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When he finally regained consciousness, he refocused his three eyes, straightened his bent antenna, and looked dazedly at the older, wiser alien who was standing over him shaking his big, green head. How did you know he was so dangerous? Two women were out for a Saturday stroll. One had a Doberman and the other, a Chihuahua.. They walked over to the bar and the one with the Doberman put on a pair of dark glasses and started to walk in.

This is my seeing-eye dog. A lady Canadian libertarian wrote a lot of letters to the government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents terrorists being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to divert one terrorist and place him in your personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Edmonton next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud you can just call him Ahmed is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommend in your letter.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless in your opinion this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters except sexually since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man. Cashtration n. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. Bozone n. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future. Decafalon n. Arachnoleptic Fit n.

Beelzebug n. Caterpallor n. It was in the west end. I lived on Warbury Street in the old central part of town. So did I! And what school did ya go to? Tell me, what year did you graduate? I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same pub tonight! Can you believe it? I graduated from Holy Heart of Mary in me self!

A blonde hurried into the emergency room late one night with the tip of her index finger shot off. So I put my finger in my other ear before I pulled the trigger. An Irishman, a Mexican and a Blonde Guy were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building. The next day, the Irishman opened his lunch box, saw corned beef and cabbage, and jumped to his death. The idiot made his own lunches. Woke up this morning, got dressed and went in the kitchen where my wife was already fixing breakfast. They are always getting into trouble and their parents know if any mischief occurs in their town, the two boys are probably involved.

The mother sent the 8 year old in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly,. He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee…… The Indian drinks the coffee down in one gulp, turns and blasts the buffalo with the shotgun, causing parts of the animal to splatter everywhere and then just walks out.

The next morning the Indian returns. He has his shotgun in one hand, pulling another male buffalo with the other. What was all that about, anyway? Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, leave shit for others to clean up, disappear for rest of day. As they start their descent, Jim slips, falls off the tower, and is killed instantly. Two hours later, he comes back carrying a case of beer. Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife.

Emergency talks with Al Qaeda have so far failed to produce an agreement.

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The rationale for the cut was the increase in recent years of the number of suicide bombings and a subsequent shortage of virgins in the afterlife. They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day Jihad in a competitive marketplace. Thanks to Western depravity there is now a chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife. Apparently the drop in the number of suicide bombings has been put down to the emergence of Scottish singing star Susan Boyle — now that Muslims know what an actual virgin looks like they are not so keen on going to paradise.

Tears formed in his eyes as he thought about her seeing the wonders of nature through such innocent eyes. Both of them are Daddy Longlegs. The little girl, looking a little puzzled, thought for a moment, then lifted her foot and stomped them flat. The nun looked at him with the strangest look on her face. Mom had her legs up in the air and she was saying:. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end-to-end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them. The things that come to those that wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer. After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, British scientists found traces of copper wire dating back years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than years ago. One week later, Canadian Dept. Jack has therefore concluded that years ago, Canada had already gone wireless. This is pretty damned amazing.

I was surprised how this worked. Try this test and find out what movie is your favorite. This amazing math quiz can likely predict which of 18 films you would enjoy the most. Gone With The Wind 2. Beverly Hills Cop 4. Star Wars 5. Forrest Gump 6. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 7. Jaws 8. Grease 9.

Happiness | The New Yorker

Casablanca Jurassic Park Shrek Pirates of the Caribbean Titanic Raiders Of The Lost Ark Home Alone Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model. You know that the four seasons mean: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction. She was standing in the kitchen, preparing our usual soft-boiled eggs and toast for breakfast, wearing only the T-shirt that she normally slept in. Not wanting to lose the moment, I embraced her and then gave it my all; right there on the kitchen table. A little old lady went to the grocery store to buy cat food. She picked up four cans and took them to the check-out counter.

A lot of old people buy cat food to eat, and the management wants proof that you are buying the cat food for your cat. The little old lady went home, picked up her cat and brought it back to the store. They sold her the cat food. The next day, she tried to buy two cans of dog food. A lot of old people buy dog food to eat, but the management wants proof that you are buying the dog food for your dog. The next day she brought in a box with a hole in the lid. The little old lady asked the cashier to stick her finger in the hole. The little old lady assured her that there was nothing in the box that would harm her.

