Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Me and Ogden Nash

That darn interview is still bugging me. The line about Ogden Nash was supposed to be self-deprecating, but she cut that part. Let's see what you think.
I remember saying, "I'd like to be the next Ogden Nash, but the Saturday Evening Post isn't around any more."
I was trying to be cute along the lines of "..., but I never get any responses from The Saturday Evening Post or Colliers." But it was off the top of my head, and those lines tend to be incomplete.

Anyway, so you know it's not an idle threat, here's something I wrote a long time ago, prompted by a Nash anniversary piece by Roger Angell in the New Yorker.

“Readers […] - this one, at least – still instinctively look for the restorative Nashian couplet or clarifying stanza about today’s water-quaffers, navel-piercers, abs-flaunters, and cell-gabblers, not to mention the assertive S.U.V., the forty-room beach cottage, and ‘could care less.’” --Roger Angell, The New Yorker, Aug. 5, 2002.


The consumption of vast amounts of eau
Results in a release of the same, beleau.
Water’s crest in popularity arises, as I figure it,
From the newfound necessity to take breaks from work far more often than one did for a cigurit.

Water, Water Everywhere,
And Not a Bite to Eat

For your figure no matter will be quite as drastic
As drinking water endlessly from bottles made of clear and shapely iconoplastic.
But hydration has less impact on your general fitness
Than an unwanted side-effect to which I now bear witness:
Have no money left in their household coffers.
If you wonder why those carrying the plastic flasks are so lissome and lithe,
‘tis because they must fast assiduously to choke up the health-religious tithe.
In other words, once you’ve paid the siphoners and distillers and bottlers and transporters and marketers and sellers for the amounts of water that the Monsoon season of South-east Asia can hardly compete with,
There’s nothing left for you to eat with.

To the Abdominatrix

I don’t know what I ever did with
My gaze
In the days
Before the bared mid-riff.

Abominable Abdominals

Son, you may have seen how female body parts that function digestively
Are of late exposed quite suggestively.
Teens today their mid-sections like to flaunt,
Testing categories famously postulated by Kant.
For they arrest a passing glance in a moment of embarrassing pausality
And temporarily wipe out any ab priori knowledge of space and time and causality.
As for fab posteriori knowledge,
For that you’d best wait until you’re old enough for college.

Daughter, why this metallic severance to our connection that was so quaintly umbilical?
It distorts the cute fleshy spiral that had grown faintly hilical.
Your navel that resembled the bread roll affectionately christened the “Kaiser”
Is now pierced by studs and bars that invoke the artillery shells of the invading forces of World War I which ought to have been behaving much naiser.
I’ve not forgot,
When you were a tot,
How my lips and a plosive fricative on the jiggly folds in your belly would boost your mood enormously and how your bubbly giggles made for a satisfying designator.
But wait. Come here. Maybe the metal adds buzz to your resonator.

Ears Everywhere, But Where Are Your Eyes?

O, Masters of cellular communications,
Why must you invade all of life’s quotidian situations?
At the grocery store, doing some shopping,
You grab someone else’s cart and fill it with sausage and bacon because your broker tells you that pork-belly futures are dropping.
At school, because your mother says that the nation’s transportation system is on the skids,
You pick up the wrong kids.
At a wedding ceremony,
The guests of the groom are unable to catch the bride’s name because they’re listening to the logistical details of your alimony.
You never ever cease to drone
In that annoying little phone.
And all the while your immediate surroundings bear the brunt of you
Because you don’t pay attention to what’s in front of you.

Hark, Now. Wassup?

I think Shakespeare would condone
The use of a cellular phone.
For a vanquished king could easily receive a page
And be informed of all the juicy deaths that have just occurred off-stage.

The Plight of Gaia Iulia Soccermom

Another hedgerow’s bent, and who’s the perpetrator?
Oh gosh, that was me, in my V8 Overcompensator.

It Takes a Villa

For friends and guests, my wife presumes,
Our beach cottage has forty rooms.
They all fit; that’s the pity.
I think I’ll just stay in the city.

Oh, Could You?

Could care less.
“Could care less” might want to sting, but makes a mess.
The effort to express disdain
Through lack of n’t gets said in vain.

The speaker tries to sound above-it-all and haughty
But gets dragged down by of the omission of a little-bitty nottie.
For caring only cuts the auditor wide
When coulding is denied.

Could care less.
“Could care less” denudes its sense and needs redress.
To remain aloof, care less you couldn’t.
There, now, ain’t that understoodn’t?

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