Friday, September 09, 2005

Jimmy Hoffa Jimmy Hoffa

Mid-B made a cool poem using Google Poetry, so I just had to cobble something together. My search terms were Jimmy Hoffa, Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, and I heard you paint houses and I told it to give me rhymed couplets. All these phrases are relevant to the murder of Hoffa. Google Poetry then gave out a spew of couplets from which I chose those represented below, arranging them in what I think is a coherent order. I've manipulated the text of the couplets a bit, but not much. I kind of like how it turned out.

Jimmy Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa Jimmy Hoffa, in his short
Terms, that he'd better start
He expected to get whacked right
More bravely than anyone thought
Sheeran and the inside, it was told
Did match Hoffa's DNA it would,
Shot Jimmy Hoffa with a pellet gun,
Unfound Jimmy Hoffa, Sr., guy to run,
And then shot him twice in the head
And the final book report--bad
History through the eyes:
Frank, I heard you paint houses
You paint houses: new & used
In 2003, and his claim was detailed
Every reason to believe that Frank
Is coming "I believe Frank is coming"
The last words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke
The last words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke

Update (6:00 pm):

I couldn't let it stand as a random Google word spew, so I reworked it some more:

"Jimmy Hoffa"

Jimmy Hoffa Jimmy Hoffa, in the short
Terms that he'd always demanded,
Expected to get whacked right,
More bravely than anyone thought.

Sheeran and the insider, it was shown
Had a matching DNA in the car,
Shot Jimmy Hoffa with a pellet gun,
Unfound Jimmy Hoffa, the made man,
And then shot him twice in the head.
And the final book report? Bad:
They shot history through the eye.
"Frank, I heard you paint houses
You paint houses: new & used,"
In 2003, the claim was detailed.

Jimmy Hoffa had every reason
To believe that Frank was coming:
"I believe Frank is coming."
The last words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke.
The last words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke.

Update 2 (the next day) A funny thing happened on the way to the forum:

I just received an email this morning from Google Poetry's creator:


I hope this will reach Clint Gardner...

I was delighted to note the interest in my Google poem
engine in Salt Lake City, and decided to pick both
John Pickavance's and your pieces to the Anthology, see

I hope this is okay with you (I see your work is copyright
under Creative Commons licence - I guess this represents
the kind of non-commercial reuse that is allowed under
it's terms ;-)).

I couldn't locate John Pickavance's email at his blog;
if you have it, I'd appreciate your noticing him on the
publication of his piece in the Anthology.

Thanking you for your interest, with best wishes,


Ah, anthologized at last! Now I really need to get a styling hat and wear my tweedy jacket around. I've forwarded the message to Mid-B and corrected Leevi about my non-tropical location.


  1. Man! So this is how you get anthologized. Congratulations, and I like your poem's ballad-like something or other.

  2. Yes, you steal eggregiously from others. I'm in great company, including the very namer of my namesake site.

    Hmm. It is just a hoot.

  3. Oh and yes, I thought it was sort of ballad-like. I especially like the "Unfound Jimmy Hoffa" line and the weird repetitions it came up with. I like weird repetitions. I remember writing something that focussed on the word "that" repeated in ways that worked when it was spoken.

  4. Oh and why Jimmy Hoffa? Well the name is damn poetic, first of all, and secondly I've got this idea of working class crime poems.