Friday, May 8, 2009

Helen and the Rucksacks

I've had very bad luck the past few weeks. The writing has been dismal. Awful. And I'm taking a class in which we're studying writers and borrowing narrative techniques from them. That's all well and good when the model text is great. Less so this week, when the model text is a book of aggressively cryptic poetry. 

Last night I handed the book to Larry. "See what you make of this." I was sitting up in bed trying to write, trying to get a handle on this nonsensical assignment and I needed a second opinion. He read out loud the first line of the poem in which the narrator is having what must be a one night stand, but who has also decided that she's Helen of Troy. the first line is something like, "We had a drink and got in bed." So far so good. 

Then, Larry read the second line which is about how a boat set sail in the narrator's mouth. He sighed. He read it quietly to himself. He read it out loud again.

Me: What the hell?
Larry: Oh, wait. The boat is her tongue and it's setting sail, you know, going out of her mouth.
Me: Yeah? 
Larry: So, they're making out.
Me: And? That's it?

Larry kept reading out loud until he got to the line: "I found all the bric a brack of your attic gloom." 

Larry: Bric-a-brack. She's licking his rucksack. 
Me: Gimme the book. She is not.
Larry: She is! The boat in her mouth is licking his rucksack.
Me: It's Helen of Troy. Helen of Troy never licked a rucksack.
Larry: Are you sure about that?
Me: Do you want me to Google it? Gimme that.

Larry held the book out of my reach and kept reading until he got to the line about "the woven rope tethering me to this rotting joint."

Larry: What the fak is that?
Me: Bondage?
Larry: You gotta tee off on this bullshit.

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