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1998 Verde/NYPD Death Pool: Haiku Korner

Welcome, Wanderers

Look! Last in/first out:
Collected Death Pool haikus
Read them, and enjoy.

Jessica, awesomely unbothered by my insensitive notification of her petlessness, writes:

Jed will be missed... come visit Guthrie, who I bought to take his place the day after I found out Jed passed away. Thanks for memorializing him in the Death Pool. Here is a haiku that I think is fitting. It's titled:
FOR THE SIAMESE FIGHTING FISH THAT USED TO LIVE IN MY SUITE AND WHO DIED WHILE I WAS HOME WITH PNEUMONIA BECAUSE HE MISSED ALL THE ATTENTION AND BECAUSE HE WAS GETTING OLD AND SIAMESE FIGHTING FISH ONLY LIVE A YEAR OR TWO ANYWAY AND THOSE YEARS ARE SPENT IN A DISTORTED GLASS EXISTENCE SEPARATED FROM HIS OWN KIND FOR THE PLEASURE OF OTHERS:
Rainbow head and tail
Swim no more on planet earth:
Farewell, Jed, Farewell.

(Eerily, both the title and the haiku itself could be applied equally well to Boris Yeltsin, if you substitute "Russian President" for "Siamese Fighting Fish.")

Perennial duckpin champion Elizabeth "Toots" Barger, 85, died September 28. She was Baltimore's preeminent athlete until Johnny Unitas came down the pike:

Queen of the Duckpins,
Elizabeth Barger's dead.
We love dames named Toots.

British actor Marius Goring, 86, and chanteuse Quebecoise Pauline Julien, 70, both died September 30:

Goring, Julien:
Famous in foreign lands, but
Unknown to us Yanks.

Former California Angels owner Gene Autry, 91, joined a different group of angels on October 2:

Singing Cowboy dies:
Gene Autry will never be
Back in the saddle again.

Get your paws off me, you dirty ape: Roddy McDowall, 70, the rare child actor able to achieve adult success, died October 3:

Lassie come home now
To the Planet of the Apes:
Rowdy Roddy's dead.

Myron Scott, 91, creator of the Soap Box Derby, and the guy who named the Chevy Corvette, died October 4:

Crazy Buckeye coot
Thought up the Soap Box Derby;
Named the Corvette; croaked.

Margaret Mary Ray, 46, David Letterman's and Story Musgrove's stalker, committed suicide this past Monday:

Mary Ray, you can
Stalk Letterman, Musgrove; you
Oughtn't stalk a train.

And on Tuesday Mark Belanger, defensive shortstop supreme for the 1965-81 Baltimore Orioles, died of lung cancer at 54:

Birds' Mark Belanger:
Latter-day Maranville and
Tobacco victim.

And on Wednesday there was, if not a celebrity death, then at a minimum the passing of one who was much admired in the Real Time office. All Death Pool participants who have a Siamese fighting fish named Jed take one step forward. Uh, Jessica, not so fast. Or, to express it poetically...

Step up if you own
A Thai fighting fish named Jed--
Jessica, step down.

1. Haiku for Deceased Funny Man

We mourn the comic,
Risible expatriate.
Wolf Mankowitz: Dead.

Yes, writer Wolf Mankowitz, 73, author of the screenplay for "Casino Royale" and several very funny novels, died May 20.

Another funny expat, Canadian Phil Hartman, died horribly recently at age 49. I'm glad we didn't see this coming. On the other hand, first Sinatra, now Hartman... dare we hope that Piscopo might be next to go?

2. Haiku for Deceased Extremist Politico

"Wait a minute, Leon. Shouldn't I be on the right?"
"Extremism in the defense of the worldwide revolution of the Proletariate is no vice, Comrade Barry."

Ever on the fringe,
Trotskyism's last, best fan:
Frank Lovell's been purged.

Frank Lovell was one of the last of the old-line Trotskyists, a writer and editor who died May Day (of course) at age 84. There were never many of of these guys to begin with, and now there's one fewer.

Tuesday the wires reported that Barry Goldwater was near death. Wednesday his wife vociferously denied the reports. He died Friday 5/29 at 89. I look forward to the widow's apology (or explanation -- Walt thinks she mixed up the phrase "He's healthy" with "He has less than 24 hours to live"). Goldwater's politics aren't mine, but I have immense respect for anybody who, as did Barry, describes Richard Nixon as "the most dishonest man I ever met."

3. Haiku for Bo & Linda's Better (?) Half

Husband/svengali
To talent-bereft women:
John Derek's defunct.

Who will tell Bo that John died last Friday at age 71? And will she understand? "10" is her IQ, right?

4. Birthday Haiku for Bob Hope

Now you're 95.
How can we catch Dan Davis
If old guys don't croak?

Dan's trash-talking haiku reply:

Bob Hope's on my list
When he croaks, I get points, too
Give it up, suckers.

It generated this haiku from JS:

Thanks very much, Dan.
Was worried we were getting
Too high-brow, Spellman.

FWD>"Can't stop laughing" or, "Haiku, back at you"
Date: 5/29/98 5:08 PM
From: MSull@manu.com

You've outdone yourself!
Jack, you are the writing king
Thoughtful, funny too

-Mike

Haiku Reinterpretation of a Childhood Rhyme (for Mike and SMK):

Mike and S-M sit,
Arboreally lip-locked:
Death Pool rumor's true!

It is time for you to go, Grasshopper.