From My Commonplace Book - 11

Dim Lady

by Harryette Mullen

My honeybunch's peepers are nothing like neon. Today's special at Red Lobster is redder than her kisser. If Liquid Paper is white, her racks are institutional beige. If her mop were Slinkys, dishwater Slinkys would grow on her noggin. I have seen tablecloths at Shakey's Pizza Parlors, red and white, but no such picnic colors do I see in her mug. And in some minty-fresh mouthwashes there is more sweetness than in the garlic breeze my main squeeze wheezes. I love to hear her rap, yet I'm aware Muzak has a hipper beat. I don't know any Marilyn Monroes. My ball and chain is plain from head to toe. And yet, by gosh, my scrumptious Twinkie has as much sex appeal for me as any lanky model or platinum movie idol who's hyped beyond belief.

In poem after poem in her collection Sleeping with the Dictionary Harryette Mullen (American, born 1953) plays with language. Compare "Dim Lady" with the Shakespeare's Sonnet 130:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.


One of my favorite Shakespeare sonnets.....:) - turning the tables on the themes of romantic love in his day....

How funny this line is......

If Liquid Paper is white, her racks are institutional beige. (!)

Nice to laugh at poetry :)
I'm glad you had some fun reading these. Thanks, Cort, for your interest.
Great :) Thanks for posting both poems Merry.

I like this line, it made me smile:
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
Because, the pre-industrial era English are so famous for their bad teeth and such (you see it in movies, they embellish it...this stereotype....) perhaps his mistress' breath smelled like bacon and turnips... LOL anyway...
Am I right to think you two prefer funny poems?

Nico, a number of times in history books I've read that Native Americans considered the Europeans dirty, disgusting. I read somewhere (don't know if it is true - don't remember the source) that Queen Isabella sent word to the New World that the Natives were to stop bathing because she considered bathing unhealthful. "Unhealthful" doesn't sound right. Is that a word? Can't think. Better go to bed.

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