File 770 Destroys Poetry

File 770 commenters changed rhymes sublime and took a beater to the metre in yesterday’s spontaneous parody party.

ULTRAGOTHA bites This Is Just To Say

This Is Just To Say
I have consumed
the pixels
that were in
the scroll

and which
you were probably
for news

Forgive me
they were delectable
so interesting
and so bold

RedWombat plucks The Raven

Once upon a laptop blurry, while I pondered, weak and bleary,
Over many a quaint and curious pixel of forgotten scroll—
While I nodded, nearly Skyping, suddenly there came a typing,
As of some one faintly sniping, sniping at the pixel scroll.
“’Tis some commenter,” I muttered, “sniping at my pixel scroll—
Only this and nothing mo’.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was the month after December;
And each separate dying ember of a flame war guttered forth fifth.
Reluctantly I saw the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
More time for reading’s surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the loss of myth—
For the rare and radiant Hugo whom the fans award to myth—
No award for pups and kith.

Bruce Baugh capitalizes on e. e. cummings

pity this busy monster, fanunfandom,

not. Blogging is a comfortable disease:
your victim (news and comfort safely beyond)

plays with the postness of his his blogness
— electrons deify one new item
into a mountainrange; pingback extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till uncomment
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born — pity poor blogger

and dragons, poor brackets and reviews, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We commenters know
a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
of a good blog next door; let’s go

Jim Henley destroys a Basho haiku

Vile hive
A scroll drops in
Without a pixel

Kip W changes the stripes on The Tyger

Pyxel! Pyxel! Scrolling fast
In the hives of columns past!
What dread buttons, what dread fans,
Dare dight the thoughts your maker scans!

RedWombat dismounts a Kobayashi Issa haiku

O Pixel!
Climb Mt. File 770
But slowly, slowly.

bloodstone75 carries off The Red Wheelbarrow

So much depends

a fine scrolled

glazed with troll

beside the cruel

Kip W disassembles Naming of Parts

Today we have scrolling of pixels. Yesterday,
We had spaceship coveting. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have several cascades of puns. But to-day,
To-day we have scrolling of pixels.

Bruce Baugh condenses Prufrock

In the dealer room the SJWs come and go
Speaking of Scalzi and of Hugo
I do not think they will vote for me.

Jonathan Edelstein sabers The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a scroll, half a scroll
Onward to destiny;
All in the valley of trolls
Wrote the sev’n seventy.
“Essays by Beale I spy!
Time for some snark,” say I:
Into the valley of trolls
Wrote the sev’n seventy.

Puppies are here to stay:
Greet they that with dismay?
Not though they see today
Months more of enmity:
Theirs not to look for sense,
Theirs but to make defense,
Guarding an art immense,
Into the valley of trolls
Wrote the sev’n seventy.

Puppies to right of them,
Puppies to left of them,
Puppies in front of them
Thunder’d unpleasantly:
Storm’d at with insults vile
Stood they with wit and style,
Into the culture wars,
There at the Hugos’ doors
Wrote the sev’n seventy.

Flash’d all their keystrokes swift
Flash’d as they gave short shrift
To those who spurn’d the gift
Cleaning the slate of them
And then, incredibly,
Once silent, they were now
Join’d by a common vow;
Sads and the Rabids
Reel’d from the ballots cast
Driven to entropy:
They were not overwhelmed
Not the sev’n seventy.

Puppies to right of them,
Puppies to left of them,
Puppies behind them
Thunder’d unpleasantly:
Label’d and curs’d apace
Stood they with wit and grace:
They that had won the race
Came thro’ with no awards
Back to the art’s embrace
Now even more of them
More than sev’n seventy.

When can their glory fade?
O the defense they made!
And again presently:
As Rabids now crusade
Honor the fan brigade:
Noble sev’n seventy!

Cally fires a clip at Hiawatha, on the way to Jerusalem

By the shores of the Pacific,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water
Scroll the pixels of Mike Glyer
Host of File 770, Glyer.


And did those scrolls in pixeled times
Talk about Fandom’s hopes and dreams?
And were the fans, and authors too,
On Worldcon’s pleasant panels seen?

And did the Hugo winners float
The rest of Worldcon on a cloud?
And Hugo losers truly say
The nomination made them proud?

Bring me my nomination form!
Bring me my list of what I love!
Let no one tell me how to vote;
My socks will orbit up above!

