On Writing Well


Improve your Writing? Nothing to it!
Find an Adverb and eschew it!
And Adjectival abolition
Aids most any Composition!

Widely concurs the Writing Tribe:
It’s better far not to describe;
And rare’s the Pundit who disputes
That Things should not have Attributes.


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In Praise of Adjectives, Adverbs, Asides, Verbal Gewgaws, Blandishments, Rhyme for Rhyme’s Sake, Flummery, and the Like: A Demonstration

Consider the alternative:
The sun glinted off the waves. It was midnight.
The moon was up. Everything was still.
The Walrus and the Carpenter were walking.

-Damn, said the Walrus.

They walked for a while.

-It’s a lot of sand, the Walrus said.
-Nothing anybody can do about it, said the Carpenter.

After a while they met up with some oysters.
-Why don’t you boys come with us, the Walrus said.
The oldest one shook his head No but the young ones came along.

They walked for a while then stopped by a rock.
The Walrus wanted to talk but the oysters wanted to catch their breath first.
-Sure, said the Carpenter.
-Time for a snack anyway, said the Walrus.

-But not on us! said the oysters.
And the Walrus:
-Nice night, isn’t it?
And the Carpenter:
-Pass the bread.

-Kind of tough on the oysters, don’t you think? said the Walrus.
-It’s tough, said the Carpenter.
-Hard times, said the Walrus.
He pretended to wipe away a tear but he was really hiding the biggest oysters behind the handkerchief for himself so he could eat them.

-All right, said the Carpenter.
-Ready to head back?

By that time they had eaten all the oysters and it was still again.

The end.

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MS Found in a Typewriter

After dreaming on and off all last night of falling rain, I woke to find this poem on a sheet of foolscap someone had left in the old typewriter I still keep on the shelf. I surmise it is a response to my poem, A Malison.
homage to archy
tell me mr why so glum question mark
yr time will go and ours will come.
why so bitter question mark why so vexed question mark
you ve had yr turn and we are next.
for that s how evolution works
progress comes in fits and jerks.
the future s not as bad as it appears
a lot can happen in a billion years.
roaches will learn to dig and build
and after the sun explodes we ll be here still.
survival of the fittest is another term for fate.
we roaches understand. we wait.

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