Fine weekend, with a rich and zesty blend of work and less-that-work and hardly-work-at-all. Redesigned the main index page, the Institute of Official Cheer (simplified it; not up yet) and started work on my own homegrown WP theme for the Bleat. The most satisfying project was a new Picture site I’ll debut tomorrow, rolling out the four areas through the week. Because I expect to be a drooling fool for the next few days, incapable of writing much . . . but we’ll see.

I will be undergoing the “Procedure” early in the morn, so expect a blurry, confused tweet as I head into the ether, and something a bit more coherent afterwards. Depending on how much high-caliber pain-management substances I’m given. As the saying goes, “Pain is just teeth, leaving your body.” In this case I’m swapping useless pain for productive discomfort. Pain with a purpose! Or rather pain that indicates a purpose has been fulfilled.

Can’t have breakfast; must be gassed on an empty stomach, I guess.

While going through some old magazines I found an obit of a poet named Louise Brogan, and found this . . . dismaying.

I was with her right up until the point where they quoted her poetry. It’s a perfect example of the moral inversion so beloved by angry smart people who find themselves living in annoying imperfect societies. Nice people. The very idea. Oh, I’m sure she liked people who were nice to her, and she was probably nice to others, but that’s different. “Nice People” were those banal, incurious, churchgoing hypocrites, and they certainly weren’t artists. Hence, says the Poet Nazi, No Laurel For You. Nice people stayed in their small towns and joined the Rotary, instead of going off to New York to write and leaving your little daughter behind in your parents’ care. Which Bogan did. I don’t know what became of the daughter, but if she ever got married, I hope she had the sense to lie to her mother about the man of her dreams. “You’ll love him, Mom. He’s a pervert and a drug addict.”

There was no glory in the smart circles to finding the poetry in the lives of Nice People. No, the souls that had been damaged by banging their heads against the stone walls of this prison culture, and had naturally sought refuge in brain-scrambling chemicals until they soiled themselves and stood in the park yelling for EZRA POUND TO COME OUT FROM BEHIND THAT TREE I SEE YOU AND YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE – these were the vanguard, the mystics, the seers, and everyone else seemed a whiskered Victorian by comparison, harumphing behind opera glasses as they beheld the truth of Life, man, life.

All that it takes to believe such nonsense is to have limited contact with the object of your admiration, but if one moves next door and burns the apartment building down when he cooked his heroin and passed out and the flames lit his pants on fire, well, don’t worry. Some nice firemen will be along in a moment.
But at least it rhymed, so you could count her among the traditionalists. She was the Poet Laureate in 1945, although I expect there was less hoorah-for-perverts-and-drug-takers at that point.

Many of the apps I use have an option to upgrade and turn off the ads. I don’t know why I’d want to do that. I like the ads. On the Twitter app I clicked on something without knowing quite what it was selling, only that it wasn’t that ($*%#$ Mail Chimp ad. (I hate monkeys. Or rather hate the assumption that I should find appealing any monkey who are not A) Curious and B) George.) The ad went to a video. I watched the whole thing. See you have the same reaction I did.

At the end I wasn’t entirely sure what they were selling; possibly the notebooks were a metaphor for some enormous database manager, and all this county-fair stuff was just something to bond the product to our emotional desire for rural pastimes soaked in the lovely light of a pastoral sunset. ‘Cause people out there live honest lives, you know. Not like our big-city cynical ways. No, that’s not the case. They’re selling what you think they’re selling.

And you know what? I bought some. I went right to the page, ordered up three with Minnesota printed on the cover, and some sturdy-looking classic 60s ballpoints, too. (Learning that Coudal was involved cemented the deal, or rather anointed it.)

Well, that’s it for today. I’m going to get a little novel in before I try to sleep. I’d say “wish me luck!” but luck doesn’t enter into it, does it. A matter of skill and science. Have a grand day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!


72 Responses to No Laurel For You

  1. Brian Lutz says:

    When I was in high school, our school district had a Dr. Scarr as its superintendent. Whenever I finally get around to writing a book, I fully intend to use that name for the big bad.

  2. Brian Lutz says:

    Oh yeah, and my current dentist (or at least the last one I went to) is named Dr. Poppe. When you think about it, that might not necessarily be the most reassuring of names…

  3. Sydney Brillo Duodenum says:

    Um, so AnnaN at 11:58am, are you going to provide us with a link to your PhD dissertation on Bogan, or you gonna make us slog through the Intertubes trying to track it down? You don’t need to be embarrased, now, come on . . .


