Shorts

Early Drafts Of Famous Love Poems
by: Max Burbank

How Do I Love Thee, Draft One
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee really deep and wide and high
Like reaching for the sky on tippy toes
until I get a crick in my neck from the reaching
but that 'crick' is in my soul
'Cause it's metaphorical reaching,
But what's the point on wasting lofty words
When you can barely write your name
In the dirt with a stick,
Let alone follow top notch erudition like this
Which is why all my girlfriends think
you must be tremendous in the sack.
Why else would a woman with a brain like mine
Date a mostly shaved ape such as yourself?
Low self esteem, thou art a complicated bitch.

Roses Are Scarlet
Anonymous

Roses are scarlet,
Violets are Purple,
My love for you is...
is...

Goddamnit.

Sonnet 18.1
By William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's burn?
Thou art more crispy and more coppertone:
Rough winds drive sand into my bathing suit,
And the humidity doth make one moan:
The heat! Don't even talk to me of heat!
And neither one of us is pretty when we sweat;
My point is, summer's overrated and I like you better,
admittedly, the bar I've set is dreadful low;
I like cheese better than I like summer,
And I'd only date cheese in a pinch;
What, just because I am a poet It's expected
I'll write poetry? Fuck that noise.
You try being Shakespeare. Sonnets have too many rules
and something, something, something rhymes with 'rules'.
I'm out.

She Walks in Beauty
By Lord Byron

She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
You know I'm talking about my sister, right?
Perhaps you think me cracking wise?
When half the Opium I've had, you smoke
I'll listen to you maybe then
'bout whom I choose to poke
When poking in my Opium den!
Laughing bastard, dares't you think I joke?
I'll put your eyes out with my poem pen!

My genius means I can do anything I wish
Particularly when it's wrong
But now I'm knackered as a fish
That's fought the hook the whole day long,
Loo la la, la lee, dah dish
I'm passing out now, fuck off.

Roses Are Red
Anonymous

Rose are red,
Violets are purple
Stop pretending you didn't kiss me that one time
You weren't that drunk
Oh, crap.

I Carry Your Heart With Me (attempt 1)
By E.E. Cummings

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
a bowling bag) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go, my dear; you axed for it
from me, you know you did, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are heartless) I can't
get caught (my dog told me I can turn invisible)
he started talking just around the time
I bit the shift key off my olivetti
a thing you overlooked because
I hid it (in parentheses)

Love Letter (working title, have to come up with something better. Blood letter? Letter I wrote to you, then accidentally sent to dad? I don't know. Something. 'Love Letter'. Shit letter more like.)

Not easy to state the change you made.
If I'm alive now, then I was dead,
Though, like a stone, unbothered by it,
Do you see where I'm going with this?
It's up to you to get my head out of the oven,
Sure I put my head in there but if you leave it there
then it's pretty much your fault, right, Mr. Big Chest?

Hey. Hey. I'm in agony here.
I'd use exclamation points if I wasn't
so damn depressed, what, that's not sexy to you?
That other poem? Where I said you made me a god?
That was too much pressure for you?
I bet you're a fag, you dumb Irish fuck.
I am so publishing this posthumously.
See how many dates you get.

Violets Are Purple
By Anonymous

Violets are purple,
Roses are red,
Hey, c'mon now,
give a fella chance,
at least I'm trying right?
Where are you going?

On May Morning
John Milton

Now the bright morning Star, Day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The Flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow Cowslip, and the pale Primrose.
I'm Gay. I guess I should have told you.
I'd have danced with someone else
but it wasn't that kind of a wedding.
I'm guessing this has
happened to you before, right?

