator Paul,

Mr. Scrooge ain’t a hero

In the beginning

***

Making merry time

Where are you, Martha Stewart?

Tell me what to do

***

Lucas rolls in cash

Even after 40 years

Kids want Star Wars toys

***

Long the naughty list

After all, what kid is good?

It’s all relative

***

“A War on Christmas!”

They cry for a day that was

Stolen from pagans

***

Lovely Christmas tree

Though not quite spiritual

It’s made of plastic

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Happy Holidays, whichever one you celebrate!


New Artist Spotlight: Hip-Hop Poet PoetryMisses

I spend way too much time bitching about technology problems without praising the tech gods when things work. Such as the confluence of do-it-yourself music recording and social media that allows artists to create their work and get it out there without being beholden to some executive in suit. That is awesome and powerful.

How else would the world be able to discover original artists like PoetryMisses, who performs her spoken-word poetry to a beat and then posts to YouTube? Don’t let the smile fool you.  She’s unapologetic, and she ain’t playing around.

PoetryMisses answers my questions below this clip, “Best for me,” a real slow burn of tension and angst. Listen as you read!

EJB: What made you decide to put your poetry to music?

PoetryMisses:  I’ve been writing poetry since before the age of 10, and I’ve always had a strong passion for all genres of music; I just never saw myself actually doing it!  Recently I started getting more serious about what I want to do with my life and decided my poetry needs to have more energy to it, because it just couldn’t be wasted. So, after I started playing around with the words and instrumentals, I knew I had found my niche.

EJB: How confident were you that you could make your poetry work with beats and rhythms?

PoetryMisses: You would be surprised how much I struggled in the beginning.  To me, poetry is freedom with no limits, no exact number of words because I’m all about free verse.  So, when you have only a certain number of bars and a certain beat to keep up with, it gets confusing.  Practice truly does make you better at anything in life, because before you knew it, I was writing complete songs with confidence that came from  nowhere.

EJB: Please tell us about your recording process.

PoetryMisses: My first step is to find a beat.  I usually have a “beat finding” day when I get online to browse for the perfect sound I need.  Depending on my mood of the day, the beat will be slower or fast paced.  I usually don’t write on the same day, just so I can let the tunes sit in my head for a while.  Then there is my writing process.  First verse, chorus, second verse, and whatever else comes behind that.  I usually have had the same mundane writing process since I’ve started rapping, but I love EVERY step.  I record myself most days.  It’s very stress relieving when I can do it alone, but my daughter always wants to “spit” right along with me.  Recording for me is pretty straightforward. I don’t like to waste time.

poetrymissesEJB: What inspires and influences your poetry?

PoetryMisses: It’s simple:  My life.  I can only write about and share what I know and have been through.  There used to be a ton of unhappiness, being lost as a teenager, and love.  Now I try to focus more on the happiness, freedom, and pure love for life.  My dreams are what inspire me to write.  I used to hate the way my mind would expand when I was younger.  Now, as an adult, it’s what fuels me.  To be able to share the countless wonders that float by in my head means everything to me.

EJB: What do you hope to do with your music?

PoetryMisses: Inspire!  That is truly my main mission.  To let everyone know that you can have the life you want and be who you want to be without caring what the next person thinks.  I want to spread happiness.  That’s the only way to live.

EJB: What do people need to know about you?

PoetryMisses: That’s a pretty tough question.  I’m still learning and creating myself each day.  I’m nowhere near perfect, but I love myself and I love the mission that God has planned for me.  Listening to my music will tell you everything you need to know!  I’m what you call a “privately open” person.  My past is what has made me and besides being a mother, inspiring people and letting you know it’s okay to love yourself and be happy even when life is taking more than giving, is what I’m here for.

Ok, here’s PoetryMisses’ self-introduction in the form of a poetic monologue that appears to be totally off the cuff, since she’s sitting in a car. The language gets pretty rough, so proceed only if you are ok with naked honesty . And F bombs.


