The Last Battle
Entry for 2017-06-24


For want of a verb
the phrase was lost.
For want of a phrase
the clause was lost.
For want of a clause
the premise was lost.
For want of a premise
the proof was lost.
For want of a proof
the reason was lost.
For want of a reason
for being, we're lost ...

       Pause

Being being a verb,
the phrase was saved
and saved the clause.
Premise and proof
fell into place,
but the reason vanished
without a trace,
unreasonably,
against all laws,
and nothing was left
but the pause

 
 
 
 


The Farm Program
Entry for 2017-06-22


Excerpted from Robbing Nonpeter to Pay Nonpaul (filed under "Articles")
The trouble started when food production began to exceed food consumption. We have to eat up all the produce to keep prices stable. But government leaders knew that any awp_postst to correct the imbalance by encouraging people to eat more would be opposed by the powerful AMA lobby as socialized obesity. So the only way to compensate for all the nonconsumption was to create an equal amount of nonproduction. It was simple. They decided to tax consumers for not consuming, then use the money to pay farmers for not farming. It's such a beautiful idea that we retain it, whether or not it works, for aesthetic reasons.


Rhymes & Ditties for Middle Size Cities (2)
Entry for 2017-06-20


Prologue
My humble apologies to inhabitants of all the cities memorialized in this section. Facetious verse about a city has got to be nasty or it just doesn't work, which is why Chambers of Commerce employ so few poets.

These verses are also outdated. Most of the Rhymes & Ditties appeared in the
Saturday Review in the 1960s -- before Seattle had Starbucks or Microsoft, before Pittsburgh had cleared its skies, before Buffalo had done whatever Buffalo did about being Buffalo.

So if you live in a city with problems, take heart -- and take up your pen. Write a nasty verse about it and see what happens.
Buffalo
Oh give me a home
far from Buffalo: Nome,
or north of Toronto,
south of the Delta or west,
west of everything left,
west of Tonto. A rest
where they package the air
in thinner dilution. East?
East of pollution, east
of the busiest big-city
dizziness (Take a deep breath
and they call a priest). Smoke
though you've given up smoking,
down to your last huff,
choking, finally puff a low
Moan, give me a home
far from Buffalo
Miami Beach
No lovesongs call me near
though mating dances flash
their fancy tassels, twirled
by strange, gyrating
night-migrating birds.
The only banker in the world
who isn't here
is one who said he heard
the mermaids singing each to each.
I do not think he listened
from this beach
Tampa
Go on, visit Gramma, Grampa,
and all those northerners down in Tampa.
Send back oranges and baby gators,
talk for hours with New Deal haters,
see banana boats on the bay
and the onion domes of Tampa U.,
celebrate Gasparilla Day,
at Gandy Bridge admire the view,
but stay in Tampa. Never stray
across the water: retirement's sweet,
so why go over to meet St. Pete?
Muncie
Excuse going but once, e-
nough for even a dunce, e-
merging, knowing, grunts; he
travels the world, hunts, e-
rasing the fact that once he
actually went to Muncie


Questions
Entry for 2017-06-18


Father,
of what
is the
world
composed?

My boy,
you
ask the
silliest
things,
things
that a
child
in school
should
know.
The world
is water
and dirt
and rock,
ice at the
bottom,
ice at
the top,
molten
iron
in the
center
core;
that's it,
my boy,
but one
thing
more:
an animal
vegetable
mineral
fringe.
The part
where man
in His
mercy
clings
is people
and places
and things:
that's all,
just people
and places
and things
Father,
is home
a thing
or a
place?

Son,
think
twice
before
you ask
such a
simple
thing.
Is there
a trace
of doubt
in your
mind?
Figure it out:
a house
is the
thing
around
us now.
Difference
between
a man
and a cow
a turtle
kangaroo
or trout
is man
has a
place
where he
keeps dry,
a brain
to build
and to
reason
why,
to make
this world
a better
place
for people
and all
their
things,
my boy,
for people
to place
their
things
Father,
is Rome
a place
or a
thing?

Rome,
my boy?
What a
disgrace!
Haven't
you even
been
listening?
Rome is
a place
in Italy.
Ancient
Rome was
the place
where we
derived our
laws, our
language,
too;
You know,
we do
as the
Romans do,
people who
civilized
the West.

One more
time, son,
listen
to me.
Remember
this and
forget
the rest:
Rome is
people
and Rome
is a place
and the
thing
on which
our thing
is based
Closer, son,
now lend
an ear
(I hope
you wash
that thing
some day)
Think, and
everything
comes clear
though
certain
things
are hard
to say:
why a
flower
blooms
or a
curlew
sings;
you see,
it's the
flower's
place
to bloom
and of
course the
curlew's
place
to sing
and a
father's
place
to tell
his son
how the
world
is made,
how the
world
is run,
to fire
his mind,
to give
it wings:

The world ...
it's like
I told
you, son,
is peopled
with places
for things,
that's all,
it's peopled
with places
for things


The Pundemic (get it?)
Entry for 2017-06-12


Excerpted from Creativity (in the Encyclopedia of Advertising)

It must be remembered that advertising agencies function much in the manner of primitive hunter-gatherer tribes who must bring home the bison or go out of business. As old accounts are eaten away, management sniffs the air for the spoor of "New Business". The writers and designers are like cooks who have to prepare whatever game is bagged, and about the time they learn to do rabbits and muskelunge, the account men are going to drag in an elk.

New business, by definition, means products and subjects on which the creative people are largely ignorant. This is why they look rumpled and dazed and have tousled hair and pimples and why most of what passes for creativity is puns.

A pun is the natural reaction of a disarranged mind to a new idea. If you don't understand it, at least you know what it sounds like.

The creative impulse in advertising is essentially defensive, a survival reflex triggered by the threat that a new assignment will unmask the art director or writer as an idiot. Attacked or infiltrated by a new campaign, the creative person reacts much like the human body -- by vomiting and forming antibodies. For the writer, this reflex is characterized by a paroxysm of puns, which he disgorges into the art director's office as if they were headlines.