Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Become an old poet and let it all hang out.


Broken down old poet invited as writer-in-residence at an American university. Stud value for Ole Miss or somewhere. Not Borges at the University of Oklahoma, for that was truly a class act for that school back in l964, but maybe some rust-belt school seeking prestige by taking on a fahsionable European to boost the English department.
Or a top-drawer science fiction writer to augment an English Department's sci-fi classes.

He is a type. Usually from England, a widower and fond of velveten jackets of a mauve colour, fond of epiphets like "base born!" and "Scoundrels!" when referring to current writers. For he has written all the poetry, has gleaned all the prizes and he does not care. But he cares for the memory of his wife, who would have scolded him for the lint on his lapels; there was no one to dust and gussy him up now. So he drank and lectured, lectured and drank.

There were accidents. He would throw parties in his apartment. Serve out baked ham. Serve himself Scotch. Pass out on the floor in the middle of quoting something. Or worse, bring up all over the dress of an unsuspecting faculty member's wife and say "excuse me." But no one would complain, even as he tried clumsily to wipe the spot on the front of the dress with his white silk handkerchief. The incident was ignored. For he was Professor Ronald Dunn, famous poet, and he could do anything outre an no one would mention it.... Just make sure he was invited to your own party. For when you invited ProfessorRonald Dunn to your party, all the faculty and half the students would be there.

There was the poetry, sometimes scatological. About his trip to the Far North and his drinking there and the need to go to the bathroom. But there was no bathroom.
There is a ritual. For in order to have a dump at Nunavit in winter, you will need to have an Inuit boy armed with a club to go with you. Huskies have this thing for human waste and the little guard would have to be like Leonidas at the pass, fighting off the huskies as they snapped at the poor old prof's derriere. Not for the fainthearted a dump in the woods.

Perhaps through all his travels, he had picked up a certain laissez-faire.
There came a coarseness, the product of his travels through revolutionary Africa.

Dog is a specialty in the old Congo.

"Ever have dog?"

Stories of broken-down old academic poets are legion.

As are stories of once famous science fiction writers tuuned prof, loved by the students, as an intelligent teacher, but not intelligent about himself.

I have one in my van. I needed to pick up a little culture and was so glad to meet and drink with Professor Ron Dunn.
I was so glad to drive the famous man home.
But suddenly, unexpectedly, I saw him rise from the passegenger seat and make for the back of the van.
Whaa...

He said he was sick and would I mind if he went to the back of he van for something.
Well, it was something like the Yellow Polka Dot Biikini. But with a way, way different twist.

"He was afraid to come out of the cube van
And a blanket around him he wore.

"I'm in deep trouble, Ivan."

"Wha?!"
"I think I have crapped my drawers."

Oh-oh. Of such stuff is greatness?!

Ha ha ha ha ha. I must learn to crap my drawers at once.

Perhaps I already have.
Very likely, I was that prof. And I was just projecting.
Oh how we old degenerates sometimes dump in our nests.
Ah well. It was good enough for Rabelais.
But I do give a shit.
What will I tell the public?

##

23 comments:

the walking man said...

Tell them nothing but do write a poem about it. The public will accept the poetry of a rake, a velveteen jacketed fop writing of his cats in the language of the gentry. Scoundrel though he is.

"I think I have crapped my drawers."

As long as it is done with artistry then it could be the event of the night for the intelligentsia at the party.

Ivan...that is your key...not the poet prof or the sci fi dude prof...you go back to academia as the dumpster diving prof.

Charles Gramlich said...

Once cannot be a genius or achieve greatness without crapping your drawers at least once. But it must be a big crap. A legend in your own pants.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Charles,

Top drawer!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

It is a thought.

I recently re-applied at the college, but they told me I was too old.

Hey, there is a law in Canda all of a sudden that yout can't discriminate by refusing to hire a teacher over 65.

There is hope!

They were all anal retentives!

I give a shit!

Monique said...

I'm with the walking man. Should make a great poem or even better, a radio script. GO FOR IT IVAN!!

ivan@cre3eativewriting.ca said...

Monique,

I certainly owe you a visit. Maybe a
hopefully funny script later. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ivan, FYI...

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 6, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- While controversial embryonic stem cells continue to be plagued by the same problems, scientists announced a big proof of principle in research with iPS cells. Those are the adult stem cells that researchers have been able to convert to an embryonic state without the destruction of human life.

Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Japan, along with scientists in Wisconsin, came up with the original reversal method. It required a virus to genetically alter adult cells and had inherent safety concerns.

Now, scientists at Scripps Research Institute in California and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Germany have been able to use drugs instead of viruses to turn brain cells from an adult back into embryonic-like stem cells.

Dr. Sheng Ding says the results show the scientists are "on the way" to making the embryonic-like stem cells without genetic modification.

"This shows that we can make cell reprogramming technology much more practical than it has been," Ding told the London Telegraph. "These advances will bring us closer to the day when we can use these powerful cells to make any kind of human tissue that we need to help patients."

The success means treatments could be developed sooner from the cells because cancer virus cells are not involved in their creation.

Wesley Smith, a leading American bioethicist, commented on the news and said the success drives home the point that human cloning is not needed to advance stem cell science.

"If stem cells for drug testing and therapies are the goal, human cloning is indeed redundant and should be banned," he said. "But don't hold your breath. In my view, stem cells were as much pretext as purpose behind the cloning drive. But at least now that will be exposed."

In February, Yamanaka announced his team found a way to grow the cells without inducing tumors.

--G.G.

Midnight said...

I'm all for research and advancement.


On a finer note, judging by the picture, aspiring poets seem to have an 87% better chance of getting laid, than actual poets.

JR's Thumbprints said...

My old boss had himself a little old accident on the way to work. He claimed he sat on a melted Snickers bar on the drive in.

Us underlings agreed with him.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Heh. Hold yourself back!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

JR,

Hm. I wonder why my last girlfried's mother refused to launder my shorts. Aiiie! Skidmarks!

Midnight said...

Oh slur the burr , and bury the fur .

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Now we come to Jacques Custeau.

Midnight said...

Jacques said he went deeper

Into the ocean ,

'Cus everyone went higher

Into space .

Crusteau .

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

But then, he is de Frenchman, no?

Octopus! Octopus!

Midnight said...

Eight-legged wonder , encompasses me .

Was in bed with my exes ,

but the Lass , was a dream .

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Ah Gaston.

He was such an artiste!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Ah Gaston.

He was such an artiste!

Midnight said...

Yes , she was .

Few women could top her .

Midnight said...

Oh , and by the way ,
what's with the neon shorts , dude ?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

One of the lady bloggers gave it a colour treatmenton on her machine.
Shorts had been blue.
'Smatter. You not like fuchsia?

Midnight said...

Glow your own .

ivan@creativewtiging.ca said...

Look up Greek for "shining bright".
Heh.