Monday, October 26, 2009

Song of the Open Form Road

Some of my best ideas come while driving, many of which don't include sex. Ok, "many" may be an exaggeration, but the point is, Sigmund, not everything is about sex. In my younger days, as one of over 3 million Americans who commute more than 90 minutes to work--the average commute is around 25 minutes--I used to compose poetry mentally while in the car, but too often, by the time I'd reached my destination, I'd remember only the basic outline, not the specific lines I'd carefully crafted while stuck behind trucks that spit chunks of coal down the narrow, winding blacktop of Rt. 52.

I tried bringing along a tape player to record my ideas as I drove, but it proved unworkable, for I found myself struck with tape anxiety: I would "freeze" whenever I pushed the red "Record" button. Instead of crafting lines of poetry in the oral tradition of Homer, I would usually entertain myself by singing a diverse selection of favorite & not so favorite songs. Not to brag, but I hit nearly every note in an extremely sentimental rendition of "Something Stupid" & sounded just like Elvis in a rockabilly cover of "Leaving on a Jet Plane."

But thanks to a great new invention, I envision my productivity going through the roof. It's not the wheel, but it may be the next best thing: a laptop desk that mounts on the steering wheel. In fact, I'm writing this post while driving I-64 into Kanawha City. Yesterday, while driving to campus, I began a pantoum & jotted down a few lines I can use in my comic tour-de-force, "Portrait of Arabella Cope, Duchess of Dorset." Killer stuff, trust me, that if not for the laptop steering wheel desk may have been lost for all time! What's more, if uninspired, I can pass the time playing computer games in traffic. For instance, I can probably level my Night Elf druid before I reach my exit, if the redneck in the pickup behind me would lay off his "elfin" horn.

One may note that the makers of DeskDrive Plus caution that it isn't intended for use while driving. But that doesn't make it illegal. Like warnings on cigarette packs, it's your choice as an American to heed or disregard. If something's really important, laws are enacted--as with health reform. Q: How does the Senate propose to deal with the 46 million uninsured Americans? A: Require them by law to buy insurance! Easy peasy.

While we're at it, let's eradicate unemployment. Make it illegal not to have a job. Problem fixed. As for poverty, anyone living below the poverty level should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I favor the death penalty for the poor, thereby ridding society once & for all of this blight. You can't rehabilitate the poor. Also, terrorism. If it's not illegal, it should be.

Anyway, I'm nearly at Radio Shack, so . . . holy crap! I almost ran over a deer!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Apocatastasis of Ekphrasis

If you missed the Poems at an Exhibition reading last Saturday at Taylor Books, you now face the outer darkness. Wailing, weeping & gnashing your teeth, you wish you'd not only attended the reading, but that you'd brushed & flossed as well.

"Have mercy on me," you plead. "Send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water & cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." (An outlandish request, but to be fair, the furnace of eternal fire makes loads of noise, so I may have misheard.)

Listen, I bring you good news of great joy. For lo, Vic Burkhammer of The Charleston Gazette has put together a neat sampler of images from the event which you may view at Mountainword. It's way cooler than a glass of water.

Thanks, Vic!