Right now, the "web…blah…log" is not being updated regularly, but feel free to peruse the archive, and check out our carefully selected highlights from Season One, Season Two, and Season Three.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

do not bend, part 3

So here we are.

I remember a segment of some afternoon talk show from many years ago... it was probably Oprah, or maybe Ellen... where a hidden camera experiment revealed just how much people crave free things, no matter what those free things are. A bowl of rocks - plain, ordinary rocks - were placed in a bowl marked “FREE” and displayed on a sidewalk table. And every person who passed by that bowl grabbed a rock. Some grabbed several. Again, the rocks were not special, unique, or even pretty. They were just rocks. But they were free. And even if those people didn’t really want or need rocks, they grabbed anyway. That’s the power of “free.”

It would seem that I am a rock. (But not in the good way.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

my gift

So here we are.

In our first Christmas together, back at the turn of the decade in 2010, I gave you a little poem:

holiday warning

If your meat’s in a mound
And your french fries are drowned
And your chocolate fudge sundaes
Are whipped cream crowned
Then it shouldn’t astound
If you gain a pound
And a pound and a pound
Until you are round

Last year, I gave you an external YouTube link to the timeless Jack Benny Program’s Christmas shopping episode, but it has since been removed. I’m sorry about that. 

This year, I am giving you a true story about a Christmas gift I once gave, exactly seven years ago today. Enjoy...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

end of days

So here we are.

I figured I’d better get a post in before the world is supposed to end on the 21st. I personally don’t buy into doomsday predictions, but one never knows. (The Pope is on Twitter, after all...)

Thursday, December 13, 2012


So here we are.

One of my favorite movies is Broadcast News, written and directed by James L. Brooks. There are so many things to love about it: the actors, the oh-so-quotable dialogue, the moments (with and without Joan Cusack, in the meat of her scene-stealing moments era), the unconventional ending, and all of the truisms, especially in this scene, where Bill (William Hurt) is chatting with Jane (Holly Hunter) at a party:

Bill: That’s the first time I’ve ever seen you dressed like this. You look so clean and pretty.

Jane: What do you mean? ... Clean?

Bill: Well, at the office you always have this sort of film over you.

Friday, December 7, 2012


So here we are.

As I turn 41 today, it all starts to make sense: I am currently having a mid-life crisis. 

There is no other reason for my behavior. I’m not talking about the fist-shaking. That’s just my cynical nougat center whose flavor has deepened and intensified with time. And while lately I have looked at every young person under the age of 25 and thought, sigh... you have your whole life ahead of you, that’s not a mid-life crisis. That’s just the truth.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

cutting-room floor

So here we are.

Whenever you’re writing poor poems for something you made up called Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (or HoLoPoPoMo), you’re bound to come up with some haikus that don’t make the cut. (I know what you’re thinking: wait, HoLoPoPoMo has standards?)

What to do with these dregs? Let them fester in your hard drive? Let them rot in the cloud? Throw them out completely?

Not here, you don’t. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

holopopomo day 30: what holopopomo has taught us

So here we are.

Today marks the end of Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo), and the experience can best be summed up with this haiku:

not a success, nor failure
it just existed

But that can’t possibly be our last HoLoPoPoMo entry. No, here ‘tis:

what holopopomo has taught us

We always knew that “orange” is hard to rhyme
That’s nothing new -- we hear it all the time
Another tricky word to rhyme is “sugar”
But even then, the crude can still use “booger”
So -- fine -- avoiding certain words and themes
It got so I was rhyming in my dreams
Until one day I longed to write of films
And that’s the moment when I realized -- -- -- crap.

The end.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this November adventure. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

holopopomo day 29: lament

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry is from the point of view of a 16 year-old girl:

by tiffani

high school ennui
strangling, suffocatingly 
aching, yearning to be free
no one can hear, no one can see
the pain, the depth, the gravity
so sick of popularity
bored with necking until three
the football game, the pep rally
i’m back-to-back homecoming quee’
my peachy face without acne
i want to run, i want to flee
so tired of my cup size, C
and being oh so bosomy
my tummy flat and hips fat free
my steady boyfriend timothy
my shiny hair, brushed tediously
it’s always soft and feathery
my texts all start with omg 
i smile emoticonally
my perfect nose, sans surgery
and lips that taste like strawberry
this monster i have come to be
oh god! why me? why me? why me?

