David Foster Wallace and Samuel Johnson

posterAt one point in The End of the Tour, the David Foster Wallace character (Jason Segal) introduces the David Lipsky character (Jessie Eisenberg) as “Mr. Boswell.”

It’s what we used to call a “cut” when I was a kid, a playful little knife nick to the ego’s epidermis. As future biographer Thomas Boswell followed the Great Samuel Johnson around the salons of 18th Century London scribbling down his every word so Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky follows the Great David Foster Wallace around the fast food joints of Bloomington and Minneapolis scribbling down (and recording) his every word.

A major difference, though, is that Boswell worshipped Johnson, and being 30 years younger, looked up to him as you might an adored father. True, Lipsky recognizes that Wallace is a genius (and he was) and that he Lipsky is not (and he’s not); unfortunately, though, Lipsky suffers from that common young male testosteronic compulsion to see any contemporary as a rival. In his head he knows when it comes to Foster and him, it’s the literary equivalent of Bogey versus Barney Fife, but in his heart – or at least in his testes – he wants to be considered Wallace’s equal.

So the Lipsky character is both an ardent admirer and a resentful rival, and this tension provides the slight dramatic arc of the movie. Frankly, if I were you, I’d wait until the film comes out on Netflix.

Not that the film’s not well crafted and superbly acted (Segal might deserve an Oscar). However, this little movie with its appropriately washed out colors straining in winter light to render those undistinguishable commercial corridors that lead to every city in the US as soulless as possible ain’t exactly crying out to be seen on “the big screen.” The movie’s sort of claustrophobic. Our characters don’t talk about fiction, much less Infinite Jest, which could be a multi-generational novel set in Alaska for all we know. They migrate from emblematic soulless room to emblematic soulless room talking mostly about themselves, and the Wallace character’s social awkwardness doesn’t make you wish you could trade places with Lipsky.

What would have made the movie more interesting (and let me assure any Hollywood moguls out there reading this that I am available) is if we could have peeked inside of Wallace’s head on occasion. For example, when Lipsky asks Wallace why Wallace wears a head bandanna, we could have been treated to a montage from Wallace works – surreal scenes – for example, rapidly edited shots of wheelchair bound terrorists . . . a father strapping a Raquel Welch mask to his daughter before abusing her . . . a rollercoaster ride at the Indianapolis State Fair . . . dinner on a cruise ship with its Felliniesque diners, etc. etc. – all of these quick cut images gaining momentum until DFW’s head literally explodes.

The good and bad news is that this movie is very stage adaptable.

Dave and SamBut here’s why I’m glad I went. A cartoon light bulb went off over my head as I was watching. The DFW character as Segal plays him is a lot like the Great Samuel Johnson. He’s straggly-haired, overweight, disheveled, stooped, ursine, shambling, prone to a soul’s darkest nights, pitifully self-absorbed, and, despite his genius, someone who strives as hard as he can to be a good man.

I love Boswell’s Johnson, and in my way, I love David Foster Wallace, but not Lipsky’s Wallace. In fact, in this movie, he’s not as clever or fun or witty as at least three friends I can think of – Furman Langley, Jake Williams, and Melissa DeMayo Reiss.

I’d much rather spend a couple of hours with them on a rainy Sunday.

Jonathan Franzen, Literary Piñata

Looking at the Thing

I guess I was one of the last English majors to be trained to look at literature through the supposedly un-tinted lens of what used to be called New Criticism.

Back then, we were taught not to factor biography into our assessment of artistic products. According to this way of judging art, the fact that Cormac McCarthy’s ex-wife pulled a “gun out of her vagina and threatened her boyfriend with it when a sex act/argument about the existence of aliens [. . .] took a turn for the weird” does not shed any light on McCarthy as an artist.

New Criticism demanded we look at and judge a poem, play, story, or novel according to its architectonics and organic synthesis. In other words, it was the imposition of the scientific method upon the creative product, a detached analysis of how parts fit into a whole to highlight some sort of significant statement about what it means to be human.   Call me hidebound, but I prefer New Criticism, which now goes by the moniker of “formalism,” to reader-response criticism, semiotics, new historicism, etc.

