Friday, December 12, 2008

Kilmer 2008: Winner

by Stephen Blair, CC '11

The girl who sits in front of me
In Intro to Anatomy
Is lovely as the laurel tree
And with a glance could shatter me.

When first my sight did chance to light
Upon her curves so ample,
I threw away that book by Gray
To study her example.

For Beauty is the spark of knowledge
(Plato says nothing lesser),
And in Beauty's prestigious college,
She is full professor.

So close your books, collegiate youth!
Forget Fermat's equation!
Her beauty is the only truth:
One glance, an education.

Close up your books! Forget your Euler's
Constant! Smash your lyre!
Unlearn your Latin! Snap your rulers!
Throw into the fire

Historians inveterate
And poets tragicomical:
For in her form hath Nature writ
Perfection anatomical.

One day I chanced to come to class
A minute or two early;
I found her there upon a chair,
Her hands entwined demurely,

Her hair pinned up (Ah, she could look
No lovelier than that to me!);
Her nose was buried in a book:
It was her Gray's Anatomy.

No one was nigh save she and I,
Nor student nor professor;
In loving wise she raised her eyes,
And thus did I address her:

"O gentle lady, tell me: art
Thou god or art thou mortal?
For, ah! - my every aching part
Thy beauty sets achortle,

And fain would I conclude, thou art
A heaven-dwelling goddess.
But if a tender human heart
Doth beat within thy bodice,

Have pity on a lovelorn youth,
Love-maddened by your figure,
Beauty's own image! (Though, in truth,
Your pelvis could be bigger,

But we'll let that alone.) Oh, I
Could spend a lifetime gazing
On thee; how thy calcanei
Do set my marrow blazing!

How graceful thy navicula!
How lissome is thy femur!
How sweet is thy clavicula,
As sleep to the dreamer,

And how I've dreamt, with tearful eye,
That cradled in my lap you lay,
Whilst I did ply my humeri
About your snow-white scapulae!

O let me drape my radii
Across thy smooth patella
And plant a trembling kiss on thy
Superior maxilla,

And press your os frontale fast
Against my lovestruck sternum,
Send shivers running through my filum
Terminale internium!

In vain I vaunt your beauty, for
I have not words to tell it in;
But ne'er did I - nor shall I more
Behold so fine a skeleton.

For skin and hair may rip and tear
And Time our flesh may sever;
All mortal clay will soon decay,
But bones endure forever."

Thus spake I - and she blushed! - but not
The blushing of a lover:
She seemed, with bubbling rage red-hot,
About to boil over.

Alas, how women change their moods,
And how their temper ranges!
For with a shriek she smote my cheek
With her distal phalanges.

A yellow bruise did straight suffuse
My cheek, where she had hit it,
And with an oath (which I am loth
T'repeat, so I omit it),

She said, "All men are of a par:
A lewd, lascivious lot,
As pesky as mosquitoes are,
And worthier to swat.

Hence from my sight! No closer come,"
She said, "by Saint Cecilia!
If men could use their cerebrum
Like their membra virilia!"

1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
Three Dishonorable Mentions

Kilmer 2008: First Runner-Up

Trees 2008
by Edward A. Rueda, CC '05

(Sung to the tune of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl")

This poem's not the way I planned —
I wanted quaint pastoral
But then those drinks went to my head,
My written words turned oral.
It's not what good poets do
I lost all discretion,
That nest of robins in your hair
Caught my pen's attention.

I kissed a tree and I liked it —
The taste of sap's excitin'
I think I shall never see
Anything quite as sexy.
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
I loved my vegetables tonight!
I kissed a tree and I liked it —
I liked it.

Don't know your scientific name
It doesn't matter
You intimately live with rain
Guess it's your nature.
You look at God all day
You lift your leafy arms to pray,
My head gets so confused
I want to roll in the hay.

I kissed a tree and I liked it —
The taste of photosynthesis
I think I shall never see
Anything quite as sexy.
Your mouth is pressed
'Gainst the earth's breast
You know it makes me jealous!
I kissed a tree and I liked it —
I liked it.

Yes, trees are all so sensuous —
Tall, thin with leaves deciduous
Or seeds in cones coniferous
Too good to deny it
That tiny carbon footprint!

I kissed a tree and I liked it —
The taste of snow on your tit
I think I shall never see
Anything quite as sexy.
Poems are made
By fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
I kissed a tree and I liked it —
I liked it!

Video courtesy of Abbey Warner, BC '11.

