Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Poem: The Krampus

(He's coming for you, you naughty, naughty nipperkins!)

The Krampus

Oliver Gordon and Annabelle Grace
Lived in the vale ‘neath a mountainous place,
And I wish they were good, but that wasn’t the case.
For Ollie was wicked, and Annie was base.

They’d torture the cat with their mutinous play,
And they’d dash every vase in their parents’ chalet. 
No, they wouldn’t wear the stockings their mother had chosen,
And place toads in their grossvater’s best lederhosen.

They’d wriggle from bed, nor e’re wash their hands,
But fester the air with obnoxious demands,
And roll their eyes glumly—those ill-tempered brats!—
While filling their pockets with money they’d snatched.

Their poor haggard parents! But what could they do?
Throw the wretches in jail? Pass them off at the zoo?
They’d kneel in that church at the foot of the Alps,
And pray to the angels for heavenly help.

But far up the mountain, high on a slope,
Their words were conveyed to a black-hearted pope.
He was craggy and crooked and covered in hair,
And he carried a switch that he waved in the air.

His tongue it was forked, and it spilled from his mouth,
Like a river of evil that wound its way south.
I can scarce move my lips, and I know I’ll regret it,
But his name was the Krampus. Good Heavens! I said it!

Now it’s lately the fashion in higher society
To cast off the switch for a gentler piety.
Spare the rod for your child, if that’s your conviction,
But the Krampus, he lived in his own jurisdiction.

On the tenth of December, 1828,
Ollie and Annie were juggling plates
At the top of the stairs—which was strictly forbidden—
But they cared not a fig, O, those insolent children!

They screeched to their parents, “Pray, look you not listless,
But say right away what you got us this Christmas!
And tell Sinter Klaus, O, that fatuous troll,
That we’ll kick out his knees if he leaves us with coal.”

Just then there was heard at the window a scratch,
And the sound of a click as the door came unlatched.
And Oliver Gordon and Annabelle Grace 
Fell silent for once, and white in the face.

For there stood the Krampus, a high holy terror,
With that great ghastly switch for to beat out their errors.
He licked at his lips and he hissed out a threat:
“I shall give you a thrashing you shan’t soon forget!”

Annie shrieked and dove ‘neath where the tapestry hung,
But he seized at her feet with his truculent tongue,
And he whispered these words to his dangling prey,
“Oh, you hideous girl, here’s the price you shall pay!”

And he spanked her with glee ’til her bottom marooned
And a great rosy sunset lit low her bondoon.
How she wailed with each blow, one for every transgression,
One for each nasty lie, and for each indiscretion.

Ollie dashed for the door, to abandon his sister,
But the Krampus exclaimed, “Here’s a bottom to blister!”
And he yanked down his britches, in front of wee Annie,
And he scalded that beast of a bare-naked fanny,

With blow after blow from his smoldering spanker,
And he did it with joy. And he did it with rancor.
And their parents sat silent, their hands folded neatly,
For they knew this was coming. They knew it completely.

And their miserable wails issued all through the streets.
Some nodded their heads, others shuffled their feet.
Their torment careened through the valleys and trees.
It was heard in the church, and the ships out at sea.

And the Krampus, he tossed the two brats to the floor,
And shouldering his switch, he slumped to the door.
But he turned e’re he left, and he uttered these words,
“Remember, I’m watching, you dissolute curs!”

Now Ollie and Annie, they’re different these days.
They’ve cast off their wicked, incorrigible ways.
They’re kind to the kitty, and quick to their lessons.
They help with the dishes and go to confession.

And never a curse will you e’re see alight
On their sweet, doting parents, who brought them up right.
They fetch them their slippers and tea in a tray,
And it’s, “Yes, Vater!” “Please, Mutter.” “Ja, right away!”

And yet, now and then, every once in a while,
When they leave dirty dishes or clothes in a pile,
Or scowl at their parents, and act impolite,
There's a scratch at the window that sets them aright.

©Arthur Greenleaf Holmes

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Welcome all!

Cheers! Welcome to this, the first official blog of me, Arthur Greenleaf Holmes, sixteenth century and, until recently, anonymous poet. I should like to begin by thanking Nigel Bunshaft for discovering my cache of writings that I'd hidden beneath the floor of my cottage. It took nearly 450 years to be discovered, but who's complaining? A toast to you, Bunshaft! May you die with your pants around your ankles!

Now then. Hmm? What's that? You wish to know my story? Well, you lucky, lucky bastards, I will be only too charmed to tell thee. But before we begin this journey, let me address this palpable discomforture permeating the room. You are no doubt wondering how a 16th century poet may nevertheless speak to you through a blog. Do I yet live? Or do I speak from beyond the grave? Shall I don a bedsheet and run around the room like a nervous Orthodox virgin?

