Sunday, July 03, 2005

From a steaming pile of **** grows

a beautiful flower.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden turns 419 scam mails into art:

I am Mrs. Miriam Abacha a Widow

I salute you in the name of the most high God.
I was the former first lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, married to
late General Sani Abacha the late Nigerian military Head of State.
I am presently in distress and under house arrest while
my son Mohammed is undergoing trial in Oputa Panel Lagos
and Abuja, this Panel was set up by the present civilian regime.

There's more in the comments: consider this, from James D. MacDonald:
I now salute you in the name of Ghod,
I who a piteous widow must complain.
My son, my joy, arrested by a squad —
And in far Lagos he shall soon be slain.
The cash for his defense my husband hid
(I mean the late Abacha, even he),
I cannot use; for unjust laws forbid
That my funds can now be released to me.
And why did she do this ? Well, for a goal that us SCI-afflicted folks can relate to: to write a poem so bad that the International Library of Poetry would not declare it a semifinalist (and thus would not include it in their next anthology, which they would then offer to the author at a "reasonable price").

Is the International Library of Poetry a scam ? Well here's this, from Wocky Jivy, the primary participants in this poetic pursuit:
"Scam" is in the eye of the beholder and we leave that to you to decide for yourself. The National Library of Poetry (International Library of Poetry), doesn't say they'll use discretion in the poems they select as winners or semi-finalists -- so some will say it is the NLP's prerogative to select even really really bad "poetry" as "winners."
Exactly, and SCI can accept whatever papers it wants. It seems to me that the goal of getting a junk paper accepted to SCI was too shortsighted. The goal should be to get a paper rejected from SCI (of course Stribling, Kohn and Aguayo had their paper rejected, but they cheated by publicizing their actions :)).

It would be remiss of me if I were to end without a word from the Python brethren:

From the anthology: "The Poems of Ewen McTeagle"

Lend us a quid till the end of the week.

Lend us a quid till the end of the week.
If you could see your way
To lending me sixpence
I could at least buy a newspaper.
That's not much to ask anyone.

(HT: Crooked Timber)
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