Sunday, November 23, 2008

Evil Editor through History 3

CIRCA-1968

"There are secret meanings?" EE asked.

"Meanings I see that other do not."

"Six poems on the meaning of secret things. Not much, is it, Larry. It'll make, what, fifty pages and sell for, gosh, a buck?" EE picked up a sheaf of handwritten pages and browsed.

"That's the idea."

"Idea, now that's a word I find interesting. You know, I consider modern poetry, especially beat poetry and Kerouac prose to be trashy gibberish. It has no soul. Look at this one, it's about having lunch at Bickford's with a Buddha who might be a patron of the restaurant."

"Poetry casts a big shadow over our lives."

"When they're Shakespeare's Sonnets or Milton's Paradise Lost. But look at this, you're writing a paean here to LSD and Alice. Or this other mess, the one with footnotes, where you call Nixon a tyrant? The FBI already has you on a list. It ain't going to get me. All we have to do is publish Nixon, Nixon burning bright and the heirs of William Blake will be on our asses so fast."

"It's a stand-alone poem. "

"As eminently moneymaking and earth-shattering as any poem ever written, bah! And this last one? Assassination Raga? As in sitar? Crazy? We had two assassinations this year, four in the decade. Worse, it quotes some foreign language about Allah. Are you celebrating death; 'they shot him again'? People won't read it. They want cheerful things." EE threw the sheaf of papers to the bearded poet.

"Well then, I guess I should be leaving."

"Let me give you some advice. Don't shove starving hysterical naked words at the best minds. The Beat's will destroy the best minds of our generation. Create the new by imitating the old. You'll be famous." EE sipped his cold coffee and picked up the phone to call in the next appointment.

Dave F.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love it Dave!! I'll be wearing my City Lights T-shirt today in honor of your efforts!

Meri

Anonymous said...

Did I already comment here? Good one, Dave. But please help, because I'm a little confused with the meld of Larry and Allen.

Meri

WouldBe said...

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Dave F. said...

Thanks, y'all...

Meri: They were contemporaries, knew each other and worked in similar circles.

Anonymous said...

Occam's razor to the rescue, of course. Thanks Dave.

Meri