I assure you, I am quite dead. To paraphrase Chuck Dickens, there is no doubt whatever about that. Old Arthur is as dead as a door-nail. Therefore, I must speak from beyond the grave, right? Poppycock. I speak from beyond nothing, save the bottom of a beer glass. I am here. I speak. That is enough, I say. Think of it thusly: that I exist in a sort of ever-articulating past. My present is your past, and who should blame the two for enjoying each other's company. Right? Quite right.

This affords me some pleasures. As I'm sure my recently discovered writings will elicit critical analysis of my life and art from academics and historians, I would like to invite their scrutiny. Go ahead. Analyze my writings, critique away, and I shall post them here. I do, however, reserve the right to discard any and all essays as excrement.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my biography, briefly. I didn't write it, but most of it seems accurate enough:

"Arthur Greenleaf Holmes was born in Dorchester, England, sometime between the years 1547 and 1552, a period later to be known as “The Gay 90’s.” He was the eldest of three children; the youngest, Edmund, lost his eyesight at an early age, and then proceeded to lose the rest of his lower body over the following thirteen years of his life, until cruel fate had whittled him down to nothing but a head. Nevertheless, it was the older sister Babette who suffered from depression, while Edmund apparently possessed an indefatigable spirit, right up until the time he was eaten by a German debate team. Babette sank into despair and lunacy, and later convinced herself that she was a prime number. She died at the age of twenty-nine while attempting to make herself divisible by two.

Strangely, less is known of Arthur’s childhood. While his siblings certainly encountered their share of travails, there is very little to suggest that Arthur’s experiences were especially tragic. Indeed, the most that could be said of his youth is that it was framed by confusion—his father was a wetnurse, and his mother, a cowbell. Most of his early work (referred to by scholars as “The Juvenelia”) takes the form of simple pastorals and flower odes, with an occasional lamentation at what was an extremely late-arriving puberty (“Mother, Shall My Stones Drop?”)

Then, a turning point. One day in the life of Arthur Greenleaf Holmes was to change his life—and writings—forever. He was perhaps 24 when a series of highly improbable and devastating events transpired, all on the same day. After receiving word that his father had died in a mellon-balling accident with an epileptic, and his first book of poetry had been rejected on the grounds that it was entirely too “asexual”, he returned home to find his wife in bed with a hairstylist from Canterbury and his mailbox vandalized once again by Ricky Watts, a local hooligan. It was then that his testicles finally dropped with such force that it ruptured one of his eardrums, at which point Arthur plunged into town and drowned his sorrows in the physical solace of a prostitute, a banker, and a goat named Fanny. His improved mood was short-lived, as Arthur contracted what is described as “The STD triptych”: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and an indeterminate third malady which he referred to, cryptically, as “Trench Sac.”

It was to color his poetry forever. First, the slyly skeptical “Lower Pub Canto”, which questions the worth of marriage vis-à-vis drinking. Then, the groundbreaking “I Bought A Cheese And Thought Of You,” widely regarded as Holmes’s arrival as a major literary force. A string of successes followed: “The Wyfe Addresseth Her Husband,” “The Wee Irish Guy” the projectionist poem “Clap For My Sister: An Ode To Chlamydia,” “I Built My Love A Menstrual Hut” and finally, the mammoth “Ode To An Extremely Provocative Knothole.” By now, Holmes was accepting invitations to London, and performing for Queen Elizabeth herself, much to the dismay of Raleigh.

None of this would ever have seen the light of the twenty-first century had his writings not been discovered by Philip Bunshaft in 2007. Bunshaft, an English violin-maker and handyman, purchased a small tudor cottage with the intention of restoring it when he discovered the cache of poems, letters, and journal entries in a small wooden box. He sent the entire collection to a friend who taught English Literature at a college in England, and within months, the world of renaissance studies was abuzz with excitement."

Blah, blah, blah. Well, enough of my backstory. I suppose you'll want to see some of these poems. So, over the course of our journey together, I shall post them as I feel so inclined. But be warned: I am no feel-good milquetoast of a poet. If my words offend, as I'm sure they shall, well.....funny, I haven't the slightest idea how to end this sentence.


Arthur Greenleaf Holmes

Monday, September 16, 2013

Poem: Tavern-Floor Tina

A bit of advice: avoid brothels with a sign outside that reads, "No condoms?  No problem!" 

Tavern-Floor Tina, thou fen-sucking whore,
With a mouth to be damned and a tongue to abhor.
When your meat meets her mouth, well, it's meat-mouth galore.
Oh, Tavern-Floor Tina, there's a worm in your core.

She'll give you a wink and she'll drag you upstairs
And before you can think, you'll be caught unawares
Elbow-deep in the pink, with two thumbs up your rear.
Oh, Tavern-Floor Tina, your sink's full of hair.

