Archive for January, 2017

microreview & interview: Leah Poole Osowski’s Hover Over Her

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Leah Osowski’s poem “Vs. Field” is forthcoming Issue 13.2. In today’s blog post, Associate Editor José Angel Araguz reviews Osowski’s collection, Hover Over Her.

by José Angel Araguz

While reading Leah Poole Osowski’s Hover Over Her, I found myself coming back to the phrase “the poetics of suddenness.” Throughout the collection, moments are built up into a spark and flash of imagery and linguistic resonance, so that often a reader is engaged in the act of keeping up with the poem as it happens. These lines from “For the Unrealized Girls” serve as a brief example of how this kind of suddenness works:

—the throb that comes the first time

an earlobe is sealed into the envelope of a mouth,
the beating wingspan of an owl under-chest—

The juxtaposition of physical descriptions here, from human to animal, is executed in such a way that both come alive simultaneously. The human acts are imbued with that of the animal, and vice versa; these twin moments of intensity push the lyric to a sudden level of emotion, lingering there before moving on.

In “Three Girls and Something Like Hovering on a Hill in Vermont” this same suddenness works as a narrative engine. This poem begins by contextualizing the lives of three girls via ideas of motion:

They’ll take more walks in this phase than any other—

the budding years right before driver’s licenses

just after boundaries…

These three lines paint a picture indirectly; rather than an age, the reader is given before and after. In this gesture, one can read the title’s “hovering” as pointing to a state of being indefinable. From here, the liminal energy of youth carries the poem forward through various details of the three girls’ respective lives, culminating at the end in images whose succession and immediacy have a meaning on the level of near physical sensation:

…There’s homemade

dandelion wine in the top cabinet. A little brother

grasping a fly swatter. A rooster hung from a cypress,

bleeding out in a kill cone. Most of the poplar stairs

lick the girls’ bare feet as they lightning past.

Here, the velocity of the three girls’ lives is mirrored in the speed of the narrative. Meaning and narrative happen in confluence through juxtaposition, the story realized through each image and phrasing registered. In a poem where a little brother is presented poised on the edge of violence, and a rooster hangs as a victim of violence, the image and sensation of the last line resonate with a mortal urgency.

This urgency is also present in a series of prose poems from the perspective of various inanimate objects. The poem “Blood Speaks of the Heart” begins:

It’s like coming home. Like running through a corn maze. Like the Vatican. But it really depends on which side you’re in, the blood gushes. If your next stop are the lungs then it feels like you’re climbing so many flights of stairs at an area of high elevation. And if you just came from the lungs it’s like a dance party in the atrium where nobody ever gets tired and the music is pumping and the energy is so high that the crowd always spills out into the streets and takes to sprinting…

Here, the imaginative leaps serve to redefine the biological working of blood via metaphor. This redefining becomes another kind of hovering, pushing against expectation through the conceit of blood speaking. Yet, metaphor and conceit necessarily push the poem back to its human terms:

And what about love, we ask? The blood gets real quiet. It whispers, we’ve heard of that version of the heart, we’ve heard it lives upstairs. And then in a barely audible murmur, like heaven lives upstairs up from you.

In this back and forth between blood and the speaker, one can see with what suddenness the redefining and reimagining impulse can be curbed. Osowski’s ability to evoke both exuberance and pathos within this conceit makes for an engaging reading experience.

The ambition of this poetic of suddenness can be seen in the emotional range of the poems discussed. Like the hovering implied in the collection’s title, a poem becomes a space where reader and writer can linger and consider experience. In Osowski’s hands, a poem is a way to reach after, but not hold or restrain, experience. Suddenness, then, becomes a way to do this work. The speaker in the sequence “Moonstone” asks a telling question:

10. You think you know the shade of someone once your body has laid next to theirs a certain number of times. But then the question arises—what color, if any, are they when the light goes out?

As the reader lingers in both the physical and conceptual dark of the speaker’s question, inklings of how unanswerable this question is and why begin to crack through. The speaker goes on to end the poem with an image of what it feels like to hover such questions:

11. Snow angels in a blizzard.


JAA: How would you say this collection reflects your idea of what poetry is/can be? 

LPO: This summer I lived at a camp in the woods next to a lake. A larger lake nearby spit out rocks perfectly smooth and flat. I wrote the word “transformation” on one and kept it on the table in the center of the cabin. I believe poetry transforms experience. It’s a way of accessing memory and image through a layer of language. And language has a mind of its own. It can render reality optional, persona flexible, and insert rooms into the smallest details. All day we walk around with gravity and a whole slew of rules that apply to this world—poetry transcends those limitations, so when you have an art form that can do that you must. Poetry also tends to corral your preoccupations and obsessions, sometimes subconsciously. In that way, we access what’s pawing at us, herd it all into a fenced-in area, and hope to calm it down. But back to that lake stone: by adding words to the natural world we aim to understand it, or maybe just increase our proximity.

JAA: What were the challenges in writing these poems and how did you work through them?

LPO: I tend to begin poems on a line or an image and let the language take over and drive the content. I wrote most of the poems in this book in a 2 ½ year period and it wasn’t until the end of that time that I laid them out to witness the conversation they were having. The challenges weren’t in the individual poems but how they were working as a collection. I realized that the narrative backbone of this book is the poems about the “three girls” and their arch needed some shaping. But when I tried to write a prescripted poem it fell apart. The lack of spontaneity results in a dulling of luster. I’d write them and my boyfriend, who’s also a writer, would tell me they were terrible, and I’d go back in and mess up their hair. They’re like kids in that way—if you try to dress them up and keep them neat by the end of the day there’s grass stains and bruises and four wardrobe changes. Poems, like all living things, need their freedoms, and the challenge is in allowing that to happen while steering a collection towards cohesion.


Hover Over Her is available for purchase from The Kent State University Press.

To find out more about Leah Poole Osowski’s work, check out her site.

From Forests to Factories: Writers and the Landscape

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Writers don’t just describe the settings they inhabit, they make them their own. Twain’s Mississippi River, the Brontës’ haunted moors, Langston Hughes’ Harlem—even as these places change, they are forever defined by the writers who loved them and preserved them in language. In Issue 13.2, our poets explore the emotional complexities of setting, drawing on family history, American history, memories, and careful observation to find beauty in the mechanical Moors!and communion in the solitary. As Philip Pardi writes in his poem, “Ocean in View,” “I’ve come far to be near.” These two poets get up close to find the bigger story.

Andrew Hemmert on “Smokestacks”: One of the prevailing themes of my writing is urban landscape and its potential for lyric reinvention. Driving through Apollo Beach, I’m always drawn to the smokestacks. My uncle worked at Tampa Electric when he was in college, and he used to climb the smokestacks in a hazmat suit to sample the output. I always thought there was something glamorous in the grime of that story. This poem touches on environmental concerns, but ultimately seeks to identify the human elements that burn at the heart of our machines.

Philip Pardi on “Ocean in View”: I live in the mountains. The birds I know by name are mountain birds. The trees are mountain trees. Each night after work I cross the Hudson River, and as the bridge rises beneath me, so too do the mountains before me. Days off, I hike: lots of up and down, of climbing up to look down. No surprise, then, that the mountains figure in my work; in recent years, the landscape around me has been a place where poetry begins or converges. This poem emerged when I found myself, after a long, long drive, on the flattened North Carolina shoreline. I felt utterly unprepared for it: ocean, distance, seagulls, horizons. I had been reading the journals of Lewis and Clark, which is where the title comes from: the full line is “Ocian in view! O! the joy,” and I wanted something of that joy, but then “wanting” seemed suddenly and precisely to be the problem. This poem is an attempt to start again.

Meet and Greet

Friday, January 27th, 2017

A video marking the changing of the CR guard. Becky Adnot-Haynes speaks about submissions, grip strength, and pizza. (Cameo by Nicola Mason’s boots.)

On Copyediting—a 7-part YouTube Series

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Ever wonder what the differences are between good copyediting and bad copyediting? Follow our new Cincinnati RevYouTube 7-part copyediting series, hosted by the Editor of Acre Books, Nicola Mason.

On My First Week as Managing Editor

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

One week ago today I began my new role as managing editor of The Cincinnati Review. In addition to wresting The Chicago Manual of Style from former managing editor Nicola Mason, who is small but mighty, I’ve learned that this gig requires wearing many hats (metaphorical hats, not actual ones. Hats look weird on me, and they make my head sweat.) Anyway, here are some of the first tasks I’ve tackled.IMG_7478 (2)

  1. Traversed campus twice in a quest to track down my office keys and ID card, which were thrust into limbo when a holiday threw the university’s key-makers off their game. Did you know that UC’s campus is known for its striking, innovative modern architecture? Did you know that striking, innovative modern architecture sometimes makes it hard to know where staircases lead?
  2. Scheduled a pizza party, then promptly cancelled it after catching the stomach flu from my twenty-two-month-old son. I also learned that pizza parties—OK, fine, meetings—a staple of the office when I was a graduate student on staff, languished after my departure. “You really like pizza,” I remember Nicola commenting. Yes, yes I do.
  3. Hired, from a pool of impressive candidates, two new staffers for next year, when two of our current staffers will (sniff) depart.
  4. Made arrangements to attend AWP, where I’ll work the CR’s table alongside our other editors, attend sessions, and (yay!) go to this year’s Monster Mags of the Midwest event.
  5. Wrote content and considered strategy for the magazine’s social media channels. Plus, Nicola and I filmed content for Cincinnati RevYouTube. Keep an eye out. (And follow us on Twitter!)
  6. Read several promising submissions passed on to me by the staff. And even though all of them won’t make their way into our pages—we, like most lit mags, receive more worthy work than we can fit into our issues—we still read these pieces with care and consideration, often requesting that the writer try us again.

Most of all, I’ve been heartened by things. I’m heartened by my colleagues at the magazine, who have kept the magazine afloat during this transition. I’m heartened that there are so many writers out there producing gorgeous work, work that cuts to the vital force of human experience. I’m heartened by our subscribers, who support the magazine and read the work we produce. Most of all, I’m heartened that I have a job where I get to help pieces of art make their way into the world. That’s something that definitely deserves a pizza party/meeting.

Wee Beastie Inspirations: Issue 13.2

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first saw the microscopic monsters that the naked eye can’t see, describing the odd creatures as “cavorting, wee beasties.” A barrier had been crossed; the world of flesh and blood and dirt, so tangible around us and within us, was once again enveloped by mystery. The homunculi of our knowledge had come into question, challenged by the microscopic beasts whirling not only in some drops of water, but in all water everywhere. As poets, we ought to keep our eyes sharp for the immense as well as the Lilliputian. Between eye floaters and a bedbug infebeastiestation, some of the contributors to issue 13.2 have focused on the importance of the micro-world that lives in tandem with our own. While we’re always interacting, often unconsciously, with the wee kingdom, these writers focus on the minuscule, seeing in that impossible smallness our own condition as humans.

Claire Hero on “The Intraocular Ocean”: Several years ago, to further my understanding of scientific inquiry, I enrolled in some biology courses. Over and over, when I was first learning to use a microscope, I saw not the cells on the slide but the floaters in my own eye. These floaters seemed like things swimming through my eye, and I started to think of the eye as an “intraocular ocean,” an ocean replete with the strange creatures we find in the deep sea. Working with this metaphor I developed the poem. This poem reflects the writing process as I understand it: one sits down in the dark, plunges a hand into the eye, and writes what emerges from the uncharted waters of the imagination. At the same time, the poem speaks to the violence that creativity and scientific inquiry are capable of in the name of knowledge or art.

Taylor Gorman on “Insect”: This poem came out of a long year that I had. I had five different addresses and moved around a lot in grad school during 2015, mostly due to bad luck. When I finally had a permanent apartment, I found out too late that I had moved into a place that had bedbugs. I threw all my stuff out: the couch, my keyboard, paintings. I sat in my empty apartment and wrote this poem. Though it has little to do with bedbugs themselves, this poem is a direct result of my “giving up” to the disaster of that year: I, for one, welcomed my insect overlords.

What’s Poetry Got to Do With It?: Meditation

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Musings by José Angel Araguz

Episode 6: Meditation

In this episode I explore ways in which meditation can apply to the craft of poetry.

Some Preliminary Thoughts

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, however, it’s worth framing my own outlook on meditation as it has developed over the years. First off, meditation is simply being. While there are a great number of apps (I’m using Calm at the moment, but have also worked with Buddhify and Headspace) which provide guided meditations and/or music and soundscapes which add to the experience, what one essentially does in meditation is make the intention to set aside time to exist within their own mind.

Now, while meditation can be done sitting on the floor, in a comfortable chair, sitting cross-legged, it can also be done lying on the floor, on your bed, lying flat or with your knees up, etc. Meditation can also be done by walking, or even listening to music. I wake up every morning and read a few poems aloud; I don’t study or analyze them, I just let them ring out in the air. As can be seen, most activities can become meditative if approached with the intention to engage in them with full attention.

Though some religions do incorporate meditation into their rites, meditation is not a religion. It is not a diet, not a set of principles or a new way of life. There are many privileged, ableist, and potentially triggering materials out there that put pressure and misguided expectations on a practice that should be about not feeling pressure and expectations. Meditation, like poetry, is about setting the intention to go let yourself be in a room simply breathing (or writing down words). Approached this way, both poetry and meditation offer answers to the question of: How does it feel to exist?

Learning from the Pine

Basho_by_Kinkoku_c1820One of the first poets that came to mind when I began to think about this subject is the classical Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. Famous for his haiku and travel journals, Basho was also a great teacher. One famous lesson begins with the suggestion to “Learn about the pines from the pine, and about bamboo from the bamboo.” He goes on to say:

One must first of all concentrate one’s thoughts on an object. Once the mind achieves a state of concentration and the space between oneself and the object had disappeared, the essential nature of the object can be perceived. Then express it immediately. If one ponders it, it will vanish from the mind.

This mix of concentration and expression in the face of moments “vanishing” connects to meditation in terms of how hard it is to exist. Meditation is often considered a calm, easy thing. Yet, as soon as you close your eyes, all you sense is chaos: you daydream; your to-do list and responsibilities come immediately to mind; or a past memory surfaces and distracts you. These distractions can happen even on a walking meditation, when you begin to worry and stop noticing the things you pass on your walk. When any of these happen, it is your attention span and energy that vanish. Meditation is engaging directly with this chaos inside, and, for at least five or ten minutes, letting it go.

The small victory of letting yourself take the time to write, to pull out the notebook or open a fresh document and let yourself begin the process of writing requires a similar mix of concentration and letting go. A poem begins with a few words—but which words? Sitting before a blank page can not only leave you stuck, it can also make whatever nerve you had to write vanish. Writing prompts are great tools for writing into a meditative space exactly because they give us a way to begin. With a set of words or a theme, the mind can focus on creating, following the sense of the words.

Revision Mind

That feeling of being stuck before a blank page not knowing where to start can, with meditation, over time be worked into what I like to call “revision mind.” When meditation forces us to exist in the space behind closed eyes or the space of noticing what is in front of us as we walk—noticing and letting it pass, not studying or analyzing—it places us in the same space as when we sit in front of words.

One thing I like to do when revising a poem is to rewrite it by hand. This act places me back into the same silence as when the first draft was written; it also allows me to consider each word again. One line at a time, the poem gets rewritten slowly, and the full range of emotions—from This is brilliant! to Whose idea was it to let me move around words???—is experienced. If I set the intention to not judge the lines and not get hung up on the inadequacies of the poem (which the ego, of course, sees as a reflection of my own inadequacies), I make room for possible changes as well as acceptance.

pine-trees-1209656_960_720We return to our favorite poems by others because of what we find in them, and what we find is often simultaneously familiar and new. Our own poems work in the same manner, and yield possibilities beyond the first few drafts if approached with intention and consideration. It is too easy to seek the reassurance of brilliance or reflection of inadequacy in our own poems; however, a poem doesn’t need that validation, people do. And we owe it to our poems to treat them like poems, to “learn about the pines from the pine,” as someone more brilliant and more adequate than me put it.


In her contribution to the book A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith, poet Jane Hirshfield discusses her time in a Buddhist monastery, when she did “nothing but practice Zen.” She goes on to share:

When I returned to poetry…I brought with me two things I now can see would be useful to any young aspiring writer: the monastic model of non-distraction and silence, and the experience of calling oneself into complete attention. The ability to stay in the moment, to investigate immediate existence through my own body and mind, was what I most needed to learn at that point in my life, and to learn to stay within my own experience more fearlessly.

Because of the attention it asks us to pay to the shifts and nuances of how we feel while existing, meditation is a way to become fearless and be able to stay within your own experience. While my thoughts here only begin to explore the connections between meditation and poetry, if nothing else I hope I have established the value of attention in both activities. Attention, which in meditation talk is often termed mindfulness or awareness, is invaluable to poetry. By having us pay attention to words, poems open ways for us to pay attention to the world.


For more on Basho’s lesson, go here.

To read the full excerpt from A God in the House, go here.

YouTube Contest Winner

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

It’s possible Ben regrets his promise to repeat the name of our new YouTube subscriber (selected randomly from the group of new-YouTube-ies) one thousand times. His regret may even be palpable in his half-hour video making good on his pledge. He may even cry for help, or simply cry. He may hit rock bottom and rebound, all the while saying the same name over . . . and over . . . and over. He may grow numb—possibly as numb as the viewer of this half-hour video of him saying the same name over . . . and over . . . and over. Spoiler: he survives. He may smile at the end. You’ll have to watch to see.

CR under New Management

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017


Becky Adnot-Haynes

Becky Adnot-Haynes

It’s our pleasure to announce that, as of next week, Becky Adnot-Haynes will be moving into the Managing Editor position here at CR. She’s replacing Nicola Mason, who’ll turn her attention to launching the book-publishing arm of the journal, to be called Acre Books. More soon on Acre. For now, let’s tell you a bit about Becky, who’s been an asset to the mag for many years. She began reading as a volunteer way back in 2009, came on staff in 2012—working as Assistant Editor, then Associate Editor, in our snug little office—and while earning her PhD in fiction published The Year of Perfect Happiness in 2014 (winner of The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction). After graduation, Becky worked in advertising, honing her writing and editing skills. Now she returns to 369 McMicken Hall to champion literature once more. When we forced her to make a statement, she had this to say about her “dream job”:

“The Cincinnati Review is one of the most awesome literary magazines around, and I’m honored to join its ranks. I look forward to upholding the magazine’s commitment to publishing fresh, diamond-sharp prose and poetry, and to working with the staff to continue to usher it forward. Thanks, CR, for having me!”


Hink Pink Answer Key

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Thanks to those who took a stab at solving our holiday hink pink puzzle. The answers await below:

  • Ornamental cap for the gland that secretes melatonin (hinkily pinkily): Pineal finial
  • Very poor job, colloquially, of hurling a carnival’s live-animal swallower (hinky pinky): Weak-sauce geek toss
  • Barmier chortling (hinky pinky): Dafter laughter
  • Wally Cleaver’s failed attempt to pass himself off as author of the Cultural Revolution (hinkily pinkily): Tony Dow’s phony Mao
  • Maltese Falcon actor’s anecdote about a Yankee shortstop (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Peter Lorre’s Jeter story
  • Government payout after a Dadaist injured himself while hoisting a urinal in the British Museum? (hinky pinky): Duchamp’s loo comp
  • Hannibal native’s stint as Colombian rebels’ jefe (hinky pinky): Mark Twain’s FARC reign
  • Ingenious bug bedeviling Hannah Montana (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Miley Cyrus’ wily virus
  • Literary whaler’s dig at a celebrity chef (hinky pinky): Ahab’s Flay jab
  • Feud between a pop icon and the author of Executioner’s Song (hinkily pinkily): Taylor Swift-Mailer rift
  • Prison for promiscuous bovines (hinky pinky): Loose cow hoosegow
  • Missile-riding actor, give a quick read to Bleak House! (hinkily pinkily): Slim Pickens, skim Dickens!
  • Verbal puzzle for Whedoniacs (hinky pinky): Joss nerd crossword
  • Germanic cube of rebaked bread (hinky pinky): Teuton crouton
  • Worldwide internet community clobbers Louisiana senator for his sex-play in a funeral-home vehicle (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Twitterverse whomps Vitter hearse romps
  • Japanese general’s icy treat (hinky pinky): Tojo’s froyo
  • Depression-era president’s ice-cream-pastel blinds (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Herbert Hoover’s sherbet louvers
  • Barney Fife’s French witticisms? (hinky pinky): Don Knotts’ bon mots
  • Would-be presidential assassin Fromme’s luau torch (hinky pinky): Squeaky’s tiki
  • Maurice Gibb in Melanesia (hinky pinky—all rhyme): Fiji BeeGee
  • Mediterranean condiment is in favor of getting a Brazilian (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Tahini backs bikini wax
  • Cartoon superhero rodent’s mercurial marital partner (hinkily pinkily): Mighty Mouse’s flighty spouse
  • Babylonian legal code namesake’s sidelight of experimenting with ionizing radiation (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Hammurabi’s gamma hobby
  • Name for the occasion when a Fascist-friendly poet sprang for diet citrus soft drinks for all (hinkily pinkily–and with a slight rhyme cheat): Ezra Pound’s Fresca round
  • Headline: Internet rumor clearinghouse confirms that the Vatican is now a nuclear power (hinkily pinkily): com: “Pope’s got bomb”
  • Campus jail in Blacksburg (hinky pinky): Hokie Pokey
  • Psychiatrist of 20th-century American pragmatist philosopher Richard grabs a wee nap (hinkily pinkily): Rorty shrink’s forty winks
  • Policy analyst’s straightened Afro (hink pink): Wonk conk
  • Fictive evangelist’s larder (hinky pinky): Gantry’s pantrymanatee1
  • Little kitchen corner where the microscope’s inventor keeps his Ray Lewis jersey (hinkily pinkily): Leeuwenhoek’s Raven nook
  • Sea herbivore’s self-regard (hinkily pinkily): Manatee’s vanity
  • 18th/19th-century German polymath’s state of Indian seclusion (hinky pinky): Goethe’s purdah
  • Classic TV kid’s dim captor (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Opie Taylor’s dopey jailor
  • Elizabeth Bennet’s Bollywood suitor (hinky pinky): Farsi Darcy
  • Apathetic island race of mythology’s welcoming committee for Michelle Obama (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Lotus-Eaters’ FLOTUS greeters
  • English diarist’s broken-down jalopies (hink pink): Pepys’ jeeps
  • Jewel-encrusted aileron (hink pink): Wing bling
  • Roman magistrate’s cute car (hinky pinky): Pliny’s Mini
  • Bumbling inspector’s dowry (hinky pinky): Clouseau trousseau
  • Compulsively stockpilin’ hatcheter (hinky pinky): Hoardin’ Borden
  • Recently retired Laker great’s smoothie-shop misadventure (hinkily pinkily): Black Mamba’s wack Jamba
  • Terrible product idea: Small beanbag with glue on its underside (hinkily pinkily): tacky-back hacky sack
  • What a manager (Domo arigato, sir!) had to do in 1983 when an arena-rock band jonesed for a crispy candy bar but none were available (hinky pinky, but all rhyme): Nix Styx’ Twix fix
  • Singer/Urban Cowboy club-owner’s shuddering fear of love bites (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Mickey Gilley’s hickey willies
  • Hootenanny featuring the Supremes (hinky pinky): Motown hoedown
  • Middle Brady sis is tryin’ for an inhalation high and a fiber-filled breakfast at the same time (hinkily pinkily): Jan huffin’ bran muffin
  • Post-dinger celebration failed to connect with Forrest (hinky pinky): Fist bump missed Gump
  • Oddball list: Toothy present-day fish, toothy squeaky-clean songstress/star of the 1950s, toothy prehistoric meat-devourer (hinklediddledoo pinklediddledoo): Piranha, Doris, Tyrannosaurus
  • Distaff soccer great’s Sorento fraud (hinkily pinkily): Mia’s Kia
  • “Firework” diva’s milking operation, staffed by pirates (hinkily pinkily): Katey Perry’s matey dairy
  • Actor/Soulquarians’ rapper idly draws instant dorm-pasta (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Common doodles Ramen noodles
  • Polka satirist quailed before 2001 computer (hinky pinky): Weird Al feared Hal
  • World’s biggest-selling writer’s ululation on a workers’ holiday (hinklediddle pinklediddle): K. Rowling’s May Day howling
  • Underwood canned-meat-sponsored pageant winner’s unkempt Dracula creator, familiarly (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Miss Deviled Ham’s disheveled Bram
  • Outlaw Country icon’s verbal eruptions about a certain Grizzly Mama (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Waylon Jennings’ Palin ventings
  • A gathering of ten devout yellow henchmen (hinky pinky): Minion minyan
  • Please outlaw Common Sense pamphleteer Tom’s sexist explications! (hinky pinky): Ban Paine’s mansplains!
  • What’s seen when a portly officer’s shirt rides up while securing an arrestee (hinkily pinkily): Cuffin’ cop’s muffin top
  • Plow inherited by John Scopes’ defense lawyer (hinklediddle pinklediddle): Clarence Darrow’s parents’ harrow
  • Beyonce’s husband upchucks country short-shorts (hinkily pinkily): Jay Z pukes Daisy Dukes