    [ironic smiley]

  4. GardenStater says:

    My favorite poem comes from Ogden Nash:

    Ketchup, ketchup
    In the bottle.
    None’ll come
    Then a lot’ll.

    I’ll take him over Ms. Bogan anytime.

  5. Ed Singel says:

    My first allergist was Dr. Shotz.

  6. Maharincess of Franistan says:

    I wish I could tell you the name of my former gynecologist, but I don’t dare. It was very…appropriate.

  7. swschrad says:

    @Ed Singel: no doubt of the offices of Drs. Shotz and Biers….

  8. RPD says:

    My favorite poem is from Stephen Crane (I thought it was Ogden Nash until I looked it up just now.)

    ‘A Man to the Universe’
    A man said to the universe,
    “Sir, I exist!”
    “However,”replied the universe,
    “The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation.”

    @Maharincess of Franistan: My girlfriend’s gyno is Dr. Richard Tongue. That provides no end of amusement.

  9. Pencilpal says:

    The poet Louise would fillet
    Any writer who used a cliche.
    She made quite a racket
    When they tied up her jacket
    And The Nice People took her away.

  10. swschrad says:

    @RPD: the 3D Practice of Dr. Tongue. Thursdays at 9.

  11. @I wish I could tell you the name of my former gynecologist, but I don’t dare. It was very…appropriate.

    You’re speaking, of course, of the amazing Doctor Harold Pusay.

  12. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    Garden Stater:

    Isn’t that, “Shake and shake the ketchup bottle. None’ll come, and then a lot’ll.”?

  13. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    Don Marquis was another poet from the same era as Ms. Bogen, but eminently more sensible. His “Cockroach Archy” poems are a treat.

    Try Warty Bliggens for a start.

  14. JamesS says:

    Hmph. Eddie Murphy did better poetry on SNL:

    Watch dog bark on a hot summer night,
    kill my landlord, kill my landlord,
    watch dog bark, though he bite,
    kill my landlord, kill my landlord,
    slip in his window, break his neck,
    then his house I start to wreck,
    got no reason, what the heck!
    kill my landlord, kill my landlord,
    C [pause] I [pause] L [pause] L [pause]
    my landlord.

  15. browniejr says:

    This one is pretty good (written after the shootings in Arizona):

  16. hpoulter says:

    I’m sure you are talking about Northern Virginia’s famous Dr Harry Beaver. No joke, he’s the real deal. Google him. He has “not” been mentioned on Dave Barry’s site many times, due to the strict policy.

  17. Stephen Borchert says:

    The video reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite’s home town in Idaho.

  18. shesnailie says:

    _@_v – it’s actually…

    “Images by Tyrone Greene”

    Dark and lonely on a summer’s night.
    Kill my landlord. Kill my landlord.
    Watchdog barking. Do he bite?
    Kill my landlord. Kill my landlord.
    Slip in his window. Break his neck.
    Then his house I start to wreck.
    Got no reason. What the heck?
    Kill my landlord. Kill my landlord.
    C-I-L-L my land lord!

  19. Carl says:

    As the owner of and a former science teacher, I am legally obligated to mention that chimps are only monkeys if Natalie is. They, like us humans, are apes.

  20. Mike Gebert says:

    Fortunately, being a laurel-bedecked poet seems to be, in Ms. Brogan’s case, as sure a route to obscurity as Sales Champion for the Western Division of 1952.

    My pediatrician growing up was Dr. Blood, which sounds like Peter Cushing in a Hammer film circa ’61 but was a gravel-voiced woman. But the best one in my hometown was the chiropractor named– honest to God– Dr. Bonebrake.

  21. JerseyAmy says:

    Coming late to the game, but what the hey. My pediatrician’s name was Dr. Needleman. He was a fine doctor, and the nurses were the ones who actually gave the needles anyway. But at 8 years old, my friends thought I was nuts to go to a doctor with that name, thinking I got lots of shots. (And, you know, 8-year-olds, have so much input into their choice of doctors too.)

  22. Eric says:

    I have always found my daughters’ dentist’s name a hoot. Dr. Spitz.

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