6a00d8341c630a53ef0134862b33e8970cSo I’m not much interested in Jonathan Franzen’s biography, his Midwestern roots, his literary heroes, his divorce, his love of birds and disdain for predatory house cats. I’m not interested in judging him as a human being; I am, though, interested in his art, his novels’ architectonics, character development, and entertainment value – not necessarily in that order. Even if Franzen himself in an essay on Edith Wharton claims that “a fiction writer’s oeuvre is a mirror of the writer’s character,” I’m not interested in writers’ characters or personalities; I’m interested in their books.

Why Creative Artists Frequently Hold Critics in Disdain

I’ve started to write I don’t know how many novels but only finished two, both of which were comic and featured adolescent protagonists, so I didn’t have to wrestle with the complexities of adulthood nor fear the consequences of failing at trying to create a serious work of art. Nevertheless, even in the construction of those piddly narratives, I suffered a bit in that I ended up spending hour after hour locked in the sordid little garret of my own unconscious, not a very pleasant or healthy place.

Writing a novel is hard. Faulkner, who cranked out As I Lay Dying in 6 weeks, said writing a novel is like “trying to nail together a henhouse in a hurricane.” Of course, the English form has its roots in the 18th Century and especially flourished in the 19th when middle class people needed something to do during those long, gaslit but wirelesses nights. Back then, many considered novels unhealthy, the way my father thought my reading comic books was unhealthy, the way some parents think playing video games is unhealthy. Another oft-employed metaphor in this context is junk food. Think of Paradise Lost as a banquet and Monk Lewis’s The Monk as a big bag of licorice jellybeans.

According to Marc McGurl’s The Novel Art: Elevations of American Fiction after Henry James, before James no one thought of a novel as a work of art, and, of course, James Joyce’s Ulysses demonstrated not only that a novel could be a work of art, but it could also be high art. So I say J. Joyce and H. James have made the serious novelist’s work more difficult because now this genre that has its origins in entertainment and costs a lot to produce and market needs to be ideally both high art and entertaining, and when’s the last time you’ve seen someone on the subway reading a paperback edition of Absalom, Absalom?

When critics do their jobs and judge books and find them lacking, so-called creative writers sometimes mock the critics as functionaries (muse-less hacks), or worse, vampires (parasites living off of someone else’s creativity).

Not surprisingly, Yeats has expressed these sentiments as well as anybody:

The Scholars

Bald heads forgetful of their sins,

Old, learned, respectable bald heads

Edit and annotate the lines

That young men, tossing on their beds,

Rhymed out in love’s despair

To flatter beauty’s ignorant ear.


All shuffle there; all cough in ink;

All wear the carpet with their shoes;

All think what other people think;

All know the man their neighbour knows.

Lord, what would they say

Did their Catullus walk that way?

Christian Lorentzen’s Review of Jonathan Franzen’s Latest Novel

Despite my being a mere dabbler in writing fiction and poetry, I have to admit I felt a little like Yeats when reading Christian Lorentzen’s review of Purity in New York magazine.

Don’t get me wrong. Lorentzen’s review is in many ways brilliant and unequivocally very entertaining. The cat is a superb stylist and, as we say on Folly Beach, knows his shit. In fact, I laughed out loud in the bar where I was reading the review when I read this sentence:

Franzen proves adept at telling an old-fashioned murder story, even if he pounds the notes of guilt and shame a little too hard with his Victorian hammer.

However, despite his protests otherwise, you can’t help get the impression that Lorentzen really dislikes Franzen the man. I’ve added the italics:

Prisoner of a too-early, too-idealistic marriage premised on mutual artistic success, a taste of which he got and she didn’t. En route to a divorce colored by his wife’s failure to sell a book, confusing the end of love with rage against environmental devastation, trying in vain to sell out with a dud of a screenplay that sublimated his marital crack-up. Depressed and penniless divorcé, coping with writer’s block and his own competitive instincts in the face of his friend’s magnum opus, Infinite Jest, by trying to figure out what it means to be a reader. Resurgent literary champion, reaping the rewards of a decade’s struggle but always prone to media gaffes. Advocate and lover of birds, even if it sometimes seemed the ornithologist-novelist was copping a move from the lepidopterist Nabokov. Time cover boy with a net worth reported to be in the eight figures, but always generous to younger writers as well as select literary forebears. Failed television writer (when HBO preemptively canceled a series adapted from The Corrections) and pained bystander to his brilliant friend’s suicide, an awful thing to endure, however muddled Franzen’s public response (“suicide as career move”?) has sounded. Scourge of online culture, an endearingly Sisyphean self-appointment. I confess I find Franzen the man sympathetic at every turn. I only wish that next time he returns with a novel that isn’t a bad date.