So the cashier put her finger into the box and quickly pulled it out. I want to buy toilet paper. Buttocks clenched, he performs a slow pirouette, and gently slides off first the right strap of his overalls, followed by the left.. He then hunches his shoulders forward and in a classic striptease move, lets his overalls fall down to his hips, revealing a torn and frayed plaid shirt. Then, grabbing both sides of his shirt, he rips it apart to reveal his stained T-shirt underneath. With a final flourish, he tears the T-shirt from his body, and hurls his baseball cap onto a pile of hay.

Mexican maid asked for a pay increase. The wife was very upset about this and decided to talk to her about the raise. The first is that I iron better than you. Wife, really boiling now and through gritted teeth. In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus , and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.

When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate. Leviticus states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness — Lev.

The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord — Lev. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it? A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev.

Can you settle this? I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. How should they die? I know from Lev. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot.

Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? James M. Kauffman, Ed. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Now we swim around them a few times with all of our fins showing. Why did we swim around and around them? Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hrs beginning at PM.. Round Table Discussion.


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Meets 2 weeks, Saturday for 2 hours. Meets 4 weeks, Saturday PM for 2 hours. Meets Saturdays at PM for 3 weeks. Examples on Video. Open Forum.. Monday at PM, 2 hours. Tuesdays at PM Location to be determined. Driving Simulations. Tuesdays at PM, location to be determined. Class12 How to Shop by Yourself. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at PM. One line for the men who were true heads of their household, and the other line for the men who were dominated by their women.

I want all the women to report to St. The line of the men who were dominated by their wives was miles long, and in the line of men who truly were heads of their household, there was only one man. You have been disobedient and have not fulfilled your purpose! Of all of you, only one obeyed. Learn from him. A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was sitting in their pews and talking. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate. A man wanted to get married. He was having trouble choosing among three likely candidates.

The first does a total makeover. She goes to a fancy beauty salon, gets her hair done, new makeup; buys several new outfits and dresses up very nicely for the man. She tells him that she has done this to be more attractive for him because she loves him so much. The second goes shopping to buy the man gifts.

She gets him a new set of golf clubs, some new gizmos for his computer, and some expensive clothes. As she presents these gifts, she tells him that she has spent all the money on him because she loves him so much.. She tells him that she wants to save for their future because she loves him so much.

A man returns home a day early from a business trip. While en route home, he asks the cabby if he would be a witness. The man suspects his wife is having an affair, and he wants to catch her in the act. Quietly arriving home, the husband and cabby tip toe into the bedroom. The husband switches on the lights, yanks the blanket back, and there is his wife in bed with another man! HE paid for the Porsche I gave you. HE paid for our new cabin cruiser. HE paid for your season tickets. HE paid for our house at the lake. HE paid for your Hawaiian golf vacation. HE paid for our country club membership, and HE even pays the monthly dues!

Shaking his head from side-to-side, the husband lowers the gun. A group of year old boys discussed where they should meet for lunch. Ten years later, the group of year-old guys discussed where they should meet for lunch. It was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the beer was cheap, they had free snacks, the band was good, there was no cover and there were lots of cute girls. Ten years later, at 35 years of age , the group once again discussed where they should meet for lunch. Ten years later, at 45 years of age , the group once again discussed where they should meet for lunch.

It was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the martinis were big, and the waitresses had nice boobs and wore tight pants. Ten years later, at 55 years of age , the group once again discussed where they should meet for lunch. It was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the prices were reasonable, the wine list was good and fish is good for your cholesterol.

Ten years later, at 65 years of age , the group once again discussed where they should meet for lunch. It was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the lighting was good and they have an early bird special. Ten years later, at 75 years of age , the group once again discussed where they should meet for lunch. It was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food was not too spicy, not too noisy and the restaurant was handicapped accessible. Ten years later, at 85 years of age , the group once again discussed where they should meet for lunch.

It was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had never been there before. After a very busy day, a commuter settled down in her seat and closed her eyes as the train departed Montreal for Hudson. Fifteen minutes later at St. My dad says the more beer he drinks the prettier my mum gets. He is funny.

The more he drinks, the better he dances. One time he danced right into the pool.

The Dangerfield Conundrum

Every time Dad drinks it, he burns the sausages on the barbecue and they taste disgusting. A man and his ever-nagging wife went on vacation in Jerusalem. While they were there, the wife passed away. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

Business conventions are important. There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4a. Be careful about reading the fine print. And rap music will be the Golden Oldies! They let three goats loose inside the school. But before turning them loose, they painted numbers on the sides of the goats: 1, 2, and 4.