Roses Are Red
by Anonymous

Some roses are Red,
Violets are Blue
(To a friggin' dog, maybe
'cause they're colorblind!)
NOTHING RHYMES WITH PURPLE
I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I LIKE YOU
NOT TO PUT TOO FINE A POINT ON IT
I DON'T SEE ANYONE KNOCKING DOWN YOUR DOOR
FINE, DIE ALONE, SEE IF I CARE

The Owl and the Pussycat
By Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussycat
went to Sea
In a beautiful Pea-green boat;
They took some money and plenty of honey
but soon tore each other to pieces
which is what happens
when you put two carnivorous predators
each at the top of their food chain
in a boat

FOR ROSES? SERIOUSLY?
By Anonymous

HOW MUCH A STEM?
Fine. Fine. Fine. Whatever.

You think you're better than me?
Think you don't pay for it.
WAKE UP!
EVERYBODY PAYS FOR IT!
It just takes some people longer to find out
is all.

ROSES?! ROSES?!?
By Anonymous

I HATE YOU!
I HATE YOU I HATE YOU
I HATE YOU
IHATEYOUIHATEYOUIHATEYOU
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!

But I still want to be your Valentine.
Sorry.

Questions or Comments about this piece?
email Max Burbank

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

The Poetry Of Max Burbank: Part 8
The Poetry Of Max Burbank: Part 8

Reader Comments

Riot Control
Feb 11th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Max, this is pure gold. This pretty much look like when I try to say something to a hot girl and always end up screwing up.

I want you to go out with me to have a nice time
But you said you would go to the "church"
With that goddamned bastard friend of mine...

... Shite

Time to go looking for my sawed-off shotgun.
Kat Kat is offline
Breathes Comics
Feb 11th, 2009, 08:04 PM
Where did you find such historic gold?

To find these rare first drafts is a priceless thing indeed.
The Goddamned Batman
Feb 11th, 2009, 09:00 PM
The Shakespeare, E.E. Cummings and Milton were my favorites. :O
Can't touch this
Feb 11th, 2009, 10:34 PM
Ha! Roses are scarlet was me favorite.
Goddamnit.
The Magnificent Bastard
Feb 12th, 2009, 12:31 AM
This article is educational too.

I never even knew about Lord Byron and his sister, but after reading this, I read all about him and Augusta Leigh (Well OK, I skimmed to the parts about incest, and it was Wikipedia so who knows?).

Thanks for making me laugh and learn, Max!
Forgets Passwords Easily
Feb 12th, 2009, 12:55 AM
You made me realize I have poetry homework due Friday. Otherwise I would ahve forgotten, and been in trouble. thank you kind sir.
Fanboy
Feb 12th, 2009, 04:13 AM
Best thing I've read in ages. The last one makes it for me.
Who? Me?
Feb 12th, 2009, 10:12 AM
I think that that anonymous "roses" guy had a nervous breakdown by the end.


...PUPPIES!!
Bustin makes me feel good
Feb 13th, 2009, 03:09 PM
I can see myself reciting a few of these to the missus on Valentines Day. Then appearing in Divorce Court early on President's Day.


Damn.
Forum Virgin
Feb 15th, 2009, 05:20 AM
Long since I've read something that entrenches so vigurously, and well past the half-baked 'persona' - such a corny sense of joy in ..and ridicule. Cheers!
SPOOOOOOOON!!!
Feb 18th, 2009, 12:43 AM
Holy shit. Max, I'm not sure if you're insane or a genius (likely both).
Forum Virgin
Feb 24th, 2010, 06:05 PM
I'm happy to see you are still hard at work in the comedy factory. We missed you!
after enough bourbon ...
Feb 25th, 2010, 12:22 AM
It's good to read you again. Either the new meds are working, or you finally took my advice and added the lighter fluid to the Dristan (not the other way around).
Clap if you love Dynamo
Feb 25th, 2010, 11:08 AM
Or this thread from a year ago got bumped an you thought it was a new article :P
after enough bourbon ...
Feb 26th, 2010, 01:06 AM
Shit. You're right!

I looked at the month and day, not the year. Silly me.

Max is still AWOL since ComiCon?

Click here to return to the Shorts homepage