I will not yield to childish taunts,
Nor let a slate make choices less.
And we shall celebrate the works
That Worldcon fans think are the best!

Jim Henley destroys The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Some for the pixels of this scroll; and some
Sigh for the bracket tournaments to come;
Ah, take the filk and let the facecloths go,
Nor heed the rumble of the slates to come.

–From The Rubaiyat of Camestros Felapton.

ULTRAGOTHA immures Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a Hugo,
That sends the frozen-distain to destroy it,
And scoffs at the stories writ by Other,
And misconstrues even clear basic prose.
The work of puppies is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one word upon a word,
But they would beat the dinosaur with a tire iron,
To please the yelping dogs. The awards I mean,
Puppies have not created them or helped them become,
But at spring nominating-time we find them ripped apart.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to read the stories
And love the prose within covers once again.
We share the books between us as we go.
To each the narrative joy that has fallen to each.
And some are flash and some so nearly epics
We have to use a spell to set them right:
‘Stay as you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our eyes sore with reading them.
Oh, just another kind of well-loved game,
With no sides. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the Hugo:
He is all Fantasy and I am Military Fiction.
My Ray Guns will never fire across
And lay waste the magic in his books, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good genre make good neighbors’.

Ultra Frost

Camestros Felapton toots Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

Childe Pixel to the Dark Scroll Came – with apologies to Robert Browning

MY first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary blogger, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee, that pix’ld and scroll’d
Its edge, at one more victim gain’d thereby.

What else should he be set for, with his posts?
What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
All fannish-readers who might find him posting there,
And ask the net? I guess’d what skull-like laugh
Would break, what crutch ’gin write my epitaph
For pastime in that dusty cyberwar,

If at his counsel I should turn aside
Into that ominous tract which, all agree,
Hides the Dark Scroll. Yet acquiescingly
I did turn as he pointed: neither pride
Nor hope rekindling at the end descried,
So much as gladness that some end might be.

For, what with my whole world-wide-web wandering,
What with my search drawn out thro’ years, my hope
Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope
With that obstreperous joy success would bring,—
I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring
My heart made, finding failure in its scope.

There the filers stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more comment! in a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew “Childe Pixel to the Dark Scroll came.”

Camestros Felapton plows under Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

An Australian’s Elegy on a US Blog Comment Section (with apologies to Thomas Gray)

The Glyer scrolls the pixel of the parting day,
The filking herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The comments homeward plod their weary way,
And leaves half the world to darkness and to me.

Kyra rolls up The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The Lovescroll of J. Alfred Pixel

Let us scroll then, you and I,
Where the pixels are spread out before the eye
Like a screenshot rasterized in nested tables;
Let us link to certain half-demented posts,
And make nostalgic toasts
To restless nights in three-night con hotels
And xeroxed RPGs with broken spells
(Spells that always cause a tedious argument
About authorial intent
And lead you to an underwhelming session —
So do not ask, “How’s that work?”
Just accept it’s mostly hackwork.)

In the scroll the pixels come and go
Talking of Attanasio.

The shallow blog that made a linkback to the Windows screen,
The shallow troll that tried to puzzle out the Windows screen,
Flicked its post into the corners of the comments,
Lingered so it could afterwards complain,
Attempted to backtrack the statements it had uttered,
Slipped in an insult, made a sudden pounce,
And seeing that it was trapped in moderation,
Snarled once about the host, and did a flounce.

After that, there is downtime
From the shallow troll that slides along the blog,
Rubbing its ick upon the Windows screen;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a post to meet the filers that you meet;
There will be time to edit and create,
And time for all the filks for all the fans
That lift and drop a poem on your plate;
Time for you and time for me —
Five minutes for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the finish of the post you see.

In the scroll the pixels come and go
Talking of Sergey Lukyanenko.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Did that rhyme?” and, “Was that worse?”
Time to look back and to soundly curse
At the lame spot in the middle of my verse —
(They will say: “How the verse is past its prime!”)
My meter and my word choice hewing strictly to the rhyme,
My subject apropos with substitutions made at fitting times —
(They will say: “A self-indulgent waste of time!”)
Do I dare
Disturb this classic verse?
In five minutes there’s no time
For decisions and revisions, and past that there’s no reverse.

For I have scrolled them all already, scrolled them all:
Have scrolled in evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my energy in spoons;
I have seen attack ships dying with a dying flare
Above the shoulder of a larger meme
(And glittering C-beams.)

