Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Went to the library today. I know, alert the media.
Not only that, but I got to be obnoxious by pointing out to the librarian that a book was not just misfiled, but mislabled because, clearly, a chess book would not have a 974 in the Dewey decimal system. That's for current events or US politics or wherever I was looking for a book of Bushisms ("is our children learning" etc.). It should be 794, by games and dance and those kinds of fun things. Man, I'm even annoying myself now.
But wait, this post gets better. I picked up Billy Collins' latest book of poems and found gastropod in it, a word he had to look up. Of course I had to look it up, too.
I'll save you the trouble. It's the kind of creature a snail is.

The reason I bring it up is that my copy of the Random House Webster's Dictionary has some rather poetic elements in the definition. All they need are the proper line breaks:

Snails, whelks, and slugs,
having a single shell, often
coiled, reduced, or undeveloped,
and moving by means of a
w i d e
muscular foot.

or even a slight alteration:

Poems, songs, and speeches,
having a singular idea often
coiled, reframed, and developed,
and moving by means of a
w i d e
muscular foot.

(In case you hadn't guessed, I love the idea of
MOving by MEANS of a MUScular FOOT,
since a foot, after all, a poetic unit of...
oh, jeez, there I go again, pointing out discrepancies in the Dewey decimal system)

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