WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Happy Saturday, everybody! A day late, but never a dollar short is our winner for this week:

BRUCE GOODMAN

It happens in restaurants

by Bruce Goodman

I suspect there’s a great deal more
going on under that table over there
than meets the eye.
They not simply eating ice cream and blueberry pie.
I bet they’re playing hanky-panky with their knees.
I’ve a good mind to go over and whip the table cloth
off
to expose their chicanery for all to sees
if you please.

I think it only fair to surmise –
and I wouldn’t be at all surprised –
if before long they were both under the table smooching away,
for every dog has its day.
Next thing he’ll be feeding her custard
with his own spoon. Shucks.
What’s going on under that table over there is yuk.

I hate going out to restaurants.
My wife is such a flirt.

Congratulations, Bruce! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

As returning readers know, I hate contests where a winner is picked and the judge says that everybody was a winner; blah, blah, blah. I try my darnedest not to do that to everyone, but you all make it near-impossible with your level of poetic skill. (You do know this is a terrible poetry contest, right?)

I snickered at the made-up words, the near-rhymes, the rambling (terrible) subjects, and the poetic elements. In the end; I believe I admired the overall flow (we’ll call it that) of Bruce’s poem, combined with his zinger at the end. Most poets this week followed the recommended guidelines of terribleness; on top of all that, Bruce, your ‘meter’ and your story ‘flow’ earned you the prize. Well done.

Thank you to everyone who participated this week. You are the reason this takes me hours of preparation and anguish to decide. And, here you all are:

Under-the-Table Deal

by Bladud Fleas

Get up from under the table, dude!
Said the guy whose shoes I was buying
I haven’t got them on, right now, he said
Though I think he was lying. See
I was too quick to agree on the price
he’d selected and once on my knees
he rejected but I, quick as a flash,
produced the cash and removing his
shoes, stuck a rolled up note between his toes
and the deal was completed and he was defeated,
as were his shoes, no pun intended,
for a fair price and money well spended.

—–

Secret Agent Man

by H.R.R. Gorman

Steele steeled his stance,
Fighting for freedom in France,
Really ready to reel Russians
In and insinuate intrigue.

Dreaded documents dredged
Up from underworld undertakings
Show sinister situations,
Blackmail baking in baddies’ brains.

He humps his home-movie
Back to bloody Britain
And advocates for absolution
Of the outstanding ordeal.

Friends faint following the film,
So he sends some signals
At an American agent
That things are taking turns.

But Bob believes his boss.
Pee-pee parties with presidents
Are too astronomically atrocious
For free freedmen to finagle.

So Steele steels his stance,
Takes tea at the typical time,
Cares about the Six Counties, and
Watches the world wither.

—–

Under the Table

by Andrea Frazer

My friends are all camping
But alas I’m not able
Nope, I’m grounded for life
Right here under the table
A butter knife for a friend
Along with a rag
To scrape all my boogers
Into a trash bag
Yup, what once was my haven
For picking my nose
My mom did discover
So now I am hosed
“You won’t move from this spot
Except to go pee
Until all chunks are removed
Do you understand me?”
What could I say?
My answer was “Yes”
Now there’s no more snot digging
What YES I’m depressed
The moral of this tale
From under the table?
Stay away from nose picking
To avoid this sad fable

The end

—–

Either Side of the Aisle

by Jon

Above board? No it’s not!
Appearance sake? Fulfilled!
In actuality, putrid rot
describes a recent bill.

Put forth by those who say
that they
Are there to represent us all.
Try to have (with them) your say
See if they take your call.

Things that make your conscience ache,
(Like this poem, for instance)
Disturb them not in the least;
For long ago they did forsake,
The way of truth and peace.

—–

It’s not what you get it’s where you get it

by Geoff

Said the bribee to the briber
‘I have no moral fibre’
‘And of course I’ll take a bung.’
‘Unless by being bought out
‘You think I might be caught out’
‘And by this sting be stung.’

‘You have no need to worry,’
Said the briber to the bribee,
‘There’s nothing untoward.’
‘I’m just a harmless gopher
‘This deal’s completely kosher’
‘And everything’s above board.’

‘But how can I believe it,’
‘The cash, when I receive it,’
‘To keep it, I am able?’
‘For sure, you are a bandit,’
‘If each time, to me, you hand it,’
‘While seated ‘neath the table?’