The end.

I wrote the first draft of this about ten years ago, long before this web...blah...blog was even a glimmer in my eye... but it has stayed buried in my hard drive since then, because there aren’t many places where can one publish a bad poem that’s supposedly written by someone fictional. Ah, self-publishing... where would legitimately odd crap be without you? 

Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

holopopomo day 28: holiday party

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry is a little early reminder of all the fun that is to come next month:

holiday party

hello cookie, hello chip
hello seven-layer dip
hello punch bowl, hello brie
hello nothing sugar-free
hello egg nog, hello steaks
hello tiny cuppy-cakes
hello cocoa, hello pie
hello mini hams-on-rye
hello sturgeon, hello lox
hello bourbon on the rocks
hello bonbons sent from France
hello yummy, goodbye pants

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

holopopomo day 27: adieu

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry:


So long, boo
What will you do
Now that we’re through
On that please chew
And tell me true
For me, it’s “whew”
Flushed down the loo
Without a mew
I’ll start anew
I shall not rue
Or down a few
Unless you sue
Well, that’s my cue
So tootle-oo 
Goodbye to you

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Monday, November 26, 2012

holopopomo day 26: fake it

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry:

fake it

a zircon, when it’s chiseled right
shines like a diamond in the light
so carry on, you not-a-jewel
for folks are such a cinch to fool

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

holopopomo day 25: two hundred

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry celebrates web...blah...log’s 200th post:

two hundred

Two hundred things can be a lot
Except, of course, when they are not

Two hundred cents is just two bucks
Two hundred drakes means lots of ducks

Two hundred crumbs won’t make a loaf
Two hundred I.Q., not an oaf

Two hundred seconds is but a flash
Two hundred hams makes quite a hash

Two hundred point is one huge font
Two hundred pounds is hardly gaunt

Two hundred years is history
Two hundred dollars, far from free

Two hundred beaus, oh you coquette
Two hundred pages, mere novelette

Two hundred miles, you’ve traveled far
Two hundred swings is over par

Two hundred hairs, you’re nearly bald
Two hundred texts, you’ve barely called

Two hundred nuts will fill a bowl
Two hundred calories in one roll

Two hundred dogs will pack the pound
Two hundred beans is one small mound

Two hundred posts from this mind of mine
Is just one plus one-ninety-nine

Two hundred things is quite a lot
Except, of course, when they are not

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

holopopomo day 24: the lobster

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry:

the lobster

to the lobster in the tank
who is trying to get free

you are just beyond my glance
but i crane my neck to see

i am watching you climb up
on the backs of all your friends

and i don’t know what you think
how you hope this effort ends

all at once i feel a chill
and i don’t know what to do

am i also in a trap
is my battle futile too

then again, i realize that
unlike fish awaiting fate

i at least can sit and eat
this spaghetti on my plate

The end.

By the way, this one is a true story... right down to the spaghetti.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

holopopomo day 23: black friday

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry is an utterly uninspired attempt to take on a sad stereotype in the most tired, well-trod way:

black friday

Oh what fun it is to shop
In hours small and wee
Oh what fun it is to stop
And take a break to pee
Oh what fun it is to find 
The store is out of stock
Oh what fun it is to blind
Yourself with sticker shock
Oh what fun it is to eat
A Clif Bar on the run
And when I say “what fun it is”
Not once do I mean fun

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

holopopomo day 22: thanksgiving grace

So here we are. 

