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Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Madison David (66.81.29.---)
Date: September 25, 2008 05:59PM

House, receive historic guest:
Sarah Palin, highly tressed.
Honor well your resident
First female vice president.

Now she sweeps into your hall,
Standing all of five-five tall,
And I (ALL that upswept hair!)
Fear for your glass ceiling there.

Long it’s stood there looking down
On hair kind for House renown.
Look! hers upsweeps now so near
I fear seeing crack appear,

Then another, then one more,
Then ALL down upon the floor:
Millions—for her hair’s transgression:
Shards of shattered girl suppression.

Sarah’s rise now hair historic,
Let this heart a hair euphoric
Wax, give voice to all I see
Upswept her to history:

Infant-come from Idaho
To the land of ice and snow,
She soon grew her, Sarah Heath,
Adult-winning snow-white teeth.

Wanting big hair early on,
In the cold Alaska dawn,
Sarah, in cold blood, in spruce,
Shot down (Dad!) a giant mousse.

Captaining team (basketball),
She, her broken-ankled all,
Sarah Barracudaly,
Gave, her best shot—victory!

Graduating, going to college,
Getting B. of Science knowledge,
“Miss Wasilla” never ceased B.eauty and the BSt.

“Miss Alaska” third, for noted
Inner beauty she was voted
(Winner beauty, as I see),
“Miss Congeniality.”

New-wed TV sports reporter,
In that news game’s summer quarter
Sarah set her heart and net
(Todd’s) for one big salmon get.

“Something stinks!” Heart set to “fix”
Bigger fish of politics,
Sarah set her mind on City
Of Wasilla’s Council. Pretty

Gritty? Yes, and grittily
Won her seat most prettily,
Fixing city wrongs for four years
And would well have fixed two more years;

But her hair and star ascending
(Rated high for city-mending),
Politics had much more for
Sarah in Alaskan store:

Running against wasteful spending,
Too high taxes (two for mending),
Pretty good incumbent slayer,
Sarah won: Wasilla’s mayor.

Cutting her own salary,
Taxes, too, on property,
Winning hearts, Wasillans cheers,
Sarah mayored max: six years.

She then set her sights (all four)
On Lieutenant Governor.
Hair and star, though climbery,
Won her not the primary.

Which was well and to the “good.”
Things worked out just as they should:
Governor Murkowski tapped
Sarah for a seat most apt:

He gave her an ethics task: a
Seat on the corrupt Alaska
Oil and Gas Conserv. Commission,
Which she chaired with “good” ambition.

Ethics Supervisor, Sarah,
Charging “lack of ethics” there, a
Damning charge against her kind
(“False Republicans!”), resigned.

Lack of ethics she would fix,
So she trained for politics,
Women, good Republicans,

Come November of ’06,
Sarah the whole state would fix.
Running on an ethics platform,
Of clean government (oh that form),

She shot yet a bigger mousse,
For its govern-BIG hair spruce,
Beating Governor Murkowski,
Wresting from him the state house key,

Female first! and youngest to be
Governor, at 42, she,
Fiscally conservative,
Ethically reformative,

Put Murkowski’s private jet
On the block—on eBay yet.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” she then said,
“On that Bridge to Nowhere.” Dead.

Half a billion she then cut
From the bloated budget, but,
Selflessest of cutting capers,
Gave her state chef walking papers.

Sarah then knocked big oil off its
“Rig” by taxing windfall profits
—Oh! and didn’t big oil holler.
Tough! She, a twelve-hundred-dollar

Windfall, gave to each Alaskan,
C-note monthly each could bask in,
Right on! top the two thou yearly
Oil wealth savings each counts dearly.

Naturally, then, when gas goes
Lower 48way, flows
Through the Sarah-brokered pipeline
No Alaskan’s phone a gripeline

Will be for the revenue
Homeland windfall flowing through,
And we closer dance the end-dance
Of our foreign-oil dependence.

God bless, Sarah!” you high-five her
In your more than eighty-five per
Cent approval rating—I for
One believe it’s one to sigh for:

Sigh that she loves God and life;
Loves, this hockey mom and wife,
Freedom, independence, a
Sign she loves America;

Sigh that Sarah’s for the right
To bear arms, and all the might
Of those two arms, all their tissues,
Wrapping round our troubling issues;

Sigh that she believes, is forming
This opinion: “Global warming
Is not caused by man.” And she’s
Right; each scientist agrees:

Woman is the cause. You ask a
Proof? Here, feel it: all Alaska,
For her personality,
Warmer—by a good degree!”

