On March 11th last month I got to do a bit I’ve been meaning to do for awhile now: A Vogon poetry reading!
A quick refresher: Vogons are a species of aliens from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” who write poetry that’s so awful that it’s used as a form of torture.
The monthly open mic/poetry event Caffeine Corridor (hosted by the mighty trio of Shawnte Orion, Jack Evans & Bill Campana) had their March show on the 11th, which also happens to be Douglas Adams’ b-day. And so I decided to try this bit out, which involved getting a volunteer from the audience (who was in on it: Ian Murdock, game as always), handcuffing them to a chair, and then reading them two pages of my worst high school poetry (Or in this case I read a poem that wrote to intentionally be as bad as my high school poetry… but not as bad- I’m not THAT sadistic). I gave Ian a safeword (“Tomato”) that he could say at any point to get me to stop reading.
He lasted a full page before saying the word. The last zinger on the whole routine is that I ignored the safeword and kept reading (The gag reveal at the end is that he wasn’t pronouncing it right: He kept saying Toe-May-Toe when the safeword was actually pronounced Toe-Maw-Toe).
And so now, submitted for your disapproval, is the piece of Vogon poetry I read last month. If it feels at any point like one of your internal organs is trying to crawl up your throat and strangle your brain, don’t be alarmed: That’s a totally normal response to poetry this dire.
Ode to Zarathrusta Baby
Sometimes I wonder
If I was Nietzsche in a past life
Strolling through the world as an intellectual giant
With a walrus mustache
And the heart of a lion
Oh, how hard it is
To have no one understand you
To be a man who is an island
In search of an archipelago
And you, my sweet rose, look like a land mass
I could tectonic drift into
Let us merge our jagged coastlines
Into a Pangea of eternal love
I’ll give you monkeys
And you can give me toucans
And together we will get drunk on pineapples
Won’t you be my lady?
Your heart is a bottomless abyss
If I gaze into it
Does it gaze into me?
If I fight your monsters,
Will I become them?
Let me be your Superman
And you can be my Lois Lane
And no kryptonite
Will keep me from your arms
I’ll leap tall buildings in a single bound
To bring you flowers
And move faster than a speeding bullet
To kiss your lips
Don’t you dare say maybe
Oh how I wish I could be Nietzsche again
I want to be your superhero philosopher poet supreme
and get a doctorate in philosophy
By studying the metaphysics written on your hand
And the epistemologies recorded on your lips
We could take long walks in the Alpines
Listening to Morrissey
And see the face of God
Reflected in a bead of dew
Rolling off the petals of a chrysanthemum
See how the sunflowers bow before us!
We are gods
We are glorious creatures
Beyond good and evil
Of course they would follow our steps
Who could tear their gaze away from the march
Of Nietzsche Born Again
Arm in arm with his Zarathustra Baby?