2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
Three Dishonorable Mentions

Kilmer 2008: Second Runner-Up

by Jacob Rice, CC '12

"The plays the thing," he said with glee
"Wherein I'll catch some royalty."
But no revenge would have been had
If his play had been half this bad.

The verse is old and quite outdated.
And the language is all antiquated.
And, if that wasn't bad enough,
He crams it full of poetic stuff.

And it isn't just the way he writes,
Or that his actors dress in tights.
What cuts me deeper than a lance
Are plot holes the size of elephants.

I just don't get it, what's the point
Of saying the times are out of joint?
We already noticed that little fact
When hamlet aged ten years in a single act.

Or the traveler's bourn from whence none returns.
Which really gives my stomache turns.
Since just before this speech was done
The ghost came back to tell his son.

He takes Polonius for the king,
Who he just passed whilst praying.
Doesn't think the queen might have escort
Just assumes the king can teleport.

And then the poet lies to us
And the dramatic end is a big old bust.
The rest is silence, so you say.
Then why don't you just end this play?

But all the problems with verse and plot
Fail to measure up a dot.
For the thing that truly makes me itch
Is that our poor Hamlet is a punk ass bitch.

I'm sorry that your daddy's dead
And for all the tears that you have shed.
But I have just one small critqe
Have you ever had a thought that you didn't speak?

He finds out that his fathers dead
So he pretends to be crazy in the head.
Somehow this is supposed to bring
Some terrible vengeance upon the king?

And then there's the beautiful blushing maid,
Ophelia, who he's already laid.
And this innocent thing with whom he lied
He drives to committing suicide.

To be or maybe not to be.
Why that's a question I cannot see?
Oh what a rogue and peasant slave are you
So kill yourself without this todo.

And despite all of these major flaws,
As if it were written in the laws,
We're all expected to know this story
In every little bit of glory.

The book has lasted four hundred years
For the sole purpose of bringing me to tears
But now I've finally conquered my fears
So I'm ending it now, alight the biers.

1st Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
Three Dishonorable Mentions

Kilmer 2008: Third Runner-Up

by Peter Day, CC '12

Oh Bulbasaur
With your giant head
and hunched back legs
you look like a turquoise frog
with skin cancer
and an enormous tumor
like a moldy Hershey kiss on your back

You whip people with vines
which creepy fanboy writers
make good use of
in their S and M
and tentacle rape inspired
slash fiction.

Oh Squirtle,
with your tiny T-rex hands
you're more like a dinosaur than Bulbasaur
that was just bad designing.

You wiggle your tail
this next part's in parentheses
(that looks like what happened
when I rolled my silly puddy
into a spiral
and pretended it was a cinnamon roll
and pulled the end away
so it got all stretched in the middle)
end parentheses
and so the appendage trembles
and it looks so pathetic
that your opponents relax their guard
creating an opening
so you can throw up on them
a stream of clear cool vomit
like a geyser
or something else that's phallic.

Oh Charmander
your tail was on fire
so I rushed for a watering can
to save you from the flames.

I doused you with water as pure
as a mountain stream full of pure water
killing you instantly.

This next part is a haiku.
How do I pick one?
I'll be a dick about it.
Gary, you chose first.

1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
Three Dishonorable Mentions

Kilmer 2008: Dishonorable Mention

Rhapsody on the Name Saxby Chambliss
by Adam Katz, CC '08

Ancient though it be and distant the hour
In which a man, by name Saxby Chambliss
Didst of the cup of victory's chablis
Drink; yet we must to it, so high does it tower.

And as we recall, do our deep brows lower
Bearing witness to the noxious shambles
Of the scruples of him we hope to be jobless,
Public opinion of this man to sour.

Lax be the moral compass of that state
Where the triple-amputee soldier
Could be marketed as degenerate
By him who risked naught worse than a debate
Facts be my witness: ere the state gets moldier,
It and Florida we should detonate.

Additionally by Mr. Katz:

Short Reviews

Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats: or, Review on an English Ode on a Grecian Urn:

Quaint, at times, and better than Merton's parody.

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce:

Wait, come again?

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser:

This vast book of learned but twisted verse
Germane to a knight who pricks o'er a plain
And other figures equally perverse
Doth seem to travel much the longer lane
Than wouldst the common reader, would he fain.
And yet, ywys his pen be sharp eno'
And quickly runs his overactive brain,
And tho' it amuse to watch his tales grow
Yet his work and glossary be too great and slow.

And lastly, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair:

Dude: Total sausage-fest.

