V e r b o p h o b i a


Hello all. This is the final posting of Verbophobia poems. I have misplaced a couple of emails, so if you sent a poem in and I haven't posted it, just resend it to verbopoetics at yahoo dot com and I'll happily correct my mistake(s), for which I apologize. At times, I've received an entry in one of my personal email boxes and, subsequently, they're prone to accidental deletion. Thanks to all for sending in. Adieu.

Michael Helsem

The Undertoad in a white sheet
Destroy the grave
Destroy the swart bouquet
Of a century without diamonds

And now a die-cut spaceship
Married to its white trance
Transcends the pity of the composition

Your will is not marred
By any demurral, Bela,
But that idiotic brush.


Jesse Crockett

You frighten me.

For the neutral setting. Wherever
Have we met
But long walks and thrift shops?

Then my suitcase to pack.

That is my interest; to rise mornings,
Brush away like a sheet what is done
And pack the century in a suitcase.

Another trance, I must go.

Idiotic, die-cut,
Those things impossible to destroy,
They follow you.

So do you.

As a florist
I make no marred bouquet.
Accept this composition.


So far, I've received a few submissions. I'll wait another week before posting.
Get busy with it, yo.


Ok. So. It has been awhile, but a prompt from Meng got Verbophobia up and running once again. In case you've forgotten, the rules are simple: I post a word list, you write a poem and send it in. Easy, right?

Aight. Here's the list of ten words, taken from A Book of the Book, ed. Rothenberg and Clay:

Sheet, destroy, composition, century, brush, die-cut, trance, marred, bouquet, idiotic.

Good luck!



So it took months, but here are all the poems that I received. Thanks to all for playing. And a hearty congrats to Jess Mynes for winning the Dante's Ass Prize (it came down to Meng v. Mynes, and Jess won the flip!). I'll be posting a new word list soon.

by Jess Mynes

Skeptical essays ricochet
Cause zest to question
The misnomer's informer
What's the point?
A short history redone?
These are examples are drawn
By means of a trier
Or clover seed sampler
That triples production despite its bumpy ride
As a voyeur you suffer no certain benefit but
Collapse as wilted grass
Beneath this foot as if you were
A star flirting with a fade to singularity
                           Mishaps are cadence not exception
Too disparate for an
Agile definition to ban.


by Catherine Meng

At the luminous point in the ride

when the triple fade of the clouds made the gaze

ricochet inward

toward a flirt in the ribs

complete with breath that had the cadence

of certain exception---

as if to be a voyeur of this magnitude

is to be an informer

& so with the zest of an informer

I ban everyone who ever took my agile fumbles

at face value. I am a trier. And I’m tired

of trying to see what I see.


by Aaron Tieger

(point du jour)

Steps ricochet, cadence, fade
comme les rides.

Agile voyeur, informez-


              Lord I wanted
always to be
an exception.

Triple Pernod, avec
un zeste.

A ban is certain.


by Jimmy Nickles

Your lips flirt with the foam, certain
of a tender cadence, certain

the zest with which it ricochets
from pert probings too uncertain

has been kept at bay by agile
gripping of the glass, a certain

fade of force as the lips draw near
the point of contact: Insert in

the tongue at the proper moment,
the trier of tastes, smooth, certain

ride to the first wave, informer
that gives away the now certain

whereabouts of the triple bock,
then the lips fly to assert in

a whirlpool downing foam, beer, no
exceptions, no terms uncertain,

that the tall glass be left without
its pint, another for certain.

by Michael Helsem

Flirt certain,
The Mydoom Worm thumbed
Triple ricochet ride. At some point
Zest exception turned voyeur
Informer. Fade to an agile gate trier...

When will they ban that cadence?