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may i please be poet laureate of the blogosphere?

Todd (co-founder of Club Katana) sent me this link today, about the Poet Laureate of Britain who penned a touching, charming anti-war ditty that goes like this:

Causa Belli by Andrew Motion
They read good books, and quote, but never learn
a language other than the scream of rocket-burn
Our straighter talk is drowned but ironclad;
elections, money, empire, oil and Dad.

Can we get a polite clap? A boo? Some tomatoes?

Never fear. All thos poetry classes I took in college have come in handy. I have penned my opposing poem:

Cause Anti-War by Michele Catalano-Brejwo

They march and picket but they never know
How their freedom to be their government's foe
Is borne of the people they profess to hate -
Soldiers and fighters, sealing terrorist's fate

I am not nearly as talented as my sister Lisa, who penned a vitriolic rap song in the comments of this post this morning.

As a club initiation rite, I would like to see all Club Katana members pen their own poems, and I will send them off to the BBC News, in hopes that they will see fit to pass them on to Mr. Motion.

Lair takes his turn with poetry and Tim Blair wants you to send your Andrew Motion parodies to him.


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Andrew Motion is a hack. Nobody gets a state mandated post in this hole by being interesting...

Of course, Michele, if you feel so strongly, I'd suggest that you fling your poetic missives to Mr Motion at his university email address, a.motion@uea.ac.uk.

You never know, he might be quite pleased to get a bit of reader response.

PS Crimson, surely Ted Hughes was interesting enough?

His work is full of forced rhymes, and scansion that steers like a cow, all wrapped in a little pink ribbon of cloying cliche and un-self-conscious conformity...

This is why mainstream poetry sucks. It doesn't have anything new to offer anymore. Experimentation is key, and this...well, this is a big fucking template with bells on.

That's Motion, not Hughes. Mind you, I'm not a fan of his work either, really. Maybe I'm just becoming jaded by cheap everyday revelations...

Well done.

I took a whack at it earlier.

I hear the chorus quote for social gain
but always scream the same ol' tired refrain
That only fools would wish to search the stars at times
When money lies in mundane thoughts and cloying rhymes

Can I be pleeeeeease be Hallmark Poet Laureate now? I can write a birthday card as well as the next man...

There once was a man from Nantucket..........oh wait a minute, that one's been done before. Damn.

Okay here's one.

There once was a man named Buck,
who drove around in a nice red truck,
He said "To YOU it's an SUV,
But Its just my car to me"
As he gased up at Citgo, oh what the F$)#!

How about that? hehehe I'm a poet and don't know it!

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see anything in in Motion's poem professing a hatred for "Soldiers and fighters".

I know this post is meant as satire, but the truth shouldn't be ignored that most people against attacking Iraq are not against the soldiers, nor are they in favor of Saddam, but they are against innocent people dying for no good reason.

Just my two cents.

And just how, Ken, are we supposed to guarantee innocents won't be killed when their ruler is corralling them at gunpoint on top of known targets? Don't fight, you say? Okay, then what? Let said ruler run rampant, murdering his own people until there's no one left? Or until he gets the financing to take it global? What is the answer?

I'm no poet, but I decided I like this one.

With knife at our throats and pushing through
We know as TR and Churchill knew
Folks align in one group of these two:
Them that talk or them that do

I'm not against military action when it is in our own defense (which attacking Iraq isn't), but if this is really about helping the innocents, then there are many other countries that are currently killing their own people which we could go after, instead of using the decades old gassing of the Kurds, which we helped, to justify our actions.

If this is really about keeping Saddam from using WMD, then we have been quite succesful at that so far without spending billions a day (which will have a seriously negative affect on our economy) and killing an unknown number of people attacking Iraq.

The problem is, this isn't about those things. It's about controlling the Middle East because they have large oil reserves.

Fortunately for North Korea, they don't have anything we want, so even though they are farther along with their WMD production, and Bush has said that their government is starving the people to death, we'll use the diplomatic route with them.

I know people want to show support for the US and our soldiers. I agree with that, but I don't agree with the current Administration's foreign policy. That doesn't make me an America hater or a coward, so the constant use of those phoney arguments just distracts from the real issues.

Michele, your poetry is a bit shakey. But your sentiments are right on the money.

Gawd! It's the Curse of the English Major, but I noticed the meter of poem and the rhyme scheme. That's why MINE went like this:

They fornicate with goats and smell of dung;
With belts of simtex bombs the scum adorn their young.
Their talk is bold, but listen not to it--
When we attack, we'll blow them all to shit.

Scans just like the original, but it's more original.

Dave, shouldn't that be "Those who" instead of "Them that"?

