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25 February 2005

when Body my good / bright dog is dead

Hunter S. Thompson's remarkable illustrator, Ralph Steadman, has posted a beautiful something about Thompson's passing. From other sources, it seems that Thompson's physical health was failing, or he dreaded that it was.

This poem, one of my favorites, is in memory of him. Life isn't all about having an enormous teenage erection that lasts all night, and perky tits and a heart-shaped ass. There are stages of Life beyond that, and if they lack high-speed car chases, they have their own kinds of Beauty and Dignity and even, with a little luck, some Wisdom. Todd and Tifani may not realize or acknowledge it, but they need some of that Geezer Wisdom to save their clueless teenage asses.

And Thrills. Thrills I could not possibly have had when I was young. For one thing, you need the fucking brains and experience to know where some of the really spectacular Screaming Intense Psycho Thrills are to be had. (They are not to be had in Euro-Disney or Las Vegas or Six Flags Over New England.)

If he was in pain, I would have brought him Lethe. But he made a choice all of us have, a choice each of us has a right to have. On Vleeptron, or in Oregon, or in the Netherlands, you can do it when you've just had enough, and it's perfectly legal, and if you need a health professional to help you, that's considered part of a health professional's healing oath.

* * *
by May Swensen

Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know
in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when Body my good
bright dog is dead

How will it be
to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye

With cloud for shift
how will I hide?



Blogger Mamagiggle said...

Now say something in French?

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Okay, believe it or not, this is entirely from memory, it is not a cut-and-paste job:

"Aujhourd'hui Maman est morte. Ou peut-etre hier, je ne sais pas. Le telagram du l'asile dit: 'Maman decedee. Interment demain. Sentiments distingues.'"

So sue me about the spelling. I only took a half-semester, and then I got in a scrap with the professor in the language lab and I dropped out.

Vleeptron pizza slice if you can identify the quote.

Blogger Mike said...

It's from the Albert Camus book, "The Stranger" (or "The Outsider" if you prefer). I didn't think that your spelling was that bad either. Just Aujourd'hui instead of Aujhourd'hui. Of course, my French is just about as good as my Icelandic. Well, no, my French is WAY better than my Icelandic, but that's not saying much.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

MIKE WINS THE PIZZA SLICE! Cette est indeed the opening paragraph of Camus' "l'Etranger." Mike has obviously read it, but you all should, too. (Don't get your hopes up, I certainly never read the whole thing en francais.)

If you had a choice:

[ ] Live by Telling a Lie, or

[ ] Die Rather Than Tell a Lie

how would you choose? Oh ... and The Lie which the judge demands you tell if you want to live ... it is a Lie about what is in your heart, and no one can ever prove you were lying. That's what "l'Etranger" is about. Tres screwy and powerful book.

Mike -- uhhh ... how come you know "l'Etranger" en francais when you see it? (Merci pour l'assistance avec le Spelling.)

And HOW THE HELL am I ever going to get all these pizza slices to all these people? I'm not bullshitting, somehow you will get your pizza slices, but How? If you're ever in my town and hungry, that will be Fun and Easy!


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