Zane Carriker Website

Performer, Poet, Voice Artist and
Mark Twain impersonator,

"Zane Carriker is a performer worth the price of admission."

Performing for Schools, Banquets, Clubs, Luncheons, Parties, Assisted Living Facilities and Special Events performing Poems, Songs or as Mark Twain.

"Thanks again for entertaining our residents.
They love you."
Tina Connor
The Consulate - Sarasota
Zane as Twain

Zane as Twain

Read my Blog
An ongoing conversation about "poets and poetry" and how they have influenced my work as a poet.


Writing poems is more fun than just about anything else I've ever done. It's a hoot to get people to laugh with words that just happen out of my brain.
To quote Mark Twain . . .
My skull is my workshop

Often compared to Dr. Suess, Lewis Carol, Ogden Nash and Shel Silverstien, I've been told that my poetry is exceptional.

My years as an exacting teacher and technical writer have helped me hone my writing skills to a fine edge.
In Japan, I taught English for eight years and worked as a technical writer at Panasonic. In the U.S. I worked as a technical writer for a large packaging machinery company. I've written hundreds of technical manuals for food products.

Willard Espy, who for years wrote the poetry column in Writer's Digest, was also a great influence. Every month I remember getting the magazine in the mail and tucking it into my book bag for my train ride to work. In the morning, I would sit down on the train and turn directly to the poetry column. It really made my day.
Some poems come to me and are finished in an hour. Others have taken as much as ten years of tweeking before I finally said "OK, it's done."

You can hear samples of my poetry throughout the website wherever you see an audio or video control.

Voice Over

Are you looking for a unique voice and style for your Voice Over project. Listen here to a demo which I wrote and recorded in one day. I found the sound effects online and did all of the voices and mixing.

Mr. Hippo and the Spin Doctor

In High School I remember listening to KGHO's Richard D. "The Friend of those who want to Friends" and I wanted to be a disc jockey. In college I was. I had Saturday afternoon playing soul music in Seattle right when Rap hit the air. I played Grand Master Flash and Alligator Woman. Working there is also where I came to enjoy doing Voice Over work.

In Tokyo I worked at a recording studio doing radio spots and language course recordings. A coloring book came with the cassette course, so the kids would color in the books while learning English. In the book a cartoon worm, bird, giraffe and hippo travelled the Earth learning English. So, there is a whole generation of Japanese children who know my voice as that of Mr. Hippo from their English lesson.

Another job I had while in Yokohama was as a model for Toyota, where I was in dozens of Toyota advertisements published worldwide. After a year or so, I got replaced because they decided to go with the "Ivan Lendl" type. I guess Mr. Hippo wasn't working out for them.

What's in the Past
is His Story

When I was a child, my mother read and recited poems. In the evenings all of us kids would gather in the front room and she would recite for us. It was a wonderful thing to sit there enthralled by her readings. The poems she had memorized are still some of my favorites, "Little Orphan Annie" by James Whitcomb Reily
"The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service.

Those two poets remain my all time favorites. Much of my performance style is inspired by the way that she read for us.

At the age of ten I decided to memorize my family's favorite poems, but I didn't start writing my own poems until my first year of college.

In High School I had an American Literature teacher (Mr. Larry Johnson) who introduced me to many poets whom I came love. My favorite was Robert Frost. Over the years, I've memorized several of his poems and enjoy performing them.

What is a Fabulist

fab·u·list [fab-yuh-list] :noun
1.a person who invents or relates fables.
2.a liar.
Origin: 1585-95; < MF fabuliste, equiv. to < fabul(a) fable + -iste -ist

How I Came to Twain

In High School I went to the library and checked out a record of Hal Holbrook performing as Mark Twain. I think that I remember that the recording was made the year that I was born. I so enjoyed his performance that I played the record over and over until I had memorized it. Now thirty-five years later, I wanted to continue to do Mark Twain, but since Mr. Holbrook's work is certainly copyrighted I needed another course. In my life I have read most everything that Mark Twain published. I began to compile Mark Twain quotes. I gathered dozens and dozens of quotes from his books, speeches and letters. Then I worked them into several individual conversations using only a few of my own words to tie the quotes together into a coherent conversation.
It's about a forty-five minute show.

Agents interested in booking this act - Please see contact info at the bottom of this page.
The Illuminating Tale of Bat Trees

Here is "At the Wheel". I wrote this in 1999 and kept changing words for almost ten years.

Here's my song for Lindsay Lohan

Here's my comment on the state of the economy.

The Barely Libelous Tale of Lie Berries

There's a Fly in My Soup

The Ball in the Bubble

Songs from the Fabulist Experience

The Pig Song

Red Skelton did this as a poem on PBS in a Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth.
Then one day I met a lady who sang me this version and I've been singing it every since.

The Cockroach Song

This is "The Cockroach Song" which my Mother taught me when I was in Fourth grade.
The Second two songs (The Chicken Song and The Lightning Song) I wrote the based on "The Cockroach Song".

To the Tune Of

These are Spoof Songs that I wrote "To the Tune Of".
They are listed here by their real song names.

