Sunday, April 16, 2017

369. Poetic Justice

Well, he was a pretty good imitation of the kid Anthony in the famous Twilight Zone episode called It’s a good life. Only he had orange hair for some reason. It was going to be a long morning. As the sky lightened, I thought of all the sunrise services that folks were attending this Easter morning, at least the true believers among the Christians. But I had to deal with Anthony, or C.W. if you prefer.

He was reading from a book and taking notes. Oh, and he was muttering to himself. He looked up as I walked in, pointed his pen at me, and said, “I don’t like poetry. Poetry is a bad thing and I don’t like it.”

“Oh,” I said. “What don’t you like about it?”

”I don’t like things that make no sense to me.” He pointed to a section of his book. “What does this mean when it says, ‘April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the barren sterile land,’ for goodness sake?”

“I think it says breeding lilacs out of the dead land.”

“That’s what I said. I don’t like it when people disagree with me. I can read for myself.”

I started to say something catty in return but a feeling came over me. “It’s good,” I said, “that you can read for yourself.”

“So, tell me what it means.”

“I think,” I said, “the author is referring to the ancient belief that the earth died in the winter, and had to be coaxed back to life in order to be reborn in the spring, reborn by the shedding of blood, human sacrifices in fact, hence the reference to cruelty. The poem was also written not long after a world war in which over 17 million people died. Quite a shedding of blood in order to renew the earth.”

“I don’t like it when your species sheds blood for no reason,” he said.

“It’s good that you don’t like it,” I said.

“How did they do it? This shedding of blood to make the earth come alive?” He paused. “That’s a pretty silly idea, isn’t it?”

“Very,” I said. “It probably seemed less silly to those who weren’t shedding the blood. But, to answer your question, there were countless ways. Sometimes they sacrificed a beautiful young virgin girl, sometimes a virile, handsome young man. Sometimes they had men fight to the death, and the winner was king until a younger man came along and dispatched him.”

“That’s stupid,” he said. “I don’t like that at all.”

“It’s good that you don’t like it,” I said.

“Are you making fun of me? I don’t like it when people make fun of me.” He pointed a small finger at me. “You’re a bad man, a very bad man, and your species is very bad.”

Seeking to divert his attention, I said, “Well, we don’t sacrifice virgins these days. We’re much too sophisticated for that. We don’t make men fight to the death, either. Why don’t you quit reading poetry for a while? Go talk to my wife about something.”

“She won’t talk to me,” he said. “She’s watching something on her television set about very young girls in something called a ‘beauty pageant,’ and she’s upset and angry. She said something about sending me to a place called 'the cornfield' if I bothered her.”
People who enjoy killing other
people are bad, very bad. - C.W.

See also
and click some ads, C.W. needs books.

“Oh,” I said. “Then maybe you can watch the one in here.”

“Good,” he said, “Let’s watch that show about wrestling.”

“I don’t like shows about wrestling.”

He turned on me and pointed. “I don’t like it when you won’t watch wrestling with me.”

“It’s good that we watch wrestling,” I said.

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