Words for Nonsense
James Davis | Poetry
Malarkey. Hogwash. Gammon. Foofaraw.
In poetry, it might be doggerel,
which isn’t bad. Amphigory is better.
Baloney, toffee, waffle, applesauce—
a stoner’s order at an all-night joint,
the shit so good it must be bad for you.
Bullshit. Horseshit. Bullshat but not horseshat,
which looks (and sounds a bit) like “horse’s hat.”
Gobbledygook, a terrifying word,
and garbage, naturally, we love that, too—
a lot of overlap. Rubbish. Stuff. Crap.
“A whole pile of” just about anything.
A few are problematic. Huge surprise.
Gibberish from gypsy talk, and Greek
(“all Greek to me”) in French is du chinois.
Is it a love of taking off our pants,
this blazoning of the absurd, or love
of taking them off others? Prolly both.
It’s always kind of probably both
for anything that’s in between. Bollocks.
Horsefeathers. Mumbo jumbo. Tripe.
James Davis is the author of the poetry collection Club Q (Waywiser 2020), which won the Anthony Hecht Prize. His poetry has been featured on NBC News and CBC Radio, as well as in journals such as the Gettysburg Review, Copper Nickel, 32 Poems, Bennington Review, and The Gay & Lesbian Review. A PhD candidate at the University of North Texas, he serves as Poetry Editor for American Literary Review and teaches literature and creative writing.