Sunday, December 2, 2007

A ghost in the form of an old letter

I was tearing up my bedroom this afternoon in search of a little morphine to kill my anxieties, and I stumbled upon the following unmailed letter, browned by time. I had written it upon having "Wasted Arcadia" rejected by "The Paris Review." I appeared to disagree with the editor (who, it so happens, turned out to be one Reginald Hardcourt).


Dear Sir!

Thank-you for your unkind comments--and yes, I realize my pentameter occasionally slips, but the same can be said of your wife's fidelity. I have included a new poem for you to read entitled "Vomiting Narcissus." Please do not consider it a submission to your publication; rather, consider it an assault on your bourgeois sensibilities. I trust you will hate it--and no it is not a coincidence that the sewer rat's name (you know, the one Narcissus impales and eats like a Shish Kabob before spreading the plague through Paris via his next bowel movement) is an anagram of your own. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy it to the point that you lose sleep over the imagery. It is not easy to write nightmares, you know.

I read the orgy scene to your adolescent daughter yesterday. She seemed to like it. May I here interject with some poetic theory? You see I am of the opinion that one can only find beauty by exploring the ugliness. Gone are the days when songbirds and moonlight had any aesthetic impact. Just the other night I spat on a whore, but my spittle had the effect of cleaning her breast, which was tender in its own way. But I do not expect your middle-brow mind to comprehend such things... Go back to your copy of "Lyrical Ballades." I trust you enjoy them with tea and crumpets (and maybe some cucumber sandwiches?). Sorry if I seem to be preoccupied with food--I can't seem to keep much down these days... food is often on my mind and rarely in my body.

Excuse me, for I feel like a swimmer with a rock tied to his ankle and am about to collapse...

(an unknown period of time passes and I awake in an ocean of sweat).

You commented that you thought "Wasted Arcadia" was "the work of some pretentious 18 year old still untouched by reality." Well, I am now 19.

Have I made any progress?


Some Idiot


Ah! I was so full of passion back then--it makes me wonder where it all went because I did not notice its leaving. I suppose I imagined disillusionment would happen with some grand, cathartic event. Now it appears it is a slow and slippery process one does not even notice.

I never did get "Wasted Arcadia" published, nor did I find the morphine. Perhaps it is for the best.

No comments: