metamorphosism.com 2016 St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest

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This year’s contest is finished!
Thanks to everyone who entered.
Here are the winners (I was going to leave them in the comments, but they’re not working for me. Are they broken for you too? Did anyone try to enter and find it impossible? Dang.)
Anyhow.

Third place: Tomas Green
Second place: Tim Rebstock
First place: KayO

Congratulations, everyone and thanks for entering!!

Welcome to the 2016 edition of the metamorphosism.com International Limerick Contest.
Please leave your entries in the comments to this post.
Enter as often as you like.
All participants, new and seasoned veterans, are encouraged to consult the combined FAQ/rules below BECAUSE THEY CHANGE WHILE THE CONTEST IS GOING ON.
No one knows why.
FAQ/Rules

  1. Does it have to be a limerick? YES. The judges are very strict. Google proper limerick form if you are not sure.
  2. How do I enter? POST YOUR ENTRY OR ENTRIES in the comments to this post. Click on comment, or whatever is down there, and add a new comment.
  3. When is the deadline? THE DEADLINE is 14 February 2016
  4. Do you mean 12 midnight on the night of the 13th or midnight on the night of the 14th? And which time zone shall have seisin of jurisdiction? We have had considerably confusion in the past! NINE AM (CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME) 14 February.
  5. Oh by the way, I have a Quince tree on Cranes Lane. I think I should get a multiplier for that fact. OK, BY ALL MEANS. Secret multiplier in place.
  6. Is there a prize? NOT YET but that might change. I have 5kg of quince in my kitchen and hope to make some marmalade and some preserves tonite. UPDATE: I have tried the quince marmalade and it tastes okay so a winner could have a jar of that I guess, but only within Europe because shipping. Not sure about the quince/whisky preserves, haven’t tried that yet so no promises.
  7. Is there a limit to how often I can enter? NO. Enter as often as you like. The more often you enter, the better your chances.
  8. HOWEVER ONLY ORIGINAL ENTRIES ARE ACCEPTED. PLAGIARISM RESULTS IN DISQUALIFICATION.
  9. Can entries be bawdy? YES, absolutely. These are limericks, they can be bawdy, gross, you name it. It’s not required, but it is in the nature of the genre. ALSO: this is for St. Valentine’s Day so points awarded for love/romance/sex-related poetry.
  10. Complaints will be deleted. There is no avenue of appeal. Decisions of the judges are final. Be nice, and have fun, and don’t take this too seriously.
  11. Let’s see, what else? Oh yes.
  12. Bonus points are awarded for inclusion of themes listed below (No limit to how many themes you may include, the more the better):
  13. Limericks written in the voice/evocative of one or more of the following: Sarah Palin, William Gibson, David Foster Wallace, James Joyce, Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip K. Dick, Haruki Murakami, Jorge Luis Borges or George R.R. Martin
  14. Lesser-known philosophers
  15. Discredited or unpopular self-help ideas
  16. Invasive species
  17. Alternatives to neo-liberal capitalism
  18. Uncommon fetishes or obsessions
  19. Authors and/or artists with two first initials, such as H.P. Lovecraft and e.e. cummings
  20. Construction cranes
  21. Quince recipes, or other things one can do with quinces, or quince in general.
  22. NEW ADDITION—>Malheur National Forest, Malheur Wildlife Refuge, etc, including but not limited to recent events in them parts, although that might be low-hanging fruit.
  23. “The Revenant” references disguised such that they are not spoilers.
  24. By entering you grant metamorphosism.com permission to publish your entry electronically on metamorphosism.com, in social media (including but not limited to twitter.com, facebook.com and anything else) as well as in book form, although the latter is REALLY unlikely, without compensation (this is a non-profit venture, and any possible, although unlikely, book would be, you know, for charity most likely).
  25. AS ALWAYS, RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CONSTANT CHANGE DURING THE CONTEST, SO CHECK BACK OFTEN.

Now, get cracking.

Trumpauguration Trump

Trumpways trumpwards-looking, I humbly trumpmit this trumpaguration trump, in the trumps of trumponstrating my trumpfication for the new trumpice of Trumpetary of Trumplish, the trump of which will be to trumpify the Trumplish trumpuage by, where trumpible, trumplacing the first trump of every trump of any trumportance with the trump “trump”.

“My trumplow Trumpericans! Trumpday is a trumpous trump. Trumping here trumpfore you, trumping to you from the trump trumpden of the Trumphouse, I trump to you this: we trumpebrate a trumperful trumptory trumpday. We have trumped those who trumped us, trumpocracy has trumpvailed. And this is trumply the trumpginning. With the trumpport of our trumplies, as soon as we have some, and by trumpselves trumptil then, we shall teach our trumpemies a trumpson, we will trump over there in our trumpforce and trump them back to the Trump Age and they will trump that the Trumpited Trumps of Trump are a trump to be trumpened with. From Trumpifornia to Trump York, Trumpaska, Trumpwaii and Trumpington to Trumpida, the Trumpified Trumps have a single trump: to trump every trump in this sad little trump that we will trump them in the trumping trump, that we will trump them, as the trumpneck said in the trump “Trumpiverance”, “trump like a trump.” Now get back to trump.”

Bifurcation

I woke up, fed the cats, and (here is the innovation) went back to bed for another hour.
Here is one theory of multiple universes: every time you select one of two (or more) alternatives, new universes are created: one in which you did the other thing.
One in which I did not go back to bed, but instead moped around the kitchen for an hour, or went down into my room to write something in a journal.
Or this one: I was standing in front of the Vienna Observatory park making a movie of a tree. A young man nearby waited until I had finished and said, You’re a professor, right? Unfortunately not, I said sadly. (Although we just created an alternate universe in which I am, I did not add.)Undaunted, he asked me if this was the entrance to the Vienna Observatory. I said I believed it was. However it is locked although past opening time, he pointed out (creating an unlocked-gate alternate universe).
I sometimes go for walks in this park, I said, and this is not the first time the gate is locked past opening time. IIRC, there may be another gate up the hill at the other corner, I said.
The young man told me he was to attend an internship for school. Good luck, I said. He left and walked uphill. When I got there (I was dinking around with filters, uploading the film to Instagram) he was nowhere to be seen, and I assumed he had gone in the gate (which was open).
Or this one: in one universe you donate furniture to the Red Cross for refugees, in another you take the furniture apart and drive it to some refugees a friend knows and give it to them personally and you and the refugees and your friends who introduced you carry it up to their apartment (luckily the elevator is working in this universe because they live on the 5th floor) and there you sit amidst a pile of pieces of desk and wardrobe in their living room and realize that, in this universe, you did not think to label the pieces, trusting your memory.
A family of six people watch your every move. Plus two friends and their little boy. ‘No pressure, Mig,’ says one friend.
I took pictures, luckily, you say, unlocking your phone and scrolling through pictures until you find them. In another universe the pictures are really helpful.
You eventually get the desk assembled, or almost – when you are nearly done your wife calls you and informs you you forgot a piece at home. Luckily it is the last piece, so you assemble everything but that, and bring that by the following day.
Also luckily, the refugees are intelligent and observant, and watch you closely, handing you screws right when you need them, or pulling a drawer out so you can tighten a bolt right when you need the drawer pulled out, without you having to say anything.
Forking and forking, good old reality.

Thistles

I had been kind of worried about these thistles this summer. I had meant to shoot them last year but never managed; this year we are having a heat wave and I was afraid it would happen again. Made time this morning though and did a few.

I really like these thistles. I planted them several years ago after someone at the nursery told me local bugs like them. They are popular with wasps and some black and yellow hornet-looking guys; I was surprised no one stung me when I cut a few to put into the vase.

Thistles, F8, 10 seconds, shade, hot day. Reh's new generation collodion

Thistles, F8, 10 seconds, shade, hot day. Reh’s new generation collodion

Thistles. F11, 20 seconds, Reh's new generation collodion, shade, hot day.

Thistles. F11, 20 seconds, Reh’s new generation collodion, shade, hot day.

Thistles. F11, 20 seconds, Reh's new generation collodion, shade, hot day.

Thistles. F11, 20 seconds, Reh’s new generation collodion, shade, hot day.

Thistles. F3.5, 1 second, Lea's portrait collodion, shade, hot day.

Thistles. F3.5, 1 second, Lea’s portrait collodion, shade, hot day.

Thistles. F32, 80 seconds, Lea's portrait collodion, shade, hot day.

Thistles. F32, 80 seconds, Lea’s portrait collodion, shade, hot day. In the top-right corner you can see where the collodion started to dry out – it was thinnest at this spot, and the 80-second exposure was cutting it close in such hot weather. In the lower-left corner is a smudgy area – the plate got dirty before I poured collodion and I tried to clean it off with a paper towel that already had other chemicals on it – developer and silver solution, mostly…

Samsara

Dalai Lama: (puts a drinking glass over a wasp, goes back to chopping up a squash, finishes, gives pieces to wife.)
Mrs. Lama: Thanks, honey.
Dalai Lama: Don’t mention it. (goes into living room, checks facebook)
Mrs. Lama: Did you have anything planned for this wasp?
Dalai Lama: Oh, gee, sorry! I was going to let him go and got sidetracked. (pauses video of moose cooling off in a wading pool)
Dalai Lama: Wow, that looks like I set a booby trap for you, doesn’t it. (Gets newspaper, whips glass off counter onto newspaper, but can’t find wasp.) Er… (Looks around for wasp, spots it on the newspaper, puts glass over it, fumbles glass, catches glass.) Oh. (The glass is devoid of wasp. Looks for wasp. Finds wasp on his arm.) Fuck!
Wasp: (Stings Dalai Lama)
Dalai Lama: Son of a bitch.
Mrs. Dalai Lama: Is it dead?
Dalai Lama: (Rolls up newspaper, swats wasp, which is now on floor) Yes. (Picks up wasp with paper towel, carries out to garbage, stands in front of garbage cans looking back and forth between compostable garbage bin and residual waste garbage bin, opts for the latter.)

