The road to hell is paved with blasphemous limericks

British ex-Pat Emma [Who inexplicably left London for Baltimore. Baltimore. ?!?] invited me to enter her Spectacular Easter Limerick Competition. It’s no joke. The prize is a smooth, creamy, deluxe chocolate egg from Hotel Chocolat. I’m posting my entries here. If I don’t win the damn egg, at least I’ll have gotten a blog post out of it.

There once was a prophet named Christ.
On a cross he was soon sacrificed.
Will he come back
From being whacked
As a man or a poltergeist?

And in case that wasn’t offensive enough:

Hung on a cross by decree,
Romans pounded the nails in with glee.
Well, that really sucks.
I loaned him five bucks!
First resurrect, then repay me.

Happy Easter, Christian soldiers.

*     *     *

“That’s all you got. You got love and you got death. Death will find you…it’s up to you to find love. That’s where most people fall down at. Death got room for everybody. Love pick and choose. Now, most people won’t admit that. That’s cause love cost. Love got a price to it. Everybody don’t want to pay. They put it on credit. Time it come due, they got it on credit somewhere else. That’s what I learned all these years.”

August Wilson
Two Trains Running

Perhaps it’s because I heard those lines spoken by an accomplished actor who embraced the role. Simply reading them might not have the same impact. August Wilson was a fucking genius. He wrote a 10-play cycle, one for each decade of the 20th century, all centered on the black experience and all taking place in the same Pittsburgh neighborhood. And every one of them is great literature. Man, I’ll never write that well. It’s depressing. And I don’t mean metaphorically.

24 thoughts on “The road to hell is paved with blasphemous limericks

  1. But you write that then imply you believe in Hell. How confused are you? ;-)I presume your friend saw the great stage show Hairspray and thought Baltimore looked groovy 😉

  2. Come to Pittsburgh, i used to live and drink right outside that neighborhood with many of it’s current residents, i’ll take you there though you might want to bring a kevlar vest depending on the time of day, and my favorite place to drink is across the street from that very hood, the place (the city and the hood) are beautiful even if the neighborhood shows all the scars and bruises of years of neglect… and you have a future in Limerick writing young man.

  3. I’d be surprised if that second one doesn’t win. Nevertheless I might have to enter this contest as those chocolates look worth fighting for! Just rolled back into town though, I’ll see if I can get my head in the game in time

  4. Well done!! I reply to you via limerick (couldn’t find anything to rhyme with Emma alas so here I am Elsie)There once was a Brit-chick called ElsieWho dreamed of owning a pad in Chelseabut she was not born a whoreor a Kardashian for sureSo for pennies lived in Baltimore by the sea

  5. Love and death is interesting, because I remember Woody Allen saying he only believed in sex and death in one of his movies (was it Sleeper?). The punchline was something to do with feeling nauseous after one of them (sex, presumably). I’ll have to think up a dirty limerick for Emma’s contest – I’ve always enjoyed talking dirty to her.

  6. Brilliant–my youngest will be delighted when I recite the second one to her. My favourite example of the genre is this classic:There was a young man from PeruWhose limericks stopped at line two

  7. Limericks are really hard to write—especially in the right rhythm and also with “perfect” rhymes….I think you did damn good! The best limerick writer I ever knew was my darling sweet talented friend, the late Betty Garrett…. And she was very very bawdy, too…a MUST, in my book….(you mentioned good old Nantucket)…..lol….I LOVE ALL of August Wilsons cycle….Saw them all….and what you said is Sooo true…He was a true Genius…..I think these plays will always be done till the end of time….!

    • I Googled Betty Garrett. I know the face but never the name. Interesting story! The whole blacklisted thing is sad.I’ve only been fortunate enough to see four plays of the cycle. Almost all of them have played Broadway at one time or another—sometimes starring Denzel Washington or James Earl Jones—but I was lazy and missed them. They renamed a Broadway theater after him. Immortality assured.

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