Only 6 of the 21 paragraphs of the review deal with Purity, and given the above, it’s not surprising that Lorentzen finds the novel lacking. Its “execution is shoddier” than that of The Corrections and Freedom, its “[b]its of sociology break the spell of a convincing present.”

Franzen in 1977

Franzen in 1977

For whatever reason, lots of people seem to have it out for Franzen, people like Matt Yglesias, whose writing I dig.  They tend to develop a real animus for Franzen. Do they find him smug, too contemporary, too ambitious? Was Franzen that kid in school whom everyone picked on?

All I know is that I find his novels entertaining, and I care about his characters. From The Corrections I know what having Alzheimer’s feels like, and I also know that creating realistic characters and placing them in three-dimensional spaces is really, really difficult, like, um, “nailing up a henhouse in a hurricane,” so I’m inclined to give novelists more slack.

I know, I know, creative and analytical intelligences are very different (I suspect that Mrs. Harold Bloom isn’t packing heat, even in her purse), and critics must do their jobs, but every once in a while, before they start gathering their stones, they ought to at least sit down and try to write a sonnet.

Not-So-Pithy Adages

adages 1

A rara avis incarcerated in a penal colony of digits is more valuable than twice that in the lantana.

A factotum of all vocational occupations is conqueror of nil.

An observed container of H(OH) heated at 1000 never reaches effervescence.

Transferring pedagogical innovative stratagems to geriatric canines is not practicable.

Prematurely supine in soporific recumbence and prematurely engaged in diurnal responsibility facilitates prophylaxis, pecuniary abundance, and pansophism.

Bible Study with Donald Trump

donald-trump-750x455Hey, I’m an author. Did you know I was an author? Well, I am, and I’ve written the second greatest book out there, The Art of the Deal. If you haven’t read the book, you need to grab a copy because it’s tremendous; there’s a tremendous amount of wisdom in that book, but you know what, there’s even a better book out there, and that’s the Bible. Nothing beats the Bible. It’s my favorite book. And this might surprise you, but the Bible is an excellent textbook when it comes to showing you how to make a deal. Let me tell you, the God of Hosts was no slouch when it came to making a deal.

Ever heard the story of Dinah and Shechem? You can find it in the 34th Genesis. Now this is the kind of story they skip over in Sunday school because it’s not politically correct, but you know what? I’m sick of political correctness. I’m going to share this neglected story with you because it’s one of the greatest deals ever made in the history of the world.

Okay, Dinah’s the daughter of Jacob and Leah, and on her way to visit some women, Hamar’s son Shechem sees her, finds her attractive, and rapes her. Now, I’m against rape because I love women. I cherish them. Unless they’re whores like Jezebel or bitches like Noah’s wife or pigs like Roseanne Barr. Anyway, that’s not the norm. Most women are wonderful, and anyway, rape’s a terrible thing.

But get this. This rapist Shechem falls in love with this Dinah, the babe he’s raped, and his old man Hamar approaches Jacob with a deal. I’ll go ahead and quote from the Contemporary English Version. It’s much better. None of those thees and thous and smiteths and all those archaic words that irritate the hell out of you. You agree, right? Of course, you do. Archaic words have no place in the modern world. Anyway, here’s the scoop: Here’s what Hamor says to Jacob:

My son Shechem really loves Dinah. Please let him marry her. Why don’t you start letting your families marry into our families and ours marry into yours? You can share this land with us. Move freely about until you find the property you want; then buy it and settle down here.

Shechem’s right there with his old man. The gall of these people, asking favors from the father of a daughter you’ve just raped. It’s terrible. Even Bill Clinton wouldn’t do something like that. Anyway, Shechem adds, ““Do this favor for me, and I’ll give whatever you want,  anything, no matter how expensive. I’ll do anything, just let me marry Dinah.”

