by Anthony Foliot
Old Town Versifier
I ran into the boss in the coffee shop,
“I’m glad I ran into you,”
he said, “ I know you’re not connected
and I have to tell you news.”
“Whatta ya mean, I’m not connected?”
I said, “I’m kinda in the scene.”
He said “you haven’t even looked at our
new on-line magazine.”
Well Darn, then he had me,
and I was on the defence;
I worried ‘bout this big news,
there was too much suspense.
He said, “You may not like it,
but we hired a new guy,”
the boss seemed a little worried,
now let me tell you why…
This fellow that he hired,
(and here’s where the boss got nervous)
had publicly come out and said
He Hated Robert Service!
“And so do I as a matter of fact,”
he said “just so as you know…”
I shook hands with the boss man
and said I really had to go.
Now out there on the sidewalk,
the snow was trampled down:
I had a buzzing in my ears,
my heart began to pound.
The boss don’t like the Service-style?
and same for his new sidekick?
What the hell was I to do?
C’mon man that’s my schtick!
I wandered to the corner
across from the Bijou Boutique
I’ll have to give them something new
something that’s unique!
Yes this was what I was thinking
on Franklin Avenue
I’ll have to write ‘REAL POEMS’
they’ll see what I can do.
Then I strolled into the Library,
from a dusty shelf I took,
The Family Book Of Best Loved Poems
opened it up and took a look.
There’s this fella, William Wordsworth,
who on, one caffeine-addled night,
wrote a sugar bouncy love poem:
‘She was a Phantom of Delight’
His meter was pretty static,
though otherwise, he did fine,
but then I got to the ‘POET-part’
where he just put words in a line.
(let me give you an example…I quote)
“…transient sorrows, simple wiles,
praise,blame,love,kisses,tears and smiles.”
Ohhh, so that’s how you do it, I thought;
it seemed pretty simple enough,
use eight syllables in each line,
write about sappy stuff.
Thus started my education
of the Poetry Game,
when I read on a little further
I noticed another name.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
an apparent giant among his peeps;
he wrote about stars, the moon and wind,
then he rhymed the word sleep with sleeps!
Honestly, that’s what was written,
his “Serenade” on page twenty-six,
I’m only a couple dozen pages along,
but already I’m learning some tricks.
(like maybe I should have ‘worth’ in my name..)
If you want to get ahead in the biz,
soak up accolades and fame,
you’d better get a ‘Nom de Plume’
a so called ‘worth’-y name.
Anthony Woolworth Foliot,
say! That has a catchy ring….
Anthony Forthwith Foliot,
Anthony Worth Something.
Further along was a poem called “Home”
and it was sure one of the best,
but it was wrote by a lesser known guy
so named Edward A. Guest.
I quote “It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
a heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam…
Well, I guess he’s got a technique,
that he’s plumbed up from the shallows,
T’ spell a bunch o’ words wrong,
an’ lose a heap o’ vowels.
Goodness, I’m not really sure,
if that’s what I want to do…
I got no University degree
but at least I passed grade two!
Then I read through some adventure poems,
some legends, and fantasies,
I must admit not all were good,
or made some sense to me.
Like take that Robbie Burns guy
talking ‘bout…retreating “frae” the “pleugh”
I don’t think I could rhyme with that,
even if I knew how?!
But I have to take this serious,
for my lifestyle I depend,
I’ve got to write a ‘real’ poem,
to invoice EDGE for my stipend.
So here we go I’ll try it,
I’ll take one step at a time:
I’ll remember what Jonquil said,
“It doesn’t have to rhyme”…
by Anthony Worthless Foliot
Wet shoes, ankles, socks, toes, and feet.
Slippery, icy, snowy street.
I’ve walked along this road, now
almost twenty five years, the faces,
places, corners, signs.
Are both familiar and foreign, fifty-third, forty-eighth
avenue or street it doesn’t
matter, my boots know the way. They
took away the benches but there’s room
on the planters, it’s colder now but
Sally Ann gave me new socks.
Well there, that wasn’t too hard
made it up in half a day.
I should probably go see Walter,
ask where he bought his beret.
I called myself a poet,
not just a versifier.
I read my friends a line or two
as we stood around the fire.
But no one really listened,
they didn’t care a bit,
I could tell by the look on their faces
what they thought of it.
So I’ll remain the Versifier,
the bosses can kiss my face,
If they don’t want the Service-style
some one can take my place!