Archy Returns; The Thoughts of a Cockroach

Way back in the 1920’s a newspaper columnist named Don Marquis had a cockroach in his office.

Some nights Archy, for this cockroach had a name and had been a vers libre bard in a previous life, would use Don Marquis’ typewriter to comment in free verse on the things he read in the books he ate. Being able to use the shift or punctuation keys because of his cockroachy limitations, his writings were distinctive.

Some years ago I was honoured to find that Archy had chosen to live with me and some of his computer written offerings are here.

He reappeared last night and I found this on my computer.

I must say that Archy seems to be unable to move into the digital age as the computer keyboard should be much easier for him to use than the old Remington Typewriter he had to bang his head against in the office of his previous host. Yet he still refuses to punctuate!

hey boss
i was reading some of the newspapers
you leave around littering
your office and i was struck
by how your untidy office
is so like the untidy minds
of the australian

like mehitabel who used to be cleopatra
in an earlier life
and now stalks the alleys
at three in the am
not noticing the disconnect
and all she says is wotthehell

wotthehell is what australians say
as they take the bigger paypacket
from the worst government
you have ever had

it must be the worst because
the papers all say it
and when i watch your tv while
you are unaware of me
they all say it is the worst

this must be a terrible time for australia
and the rest of the world
must pity you in your time of trial
or so it must be but when
i read the newspapers from
overseas they seem envious of your
bad governance.

warty bliggins i see has now
a real chance of being
your next ruler though why
you want a toad as a dictator
i cannot fathom

or is it as oscar wilde said
about modern journalism by giving us
the opinions of the uneducated
it keeps us in touch with the
ignorance of the community

so perhaps boss you need to show australia
how to fix itself
you could start by tidying
your very messy office
then tell australia to tidy their very messy minds
and start working for their country

charles de secondat  said that
the tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy
is not so dangerous to public welfare
as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy

so get those complacent australians
thinking again
and leave some cereal in my corner
or i too will think
australia is headed for the skids


All I can do is leave some cereal out for my learned cockroach and perhaps attempt to tidy my office. For I hold grave fears for the future of democracy in my country.

3 responses to “Archy Returns; The Thoughts of a Cockroach

  1. Hmmm? Despite being a cockroach, I think I might grow to like Archie. Though there was a moment there where I thought he may have only one eye. Democracy, democracy — where for art thou democracy?


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