She'll give your poor bone ev'ry pound that she's got,
Then she'll slather your dome till your tonsils are hot.
You'll need time all alone just to burp up the clot.
Oh, Tavern-Floor Tina, I'd just as soon not.

--Arthur Greenleaf Holmes

Letter: Arthur To His Sister Babette, From Ireland, 1587

Dear Babette,

This letter I compose from a pub in Donegal; aye, Babette, I have traveled to Ireland alone. My muse bade me arise and leave for this bobbing emerald, and when may a poet ignore the advice of his muse? This land, so full of the dead. The very earth heaves with the clamour of their bones, and tis a wonder that the living find a place to lay their heads.

I have journeyed from Kilkenny to Killarney, to Galway, Dingle, Doolin, Doodle, Dangle, Piddle, Paddle, and Shmingle. I would that I may stay longer, so great is my affection for this land. The only disquieting incident did come in the towne of Doodle, which is a towne beset by hordes of amourous dogs. I have composed this poem:

Oh, the poodles of Doodle are villainous beasts.
They'll hitch to thy leg, and they'll hump without cease.
They don't ask permission, the lecherous sinners.
Oh, ye poodles of Doodle! At least buy me dinner.

I then journeyed north, to Donegal, where I met the most fanciful man. A wee sprite of a fellow, I engaged him in a lively conversation, and thereupon I began the first lines of a new poem. Thou knowest me well enough to expect its arrival in but a short while.

And Edmund? Is he responsive?

--Arthur, 1587

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Poem: The Wee Irish Man

The Wee Irish Man

As I went down to Donegal one morning for to spy
The restless sea entangled with the vex’d and furied sky,
I saw a little Irish man, a-dancin’ in the glen.
Tell me, little Irish man, and then tell me again.

I see a sack a-hangin’ there, a-danglin’ by your side.
Prithee, little Irish guy, do tell what be inside!
What be this inside me sack? A Mumbly-Sprite, for sure!
It wiggles, woggles, does a jig, then knocks you to the floor!

And here’s a Katie-Bar-The-Door, no bigger than a sigh.
Have a Whoops-The-Baby, too. Don’t let it hit your eye!
A Stick-It-In-Your-Kumquat makes a thought-provoking gift.
A Fudgie-In-The-Manhole gives thy pants an extra lift!

Slap me with a clam pie and yodel up my skirt.
Pump it twice and let ‘er rip! Stand back before it squirts!
Munch my muffin! Fluff my pillows! Flog the naughty elf!
Cup the dumplings! Burp the turnip! With friends or by yourself!

Bibble me with buttered corn, ring the dingle bells!
Grip it tight with all your might! Enjoy its many smells!
Wiggle Willy in the bush! Play the meat-flap reed.
Shtump the pumpkin! Jerk the gherkin! Make the page-boy bleed!

On and on he raved until I slowly backed away.
I left him in that glen and he may still be there today.
So please avoid the Irish guy, I’m sure he’s workin’ blue.
He’s filthy, crude, and just plain wrong. And he’s a rapist, too.

--Arthur Greenleaf Holmes, 1587

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mother, Will My Stones Drop?

Mother, will my stones drop
Ere I turn twenty-nine?
I tire of this empty sack
Against my hairless thigh.

And when will I awaken,
To find my mattress wet?
It's happened to the other boys,
But I've not known it yet.

And will my wanker bolden?
And shed its pinkish skin?
And will it grow a hairy nest
To spend its evenings in?

And, Mother, what's a clitoris?
And is it hard to find?
My cousin said she'd show me hers,
If I would show her mine.

--Arthur Greenleaf Holmes, 1574

Friday, September 13, 2013

Letter: Arthur Greenleaf Holmes to his sister Babette.

Dearest Sister,

I write from my little cottage in Stoke-On-Trent-By-Darcy-Upon-Avon-By-The-Sea. I think I shall enjoy this dwelling well; I have a fyne space for a fire, and a humble desk that looks out on a meadow, and beyond that, a gentle woode. Evenings finds the taverne lively and full of goode cheer, and I have already well-fornicated a hunchback.

Yestermorn I endeavored to go for a stride in the woode beyond the meadow. I paused to rest beneath a chestnut tree, one with a great spreading canopy and stout trunk. Where I laid my head, I saw that the woode of the tree gave way, nay, spilled out, in a most arousing knothole. I fancied the woode was made pulp, pouring out in fleshy liquid folds, ululating like great quivering lips. Was it wrong to feel mine own sap rising at the allure of this knothole? How the crisis of this moment resolved itself, I shan't say here. Yet I hurried home to begin composing a new poem, one that I shall unfurl at its completion.

What news of little Edmund? I am most sorry to hear of his great fall from the window. Thank heavens for the nail that caught his eyelid, and so saved his life. I agree, I think a wooden eyelid would suit him well.

I must off, to compose.