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February 21, 2010


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I feel the same way about some of Fitzgerald's stories -- and about "Gatsby." Though I never particularly cared for "Ash Wednesday," the title adjustment may make all the difference. For some of his contemporaries every Wednesday was ass Wednesday but for gray-faced Tom it may have been a once a year event. My favorite line from the "WL" footnotes is, "A phenomenon which I have often noticed," about the "dead" sound of a church clock.

Okey doke and howdy doo! Maybe I've driven into the wrong century, but speaking of T.S. Eliot in a switching gears way, Isaac Rosenfeld, a Chicago-born "golden boy of the New York literary intelligentsia" during the rapidly receding 30s-40s (and, according to a Wikipedia entry, the inspiration for Saul Bellow's King Dahfu in Henderson the Rain King)...anyway, Isaac Rosenfeld, at one time in his life, wrote a little spoof of TS Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock that went something like this: Ikh ver alt, un mayn pupik vert mir kalf. (I grow old and my belly button grows old.)

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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