—–

A Poem So Terrible It Can’t Be Named

by Peregrine Arc

Oh my, oh me
I dearly have to pee.
But alas, the Labrador fell asleep on me.
So cute, so adorable, her face all wrinkled
She lets out a stinky and my nose truly krinkles.
Twenty minutes later, the air is fresh and new.
My breathing and vitals back to normal, phew!
“Dear,” I coo, wanting to get up.
“Do you want a treat, my little duck?”
Her amber eyes open and I’m up like a flash
I nearly walk on water to the toilet in my dash.
“Sorry, dear,” I call from the throne. “You’ll get a treat on the morrow–no interest on that loan.”

—–

Dinner Table Gambit

by Michael B. Fishman

Sitting at the table I felt bold
so I put my hand on her knee.
The look she gave me was quite cold
sort of like I touched her with poison ivy.

I couldn’t give up so I tried again
and the result was the same.
She said, “What the fudge” are you insane?
I felt like taking on an assumed name.

Third time’s the charm, right?
So under the table I grabbed her knee once more.
She didn’t have to turn or talk for me to feel the frostbite
I said, “Why doest me dost thee ignore?”

The dog watched it all from under the table
smiling in that doggie way while chewing on a bagel.

—–

What’s the Deal

by Ruth Scribbles

What’s the deal
With under the table
Table that thought
The cat without a hat
Demands attention
Under the table
She licks chip crumbs
Crumbs with salt
She licks the floor
Looking for more
Crumbs
Under the table

—–

Leave it to Amelia

by Violet Lentz

If there is trouble to be had
And usually, there is
Amelia’s smack dab in the middle
At that, she is a wiz.

You would think she was a cherub
To see her childhood photos
Who’d a thunk in this one here
She had a pine bough up her nose?

Or wait, you think that’s funny
How about her money-making scheme?
Selling milkshakes on the corner
That she made a shaving cream!

Or the time her Mom got a call from school
“Come quick!” said old Mizz Krantz
“Your Amy’s doing the bicycle,
And she ain’t wearin’ no underpants!”

But I’d say her defining moment
Was when she let her best friend Mabel
Take a lickin’ for stealing chewing gum-
Amelia’d plucked, from under the table.

—–

Deal

by Doug

Under the table
blood drips onto the crackpots there under
making a deal for blood-proof umbrella heirlooms
with a star chart marking the space alien’s location

Blood drips on the undercover policeman’s head.
He says, “The poker deal is dead. I want hence
grenades under an umbrella, and incense for ten cents.”

But you have to bribe the dealer for a deal
and the dealer was dead.

The deal blew up in their faces, and
they couldn’t save face with Adam Smith

—–

Thank you for entering! I love seeing returning torturers and new verse-obliterators, alike. Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. for the announcement of next week’s contest.

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Bruce: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, Week Seventeen. I went back and counted.

If you’re new, confused, and/or need directions; read the how-to about terrible poetry. Here, at The Terrible Poetry Contest, we strive to make the best of the best shudder and crawl back under a blanket of Shakespeare. We aim to offend, but in a very high-minded way.

Here are the rules for this week’s prompt:

  1. The topic is Under-the-Table Deals.
  2. For length, keep your poem greater than or equal to a haiku but less than Beowulf.
  3. Should you rhyme? Up to you this occasion.
  4. Most importantly, make it terrible. I want the back-alley agents of disreputable deals to turn themselves in, sobbing, just to get away from what you write.
  5. Keep it PG-rating or lower. You can do it.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (March 15, 2019) to submit a poem. Hey; it’s The Ides of March and my wedding anniversary. We just might make it to sixteen years.

If you are shy, use the form and I’ll get an e-mail. Leave me a comment saying that you did, so we cover our bases.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Also, please tell your friends. You can use your mouth, your phone, your blog; whatever. Let’s get the word out! The world needs more terrible poetry!

Have fun!

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Photo credit:
Rosalind Chang

Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Seven

After their eventful weekend, Monday’s alarm startled Wil more than it usually did. She’d been dreaming of mists and searchings again, yet the feeling of the thing differed. Instead of a lost sensation, or a confused one, Wil had felt a …dread. The thing she sought in her dreams was now something she was not keen to find.

She lay staring up at her ceiling until the alarm rang again; she must have pushed Snooze at its initial sounding. “Oh!” she cried and fell off the bed. Graceful as ever, Wyl Winterling, she thought as she groped at the alarm and then at her laundry pile on the floor.

Soon enough, she had pants and a long-sleeved top. She resolved to ensure a matching outfit after the walk with her mother and a shower. Yawning and stretching, she dressed and clumped down the hallway. It was a good morning for Wil as she only bumped against the wall twice.

