Ferdinand the Freestyler

Angela Jackson is the Poet Laureate of Illinois and Jacqueline Jackson is a poet frequently published by Illinois Times.

As I sit here chillin’ and relaxin’,
There’s some questions I need to be askin’:
Is the world upside down? 
Do I smile when I frown?
Are those “poems”  by Angela Jackson?

Is freestyle a form of abstraction? 
Or perhaps just a knee-jerk reaction 
To demands of inclusion 
By those in delusion?
Are those “poems” by Jacqueline Jackson? 

Is addition the same as subtraction? 
Is expansion the same as contraction? 
Do we grease every wheel 
When they let out a squeal? 
Are those “poems” by Angela Jackson? 

Freestyle speaks verbal transaction.
Poetry sings verbal attraction.
It’s words that have rhythm
And the things you do with ’em.
Are those “poems” by Jacqueline Jackson? 

Not to bang on two gals named Jackson,
For they’re a product of overreaction.
That road was long paved 
By degenerates who craved 
A depraved Elitist distraction.

From the time their feet hit the floor,
They were impossible to simply ignore.
They’d scream and they’d shout 
And they’d whine and they’d pout
Till they finally got their foot in the door.

Unfamiliar with words that would rhyme
And unable to digest sublime, 
They’d munch on a brick
Or on shit-on-a-stick
If some elitist would give them the time.

Pretty soon they believed their own lies
That they were gifted, poetic, and wise
And the generations to come
Though they couldn’t spell dumb,
Felt we owed them acclaim and a prize.

As Lapulapu said to Magellan:
“I ain’t buyin’ whatever you’re sellin’,
So don’t come to my home 
With that thing you call ‘poem’
I ain’t trading gold for no melon!”

And then a bunch of his nephews and nieces
Screamed “NO!!!” to Freestyle (and Jesus)—
Unleashed were the hordes,
Unsheathed were their swords,
And they hacked ol’ Ferdinand to pieces!



Joseph Mason is a poet in Southern Oregon who works in construction and the lapidary arts. He has been published by Illinois Times. 

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22 Responses

  1. James Sale

    Love this poem – very very funny and some ingenious rhyming – or is that rhymin’? – too! I don’t know the poets he refers to, but I suspect I read tons of their stuff somewhere, since it all tends to be the same – one can’t distinguish one turd of a poem from another. Let’s demand real poetry! Thanks for making me laugh.

    • Joseph Mason

      Thank you, James, for your comments!
      My comment pursuant to ancient Cyrillic & Martians that you referenced in a later post is not a criticism of the SCP or the more advanced practitioners of classical poetry that post here. It’s simply a personal observation by someone who cut their teeth on Green Eggs and Ham, and who’s knowledge of the technical jargon and nuances of poetry in general is limited to say the least.
      A little above my pay grade. Iambic pentameter- tetrameter – anapestic – dactylic – trochaic – etc. are foreign to me (had to google ‘em) and I suspect a lot of folks who love poetry but lack the intellectual curiosity to absorb the poetic complexities associated with them.
      The essence of poetry to me is rhythm & rhyme – hence my distaste for those Freewheeling Fauxets who have not only abandoned rhyme in favor of prose, but insist that actual poetry has no place in today’s culture.
      So if the SCP has a problem pursuant to perception amongst the masses, as you inferred on down this page, it’s because Poetry is being squeezed out and strangled by Fauxetry. And yes, to a certain extent, because classical poetry resides in the realm of the more intellectually inclined folks.
      You know – the Jeopardy crowd. And granted, while there are a lot of them out there, if you follow that up with a healthy dose of Wheel of Fortune, you realize pretty quickly that there ain’t no shortage of dumb ones out there either. Hopefully, most of ‘em are freestylers.

  2. Cynthia Erlandson

    This is very clever — especially “Rhythm/with ’em”, “nieces/Jesus/pieces”, and the many rhymes for Jackson.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    All of the State Poetry Societies in the U.S. and The State Poet Laureateships, have been taken over, en masse, by free-verse types.

    This only confirms that, in the popular mind, “poetry” is now universally perceived to be emotional gush.

  4. Gail

    Very enjoyable! I’m tempted to look up those poets, but life’s short . . . so I’m just going to take your word on their worth. (Hope it wasn’t too hot for you down south–my air conditioner was too feeble; so glad it’s over for now.)

  5. Paul Freeman

    Satirical cancellation – We’re a long way from Little Love Stories

    • Mike Bryant

      Paul, I cannot believe that you have just used two four syllable words in a row. Everyone now knows that the use of two four syllable words in a row is evidence of colonialism, (I’m ok here because that’s six syllables) in fact, it’s also evidence of multiple other phobias and isms.
      You are using your superior education, gained by your privilege, and your exalted position on a website dedicated to classical values (how terribly unwoke is that?) as a platform so that you may look down upon all your inferiors.
      The wokerati know how unwoke and pale you are… beware!

