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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #408
Jabberwonk
David Gunn

   'Twas brillig, and the slithy mogues
   Did gyre and gimble at the moon
   All mimsy were the helter rogues
   Until the mome forgot her tune.

Once upon a day, in late afternoon, a pogus flew out of the clouds and alighted on a statue of an outgrabian borogove in the city park. Viewed from the front, the creature was as round as an ovencake, but beheld from behind, the impression of rectangularosity prevailed. High overhead, the sun, for the fourth time that day, burst into precisely ninety-three million fragments, nineteen of which reached the Earth intact. Of those nineteen, ten fell upon Bradsdon Green, whereupon a rowdy crew of mogues was flummoxing the moon. One mogue, alerter than the others, did spot the coruscating bits hurtling towards them, but not soon enough, and so each was stuck dumb as a doorknell. The mome that was swankily singing in the centre of the green stopped then, having swallowed the penultimate lyric to the tune. This disproportionately bewildered the rogues, who repaired to a high dungeon, to the uttermost delectation of the pogus.

I fibonaccied; one mogue did survive. Weary of flummoxing, it had, mere moments before its brothers' transubstantiation into sparklers, ducked into Tumtum Tree Tavern for a tulgey wood wahoo. So snockered did the libation rapidly render the mogue that it was unaware that the pogus had clambered into its subconscious. Warned the interloper, whisperingly,

   "Beware R.I.A.A., the knaves!
   Leaseholders of the Jabberwonk
   Beware, the ASCAP bird enslaves
   All parties to le fest de Bonk.

The mogue suddenly was roused from his stupor. He must ... ah, do something! But what? Wash his toes? Churtle a bit more at the moon? Exact revenge for his slain comrades? That last option seemed to resonate within him--helped, no doubt, by a modicum of subliminalization from the pogus--so off he lanterned in search of the Jabberwonk.

He'd heard of this mythically fearsome creature--half blatherskite, half road scholar. He'd have to halve his whips about him for any chance of victory. Abruptly, however, his whipper snapped out of his appendage and vanished. In its place materialized a spiny sword. Its ten edges gave it a vaguely vorpaline look.

   He took his vorpal sword in limb
   Long tines it had like Bishop's fork
   It blithed a bleeding battle hymn
   A new moon for New York.

Because the mogue was intrinsically a pacific creature, revenge came unnaturally to it. Doubts about the mission crept back into its conscience and a brief intercranial wrestling match ensued. But the pogus' will was strong, and soon the mogue was infused anew with fighting fervor.

The mogue came to a pitchfork in the road. Its prongs wormled menacingly at him, so the mogue withdrew his runcible spoon and applied a lather of tine balm. This brought the fork up to concert pitch, where it happily hummed off key. Promptly distracted, the mogue's thoughts turned to flummoxing New York's new moon.

   And as in flummox'd thought he stood
   The Jabberwonk, with grindstoned nose
   Came fast into the neighborhood
   Such twaddling words it chose!

Still lost in thought was the mogue, and the pogus, now trapped within its subconscious, suddenly glimpsed in the rapidly approaching Jabberwonk a potential flaw in its own immortality. "Hocus Pogus!," it imprinted vigorously on the mogue's mind, leaning hard on the first and third syllables. But that did the trick. The mogue snapped to attention, raised high the sword, and charged.

   One two!, six eight!; fillet, castrate
   The Jabber felt the nick of tines
   Mogue slew it thrice, then cool as ice
   He dressed its carcass to the nines

The pogus had been too concerned as to its own fate to watch the fracas, but now it positively radiated aplomb.

   "So we have slain the Jabberwonk!
   Your sword is keen; my will is strong
   Together, we shall let it be
   That which is dead, ding-ding, dong-dong!"

Its mission accomplished, the pogus made to depart the mogue’s subconscious, but the mogue suddenly raised a rasher of jumbly thoughts that blocked all the exits. The thoughts started with the intricacies of moon flummoxing, proceeded through benefits to the digestive system of daily tulgey wood wahoo imbibition, thence continued to notions of great, globular porcine fantasies, where they floomed sluggishly. The pogus was forced to absorb into its animus rather a lot of this last thoughtstream in order to break free from the mogue's melded mind, the upshot of which was that he thereafter assumed the guise of Piggina Pogus.

   'Twas brillig, and one slithy mogue
   Commenced to flummox at the stars
   All phlegmy in his brazen brogue
   A moment's musing news bizarre.

If you, a representative from the listening audients, think that that introductory wordage is a bit odd, just wait till you feast your ears on Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar's 408th episode's main course, viz., a representative selection of recordings from the Pogus label. "Pogus: spelled backwards, it means much the same thing," as does the normally frontward-leaning sovlaK.