She heard her parents’ room before her eyes could make out the dark outline of its opening. A rhythmic machine-breathing came from that direction. The BiPAP was on again. She hadn’t heard it since the last time Cynthia was ill. Wil forgot how much she hated it despite how calm the soft, regular noise sounded.

W paused just outside the room, listening with an alertness acquired from years of training. A demonic *Shhhhsssshhh* *Shhhhhssshhh* emanated from the space, interrupted by a random rustling, a grunting snore.

What could it be? she wondered. She placed a thoughtful gloved finger to her lips in consideration. Alarm system? She’d disabled that upon entry, and the guard for good measure. Heating element? W knew no passive piece of equipment had a constant airflow, besides antiquated equipment like a ceiling fan. Is the hostage being subjected to a form of torture used decades ago?

With only one way to find out since her extendable cameras were inoperable this far beneath the ground, W peered around the corner of the doorpost.

At the sight of what lay beyond, she stifled a curse. Highly unprofessional, she knew. Still, what nefarious opponents had devised the assortment of cloth piles, closely-packed furniture, and random detritus before her?

A movement. A form upon the bed turned to its side yet still lay resting. The guard was asleep, then; good for him so long as he stayed that way. She turned her wary attention to her mission and her goal: the hostage. W gasped.

She realized, even before running a scan with her wristband, that the situation was more serious than she had been warned of. Her eyes traced the coils of tubing running from the box on the floor as her ears still heard its inexorable *Shsssshhhhssshhh* she’d first picked up outside the door.

Not only was the woman a hostage within the basement confines of a cement building, lying near a guard who might wake at any minute, she also literally rested within the clutches of a strange robotic device.

 

Continued from Seventy-Six.
Keep reading to Seventy-Eight.

Skinwalkers, XLVI

They paused outside the door. “N. Reed; Pul,” Stone acknowledged, exiting just after they did. He continued past them and down the corridor. Nathan’s eyes adjusted to the lighting to watch the broad-shouldered man retreating and he realized the suspension drops’ influence had worn off. Worn off… Off… Something’s off… A thought struck him. Turning to Pul, Nathan exhaled and made a show of lightly stretching his shoulders and neck.

Pul chuckled. “That was some performance in there, Nathan Reed.”

Nathan stood up on his toes, continuing his casual pretense. “Thank you, Pul.” He stood flat again. “I thought I may as well fix six blemishes with one patch.”

Pul laughed again. “That you did.”

“Still,” Nathan continued, “I’d hate for you and the others to catch trouble for any damage or waste to that many materials.” He met Pul’s eyes and raised one brow. “I’d calm if I could see them delivered.”

He watched the expressive executive’s own eyebrows rise in surprise. Pul had clearly not thought of this possibility. “Oh! Oh, of course!” As Nathan desired, Pul then spun and reactivated the door behind them. His motions were more hurried than last time. Before the entry had pulled to the side completely, Pul was back inside the red-lit room. Nathan stood right behind him.

“Pul! What are you doing?” a familiar, shrill voice demanded. Nathan stepped to the side and saw just the woman he wished to, in just the position he suspected. Caill stood very near a work station in a stiff posture. Upon spying Nathan, her hands began twisting around each other.

Surprised, Pul cleared his throat. A jiff passed and he cleared it again.

Nathan moved around him and walked in Caill’s direction. “We returned to deliver the samples,” he said. “I thought you and your associates might want to ensure their safety.” Stopping a little over a meter away, he stared right at Caill’s eerily-shadowed face. “It would be a thick loss to Carapace otherwise.”

The proud and crafty woman, once a prowling wolf, seemed more an outlands rodent now. Her hands wound round and round, and she stepped back from him involuntarily.

“But, perhaps,” he said, and paused, “That is precisely what you were doing.”

“Oh!” Pul recovered. “Of course! That’s what you were doing, Caill.” He gave a nervous laugh and came forward as well. “Well, then -I guess we’ll help. Which stations have you packaged?”

Caill appeared to be trying to remember something, and Nathan suspected it to be how to think on her feet. “I… um,” she said. “I actually just got started.” She smiled at Pul; it looked painful.

“Right,” Pul responded. “Then I guess we’ll work on the last rows while you start where you’re at.”

The rabbit twitched her gaze from Nathan, to Pul, to her hands. She finally stilled her hands, sniffed at the air, and nodded. “O-of course.”

Nathan smiled and returned to assist Pul. Really, he thought, What other choice did Caill have?

 

Continued from Skinwalkers, XLV.
Read to Skinwalkers, XLVII.