Bye Bye Blackbird / Moonlight Bay / In the Good Ol' Summertime

Yankee Doodle / Four-Leaf Clover / Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Food For Thought
"The Twisted Tale of Sand Witches"

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the word "Sandwich. I didn't want to see "sand" in my lunch or "witches" on the menu. One day I was thinking about the word sandwich and I noticed a dust devil. I said, "Dust Devil, Dust Witch, Sand Devil. Then "Sand Witch". That day I started making notes for what would become:"The Twisted Tale of Sand Witches". For six months I took notes every day before I began to compile the poem into its final form. Though the poem is not about food, when I was writing this, one of my favorite things to do was to see how many "items of sandwich food", I could get into the poem.
Here is a twisted version of
"The Twisted Tale of Sand Witches"

The Barely Libelous
Tale of Lie Berries

Some folks talk of the Lie Berry
But they haven't got proof
They say once you eat them
Then you can't tell the truth

Well, there's no straw in the strawberry
There's no straw in their juices
And Lie Berries aren't real
But they've still had their uses

Why, the wonder of wonderland
Surely you know
Was dreamt up from the Lie Berries
That the author would grow

As were the Cheshire cat
The red queen in her palace
The tum tum tree
And other lies he told Alice

And what a treat when Tom Sawyer
Was picked from the brain
Of that master of deception
Sounding Mark Twain

He'd make Lie Berry white lighting
In old Mason jars
And dried the mash left of the Lie Berry
To smoke in cigars
And James Whitcomb Riley wrote
In some magical tales
Of the Squegicum Squeeges
That swallers themselves

Of goblins he wrote
And the man in the moon
His libation was Lie Berries
In cream with a spoon

Then there's the cat in the hat
On his long spindly legs
And that Sam with the list
Of where to eat eggs

Some wild wooly works
Penned by old Doctor Seuss
When he was getting jet fuel injections
Of Lie Berry juice

Some tellers of tales
You've read I suppose
Tales as tall as a tree
And as long as your nose

Where wooden boy wisdom
Is the word for the day
I expect you to believe
Every word that I say

I have eaten the Lie Berry
This tale is my proof
Since the first time I ate them
I have not told the truth

I've told some doozies
But let me be clear
If it weren't for the Lie Berry
I wouldn't be here

I'm spinning this yarn one fib to another
And sometimes you just judge a book by its cover
Take it on faith from a prevaricant schnook
You'll read some really tall tales
In a Lie Berry book.

The Ball in the Bubble

Once I thought to myself that I'd seen it all,
Till I took a look into a crystal oddball.
Was I daring or dreaming or looking for trouble,
When I blew through the ring that read "Crystal Ball Bubble".
From out of the bubble the images came,
As it shimmered and floated and fluttered like flame.
I've seen some strange things, I'll tell you that,
But, never a flamingo in tails and top hat.

They flew in by the dozens to a crystalline hall.
Flamingos all flocking to a great crystal ball.
To a dazzling ballroom, gaudy with glitz,
Where flamboyant flamingos go to put on the Ritz.
One flaming flamingo, pretty as you please,
Prances pink pirouettes on stark stalky knees.
One flashing flyer, across the dance floor he sails,
Turning the tango in tuxedo and tails.
Flamingo and flamingo, round they go one and all,
Dancing the flamenco at the flamingo ball.
All pink flamingos, no cranes or egrets,
Jingling and jangling brass cast castanets.
All dancing round on pearly pink wings,
With boas and bangles and earrings and things.
All fine feathered friends in the finest of threads,
With coats on their tails and top hats on their heads.
That's what I saw in that odd bubble ball.
At least that's what my memory seems to think I recall.
I've seen some strange things, I'll tell you that,
But, never a flamingo in tails and top hat.
There's a Fly in My Soup

There upon my dinner roll
A flitting fly I saw her
She flew into my salad
And in the leaves I sought her
As she crawled up a tomato
I almost nearly got her
I waved my hand to shoo her away
And she flew in my Ice water
So, I dove in with a spoon
I had no time to plan
Then she hopped on my dinner plate
And up my steak she ran
My spoon went flying across the room
As again I nearly got her
Then I grabbed a long asparagus
And flung this new fly swatter
But, when she dove into the lentils
I nearly flew the coop
Oh, waiter can you help me please
There's a fly here in my soup

Excuse Me

I spit, I spat
I belched and flat-
I slurped, I burped
My belly chirped
My body functioned all in time
I beg your pardon in a rhyme

A Playground For Frogs

A mist filled the air
As I walked through the trees
And as a reporter reports
What he sees
Through a forest of fern fronds
I saw great mossy logs
And pollywog ponds
In a playground for frogs
In a mystical wood
That was crawling with frogs
They were leaping in leaves
And landing on logs
There were red frogs and green frogs
In freaking frog zoo
There were high hopping frogs
Of metalical blue
There were tree frogs in trees
And knoll frogs on knolls
And in the pollywog ponds
Tootled tiny tadpoles
They had long squirmy tails
And some halfway had legs
It was hard to imagine
How they hatched out of eggs
The forest of fern fronds
Fantastic it seems
The colors of rainbows
And pollywog dreams
Some ferns grew in bushes
Some in bright colored wands
And some you've never heard of
That I called pog fronds
In a mist tickle wood
I found a playground for frogs
They were leaping in leaves
And laughing on logs
As they say in Rome
Do as the Roman would do
The frogs were all hopping
So I hopped a bit too
Hopping and shouting
I played with the frogs
I went laughing through leaves
And I leapt over logs
Now when I say hop
You shouldn't ask why
Just fold up like a frog
And then ask how high

Get Ready to Build Your Collection of Fabulous Fabulist CD's

Coming Soon

I have five CD's in the available soon department. I would really like to re-record them with better equipment before publishing them en-mass. If you just can't wait contact me and I'll produce copies as needed.

Agents interested taking or role in the publication of these works - Please see contact info at the bottom of this page.

The Quantum Poetizer

Attention Poets and Songwriters! When you write, use the Rhyming Dictionary I use "The Quantum Poetizer".

Do you like word games? The Quantum Poetizer also has six different word games. Click the banner below to visit "The Quantum Poetizer" website.

What can I do for you today

I also offer services as Japanese Interpreter, Technical Writer, Website Developer and Software Programmer.
To schedule an event contact me at

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