Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf


“One feels even in the midst of the traffic, or waking at night, Clarissa was positive, a particular hush, or solemnity; an indescribable pause; a suspense before Big Ben strikes. There! Out it boomed. First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air. Such fools we are, she thought, crossing Victoria Street. For Heaven only knows why one loves it so, how one sees it so, making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh; but the veriest frumps, the most dejected of miseries sitting on doorsteps (drink their downfall) do the same; can't be dealt with, she felt positive, by Acts of Parliament for that very reason: they love life. In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment in June.”

From Part One

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From A Ghost at Noon, by Alberto Moravia, translated by Angus Davidson


"Love has great capacity not only for illusion but also for forgetfulness."

From page 29

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Clerihew of a Thorough Shit


Dr. Louis-Ferdinand Auguste Destouches, a.k.a., "Céline",
Was often vicious and never clean,
Anti-Semite and a collaborator,
A brilliant writer, but a better hater.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Journey to the End of the Night, by Celine, translated by Ralph Manheim


"All of a sudden you've become disgustingly old."

From page 194 this edition

Monday, March 20, 2017

Clerihew of Remembered Pleasure


Saw a boy with a book open on his knees.
Read the title: The Baron in the Trees.
Oh, to taste again what comes between, oh,
Italo Calvino!

Maturity - a caricature

Daily Dose

From If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver


"If you think about it, reading is a necessarily individual act, far more than writing."

From Chapter Eight

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Caricature of Youth

Daily Dose

From Cosmicomics, by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver


"I had started along a narrow channel beyond which events were piling up with multiplied density; I had only to seize them by the handful and throw them in the face of my competitor, who had never guessed their existence."

From How Much Shall We Bet?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Clerihew for the Discarded Girdle


Grace Metalious
Would often bewail the fuss
Made by prudes over Peyton Place,
Suggesting they get screwed, cut up, unlace.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Unbuttoning America: A Biography of Peyton Place, by Ardis Cameron


"Like Humpty Dumpty, we might argue, the author of Peyton Place did not fall; she was pushed."

From Epilogue, Memento Mori

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew of an Irish Champ


Anne Enright's
Not shy of fights,
Though she prefers brave words to fists,
As would most short novelists.

Daily Dose

From Collected Writings, by Jane Bowles


"I haven't written anything in so long, that I'm afraid that I will forget how to use the typewriter, if this keeps up."

From Letters, #81

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew of a Perfect Marriage


Jane Bowles
Played many roles:
Writer, wife, bisexual lover,
It seems in all, Paul thought well of her.

Daily Dose

From Stories, Plays & Other Writings, by Carson McCullers

"Children have a Greek classicist's indifference to pity in fiction, and an enormous respect for fate."

From Books I Remember

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew of Class Aspirations


Supreme bourgeois,
Was Evelyn Waugh;
Really more "moyenne" than "haute",
Though you'd never know it from what he wrote.

Daily Dose

From The Moon and Sixpence, by William Somerset Maugham


"The emotions common to most of us simply did not exist in him, and it was as absurd to blame him for not feeling them as for blaming the tiger because he is fierce and cruel."

From Chapter 30

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew for a Bigamist


Asked Jehovah,
"Shall I have eternal life?"
God responded, "Ask the wife."

Daily Dose

From An Angry Letter in January and Other Poems, by Ama Ata Aidoo

For Bessie Head
To begin with
there’s the small problem of address:
calling you
by the only name some of us
knew you by,
hailing you by titles
you could not possibly
have cared for,
referring you to
strange and clouded
origins that eat into
our past our pain
like prize-winning cassava tubers in
abandoned harvest fields…
Some of us never ever met you.
And who would believe
that but those who know
the tragedies of our land
visions unopening and other such
abortions are
every day reality?
To continue a
confession of sorts,
‘Miss Head’ will just not do
‘Bessie’ too familiar
Bessie Head,
your face swims into focus
through soft clouds of
cigarette smoke and from behind the
much much harder barriers erected by some
quite unbelievable
20th. century philosophy,
saying more of
your strength
than all the tales
would have us think.
For the moment,
we fear and
dare not accept that
given how things
poetry almost becomes
dirges and
not much more.
we hold on to knowing
ourselves as daughters of
darklight women
who are so used to Life
– giving it
feeding it –
was always
quite unwelcome;
– taking them by surprise –
an evil peevish brat
to be flattered,
over-dressed and perfumed…
We fear to remember:
fatigued as we are by so much
death and dying and
the need to bury and
to mourn.
Bessie Head:
such a fresh ancestress!
If you chance
on a rainy night
to visit,
if you chance
on a sunny day
to pass by,
look in to see
– how well we do
– how hard we fight
– how loud we scream
against the plots
– to kill our souls our bodies too
– to take our land, and
– feed us shit.
Dear Fresh Spirit,
that rejoining
The Others,
you can tell them
now more than ever,
do we need
the support
the energy
to create
recreate and
nothing more
nothing less.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Clerihew of a Thwarted Swiss


Robert Walser
Got an ulcer
Trying to do literary work
While earning his living as a little clerk.

A Caricature

Dailey Dose

From Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens


"Rich folks may ride on camels, but it an't so easy for 'em to see out of a needle's eye. That is my comfort, and I hope I knows it."

From Chapter 25

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Clerihew in Support


Ama Ata Aidoo
Insists the best way to
A woman's heart
Is through her art.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens


"'I have orders, sir, to put on my whole establishment of mutes; and mutes come very dear, Mr. Pecksniff; not to mention their drink.'"

From Chapter XIX

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Clerihew of Escape and or Exile


Bessie Head
Often said,
"I'll go, if I wanna
Straight to Botswana."

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard


“You see all the other fellows were so active and earnest and all that sort of thing- always rampaging, and skirmishing, and scouring the desert sands, and pacing the margin of the sea, and chasing knights all over the place, and devouring damsels, and going on generally- whereas I liked to get my meals regular and then to prop my back against a bit of rock and snooze a bit, and wake up and think of things going on and how they kept going on just the same, you know!”

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From South and West: From a Notebook, by Joan Didion


"At the center of this story there is a terrible secret, a kernel of cyanide, and the secret is that the story doesn't matter, doesn't make any difference, doesn't figure."

From California Notes

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From South and West: From a Notebook, by Joan Didion


"NOTE: On being asked for identification when I ordered a drink in the rural South.  Before I came south I had not been taken for seventeen in considerable years, but but several times in that month I had to prove I was eighteen.  It is assumed that grown women will have their hair done, is all I could think."

From An Afternoon with Stan Torgerson

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Clerihew of the Rolling Bookshop


Feeling poorly,
Christopher Morley
Took to his heels
In a Parnassus on Wheels.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Seven Men and Two Others, by Max Beerbohm


"I have said that I am a weak man.  And you will have proof of that directly."

From A. V. Laider

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Berlin Clerihew


Alfred Döblin
Thought it mean
When Wiemar's Social Democrats
Pissed on Berlin Alexanderplatz.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From When I Was a Child I Read Books, by Marilynne Robinson


"There is something about being human that makes us love and crave grand narratives."

From Wondrous Love

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Possession, by A. S. Byatt


"I see one of my faults as a writer will be a tendency to rush off in all directions at once."

From Chapter 19

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens


"Heaven forbid that they should be samples of the intelligence and virtue of America, but they come uppermost, and in great numbers, and too often represent it."

From Chapter XVI