A gallimaufry are my thoughts,
Chaotic, a melange —
A daily dose of junk consumed,
A type of mental paunch —

Of malady, and sassafras,
And creosotic sludge —
A gallimaufry are my thoughts,
But who am I to judge?

Sometimes I think of lines for poems that I can’t make work. Lines like:

responsibility sits
like bright colors on
the shoulders of
an eel

Which I may use yet. Or

She liked to kiss
The way that other people like
To spite

Which I may also find the right place for.

Oh, why not, let’s go for it now:

Sing me something with a scent:
Turgid and grandiloquent,
Bright and shiny, dull and gray,
Til the hours wile away —

Battle me and rattle me,
Make my dreams come true:
Just don’t ever go away,
That would never do.

Cacophany waits
Like shell trumpets
For those who hear,
But cannot feel.
And there, responsbility sits
Like bright colors
On the shoulders of
An eel.
Intensely purposeful and vague
Are things we need to handle,
But here beneath the ocean’s weight
You cannot light a candle.

I knew a girl who loved her rum,
She liked it chill and neat;
And she had a collection, but
It was not quite complete —

She took me once to add to it.
It was a off-beat night;
She liked to kiss
The way that other people like
To spite.

I spoke to her of ocean things,
And all my scented songs;
And then she threw me out the door
To right a thousand wrongs.

You wonder now, as well you might,
What all of this could mean —
It means that love is everything
And all else


Ok, so that’s done. But it makes me think of the subject of comic book art. So how about

That cover, with the trademark spotlight effect, contains the pencil work of Ernie Chan (credited sometimes as “Ernie Chua”) who was one of my favorites as a kid. Here are a few more of his:

Speaking of Batman, if Batman wrote poetry, I wonder what it would be like?

It would probably a lot like Rorschach’s journal. In fact, I think that was the idea of Rorschach’s journal. Eccch.

Comic book production is a technology I don’t really get. For years, it was the same with comic strips. Charles Schulz would draw something in his studio, and it would end up in a newspaper on our kitchen table, via some process.

Given what it took in those days just to copy a document — and if you’ve never had to use carbon paper in your life, count yourself blessed — I never was clear how drawn images got into newspapers. Or photographs, for that matter.

The good thing is, when you write about things you don’t understand, you never run out of things to write about.

Someone asked me, in response to a post the other day, if I’d really posted nearly 8,000 poems. Searching on the tag “poetry” it appears the correct number as of this writing is 7,782. As you can see, total posts are over 8,300, which include 426 that are just for me.

And I’m not even counting the 18 or so poems I’ve posted as a part of these Nano Poblano “Poetic Essays”, which you might not want to do either, after having read this essay.

But the word “essay” just means “attempt”, which I interpret to mean you don’t have to succeed to write an essay.

Which works out well.

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Beleaguered Servant

Owen Servant is an online poet working in a style that's been described as "compulsive". In real life, he is an actuary, because being a poet wasn't unpopular enough.

7 thoughts on “Gallimaufry”

  1. I always used silly putty to copy my favorite comics. Ancient technology, but it beats kissing a frog when it’s raining purple ink.

    1. Thank you. I’m more of a musician than a poet, really. I like words for the way they sound.

      I have been reading you for a few years now, and I think your work is wonderful. Your use of poetry, pictures, stories from your own life, and even occasional videos is a unique mix. In addition, you tackle far more difficult subjects than I am very often brave enough to do, like mental illness.

      So coming from you, the compliment means a lot. So thank you.

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