Deprivation, isolation, floating

What say the slain?
One day, months ago, during a brief respite from political ranting during a drive into town with Gamma, we listened to a radio program about a sensory deprivation / isolation / floating tank business in Vienna.
“I’ve always wanted to try that,” I said.
Gamma filed that information away neatly and guess what my daughters gave me for Father’s Day?
This is how I found myself sitting on a shady bench in a Vienna cemetery yesterday evening. I was early for my appointment at the Sargfabrik, an apartment complex in Vienna with a theater instead of a parking garage, and down in the cellar a room with a floatation tank.
Floatation (or floating? not sure) tank is what used to be called an isolation tank, and before that sensory deprivation tank.
I prefer sensory deprivation tank, but understand one must market the things.
Like I was saying, I was early as always and took a walk around the neighborhood and disliked the park (too sunny, for one thing, and generally unlikeable, at least yesterday evening, for me, at that spot) so I continued onward and found the cemetery next door and went in and found a shady bench and watched the gravediggers work, and read the dates on the headstones, as one does.
Then I thought, Ah! Cemetery – Sargfabrik, I get it!
I guess the Sargfabrik used to be an actual coffin factory until it was converted into housing.
Then I texted the floating tank guy that I was already in the neighborhood, in case I could get in early, and I did and there I sat, no longer in the cemetery, in the cellar, in a dimly lit, cool room, being orientated.
Epilepsy? he said. Claustrophobia?
Nah, I said.
Goals? Hopes? he said.
Curiosity, I said. Father’s Day.
He looked a little disappointed, (but I might have been making that up, there in the dim light) so I added, maybe get an insight into this deep sadness I lug around all the time that is kinda the mortar holding my world together? Or into this yapping I have been doing with my wife?
Okay, he said. I dunno, he didn’t look real relieved so maybe it really was the dim light after all.
He said he’d knock on the outside of the tank when my time was up, and left.
I took a shower and got into the tank and shut the lid.
I spent a long time getting comfortable which is weird because what could be more comfortable than floating naked in a shallow tub of super dense saltwater in the dark?
But such is life.
I floated there in the dark listening to something hum. Something was fucking humming! What kind of sensory deprivation is this? Maybe it was the ventilation.
More of a buzz than a hum. And not loud, but still.
It wasn’t me.
Then either I got used to it or it stopped.
I listened to my breathing for a while, and to my heartbeat.
After a long, tiring day, I was surprised I did not fall asleep, or even get sleepy. After lunch I had been nodding off at my desk.
I sort of meditated for a while. I hummed a little. My mind was pretty blank a lot of the time.
At some point I woke up, or regained consciousness, or something. So I was out for a while, in one way or another.
Toward the end, trying out different ways of holding my head and comparing relative comfort, I got salt water in both eyes and was really glad the orientator had showed me where the kleenexes were in case that happened. I opened the hatch and wiped out my eyes and closed the lid again and eventually the stinging stopped.
One’s ears are submerged in the tank, so sounds are muffled.
I lay there listening to my heartbeat.
Thump-thump-thump! Then after three thumps it stopped again. Weird, I thought. I tried various positions to hear my heartbeat clearly again like that. Then I did, I heard it again. Thump-thump-thump.
After doing this a few more times I realized it was the guy knocking on the outside of the tank that my time was up.
He went away again and I lay there for a minute, thinking, Well that was an anticlimax.
No jumping out of the tank and running around like a caveman like William Hurt in Altered States. No hallucinations, no epiphanies.
It didn’t even seem all that different from my normal, daily life, I thought.
Then I thought, my normal, daily life is like an isolation tank.
Then I thought, there’s an epiphany for you after all.

Frustration: Guest post by the hobo spider

hobospider

Allow me to
change your life.
Sit there on that
pile of
kindling and
listen.
Put that phone
away for a second
this will not
take long.
If you are like many
people,
frustration
bedevils you. Things
turn out
differently
than you plan or
hope, or intend,
and this
frustrates you.
Someone stands you
up.
A child disobeys.
A feeling is
not mutual.
You following me?
Frustration is
the product of
mistakenly
considering
the imaginary and
the real
to be the same
so when what you imagine
does not happen
you perceive that as a loss
and ignore
what is
in front of your face.
There is no
should.
The real is
all there is.
Examine it closely.
The next time you
find yourself abandoned
on a street corner,
look around for
the unexpected
treasure. The
nickel on the
sidewalk the pretty
clouds. The Sikh’s
moustache.
Watch for the
adventure
chance brought you there
to have. Watch the
city bustle
as it wakes up,
or puts on its lipstick
to go out.
Or goes to bed.
When a child disobeys:
regard the real child, not
the perfect one you had
imagined.
Put your phone away.
The real child is
more interesting
and richer
than anything you
could make up.
Have awe for the
miraculous, and
compassion,
even that in
yourself.
This moment is more than
what you had hoped for.
It is all there is.
That will be two hundred dollars.
You’re welcome.