I read an interview with Mort Drucker in a magazine while my mom got her hair cut. The interview came out around the same time as the issue of MAD Magazine that featured Stand Butt Me.
On the meeting of our waking seasons
I talked a peace with the man deceased
Drowsy and confused with reasons
She spilt the steeped tea that scalded me.
In the interview, aside from the questions and answers not being funny, Mort Drucker gave an answer that dissolved my feeling of security and rightness in the world.
Weâ€™d shared a plate of matzo and ham
Atop a borrowed table laid over his rock
Sheâ€™d meant nothing when enchanting me
A looking spell walked on our resolve to talk
He said he would go to the movies and crack up laughing. Not at the jokes or scenes in the movie but rather at the things he was planning to do with it when he got to work on the parody.
We consoled the urgent would-be widow
Alone, love weary with her, we took our fill
Cloaking the light that pried at her window
Together, I cast on the night for lamps to kill
After that, I couldn’t help but watch movies and think of the parody that would be made from it. For a long time it was that way. I wanted to just enjoy the movies so I stopped reading MAD. That only made it worse. Instead of thinking of how Mort Drucker would parody the movie, I started just making the scenes in my head. The jokes became mine. Then it got worse. I stopped needing movies to find my jokes. For a while it was music, then advertising. Finally it got really bad and I started to see parody in my family.
For the impersonated father figure
Inwardly, I wished for justice and revenge
She grumbled hatred in the crying pool
As we drew out her poison with a syringe
I moved out and founded my own family. As the reality of dirty diapers and spoiled milk set in, the parody wore thin. What I was left with was a sense of the power of words. One sentence from a man I’d never met shaped the course of my life. Thank you Mort Drucker. Fuck you Mort Drucker.
I grieved with dark guilt thick as pitch
Dying on my back with the weight and sighs
In our tryst with our sated fickle witch
Deflated we shrank to begging fate with lies
I traded with the man and took the grave
Dreaming again I composed my words
His tired body threw back the pen
I canâ€™t make fun anymore and laugh.
0 thoughts on “Going MAD”
I don’t really know what to say about this except that it really intrigued me. A lot actually. Competing voices, both in content and structure. I really need to read it a few more times to get deeper into it, but in the meantime, damn good job Halifax. Seriously.
Yeah, i know. He says he’s a beginner poet not that talented but i think that’s bullshit. If so, there’s a natural ability coming out here not to mention polished editing which takes so much patience. The modesty is nice, though.
‘Poetic’ part of poem written mostly with ABAB rhyme scheme with some variation accompanied by lines of iambs ranging from 4, 4 1/2, 5, 5 1/2, to 6 beats keeping it unpredictable and interesting.
Funny, a couple days before this poem posted, i cleaned out my closet and found a stack of Mad, Crazy, and Cracked from circa 1981 era when i was kid…mostly i loved the Spy vs. Spy but would read the parodies sometimes. And yeah, that is a very good point made in the poem with the ‘contagious effect’ that comes with parody. I get that with all the ‘Scary movie’ ‘Epic movie’ ‘Not another Teen Movie’ series that i like to a certain degree then i have to pull back and go watch a Miramax flick.
Gratzi! Or as the spambots would say: even airplane soars waterfall kayak crazy eggdropsoup buffet flag plebian storage stallion mad wanders trolley San Francisco riceoroni fell 5th floor cracked.
Bullshit makes the flowers bloom.
I only submit my work here and I have only been writing poetry since I joined the site (aside from the usual angsty-teenage garbage from highschool). My meat-bound last name is Haggard. I found the site in a google search of my last name. The first time I joined I called myself “mendacious”. I only submitted a couple of things. I lost my login password too many times and just reregistered.
This poem is me reflecting on two forces that led me through to adulthood.
This site has been such a great outlet for me. I get hosting for my ramblings, feedback from other poets, and constructive progressive practice in creative writing. I will get over and hit the donations feeder bar.
Thank you Fogman and Quasimofo. Your comments are appreciated.
the dialog here is superb, the story engaging, tight yet loose enough for the reader to get lost in the words.
i love to see unique styles creating a new fold in the mix,