She told me to go out and find a hot 25 year old blond, and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed…. It was fascinating. Sally raised her hand. Little Johnny raised his hand. The teacher hesitated because she had been burned by Little Johnny before. She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any odd jobs for her to do. The man agreed and told her that the paint and brushes and everything she would need were in the garage. The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it. A husband and wife are traveling by car from Key West to Boston. They stop at a nice hotel and take a room, but they only plan to sleep for four hours and then get back on the road.

The man explodes and demands to know why the charge is so high. The Manager appears, listens to the man, and then explains that the Hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center that were available for the husband and wife to use. He goes on to explain they could have taken in one of the floor shows for which the hotel is famous.

The Manager is surprised when he looks at the check. Why do supermarkets make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front? Why do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in our driveways and put our useless junk in the garage? Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons? You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? A married couple were asleep when the phone rang at 2 in the morning.

Two blondes are walking down the street. One notices a compact on the sidewalk and leans down to pick it up. A blonde suspects her boyfriend of cheating on her, so she goes out and buys a gun. She goes to his apartment unexpectedly and when she opens the door she finds him in the arms of a redhead.

Well, the blonde is really angry. She opens her purse to take out the gun, and as she does so, she is overcome with grief. She takes the gun and puts it to her head. A blonde was bragging about her knowledge of state capitals. The professor asked Bambi if she knew what Roe vs. Wade was about. She telephoned the police at once and reported the crime. The police dispatcher broadcast the call on the radio, and a K-9 unit, patrolling nearby, was the first to respond. As the K-9 officer approached the house with his dog on a leash, the blonde ran out on the porch, shuddered at the sight of the cop and his dog, then sat down on the steps.

I call the police for help, and what do they do? A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, watching his wife, who was looking at herself in the mirror. On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day!

Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down. What a fabulous adventure! Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. The man hurriedly dressed and told his lover to take his shoes outside and rub them in the grass and dirt.

Look at the two beautiful daughters I fathered! Have you been fooling around behind my back? It must be saved for posterity. I stood like that for two days at the Smiths and nobody offered me a damned thing. To those of us who have children in our lives, whether they are our own, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or students… here is something to make you chuckle. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up. Children seldom misquote you.

Men use them to have safe sex. One for January, one for February, one for March……. Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet? Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized? Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance? In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

Parks, asked her class,. What is a Cat? Cats do what they want. They rarely listen to you. When you want to play, they want to be alone. When you want to be alone, they want to play. They expect you to cater to their every whim. They leave hair everywhere. What is a Dog? Dogs spend all day sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house. They can look dumb and lovable all at the same time. They growl when they are not happy. When you want to play, they want to play. They leave their toys everywhere. They do disgusting things with their mouths and then try to give you a kiss on yours.

They go right for your crotch as soon as they meet you. The Irishman left the confessional, said his prayers, and then walked over to the poor box. He paused for a moment and then started to leave. These are entries to a Washington Post competition asking for a rhyme with the most romantic first line… but the least romantic second line. Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss But I only slept with you, because I was pissed. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you. A very loud, unattractive, mean-acting woman walked into Wal-Mart with her two kids, yelling obscenities at them all the way through the entrance.

Nice children you have there. Are they twins? Are you blind, or just stupid? Under no circumstance should you maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, because somebody else will fill in the space, putting you in an even more dangerous situation. Never come to a complete stop at a stop sign.

No one expects it and it will result in your being rear-ended. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork, especially with New Brunswick or Ontario plates. With no insurance, the other operator has nothing to lose. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a vigorous, foot massage as the brake pedal violently pulsates.

Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right. Always brake and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tire. This is seen as a sign of respect for the victim. Learn to swerve abruptly without signaling. To avoid injury in the event of a collision or rollover, it is important to exit your vehicle thru the windshield right away.

Wearing your seat belt will only impede your hi-velocity escape from danger. Two priests died at the same time and met Saint Peter at the Pearly gate. They get to Transylvania and are stopped at a traffic light. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tiny little Dracula jumps onto the hood of the car and hisses through the windshield.

Sister Catherine switches them on, knocking Dracula about, but he clings on and continues hissing at the nuns. Dracula screams as the water burns his skin, but he clings on and continues hissing at the nuns. Ned, right proud of the new world opening up to him, walks back into the hallway where Jarge is still waiting. A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband is not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him.

