Name: Larry Eisenberg
Age: 91 this week
Career highlights: Air Force radar operator in WWII, Ph.D. in electronics, biomedical engineer at Rockefeller University, co-designer of the radio frequency-coupled pacemaker, author of about 100 out-of-print science fiction stories and three books of limericks.
Approximate number of comments he’s made on nyt.com: 8,300
Approximate number of his comments I went through for this feature: 300
Number of comments I read that are not poems: 1
Commenting since: Fall 2008
Favorite baseball team: New York Mets
Most frequent poetry style, at least in my sample size: Limerick
On a pair of goats found wandering near the interstate:
What lout would abandon a Goat?
Or lose two and not even know’t?
May the future be fair
For this charming Goat pair,
Hope this ends on a real happy note!
On a trend story about sagging pants:
Sagging pants and protruding drawers,
Are not what a viewer adores,
Underwear that ascends,
Drooping belt that depends,
Bas Couture or just neither-nors.
On a story about fantasy baseball:
The Game of Baseball’s meant to be
A real World, not fantasy,
No Wall St. trading of each Star,
Or Baseball Bourse, crude and bizarre.
Real aches and pains and prolonged slumps,
Real losing streaks, taking one’s lumps,
If Fantasy’s your preferred dish,
Go find a stream, pretend to fish.
On writers angrily replying to critics via internet commenting:
Harsh comments are so hard to take,
But Writers must learn to forsake
Erupting at each
Nasty critic in reach,
And suffer with subdued heartache.
On meat-infused cocktails:
A Cocktail should not be carnivorous!
Or even a soupçon omnivorous,
As a Vegan at heart,
I’d prefer for a start,
To have mine made mostly herbivorous!
On a 60-second, fan-acted tribute to Forrest Gump:
In response to commenter Sara Joshel, who replied to the above with a request for a poem:
To placate Sara I will say,
60 seconds of Gump brought dismay,
And minus Tom Hanks,
My response is “No thanks”,
Plus a deep heartfelt ethnic “Oy Vey”.
On the controversial presence of alcohol in the film adaption of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
In a spectrum of Wizards & Witches,
Of Magic & Sorc’ry & cant,
Where real life and fantasy switches,
You can pour a pint for an Infant.
On Kool-Aid pickles:
I burn and yearn at ev’ry turn
And not for Kool-Aid Pickle,
Rarely lukewarm, ellipsoid form,
I hail the Garlic Pickle!
Eat what you will, the Garlic Dill Is rarely ever fickle,
The sweeter kind boggles the mind,
Demeans the noble Pickle!
On news of energy-efficient technology being installed at the factory that produces Steinway pianos:
That Steinway roof
Is not a goof,
A living Proof,
That Green’s no spoof!
On Larry Craig:
Ex-Senator Craig may be seen
In an airport men’s room in Racine,
And there he displays
His toe-tapping ways,
His motives are Terpsichorean.
On speculation that genes could one day be patented:
Gene patents are only the start,
We plan next to patent the Heart,
Plus seeking the Rights
To the Liver and Lights,
The rentals are priced à la carte.
On reports that Chinese astronauts may be ruled ineligible if they have any number of physical imperfections, including halitosis, as “the bad smell would affect their fellow colleagues in a narrow space”:
With def’rence would it not make sense,
To add to their list, flatulence?
In a space locked enclosure
An undue exposure
Might make other Astronauts tense.
On news that Jenny Sanford, husband of former South Carolina governor Mark, would publish a memoir:
How will her spouse be treated?
Self centered, randy, overheated?
Or now, with Sins shriven,
By one whose hurts must be deep seated.
On Sarah Palin taking a job at Fox News:
Sarah was prepared to be Veep,
Just her luck, ran into a creep,
Asking “What do you read?”
Oh, it makes one’s heart bleed,
She’s in Teleprompters, now, knee deep!
Everything that she reads will be true,
For that is Fox’s point of view,
Fox is fair as can be,
Sarah surely will see,
From her window on the Avenue!
Eisenberg’s favorite comment poem, on Bernie Madoff and written as an allusion to The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes:
Wall Street was a canyon of Darkness, along the dusty streets,
The Moon was a wan white witness, observing knavish feats,
The Subways were sullen and silent, an ill lackluster lure,
And B. Madoff came riding, …riding, …riding,
Bernard Madoff came riding in his limousine lin’d with velour.
A Baseball cap on his forehead, an antique watch on his wrist,
A coat of Italian fashion, on his mouth a crooked twist,
At his neck was a knotted foulard and his boots were custom made,
And he rode with a roguish twinkle,
His offshore stash a-twinkle,
A diamond ring on his pinkle, a Ponzi undismayed.
In his Boardroom he sat waiting and his mind was cold and clear,
His fingers played on the table, his confederate isn’t here,
He whistled a tuneless ditty, and who should then appear,
But Jones his sharpest schemer,
Of trumpery a dreamer,
Blasphemer all supremer, with his Laptop full of cheer.
To friends and longtime neighbors his charm was loud and clear,
With gifts to starving orphans, his motives seemed sincere,
But he looted their Foundations,
Pillaged Foreign Nations,
In a manner still unclear.
For more of Mr. Eisenberg’s commenting poetry, go here:
Thanks to MC Lalande for the tip!