Monday, January 5, 2009

A Poem–Bzzzt!

I think, by now, that we know what the sound of one hand clapping is.  When Lisa Simpson asked the, essentially rhetorical, zen koan question "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" her brother, Bart, showed us by, in fact, clapping with one hand – his cartoon fingers flapping down against the cartoon heel of his cartoon hand, as he said "Check it out, dude."  It actually works, try it!  

But what is the sound the buzzer on a quiz show makes when you give the wrong answer?  Or rather, how do you spell that sound?  Is it "eieirrhh!" or "mehh!" or "ehh!" ...or, perhaps, "bzzzt!"  Let's say, for now, that it's "bzzzt!"

So, I wrote a poem – yes a poem – the other day.  Blessedly, not much of one.  Very short.  To eradicate any (or most) of the clichés, I've substituted the problem words with the quiz show buzzer "sound."  "Bzzzt!  Wrong word!"  You can try this at home with your favorite poems [excited exclamation point].  For example – and let's capitalize this baby for good measure:  "I wandered lonely as a... BZZZT!"  OK, here goes:

An almost empty book
Hope and... BZZZT! write the... BZZZT!
Pages turn... BZZZT!
The text meanders
Like a... BZZZT!
Glimpsed from a passing train
Between... BZZZT!

For the cruelly curious among you, the BZZZT!ed words are (in order) "promise, story, themselves, brook" and "trees."  I quite like these words on their own, as they make kind of a minimalist poem:


The BZZZT!s also make for a pretty decent poem, and you can spice it up by changing the duration of the individual buzzer soundings:


The buzzer can also be modulated, clipped and made to run into itself:


Hours of fun.  I could go on, really I could.

N.'s making a gratin tonight, yum!  We really are bourgeois bohemians.  Not necessarily the barricade-manning type.  But I suppose we would burn the furniture before we burned any books.


No comments:

Post a Comment