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Jest in Literature - The Monster in the Closet  Gunjan Saraf
 Sep 16, 2002 21:38 PDT 
..........................................
JEST in LITERATURE
-----------------------------
16th September 2002    #     023
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
IN THIS DIGEST   :

The Monster in the Closet
                          ~ The Doc

Poetry Corner
                         ~ The Doc

Inspiration Corner -
                          ~ The Doc

Winding up -
                         ~ The Doc

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

----------------   MESSAGE   -----------------

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---------------------------------------------------------

====> The Monster in the Closet

Howdy.

This week's topic is inspired by my perhaps injudicious re-viewing
of a couple of "Robin Williams Live..." tapes. My favorite remains
"...Live at The Met," but this guy is both poignant and funny in all
his live appearances. He can take a deadly serious topic like
nuclear annihilation and render it up in a fashion that allows
complete cowards such as myself an opportunity to at least take
a sideways glance at it. ("When we've nuked the whole planet to
hell, all that's left will be Keith Richards and three cockroaches
sitting there, and Keith will be saying, 'Yeah, I smoked one of
your relatives one
time, Man.....")

He takes on topics like alcoholism ("I had to give up drinking.
I kept waking up on the hood of my car with my keys in my
ass...."), and cocaine ("The Devil's dandruff....") and pot
smoking ("You've just macramed your ass to the couch..."),
but when he gets to sex his uniqueness is at its best.

One of his funniest personifications is "Doctor Roof," a take-off
of advice by a black mama equivalent of Dr. Ruth. Dr. Roof will
give it to you straight, Baby. She'll look at you and say, "What are
you going to do with that little thing? Get it out of here; get it away
from me! Put some clothes on it, dress it up like someone you
know."

But when Williams gets down to talking about the penis, he does
it like no one else. ("Take him for a drink. Big stool for you;
little one for him. 'What'll you have?' you ask him. He looks at
you with that one good eye, and says, "I think I'll have... wait
a minute, what's that? Full steam ahead! Ramming speed!"

He has an entire skit of two characters: him and his penis. The
dialogue is hilarious, and the faces he puts on are even better.
The topper is when his penis is put on trial ala the courtmartial
in Mutiny on The Bounty with Humphry Bogart. The
prosecutors says, "Tell me, Mr. Penis, where were you on the
night of March fourteenth?" "Well, I don't really remember."
"Come on, Mr. Penis, you can do better than that." "Well, I don't
really know, but it was light, it was dark, it was light, it was
dark....."

Well, you had to be there. And you would have to get a little
curious, like I did, about how the penis was dealt with by poets
historically. I mean, he's been around for a while, so just what
has the role been he's played across time?

The research is exhausting, and never really exhaustive, but I've
managed to come up with three very short (yikes! I'm going to
have to watch my entendres) poems that cover a poetic look at
this "soldier with a helmet, or, if you're not circumcised, a snake
wearing a turtleneck sweater" by some pretty famous poets who
you might not suspect would write about such a thing.

First on the list, the undoubted virgin of the crop, Emily Dickinson.
Her view is certain, and my only prurient curiosity is about when
she caught sight of the creature that it affected her so. Sliding by the
very obtuse "Narrow Fellow in The Grass," I have decided to slip
straight into "In Winter In My Room:"

In Winter in my Room
1670

In Winter in my Room
I came upon a Worm
Pink, lank and warm
But as he was a worm
And worms presume
Not quite with him at home
Secured him by a string
To something neighboring
And went along.

A Trifle afterward
A thing occurred
I'd not believe it if I heard
But state with creeping blood
A snake with mottles rare
Surveyed my chamber floor
In feature as the worm before
But ringed with power

The very string with which
I tied him too
When he was mean and new
That string was there

I shrank "How fair you are"!
Propitiation's claw
"Afraid," he hissed
"Of me"?
"No cordiality"
He fathomed me
Then to a Rhythm Slim
Secreted in his Form
As Patterns swim
Projected him.