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry celebrates the spirit of this day:

thanksgiving grace

We give thanks for everything
Birds we eat and birds that sing
But today, however, I
Am most grateful for the pie

I should prob’ly qualify
The remark about the pie
If it’s fresh and a la mode
Then I stand by my thankful ode

And as long as I’m correcting
Things to which I’m genuflecting
I appreciate a lot...
But everything I’ve got?
Like those who wreck and rot?
...well, maybe not

The end. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

holopopomo day 21: flame-broiled ballad

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry is my attempt at a long (but not exactly epic), 19-stanza ballad:

flame-broiled ballad

‘Twas a cold and lonely Sunday 
Just mere hours from being Monday
In that un-renovated Burger King on the hill
At the drive-thru window stood
A broken woman, who soon would
Experience a shift that haunts her still

Her name was Jean Marie
She stood all of 5-foot-three
In sturdy shoes with comfy rubber soles
Her hair was tied up in a net
With a face that few forget
But her destiny was toasting sandwich rolls

Life can throw a curve
To bring us fates we don’t deserve
Or force us to choke down a bitter pill
So was the case with Jean
With her crises unforeseen
That brought her to that Burger King on the hill

But nonetheless she was
Doing what a mother does
When she has to bring home bacon to the nest
Though it pained her soul inside
She could not afford her pride
And worked the franchise known as second-best

Back to that fateful night
And to our heroine so slight
Keeping watchful eyes upon her skeleton crew
It was only her and Ron
Everybody else had gone
Oh, and Jennifer, though Jennifer was new

The van cut through the dark
Cashier Ronnie saw it park
His face grew pale when he saw them emerge
The high school football squad
Muddied up with late-game sod
Required a meaty, salty, failure-purge

At the same time, Jean Marie
Spied a silver SUV
Through the hidden camera at the drive-thru box
A crackling voice was heard
Before Jean could say a word
‘Twas the twelve cheerleaders for those Fighting Hawks

The dreaded moment came
“Special orders” was its name
Our Jean and Jen and Ron all felt a chill
There’d never been a rush
Or an unexpected crush
In that un-renovated Burger King on the hill

Our Jean Marie was flooded
Teenage girls can be hot-blooded
And none of them want mayo on their buns
For Ron, it was insane
Orders hit him like a train
And worse than that, he soon ran out of ones

But Jennifer, poor Jen
Was just a trainee then
And she barely knew the secrets of the grill
She’d worked for a pizzeria
Was harassed and thus said, “see ya”
This was how she’d come to BK on the hill

Twenty burgers, thirty fries
Chicken tenders, cherry pies
And for unknown reasons, milkshakes mixed with tea
No two sandwiches the same
Orders Jen just could not tame
All she could do was call out, “Jean Marie!”

‘Twas a quandary for Jean
For her hands were far from clean
Handling dirty dollar bills since 2 or 3
Without much time to think
She ran to the back room sink
Leaving cheerleaders to wonder why she’d flee

The prep counter was a mess
Jennifer would soon confess
That she had not watched the training films at all
Jean Marie fired up the fryer
With this situation dire
While Jennifer curled up into a ball

Jean Marie could feel the eyes
Of the football playing guys
Watch her slap together burgers in a blur
She threw fries into a cup
Barked at Ronnie, “order up!”
And no one in the world wished they were her

She slathered and she fried
She assembled and she cried
Her tears providing extra added salt
Though she soothed the giant boys
By throwing in some Kids’ Meals toys
This scheduling fiasco was her fault

As she filled the final bag
And Jen wiped up with a rag
Jean Marie made sure to add in ketchup packs
The girls had barely seen
All the chaos that had been
And they blithely drove away with all their snacks

The football team was fed
Left the store and went to bed
Because it was a school night, after all
But in the wake of war
We learn what our lives are for
Jean Marie soon sought employment at the mall

So if you should ever toil
Where sandwiches are wrapped in foil
Even in a store where customers are few
Don’t nod off as you gape
At that important training tape
For the Jennifer I speak of could be you

This story that I tell
Of this night of burger hell
Is often told to brand-new trainees still
To remember Jean Marie
When she single-handedly
Filled the orders in that Burger King on the hill

The end.

This is completely fictional, by the way. The Burger King I worked at was not on a hill, nor did I work the night shift. I can only hope that the events in this poem have not actually happened. 

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

holopopomo day 20: angel

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry is a love poem... well, make that an honest love poem:


when the angels made you
when they shaped your form
when they curled your lovely locks
so downy soft and warm
when they chiseled cheekbones
poured starlight in your eyes
when they crafted you by hand
they knew you were a prize
the heavens sang, the cherubs wept
‘pon your celestial birth
but when you spoke, you idiot
they dumped you here on earth

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

holopopomo day 19: old trope

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry is, finally, a limerick:

old trope*

A teenager stars in a movie
She’s pretty and rich, all is groovy
Then more often than not
In some vice she’ll get caught
And play her next role out in juvie

The end.

