Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Some Old Comedy

Hey. Since the Jest site is being rejiggered, and--at least for now--no longer holds any archived pieces (and a lot of my stuff was never put online in the first place), I'm gonna, over the next couple of days, post some of the things I wrote for them up here.

As far as I've been able to ascertain, I retain the rights to do this (at least with stuff that was published more than six months ago) as long as I make it clear that this material was originally published in Jest. Which it was. Jest, Jest, Jest! Contractual obligation filled! Plus, when the new Jest website is up, I'll let you guys know, and you can see all-new material from yours truly.

But for now, let's start off by revisiting my very first work for that publication, the piece that first brought me to the attention of then-editor Ritch Duncan:

Variations on Four Themes by Shakespeare

Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
You lack the pungent aroma of barbecue
but are much less likely to cause skin cancer

Shall I compare thee to a blood-fattened tick?
Thou art less likely to give me lyme disease,
but I think your deodorant is giving me a rash

Shall I compère for thee at the open mic night?
Write me some salty dialogue and perhaps I shall.

Shall I compare thee to the most beautiful woman in the world?
Are you sure? Don’t say I didn’t warn thee.

Sonnet 130
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
nor like the moon, neither;
nor like coffee-grounds in their discarded filter.
Also, they do not resemble limpid pools of half-melted butter,
and they are nothing like those of Don Knotts

My mistress’ breasts are not unlike two huge balloons, or perchance two smaller offshoots of a much larger balloon, such as one might find on balloons depicting Mickey Mouse

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.
They are not a swirling mass of hydrogen and helium;
nor are they 93 million miles away, preferring, as they do, to rest in her eye sockets;
nor by any stretch of the imagination would one call them life-giving,
although they are a nice shade of greeny-gray.

Sonnet 71
No longer mourn for me when I am dead.
Instead, agonize about how you should have been nicer to me when I was alive.

Sonnet 30
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
and I think once more,
I should have made a pass at Sally Ann Chambers that one time in middle school

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past.
Picking up Swann’s Way
I reflect: Seven volumes is too much.
And I wait, in vain,
for the movie

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