Search Term Sonnet

29 Dec

In September, I wrote a post about James Thurber and creativity called The Naked Woman on Top of the Bookcase.

I did not imagine that the combination of the word sweat from my blog’s title and the phrase naked woman from the Thurber post would attract so many unsuspecting and unlikely (many of them spelling-impaired) visitors to my site.

Daily, I let them down.  

This calls for an apology:

I know you must be disappointed, dear,
Who googled woman naked in a sweat,
at 2 AM, alone with half-drunk beer,
to find that Mr. Thurber’s all you get.
Small recompense for clicking on this link:
One lame cartoon, with enigmatic text;
No steamy photographs? You surely think:
“Dude, sprezzatura, doesn’t that mean sex?”
But, gentle would-be reader, hear my sighs:
You come, you go, (you read?) unmoved, unheard;
Not one among you heeds my bootless cries;
No comments, no subscriptions, not a word.
Though I with perspiration readers earn,
My nakked, necked, nekkit soul you spurn.

32 Responses to “Search Term Sonnet”

  1. sledpress December 29, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Huzzah! Bouquets!

    That Thurber cartoon is a favorite of mine (along with “Have it your way, you heard a seal bark”). Thurber lived in a house that once stood not far from here in his early youth, incidentally, and I have driven past “Thurber Court” more times than I could count.

    Sprezzatura and sex makes me think of Robertson Davies “divine pedalezza.”

    • jenny December 30, 2010 at 7:57 am #

      Thurber–I love this man. Yes, the barking seal. How about the one in the courtroom? I have to find it now.

      I know very little Robertson Davies, but every cool person I know speaks highly of him. Guess I better get on that. As Eddie Izzard says, some people are widely read, I’m thinly read.

      I had not realized that Thurber ever lived in your parts in his youth. It is very important to my psyche to claim him and a few other witty people as mid-westerners.

  2. dafna December 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    naked misspelled, he, he, he…. and yet they still found your sweet, sweet, naked writing!

    entering computer free zone at pops house. happy new year all 🙂

    • jenny December 30, 2010 at 7:59 am #

      Happy New Year to you and your papa, dafna! A few days in a computer-free zone. What a concept. Behave yourself now.

  3. Margo December 30, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    Once again I applaud your elegant use of the all-too-infrequently booted-about “bootless.” Single-handedly (without even a glove) you bring it kicking and screaming back into the language.

    • jenny December 30, 2010 at 8:01 am #


      Bootless was especially for you, duh.

      There will be boots. 🙂

  4. carrah December 30, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Love the sonnet, love the fact that I find out there are Robertson Davies fans out there, and, like Margo, love that you used “bootless.” Made for a very satisfactory morning.
    Love you, too.

    • jenny December 30, 2010 at 8:59 am #

      Stick with me, mom. 😉

  5. Andreas Kluth December 30, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    There once was a lad googling “naked sweat”
    at 2AM, in a bed not yet wet,
    and then he found not just any,
    but the one Sprezzatura Jenny,
    and promptly his search term did forget.

    • jenny December 31, 2010 at 6:36 am #

      Oh, Mr. Kluth!

      For form: Thanks! 🙂
      For content: Fanks! 😉

  6. Man of Roma December 30, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    I love this post and your poem. I really do. I might write something later since Flavia is rightfully pushing me to help her prepare our party for New Year’s eve chez nous.

    But I’ll say I pity those lonesome men who google “woman naked in a sweat” at 2 AM in the morning with a beer glass in their hand and who instead just get Thurber. I think you should be more charitable. How? Well, at least with a couple of more picture added to that post. It is Christmas time after all.

    GOD, why the hell don’t I shut this helluva a mouth up. You know, to Italians, Christmas is just a thin crust behind which there is Saturnalia. I am not kidding. All sort of osé films are created for these vacations and they are usually a big success (see fratelli Vanzina films for example, who specialized in this genre: osé Christmas movies: weird, isn’t it?). I must write a post on this. But once this holy period is finished. I’m a good person and don’t want to offend religious people, whom I truly respect.

