Occasional Poetry

Not as in “on occasion” but for them — occasions. Apparently, I didn’t invent it.

I’ve been doing “occasional poetry” all along and had no idea there was a literary term for it. And, as one will note in the linked-to article above concerning the presidential poem delivered at this year’s inauguration, it suffers the same bias (as news blonging). Our subconcious or maybe concious expectations eschew hyper-topical poems, apparently. I guess we think that grandiosity and exceptionalism will be obscured by the practical detail of a story that is simply about right now or this year.

I also think that people aren’t looking in the right spot. I’ve heard, at run of the mill poetry slams, impressively topical and tactile work. They just aren’t invited to give innaugral addresses.

In addition to being topical and for “occasion,” my poetry has literally been only occasional, of late, as in not very regular. I really thought I was done there for a while. First, I was sad, and then I was relieved. Even when I had a free evening, I’d be like, “Nah, I probably should watch more Naked and Afraid” or “Ehhh, let me reverse the lens on my iphone camera and look at myself some more.”

In the interim, I was clearly missed as evidenced by the following excerpt. A dear and sensitive friend dropped me a note:

Joe, I thought of you when I was in Paris earlier this month. The suffusion of French youth culture with hip hop is now total. I saw kids walking around with pants around their knees, flat-brimmed baseball caps, and other accoutrement of that debased culture everywhere I went. It was just appalling. Our signature national export now appears to be the absolute worst element of American popular culture, a global pestilence that is infecting young people everywhere. It depressed me deeply.

See? What I do here matters.

But, my absence was not for no good reason. AKA for good reason.

I had to save an entire fish estuary. Ever heard of one? Me neither.

I had to watch Walking Dead Season 3. With a Zombie. (You might recall my wife is undead.) I’m sure you had the luxury of watching all 13 episodes with a fully alive spouse or significant other.

I had to record a whole new album. Ever done that? Didn’t think so. Shut it.

I had to prepare tax returns. You too? Whatever.

I had to coach my son’s little league baseball team. Sounds fun, right? Nope. We were the Royals.

I had to shovel 10 cubic yards of double ground mulch. What’s a cubic yard, you ask? No clue. Don’t care. All I know is that I didn’t see you out there.

I had to listen to hundreds of sports and news podcasts. Why would someone do that? Because they’ve quit on life.

Not to mention, my job, carpooling, lunch making, yelling senselessly at my children, Sunday School, and updating my ChristianMingle.com profile.

I’ve heard from many of you that you would have liked to hear my take on such and such. Well, tough noogies. Those matchless insights have been lost to eternity.

But, your boy’s back. (Well, except next week when I’ll be in NYC and two weeks after that when I’m at the beach. But, otherwise, I’m totally and completely back.)

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by Sundance.

Today’s blong here:

Wouldn't You Like to Know


Back Off Holiday

Busy weekend. Getting sort of late. Just decided to do an unadvisable three minute freestyle. If it sounds like nonsense, that’s a direct reflection on your upbringing and education not my ability. Because, trust me, in the words of Alexander Graham Bell, “this will be one of the most important freestyles you’ve heard in the last few hours or even days.” Alexander Graham Bell has not actually endorsed this freestyle but I have it on good account, from his estate, that he probably definitely would have.

As always, a freestyle is an unwritten, unrehearsed rap.  Entirely extemporaneous.  [I have previously and briefly recognized some of the confusion over the etymology of the word “freestyle,” here, and won’t do it again, now.]

A verbal screenshot.  Not written.  Not premeditated.  For better, but mostly worse, spontaneous.

“. . . split it like a log at a saw mill . . .” You’re welcome.

Performed by ipoet.  Music produced by pumpkinFoot.

Today’s song blog here:

Off the Head (lines) 9-4-12


Ten Hours Too Far

DISCLAIMER: All of the following should be filed under the designation:
“Anglo-Saxon People Problems.”

Last week was some sort of live action death by chocolate. Every possible good thing in my life conspiring to murder me. You know that scene in Jim Carrey’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas where he’s subjected to an involuntary “pudding eating contest”? Something like that.

Work; two little league baseball games; a midnight trip to Greenwood; TEDx rehearsal; a baseball practice; a 14th Wedding Anniversary; a song blog about George Clooney; time spent wondering why I did a song blog about George Clooney; another TEDx rehearsal; night terrors; a TEDx reception; low-grade panic attack; family and friends in town; cottonmouth; packing for spring break; explosive eczema; TEDxGreenville; a complete blackout of my medulla oblongata; 9 hour drive to Mobile, AL immediately after TEDx in a driving rain; adult-onset narcolepsy; a swamp tour; 12 beignets; degenerative scurvy; 3 NCAA tournament games; did I mention it was our 14th Anniversary?; a zoo, IMAX, and avalanche of souvenir Final Four t-shirts; child induced turrets syndrome; and an 11 hour drive home.

(Ironically, in the litany of exaggerated and made-up ailments above, I omitted the most peculiar and actual symptom I suffered. Because, you know you’re ludicrously fatigued when the bridge of your nose goes numb. The bridge.)

I know complaining about a week in which you fulfill your life long dream to present at a TED event AND attend the Final Four in New Orleans is like whining about how your pet unicorn can also fly. But, I’m telling you, I almost died.

