Another Text for *SpongeBob Studies*: A New On-line Degree at Stalactite Chandelier University


I’m back in NYC and have noticed that, by far, most people have found this blog via search engines because they were looking for things related to that smiley, yellow porifera and that my most popular post (it’s gotten twice as many hits as any other post) is “SpongeBob SquarePants and the Value of Bad Poetry.”

So—in the spirit of SpongeBob and poetry, and to shamelessly inflate my wordpress statistics—I’d like to present a poem from Poetry State Forest (2008), Bernadette Mayer’s most recent collection:

Inky-Dinky Parlez-Vous: Variations on SpongeBob SquarePants

here people steal spongebob squarepants
from the tops of burger kings
& throw them in the hudson river, i guess they think
love is moral, even legal
is this the sign of an incipient depression?
see the water-lily moon

here people steal
spongebob squarepants
from the tops of burger kings
& throw them in the hudson river
to prove perhaps
that love is moral, it’s legal
for burger king to exist &
to put a spongebob on it
but it’s not legal to steal it
is this the sign of depression?
or of incipient water-lily moon?

The title of Mayer’s poem is a line from the famous WWI marching song “Mademoiselle From Armentieres.” Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to link SpongeBob, war songs, and this excerpt from a recent Rain Taxi review of Poetry State Forest:

“Grasping at the significant, or ‘getting it,’ doesn’t seem Mayer’s aim with Poetry State Forest. Instead, human camaraderie is the issue at stake. Yes, the poetry is untidy, but readers who invest the time will find tame pathways among the trees, and, in this poet’s voice, damn fine company for their wooded strolls.”

Such an essay would make a suitable master’s thesis for the SpongeBob Studies degree… I look forward to your responses!

~ by Michael Leong on August 30, 2009.

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