Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I: But people not named Epstein do too read here, at least occasionally.

Other: They don't, you know. Well, there are a couple regular nutters, I admit that, but only a very few, and they're all elderly shut-ins who talk only to their cats and their hand-tinted portraits of the Queen Mum.

I: There are others, I'm almost certain. You can tell by looking at the map of the most recent "visitors."

Other: Oh, yes--you mean the folks who arrive here by Googling "poems about friction," "poems about recently deceased grandfather," "manifest destiny poem," "short blank verse poem," and "what does elegy in country churchyard mean." They are accidentals; they don't actually mean to be here, and they don't stay. Have you noticed that when Katy and Rebecca and Trish put up posts, they are pounded by replies? And where are your equivalents then?

I: But they're all...well, they aren't like me in some critical respects.

Other: You were going to say, "They're girls," weren't you?

I: No. Not me. Not ever. They're all bright and talented and interesting writers.

Other: Oh, so that's how they differ from you.

I: Never mind. You win. I lose. It's all true. This is the blogging equivalent of vanity pressing your books, the Blogspot version of the Vantage Press. But it's a harmless outlet for my excess energies. Who knows what I might be doing, were it not for this.

Other: Spraying funereal distiches on the underpass, standing on the corner with a hand-lettered sign, "Villanelles for food. God Bless." That sort of thing?

I: No doubt. No doubt at all.

Other: And the last time you had any "excess energies," The Temptations and The Four Tops were in the Top 10.

I: Dayenu. I concede. Let me get back to being obscure.

Other: Who?


Anonymous said...

I see that no one has leaped to your defense or taken issue with your analysis. Truly you are the lowly, lowly worm of poetry.

Anonymous Correspondent

JMH said...

I visit here. It can be loosely said that I read here. I realize that to read properly I need to pick up a dictionary and also try to remember what, if anything, an iamb is. But I like your cadence, and that's something.

RHE said...


If you like my cadence, then you probably know what an iamb is, even if you don't know you know (and I suspect you do). I often hear comments like yours about my vocabulary; I tend to regard them as overstated for comic effect. I mean, if you can't read my poems w/o a dictionary, what do you do when you read Shakespeare?--

O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words.
I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word;
for thou art not so long by the head as
honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier
swallowed than a flap-dragon.

I hope I, too, am easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.

JMH said...

Okay, you have a point there. Unstressed stressed?

As for the vocabulary, there's an online dictionary sitting not six inches above where I'm typing this comment, so yeah, it's my aversion to work, aversion to thought at fault here. So I'll look up the words, I'll feel the poem, and hopefully I'll get something out of them. Let you know.