Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Other Hasselbeck Verses

Osama Bin Laden was a very bad guy
He hurt many people, don't ask me why
We shot him in the head and now he is dead
Now close your eyes and go to bed
- Elizabeth Hasselbeck

Deep.  Supremely deep.  It's words like these that inspire men like me to want to be authors and poets.  To seek, to find, and not to yield to that muse that sang to all the greats: Milton, Dante, Keats, Hasselbeck.  Perhaps this might even become a new epigram for the blog?  That old Bulgakov inanity is getting a bit stale, don't you think?

"Now Close Your Eyes and Go to Bed (Osama Bin Laden Was A Very Bad Guy)" is one of those pieces that transcends the poetry genre, and simultaneously steps into pop culture while eclipsing all else that went before it.  Like all great poems, people know the lines without necessarily knowing where it came from.  Everyone know that "the paths of glory lead but to the grave" but not everyone knows that Robert Gray wrote that in his "Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard."  It's common enough practice to state "Look on my works ye mighty and despair" without necessarily knowing that Percy Bysshe Shelley penned those words.  Similarly, how many times have you ruminated upon a subject and concluded "We shot him in the head and now he is dead?"  Just a little food for thought.

Interestingly enough (and little known) is that Hasselbeck comes from a long line of troubador poets.  No doubt her idea to scriven this frankly brilliant work came from her mother, who once similarly wrote this piece to explain The Killing Fields to her as a child:

Pol Pot was kind of a mean jerk
He messed up Cambodia, don't ask me how it worked
We fed him some arsenic and it made him really sick
Now go teach the dog another trick

Deep, deep stuff there.  Deep.  Of course, Madame Hasselbeck mère was probably similarly inspired by HER OWN mother, who, deep in the throes of the Holocaust penned this little ditty:

Adolf Hitler was a bit of a rough customer
He gassed 12 million people, don't ask if we can go to Fuddrucker's
Then he shot himself and it was bad for his health
Why not go watch Will Ferrell's "Elf"?

More moving than "Schindler's List" and the "Diary of Anne Frank" combined, that one.  Anyway, if you really want to trace the origin of the Hasselbeck family's genetic talent, you'd probably be surprised to find that it leads you to 13th century Mongolia, where this piece of verse was found carved in tanned cowhide:

Genghis Khan woke up on the wrong side of the bed
He raped two continents, not really sure why he led
He died of pneumonia, now he's full of ammonia
Why don't you go see if grandma will phone ya?

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