Contemporary Sonnet #010101010101

Jan 5, 2020 | Poetry

I morfed while speaking ASL (or was that a/s/l?)
Across the keys my fingers moved, in ALL CAPS DID I YELL
Hermaphroditic princess of Marcel Duchamp’s white throne
Nonplussed by nonsense on the screen, the drivel of a drone.
He asked me “Do u wanna chat?” l asked him, “Can you spell?
He asked “Whut R u Waring?” and I muttered, “Go to Hell.”
I judge performance with a pen, its ink as red as blood;
If you say “Insert A in B,’ your name, it will be mud.”
He vowed to be my lackey; and I, his Mistress (“Dork!”)
Dispatched him to a chat room with a jeweled tuna fork
And there did bade him to recite, in front of all and sundry,
A sonnet from atop his head – no limp iambic blund’ring!
He couldn’t get it up to rhyme (his fountain pen, I mean!)
Next thing he did was disconnect, and ne’er again was seen.

Written in 2007, based on an online chat circa 1990 but apparently one of those “evergreen” things that’s relatable, even today. Reposted in answer to

Some things never change.

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Mitchell Allen

    Holly, your biting wit proves, once again, that the pen is mightier than the sword.
    That was a lively poem.

    But, what is 1365? Do you really have that many poems?


    Mitchell Allen recently posted…The Oxymoronic Hydroponic TubersMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Hahahaha! Thank you. I probably don’t have that many – and now, after more than a dozen years, I honestly don’t know if I was thinking 1 day is like the other 365, or if I just started typing and ran out of room. (I’m wondering if anyone else will even catch this banter and toss it around with us.) Maybe it was just a snide and sneaky way of saying “This one’s for U”! (But not YOU, of course. Not YOU.)


        • Holly Jahangiri

          I forget how hard it was to LEARN Internet lingo (and honestly, I’m of the age that invented such things as “LMAO” and “ROFL”). I guess “WTB” (its 1990 meaning: “Winky-Tink Break,” now known as a “bio break”) never really caught on. I still smack folks with the ASCII trout, now and then. <:}}{{<<

          They say “WTB” now means “Want to buy.” Makes me laugh when I see it in FB Marketplace listings. I’m also old enough to remember when “ISO” meant International Standards Organization and NOT “In search of…”

      • Mitchell Allen

        Holly, if you had the presence of mind to create binary wordplay, then either you are a formidable lexiconumerologist or a skilled back-formation practitioner. Either way, that’s literally the coolest explanation for your poem’s title.


        Mitchell Allen recently posted…The World-wide EruvMy Profile

        • Holly Jahangiri

          I am both, thank you for noticing! (Just can’t remember back that far to swear it was intentional AT THE TIME.)

          • Mitchell Allen

            You’re welcome*. I’ve always appreciated the way you communicate. I may not comment on some of the topics on my self-imposed taboo list, but it’s always fun to read well-thought articles.



            p.s. * tantum talis talem cognoscere potest
            Mitchell Allen recently posted…The World-wide EruvMy Profile

          • Holly Jahangiri

            *Semper ubi sub ubi!

  2. Sunita Saldhana

    I enjoyed this one. Such a Holly poem !

    • Holly Jahangiri

      It is! LOL I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Parul Thakur

    ha ha! trust you to judge performance by pen πŸ™‚ What a fun one, Holly!

    • Holly Jahangiri

      People who can’t spell are such a turn-off! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

  4. Modern Gypsy

    I remember those days of ICQ & Internet chats! Such a creative sonnet – I don’t think I could write anything quite like this!

    Modern Gypsy recently posted…The Word: 2020My Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      I had to go back and look – I was never an ICQ user, but mIRC is still around, and in fact had a new stable release in November! Nice to see someone who remembers.

  5. Corinne Rodrigues

    Gosh don’t they ever realize how bad spelling are such a turn off! And can we please see more such from your archives?
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…My 20 for 2020 ListMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      No, they never seem to figure that out! Isn’t that hilarious? Of course, my brain doesn’t quite “get” erotica – when I write it, it invariably turns into humor. Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy get me all hot and bothered, on the other hand. πŸ˜‰ I must be wired funny. Good thing my husband doesn’t seem to mind that!

      I will have to go rummaging through the archives… meanwhile, can I interest you in a sonnet? An ode to roadkill? See this post for my poem, “Two Armadillos’ Strife.”


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