Friday, August 19, 2005

cockroach vs. gorilla

Lucia has been rifling through Bede's and my books, pushing them in so that they're not edged anymore, and pulling out the ones she finds interesting. I keep telling her that Plato's Republic is not age-appropriate, and that there aren't enough pictures in Andrew Lang's Pink Fairy Book to interest her, but she pays me no mind.

Yesterday, Lucia pulled off the shelf my copy of archy and mehitabel by Don Marquis. Archy is a cockroach who was a human verse libre poet in a past life, and while he still maintains his poetic sensibilities, he can only write his poems by hopping on typewriter keyboard keys. Like E.E. Cummings, Archy types in lower-case because he cannot reach the shift key. At least, that's Archy's excuse.* Mehitabel is an alley cat who claims to have had a glorious past of infamous lives. I didn't think Lucia was ready for archy and mehitabel, as some of the stories within the poems are quite harrowing. I put the book back back on the shelf and brought down Bede's tome of Curious George stories. Lucia was sated for the moment.

That evening, I found a piece of paper on the floor with the following archy poem snippet copied in green ink:

mehitabel is a believer
in the pythagorean
theory of the transmigration
of the soul and she claims
that formerly her spirit
was incarnated in the body
of cleopatra
that was a long time ago
and one must not be
surprised if mehitabel
has forgotten some of her
more regal manners

I am reminded of my tenant Brad the Gorilla, whom some might readily believe has had a vibrant history somewhere in time if not here. Many more would say that not only has Brad forgotten his more regal manners, but that he never had them to begin with. I disagree. For all that Brad is so brusque and domineering (read his blog for yourself if you don't believe me), there is something noble about a gorilla that is fluent in Latin** and specializes in cooking world cuisines. Brad is a real character. I'm not allowed to say too much about Brad's early life for fear of compromising the dignity of a (human) family member close to me, but he's accumulated enough stories to start his own blog.

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*I have nothing to say in defense of E.E.Cummings, except that some of his poems make me weak in the knees.

**By all rights, I should have failed Latin. I only passed it because I wrote a seven page paper about Arion and the Dolphin, after protesting that the Latin textbook had gotten it wrong.

4 comments:

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Spammers, go home. No one wants your cures for baldness or anything else you might have to sell. If you post again in my comments spot, I will ridicule you with a story so mortifying that your pixels will writhe with shame.

galetea said...

Hey ya. In your "settings" tab, click on the "comments" section. There's a word verification option so that someone has to type in the random combination of numbers and letters to leave a comment. It should stop those pesky spammers!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Thanks, Galatea! I hope it works. In the meantime, I need to work on a mortifying story about spammers.

Melangell said...

I tried to read the story on Arion and the Dolphin, but the filter here at work denied me access, citing "Nudity." Don't get me started.