She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a large tumbler of scotch in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his drink. The husband paused.

About gerold

The words were not coming easily. Skinny little white guy goes into an elevator, looks up and sees this HUGE black guy standing next to him. The white man faints and falls to the floor. The big guy kneels down and brings him to, shaking him. Three mice are sitting at a bar after the funeral of an Saskatchewan mouse killed by an eighty year old lady with a broom, trying to impress each other about how tough they are. When the bar comes down, I catch it in my teeth, bench press it twenty times to work up an appetite, and then make off with the cheese.

Let them go. Friends that leave you feeling drained? Take a raincheck. Be responsible, especially if you've got kids to take care of, but aside from that take stock of the things you no longer want to do, and drop them. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to re-shape your life by staying focused on what is important and letting the rest fall away. Sometimes, it's good to watch The Godfather. That was the advice of a trusted friend who listened to me complain one day about the injustices I was dealing with.

I laughed, but she repeated herself: "No really, go and watch it. I can't explain it, but you'll feel much better. I decided to humor her and rent the movie, though I didn't think it would help. When I emerged from the next two days of cathartic movie-watching I realized my friend was right: I did feel much better.

Give yourself room to grow. My half-finished crash pad had the beginnings of a lovely garden, and after a few months of neglect I realized that if I let it all die, it would very quickly be the most depressing-looking house to come home to. I resolved to replace the dead plants right away, and make sure all of them were hooked up to water. As I was planting them, I followed the instructions and left what seemed like a ridiculously large amount of room around each plant.

Apparently those little starts would grow quite big someday. I doubted it, but gave them room anyway. Meanwhile, I had a house with a cavernous bedroom to furnish, and I had to decide what size bed to get. Should I be frugal and get a double or shudder a single? Or should I buy a large bed that was the right size for the room, and that said rather strongly that I planned to stay here and did not intend to sleep alone forever?

Maybe because I had been so optimistic with the plants, I decided to get a big bed, with the best quality mattress. Every night for a long time I went to sleep alone, but in the most comfortable bed I had ever slept in. The next year, my little plantings filled out in the garden and were very happy I'd given them the room they needed.

And after all those difficult years, I am so very grateful now that I chose to be optimistic about my bed and other things, and gave myself enough room to grow. Real Life. How much of that work is steeped in arcana. But a lot of stuff that had been forgotten, in addition to some stuff that is still read. I loved reading him. Why do readers in the U. Navigating that particular — to us, totally foreign — social sphere.

Too, Ron emphasized cultural shifts in how things — or in the kinds of things that — preoccupy us. Of course time definitely does change how we read anything. How did comic elements enter your work, if they did, or were they always present? How does humor function in your writing? What work does it do? Were you surprised by the entrance of the comic and why do you think it turned up in your work at that time and in that way?

I still do, in fact.

Spousal maintenance – what is it? why do I have to pay it? how much and for how long?

I miss it. So naturally when I chose to write, my tonal register emotional thermostat? Even when I was in grammar school I was always drawing cartoons and getting groups of kids together to perform comic plays I had written. I was nearly kicked out of high school for publishing an underground humor magazine, Retch.

Ultimately, I abandoned music and studied theater writing, concentrating on farce. But I most liked Beckett and Ionesco. I also learned to appreciate, if not fully embrace, poets like Charles Olson, Jack Spicer, etc.


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I probably started reading pre-twentieth-century poetry around this time, falling most heavily for the Earl of Rochester and Ben Jonson. Most illuminating of the non-poets were Terry Southern and the Firesign Theater, from whom I stole dialog or monologue pacing. I was never interested in topical humor. I tended to respond to non-sequitur, torque, and juxtaposition on the formal end, and embarrassment, awkwardness, and shame on the social end.

My impulse to do those comes from ideas I have about the piano and the printing press — the standardization of scale and spelling — as flattening devices, and my laughter comes from the delight of watching fairly simple, everyday language unflatten. Rather, a particular world view and various internalized learned techniques are doing the functioning, and while the aim is not necessarily humor, the result is something that seems occasionally or even often to give rise to laughter of some kind.

