Cephalopod Awareness Day

I missed it (by Australian time). October 8th was International Cephalopod Awareness Day. Not having much time, I've collected some of the cephalopod poems I'd written for PhaWRONGula.

An Awdl Gywydd for Pharyngula: Firefly squid

Skin-deep creatures, rage the night,
Flaunt your brightness to excess;
Flashing features, star-like, proud,
Show the crowd your nightclub dress.

A Lehrerian tango for Pharyngula: More cephalopod art

Dim the lights for a tantric temptation;
Feel this rhythm of writhing elation;
Great Ones watch us askance as the night bids us dance
And the music demands the tentacle tango.

All alone in your tank, are you sighing?
Let me taste every tear that you're dyeing;
Feel the lure of my charms; leave your marks on my arms;
Come to me, and we'll trip the tentacle tango.

As I fondle each sensuous sucker
Is it out of the question to pucker?
Your rapturous grip makes each dance step a trip
When we dance, beak to cheek, the tentacle tango.

Though my friends say I'm wasting my life on
A wet bag with eight legs and a siphon,
Still I'm lost without trace in your tactile embrace
Every time we attempt the tentacle tango.

A limerick for Pharyngula: Cirrate octopus

They're luminous, leggy and lissome,
In diaphanous drag. Don't dismiss 'em.
You see, I'm a sucker
For 'podes when they pucker,
But I can't find the courage to kiss 'em.

And some double-dactyls:

Re: Pharyngula: "los diablos rojos"?

Tabloid Canadian
Libels the Humboldt with
Fishermen's tales,

Marking himself as a
First to be food when the
Old one prevails.

Re: Pharyngula: Cephalopod gnashers

Two-spot the octopus
Suckers his snacks with his
Tangly physique,

Munching his meals with a
Chitinous crab-opening
Muscle-bound beak.

Re: Pharyngula: God hates squid

Answers in Genesis
Claims that an octopus
Is not alive;

This is great news, 'cause their
Lore will allow undead
Squid-men to thrive.

Re: Pharyngula: Florid squid prose

Gigas (Dosidicus),
Migrating north from its
Home in the deep,

Causes reporters to
Paint purple prose while the
Old guy's asleep.


Researcher Cramer (John)
Thinks we can change our own
History now

Using the physics of
Plans from the future to
Tell himself how.

[Edit from later on: 

This edit is one that I'm writing retrospectively from January 1st, 2009.

Is it me composing the message? I'm copying it from the text that's already there and has been there since October 2006. The words feel like my thoughts, still new even though they're so familiar. They're fresh because I'm experiencing them as the writer, not the reader. The gulf of meaning between sender and receiver, bridged by frail text, is visible now. When I first read my words, I had no clue how I would be (am) feeling now.

As I write, I know that I must write it, because it's already there, and I assume that I wasn't (am not) lying to myself about the date. It's the strongest compulsion I've ever felt. I keep pausing, toying with the idea of stopping, breaking causality, even though I know it can't be broken, but I just can't stop myself. I can stop myself from eating one more chocolate. I can stop myself from blinking in bright sunlight. But I don't have the willpower to leave this entry incomplete. I must finish and activate "RetroEdit".

Part of it must be fear of losing control. If I stop myself, then someone else must be responsible for this addendum, because I've seen it published on my blog. If I'm not to complete it, then someone else wrote it, either in real time or in retro. Who could've hacked my account? Who would want to post on it? A FriendOfVirge playing mind games? Once I've posted it, I've restored my illusion of control.

Or perhaps I am going to be self-deceitful. Maybe I'll succeed in stopping myself, but come back in a day or two to do it anyway. How long can I stand this self-induced tension between will and reality? Can it continue to feel as crushing as it does now, taking all of my concentration, draining my determinism in one stupid defiance? Even as I plan to delay posting, I find that I'm still entering the text. Can this discrepancy be maintained indefinitely, based on the sure knowledge that it must eventually be resolved? Will my life be extended pending closure of this retrocausal loop? Will stubborn denial send me completely insane? Maybe my perceptions and memory are already distorted, and I've imagined this post for the last couple of years. If I stop myself, will it become a false memory of an action I never executed.

Time will tell, will have told, will be telling. 

End edit from later on.]

Talking of Tentacles

Two betentacled double dactyls (crossposted from PhaWRONGula):

Two-spot the octopus
Suckers his snacks with his
Tangly physique,

Munching his meals with a
Chitinous crab-opening
Muscle-bound beak.

Tabloid Canadian
Libels the Humboldt with
Fishermen's tales,

Marking himself as a
First to be food when the
Old one prevails.

Packbawkies with friends in high places

Guðmundur Arason,
Bishop of Hólar and
Abseiling ace,

Cut short his job as a
Graciously granting the
Wicked their place.

I've been reading a book of Icelandic folk and fairy tales (thanks Sigga). I found the tale of the consecration of Drangey's cliffs amusing. Superstition had built up around the deaths of experienced bird-catchers who worked the sheer cliffs. Guðmundur Arason "the Good" (1161-1237) set out with his holy water and a crack crew of clerics to fight the fearsome forces of evil, working from the foreshore, from a boat, or suspended from the tops of the cliffs where necessary. During one bold belayed blessing, a grey hairy hand emerged from the rock and started to slice his rope with a sabre. A voice told him to bless no more, since the wicked needed a place of their own, too.

Seeing the bishop had a double-dactyllic name, I had to write a double-dactyl for him.

Fire ants in your pants

Cross-posted from PhaWRONGula: Wasmannia auropunctata. Those fire ants sure do have interesting ways to pass on their genes. Read Pharyngula: Clone war of the sexes first.

Diploid queen fire ants
Clone themselves daughters to
Be the next queens,

Giving them life via
No need for males to get
Into their genes.


Haploid male fire ants
Stoically cope with a
Karma to spurn,

Living their history of
Roots—a glass ceiling but
One that won't burn.

Scam vs scam

Teresa at Making Light "actually managed to come up with a poem so bad that the International Library of Poetry ... neither declared it to be a semifinalist in one of their contests, nor offered to publish it in one of their pricey yet unreadable anthologies."

How? By sending one example of spammy scam as a poetry submission to the scammers. I know it's possible that it was automatic spam blocking that blocked her submission, and that her poem could have otherwise won critical acclaim and been featured in one of their prestigious publications, but to manage to get any verse rejected in any way is an achievement.

Inspired by Teresa's efforts I wondered if I could summarize her "poem" in a double-dactyl.

Miriam Abacha,
Widow of former
Nigerian chief,

Seeks your assistance to
Hold thirty mil for her
Family's relief.

Revenge of the Smith

As PZ Myers points out in Obligatory Sithiness we're looking at an overload for the irony meter here. (Cross posted from PhaWRONGula.)

Orson Scott Card-castle
Pokes at religions the
Movies reveal,

Then as a Mormon he
Notes that the Jedi Force
Cannot be real!

End of a Space Opera

Star Wars Episode III.

Surreal scenery. Scintillating cities. Sensational stunts.

Script sucked.

See spoiler.

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