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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Your Sunday Poem

This from Elder Olsen in "Last Poems."

In Despair He Orders a New Typewriter

I want a typewriter
Without any letters
Just punctuation marks
Letters make words
Words make language
There s too much language
Too little punctuation
It all runs together
There s no content anyway
When every advertisement
Annuls another
Every Politician s speech is
A try and see what you make of it
Roarschach inkblot

Cut down on question marks
My mind nowadays
Is so full of question marks
They could make enough coat hooks
For the congressional cloakroom
But let s have some numbers
We can number all cliches
All platitudes all promises
I yearn for a future
When all advertisements
All politcal rhetoric
Will be nothing but numbers
And pornographic novels
Nothing but asterisks
And convulsive commas

Or at least a return
To those simpler days
When it went without saying
That and enemy could be
Hazardout to your health
When enemies meeting
Used punctuation only
Could exclaim merely
By the definite emphasis
Of war club or battle axe
And with dagger or spear point
Put an absolutely final
Unmisquotable
Unmistabable
Period


5 comments:

Anonymous said...


The Final Product of the Digressive Process


Ah, it is done.
All but the paperwork...
I think I will flush it down the broadband pipeline.
Where, in a series of servers; worms, viruses and other subroutines will convert it back into harmless ones and zeros.

The virtual-environmentalist

Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky said...

Two great poems in one day - excellent brain exercise! Thanks!

Sandra Gore said...

Marvelous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do I fully understand????????????????
Were there ever simpler days.........

Churadogs said...

Simpler days? no but his wish reminds me of that scene in Indiana Jones wherein Indy's doing all this waaay cool, fancy whip-work against the guy with the scimitar and finally he says, Aw, screw it, and pulls out his .45 and blows him away. I suspect the poet is having those same thoughts. Enough with the finesse, here's a great big exclamation point, kaboom!

Alon Perlman said...

The Mention of Typewriter is an anachronism, though it is perfectly understandable and “word processor” doesn’t have the elegance. So I looked the poem up, and it was published in 1984. So that is the seminal year. The Mac came out that year. The dawning of the digital age. The rise of the personal processing machine.
BTW; The first comment posted here is a product of the digital age. It is an element of my undeveloped secret sewer blog ‘06. It played a role on the blog page much like the quotation of Montaigne to the right does here. Since it was a sewer blog, it was all about the sewer, what lessons could there be?

Back in ’73, Frank Zappa in his Album “Strictly Commercial” has the song “Slime oozing out of your TV set”. So that is about the media outlet that is in our living rooms, we can only select the channel (“don’t touch that Dial!”), that is the limit of interactivity. But the message from Zappa hasn’t changed. And the TV hasn’t changed, other than having more channels and a wider mouth. Would Zappa had known what the result of the indoctrination would be, once communication became universally controlled and the network news includes reports on the latest viral video’s? Of course he knew.
So “New Typewriter” really stands the test of time, and it can be what we want it to be. It translates well to the media controlled by “the people”, Facebook for example, where communication is very much inclusive of numbered clich├ęs. Thanks for picking it, Ann.

Nostalgia it isn’t what it used to be, anymore Blam!