Its funniness is less an ingredient than a symptom. A classic example is the old joke, Q. And it interests me that I have it. And I wonder whether I can intentionally produce this kind of funniness: do I have to occupy some other subjectivity — one that I find repugnant — in order to lay out the foundations? Or can it be simulated within a self-conscious removal from the mindset whose objectionability is part of my reason for finding something funny in the first place? Is there a zero-degree funny, or is funny always informed by wrongness and risk and aggression, etc.?

George Bowering : I was, as what else could one be, the class cutup. Years later schoolmates would tell me they expected me to be a stand-up comedian. That is, I thought that I was somehow special. This would be shown in wit, and wit would be the way in which one singled oneself out. I always thought that the best jokes were the ones that were pitched too high for listeners to understand. If you listen to the sentences of, say, George Bush, Pope Benedict, Jacqueline Susann, or Whitney Spears, you want to distinguish yourself from them, and as they are earnest you must be antic.

Wit, remember, means a certain quickness as well as the comic. The word wit comes from the same source as the words wise, video, witness, vision, that source being a word in Sanskrit meaning the kind of learning that comes with an aha! In recent weeks I have been thinking about verse and the comic, and no longer have the notion that humorous poetry is a niche. But now, just to consider USAmerican poets of recent times, look at all the humorous poets, some of them humorous all the time, others occasionally.

Maxine reminded me backchannel yesterday about something that happened to her husband, Paul, when reading one of my poems several semesters ago to his class. I guess because it could be seen to depict an inter-species rape such that, metonymically, the dolphin is coded, I suppose, as a woman. Maxine says Paul then brought up the question of what, then, do we do with the work of an Artaud in that case. I think the comic allows us to depict suffering as change and not suffering as pain.

But the fact is I was just learning to write in my first book. On one trip I am haunted by the head of Nancy Reagan who, in a long spate of road psychosis or something, turns into an eagle, with her big fat Nancy head on the one end of her body and big flapping labia on the other end. I feel grief gets played out in our emotional economies in ways that help construct a bourgeois self — as well as a sense of national identity. Think of and how so many traded that grief into nationalistic currency. I sometimes felt something like disgust or was it pity?

His obvious uneasiness with the camera, his pathetic attempts to smile, the sweat on his lips, made me laugh and groan in equal measure. It was like watching someone soil themselves in public. But I have to say that my earliest feelings about Nixon were closer to terror than to pity or disgust. And it is probably this take on Nixon that went deepest and made him first my quarry and later my muse, because he and his ilk had wreaked unholy hell on my family. After Watergate and his resignation I had watched him carefully rehabilitate himself, campaigning for the role of respected older statesman.

It was fascinating to see him come back in his crab-like way and succeed to a significant degree in reattaching himself to the body politic. The first Nixon poem was written when he was dying, slipping in and out of consciousness, and I started to feel that he was slipping in and out of my consciousness as well.

It was very strange being the conduit for this guy who would not go gentle into any good night, would not go willingly. I decided that was okay with me. It seemed that our connection gave me access to something beyond the dark side of our national life and into time and tenderness and regret and death and that was exactly the territory I wanted to mine as a writer. So I set aside my disgust with Nixon and decided to cohabit with him or marry him instead and that, more than anything, has given me a sense of mastery over the more menacing forces of my childhood.

Katie Degentesh: [first posts poems available in Jacket 30 ]:. But yes, I am making a giant, floppy grab at having things both ways: both the irony and the sentiment, a la the movie Starship Troopers. The film somehow acknowledges its own complicity and belief in the same structures that it mercilessly and hilariously parodies. I saw this in my early childhood when my mother, brother and I went to a playground and my mother was accosted by a guy who said something threatening and obscene about his intentions with regard to her body. There was an endless moment in which it seemed that she might be raped but we managed to get away and in the car, my brother started laughing uproariously.

At first I was really pissed off at him but eventually understood that he was terrified, as we all were, and just having this under the circumstances somewhat unfortunate reaction. Like Exorcist -crossed-with-terrorism-plus-bird-flu scary. Rachel Loden : The conventional wisdom seems to be that men like slapstick more than women do. Are there women who love the Three Stooges? How about wit — is it equally prominent in the comic poetry of both sexes?

I guess this harks back to our discussion of the prominence of Jewish comics. She had a sort of exaggerated, comic self-possession combined with a voice that seemed to teeter on the edge of hysteria, and the mixture was explosive. George Bowering : I was almost thinking of this earlier.

Thinking about the women poets I know. I find a kind of earnestness, and sometimes no humor in some of my favourites.