So, a lot of real crap in the world occurred and was left tragically uncovered by rap news. Today’s blong is a brief recap of the week because I’m still recouping from my cotton-candy coated, Santa Clause basted, too-good-to-be-true binge.

It was sobering seeing the Big Easy. In the east, whole neighborhoods and cities are essentially abandonded — 7 years later. Homes, hospitals, amusement parks. Ghosted.

I was struck by how enthusiastically I was able to make the 10 hour drive for rebounds and fastbreaks.

But, when the levies broke that same trip seemed just a little too far.

The Week That Was.

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.

Today’s song blog here:

TWTW 3-31-12


Press Junket Series No. 7

Work has been busy. Sorry it’s been slow. Haven’t done a weekly round up in a minute. So, I thought I would.

The week that was.

Performed by ipoet. Music produced by pumpkinFoot.

Today’s song blog here:

TWTW 1-29-12


Press Junket Series No. 6

The week that was.

Stories include the bizzaro diaper-gate incident with TSA and an elderly passenger; Georgia’s contested immigration bill; the increasingly crowded Republican Presidential Nominee Candidate pool; the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision concerning video games and free speech; President Obama’s draw down plan for Afghanistan; the untimely death of sports legend Lorenzo Charles; the best-selling and controversial new faux-children’s book “Go the F**k to Sleep”; and my University of South Carolina and their back-to-back National Championship at the College World Series last night. Didn’t squeeze in a reference to the incidents in Kabul. American collegiate athletics is of significantly greater world import.

Performed by ipoet. Music produced by juiceboxjackson (a harbinger of things to come, by the way).

TWTW 6-26-11


Press Junket Series No. 5

Haven’t done one in a while. Thought I’d roundup the news. Stories include Easter in China; Judge Nelson’s NFL lockout decision and tonight’s Draft; NBA playoffs (late breaking Spur’s result); Mel Kiper’s hair; Obama’s long-form birth certificate and dubious citizenship; storms in the South; continued unrest in Syria, Yemen, and Libya; and the Royal Wedding.

I’m a Redskins fan by the way.

The Week That Was.

Performed by ipoet. Produced by Sundance.

Today’s song blog here:

TWTW 4-25-11


Guest Poet: Keep It Movin’

Sorry to all.  I was on the road and I got trapped in a spot without WiFi to get this done.  My man Wonder Brown pinch hit again today and had me the song last night, late, but I couldn’t get it posted.  Serious logistical snafu.  But, technically it’s still Thursday, so we’re all still good!

The Libya situation is historic and terrible.  And, the Space Shuttle Discovery made its last launch today.

A little political cynicism from WB today.  In his words:

“I keep thinking back to the Bob Dylan song, ‘Only A Pawn In Their Game.’  Cries of revolution come from the pawns, and the struggle of the inclined rotation in the galaxy – speeding up and slowing down during different axes and apses (I’m taking astronomy too!) – makes you wonder if and when the pawns become the pundits, who then will be the pawns?  I guess, naturally, I’ll just ‘keep it movin’.'”

Performed by gpoet, Wonder Brown.  Music produced by Vintage.

Today’s audio here:

Keep it Movin' (Remix)


A “Pink Thursday” Press Junket Special

Happy Pink Thursday!  The Week That Was.

It’s come to be true that the Thursday after Cyber Monday after Black Friday is the most heavily trafficked rap blogging day of the year.  People are on the prowl for great deals on news wrapped up in rap this day every December.  Discounts as deep as 3-4% off suggested retail prices on all rap news.

Some camp out weeks ahead of time to be first in line to have a chance at a lottery to be considered by a triumvirate panel for the off chance that maybe they’ll be entered into a sweepstakes of long-shot odds to be participants in a round-robin tournament of champions whose trophy is a golden ticket of randomized numbers which may be identified as the winning voucher based upon the sequential randomized drawing of NBA enumerated ping-pong balls to decide who will arm wrestle for the Playstation 3 Move Game Bundle and a bonus song about vote-rigging in the Ivory Coast presidential election run-off.  In other words, everything important about this special holiday season.

Performed by ipoet.  Music produced by pumpkinFoot.

Today’s defective audio here:

TWTW 11-29-10 (A Free Shipping Remix)


The Press Junket Series No. 4

The Week That Was.  While typically the opposite is at risk, listening to this week’s song will actually make you visibly dumber.  Do not listen while operating heavy machinery or even a digital wristwatch.  The words in the song unfortunately reflect precisely on the views of this site, as juvenile as they may be.

Performed by ipoet.  Music produced by . . . yep, pumpkinFoot.

Today’s breathtaking (as in asphyxiating) audio here:

TWTW 11-15-10


The Press Junket Series No. 3

Somber week, both personally and in the news.  Sometimes we’re just trying to get through it.

Stories include fiscal commission’s debt recommendations, cholera outbreak in Haiti, Elizabeth Smart testimony, and Conan’s return.

Tweet and retweet this junk, if you get a second.  There are still people in this world without rap news.

Performed by ipoet.  Music produced by pumpkinFoot.

Today’s smooth audio here:

TWTW 11-8-10