We got the menu (not the pizza and definitely not the goat) hand-delivered from our friend Cheryl before she left Salem for the more enticing climes of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She'd been hanging out with all the hipsters in Portland (many of whom apparently model their facial hair after the billy pictured on the menu). She'd gotten hungry. She stopped by Hogan's Goat Pizza for a pie and, like probably everyone else, wondered who was Hogan and what was a goat pizza.
Old Hogan's Goat ... Was feeling fine ... HeJames Metcalfe, who, in the 1940s and 1950s (after his career in the FBI), penned hundreds of 'em for Chicago's newspaper The Times. (You can find lots of Metcalfe's poemulations preserved in old poetry scrapbooks.)
ate my shirts right off the line ... I took a
stick ... And broke his back ... And tied him
to a railroad track ... A speeding train ...
Came speeding by ... Old Hogan's Goat was
sure to die ... He gave a shriek ... A shriek of
pain ... Coughed up the shirts and FLAGGED
DOWN THE TRAIN!'
"Uncle" Walt Mason of Emporia, Kansas, was publishing poemulations as well (many of which also found their way into poetry scrapbooks; you can check out nearly two hundred pages of Mason's poemulations here). And, as we discussed back in 2009 in relation to a discussion in Virginia Jackson's book Dickinson's Misery, it's quite possible that Emily Dickinson could be said to have written in poemulation form before the Civil War—around the same time ... wait for it ... that the lyrics for "Hogan's Goat" were being written.