Let’s Begin Poetry Appreciation 2011 With A Bang:

Two Poems Containing The ‘****’ Word Seven Times


by Vassilis Zambaras

“Bukowski# Strikes Again”


There is and there is not
A right way to write

A poem—

Which is like saying
Excuse me if I’m wrong but

Would it be all right
If I just say “**** it”?

“Blasphemous Intimations of Mortality”##

Was wirst du tun, Gott, wenn ich sterbe?###
—Rainer Maria Rilke


You ****,

I keep telling this
Fly around my head,
Take a flying ****,
**** you. But when

I die, dear God,
Who will ****

The fly? You?


spleen on the fly####

Oh, yeah?

You want some ****in’
Dead meat?

I’ll give you some,
You cocky mother

**** her, God
I done

Swat her,

Zambaras Woodcut Icon

Vassilis ZambarasMELIGALAS, Greece—(Weekly Hubris) 1/3/11—I don’t know about you, but if I were the Publishing-Editor of this here enterprise, right about now I’d be having second thoughts about having signed on this irreligious—perhaps even pagan?—poet hailing from the Greek boondocks; perhaps right about now, I’d actually be entertaining thoughts of taking his name off the masthead or, better yet, just taking his head off with a yataghan, cutting it into four pieces and spiking each on a four-masted schooner as a caveat for all those Puritan poetasters who think poetry should be a decent and wholesomely enjoyable vessel, something like a teapot without the tempest and, certainly not a container overflowing with nasty verbal excrement fit only for the dirty mouths of filthy guttersnipes. (****ing a, that was a mouthful!)

Having written all that juvenile nonsense, the footnotes accompanying the two poems above refer the readers to four remarkably different poets: Charles Bukowski, William Wordsworth, Rainier Maria Rilke, and Charles Baudelaire—each one practicing his art to the best of his ability.

If anybody out there gives a flying **** about all this and wants to find out which of the four was the most accomplished practitioner and/or who had the dirtiest mouth, I’d appreciate their writing and telling me so; in the meantime, here’s wishing all of you a great, ****ing 2011!

Footnote # “****ing Barfly”

Footnote ## “What will you do, God, when I die?”

Footnote ### “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”

Footnote #### “Paris Spleen”

Publishing-Editor’s Note: One of my very favorite poem sequences is Yeats’s (William Butler, that is) so-called “Crazy Jane” poems, which I was assigned to “discuss,” in front of my class, as a 15-year-old university freshman. My professor, a wild Irishman, had an evil sense of humor, and hoped I’d die of embarrassment. Boy had he picked the wrong teenager! “And Love has pitched his mansion in the place of excrement,” reads one of Yeats’s rolling phrases, and how I relished explaining that to a roomful of University of Georgia English majors (see below for entire poem). I would, also, refer O Kyrios Zambaras to my own collection of poems, The Crowded Bed, which beats about no four-poster in its ruminations upon our universal embodied condition. So, search not here for your prudish censor, Oh, Vassili! And don’t think I don’t know you’re just trying to find a way out of your WeeklyHubris deadlines!

“Crazy Jane Talks With The Bishop”

by William Butler Yeats

I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
‘Those breasts are flat and fallen now,
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.’

‘Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,’ I cried.
‘My friends are gone, but that’s a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart’s pride.

‘A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.’

Vassilis Zambaras According to such reliable inside sources as The Weekly Hubris’s Publishing-Editor, VazamBam aka Vassilis Zambaras is all of the following, and more, in an order no one can vouchsafe as definitive: a publishing poet who writes every day of his life; a hugely successful father (and a not-so-very-successful local political candidate); a professor of English as a Foreign Language, with portfolio; a Renaissance Man of many skills, useful and not-so; a fount of information about his particular corner of his birth country; an unstable and utterly unique mix of Greek and American, American and Greek; and the man fortunate and wily enough to have made off with Messenia’s loveliest and most talented local daughter as his child bride. Besides being all the aforementioned, other more dubious sources have also reported seeing him hanging out at the corner of—in the guise of a “new old kid on the blog, with an occasional old or new poem written off the old writer’s block.” Author Photo: Pericles Boutos


  • eboleman-herring

    Apologia to Vassilis’s Readers: Sorry, folks. Poetry is notoriously difficult to format, and we’ve had the dickens of a time getting it even close to the way it should be this week. Vassilis’s editor, a poet herself, has chewed off the heads of many typesetters, then art directors, for misplacing a space or a comma. THIS time, we screwed up the footnotes, which is why they appear above as #, ##, ### and ####, because the editor is a doofus when it comes to WordPress’s software. Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me. I promise to do better next time, Vassili!!!! eb-h

  • Vassilis Zambaras

    Thank you Elizabeth for spending so much of your time trying to format these two poems: You are hereby forgiven for your footnotes but not for your spacing:

    I keep telling this
    Fly around my head,

    Take a flying ****,
    **** you. But when

    there are so many other more important matters to tend to, who gives a you-know-what about poetry?

  • eboleman-herring

    A lot of us, apparently. Your last column garnered over 500 readers just on FaceBook. Who knew THAT about FaceBook readers?!