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Except for that one instance I have noted and expressed my ambiguity about , I hear Denise Levertov as earnest and not humorous. Same can be said of Daphne Marlatt. Rachel Loden : But what about Stein? Not earnest. Dickinson too is very sly. But both of course absented themselves in different ways from the stays and strictures of a certain kind of life. How earnest-making would that be? Imagine not being able to expect anything better, even from the raging hipsters of our time. He always wrote Four Young Flaming Snatches , in places such as his famous mimeo mag.

But back to funny women — what about Jennifer L. Her readings seem to bring down the house. Can someone unpack the appeal of her work a bit? Mostly, I think that the very brashness of it is, or can be, appealing, like Don Rickles or someone. Chicken Bucket Today I turn thirteen and quit the 4-H club for good.

I smoke way too much pot for that shit. Besides, Mama lost the rabbit and both legs from the hip down in Vegas. What am I supposed to do? Pretend to have a rabbit? My teacher, Mr. I do up the crank with Mama and her boyfriend, Rick. She throws me the keys to her wheelchair and says, Baby, go get us a chicken bucket.

So I go and get us a chicken bucket. Please God let the chicken bucket be OK. We drink most of the tequila and I ask him, Want a Whip-It? He says, Fuck no — that shit rots your brain. And when he says that, I feel kind of stupid doing another one. But then I remember what mama always told me: Baby be your own person. Well fuck yes. So I do another Whip-It, all by myself and it is great. Suddenly it hits me — Oh shit! Those motherfuckers even took my jacket. So I go back to the trailer, crouch outside behind a bush, do all the Whip-Its, puke on myself, roll in the dirt, and throw open the screen door like a big empty wind.

Some Mexicans jumped me! They got the chicken bucket, plus the rest of the money! I look around the trailer. Fluff and arms and heads are all over the place. I say someone did it, but the only person around is Rick. Mama is nowhere to be seen. He cracks open another beer and says, What chicken bucket? Well, that was a long a time ago. Rick and I got married and we live in a trailer in Boron. But the baby keeps me company. Rachel Loden : Whoa, I can see how that kills live. Even when she did the slam poem parody, although I think that was where her voice changed at least somewhat. Which is hilarious.

Rachel Loden : Is there something about our times that is stimulating the production of mean comic poetry? And is there anything new in the character of this meanness? Or is it the ancient bile Catullus, Martial in new bodies? Lord, now who would have suspected your friend, Miss Prim, of an indiscretion? Yet such is the ill nature of people, that they say her uncle stopped her last week, just as she was stepping into the York Mail with her dancing-master. But I think there are examples of mean poems from others besides Martial and Catullus.

But these examples have a meanness that seems larger than the concerns of one speaker. He or she is voicing a kind of critique that seems able to shoulder the emotions of others, just as the old elegies bore the grief of a community. Contemporary writers have allowed themselves to explore the edges of petty meanness, and it sometimes allows for a bitter, self-involved tone that is perhaps a reflection of who we sometimes are, for better or for worse, at the beginning of the 21st century.

I read a few of his poems that were in the Donald Allen anthology. There are a few. Interviewer: Why do you think that is? I think poets are a sour and melancholy lot; they tend to want to write about serious things. Which is why I am not a poet, I am something else. In the first instance, the speaker who is taking himself too seriously bursts the balloon of his own ego. I left you tollhouse cookies.

Here, in a childlike address to Santa Claus, the language takes a dark turn, both medical and violent. And then suddenly we get the sweater. That same damned sweater that we all probably got from Aunt Whozit and we had to wear it every time we went to visit her. How we hated that sweater! But we had to pretend that we loved it. So the language has slipped back into the childlike, it has rolled its proverbial eyes, and it has also managed to make some absurd equation between symptoms of illness and this quotidian garment.

The audacity! Because the poem has led them in one direction and then suddenly broken away and run off with the leash in its mouth. I had a friend whose son, when he was just at the age that he was dating, would never bring his girlfriends home to meet his mother. She would cajole him. Well, he was lovely young man, who died of AIDS in his late twenties; and his mother passed away from cancer. I think of ritualized insult, imprecation, derogation, etc. I mean, your mention of Martial and Catullus is apt, but the action of malediction in poetry is ancient, going all the way back to the Vedic texts.