For I have read the books already, read them all—
Books that transfix you with a fascinating phrase,
And when I am fascinated, reading through LeGuin,
When I am pinned and marveling at it all,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all my counterfeit and skim-milk filk?
And how should I presume?

And I have seen the films already, seen them all—
Films that are magical and finely wrought
(But in the daylight, full of holes in plot.)
Are there spoilers I have seen
Disguised in rot13?
Films that spin a timeless fable with a slanted starting crawl..
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dawn through SF brackets
And watched the votes that come out with the gripes
Of grumpy fans with Feelings, raving about God Stalk? …

I should have banned anthologies, because.
I should have crowdsourced long before round three.

And the pixel scroll, the comments, blog so peacefully!
Smoothed by Mike Glyer,
Relaxed … soothing … or do they tire,
Stretching the page, typed out by you and me.
Do I, as I feel my zeal diminish,
Have the strength to force this filking to the finish?
For though I have tried to keep myself inspired,
Though I have seen my rhymes (grown slightly weak) grow longer with each posting,
I am no poet, and make no great boasting;
I have seen the moment of my bedtime nearing,
And I have seen a comfy blanket temptingly appearing,
And in short, I’m really tired.

bloodstone75 multiplies Sonnet 18

Sonnet 770

Shall I compare this to a nutty tale?
Thou art too pink and poofy in thy prose.
Oh dear, thy hero isn’t even male;
Why must thee push thy dogma up my nose?

Sometime too loud the message fiction shrills
And often is thy plotting sadly dim
In service to thy listing of the ills
That needs must always stem from He and Him.

No, thy eternal grievance shall not fade
Nor wilt thou cease from ruining the gen’re,
‘Til ev’ry con and imprint you invade
Be stripped of fun and manliness and hon’r.

So long as men can type, thine eyes will frown,
And thou wilt work to keep the straight man down.

Kip W. tackles Tichborne’s Elegy

My scroll of pixels is but a flash of suns,
My slate of tales is but a mess of mutts,
My hive of wits is but a mash of puns,
And all my squirreling is but food for nuts;
The game is on, yet I did not pass Go,
And now I tell you what I do not show.

My thread is over, but yet it was not run,
My bows were taken, yet no curtain fell,
My jokes were told, but only half in fun,
And my Farmers did not come from Dell;
The game runs still, over top and below,
And now I tell you, and now you know.

I sought for life and found it on the page,
I looked for laughs and found them in the posts,
I tried to rhyme, for it was all the rage,
And now I’m haunted by great poets’ ghosts;
The glass is crack’d, and out the verses flow,
You’ve told me yours; here’s my quid pro quo.

Jim Henley plays Abbot to Elvis Costello

Welcome to the Pixel Scroll

Now that your fifth is in the roundup being SFnally admired and you can
troll anyone that you have ever desired
All you gotta tell me now is why why why why

Welcome to the pixel scroll
Oh I know that we file ya
because we are vile yeah
Welcome to the pixel scroll
The way it’s dated maybe grated
but at least it’s not slated

We wish our favorites somehow could have survived
Hartwell and Bowie maybe both might still arrive
along with Alan Rickman, and give us all high fives

Welcome to the pixel scroll
Oh I know that we file ya
because we are vile yeah
Welcome to the pixel scroll
The way it’s dated maybe grated
but at least it’s not slated

I heard you sayin’ even Puppies are fine
if they talk about their favorite books
Spend all your money on your TBR
cause you can’t resist the impulse to look

Sometimes I wonder who is really a Trufan
Why’d I break your bracket-heart when I
Rejected miniseries out of hand

Welcome to the pixel scroll
Oh I Welcome to the pixel scroll

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45 thoughts on “File 770 Destroys Poetry

  1. Mike Glyer, I’m so glad to see all this amazing work in one place. Kyra’s Prufrock is my favorite, though it’s tough to choose.

    Kip W was working from Chidiock Tichborne’s “Tichborne’s Elegy”, written in the Tower before his execution as one of the members of the Babington plot to assassinate Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots.

    Um, first?

  2. I’m a bit behind since I’m not able to check File 770 as frequently as I normally would(no mobile bandwidth!), but bravo to all! Reading such great filk is jaw-dropping and inspiring. And I was inspired.