    • Joseph Mason

      Extraordinarily astute, Paul! Kudos to you, Captain Obvious.

  6. Joseph Mason

    Some context for the poem. While reading the Illinois Times, a weekly newspaper in Springfield, I noticed they published a “poem” each week by Jacqueline Jackson. I contacted Michelle Ownbey, the editor of the paper, asked if I could submit a couple of poems about Abraham Lincoln for consideration, and was told they don’t accept poems from the general public – that they had a longstanding relationship with Jackie. Not long after, the Governor named Angela Jackson the Poet Laureate for the state.
    I wrote the poem and sent it to Michelle for a giggle. After having been cancelled from a few sites, I’m hoping to use it as an irritant to the woke mob – or the propaganda receptacles who prop up the purveyors of prose posing as poets. Just my OPINION – which, evidently – I’m no longer entitled to.

    • Mike Bryant

      Joseph, I love the poem. There are those here that believe that you are now part of cancel culture because you raised your voice. I think that people should know the difference between “cancellation” and free speech. Maybe you can explain the difference! LOL

      • Joseph Mason

        Hey Mike …. you trying to get me cancelled off this site too?
        I don’t want to hurt people’s fragile little feelings.
        So without further ado …

        To those of you …
        Without a clue …
        You need to listen up! …
        If you can’t rhyme …
        Become a mime …
        Or that monkey with the cup …
        Who loose’d your rope? …
        Who gave you hope? …
        You’re clearly in denial …
        ‘Cause you can’t rhyme …
        And that’s a crime …
        How can you even smile? …
        If I were judge …
        I’d hold a grudge …
        And put your ass on trial! …
        If you insist …
        On being dissed …
        Then I’m your Huckleberry …
        ‘Cause I refuse to don your shoes …
        And thus doth vow to marry …
        That pile of crap …
        You dare to wrap …
        And push out on a ferry …
        To find a home …
        Disguised as poem …
        It gives me dysentery …
        So leave the net …
        With no regret …
        ‘Fore I bust a capillary …
        Just pack your bag …
        And take your hag …
        Don’t be so damned contrary …
        Repent your sin …
        You fit right in …
        With Curly, Moe, and Larry!

  7. Joseph Mason

    Thank You folks for your comments!!! I’ve got just enough sense to realize I don’t have any legitimate reason for frequenting a site dedicated to classical poetry. I read a lot of the poems and the back and forth between the various poets and it reeked of ancient cyrillic being transcribed by martians. I don’t git most of it. No point in dumbing your site down any further just for the sake of belligerence.
    A sincere Thank You to Evan & crew! Ciao.

    • Mike Bryant

      Joseph, I would never try to get you or anyone else canceled. Happy trails.

      • James Sale

        Obviously, the SCP has a problem if we are truly perceived as reeking of ancient Cyrillic transcribed by a Martian (wonderful image). But you, Joseph, are a Mason – surely you can chip away at your own hieroglyphics here and be comfortable? Never imagine that anyone makes sense of the Martians!

      • Gail

        Additionally, many, many organizations do not bear close scrutiny . . . they’re all made up of flawed human beings. As with every other corporate entity SCP has only as many problems as it has people.

      • Joseph Mason

        Just for clarity, Mike, ‘twas said tongue-in-cheek. Sorry you didn’t pick up on that. Guess we’re even-steven on the misinterpretation front though, cause I thought you were urging me to spew stupid, and of course I obliged LOL. Or not lol.

  8. Jeff Eardley

    Joseph, we certainly git your message over here in England. Like others, I loved “rhythm/with em” and the whole Magellan thing is genius. I hope you are the first man with the grappling iron on the Jackson statue toppling party.
    Your wit and wisdom belong here, so perhaps “Ciao” could be replaced by “Arrividerci”

  9. Margaret Coats

    Mr. Mason, what you’re doing here (satirizing a poet laureate) is a well known practice in classic poetry. Just look up the list of Poets Laureate in England or the equivalent list of Poetry Consultants to the Library of Congress in the United States. Many of those less-than-famous names richly deserved the satire they got from others. And satirizing isn’t cancelling. If it were, those officeholder lists would be much shorter. Thanks for the classic fun!

    • Mike Bryant

      Margaret, you have said what I was clumsily trying to say. Thanks for your clarity and knowledge.

    • Joseph Mason

      My Dearest Miss Margaret,

      It was with great appreciation and boundless joy that your letter of the 2nd was received after much anticipation.
      I am, however, saddened beyond words to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing of our mutual friends, Informal and Colloquial, with whom I was well acquainted and shared a stormy but passionate relationship (a Ménage a Trois – as it were) for much of my adult years.
      I shall endeavor to honor their memory in all future correspondence.

      With sincerest gratitude and fond remembrance- I am – your pretentious pen-pal – ……….. Mr. Mason

      P.S. I hope YOU git it. Mike didn’t.


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