He had been ambushed on the way to his office by two fourteen-year-old girls who had knocked him down, playfully They had rolled him over and over, spreading falltime leaves all over his shirt and hair.
He did finally stand up an yell at them, but he found the the exercise rather pleasing, despite the slightly illegal cast of it all. It wasn't so much that he was a masher. The little chicklets had mashed him.
How nice it was to be a published poet. And right in his home town, in a publication sanctioned by the Town of Newmarket, with lots of ads. Write for money, and you will get no money, but write for ads, well, there will be money aplenty along the way.
And you'll have fourteen-year-old groupies who will want to shower you with maple leaves and lay crinkly oakleaf laurel on you.
Nice to have stuff published right in your home town, sanctioned by a meeting of council and cheques for your work signed by the mayor. It ain't New York, but it'll do, it'll do.
People meet you on the street, recognize you. Seem to tip their hats.
So it was all worth it?
Well, not quite. There was, after all the letter of rejection on your novel.
After careful consideration, we find that your work does not match our current list of authors.
We wish you luck in sending your work to other publishers.
Just when everything was going great guns. The fly in the ointment.
I had sent the novel outline more or less on a whim, just to get the synopsis out of the drawer, where it had been moldering for some time.
And now, my hair still full of leaves, I get this.
I thought it was supposed to work backwards--hero out in the world, arsehole in your own home town.
Nope. Hero in Newmarket, but arsehole in Toronto.
Well, I should have been getting used to it.
At he college, they called me Doctor.
At the Mad Hatter pub, they called me arsehole.
Oh, if only once, only once, would I have it both ways.
But such ambivalence probably comes from the mother, who was a control freak and a wielder of really good sticks.
"I am doing this for your own good. I am showing you what to expect in the world."
Well, I suppose in her own twisted way she was right. The world, in spite of all your accomplishments, can slap you right in the face.
Ah, but how nice it was to roll in the leaves, to finally become a published poet.
And all of it probably from the fact that the lady publisher was sweet on you.
What got her sweet on you?
Well, here is the poem:
He saw the teardrop on the rose
And again he saw the teardrop on a rose
And he knew he could never melt the teardrop
And he knew this was already the end.
So he kissed the face of the evening wife
As he had kissed it before, in all its varying forms
And again said hello to the precipice of silence
A precipice of silence
For his eighteen months of loving.
The Queen of Swords is crossed over
And all the king's horses and all the king's men
Are trying to get her together again
To no avail.
Gigolo and Gigolet
This side of the Lake of Mutilation
Strike a match
And the hotel burns.
There is only this path of silence
As we dump our gods
And become like them.
My publisher lady was going through a divorce, and she especially like the line "As we dump our gods
And become like them."
Four times did I show that poem to ladies and four times they asked me if I wanted to get laid (not counting the fourteen-year--olds, for the policeman was not far behind.
Want to get laid?
Get a poem published large.
But the rejection of your actual novel, makes you, sort-of--chicken.
I know the husbands of all the ladies.
And fourteen-year-olds usually bring policemen, not too far behind.
Ah, the Girl with the Curl.
When she was good, she was very good
When she was bad
She was horrid.