And I sigh the warmer for
Her now touching me the more:
Children dear of special needs
Wrapped in her arms, heart, and deeds;

Bringing sigh to think of war,
Their arms, heart, and deeds, and for
Sarah’s visiting our treasure
In Kuwait. I take her measure

All the more for all her going
Then to Germany, bestowing
On our injured soldiers faring
All the beauty of her caring.

Then it’s I sigh seeing so
Dear a child of whitest snow,
As Alaska’s own Snow White;

Rising star and light the brightest
Child of Northern Lights and whitest
White Aurora Borealis,
Worthy of a Snow White Palace.

How I sighed then just to hear her
Voice that night, the smitten cheer her
Speech accepting nomination,
Chilling the Obamanation

To the bone—how thrilling I
Channeled the collective sigh
Her each flash of winning style,
Her each White House–winning smile.

As she won Alaska’s heart,
Sarah style-reprised her part:
She each winning smile was starting
With a winning lipstick parting.

How I sighed throughout September,
All October. Come November,
Tuesday 4th—Election Chooseday,
National “Come, What’s the NEWS?” Day,

How I yearned for the vote knowledge
Of the “We’ve elected . . .” College.
When it came, late in the night,
HOW I sighed—it came out right!

Her Alaska Snow White teeth
(Once the pearls of Sarah Heath),
Each a nail, had sunk deep, often
In the dark Obama coffin.

Tearfully, all that was left
Was for each to weep, bereft.
Sobbed each media declarant,

She’d passed the good old boy test,
Millions voting: “She looks best,”
Proving men do—lots—make passes
(Parker wrong) at girls in glasses.

All agree: “She’s got the looks,
Looks to clean up DC crooks,”
Mirroring the public feeling:

See! it’s quite the spectacle:
Even the good-visional
Women running out in masses
For the “Sarah look” in glasses:

Not too big and not too small
Gets the middle-class eyeball
Looking, gets the look of (Ah-h-h-h!)
Middle Sarahmerica.

In a Sarahairica,
In a Sarahcareica,
DEAD is Air America
In a Sarahmerica

Sweeping hearts, into your hall
Sarah sweeps in, standing tall;
Chestnut swirls—O House, beware
Highly soft upsweeping hair!

Higher, higher now it sweeps,
HIGHER now than any veep’s;
To the ceiling glass it swirls
That has looked down on “No girls!”

Oh! now, House, a crack appears
Where not one’s been all these years;
Now another, now I see
Ceiling—down—in history!

House, your heart is bursting, too,
Proud, for all now falls to you
Piles of, this historic day,
Ceiling glass to sweep away.

So it is in love of nation
That I carve my adoration,
And with all exactitude,
My eternal gratitude

Deep within this poetry
For America to see:
First—Republican—female in.

House, receive your honored guest
(Democrats are laid to rest.
Let them cry their bier and grouse):
Sarah’s in the Snow White House.

Democratic No. 1 dread,
One worst rightmare: 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue
Painted Snow White, Sarah hue.

Sarah’s in the Bible meaning
“Princess” (prior to her queening),
“Woman of high rank”—that’s Sarah.
Crown her, House, with first tiara.

She will be your resident
Sixteen years: vice president
Eight years, then, First Govern-Mate,
Snow White president for eight.

Then won’t your heart, set to burst,
Boast one more historic first:
First Dude in the Snow White House
To be the First Snow White Spouse.

Come, though, weep another day,
Heaps of glass to sweep away,
Ceiling smashed—but, come, don’t grouse.
Sarah’s in the Snow White House.

See! how sparkles all her hair
In the domeless palace where
Stirs no Democratic mouse.
Sarah’s in her Snow White House.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/25/2008 07:56PM by Madison David.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: hpesoj (69.116.241.---)
Date: September 25, 2008 07:38PM

At first I thought I was seeing things when I saw the login. But, then, after reading the words with their meter, rhyme, and wit, I am convince the author is none other than THE David Madison, gone from these pages so many years ago. Welcome Back! I hope this won't be just a fly-by and that we'll see much more of you.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/25/2008 07:40PM by hpesoj.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: les712 (68.185.64.---)
Date: September 25, 2008 08:11PM

David, great read. It's nice to see your work here on the mule again. I especially liked this stanza:

She then set her sights (all four)
On Lieutenant Governor.
Hair and star, though climbery,
Won her not the primary.



Joe, I too wondered whether or not this was the "real" David Madison. But I was convinced as to the authenticity of the author after passing the 20th stanza with no end to the poem in sight and then seeing end lines within the poem like "climbery" and "primary".