Okay, guys, if you’re ever trying to make a deal, never say you’ll do anything. Makes you look weak. It’s pathetic. You gonna get took. Just watch and see. Here’s what Jacob’s sons say:

You’re not circumcised. It would be a disgrace for us to let you marry Dinah now. But we will let you marry her, if you and the other men in your tribe get circumcised. Then your families can marry into ours, and ours can marry into yours, and we can live together like one nation.  But if you don’t agree to get circumcised, we’ll take Dinah and leave this place.

Well, Hamor and Shechem swallow the bait hook, line, and sinker. They decide to talk all the men of the tribe in getting circumcised so they all can intermarry with the Israelites, thinking they could get access to their crops and flocks, to create a merger so to speak.

But here how it goes down. Again, I’ll let Moses do the talking.

Three days later the men who had been circumcised were still weak from pain. So Simeon and Levi, two of Dinah’s brothers, attacked with their swords and killed every man in town, including Hamor and Shechem. Then they took Dinah and left.  Jacob’s other sons came and took everything they wanted. All this was done because of the horrible thing that had happened to their sister. They took sheep, goats, donkeys, and everything else that was in the town or the fields.  After taking everything of value from the houses, they dragged away the wives and children of their victims.

Now that’s what I call one great deal. Not a lousy 50/50 proposition. Not an eye for an eye, but a village complete with farms and widows and slave children for a hymen. Like I say, I’m not for rape, but you have to admit the compensation for this deal was out-of-sight.  Maybe if we had some deal makers like Jacob’s sons in Washington we wouldn’t be getting taken to the cleaners by China and Mexico.  It’s a disgrace.

Okay, that’s it for today. I got to go out and make America great again.  But join me next week, and we’ll talk some more Bible. King Nebuchadnezzar. He was rich. Maybe not as rich as me but rich. I’ll talk all about him next time.

Simeon Levi

Offing People from Off, Donald Trump Style

Your Modest Author

Your Modest Author

What the success of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy has eloquently demonstrated is that Americans crave simple, no nonsense solutions to our problems.

Take his plan to cleanse the country of the infestation of illegals, those predatory, pick-pocketing, often pregnant, anchor-casting Mexicans slipping through that porous sieve of a shitty excuse of a wall that fails to protect us from their nefarious plots to mow our lawns and frame our houses.

As soon as their pregnistas start dilating, they dog paddle across the Rio Grande, and the next thing you know, they’ve given birth to a US citizen, who eventually ends up hogging space in an emergency room, getting sewn up after his gangland knife fight, all on Uncle Sam’s dime.

Not to mention that once they’re established, they vote for the Democrat party.

Certainly, a country that has put men on the moon can set up a system to identify criminals who have entered our country illegally and deport all 11 million of them.

Although Candidate Trump hasn’t exactly worked out the details, he’s smart, rich, and successful, so don’t be surprised if for PR purposes he opts for Greyhounds instead of boxcars.


All of this has gotten me to thinking about similar problems we face in coastal South Carolina. Nowadays, getting a parking space in downtown Charleston within a mile of your desired destination is as unlikely as drawing a royal straight flush.

As I inch my way homeward each afternoon down Folly Road, like a blood cell squeezing along a clogged artery, I’ve noticed a proliferation of license plates that don’t feature palmettos trees or crescent moons. Each day, more and more cars appear; new stop lights are popping up like mushrooms, all because of an unsustainable influx of outsiders.

No, these people impeding my progress aren’t foreigners in the multi-national sense, but the majority of them are not natives of South Carolina. They don’t sound like us, they don’t think like us, and they don’t pull for the Gamecocks or Clemson. In other words, they don’t belong here. They’re taking over, I tell you, and mark my words, as Bruce Springsteen once sang, “Soon everything we’ve known will all be swept away.”

Today the Confederate flag, tomorrow octoroon Klansmen. Don’t be surprised, fellow native South Carolinians, if your grandchildren say “you guys” instead of “y’all.”

Thanks to Donald Trump, I’ve come up with a plan to take back our South Carolina, i.e., rid the Palmetto State of people-from-off. I’ve sent a letter to my state representatives demanding that they introduce legislation to implement my two-step plan to restore South Carolina to its pre-influx purity. I promise you, fellow natives, getting a parking space downtown will not be a problem if this plan is implemented.

It has two parts. The first step, of course, is to secure our borders. I suggest we construct a massive combination of Hadrian’s Wall and a tollbooth that wraps around our pie-shaped state. Anyone entering the state will have to pay a hundred dollar toll. What about people flying in you ask? Don’t worry. I’ll figure something out. I’m very smart.

