Arts & Culture

Poetic License

poeticlis_newBy Patrick Doyle

Do you ever notice yr mind working freely without you coming in & saying, “Hey now, stop that. Think about this thing,” & for a second you may, but then yr mind wanders off again, free-associating as it damn well pleases? Welp, that is the story behind this little prose piece; if you’re here to discuss semantics of what a piece of poetry is, or what prose-poetry is or what anything is, well, my mind has already rode the horse to Funkytown, ya dig?

Tarkovsky ate frogs captured from the river – this much I know to be fact. Samuel Johnson snapped his fingers & tapped his toes, tried to attack my mother & I while we fetched a train to Arkansas to visit a young, exceedingly visceral, William “Bill [Bubba]” Clinton . . . the encounter with Johnson was to be expected, given the treatment James Boswell gave in The Life of Samuel Johnson, which I would regard as one of my most favorite works of biography, although I do feel a certain wave of regret that my one time finally encountering such a man would be one of such . . . cosmopolitan craziness . . .

Speaking of Tarkovsky, Andrei Rublev is the one film of his I have yet to see but I do greatly admire the work Rublev made in his lifetime. Absolutely splendid stuff, yes. As a “hostage Catholic,” I’ve always still found an admiration and certain ethereal nature to the works of the Orthodox, particularly the Russians. Why is it that the Russians had such a good go of it before the big Party that tripped the light fantastically to bitter death in Winter scenes with Kalashnikov party favors? If Russia hadn’t sucked the egg of life right out from under our feet, I’d be glad, no . . . obliged to wear a CCCP hockey jersey from the days of Crazy Horse. I do not however, wish to see it fit that I go down to the local DMV wearing a necklace or ID card of the Soviet Union . . . why, I’d be gashed with a blade as if I were a pike or lake trout. Life as a trout (or pike, I guess) does not seem to be such a hard one, just avoid the lines that drop down from the “Sky” during ice season, the cold shivery time when Bob Hope and Bob Barker, known to the fishing registry as “Bob Squared,” who would eat sardines confiscated from an Islamic Sanctuary and then drip the oil down the hole to attract the fish, who could not resist such a treat made so easily available as that of sardine oils. Once I asked them, “Don’t you ever use mustard on those things?” when they were telling me about their great plan to use in the Winter (this was Summer along the Moose River), to which Barker replied heartily, “The oils, man, the oils,” and he laughed a great deal after until I told him he had to be anchored before he could cast a line in the Moose River. He told me to “eat it,” as those in show business say and kicked off the dock. I watched Bob Squared journey into the criminal unknown and wondered how long it would be until the patrolling officers of the river decided to give away demerits & fines to eager fishery.

Milton stole Dostoyevsky’s lighter the first time after riding ATV-trails, to which Dostoyevsky said to Turgenev, “You son-of-a-bitch, give it back,” and Turgenev said, “Well, Fy, I don’t smoke.” & Dostoyevsky said, “Noted.” Milton had a bowl in his “man cave” that was full of stolen lighters, belonging to Freud, John The Hairy, Lumpy, Rand Paul, Richard Simmons (Simmons is quoted in his Meditations, “I only use a lighter for candles” [Simmons, pg. 382]), Reverend Al Sharpton, Anthony Weiner, Local Selectman Bubs Galarney, Thomas Pynchon’s son, Hemingway’s boat (who also smoked Cuban cigars), David Cross, Taki Theodoracopulos, Mick Ronson, Groucho & Harpo, Pat Buchanan & around 460 Holy Fools from the course of history. It is a bit of a game, really, and a good one at that: Good ‘ol fun for all! Dostoyevsky put a sticker which has a ferocious tiger cat on his latest lighter, which is a shiny black “Bic,” to reinforce his possession of the item . . . although amongst such swindlers, alley cats and two-timers, I hold not the faintest breath that such adjustments and measure as these will have lasting or even immediate effects upon the community or large, lest the world.

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