Of course this is not universally true. But “movie” just screams to be rhymed with “juvie.”

*alternate title: afterschool special plot

Yes indeed. Welcome to me

Sunday, November 18, 2012

holopopomo day 18: on the demise of hostess

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry reflects on the recent news regarding the upcoming shortage of snack cakes:

on the demise of hostess 

If kale went out of business
(And not to say it could)
If celery went bankrupt
(Though some kids wish it would)
If brussels sprouts became extinct
Or spinach bit the dust
If quinoa met its maker
If beets and bran went bust
There’d be some mourners at the wake
I don’t doubt that a bit
What brings a nation to its knees?
“No Twinkies?!? Holy shit!”

The end.

Little Debbie, the world is now yours.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

holopopomo day 17: at the drugstore

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry:

at the drugstore

what the hell is all of this
all up and down the aisle
I simply want a crimson stick
to paint a sexy smile
I do not need a billion brands
with sixty shades apiece
I do not need a billion balms
each week a new release
I do not need a fancy name
like “faux” or “forge ahead”
or “bloom” or “bliss” or “killer’s kiss”
I just want freaking red

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Friday, November 16, 2012

holopopomo day 16: poetic license

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry takes the opposite point of view from yesterday:

poetic license

When writing poetry, it’s widely known
Slightly iffy rhymes are not verboten
As long as there’s a similar sound
Pretentious words are all that count
You need a smattering of “thee” and “thus”
Or metaphors like “my heart is but dust”
And anyway, who cares about the rhymes
It’s the beauty of the symbolistic lines
Trees and flowers and summer days
Awakening a time or place
The birds of May, the winter’s rain
The songs of love that play again
So suck it, all you hard-line fools
I got a license... I can’t lose

The end.

I think this would be a good time to remind you all: It’s Poor Poetry Month. Poor. You get what you pay for, kids.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

holopopomo day 15: again and a gain

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry:

again and a gain

“pain” does not rhyme with “again”
I’ve seen it in poems since I was ten
when someone chose to write about their pain
they’d rhyme it with “again” -- pronounced “a gain”
but that’s not how I learned to say “again”
perhaps the British said it different way back when
but modern American women and men
who mis-rhyme the word “again”
and whose intelligence should not wane
they are my very bane 

if I should ever wax poetic, then
I’ll use the proper rhyming for “again”
too many lyrics moan about the rain
but never utilize the word “refrain”
or “vein” or “vain” or “drain,” you silly hen
oh no, they all insist upon “again”
it couldn’t be more plain
but then, most poets are insane
so next time you go playing with your pen
remember how it sounds to say “again”

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

holopopomo day 14: regarding the breakup of the police

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Blogging Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry is written from the point of view of a 15 year-old boy in 1983:

regarding the breakup of the police

Why, oh why?
Sting and Adam and the other guy, why?
Can’t you let it lie?
Can’t you let it go?

Don’t turn on the red light
Don’t stand so close to me 
Don’t make my destiny to be the king of pain
Just do do do do and da da da
Because Duran Duran sucks.

The end.

Note: again, this is not my point of view. Granted, it was indeed a dark, dark day when The Police broke up, but I do think there is a world where people can enjoy both The Police and Duran Duran.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

holopopomo day 13: checkout line

So here we are.

Today’s Horribly Local Poor Poetry Month (HoLoPoPoMo) entry attempts a sonnet:

checkout line

It happens sometimes, doesn’t it, my friends
The days arise when carbohydrates lure
When all willpower in your psyche ends
And cravings nag for goodies less than pure

The empty grocery cart is not for long
So it begins, the clearing of the shelf
A couple pints of ice cream isn’t wrong
Some cupcakes won’t completely wreck myself

But at the checkout line, I feel her eyes
The checkout girl is ringing up my chips
She notices the pudding and the pies
She notices my ever-growing hips

Oh, screw you, lady staring at my fudge
You’re not a saint yourself, so don’t you judge

The end.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.