Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Toujours Gai

Once upon a time, way, way back at the start of the 20th century, a newspaper man named Don Marquis left a blank piece of paper in his typewriter at the end of his workday. Imagine his surprise the next morning when he found a cockroach jumping on the keys of that typewriter and producing words and sentences. Reading what the cockroach wrote Marquis discovered that the insect was the reincarnated soul of a dead poet who now went by the name Archy. In his message Archy wrote, "expression is the need of my soul" and ask the newspaper man to continue leaving blank sheets of paper in his typewriter so that he the reincarnated poet could continue writing poetry and feed his need. Marquis was happy to comply. Not only did he continue to let Archy use his typewriter, he also printed Archy's writings in his own column.

I am reading Don Marquis' collection of Archy's writings in The Life and Times of Archy and Mehitabel. I thought you might like to read some of Archy's writings yourself so below you will find "certain maxims of archy."

live so that you
can stick out your tongue
at the insurance


the servant problem
wouldn t hurt the u s a
if it could settle
the public
servant problem

just as soon as the
uplifters get
a country reformed it
slips into a nose dive


old doc einstein has
abolished time but they
haven t got the news at
sing sing yet

time time said old king tut
is something i ain t
got anything but

every cloud
has its silver
lining but it is
sometimes a little
difficult to get it to
the mint

an optimist is a guy
that has never had
much experience

don t cuss the climate
it probably doesn t like you
any better
than you like it

many a man spanks his
children for
things his own
father should have
spanked out of him


the honey bee is sad and cross
and wicked as a weasel
and when she perches on you boss
she leaves a little measle


the bees got their
governmental system settled
millions of years ago
but the human race is still

there is always
something to be thankful
for you would not
think that a cockroach
had much ground
for optimism
but as the fishing season
opens up i grow
more and more
cheerful at the thought
that nobody ever got
the notion of using
cockroaches for bait


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