Gromboolia Anthology Recent Quackisitions, No. 3

Our theme for this Quackisitions update is Bob Dylan. Of course, Dylan himself is a fine purveyor of nonsense, as we’ve seen in the Anthology with tunes like “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” and “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Such adventures are a kind of signature, and they have not gone unnoticed, in encomiums and drubbings over the years. But true nonsense cannot be mocked, and so those who use it only create further nonsense. The Anthology now includes a couple of these “tributes.”

The most notable is from Robert Wyatt, founding member of Soft Machine, and since then an old-before-his-time bearded weirdy, cranking out gentle, crackly craziness. His 1997 album Shleep tilted nonsensical (not only in its title), and Dylanical, with “Blues in Bob Minor.” On the same album, by the way, is his “The Duchess,” which nods to Lewis Carroll. The other Dylanesque tune is Weird Al Yankovic’s “Bob.” I have mixed feelings about this one, as it is just a series of palindromes on the cards. Still, as you’ll see, the whole video performance, with it reflection of Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” seems to take it further, the video giving both more coherence and more implied, yet absent meaning. I’m leaving it in the Anthology for now–but you if you object, let me know! I’ll leave it here for now, dear Nonsensophiles.

Come back soon as your Mom, and check out more on: THE GROMBOOLIA ANTHOLOGY OF NONSENSE

Gromboolia Anthology Recent Quackisitions, No. 2

In the spirit of new things, new years, and the Official Second Update to the Gromboolia Anthology of Nonsense (soon to box the ears of Star Wars at the box office), I present to you Recent Quackisitions. There have been several addition of late, but here are a few highlights:

“Nonsense is the Fourth Dimension of Literature”

You don’t have to believe me…but I’m afraid you do have to believe Gelett Burgess, peripatetic discoverer of dubious dimensions and author of The Burgess Nonsense Book, noble addition to our Anthology.

As you can see from the title page, not everything in this book is meant to be nonsense, and even some that claims to be may not, in our fusty dustiness of nonsense definition, fit–but nonsense there is within, as seen in Burgess’s theoretical physics, not to mention his spotting the Muse of Nonsense.

“a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine”

Next is Algernon Charles Swinburn, whose literary excess is famous–and yet how fortunate he saw through his own bluster. His poem “Nephelidia” goes all-in on the all-inness of allinity.

“The Cause of Gauze”

Lastly, another must-hear from Of Montreal’s masterpiece album, Coquelicot 

Asleep in the Poppies: A volume of whimsical verse (2001). This is a spoken-word piece, “The Events Leading Up To The Collapse Of Detective Dullight,” which leads straight into the nonsense-music of  “Penelope.” 



Y’all come back soon, and check out more on: THE GROMBOOLIA ANTHOLOGY OF NONSENSE

Anushka Ravishankar has published her hiccups!

Anushka Ravishankar’s new nonsense book, Hic!, is not to be missed–especially if you own a hiccup or know one personally.






Here is a brief write-up, in Atlas Obscura, on the book, and also her strange and dark nonsense history, in which she once played badminton with The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense.


Farewell, Eckerö! May the fümms bä vä bë with you.

As it fades into the gray…

I write from the fringlings of Stockholm, after being torn away from my Eckerö home so unfairly, so prematurely. My Artist Residency came to a duckbilious but bountiful bubble yesterday, as I gave a lecture/performance for a very handsome crowd indeed (immaculate grooming, attractive cake-eating).

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Lemminkäinen’s Mother (1897)

There was talk of sound poetry, of Jaap Blonk, “Ursonate,” nonsense literature, and the nonsense that peeks out of The Kalevala, Finland’s national epic, compiled by Elias Lönnrot. To my horror, the translator of the Oxfrog Wonk Classics edition of The Kalevala states, “A few nonsense words generated by play have been rendered, in our less tolerant tongue, with rare words” (lii). Another nonsense star falls from the sky, as this booby of a translator translates out the nonsense—because, he claims, English is less tolerant of it?! Of all the festering frogbuckets! It’s no wonder the world is getting warmer and my shoes are getting tighter.


After talk of the International Phonetic Alphabet (check out the clickable audio version here!), and some crazy phonetics action, it was time for me to embark on an almost-full performance of Kurt Schwitters “Ursonate.” This is a goal I’ve had ever since a certain event on November 8th last year. And just as the Dadaists were exploding a world gone mad, well, we’re not too far from that now. That—and of course, the fact that it’s hilarious and clever and so beautifully constructed, and something that children seem to take a shine to, just as the Dadaists thought they would.

The show is over, folks, and I’ve left the building. Many thanks to the Åland cultural council, the folks at Tsarevna and Mercedes Chocolaterie, the crew at the museum, and special shout-out to Mervi Appel, Yvonne Törneroos, and Malin Åberg, who protected me from the giant bunnies and made my time there a hoot and a half and even a little more hoot, after the half went and you just felt like a little bit more hoot.

I include a short clip of the performance here. I will eventually do a better recording and post the whole thing.


Nonsense at Eckerö Post & Tullhus: Poetry, Sound, and Strangeness: Tuesday, 30 May, 3pm

The Eiffel Tower

For all of you who happen to be in the Åland Islands, please do drop by this lecture/performance! I will be talking about nonsense, poetry, nonsense poetry, poetic nonsense, nonsensical poetasting, and pudding. I will also be whollopping the wilds with sound poetry, and tales of my study of the Kalevala and Ålandish lichen. This will top off my writing residency here, and afterwards, there shall be much gnashing of teeth and beating of mournful mungbuckets.

Click here for the Eckerö Post & Tullhus Facebook event site.

Nonsens at Eckerö Post & Tullhus: Poetry, Sound and Strangeness

Michael Heyman

Eckerö Post & Tullhus

Tuesday, May 30th, 3-4pm.


Åland and my Big Head

My big head rears its ugly… um… will here’s an interview in one of the big Åland newspapers. Hope your Swedish is up to snuff(kin)!

Click below for the two pages:

Page one of article.

Page two of article.

And the special online bonus: a video of an abbreviated “Ursonate” by Kurt Schwitters.

Nonsense Residency, Eckerö Post and Customs House, Åland Islands

The Groke, observing the Eckerö Post and Customs House

Perhaps it was being raised on the Swedish chef’s jaunty genius, or perhaps it is the perspicuous peaks and valleys of intonative incline; or perhaps it is the historical hiccups that created Swedish-speaking Finns (better than Fiendish-speaking Swinns, my Farfar used to say, and he knew a few swarthy Swinns in his day); or it could be the Lunatic Lund spirit, found seven years ago right under the nose of the Nose Museum and the highly- regarded PhD on Nosery; but it does seem that nonsense, slow like honey wrapped in a five pound note, comes with the slow spring, in the mossy forests’ underfoot crunch or the absurdly large bunnies, tempting one down a rabbit hole, of this island of Eckerö, in the Åland Islands, beTwixt and between like an early adolescent on beHalloween.

Whatever currents that brought me here, I find myself in an Artist Residency at the Eckerö Post and Customs House, built in 1828 to prongify the Swedes and the rest of the world, a kind of Pre-Putin shirtless horseback riding through the cutting Baltic wind to put a puffed up front on a crumbled empire.

My mission: to create, in this hybrid archipelago, some strange hybrid of sound poetry and literary nonsense, something that some adults will find terribly difficult, and something some children will find terribly funny and something most will just find terrible. It will happen by way of something like this—and so consider yourself fairly warned.

I would get to work if I could just find a tabell that wasn’t bustidd.