    With proud domineering, demagogue to his minions
    TB mourns not for the wasted dreams
    Of authors thrust unready, weak of feeling
    To promote Castalia’s reams.

    Hugos they were promised, deathless praise unstilled,
    Rockets firing high in arching cants.
    They did not dream of the desolation
    their loss would bring, the rants.

    They went with songs to the slating, they had vile
    twisted purpose, faces lit by screens aglow
    They were staunch minions, claiming ranks uncounted
    Voting to bring down thier foe.

    They shall not filk as we who at comment here do filk,
    Questions shall not weary them, nor thought minds rend.
    At the posting of the scroll
    We try forgetting them.

    They mingle now with their Puppy friends again,
    They sit in front of a monitor’s familiar shine,
    No more they haunt the File’s daily round
    But boast “This year rockets will be mine!”

  3. Great title, Mike!

    It occurs to me there are some good scroll titles to mine in these lines.

    Wow, it’s really something to see it all togrther. Very awe. Much words.

  4. Labels! Thank heaven. Now I can pretend I knew all along what Bruce Baugh’s model was, and nobody will ever have to know I’m a phony.

    ETA: Whoa! Note to self: don’t confess! Good thing there’s still ten seconds to edit this ou

  5. I didn’t have enough extra brain yesterday to jump in, but here’s my offering.

    * * *

    Not like a brazen troller of Geek fame,
    With poisonous pen attacking blog to blog
    Here at the ink-stained pixel’d gates, agog
    The huddled fans now contemplate the flame
    Of Hugo’d feuds, and call upon the name
    Mother of Scrolls, who in her link-filled log
    Bids welcome fans: Ye wombat, kitten, dog
    Be filed together, sharing in acclaim.
    “Write ancient lands, write storied elves!” cries she
    “Write starships swift, environmental domes,
    “Ye wretched hive of scum and villany
    “Send these: reviews and comments, even poems
    “I lift my lamp to welcome every squee!”

    * * *

    [metrical note: Yes, there should be one more line in the last section. But the moral requirement to include “Ye wretched hive of scum and villany” over-rode the original structure.]

  6. After reading this, I can only say

    There are 770 ways of making tribal lays
    And every single one of them is right!

    Scansion note: ‘770’ is pronounced ‘seven-seventy.’

  7. If you can scroll the unforgiving pixel
    With sixty seconds worth of reading done,
    Then yours is the file and everything that’s in it,
    Although your comments won’t please everyone.

  8. And while I’m in a Kipling vein:

    When the Earth’s last pixel has faded,
    and sad puppies admit to their doubts.
    When the rabid are struck and degraded –
    rolled-up papers lib’rly used on their snouts.

    We shall sigh, as we see the scrolls crumble:
    What is news, if no puppies to rout?
    Mr. Glyer can list only winners
    Of awards no-one here cares about.

    Who has won, who has lost? Who cares really?
    It’s a footnote, down with Shaver and Moore.
    I retire, to read texts such as please me
    literary, or just junk I adore.

    Let us turn from the screeds and the whining
    to the things that we should come here for.
    For the pleasures of each others comp’ny
    In the genre we’ve all soft spots for.

    And new books will keep being published
    from the left, and the right, and the mean.
    The old classics, in print still as ebooks
    in the web stores, or torrents unseen.

    More good books than hours to read them!
    (and bad ones, and Castalia House).
    And there is such joy in the reading
    to complain is the work of a louse.

  9. @Mike Glyer: I’m happy to see this collected onto one page, and I love the title!

    Hmm, you don’t have the first comment in the 1/21 thread (from Tintinaus); maybe it doesn’t count since it’s based on a song? It was technically the first of the day, although ULTRAGOTHA’s excellent second-of-the-day didn’t show up till a while later (second page).

    Anyway, bravo/a, all of the filkers (and the original authors who provided grist for the mill)! Now if someone (I’m not nearly so creative) could do one based on “88 Lines About 44 Women”*. . . . 😉

    * ETA: Probably best done as a general SFF ode to creators, IMHO, not something specifically Puppy or Hugo related, although “88 lines about 44 hugo winners”……..hmm!

  10. Our good host in his wisdom made the File
    Filled with villany, scum and oh so vile

    With apologies to my favorite poet, Ogden Nash.

  11. Kendall: Hmm, you don’t have the first comment in the 1/21 thread (from Tintinaus); maybe it doesn’t count since it’s based on a song? It was technically the first of the day

    It was posted early enough that I flagged Tintinaus’ lyric as an addition to The Martian musical comedy cycle and put it in the 1/22 scroll.

