Reflections on a Milky Steed Who's Quite Amphibious, Indeed

by Ian Tullis
Answer: VERSE

The Uddersome Newt-Horse has a unique rhyme scheme to his poem. No mere ABAB cliche, the scheme goes like this:

Well, I suppose you've heard the news; (A)
They figured out my mare-brained scheme. (B)
So hear my tale, O gentle team; (B)
Strike up the band and play the blues. (A)

Now, I was just a talking horse, (C)
The kind you find in humdrum zoos; (A)
And no one gave a crap, of course, (C)
Until I hit upon my ruse. (A)

Before I wore this eye of newt, (D)
I wasn't worth a shabby dime; (E)
But once I thought to act the mime, (E)
I threw this udder on to boot; (D)

And, presently, my scheme bore fruit! (D)
My visit count began to climb. (E)
I left 'em slain; I loved to schmooze. (A)
My "newt-horse" role was quite a hoot. (D)

Fame didn't wane; I hit no rut. (F)
I changed my whinnies into moos; (A)
I gave my lustrous fur the boot; (D)
I wore a newt skin drenched in slime (E)

And took care not to burst a seam. (B)
I cast away my iron shoes. (A)
My keeper squealed: "Oh, hon, you seem (B)
To be a different beast, and I'm (E)

Convinced that we have reached the time (E)
To flaunt you on a bigger stage." (G)
Oh, yikes! I thought. But what's to lose? (A)
And what's to gain but lots of loot? (D)

For I'm the only cow-newt-horse, (C)
The sort of freak that Joe Schmoe likes. (H)
Now, what a gig to land! And who's (A)
To know I'm just an average brute? (D)

We sailed off in his astro yacht. (I)
(I stayed close to the heating source, (C)
For space has such a hostile clime. (E)
I lack the cold blood of a newt!) (D)

I started on the open mics (H)
In Sector J, on Delta Prime; (E)
The crowds there were so full of booze (A)
That what I said was all but moot. (D)

I started off with gender jokes; (J)
I riffed on rams and skewered ewes. (A)
That sort of humor's stale and coarse— (C)
Just how a chap can get his start. (K)

I tapped into another vein: (L)
Some animals have blood that's hot (I)
And others' blood runs more toward cold. (M)
Comparisons were fun to draw. (N)

And so I took a well-worn page (G)
From Michael Jackson's famous rap (O)
In "Black or White" (that slime, that pap): (O)
Was my blood cold or hot? Who knew? (P)

And thus began my reign of pop. (Q)
They ate up "Am I Hot or Not?" (I)
My scheme had worked without a flaw. (N)
My species mix was all the rage. (G)

I didn't snooze; I wasn't done! (R)
This "King" of pop could surely climb (E)
to regal heights with powers vast. (S)
I searched all space for a land where (T)

They'd let me rule like Tony Blair. (T)
The dart hit Spain, on my Earth map. (O)
And in the fall, the Spaniards cast (S)
their votes—and, lo, the measure passed! (S)

My fans showed up to cheer and root (D)
For me; the square and streets were packed. (U)
"Shall this newt-horse be king of Spain?" (L)
"He shall!" they cried out. "Let it reign!" (L)

"And swear him in!" Such aahs and oohs! (A)
But Fate, my ally, now turned cruel. (V)
For as the crowd began to clap, (O)
A heavy rain began to fall. (W)

It melted off my newt-skin cast; (S)
It washed away my bogus slime. (E)
And all could see that my hot milk (X)
Came from a can and not a gland. (Y)

I'd worked to mold this royal hoax, (J)
Although I knew it was a crime. (E)
The lesson is: The plain of mane (L)
Can't feign a reign in fall in Spain. (L)

For once they figured out my scheme, (B)
They left me all washed up (and fracked). (U)
But I’ll chime in with one last plea— (Z)
Unlock my cell, and set me free! (Z)

Each of these words like ABBA, CACA, etc. is a synonym of, or described by, a one-syllable word in its verse. (The word may have to be interpreted in a different sense than the one in which it is used in the poem.)

These new words all rhyme with the same rhyme scheme. Take the associated letters.

ABBA = band (Y)
CACA = crap (O)
DEED = act (U)
DEAD = slain (L)
FADE = wane (L)
BABE = hon (R)
EGAD = yikes (H)
CHAD = land (as in the country) (Y)
ICED = cold (M)
HEAD = prime (E)
JACK = chap (O)
LIMN = draw (N)
GOOP = slime (E)
QING = reign (as in the Qing Dynasty) (L)
REST = snooze (A)
TOSS = cast (S)
DULL = square (T)
AVOW = swear (T)
SEXY = hot (I)
JELL = mold (M)
BUZZ = chime (E)

YOU'LL RHYME ONE LAST TIME. Indeed, each of these words also fits into the rhyme scheme:

you'll (V)
rhyme (E)
one (R)
last (S)
time (E)

So the answer is VERSE.