Bland On Bland – Two Verbs

RRRBBQDay2014_046The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Two Verbs“. (Really Jon? It’s a bit easy…)

Thanks everyone for the calls and especially those of you who showed up at the gig.
It’s really gratifying when a new idea is so well received. This was just so much fun to write and perform
(I even got a smile from Jon)

Also for those of you asked. Yes there will be more

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


King Street.
I was sitting in the squad car watching the flotsam and jetsam spill out of the clubs.
The call came in at 2am.
Another sentence butchered, the third in a week.
Same M.O. as the others – strangled by a dangling participle.

The first victim was discovered in an Armadale Antique shop.
It read “Mahogany Chippendale Drawers, would suit lady with thick legs and brass knockers.”
No one cares about grammar any more.
Most wouldn’t know a heteronym form a homophone.

Later that day we captured a mutilated modifier on the wall of a Hume Highway truck stop.
I’ll never forget that sign
“Chicken Parmiagana $12, Fish and Chips $15, Children $6”
There are some sickos out there.

We had an unconfirmed report of a Full Stop missing from a playground car park.
“Slow Children Crossing”. We searched but found no sign – no fast children either.

I was just about to head to The Lomond for a nightcap when I picked up a Code 26 on the radio.
A group of mixed metaphors had been ambushed by a gang of oxymorons on Chapel Street – I knew their type –strictly lower case, a comma short of a semi colon.
Uniform said there were bodies everywhere.

I raced straight to the scene hoping to arrive before the remains could be disturbed but I was too late.
The consonants had all scattered and someone had emptied their vowels.
It was not a pretty sight.

I rounded up all the words and separated them into nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns and minority groups such as indefinite articles, quantifiers and pre-determiners, and interrogated them one syllable at a time.

Like the rest of the world the force has gone PC – you’re not supposed to profile based on word type anymore, but I’m old school, I call an acronym an acronym – or A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. for short.

Take your nouns for example – they’re all the same, only want to talk about themselves; shallow and predictable.

Pronouns, adverbs – talk big but they’re nothing on their own.

Adjectives – all fluff. A lot of pretty words that spend too much time brown nosing nouns – creepy little crawlers.

But verbs, they’re always where the action is. Where there’s trouble, you’ll find a verb close by.
I don’t trust them – never have.
They lie and they cheat.
They might say “barter’” but they mean “steal”
“Discuss but they mean murder”

After forty years of dealing with lower case scum I can smell a dishonest verb ten paragraphs away and there were two verbs in this lot that smelt worse than an obsolete subjunctive.

Falsify and Swindle.
They tried to pass themselves off as nouns but I was on to them – and they knew if they were caught I’d throw the dictionary at them.

The mood was tense – past, present and future.

Swindle tried to buy me off by grassing a couple of filthy limericks.

I said “Is that a preposition?”
“No” he growled, “that” is a pronoun”
I advised him not to get smart
“But I already got Get Smart on DVD” he replied
“You already “have” Get Smart” I corrected
“I just told you I got it Copper ” he snapped
I was getting nowhere

While I was taking a statement from a sad old cliché, Falsify and Swindle made a break for the Thesaurus.
If they made it inside I’d never see them again.
I hemmed them in with parentheses, but they escaped over the top, taking a comma with them.

The time for punctuation was over.
I realised there’d be collateral damage, but I had no choice.
I sprayed them all with correction fluid.

A lot of good words were deleted that day – honest, hardworking words that had never willingly been anywhere near a Murdoch publication.

There was an investigation, of course.
The sole surviving apostrophe claimed it had been verballed, but there was a big question mark hanging over its credibility. Lucky I hadn’t deleted that as well.

I was cleared but the writing was on the wall – damn graffiti.

I’d always lived by the alphabet – I was happy to watch my P’s and Q’s but I was too old for LOL and 53X.

I took early retirement and now play Sunday’s 4 to 6 at Barney Allen’s in Fitzroy St Kilda with Dave Moll, another ex-detective from the Bad Grammar Squad.

So next time you see a “disabled toilet” ask yourself, “Why doesn’t somebody fix it?”

And remember – Never trust a verb – they’re always up to something.

© Copyright 2015 Ian Bland

Also have a listen to the songs on the New Album “Angel In Reverse

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