Thursday, April 17, 2008


.... ’tis a beautiful day here on The Compound.... a day made all the more beautiful by the fact that the Garden Pixies spent most of the afternoon ministering tenderly to my little corner of Tennessee..... and that always makes me happy....

.... when I first moved here, the back yard was immediately named Hell’s Half acre.... for while the front lawn was grassy and civilized, the area behind my home was an evil antithesis mixture of weeds, bushes, briars, and wily forest beasts.....

... if they keep this up every week - the mowing, weeding, watering, feeding, edging, lopping, and trimming - I suspect that I’ll have to finally knuckle-down and think up a new name for my back yard pretty soon.... perhaps Cockaigne..... or Xanadu..... Camelot seems a bit of a push, but who knows?.... El Dorado is too much of a mouthful...... either way, those sweaty gentlemen are working miracles for fifty bucks a week..... I say it’s money well spent....

.... of course, having laborers who are so conscientious also affords one the opportunity to sit out under the umbrella on the patio and explore more polished and gentlemanly pursuits.... indeed, just today, as the weed-whackers whirred, I leafed through one of Elisson’s most precious possessions.... a 1959 copy of “The Fireside Book of Humorous Poetry”..... it is an absolute gem.... 502 pages of some of the most insanely clever stuff you’ll ever read.... new, old, classic, eclectic, American, British.... it’s got something for everyone....

.... actually, I feel quite honored that Elisson offered to let me be Custodian of The Book for a while..... especially when he said that "he’d had the book from the time that he was just a ‘snot-nosed kid’.... and that somehow this thick, dust-jacketed tome had helped turn him into the Man That He Is Today"... heavy stuff, no?..... now honestly, how could anyone shoulder such an august privilege with anything less than an Ultimate Solemnity And Honor?.... and on top of that, there is an inscription on the first page that reads thusly.... “Property of Elisson. Attempts to abscond with this book will be dealt with SEVERELY!”.....

... woe betide the stealer of Elisson’s book of humorous poetry, ladies and gentlemen.....

.... but anyway, yes, I was leafing through his book this afternoon while pondering a gin and tonic, and I found this beautiful little parody of one of Robert Herrick’s poems..... the funny thing is that I had posted a few days ago - quoting Herrick myself - and a commenter had reminded me of the lusty, bawdy, sexy, just-plain-naughty little things that Herrick used to write back in the 1600’s about his “Julia”.... for whom he had developed a SERIOUS case of wannado....

...... so here’s an example of Robert Herrick lusting after his ‘Julia’.... behold......

Tell, if thou canst, and truly, whence doth come
This camphire, storax, spikenard, galbanum,
These musks, these ambers, and those other smells
Sweet as the Vestry of the Oracles.
I’ll tell thee: - while my Julia did unlace
Her silken bodice but a breathing space,
The passive air such odour then assumed
As when to Jove great Juno goes perfumed,
Whose pure immortal body doth transmit
A scent that fills both heaven and earth with it.

.... nice, eh?..... and how about this one?

Have ye beheld (with much delight)
A red rose peeping through a white?
Or else a cherry (double graced)
Within a lily? Centre placed?
Or ever marked the pretty beam
A strawberry shows half drowned in cream?
Or seen rich rubies blushing through
A pure smooth pearl, and orient too?
So like to this, nay all the rest,
Is each neat niplet of her breast.

..... for more interesting poems written by Mr. Herrick to his ‘Julia,’ you can look right here.........

.... but all of this, of course, IS actually winding its way back to the original point, I think.....

..... which is that the first page I opened to in Elisson’s book today, was a spoof of this poem by Mr. Herrick....
UPON JULIA’S CLOTHES, by Robert Herrick

WHENAS in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.
Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free;
O how that glittering taketh me!

.... sure, sure, it is pretty tame when compared to the other ‘Julia’ poems..... but what says The Book that practically raised our young Elisson as a child?.... The Book that shaped & molded our beloved Elisson into the blogger extraordinaire that we all know and love?.....

.... well, I have a feeling that this post - while long, rambling, and uninteresting - might shed a little more light on the inner-workings of our intrepid traveler’s mind than y’all might have thought....... I mean, just check this out.....
(Robert Herrick)


Whenas in jeans my Julia crams
Her vasty hips and mammoth hams,
And zips-up all her diaphragms,
then, then, methinks, how quaintly shows
(Vermilion-painted as the rose)
The lacquefaction of her toes.

..... yowza.... the "lacquefaction of her toes"..... mercy, folks, that’s just hardcore literary something-or-other...... and I can now see why our esteemed Elisson emblazoned such a ‘warning to absconders’ on the inside of His Treasure.... His Precious.....

... indeed, if words were religion, then this book would be Holy to all who read..... and I suspect that if anyone were to read the book in its entirety, one would either go completely mad.... or would end up sitting in a room with a colander on his head writing 100 word stories....

... I'm off to read it and find out.....

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