That time I flew
Both eyes his way
Lest he pursue
Nor ever ceased to run
Till in a distant Town
Towns on from mine
I set me down
This was a dream.
     Emily Dickinson

Please understand that Emily Dickinson is the next thing to a
poetic god to me. I find it hard to ever take issue with anything
in her poetry, and usually wouldn't dare, but, c'mon Emily:
"This was a dream?" How convenient! How unlike you! I've
never seen Emily turn away from the face of things; not death,
usury, horror, or even a face-on challenge to god! But, she finds
a disguise for her curiosity and her obvious fear when it comes to
the pink worm. How odd. Perhaps it is her fear rising to terror
when the pink worm obviously becomes tumescent and begins to
flatter her that makes her prefer to recall this as a dream, or
perhaps she is just cloaking the impropriety of the topic. But, the
little guy certainly affected her, so much that she ran away to a
different town. A bit extreme, one might think. A bit Freudian, to
say the least. Booga, booga Emily....

I grabbed the next poet as a contrast. You will note something
other than fear from Sharon Olds in "The Connoisseuse of Slugs:"

When I was a connoisseuse of slugs
I would part the ivy leaves, and look for the
naked jelly of those gold bodies,
translucent strangers glistening along the
stones, slowly, their gelatinous bodies
at my mercy. Made mostly of water, they
would shrivel to nothing if they were
sprinkled with salt, but I was not interested
in that. What I liked was to draw aside the
ivy, breathe the odor of the wall, and stand
there in silence until the slug forgot I was
there and sent its antennae up out of its
head, the glimmering umber horns
rising like telescopes, until finally the
sensitive knobs would pop out the
ends, delicate and intimate. Years later,
when I first saw a naked man,
I gasped with pleasure to see that quiet
mystery reenacted, the slow
elegant being coming out of hiding and
gleaming in the dark air, eager and so
trusting you could weep.
               Sharon Olds

"When" and "Years later" make two parts of the poem obvious.
The words she uses to describe the slug (an uncomfortable
choice of critters for comparison) are obviously the same words
she uses to describe what she feels as she watches a man's
growing erection. She accepts it as something meant for pleasure,
even though it remains something of a mystery to her.

This third and last poem for the week is written about the same
topic, but it is written by a person who has one. Probably better
said would be It has him, as those of us who do will recognize as
the truth of things: From Robert Graves, "Down, Wanton, Down:"

Down, wanton, down! Have you no shame
That at the whisper of Love's name,
Or Beauty's, presto! up you raise
Your angry head and stand at gaze?

Poor bombard-captain, sworn to reach
The ravelin and effect a breach--
Indifferent what you storm or why,
So be that in the breach you die!

Love may be blind, but Love at least
Knows what is man and what mere beast;
Or Beauty wayward, but requires
More delicacy from her squires.

Tell me, my witless, whose one boast
Could be your staunchness at the post,
When were you made a man of parts
To think fine and profess the arts?

Will many-gifted Beauty come
Bowing to your bald rule of thumb,
Or Love swear loyalty to your crown?
Be gone, have done! Down, wanton, down!

     Robert Graves

To my knowledge, this is the only poem written about this
predicament. It is just about as funny as Robin Williams'
argument with his own conscienceless counterpart.

But, best of all, in this time of desensitized honesty in conversation,
none of these poems uses any explicit sexual vocabulary.
Did you notice?

Imagination is the most erotic sexual organ we have. Use it!
(Then send me your notes.)

Comments or Questions :
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=TheMonster

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CURT DAYTON WITH A STUPID JOKE
5 Times A Week Monday to Friday
STUPIDJOKE-@yahoogroups.com
if you found a joke you cant stop laughing send it
my way curtd-@hotmail.com if you want to get
rotten jokes 2 times a moth{R}
rotten_joke-@yahoogroups.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

===> Poetry Corner

In an attempt to mix his Jest for Pun newsletter with this one a
commingling that is dubious at best Gunjan suggested the word
"indifferent" for the prompt of the week last week. It's a good
thing we wait two weeks for submissions, because the box lays
barren, apathetically challenged, indifferent, if I might. But, just so
the attempt doesn't go unnoticed, I'm going to submit a poem of
my own devising on this prompt, and I would hope you all would
do the same. In fact, since the prompt is his, I suggest we send the
fruits of our hundreds of labors directly to
Gunjan-the-prompt-suggester so that he might deal with them
personally. Please join me in any form, for together we can form an
avalanche, an alluvial, or at least an excrement as testament to our
complete lack of indifference. If you have never submitted anything
to this newsletter before, let it be now!