Then a ton of execration through Early Modern English and it just seems, with the rise of industrial capitalism, to stop. We only recently, it seems, have an advent of ritualized insult in poetry. For a while, at least in the poems of European-descent folks, it stopped. We had a lull like those crazy Englanders had back in the 13th to 16th centuries. Both these things really skewed our socio-emotional interiors.

Interestingly, the African-American part of letters rose up into insult and imprecation a lot sooner than white folk letters: W. I frankly think it has to do with a rebirth of an awareness of the sacred. Derek Walcott once said that he comes from a place, St. It reminds me of what the State is: the repository of violence, it represents a monopoly on the use of violence — only the state is allowed to kill, etc.

The same may have happened with verbal insult and meanness in letters: some entity took or monopolized — or tried to make redundant? In comedy the activity of casting someone down, status-wise or whatever, is really common. Augustan wit, denigrative wit, was about moving someone up and someone down the chain of being, the chain of status and privilege. The use of comedy and the readvent of insult back into letters is probably a good sign that our society is loosing itself back up, that social actors rather than social structures now have more ability to alter their world through the use of words.

This kind of comedy is, in part I think, a fundamental recognition of our ability to alter the very social structures of our world by word, by thought, by will, by what Epictetus called the Divine Breath.


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  • I think there is something holy about laughter. It is akin to the sacred. It was only a short time later that Englanders began to write in a more insultive and comedic fashion or if you will from their crotches again — as well as their Hara, their Dantien, their second Chakra. The humor arises in part from our position of safety. There so much of the pleasure and the laughter is in seeing the Mr. Pecksniffs of the world brought low. I have to say I love meanness in poems when the playing field is level, or when some poobah is taking it in the neck. The Romans were really good at this, of course.

    I must be missing something. What I kept wondering overnight was whether perhaps Knox was not aiming at hilarity at all, or at least not mainly at hilarity. My students and I read parts of it last semester. It was cool. A lot of it is against church folk etc. He says that all children are the product of madness and oblivion. Even tho everyone is a fool, they have admirable energy — and it does turn into a kind of denigrative encomium.

    At the very end is a kind of coda, tho, in which Erasmus finally puts forward a grounding clavis, a key to good Christian values. There is a way, I think, where the denigration can be so wholesale, mean, and scathing that one gets a sense that that wand of ire could easily be turned on a anyone in the audience, and b the poet herself. This latter is called menippean satire or chaotic satire. Watching a soap opera with fascination is not something to be proud of. George Bowering : Have to agree with Rachel; that was a hell of a post from Gabe; worth the wait.

    But would it be as valuable to be the recipient of an insult poem from Billy Collins? Powell : I, for one, would love to be the insultee in a Billy Collins poem. I hope that everyone will eventually write a poem insulting me. And I, for my part, shall try to do likewise. And there is something jolly and Brueghelian about the notion of chaotic satire, satire as a form of mud-wrestling. Erasmus says that all children are the product of madness and oblivion. They feel immortal and regard events with a true seriousness we cannot reach. Think of shows like Jackass , which seem very Menippean in spirit but threaten no one.

    Also Padgett, Elmslie, Notley, Simic, so many others. And more on Koch. Elmslie has a tummler-like quality, which is somehow very endearing especially in what I assume is a non-Jew. Powell : I love the term half-Jewish. That applies to so many things in life, I heard myself saying as he turned the car up another steep hill, but even now, months later, back in the outskirts of New York where the trees are bare and the stone floor is cold in the morning, for the life of me I cannot think of a single one. I think. George Bowering : This is the first time I have ever read a poem by this Billy Collins, and I fell for Padgett when I first read him last century, so maybe comparisons by me are unfair.

    Ahhhh, finally, mmm, safety. We end on an unresolved note. Collins, if the evergreen poem is an example, would probably drag out the description, workshop style, maybe even giving it a whole stanza. But what about Creeley? Is there a difference in the way he uses them? Are you saying that Creeley can get away with it but Collins, um, cannot? I cannot say it. Well, I wonder whether he does it early or late. Because his early poems are often imitations of Elizabethan poets, and the very late ones are all kinds of endrime stuff.

    I kind of almost laughed when I read it. He really had me going there! Of course, I may just be easily amused. I find the Padgett poem both funnier and better than the Collins poem for the same reason: that it is finally more serious. Those repetitions set up the joke, that in the evergreen hills of Berkeley people wax almost biblically about furniture.