Friday, September 14, 2012

True Grit

Grizzly Dan and Solly 2 by paynehollow
Grizzly Dan and Solly 2, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.
Ethan Coen (of Coen Bros' Fame) has a birthday next week, giving me an excuse for this post.

In addition to his movies, he's made at least two book's worth of sometimes naughty, sometimes juvenile, but regularly funny Shel Silverstein-esque poetry. If you are not of the easily offended crowd, I can encourage checking them out.

Here's part of one that is fit for public consumption on a family blog...

The Drunken Driver has the Right of Way

The loudest have the final say,
The wanton win, the rash hold sway,
The realist's rules of order say
The drunken driver has the right of way.

The Kubla Khan can butt in line;
The biggest brute can take what's mine;
When heavyweights break wind, that's fine;
No matter what a judge might say,
The drunken driver has the right of way...

...It's only the naivest who'll
Deny this, that the reckless rule;
When facing an oncoming fool
The practiced and sagacious say
Watch out — one side — look sharp — gang way.

However much you plan and pray,
Alas, alack, tant pis, oy vey,
Now — heretofore — til Judgment Day,
The drunken driver has the right of way.

Here's another...

When My Marbles Have Left Me Will You Have?

When my marbles have left me, will you have?
When I drool a bit, doze and come to have
some more tea, and then mumble
of pee as I fumble
at pants about which I no clue have

Will you check that the pot's not still on?
Will you show me the way to the john?
Will you unlock the door
If I bay in there - or,
When my marbles have left me, will you have?

Or this one, which begins...

The Day the World Ends

The day the world ends
there will be the sound of a long, whining fart
And everyone on the street will stop
And look at each other as if to say What
the hell is that...

Here's the beginning of another, which I enjoyed...

To O

I love a poem that starts with O!
For it is a vigorous thing.
From a deeply felt spring
It must spring, and you know
that its rhymes all will ring
And its rhythms will flow...

Okay, so he might write poems that sound as if they were written by an exceptionally bright, well-read and thoughtful middle school boy, but they are fun to read. If you are not offended by abundant cursing and sometimes crude material, by all means, check them out. One last one...

For What It's Worth

If you can count your complement
Of digits up to twenty
You could give a toe or a finger to
A friend, and still have plenty.

You could even lend an ear to an
Unfortunate with none,
But by no means hand out noses since
Of those, you have but one.

No no-nose should fault you for your
Hoarding your more to his fewer,
For your gift would make what's true of
Him of you as true, or truer.

Just remind him his anasalness
Is the estate he chose
On that day when someone said to him
"I have a need of nose."

No no, Goodness knows no folly and
No wastrel knows the Good;
Hand out your nose and naught'll be
Right where your nose be should.

So act the lord with fingers and
Play fast and loose with toes,
But remember to remember,
Be tightfisted with your nose.

1 comment:

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

You know, Shel Silverstein didn't write just children's poetry. He even released an album in the early 1970's, "Freakin' At The Freaker's Ball". While it does have a recording of "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out", it also has other gems, like this marvelous gem, "Polly in a Porny", with a pony no less. He confesses to returning again and again to see his nice neighbor-lady in the adult film, "sitting in the very last row with my coat bouncing in my lap." So Coen has a long way to go to catch up to Silverstein on the crudity front.