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: petersz (69.181.22.---)
Date: September 25, 2008 08:20PM

Well. I knew it was you along along, right from 'House, receive historic guest.' I read through as much as I could take, out of courtesy. I am paling before the visage of this horrific specter of 'It Can't Happen here." Etc.

best wishes,


Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (24.189.158.---)
Date: September 25, 2008 08:55PM

Outstanding ! Welcome Back David, you were sorely missed !


Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Mr. P (67.150.247.---)
Date: September 25, 2008 10:31PM

I still laugh over that picture with you and your cat.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: UPMarty (71.86.181.---)
Date: September 26, 2008 12:35AM

Hello David Madison!

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Madison David (66.81.29.---)
Date: September 27, 2008 05:00PM

Samuel Johnson once said that no one who did any amount of writing could escape a style. I had thought about using a different name to see how long it would take to be exposed, but i couldn't stand the suspense.

At any rate, it's somehow strangely comforting to see some of the old "faces" (Joe, Les, Peter, johnny, Mr. P., Marty, Terry, J.H., K.Q.) after nearly 4 years devoted to writing the versed grammar book ever. It's protagonist, Ms. Spinster, is out making the rounds of the casting couches as we commune. So far all I've gotten back are the usual "Thanks but no thanks on that book to nowhere."

But I can't help thinking of Yogi Berra. It was Yogi, of course, who so famously said, "That restaurant is so crowded, nobody goes there anymore."

Times were on this site when you could post something, come back an hour later and you were off the screen and maybe the next. What happened? Were I the least bit egotistical I might be inclined to think it had something to do with . . . well, never mind. I used to have one until I chanced one day to pop my head in at the eratosphere door. I'll just say that my hatmaker is well pleased, what with the cost of felt these days, I recommend it.

Bt the bye, what ever happened to Brucefur's Cosmic Poetry?

Will the last one to leave please turn out the light verse.


Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Merc (70.192.23.---)
Date: September 27, 2008 07:59PM

Señor Madison..
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you home. Enjoyed your above for about an hour. My favorite part was when you rhymed "task a" with Alaska.

Sit, take the keg,and regal us with tales of your travels.

Samuel Johnson also said, "When one is told he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully"


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2008 08:04PM by Merc.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: redmitten (168.103.39.---)
Date: September 27, 2008 09:12PM

david m-

so good to see a legend in here! i'll sit back and take notes.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: IanAKB (210.84.56.---)
Date: September 27, 2008 09:31PM

Good to you see you back, David! And with such a Byronic magnum opus.

Have you been beavering away in some poetry writer's retreat during all the months we missed you, or has the sight of Sarah's beehive been the lightning stroke that shattered poet's block?


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2008 09:55PM by IanAKB.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Mr. P (67.150.245.---)
Date: September 28, 2008 03:03AM

I checked Bruce's site somewhere around a month or two ago, perhaps a little longer, and it was still up. Unless I entered the address incorrectly, or they changed it, it seems nonexistent at the moment. Peter or Les may be able to answer that question.

This site, as well as I imagine moving down the list on google searches(I originally came here because it was one of the first on the list), has suffered a number of breakdowns which forced the site to become completely inaccessible, hacks which led to the same, and locking users out of old accounts which forced people to take new logins. The mule hasn't aged well, simply. I assume the simplistic nature of the website might also turn the newer generations off.

Emmm. Just googled "poetry" and the mule was on the second page. May seem like a minor change, but I assure of the implications. I'm also not certain whether or not one is required to download the things at [] to use the board or not.

Either way, welcome back. We could use the help preventing this ship from sinking.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Mr. P (67.150.245.---)
Date: September 28, 2008 03:35AM


You can find Madison David's original work under David Madison, on this site. His abilities are known as somewhat prolific, should I be so bold.


Good luck with the book. I imagine terrible heartbreak, having something one puts great effort and devotion, weaving so much of themselves into, being unappreciated. I fear your abilities may be too great for most to even begin to comprehend, perhaps you might consider dumbing things down?

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: lifeisbutadream (86.108.105.---)
Date: September 28, 2008 08:41AM

David, A very very warm welcome back home!!! This is a surprise that made my day today!! Amazing to read you, hear you, and respond to you!! This is an occasion to celebrate!!!

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: les712 (68.185.64.---)
Date: September 28, 2008 02:20PM

David, it is certainly good to see you posting here. I recall having looked forward to your weekly installments of Satireday. As to Eratosphere, those guys are full of themselves.

Bruce pops in from time to time. Cosmic is defunct I think, he has a new website but I don't think that he posts much even there. I'll try to find out and post a link to his latest web adventure here.


Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Madison David (66.81.29.---)
Date: September 29, 2008 02:26PM

Many thanks to all for the warmth and the welcome backs, although I just don't know how back I will be. I seriously have to figure out how to be a writer, that is, one who actually makes money doing this. I have a very modest income, no medical, and "I grow old, I grow old / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled." That's a large part of why I've spent the past four years writing a book that I thought had a chance of doing so. The odds against getting published are daunting. Something like one book in four hundred gets published. And most of the books published lose money.


Unlike you, I wish I could say that I have travelled, other than around Keyboard, a small inland enclave on the continent of Computer.

Yes, that's one of my favorite Johnson quotations of many. I use him in my book (it's illustrated by over 500 celebrities). And wouldn't you know it, here he is now:

Rule No. 2 Make Dictionary Friend

In Jolly Olde, without a word of fiction,
Englishmen had nary any diction
They could speak of, and they didn’t vary
Their excuse: “We ’ave no dickshunary
We can ’unt wurds up in, could we spelle
Them out in letturs.” Rose up Samuel
(Called later “Dr.”) Johnson. “I shall end
This dictionlessness once for all; I’ll spend
My best years writing my—I’ll do it; hang wage!—
Dictionary of the English Language.

“Boswell, James, biographer and friend,
I do despair of seeing any end
To all these words betimes—and yet I must
Go on,” said he, “the English have their trust
In me to teach, through bookish, sir, conviction,
They whom I would make ‘my friends’ good diction.
Altruism, sir, I’ll say it plain,
Is all my motive; I’ve no thought of gain.
Who’d be enriched with words (Lord, how they’ll spend!)
Knows: ‘Make your diction-nary your best friend.’

“And what is diction, Sir,” the lexicographer rambled on as he and Boswell walked the Hebrides, “but ‘the words one chooses to say a thing.’ Only consider how in my DOTEL (1755) I chose to define oats. I might well have stated: ‘Any of various grasses of the genus Avena, especially Avena sativa, widely cultivated for their edible grains.’ But, sir, I chose to declare: ‘A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland appears to support the people.’ Likewise, I might have chosen to define patriotism:1. Love and devotion to one’s country. 2. A particularly virulent form of autism marked by incurable jingoism, now known to be the fatal result of contact with a contagious patriot.’ Instead, I chose to be brief and to the point: ‘The last refuge of a scoundrel.’ But, Sir, I would have you indulge me further. Who (other than one who has ever depended on one) could have faulted me for defining patron: ‘A sponsor or benefactor’? And yet, of this welshing bit of rarebit, I took the liberty, Sir, to write (no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money): ‘A wretch who supports with insolence, and is repaid with flattery.’ I might have satisfied the most caviling soul with pension: ‘A sum of money paid regularly as a retirement benefit.’ Yet, Sir, I took the high road, exercising my legs as well as my God-given right of choice, and well scribbled: ‘An allowance made to anyone without an equivalent. In England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a state hireling for treason to his country.’ ” “But you yourself receive a generous pensi—” “Sir, dictionaries are like watches: the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true. Yet I have given every diction-nary complete freedom of choice in his diction—thus divesting him of all excuse. How shall I be loved!” “How indeed, Dr.?” “How indeed?”


Thanks for checking into Cosmic. I did also with no success. Yes, I also got locked out of using my old account, which is why I'm now Madison David. As to the book, what I most hate about the publishing process is everything about it, not least of which is the enormous time that could be spent writing bon mots instead of . . . well, I don't even want to talk about them.


I think you went a trifle overboard with the "magnum opus," but that's all right because it made me think of this for Lucifer's Lexicon:

magnum opus, n. What you think you've written after a magnum champagne.

redmitten, lifeisbutadream,

I would address you by name for your kind sentiments, but your noms de plume put me in mind of no less than God, whom Robert Frost, in A Masque of Reason has saying:

I’m a great stickler for the author’s name.
By proper names I find I do my thinking.


Ah, yes, Satireday, how long ago that was. I think it started out being one day a week, until I realized that it is, in fact, every day of the weak, as evidenced by the above writer who couldn't stop with a single glass of champagne.

Well, that's another couple of hours I haven't been paid for, unless I count your amusement.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (68.194.80.---)
Date: September 29, 2008 03:27PM

There are some on this forum who believe that I have wizardly powers, usually they are limited to making Veronika appear out of the blue, but I will make an effort on your behalf, David, to hurry along the publication approval process.