  12. The one-L File, that’s a pearl.
    The two-L fille, that’s a girl.
    But be this blog howe’er so vile,
    You’ll never see a three-L Fillle.

    (*I wouldn’t bet against a five-L Fillllle, though…)

  13. Steve Simmons: Scansion note: ‘770’ is pronounced ‘seven-seventy.’

    Heavens yes.

    And File rhymes with Nile, except in New Orleans where it’s pronounced the same as the spice filé….

  14. Our pixels we have scrolléd. These our critics,
    As I did call it, were but sock puppies and
    Have melted down to bile, yellow bile:
    Taking the fabled fabric of their whinging,
    Our malign influence, engorgéd ballots,
    Secret handshakes. The high tor itself,
    And such awards it merits, shall remain
    Even as their barking catcalls fade,
    And leave behind no issue. They were stuff
    One collects in dreams, gone like fists
    When our hands we open up.

  15. Jim Henley on January 23, 2016 at 3:19 am said:

    @Camestros Felapton: we can dance about architecture!

    I do an excellent (if unoriginal) impression of Battersea Power Station.

  16. Bravo to all the filers. It’s threads like this one that remind me why I come here for a lurk most days. My thaks to OGH

    This scroll is your scroll This scroll is my scroll
    From the deadly brackets to the fandom newsfeeds
    With book rec’mendations and the first fifth comment
    Mike made this scroll for you and me

    Even in the year 8656 this is true

  17. Good Lord above
    Send down a dove
    With beak as strong as pliers
    To tweak the nose
    Of them there trolls
    What tries to rile the filers.

  18. I only wish I had been around and had the energy to perform one of my patented revisions of “To His Coy Mistress”

    Thus, though I could not have that fun
    For now, still I can make a pun

  19. These are all masterpieces, though I’m most impressed by Kyra’s Prufrock (extra bonus points for spoons) and Cally’s Jerusalem (extra bonus points for orbiting socks). Bruce’s condensed Prufrock is good too.

    You guys are the best.

    This would make a nice ebook, along with the additions here.

  20. @Lurkertype:

    This would make a nice ebook, along with the additions here.

    Let’s be honest with ourselves. These are almost* all great on their own terms but they are so inside-baseball they come with a thermostat and home-theater speakers.

    *Someone allowed an identical into his Rubaiyat spoof. Sloppy. Sloppy, sloppy.

  21. Let’s be honest with ourselves. These are almost* all great on their own terms but they are so inside-baseball they come with a thermostat and home-theater speakers.

    I read some of the more awesome filks to my girlfriend, and she laughed and appreciated them. I had to explain spoons and some other concepts first, but I got at least one involuntary laugh, and she wasn’t expecting to be amused. But mostly yeah, you’re right.

  22. @Kathodus: Thinking there’s at least an outside chance your girlfriend didn’t get the reference to my administration of the TV-show tournament. 🙂

  23. Yes, I like to think I’m strict as well (and rhyming a word with itself is not a rhyme, so yeah). I just wanted to use the line.

    I mean, lime.

    I read Dick Tracy at Go Comics, and every couple of days, my eye falls on the hideous verses the regulars pen. I usually read two lines before saying, “That’s it!” because of some crime against meter or pronunciation, and skip the rest of the comments, because at least three of them will be fulsome praise for the doggerel.

  24. Camestros Felapton on January 23, 2016 at 2:34 am said:
    That was fun. Next time our medium should be classical ballet.

    Yep, we all need to start working on our turnout for the nominations.

  25. Jim: That’s why I suggested ebook — just copy and paste as-is into a document, for us here to then download for offline posterity.

    Lauowolf: boooooooo… 25c in the pun jar.

  26. @Kathodus: Thinking there’s at least an outside chance your girlfriend didn’t get the reference to my administration of the TV-show tournament.

    I hadn’t realized how many of the jokes/references were file770 insider until I was reading Prufrock to her. Fortunately(?) , I’ve blathered at her about this site so much that she got enough of it, after a little explanation, to be amused. I’ve gone on at length about the brackets, and she was interested/opinionated enough about the comics brackets that she _almost_ joined in. Horror brackets, movie or books, would probably be enough to ensnare her.

    ETA But, no, she probably didn’t get that reference.

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