Holy Tango of Literature

By JoCo December 14, 2005

I tip my hat to friend and fellow traveller Francis Heaney, who in addition to being a very clever man who writes music and words and cartoons (and who knit himself a vest at least once), also understands how to work it. Francis has written a book called “Holy Tango of Literature,” a collection of poems and plays that famous poets and playwrights would have written if they had been required to use titles that were anagrams of their names. “Toilets” by T. S. Eliot, “Nice Smug Me” by e. e. cummings, you see what I’m saying. The book is quite funny, and would certainly make a nice Christmas gift for the geek in your life, especially if that geek is you.

Here’s the kicker: dude is giving that shit away! On the internets! In a recent blog posting, Francis links to a pdf and an html version of his book, in the hopes that you will like it and buy it. The eBook is Creative Commons, so you can exerpt and link and talk about it all you want, which I am about to do here. This is “I Will Alarm Islamic Owls” by William Carlos Williams:

I will be alarming
the Islamic owls
that are in
the barn

and which
you warned me
are very jittery
and susceptible to loud noises

Forgive me
they see so well in the dark
so feathery
and so dedicated to Allah


The Almighty Charles says

ModernHumorist had posted a few excerpts around 2001-ish, I suppose? They stopped updating forever ago.

I've always been in love with "Dammit, Dave". I even recorded the voices in order to do an animated version once. That really is an incredible book.

Glenn says

Hahaha. I'm sure the Islamic Owls were delicious, but how will they compare to lobster? Too bad the time-traveller convention already passed, I could have asked them.

Carina says

HEE! I'm a total poetry nerd and this is fabulous! Thanks for sharing this and I will be posting about it on my blog when soon. P.S. Edna St. Vincent Millay is my favorite, and I quite enjoyed My Valentine Isn't Clad.