Can Song Lyrics be Poetry?

I don’t know jack squat about poetry.

Hey, poets don’t smile!

Yeah, I can knock out some funny limericks or comical haiku, but I don’t have the understanding, experience, or insight to identify good poetry, much less create it. I liked Auden in college, but that’s because the professor assigned it and we talked about it in class. I’d probably like a different poet if he’d picked that one.

On the other hand, I am a songwriter who puts lyrics to his music. And I suppose I do grasp one thing about poetry: Like most art, it is meant to elicit emotion. In a similar vein, my aim is to compose lyrics that suit the emotional vibe of the music. But I still don’t think I’m writing poetry.

Lots of writing can be poetic without being poetry. Dickens’ opening paragraph to A Tale of Two Cities has a poetic rhythm, but it’s still prose. Same deal with music lyrics.

Bruce Springsteen is a genius at capturing the essence of American culture, with its yin and yang of hope and cynicism, through a simple reference to an intersection in New Jersey or a waitress named Juanita refilling his coffee. Johnny Cash made us feel sympathy for drunks and thieves by distancing himself, lyrically, from a judgmental society with no forgiveness for people’s mistakes. The rapper Nas transports listeners to a ghetto few of them will ever experience when he laments the short-sighted, ultimately fatal choices young, urban poor men sometimes make.

But without Springsteen’s raspy vocals over rousing keyboards and guitars, does the line “Tramps like us… baby we were born to run” come across as poetic? Are Johnny Cash’s born losers as likeable without minor-key arpeggios to prop them up?

That’s more like it.

A critical distinction between poetry and song: Lyrics are beholden to the music. A poet can break meter if she feels like it. She might find the expression more powerful that way. But songwriters don’t have that freedom. When we get to the end of the measure, we’d better have our lyric beats in, because the next measure ain’t waiting around for the singer to catch up. I’ve written plenty of lyrics that worked in my head but didn’t fit when sung, and I had to rephrase them for the sake of the melody. Phrasing is the most important element of pop, rock, or soul aside from the melody, because your hook doesn’t work if people can’t sing along.

Here is a set of lyrics for a song I wrote last year. It’s a fully composed tune with vocal melody, guitar, and drum arrangements. Does this piece qualify as poetry, as lyrics with poetic elements, or just plain old dumb words to a rock song? Don’t worry, you won’t hurt my feelings. I wasn’t trying to write poetry, and the words fit the beat perfectly when sung.

(This song is about living in the moment, something I’m not always good at):

BUGS

Bugs circling ‘round and ‘round the streetlight

Down below, she takes my hand in hers

She twirls around, catching air

Her dress flares

I want to put my hands on her

Is she the one?

I don’t care; I’m just having fun now

No life stories tonight

Forget yesterday

What does it matter?

Let’s try not to think of tomorrow

We walk hand in hand, don’t want it to end

I just need an hour to borrow

We pass the lights, drinkers laughing

The waves crashing in the darkness somewhere out there

She sinks into me

No one bothers to see

I hold her and I don’t want to share

I don’t need to know

Where we’ve been or where we might be going

Maybe we can be here, now

Forget yesterday

What does it matter?

Let’s try not to think of tomorrow

We walk hand in hand, don’t want it to end

For just one more hour

I plead to the sky but all I see is

Bugs circling ‘round and ‘round

(© 2011 Eric John Baker)

So do you think song lyrics are a form of poetry? I don’t, but I’m open to being proven wrong.

My geeter. Well, it’s a photo of one exactly like it.

While we’re talking music, my friend and fellow blogger Bryan Edmonson did a quick piece on his blog about The Hives, who are from Sweden but, somehow, sound nothing at all like ABBA. Go figure. You can read (and listen) by clicking on this discolored word.

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I’m in a link-dishing mood today, I guess. Here’s my review for Skyfall, the new James Bond film, elsewhere on the web.

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