The Phil Wells Dot Com

I Got A Big Mouth

Tag: Poetry


This morning @dudesong sent its last tweet.  I set it in motion a year and a month ago and, in 3-hour intervals, it broadcast my entire epic poem to the world for free.

I gave it away because I was sure I couldn’t sell it.  I’d like to be able to tell you that I was being high-minded about my art and that the book wanted to be free.  But, frankly, if I thought I could’ve made money with it I would have tried.

Now I’ve got some distance from it and I feel relieved.  Ultimately a writer wants to be read and I’m glad @dudesong had a following.  Not a nation of followers, but enough.  I think the next step might involve self-publishing, mostly so I can have a copy to keep on my shelf.  I’m still skeptical that anyone except people doing me a favor would want to buy it.


Lewd Dorothy Parker Poems

Good news! I’ve been asked to sign on as a regular contributor over at the blog. I love those guys! I’ll ramble over there and I’ll continue to harass you here as irregularly as I ever have.

My first 2log entry, Lewd Dorothy Parker Poems, is sure to shoot straight up the charts.


Sidewalk Jamming

i started out a small fry, then i grew sky high
8-foot legs and i’m quicker than a drive-by
now i get the stink-eye when i come jammin
blowin thru pedestrians upstream like a salmon
foot soldiers jammed in, sidewalks crowded,
my strut’s tight though, don’t fret about it
tourists all shoutin “young man, slow down,
no need to rush when it ain’t so cold out.”
but i never sold out, i’m quicker than ticketmaster
blasting thru the mob like a red shirt caught a laser blaster
faster than your dad when your mom’s all laid out,
i can’t be slowed down, won’t be played out.
tourists might as well lay down; i walk quick.
so get your family out my way or they can suck my dick
i got women to get done, people to get high,
places i gotta be at, i’m such a popular guy

Slow-Tweeting Dudesong

I know, I know.  Plug plug plug.  You’re sick of hearing about Dudesong, my epic poem translation of The Big Lebowski, already.

But there’s great news!  Now you can read the entire book VERY SLOWLY by following @dudesong on Twitter.  Over the course of months or years, that very Twitter account will broadcast Dudesong one rhyming couplet at a time.  It’s already begun!

Imagine the envy in your friends’ guts when you start retweeting all your favorite passages from my masterpiece which, incidentally, is available for free download in its entirety.

Words Invented To Make Scansion Work In Dudesong

  • benchward
  • balladeen
  • endampment
  • reconvent
  • commosh (short for commotion, rhymes with gauche)
  • scound
  • Dudeward
  • fuddlemasked

Listen to a Dudesong Excerpt

Want to hear me read an excerpt from the book?  That’s what I did for funny man Sam Dingman’s podcast:

That’s right.  I finished the first draft of Dudesong, my epic poem version of “The Big Lebowski”.  The first draft weighs in at 5200+ handwritten lines of rhyming heroic couplets in iambic pentameter.  I’m in the process of typing it all up into a manuscript.  The process is weird, and definitely different from the way I wrote the thing in the first place.  I’m making little tweaks here and there but largely this is just typing and typing and typing.  Still, when it’s done I’ll be able to hit ‘print’ and have a physical actual manuscript of this thing in my mitts.  My groin parts shift just imagining it.

Then there’s the matter of what to do with the manuscript.  I guess the obvious answer is to mail it to everyone.  Licensing agents, literary agents, publishers, journals, bloggers, Jeff Bridges, and anyone else who’ll receive mail.  God only knows whether I’ll be legally allowed to publish the thing for sale.  To tell you the truth, I’d be pretty crushed if I got ceased and desisted.  I want this to be published and distributed.  Not for the money, though money is nice, but more for getting this thing on bookshelves in the big bookstores and placing it in the hands of as many fans as possible.  If I give away free e-books instead of selling this thing, less people will read it.  That’s just how it goes.  I didn’t take a second job and work 8 months for this thing to be some PDF on Bluehost.

I’m stressing about this now but the good news is still that the important part is done: getting the damn thing written.  I like it so far, and I hope lots of people will get to enjoy it.  Wish me luck or, even better, help me get this distributed.  I need helpful fans!