And, hey people, I’m getting Ohio to pay for the wall!

The second part is simply to invite non-natives to self-deport, and if they refuse, to utilize the National Guard to forcibly remove them.

Of course, this change will result in some short-term inconveniences (empty condo complexes, mass bankruptcies, the closing of the Air Force Base), but we eventually conquered Reconstruction, didn’t we? We need to take the long, not the short view. We’re talking about our way of life.

Sure, things might get a little lonely down here on the lane where I live. My next door neighbor Jim will have to go, and Bobby and Nina, also Claudia, who lives two houses down, and the Weimanns and their two beautiful daughters, and of course, Chico Feo will have to close, and the Jack of Cups.

Oh yeah, and my wife, Judy Birdsong, she was born in Georgia.

That leaves me, and only me.

Come to think of it, xenophobia might not be such a great idea in a nation of immigrants.

How to Talk Cool Like Zora Neale Hurston

zora-hatA while back, I posted a lament about a few endangered locutions of the Lowcountry of South Carolina, my native neck of the woods (and marshes, clay pits, swamps and beaches).

Some of the words I feared were kaput included swunny (as in I swear or I declare), reckon (as in I conjecture), right (as in it’s right hot), and whatchasaybo (as in hello, brother). The first three of these words my long dead grandmama used on a daily basis, but it’s been a coon’s age since I’ve heard somebody say, “I reckon it’s right hot.[1]

The homogenization of the language is, of course, inevitable, but do lawdy I hate to see these old words and phrases go. They add Tabasco to the day-to-day saltine of cliché after cliché – awesome, dude, this guy, that time, etc.

What brings all this to mind is that I just finished rereading Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God for school, and I can’t think of another novel besides Huck Finn that makes such exquisite use of American vernacular, so I thought I’d share with you some of her locutions, no doubt rooted in the early 20th Century black vernacular of central Florida. Of course, I encourage you to start using these phrases in your daily dealings, especially with the Man.

Monstropolous – no definition needed here. Cf., Camille, Hugo, Katrina. In TEWWG, the sentence “The Monstropolous beast had left his bed” describes the hurricane that rips through “the Muck,” i.e., the Everglades, putting a tragic end to the idyllics.

Mouth-Almighty – a noun describing a know-it-all that won’t shut the fuck up[2].  You know, Donald Trump, Chris Matthews.

Protolapsis uh de cutinary linin“  – Oscar Scott uses this phrase to describe Jane’s second husband, Joe Stark, the mayor of Eatonville. Oscar says that “you kin feel the switch in his hand when he’s talking’ to yuh [ . .] Dat chastisin feelin’ he totes sorter gives you the protolapsis uh de cutinary linin,” i.e., an unsettling feeling in your stomach.

The go-long – a phrase suggesting a long lasting relationship in the Al Green sense of “Let’s Stay Together”: “You got me in the go-long,” Tea Cake says to Janie.

Combunction – I suspect this is a combination of combustion and gumption, a positive word denoting bad-assedness. In TEWWG, Tea Cake declares himself “ a son of Combunction.”

Cuttin’ the Monkey – from its context, I suspect cuttin’ the monkey means playing “the Sambo” for white folks, engaging in self-deprecating minstrelsy to curry favor with overlords. It’s a term of derision.

In TEWWG coon dick means bootleg whiskey, but according to the Urban Dictionary, it now is “a term used for yelling insults or obscenities at pedestrians from moving vehicles “ as in let’s “go coondicking after the movies” or “Brandon is one hell of a clever coondicker.” The Urban Dictionary does credit the term to Hurston’s novel and identifies its new denotation as having been coined in Kendall, NY, by a group of teenagers.

Tsk tsk.

Well, gotta go. Hope you enjoyed this monstropolous post from the original mouth-almighty, one crazy combunnctious curator of cool-sounding colloquial jive.


[1] A coon’s age dates from the early 1800’s when folks considered raccoons to be long-lived animals.

[2] The consonant t-sounds and the three successive assonate u-sounds mandate the use of this phrase rather than the effete runs his or her mouth.

I Blame It All on the Old Man’s Lullabies

Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows that it’s rife with typos, misspellings, and undiscovered auto-corrects.

Who’s Whose fault is this you ask?

