Old Major (Karl Marx) taught swine to read
and organize. Snowball's (Trotsky's) Windmill
flourished under Napoleon's (Stalin's)
two-legged rule, oink rhetoric, the blight
of the porcine underclass. Boars on hind
legs carried placards that read, "Power to
Barnyards!" They buried hams and eggshells, moved
the furniture around for their convenience.
Even donkey skeptics stopped using past tense
and folded themselves into soft couches,
forgetting the first commandment which said:
"Animals are forbidden to sleep in beds."
Pillowcases and sheets kept in the shed
were burned in that final Battle of Greed.
DD: Doesn’t Animal Farm resonate even more than when we initially read the book and wrote this poem? The pigs (the One Percenters) more piggy than ever? "All Animals Are Equal / But Some Are More Equal Than Others." I feel such affection for this poem, maybe because it was rejected by more magazines than any of our other “little novels.” My submission notes indicate that we sent it out for over three years to seventeen different magazines before webdelsol accepted it. I even wrote in our notes back and forth to each other that “Animal Farm” would have “good illustration possibilities” for Thalo. And, I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite illustrations in Caprice… (Stacey, can we paste the illustration in?) I wonder what happened to “Animal Farm 2.” We had two or four of each poem—we wrote, exquisite corpse, back and forth, both of us starting a poem at the same time.
MS: Thalo’s illustrations in both Oyl and Little Novels add so much to the text. Not to mention the new ones she drafted for Caprice. Her “Animal Farm” is one of my favorite visuals too, Denise. And what of our “Animal Farm 2”? Well, from the notes, we evidently thought it didn’t have a logical structure. Very funny, Younger Sonnet-writing Selves. I happened to find it in an old file just now, and it kind of sucks. Here are the last two lines, the best two, actually:
Too bad for the hens and sheep, ultra-kind
barnyarders who never did get lucky.
(from “Animal Farm 2”, forever hidden in a virtual drawer)