Keep an eye out for a man wearing a purple baseball cap. Then note anything unusual about your surroundings at that moment. Keep me posted.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Mr. P (67.150.245.---)
Date: September 29, 2008 09:52PM

Aye, I've looked into the process, it's an ugly one. Personally, I have qualms being at the whim of others to such an extent. But who's to say you can't merely mimic one of the sickly popular trends and put whatever spin on it is required to pass as new yet comfortable? I remember when I first began writing in general, and saw some of your work. Yes, it was fantastic, but it was beyond me. I was like a child attempting to put together a space shuttle. It's still beyond me. Few are those who want to feel stupid as a pass time. But you say a grammar book? Like a text, I assume? I can only imagine what complex secrets you reveal.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: les712 (68.185.64.---)
Date: September 30, 2008 05:42AM

Here's a link to David's e-mule contributions, the poems, not all the definitions, which can be found via the hyperlink at the bottom of the following page: [] />

TRAVEL, n. A clever pretext used by jaded middle-class society to “get away” from the tired old luxuries of home; substantially reduce their net worth; arrive without their luggage; endure great hardship and privation; be forced to mingle with the poor and related have-nots; catch one or more of their diseases; and suffer the third-degree slow burn of cultural shock—all for the cosmopolitan privilege of being insulted in a foreign tongue.

Yet sooner or later one’s heart yearns to travel,
To give up the smoothness of paved roads for gravel,
Forego one’s abundant good fortune to have ill.

Thus travellers seldom require further prods
Since it’s known travel broadens the mind, but the odds
Are that half they that travel are minding the broads

While the other eyetinerant half minds the men,
Never tiring, either, of wanderlust yen,
Both letting their eyes roam again and again

—Hell, they’re born, both, to travel to some foreign strand,
Be it raven, red, blonde, or brunette to be scanned,
Both their eyetineraries already pre-planned;

Let their eyes freely over these foreign sights roam
—And the best part of all is these sights they can comb
Without leaving the comfort and safety of home.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2008 05:48AM by les712.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: IanAKB (210.84.56.---)
Date: September 30, 2008 11:35AM

Thanks for that link, Les. So much there that predates my first registration with Emule. From an initial skim, measurelessly and enjoyably far from finished, I will never again imagine that David's absence at any time could be due to poet's block. Nor will I worry whether a poem might be too long for USP.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Madison David (66.81.29.---)
Date: September 30, 2008 12:54PM

Mr. P.,

I am surprised (and, yes, troubled) that you feel some of my writing is beyond you. I certainly don’t try to be inscrutable. In fact, I try to be clear. The word I like to use is accessible. I always like to keep Hemingway in mind, who wrote with very simple words, many of them but four letters (no, not the profane variety). And what did it get him? The Nobel Prize. He was a master of understatement:

Interviewer: What, for you, is the most difficult part of writing?

Hemingway (thinks for a long time): Getting the words right.

Somehow it brings to mind the following quotation, which I like well enough to use as an epigraph introducing Spelling:

My spelling is wobbly. It’s good spelling but it wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places —Winnie the Pooh

If nothing else, I have become a better writer for having written Ms. Spinster’s Versed Grammar Book Ever. For one thing, my grammar is better. (If you set out to write a grammar book, it’s considered helpful if you know something about the subject.) When I look back over my past efforts, I often cringe over the muddiness of certain passages. I see how I could write it simpler, clearer, better.

As to dumbing it down, I suppose I could, but how far down would I go? And who would I be writing to? If you think about it, you couldn’t write anything that some wouldn’t be challenged by. And, after all, isn’t that how we learn, by being challenged? When we come into this world we don’t know so much as a letter, let alone a syllable. Then some strange creatures begin making incomprehensible noises to us out of their pie holes, and, in time, somehow or other we begin to make sense of it.

I would very much like to get your opinion as to how accessible or not you find Ms. Spinster, to what extent you are challenged (I don’t mean in the handicapped sense). If you’d like to be a guinea pig, drop me an email @ and I will send you a link by which you may download the full 482-page text as a pdf file.


Thanks for providing that link as well as the one to all my posts. I’m not sure I could have accessed it. I did once before long ago, but I was unable to on a later attempt. I didn’t have enough stick-to-itiveness to keep trying. I value your opinion as well, so if you’d like, you may write me as well for a link. I would very much appreciate getting informed feedback as almost no one I know is in any way literary.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (68.194.80.---)
Date: September 30, 2008 01:53PM

All signs point to Marketability

so it's a go

good fortune ahead

full steam

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Mr. P (67.150.246.---)
Date: September 30, 2008 09:29PM

I fear, like sanity, my pockets as well are lacking. A PDF of that size would surely be the killing blow to this sad computer. While I will take that offer, another method must be found.