Not mine, damn it. I proofread several times.

Why then all the errors?

It’s because I’m almost as auditory as Ray Charles (minus the musical talent). I don’t see words, I hear them, and after a couple proof-readings, they completely disappear.

So you possess visual detail perceptual differences?

Yes, I’m a ducking imbecilic moronic retread when it comes to detecting typographic details, and I blame my father for this.


So you’re blaming your dead father for your own inability to focus on the arrangement of the Roman alphabet to insure its sequencing conforms to standard usage? Genetics are to blame then?

No, not genetics. By rocking me to sleep each night until I was pushing three, my father rewired my brain so that auditory images have stunted my capacity to process visual imagery. I’m a throwback to the Homeric ages, to the Skops of the Anglo-Saxons. I can recite poetry from memory like an iTunes playlist but can’t manage sometimes to find words like “initiatives” in a dictionary.

You poor man.

Oresteia -ChorusThere’s more. Not only did my father stunt my ability to process visual keys, his choice of lullabies created in me a tragic view of the world. We’re talking a heavy dose of Stephen Foster and a host of cowboy songs that are about as upbeat as your typical Greek chorus.

Here are few examples of Daddy’s standards.

He might start off with something like Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More”:

There’s a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,

With a worn heart whose better days are o’er:

Though her voice would be merry, ’tis sighing all the day,

Oh! Hard times come again no more.

‘Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,

‘Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore

‘Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave

Oh! Hard times come again no more.

jeanieAt least we don’t know the “pale, drooping maiden’s name” or the color of her hair, unlike in the plaintive “I Dream of Jeannie.”

Her smiles have vanished and her sweet songs flown,

Flitting like the dreams that have cheered us and gone.

Now the nodding wild flowers may wither on the shore

While her gentle fingers will cull them not more:

Oh! I sigh for Jeanie with the light brown hair,

Floating like a vapor, on the soft summer air.

Then there was the “Streets of Laredo”

“Then swing your rope slowly and rattle your spurs lowly,

And give a wild whoop as you carry me along;

And in the grave throw me and roll the sod o’er me.

For I’m a young cowboy and I know I’ve done wrong.”

“Go bring me a cup, a cup of cold water.

To cool my parched lips”, the cowboy then said.

Before I returned, his soul had departed,

And gone to the round up – the cowboy was dead.

We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly,

And bitterly wept as we bore him along.

For we loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome,

We all loved our comrade, although he’d done wrong.


However, the song I remember that most haunted me was the pathetic and cruel “Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie.”

“I’ve always wished to be laid when I died

In a little churchyard on the green hillside

By my father’s grave, there let me be,

O bury me not on the lone prairie.”

“I wish to lie where a mother’s prayer

And a sister’s tear will mingle there.

Where friends can come and weep o’er me.

O bury me not on the lone prairie.”

“For there’s another whose tears will shed.

For the one who lies in a prairie bed.

It breaks my heart to think of her now,

She has curled these locks, she has kissed this brow.”

“O bury me not…” And his voice failed there.

But they took no heed to his dying prayer.

In a narrow grave, just six by three

They buried him there on the lone prairie.

And the cowboys now as they roam the plain,

For they marked the spot where his bones were lain[1],

Fling a handful o’ roses o’er his grave

With a prayer to God his soul to save.

By the way, any idea how you spell yippy-i-ti-aya?

[1] Not my fault, dammit: sic!

Excitable Jack Horner

another  from A Child’s Meth Lab of Verses


meth lab of verse


Excitable Jack Horner

Excitable Jack Horner

sat in a corner

eating his curds and whey.


He put in his thumb

and pulled out a crumb

and like an ass began to bray.




from A Child’s Meth Lab of Verses

meth lab of verse




Bad Choices


In Nashville, Mississippi,

not far from the Rio Grande,

there lived a French Canadian trapper

named Hedrick Eckelmann.


He wrote a short novella

about the Second World War.

It ran ten-thousand pages;

he called it Less Is More.


He married a gal named Betty Sue,

who gave him two fine sons,

but she died a virgin at 44

cleaning one of his guns.


Terribly devastated,

he remarried within a week,

and lived happily ever after

until he choked on a steak


right outside of Nashville

in the heart of the Lone Star State,

right across the river from Canada.

Damn, he could’ve had a V-8.