This Week's Prompt: Let's make the poetry a bit tough to get a solid
grip on this time. In fact, how about some kinesthetic prompting related
to the word SLIPPERY. Now, don't go getting gratuitous.

Poetic Submissions For Slippery
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=Slippery

Poetic Submissions For Indifferent
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=Indifferent

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Devil's Dictionary defines LOVE as
'A temporary insanity curable by marriage.'
But if you're serious about finding it here's
The Easiest Way to Find the Love of Your Life!
Check out http://ebooks.wz.com/dating/a277.html
to have a great date next weekend...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

==> Inspiration Corner

(And a fact or two you might not have known before)

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs
in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg
in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle;
if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of
natural causes.

(Now, goddam, admit it, you're glad you got this newsletter just
so you can go impress someone with this, because no one,
certainly no one you know has this information!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The original story from Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights begins,
'Aladdin was a little Chinese boy.'

(Okay, and just what is he when it ends?)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.

(Oh, come on. In a pig's eye, it is!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For those of us who live at the edge of a tectonic plate:
Each unit on the Richter Scale is equivalent to a power factor of
about 32. So a 6 is 32 times more powerful than a 5! Though it
goes to 10, 9 is estimated to be the point of total tectonic
destruction (2 is the smallest that can be felt unaided.)

(Penises undergo a similar type of categorization, just to tie things
together in this issue.)

Comments or Questions :
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=Inspiration

==========**********O**********==========
Turning Dreams into Dollars...

An ebook in which you won't find the get-rich-quick
garbage or motivational fluff that sounds good but never
works. Not too surprising, since the editors of
Internet ScamBusters are publishing it."

http://ebooks.wz.com/wealth/a277.html

==========**********O**********==========

==> A FEW PARTING SHOTS.... ER, THOUGHTS:

The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during
World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

(Shit, shit, shit! As the U.S. contemplates thunderous action on its
ally-cum-enemy, it turns out that the best comments are simple
news items like this one.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in
air crashes.

(Notice please that statistics on elephants are conspicuous
in their absence.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Carnivorous animals will not eat another animal that has been hit
by a lightning strike.

(Well, of course not. Carnivorous animals are unfamiliar with the
law that lightening doesn't strike the same place twice. Imagine
two hyenas viewing a lightning strike on, well, say an elephant.
Do you think one says to the other, well, it's safe to eat that one?
Hell's bells, they're probably looking at each other and saying,
"Yeah, it's cooked now, but why don't you go ahead? I'll just stay
back here where I haven't seen 30,000 volts of electricity drop
six tons of elephant like a burnt cinder." I mean, this is like saying
that a man will not pursue a naked woman who has been struck
by a bus. You know another woman will be along, but you just
can't be certain about that bus.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living.

(I wonder if some frogs, like myself, believe that you can then marry
them without it affecting the relationship?)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And the final one: The phrase 'rule of thumb' is derived from an old
English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with
anything wider than your thumb.

(Blimey! If it's not wider than your thumb, how could you call it
a beating anyway?)

Comments or Questions :
mailto:li-@workinghumor.com?Subject=PartingThoughts

==========**********O**********==========
If you're looking for a really fun way to earn some
extra money with humor, check out John Cantu's ebook -
Getting Paid to Make People Laugh
(Without Being a Comedian)

http://ebooks.wz.com/cantu/a277.html

[John is the guy who showcased Robin Williams, Paula
Poundstone, Kevin Meany, Rob Schneider, and Dana Carvey.]

==========**********O**********==========

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Thanks
JD Lentz
Gunjan
gun-@workinghumor.com
	
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