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the dog ate my mother's toes: a dave barry meme

Oy. So much I want to write about today and the pile of work atop my desk has not cooperated by just disappearing like I asked it to.

Let's start with a little time waster that's making its way around the blogs, via Dave Barry.

Dave wants us all to send poems to Poetry.com. There's a reason and, as is always with Barry, it's a goofy little scheme of a reason.

But first, a poetry anecdote.

I was an aspiring poet when I was young. Weren't we all? When I was in ninth grade I came across the National Anthology of Poetry or something similar to that. Very distinguished sounding. Very prestigous. Right? Well, no.

I entered one of my bleeding heart poems about the Vietnam War or nuclear power or saving the whales, I don't remember which. It was accepted! I received a very official looking letter on very official looking letterhead with a very official embedded watermark on it and I rejoiced. Until I saw the official forms that came with that acceptance letter. You had to officially purchase the book that your poem was in, with official money.

Even in my ninth grade frame of mind, I knew this was fishy. Basically, they would accept any poem as long as you sent the "entry" fee and bought a hard covered, bound volume of the Anthology. I knew without even thinking about it twice that the book would contain enough bad poetry to make even a Hallmark card writer cringe. And I was paying them to publish my poem! No deal. I was disheartened, disillusioned and disgusted. A lot of disses there. I gave up on idealistic poetry and began writing dark, brooding free verse. I was goth before there was goth.

Anyhow, Poetry.com looks to be more of the same official looking contest, with an official looking prize given by an official looking site:

So anyway, this blog was just thinking how interesting it would be if a whole bunch of people submitted poems that contained a certain key poetic phrase. To see how it might work, this blog submitted a poem under the pen name of "Freemont A. Harkins," entitled: "A Sad Day." Here's how it goes:

A Sad Day

i am sad, so very sad
the tears run down my nose
it was a happy day until
the dog ate mother's toes

Then he says:

Wouldn't it be fun if a lot of people submitted poems using a Pen Name that began with "Freemont" and incorporating the phrase, "the dog ate mother's toes"? Then we all could search for poems written under the first name of "Freemont" -- currently, this blog is the only one -- and see how creative everybody was!

So of course, I'm game. For this one, I used a goth poetry generator and just inserted the appropriate line.


the night falls as if slain by the sun, cold and alone are we.
the god for which you sacrifice yourself
flares once, then dies,
crushed by a velvet ebon nothingness.
all hope must surely perish

your soul thrives no more.
how could you cause such hurt, you damn, dog?
demons surround us, crying out
the dog ate my mother's toes!
the dog ate my mother's toes!
we are fallen

Penned in blood by Freemont Gahan

Now, go submit yours, and come back here with the title and your pen name so I can go look it up later.

UPDATE: That was fast. You can find my poem here.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference the dog ate my mother's toes: a dave barry meme:

» Poetic Activism from Musings From The Imperial Senate
Dave Barry wants a campaign of poems submitted to Poetry.com of poems that include the phrase "the dog ate my mother's toes" and are penned by Freemont (insert fake name here). I saw this over at A Small Victory, on... [Read More]

» Me mum & me dad from Sperari: Taking 20.
"My offering:":http://www.poetry.com/Publications/display.asp?ID=W9376492&BN=999&PN=1 Me mum & me dad by Freemont R. J. W. Jackson. (Via "Michele":http://www.asmallvictory.net who found it "here":http://www.davebarry.blogspot.com/2003_07_01_davebar... [Read More]

» Freemont U. Peckerwood from Sanity's-Edge
I am Freemont U. Peckerwood. My Mentor Has No Beret My soul is soaked in urine for my mentor has no beret. I pine and wander lonely, for my mentor has no beret. The snows of Kilimanjaro have melted and... [Read More]

» Poetry anyone? from A Single Guy In The South
My Freemont poem about Max Tucker entitled "A Tale of an 'Anti-ho' Ho" [Read More]

» Dave Berry Ate My Mother's Toes from resurrectionsong
I couldn't help but join in the fun (and, damnit, I can write bad poetry with the best of 'em).... [Read More]

» I Am So-o-o-o Ashamed of Myself from blogoSFERICS
There's a new blogfad, this one originating with Dave Barry and explained further by Michele. My submission is here --... [Read More]


Unfortunately, you can't link to individual poems: you bounce back to the front page.

My entry is under Freemont Xavier Spoonsworth.

The whole line of toe poems is hilarious. Dave Barry is a freak.

Mine is titled "Dreary Day" by Freemont Tee

Ha! The Goth Poem generator rocks!

My poem is here:

Freemont Glasya

A Meme I can get behind. Search for Freemont E. Hall and his epic work, "Misery Mine."

Ick, my trackback came out all mangled. Ah well. Um, mine's under Freemont R. J. W. Jackson, called "Me mum & me dad".

My Mentor Has No Beret, by Freemont Peckerwood.

Kid Stuff, by Freemont Fomenter. It's a limerick.

mine is "the modification of one helpless entity" by Freemont F.M. Montfree.

Canine Abyss By Freemont B. Deseratue. My best work ever!

I wrote three.

"Yum," "Haiku," and "First Grecian Urn: Tragedy" all by Freemont Grae.


Mendicanticus Eroticus by Fullbright C. Freemont of Fremont, California contains all the elements of great bad poetry: autumn, suicidal thoughts, broken hearts and a gratuitous non-sequitur.

That is the best idea I've heard in a really long time. I'm in. :)

I, too, went through the brief excitement of "hey, they want to publish my stuff!" Then, I got fishy -- I sent in a good poem, and they wanted it. I sent in a mediocre poem, and they wanted that, too. Then, I looked at the first thing my eyes rested on (a stack of milk crates, as it turns out) and wrote the most misterable piece of less-than-20-line shit ever -- and they wanted that, too. Definitely a sham, the NLP/ISP. Oh, did you get the ISP stuff, too, the International Society of Poets, where they'll let you in and let you pay lots of money to go to their convention, plus then they send you fliers offering to put your poem on a plaque, send you a recording of a professional poetry reader reciting your poem, etc.? It's nuts how much shit they'll try to sell you.

Any "Animal House" fans?

Limericks are better than prose
I thought while picking my nose
Well, that's it
"Sneaky little s..."
And my dog ate my mother's toes.

Freemont C. Niedermeyer

I sent in many Freemont poems, but all of them got removed except one, by Freemont A. B. C. D. E. F. G. Flobadob, called 'Family'. This is the best one I wrote:

Beloved Toes

by Freemont Freemontie Freemontgomery

The church bells ring as we hold the coffin
Every chime seems to cry out, 'Toes!'
My mother weeps as she bids goodbye
To her pericombobulous artifacts


Buster's vomit lies, motionless, on velvet
Regurgitated toes!
It's strange how a few knobbly things
Can mean so much to your mother


Buster, of course, has been put down
So he wouldn't eat my mother's fingers
Yet I still find it hard to believe
The dog ate mother's toes