In 2020, I published Air to the Throne: A Poetry Chapbook about Air Guitar and blogged about my air guitar limericks. In the last few weeks, I’ve penned more than a dozen quatrains about air guitar—and other air instruments!
Some of these poems were inspired by clerihews, humorous aabb quatrains with a biographical focus and irregular meter, but it’s more accurate to call them quatrains. The content absurdly pushes past the boundaries of what is possible for air instruments, as I did in “The Wind Retrieves His Brother” in my chapbook. I draw on my animal rights background: Some poems suggest that air instruments have sentience or personhood, including by using “who” instead of “that,” giving the subject a name, and using “he” or “she.” The most recent selections feature made-up names. My poetry pen pal, Eric, was the original audience for each poem.
Theft Victim during the Opening Weekend of Summer Beach Season Janice left her pocketbook on her beach chair, And 'twas stolen by an electric guitar of air. Ere she went swimming, hadn't seen it coming, But upon returning, she could tell from the strumming! Down the Toilet After Bea's air guitar fell down the toilet, She regretted her decision to oil it. She thought that'd make it easier to flippy But didn't have the chance—'twas too slippy! Undignified Assertion "An air guitar can't have its sound distorted," Said cocksure Alphonse to Alfred. Irritated at Alfred, thus spake Alphonse, "I won't dignify that with a response." An Air Guitar Who Could Be Played in Any Situation? Rae was an air guitar who could be played in any situation; Weddings or funerals, Sal played her without hesitation. Arrogant that, every single time he tried, he'd always excelled, Sal played 'er at a parent-teacher conference; his son got expelled. The Next Best Thing Martians came to Earth, seeking intelligent life; The people they found left them dismayed, with strife. But then they found an air guitar, and though it wasn't smart, They were delighted with how it enabled sport and art! Roll’ll Roll Jim played on his air guitar the best-ever solo, for sure; It couldn't be played in there music—why be demure? Bugger off, disco! And bugger off, rave! Rock 'n' roll'll make you roll in your grave! Flabbergasted at the Disgrace Joey showed up to band practice clutching an air bass; The Farquaads were flabbergasted at the disgrace. The grindcore act recruited him for air rhythm guitar; Joey's future as a Farquaad will not take him far. Pink, Not Green Dee's dad promised her a pink air guitar from the store, But they'd sold their last one and didn’t have more. Instead he brought home an air axe that was green; It was flat-out rejected by the inflexible tween. In Memory of Tom Regan Chad the air guitar was valedictorian at his school; Tom the air sax partied hard and epitomized cool! Both are unique subjects-of-a-life, who think and feel, But most folks dismiss them as somehow "not real." Long Neck An air bass, Sami, was known for her long neck. Passersby would ogle and ask, "What the heck?" They'd look behind and marvel; some would laugh. Is Sami an air bass? Or is she a giraffe? Lim’s Prom Date In high school, Lim lacked good looks and aplomb; When his crush said no, took an air guitar to prom. Lim feared kids would make fun of her and be mean, But they were enthralled and voted her prom queen! The Proper Response to Lurq Lurq said, "Get lost, you bloody scumbag!" The air guitar didn't let conversation lag, Retorting, "It is time for hostilities to cease. It's in my nature to bring about peace." And the Infinite Sadness Quuq traveled with his air guitar in an air case; Took out travel insurance, in case he had to replace His prized possession—it was worth the fee! Otherwise, if it got burgled? Melancholy!