    • jenny December 31, 2010 at 6:46 am #

      Man of Roma,

      Why just a couple of pictures? Think BIG! What about the video clip of the Sw&Sp osé Christmas special that the fratelli and I have been feverishly putting together for release before the season ends? Maybe you’ve already heard of it: “Ti presento Una Amica”

      • Man of Roma January 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

        Ready to think BIG? Ehi, what did you think? If you’re part of that production you tell me where you live and I’ll be in front of your apt door before you blink your big brown eyes twice 😉

  7. Philippe December 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    ….Who googled woman naked in a sweat…..

    Ah thaynk ah may have googled this.

    Hot dang, but your blog is so excitin’

    • jenny December 31, 2010 at 6:54 am #


      Ah thaynk yur the one good at writin’ dialogue!

      My people will be in touch with your people about joining the team of writers for the screenplay I have in mind.

      See, it’s about this blogger who is abducted by bad guys, and he cleverly communicates his whereabouts in code through blog posts. Elizabeth Taylor makes a cameo. You’re gonna love it!

  8. DAVID OSMAN December 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm #


    • jenny December 31, 2010 at 6:59 am #


      Don’t we all want a spot in Arzamas Society, writing epigrams and hanging out with young Aleksandr Sergeich?

  9. Thomas Stazyk December 31, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    I also want to congratulate you on using “bootless.”

    I religiously check the search terms that led people to my site–it’s kind of scary what some people are looking for.

    • jenny December 31, 2010 at 7:02 am #

      I will now expect you to use it casually in your next blog post, as your contribution to its resurrection.

      This campaign to bring back words was your idea in the first place.

      I’ll be watching for it.

    • sledpress January 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      All my visitors want to know about something called “sheet porn.” 😐

  10. Artswebshow January 2, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Ha ha, this is brilliant.
    I enjoyed reading, thanks

    • jenny January 3, 2011 at 7:21 am #

      Thanks. It ain’t Edna St. Vincent Millay, but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,–it’s good for a laugh.

  11. Hieronymo January 3, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    At the risk of sounding like a roué, I’m actually kind of touched that people out there are looking up “naked woman” (or possibly “nekid woman”). The phrase has a baffled 1950’s sort of innocence that I wouldn’t expect from the jaded internet (which seems to half consist of nude images).

    • jenny January 4, 2011 at 6:27 am #

      I think you’re right about the word “naked”. Some spellings, though, bring out the DELIVERANCE side of its personality.

      For baffled 1950’s innocence, “brassiere” is my favorite.

      It might be that the internet half consists of nude images, but I may be more bothered by the remaining half. “How to write a letter to my daughter” is the other search term phrase that I see at least once a week, and I wonder: What mother needs internet input to figure out what to write to her daughter?

  12. dafna January 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    nu… i’m waiting for the blog screen play or roast.

    • jenny January 6, 2011 at 6:15 am #

      dafna, I think the last time we talked about this, you told me that I’d have to move to a new neighborhood…

  13. Thomas Stazyk January 6, 2011 at 3:29 am #

    Today I got an interesting search term. Usually you can deconstruct the idea behind them, and how they might relate to your site, but this one is beyond me:

    “Amorphous phallus titanium”

    • jenny January 6, 2011 at 6:36 am #

      The last two feet of this phrase are dactyls.

      Amorphous is no good. We will need some other adjective.

      • Thomas Stazyk January 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

        A difficult task, especially if coherence is an objective. How about:


      • jenny January 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

        Hold on, Tom, who said anything about coherence?

        It’s all about meter. Just trying to get you started on your own search term poem.

  14. Richard January 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    O all the ways the net can tug us!
    On train or ‘plane (or even luggers)
    The hours he spends
    Yet fate forfends
    He never gets results for bookcase

    • jenny January 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

      I’m a fool for verse, Richard. Thanks for playing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: