Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Under Where? (IPYPIASM Is HERE!)

Well, it’s that time of year again!  The time when both poets and non-poets alike venture forth from their studies and drawing rooms and take to the shops of the world to surreptitiously foist upon unsuspecting consumers their literary stylings:


International Put Your Poem In A Shop Month is the brainchild of an Irish poet who also blogs here, and you can find more detail about IPYPIASM here.  (It’s been rumored that the practice actually goes back to the days of Joyce, whose meandering five-hundred-stanza poems would so confuse Dublin shop-goers in the early 1900s that many shopkeepers would simply close down for the whole of December.)

All that’s required is that you write a poem, put it clandestinely in a shop for others to read, snap a picture of it (Joyce would do wood carvings, I’m told), and post it out on the googlytubez to share.  It’s loads of fun, a little heart-quickening, and ultimately the most life-enriching thing you’ll do that day.  Such is the emotional peak that the moment at which you take the photo is often referred to as IPYPIGASM.

As always, I’m late to the party, but here’s my initial effort:

Above:  No, I don’t normally spend time in the boy’s underwear section.

The text of the “poem” is as follows:
A child awake all through the night,
awaiting Christmas morn’s delight.
A choo-choo train?  A pogo stick?
An all-day sucker for him to lick?
There’s so much joy in Christmas toys,
such happiness for little boys!
But please, please THINK! Avoid a rift …
And don’t give undies as a gift.
So give it a try!  If you don’t, you'll be denying a stranger a good giggle or a warm moment, and that would make you some sort of holiday monster.  Nobody wants that.


Niamh B said...

Genius! Great research into the origins of old IPYPIASM as well, not to mention the bold placement of the poem.
Fab work.

Rachel Fox said...

There was always one auntie who gave underwear at xmas! And now a grown-up I am not that auntie...
Good job.

The Bug said...

This is brillian! My grandmother always gave underwear & little boxes of raisins as gifts :)

The Dead Acorn said...

Niamh B - thanks! I'm glad it was fairly empty ... explaining why I was taking pictures of boys underwear could have been awkward.
Rachel - change of that magnitude almost always has to be generational. I hope your nieces and nephews appreciate what you've done.
Bug - we always got little boxes of raisins in our stockings, along with walnuts, and an orange. I'm still confused as to the origins of that tradition.

Peter Goulding said...

Oh love it! Remember well having to fake excitement at getting underwear at Christmas. Well done!

Titus said...

Brilliant! And love the historical research too. The leaving the poem in the boys' underwear section is so bizarre I'm not going to comment.

I have trained my children to smile madly at any clothes-gifts, and say, 'Great, just what I wanted. A .....(insert clothing item here). Next is to try it on and say, 'It even fits!' even if it patently doesn't.

I always buy my husband boxer shorts and socks. He has trained himself to say, 'Great, etc...'

The Dead Acorn said...

Thanks, Peter & Titus! My daughter (The Live Acorn) says the same thing ... "Great. Just what I needed." only it's dripping with sarcasm. Damn kids these days.

The WB said...


hope said...

Where were you when I needed this? Every Christmas of my childhood, my great aunt handed out underwear...which we were suppose to ooh and ahh over as our mothers asked us to hold them up for inspection.

This may be where my aversion to shopping arose. :) Nicely done!

WrstMomEvr said...

They're called "panties."