You strike me as a man who lives his craft, and this is surely the best way to be the best at anything. Keep in mind I'm not saying you are inaccessible in general, I'm saying you're beyond the standard. Think to yourself of things which do not concern you or your craft.. I assume things in the vein of wind surfing or craft making or tree climbing are things which you give no thought or attention, deeming them unimportant to your life. And surely, to a man who clearly takes pleasure in literature, they would not be. Literature and language is a vast thing which could easily consume all of a man's time.

Even within the disciplines, there are areas people place low value on, and ignore. You clearly embrace and value as much of literature as possible, which is not the case with most. The things you find novel, interesting, fascinating, worthy of attention, others either do not understand, simply don't care about, or do not notice. Surely, this would have little importance were you not attempting to making profit from your efforts.

My point is, if your goal is profit rather than enjoyment, your raw self is of little mass appeal. That is not to say you lack the ability to conform while retaining your scintillance, far from it. Forgive the possible misspelling, my sources provided no information... You just.. you're just too damn good at this, you're beyond your time. But this gives you an advantage, your mastery should provide understanding of the simpler things which so amuse the general public.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: les712 (68.185.64.---)
Date: October 01, 2008 01:46AM

Some ruminations on publishing, getting published, and selling books. Anyone can get published. If you have the time, desire, and/or money to get your work published, someone will publish it.

Many of the writers here deserve to be published. David is certainly in the forefront of that group. Making money from the publishing of your own poetry is a monumental task. There simply isn't as much demand for poetry as there is for other genres of literature. That doesn't mean that it can't happen, it's just that the odds are against it.

If one wishes to become a popular author, i.e. sell books, I believe he must do one, or more, of the following:

1. Express a popular theme (think diet books, self-help, or ecology).

2. Forge new ground. Express an old themes in ways people haven't seen before. This is dicey because what we as authors feel is novel, may be old hat to young readers, or it may be so esoteric that it leaves readers out of the loop.

3. Push the book so hard that demand is created for the book before it appears. This is probably the method that has worked the best for poet laureates and renowned modern writers. They work the college circuit and get their material into the hands of influential magazines and reviews. This requires much footwork, time and a good booking agent/agency.

4. Build a foothold in your corner of the world. Think of the game of Risk. Make your work so popular in Poughkeepsie that everyone there has a copy. From there you can branch out and conquer the world.

5. At all costs know your market, identify them and identify with them. Hang out where they are, talk your book, sell your work, give your work away. Make people want to know more about what you have to say.

6. Plan a strategy. What happens if you fail? And more importantly, what happens if a miracle occurs and you actually succeed? Think about what that might do to your current lifestyle.

7. Never give up. If your goal is to sell X amount of books. Make it your life's ambition. If it's not, then you're simply wasting your time. You have to be the best salesman of a product only you really know.

Just some random thoughts, if anyone else has some input on this subject I'd be happy to hear about it.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2008 05:21AM by les712.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Madison David (66.81.29.---)
Date: October 01, 2008 02:00PM


Very sage advice. What you say about being your own best salesman is all too true. I know an author who has written several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and it is ALL in the marketing. And that includes the “reader’s” reviews that you read on Amazon and elsewhere. Don’t be naive. Many of those reviews are posted by one or more persons who have a vested interest in its success. And then there is the strange case of The Purpose-Driven Life whose success is the result of a clever campaign by a publicity firm directed at church members, the goal being to get X number of people each week in churches across America to read it, and then discuss it the following week. And then there is luck. It had already sold something like 10 million copies when a prisoner escaped from the courthouse in Atlanta, killing four persons before taking a woman hostage in her apartment. He allowed her to read to him from the book, then gave himself up in the morning. Translation: another 15 million. It is set to come to trial soon. She will testify and tell her story and . . . I think you can guess.

At any rate, with Ms. Spinster’s Versed Grammar Book Ever: Verse yet her Punctuation, Spelling, Style . . . I have taken a subject, normally considered dry as dust, and presented it in a “novel” way, quite literally. It is a fictional work of nonfiction with a beginning, middle, and end, and with a real (okay, imagined) protagonist and over 500 supporting players who just happen to be celebrities, all of whom tell their story (330 of them) based on a rule of grammar, punctuation, spelling, style . . . in verse and prose—all within the context of their fascinating lives. And, yes, just as you’d expect—but see in no other grammar book—the parts of speech have speaking parts, and very poetic parts at that.