T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” – The Silly Version

Give us streusel, needle pie,
Till the blackbirds have perched atop some guy
And some monkey’s left his poops along the mantle;
Give us trim that’s never seen a chicken’s feets,
Or split its slitted seats
Or bashed its head on pig-iron pantaloons
And big old waitresses on sunny dunes:
Feets that fester like a mold-encrusted jelly bean
That’s tinted yellow-green
That makes me want to puke like I’m a hydrant
Oh Lordy give me power
To chew it back another hour

All the time my girlfriend’s knitting socks
Pattern’d with bears and Goldilocks

A feeble clown that whacked his bike upon the parking deck
A wimpy mime that crashed his cycle in the parking deck
Whooshed his poodle through a firey hoop of whimsy
Published a little guide for sorting speck
Squeezed in his red Corolla a dozen white-faced colleagues
Rolled through the projects, baked a waffle cake
And, syrup rolling down his sodden rayon smock,
Belched ether in the air and shat a rake.

Listen up, you crusty jerks
As the sickly clown goes over falls in swimsuits
Calling his shrink despite the roaming fees
You crusty jerks, you crusty jerks
I’ll stab your stabben faces till my blade’s point is moot
You crusty jerks just stole the wrong guy’s beans
The chili recipe’s in crisis now
As, to the distant north, a baby weans
Jerks that rob and jerks that kill
Some jerks can eat a million stacks of pennies
And a jillion fries from Wendy’s or Benny’s
I’ve crushed my thumb and now must have my pill.

All the time my girlfriend’s knitting socks
Pattern’d with bears and Goldilocks

Listen up, you crusty jerks
My jumpsuit, “It’s on fire!” Ouch. “It’s on fire!”
Your sister lit me up like a funeral pyre
And in two short days I was set to retire —
(Fluffy clouds: “Go through Sears and cut northwest!”)
Diesel gas, dripping aliens bursting through my fancy vest,
A hamster chewing carob, gnashed beneath a wooden chest —
(Goober Grape: “That’s the sandwich spread the kids love best!”)
Have you seen
Ma petite pamplemousse?
Every day I floss incisors and sell gallons of their juice.

There are giant frogs in Jersey, giant frogs —
They are in the attic, the pantry, everywhere,
When I’m tired sometimes I sleep in my boss’s chair
And then she wakes me from my nap and we play Pogs
Till there are icicles in my nasal hair
And in her underwear

When there’s a beagle in your jockeys, kick him out
Those dogs that circle in a hypnotizing way
And when they’ve circled, laying on the floor
That’s when they get the spray
I’ll eat a big bowl of some fish and sauce
Yo, Biggie Smalls for mayor!
And when there’s corn in mama’s chowder, throw it out
If it’s hot, or cold, or mild
(If you eat it, your seed will never bear a child!)
Is it soup from a can
That’s sexier than my hand?
Soup that burns when babies touch, overflown by trout
B.I.G., the rap slayer
My eyes just got the spray.


Did you ever go down south and fry yourself a ham
But shaved the glaze that’s on it in a pan
And saved it for Thanksgiving, frosting granny’s dentures?
You ought to see the way it snows
When the eagles molt their cadmium beaks into cumulus.


A shot of whiskey, my resume, now my career’s at stake!
Chewed-on burnt nuggets
Fatty … Greasy … Opaque butt plug-its,
Spattered on the wall, sending invitations to New York’s elite.
One time, when I combed and plucked and blotted
I charmed a British gal into saying she “fahted”
And then when she licked my eyeballs, kissed my bum,
And when we cut through Sears (north by northwest), she stole a rack of blouses
We got engaged then — and then clicked our mouses;
We have raised a family here in Frisco
And we have trademarked magic Oreos lined with Crisco
And, in short, we both felt dumb.

And can I get a witness, anyone,
Support my job, my calligraphy, my buns,
Ignore my nature trails, ignore my frightening cache of guns,
Can I get a witness,
Who will tell me that my beagle’s not too old
Who will scratch the sciatica from my back
And save it in a death-defying planter
And say: “I am your father, you’re from my balls,
Come praise your daddy’s sack, I still have my sack” —
And sell, haggling euros at the mall.
Your pitch: “These flakes are at least as good as crack
These flakes are just like crack.”