1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
Other Dishonorable Mentions

Kilmer 2008: Dishonorable Mention

Tay-Sacks Fifth Avenue
by Robyn Schneider, BC '08.5

Sarah Cohen was thirty-four, single, and ovulating,
As she strolled Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, her mind debating:
Surely there was a genetically perfect man out there, resigned to masturbating
Whom she could lure to her Pottery Barn boudoir for some copulating.

All the babies in strollers whispered siren songs to her loins--
She wished to shoot out a baby like a coin machine shoots out coins
Or a woman from New Jersey wished to dress to the "Noines"
Or a person driving to Des Moines wished to arrive in Des Moines.

There, across the street, walking a stately pommaschnoodle
A man with whose penis she might possible canoodle,
Cleft chin, detached earlobes, the whole kit and caboodle
In her mind's eye, their future child's face she began to doodle.

Her brain mulled over his possible recessive traits
Like a dishwasher's hands turn over dirty plates
Or a taxi passenger's eyes track meter rates
Or a guy who hates people obsesses over the people he hates.

Finally, she concluded their genes would react favorably
So she approached him and bent over his dog lovingly
As her pendulous breasts swayed and bobbed tantalizingly
And at last his phone number she entered into her Blackberry triumphantly.

They met up for drinks and she asked after his dog
And said all the right things because she'd Googled his blog
And it turned out they went to the same synagogue.
And she pondered the size of his circumsized log.

Once they were both sufficiently tipsy
She innocently inquired if he found her sexy
And assured him she was both adventurous and flexy
So off they went to her apartment on Sixty-third and Lex-y.

And just as they were getting down to do the deed
And her eyes gleamed gleamingly with the neediest of need,
Mr. Genetically Perfect got protective of his seed
When he saw how many baby name books she'd stacked on her bedside table to read.

"I know, Let's take it slow," he strategized.
"I'll make a pair of headphones from your inner thighs"
And this new development left Sarah surprised,
For she knew that precious egg would not be fertilized.

Instead of mother's milk, despair filled her breast.
There was no need for her to squat over a pregnancy test
Like a mother bird over an egg-filled nest.
Or a really weird person over a tube of crest.

Convincing herself that Mr. Genetically Perfect was probably gay,
And that his trip to the forest had been an unexciting foray
And that he hadn't been tall enough anyway,
She paid a visit to the sperm bank the following day.

But the visit left her solemnly bereaven,
Like a person who bet odd on Roulette when they should have bet even
For the Sperm bank, like its brothers Wachovia and Lehman
Had filed for bankruptcy and lack of semen.

So Sarah hung her head in concession
Her desire for a baby thwarted by the recession.
And thus followed a period of manic depression
Since adoption was clearly out of the question.

And now Sarah's ovulation has ceased
Her womb an apartment that can't be leased
No matter how much the rent is decreased
Well, she didn't have to abort a tay-sachs kid, at least.

1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
Other Dishonorable Mentions

Kilmer 2008: Dishonorable Mention

Recently Uncovered Draft Manuscript of Ascrapius, a lesser poet of Athens
by Amitai Schlair, GS '09

Sing, O Muse, of the varied and sundry accumulated experiences of Herodoklodophopilus, though they be difficult to translate in an elegant fashion, what with the language features of Greek grammar unavailable in English, not to mention the other limitations inherent to the work of translation, plus I don't actually know Greek at all. So sing, O Muse, loudly and clearly and in a way we over here can understand, if you get my drift. And don't worry about this little audio-recording doodad. Just pretend it's not there. Okay I'll turn it off.

[pretend to turn it off]

[clear throat]

Sing, O Muse, of the mild, persistent disappointment
That plagued our somewhat interesting protagonist
In manner nonetheless not unmanageable
Or even memorable. The strong-greaved, rarely-greaved
Herodoklodophopilus himself forgot
Though it be him what at this tale is all up on.

So when you have put away your desire for eating and drinking,
Put away in your minds this other thing I tell you.
Many poets could have been chosen for the recounting.
The muse chose me. What can I say, I gave her some good shit.
Behold! Of all most honorable poets, this is Ascrapius you'll get.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for already.
Stay your poisonous, venomous, poisonous darts.
No Aias-crapius to block them am I, with
That big ol' shield. That you would harm, it hurts me right here [gesture to heart]
It's okay. I'm good. Story time, motherfuckers.

There once was a man called Herodoklodophopilus
Who liked to stand on top of the Acropolis.
But the Greeks all wore onesies,
Which made it less funsies,
Because noone ever walked around topilus.