Oh yes, when we "point the finger" there are four fingers pointing back at us... Unless you drive one of those SUV's, then its your fault no matter how many fingers are involved...

wKen, if you haven't yet understood why this war is necessary, then I am not going to bother

The president has made his case, a great many bloggers have added their own versions, and if at this late date something inside your skull hasn't gone 'click!' arelady, then explaining it to you simply isn't going to work.

But you know what? Someone who's on the same side as the "Its all about oooooooooiiiillll!" crowd has a lot of damn nerve talking about phoney arguments.


It's, uh, vernacular. Sue me for abuse of poetic license.

I nominate Lisa for Poet Laureate of New Jersey.

Ryan, I disagree with you. So does most of the world's population. In fact, so does most of the US, but I wouldn't treat you rudely because of that.

You have the right to your opinion, as do I. If that bothers you, then I'm not sure what kind of America you want to live in, but it isn't the one started in the 18th century by our founding father's, and preserved by the blood of millions of American soldiers.

And I didn't say it is ALL about oil. It is mainly about money, which many members of the administration gain by control of oil and the sale of arms. Also, it has to do with GW finishing what his father started. I'm sure that there are other reasons too, but those are the main ones, IMHO.


I hope it LOOKS good enough to fool people... you'd be surprised how hard it is to make all those stanzas rhyme the same. :)

Poetry is too hard. Can I get into Club Katana with a free verse?

I have one now!


Well, I turned mine into a culinary poem, using as much from the original meter/rhyme as I could:


We read cookbooks, sautee and never burn
an omelet; golden with a single turn,
Our simpler fare is drowned in sauce béarnaise,
Al dente, honey, olive oil and mayonnaise.

As a loyal warrior of Club Katana, I did three.

Here's part of the second one:

They read M. Moore, and chant "No War For Oil";
A loud crowd of the ignorant and spoiled.
Our words, for them, are just as pearls for swine;
Who'll drink champagne, who thinks cow piss is wine?

You know what Ken it is about oil, money, and our national security, and I don't see what is wrong with that. Believe it or not our economy is dependent on a constant flow of oil--not just Bush and his cronies, but all of us--every war is fought for economic or in some cases religous reasons, and I don't see what is wrong with that. I'm also so sorry that you are so jaded to believe that a president of the U.S. would go to war because of a personal grudge...that is like saying Clinton lobbed missles into Afganistan to cover the Lewinski affair--both ludicrous. Finally, we did not help gas the kurds, we supplied Saddam with the means, but our support came at a time when it appeared that Iran was making a push to take over the Gulf in an economic/religous war...so I don't see why we were wrong--it has come back to haunt us, but I guess Ms Reagan's astrologer couldn't see that one coming. And double finally, your argument that there are other bad guys out there doesn't have a point--are you arguing there are so many we shouldn't do anything to any of them? And triple finally, who gives a fuck what a bunch of Euros think--most American's support the war--remember we saved their euro-asses twice and now we have the burden of turning the light off at night and standing guard at the door, you smarmy little fuck.

If its about the oil, then lets say its about the oil. This is my country dammit, and I have a right to know why were sending people into harm's way.

WTF cwill???, the administration has said that this war is about WMD. So until either:
a) evidence of WMD is produced
b) the administration makes the case for war on other reasons
there has not been a case made for sending people into harms way. The government owes the men and women selflessly going over there a compelling reason on why.

We are talking about putting lives on the line, and I for one demand that we have a good reason for that. If its oil, then I want to see how Iraq will impede the flow of oil to support our economy and why war is the only option that makes sense, and why we have to risk lives for what's basically an economic issue, it'd better be a damn huge economic issue. If its to knock out a potential ally to and sanctuary for terrorists (as Condi Rice alluded to ...damn can't find the link), then lets say that, but then lets also say to the soldiers and their families that its not over with Iraq. Lets be crystal clear here .... this is real life, not some video game. The political leadership better be willing to look future widows, mom's who've lost a child, or a kid who lost a parent in the eye and say it was worth it*.

I apologize for being sucked into this debate ... I should know better ... but gah ... never mind.

*Worth it = clear and present danger to the citizens of the United States or its allies.

Actually under the UN resolution it's up to Saddam to prove that he doesn't have WMDs. Before he kicked the weapon inspectors out of the country back in '98 they had uncovered the existence of a variety of WMDs. He is required to either reveal where they are currently stored or provide proof of their destruction. So far he has done neither. The "documentation" he provided on Iraq's weapons programs didn't even mention their existence which is a material breach of the resolution.

I stand corrected ... option 1) should say "its shown that WMD are unaccounted for"