Weekly Poem: ‘Sheriff Ed Rebuffed Her (‘Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!’), Then He Fell’


By K. Silem Mohammad

Note: Each of Mohammad’s “Sonnagrams,” including its title, is an anagram of a standard modern-spelling version of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, containing exactly the same letters in the same distribution as the original. The title is composed last, using whatever letters are left over after assembling a working sonnet in iambic pentameter with an English rhyme scheme.

From ‘Sonnet 42: That thou hast her, it is not all my grief.’

If forty hitmen justify their bosses
By holding that the house of mirth is pink,
While motherly tarantulas hurl vases
To sanctify their sisterhood of mink;

If rodeo makes everybody famous,
And modish odists show us how to vote,
And lesbian geologists rename us
Lavinia McNab and Emil Sloat;

If ten obese koalas in the foyer
Shall eat the leaf exclusive to the trees
That only grow in arbors that employ a
Venn diagram to cure Dutch elm disease;

Then love is dead, and Chevron has your money.
That mellow sonnet fever’s got me, honey!

K. Silem Mohammad is the author of “Breathalyzer” (Edge Books, 2008), “A Thousand Devils” (Combo Books, 2004) and “Deer Head Nation” (Tougher Disguises, 2003). He is also editor of the magazine Abraham Lincoln.