1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
Other Dishonorable Mentions

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Drug Wars

No explanation necessary.  Some of you will recognize this, and if you came late or not at all, then you can read it now.

The music makes the coffee table vibrate it’s so loud. We learned about this in Physics—it’s called resonance. That’s when one object is so powerful that it causes other objects to be sucked into its frequency. Jimmy has resonance—he approached us at school, gave us a taste of his attitude, and sucked us in. We resonate at whatever frequency he sets. Tonight it’s soft rock and a bit of country, which I think is supposed to be ironic. I can’t tell because I’m not thinking so clearly right now.

“Jimmy JimmĂ­”, I say with a Portuguese accent (not that I speak Portuguese), “What was in those brownies?” Jimmy smiles and his teeth gleam in the dimmed lights.

“It’s our new product,” he sells. “What do you think?”

There is only one answer: “I love it! But what is it?”

Jimmy starts to answer (or evade the question) but Zweig interrupts. Zweig’s a big guy from Southwest D.C., with the number 14 tattooed on the small of his neck. His real name’s Sheldon. I suspect he calls himself ‘Zweig’ because he thinks it sounds more German. I don’t know where Jimmy met him, and I understand even less why Jimmy lets him hang around. We’re interested in one thing only, and that thing is not neo-Nazi supremacy.

“Hey, man! Can I get you anything?” Jimmy offers. “I just got a new shipment in from Mexicali, it’s supposed to be really pure—” The word ‘pure’ does something to Zweig, and Jimmy, seeing Zweig’s interest, continues his advertising campaign. “Yeah, a bunch of Nicaraguans brought it up from Colombia in swallowed condoms. We lost two grams when one of the rubbers broke. Yeah, I know, isn’t that horrible?” Jimmy asks, misreading the revulsion creasing Zweig’s forehead. I pet Jimmy’s arm—I don’t think Zweig wants any. If it doesn’t involve a heil Hitler, Zweig’s probably not interested. Jimmy may act dense when he’s high, but he’s a genius. We all say he could have paid his way through junior college and gone on to a career in advertising or marketing. Instead he fell in love with chemistry and recruited a group of us to test out his experiments. It’s probably not a smart idea to ingest something invented in a chem lab, but Jimmy’s really smart and I’m sure he wouldn’t get any of us hurt.

“Someone’s at the door,” Zweig reports. Jimmy shrugs.

“So let them in.”

“They knocked funny,” Zweig argues. He stares Jimmy in the face, communicating in a way I can’t understand. Jimmy’s eyes get big, and he nods. He starts weaving his way through the crowd, passing people sprawled on lovesaks, fondling on the couch, swaying to the music. I follow him, unhappy to be left alone with Zweig.

“What’s going on, Jimmy?” I know he’ll tell me—our gang trusts each other unconditionally.

“Just something I may have to take care of,” he says casually, but his lips tighten. He opens a drawer and adds a round into a sleek, polished handgun. His thumb and fingers grip the trigger tenderly. The temperature in the room rises fifteen degrees and I’m perspiring, wetting my disco shirt. It was ridiculously expensive, vintage, and now I’m staining the silk. I don’t want to be here anymore but I don’t want to leave Jimmy. He turns to me with his hand on the doorknob, “Mike, do me a favor and grab those eye drops, will you? Damn dry eyes—“

BAM. BAM. The door is open and Jimmy’s down and he’s got one in the leg, one in the stomach. Screeching tires leave black streaks in the driveway and I see five purple bandanas in a Honda halfway to the intersection. My reflexes are slow, thanks to Jimmy’s brownies, and everything seems to go down faster than in reality. I put my arms out to catch Jimmy but he’s already bleeding over the carpet, fallen in a contorted position, quiet.

“Freeze! Everybody freeze where you are, nobody move!” Zweig’s knees are bent and he’s waving a gun in one hand and a badge in the other. I freeze. Jimmy lets out a little moan. I moan with him. I sink to the floor and mop up some of Jimmy’s blood with my disco shirt.

“Zweig…Zweig, we gotta take him to the hospital, we gotta get him fixed up or he’s gonna die!” Zweig looks me in the eye, his bald head reflecting all the light in the room, and slowly and deliberately he calls 9-1-1 on his cellphone. Then he puts his cellphone and badge in his back pocket and we wait.

Moral of my story: Don’t do drugs if there’s a chance in hell your best friend might get shot by a rival drug gang. Because you’ll want to be lucid so you can save his life, and not the neo-Nazi undercover cop.