Wilhelmina Winters, Forty-Four

Wil waved goodbye to her father as she ran, so focused on Hope that she heard nothing of what he said. Rob watched his usual parting image of her hand, scarf, and coattails bidding him farewell. He swallowed bittersweet memory flavors and reached over to close the car door Wil had left open in her haste.

Wil rushed anxiously, feeling clumsy and unusually noisy compared to the shadow of a person she sought: the elusive and silent Hope. Hope seemed to melt from shuffling groups to winter landscape without solidifying. She was like air, though Wil had heard air make more noise than that when it moved.

Wil’s coat flapped; her scarf swished. Her boots clumped on solid ground, then crunched on brittle snow patches. The inevitable squeak sounded at each left foot clump once the snow’s moisture soaked into her heel. She could do little to move silently; and so, focused on hurrying instead.

Hope had reached the doors to inside when Wil barely snagged the girl’s backpack. “Hope!” Wil managed to gasp as she grasped.

Hope’s shyly smiling face turned around to Wil. She looked expectant, a fact that shocked Wil enough to claim the breath she’d just managed to find for talking.

Hope moved them to the side of the entryway, apart from the oblivious masses entering the school building. She continued to smile at Wil, a twitch of humor playing at the right side of her mouth. “Yes, Wil?” She asked kindly.

“I, well, I wanted to talk to you,” Wil said. She felt unsure how to phrase her question, and suddenly embarrassed at addressing someone she didn’t know well. Jakob often teased Wil for reckless actions such as this.

Hope waited. She appeared trustworthy enough.

“I wanted to ask you about sneaking,” Wil blurted. She glanced at Hope to see how this news would affect her, but Hope had not changed expression. “See, my dad got a letter last night, and I wanted to read it,” Wil finished.

Hope nodded and looked thoughtful. Wil watched her expectantly.

Hope met Wil’s gaze and smiled kindly again. “I can talk to you about the letter, but not until lunchtime,” she said.

The first bell rang, its dull note somewhat deflating the catalytic hope Wil had felt when she saw the girl.

Hope put her small hand on Wil’s coat-clad arm. Her deep brown eyes met Wil’s hazel ones, though they resided in a face much lower than hers. “It’s okay, Wil,” she assured her.

Then, Hope left. Wil caught fleeting glimpses of her between teenagers heading to classes, before remembering she, too, should be heading to class.

She breathed a sigh. Hope had given her something to look forward to.

 

Continued from Forty-Three.
Keep reading to Forty-Five.

Wilhelmina Winters, Forty-Three

Wil awoke somewhat to the familiar irritation of a blaring alarm clock. She silenced it while maintaining a comfortable stupor of half-asleepness. The dark trees and mists of her dream still lingered round her subconscious, and confused her mind when mixed with the images her eyes sent of her plain, dark bedroom.

She yawned and chanced opening her eyes further. All was shapes and shadows of monochrome grays. She heard no sounds.

Her parents had been up late talking. Talking -and coughing, in Cynthia’s case. Her father rarely spoke, so Wil had found the deep rumble of his voice distracting at such a late hour. The coughing was not so distracting, since her mother had been doing it for such a long time -not that it ever ceased to be disturbing.

Wil decided that Cynthia would probably choose to sleep in, and complete her morning exercise with their neighbor. Rob could wake Cynthia to start her other routines before they left for school.

Wil’s assumptions were correct. After dressing, there was still no sound of waking from her parents’ room. She had to rouse them, then follow her father’s zombie-like tread around the apartment and out the door to their car.

She watched his face in the lines of streetlights, flashes of headlights, and dull glow of early morning as the car moved inexorably to school. Rob’s eyes opened only as far as necessary. His jaw -the entire bottom of his face- hung relaxed and unshaven below drooped eyebrows and tousled hair.

Wil wondered what had kept him up, and what still occupied his thoughts.

In fact, Rob emanated distraction more than fatigue. Although Wil was rarely able to sit quietly around her family, she picked up enough on his odd mood to not ask any questions.

Actually, what really silenced her were the only looks he had given her. Rob had looked at Wil when he first awoke with a sort of shock. The other two times, after he was more alert, his expression seemed sad and -well- distracted.

The only strange event of the evening before had been a letter he’d taken to his bedroom after getting home from work. If her father didn’t explain things by tonight, she was going to have to search for that letter.

Wil was not very sneaky, however, nor very good at finding what people hid.

“Bye, Gwen -er, Mina,” Rob said, as Wil exited the car at the curb.

At that exact moment, Wil was distracted by the vision of Hope walking alone. Maybe Wil wasn’t good at sneaking, but she knew someone talented enough to be listed officially.

 

Continued from Forty-Two (Again).
Keep reading to Forty-Four.