And can I get a witness, anyone,
Will someone testify,
She looks like Gwyneth only taller and with bigger boobs
And she’s a Pisces, and I’m a Virgo, and we’ve seen “The Big Lebowski” a thousand times
And cuddled, and our farts nearly rhyme? —
Get your feet off my trash can or I’ll smash your face!
Just imagine steroid panthers up in this place:
Will someone testify
My butt, contouring the seat beneath my mass,
It smells, “Just like a piece of Bourbon Pie,
Like whiskey baked in pie.”


Shit! I forgot my muffins, left the oven on;
Someone call the fuzz, the firemen too
And bring dalmations, if you know what’s good for you,
And feed my newt, you prat, you vile punk,
Abandonza! It’s good to be the king,
Wafer-thin, spritely, and rectangular
Devour my wages, make the ladies sing;
Alas, my groin, it seems triangular —
My groin, alas, is skunked.

Where’s your hand? … Where’s your hand? …
I feel something moving on my naughty gland.

Does your mother do your laundry? Have you seen Keanu’s wife?
You can climb the tallest mountain if you buy a Ginsu knife.
You’ll excuse me please, I’ve got to take a life.
Your zipper’s down, bro. XYZ.

I can smell your family’s spirit in my pool
Skimming the scum from the surface slicked slime
Looking round longingly for a lime

There’s a monkey in the cockles of my heart
She feeds me little guavas when I’m in town
And makes fart noises on my belly when I lay down.

Writing the Song – Progress Report

I’m coming up on 500 lines written for this epic poem project I’m working on, which has a working title of “the Song”.  The title will change.

I started this project as a preamble to itself about two years ago, after the publication of my first book, Try the Veal.  I took months and months off from the project.  I considered it a false start.  But false starts, once tucked away into drawers, can have a way of nagging at a guy until he picks up the pen and gets cracking anew.

I worry about it.  I don’t know if it’ll be long enough to be published like a novel would.  I don’t know if I’ll even get permission to publish it, as it is a parody of sorts, and the rules regarding parody in literature are inconsistent to say the least.  I write 23 lines or so before my brain demands that I stop and I worry that this is too slow a pace to complete the thing.  Maybe I’ll get better at that with practice.  Maybe this is just what writers go through and it’ll be done and great before I even know it.

Anyway, 500 lines of poetry.  And I used to hate poetry.

Follow Your Doubt

I set off tonight to complete a monumental amount of work on my book.  I had my own ticker tape parade all planned out.  I was going to sit down and crank out page after page and it was going to be marvelous.  When I looked up and needed a break .. I’d completed 17 lines.

And, in short, I was afraid.  Who do I think I am to commit myself to this project?  My taste knows what it ought to be when it’s finally done, realized as a whole.  But some nights I finish my work (the real work that I do) and I see futility and wasted opportunity.  Tim Clark over at Soul Shelter describes it pretty aptly:

Initially inspired, you started out with jaunty step — but now after cresting a few summits you stand and behold innumerable other summits ahead, just as big or bigger than the ones you’ve already struggled to overcome. An icy wind burns at your face, and attainment of your ideal vision seems to recede before you. Reviewing your work so far, you can’t help feeling that the bright thing you meant to create has actually emerged a bit pale. You wonder if you can see your task through to its end, or if you ought to even try.

Fucking A.

In that same post, Tim goes on to resolve this doubt as your judgy mind’s way of discerning your good output from your bad output.  You look up from your progress and it’s doubt that lets you know the good stuff is still churning inside you, waiting to be tapped.  So I’ve got that going for me.

Also, I’ve got a little Buddha on my desktop that tells me one of these  days I’m going to finish editing this monster, mail it off to some guy in khakis, and start getting nervous about what the next project is going to be.  So I should just acknowledge that 17 lines got written and say “That’s how many lines needed to get written this evening.  See you again soon, giant project.”

So yeah, I wrote 17 lines of poetry today and had a good time doing it.  I doubt I’ll ever finish this thing the way I want to, and yet that’s how I know it’s going to be perfect when it’s finished.

Subprime Debt

In 2k1 the Fed did intervene

And low’r’d the int’rest rate to depths obscene.

To 1 percent did Greenspan set the banks

To fix us after all the dot-coms tanked.

At 1%, as you all doubtless know,}

Paying off a debt is a free throw,}

And mortg’ges can be had by all Joe Blows. }

The banks knew this; they opened up their vaults

And loaned their loans to borrowers with faults.

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