People are interested in speaking more better and writing a little gooder, if only it might be presented to them in an engaging way: Eats, Shoots & Leaves, book about punctuation for crying, I mean laughing or smiling, out loud has sold over 3 million copies. Oh, but then why am I trying to sell you on Ms. Spinster’s when I could so much more easily, and entertainingly, let Antony and Cleopatra speak for me:

Rule No. 2 Possessive Pronouns Differ

Struck, Cleopatra and Mark Antony,
Possessed by love in 40-odd B.C.,
Would have each other, these possessive-prone nouns.
Strong desire followed: to be own-nouns.
Heard in Alexandria and Rome
Was “He/She followed me the whole way home.
Please, can I keep him/her?” All they spoke of,
Rome, Alexandria, was “puppy love.”
Possessed, Mark, Cleo, for their own obsession,
Hung upon each other for possession.

Joint possession didn’t quite work out:
They differed, and thus each possessed a doubt
About their love. Self-dispossessed of breath,
They followed home their constant lover, death,
Young: Cleo died by asp, Mark by his sword,
To prove the rule, she bitten, he self-gored
(No price of puppy love was ever stiffer):
Prone nouns in possessive cases differ
Based on whether objects so possessed
Come fore or aft the prone nouns

Possessed with possessing, nowhere did Antony and Cleopatra differ more than in the positions each took with respect to coming before and after the object possessed. “You are my possession!” Cleopatra vehemently maintained. (She started it so she got to go before the thing possessed.) “I beg to differ, dear Cleo,” Antony countered in going after his possession. “I should rather say ‘the possession is mine.’ ” “Is that so?” Cleopatra bristled. “Well you must own up: this possession we so passionately share between us is our possession.” “No, fairest one, I’m afraid I must part company with you there as well,” Antony said in parting. “It’s quite obvious, at least to me, that this possession is ours.” “Hmmph! Well I’ve no doubt the ruling judge will say, ‘It is her prerogative to hold that position.’ ” “I’m afraid he’ll say no such thing, Cleo mine. He’ll be too busy ruling, ‘the said prerogative is hers.’ ” “Would that be before—or after—he says ‘That is your pigheaded opinion’?” “Neither one, dear; it’ll be at one and the same time that he will most assuredly rule, ‘No, that pigheaded opinion is yours.’ ” “Well you just know he’ll be thinking, ‘I’m glad that’s their problem.’ ” “Cleo, there’s not a judge in all the Greater Nile Court District who wouldn’t think, ‘I’m glad that problem is theirs.’ ” “The Greater Nile Court District? Are we in its jurisdiction?” “No, my Queen, the jurisdiction is—wait! I can’t say ‘the jurisdiction is its, can I?” “No you can’t, and that is his ruling.” “Are you sure the ruling isn’t his?” “I’m sure it is! Oh, Antony, we agree on two things: his doesn’t change, and its can only come before the thing possessed, not after it. Do let’s agree on one more.” “What’s that, my agreeable Cleo?” “Let’s kill ourselves.” “Sounds good to me—but let’s do it after we’re both dispossessed of life.” “No, Antony, before!

But I digress, when I really ought to be addressing

Mr. P.,

I appreciate your kind support and your insights; however, the irony is that I'm actually doing what you suggest, that is, painting with a broader brush. I can't conceive of a broader one than a dictionary, namely Lucifer's Lexicon: A Devil's-Eye View of Life on Earth. I believe I've written on over two thousand subjects. Apart from that, I have dealt with a wide range of subjects in my poems, as I believe the anthology that Les kindly posted reflects.

But, sir, I am taking too much time explaining instead of doing what I do when I have a Catholic nun, a Buddhist monk, and a Hindu sadhu together on an iambic hilltop in the Pentameter Range, and who are most desirous of knowing how poetically their stories are going to play out.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (68.194.80.---)
Date: October 01, 2008 02:45PM

Speak to, or get back in contact with, the older gentleman who is involved with this.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Madison David (66.81.29.---)
Date: October 01, 2008 03:02PM

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Has a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor.
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something that he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself;
One must be so careful these days.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (68.194.80.---)
Date: October 01, 2008 03:45PM

None of what I've said is derived from any sort of arcana, rather, it comes from observations of repeating patterns in words and phrases that I encounter.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Madison David (66.81.29.---)
Date: October 01, 2008 04:10PM

Say something to us we can learn

By heart and when alone repeat.

Say something! And it says "I burn."

But say with what degree of heat.

Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.

Use language we can comprehend.

Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,

But does tell something in the end.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (24.189.158.---)
Date: October 01, 2008 11:14PM

[] />

Rule # 22

110 as well

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2008 11:17PM by JohnnyBoy.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (24.189.158.---)
Date: October 02, 2008 12:32AM

besides which, I write with a clarity that hasn't been seen since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: les712 (68.185.64.---)
Date: October 02, 2008 01:42AM

David, thanks for the sample from your work and for your eloquent anecdotal example.
It reminded me of one more possible means of promoting your own work:

Create your own soap box. If you have a platform, such as a radio show, newspaper, or magazine column, you can exploit this leverage to promote your latest literary effort.


Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Mr. P (69.85.162.---)
Date: October 02, 2008 12:38PM

I'm not talking about subject, I'm talking about your language, grammar, structure, blah, blah. Your manipulation of these things is too complex for Johnny B. Normal. Were I a man who devoted a great deal of my time to wordcraft, you would be a god. But, as it is, I am not, and doubt you can find a sizable audience for such things. Though I'm sure those you do find would be die-hard admirers, and your work would be treasured by them. Hell, I'm willing to bet it would get you laid.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Madison David (66.81.28.---)
Date: October 02, 2008 01:23PM


I’ve made my bed, and here I lie,
Yet I’d been better paid
If someone else but me, I sigh,
Had all of me here laid.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Mr. P (69.85.162.---)
Date: October 02, 2008 01:29PM

Good morning, I greatly dislike nonstandard forms of communication. =[

Emmmm I remember certain interesting, quirky books, with your style of wordplay, very clever and funny.. but they did not solely depend on that. That was the background, certainly, but the foreground.. hmm.

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Mr. P (69.85.162.---)
Date: October 02, 2008 01:31PM

Dr. Seuss!

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: les712 (68.185.64.---)
Date: October 02, 2008 02:45PM

Speaking of epitaphs this one belongs to Hillary Belloc

When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
"His sins were scarlet, but his books were read."


Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (71.249.169.---)
Date: October 02, 2008 03:23PM

For what it's worth, the word that comes up is "Toss"

whether it's dice,coins,cookies, or other, I cannot tell

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Boo Cipher (70.77.233.---)
Date: May 11, 2009 04:01AM

Hi David,

Good to see you back. I am hugely surprised that I missed this entire thread at its time of posting, but it just goes to show exactly how little time I have spent on emule in the last year. Yes, cosmic went down right around the time you started looking for it... We just ran out of money to sustain it, in large part due to me finding the perfect woman, getting engaged and us buying a cute little house of 70 years near the bank of the Fraser River. Around October the economy fell out from under me and despite numerous, thoughtful and articulate letters to the powers that be here, no one would listen (my real estate background gives me a pretty good grasp of what would have staved off the recession here...). My income as a result plummeted and for a time I was scraping by at measly $1,000 a month. It has since rebounded somewhat, but I am still in a quandary as I have an opportunity to start a new business, but if I do so I will most likely have to cease operations of the other company which I have spent 10 long years building. It however has been stymied by huge amounts of government regulations and boondoggles, whereby the most lucrative contracts are only available to the biggest fish with the deepest pockets, even if they prove incompetent.

Oh, and lastly, is not dead, it is merely pulling a Lazarusesque Houdini. ;0)

I actually read your whole poem and I have to say that if your name wasn't attached I could only have thought it to be either you, or Christy, but there is the odd stanza here and there that would have given away that it was in fact you and not her. As far as publishing goes, other than self-publishing which runs around $3,000 for a decent sized run, I would recommend the smaller, local publishers and depending on where you live, the newspapers. If you can get enough small poems published you should be able to net a bigger fish for the whole book. Your biggest issue David is that your poems don't play much to the lowest common denominator (confessional/rants) and so eliminate most of the publishing houses as serious buyers; what can I say, you were born too late. *smiles.

Brucefur Fader (who is on fatbook under said moniker and has been found there by a surprising number of the old cosmic crowd somewhat inspite of himself).

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Merc (70.193.119.---)
Date: May 11, 2009 09:40AM

It's like a high school reunion, except I like these people.

Hi Bruce

Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: les712 (68.185.64.---)
Date: May 11, 2009 10:01AM

Bruce, do you have a link to thet page?


Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: Boo Cipher (70.77.226.---)
Date: May 20, 2009 02:48AM

Hey Les, what page is that? My facebook page?

Simply go to and then in the search bar type in my name, Brucefur Fader.


Re: Sigh for Sarah
Posted by: les712 (68.185.64.---)
Date: May 20, 2009 04:14AM

Thanks Bruce, good to see you posting again.


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