archys musings

May 5, 2012

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. Not 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.

He began with this small effort in response to something I mentioned about a mobile phone and a washing machine..

“while most humans check their pockets
pre-wash and take out that which costs money,
how many take the time to check for cockroaches
in their pockets or caught in a fold of material

while cockroaches care about food and eating
humans spend their time earning and caring for
money to live with and not just to eat.
how often is money spent on music or art.

How often on things you cannot eat
but listen to and talk with and about
mehitabel does not see the problem for she knows
of no cats which have ended in the washing machine

and now i read, on the yahoo news
that north korea has exploded.
will this cause more loss of money or be
just a ripple with no tremors to follow

Then, on  ,  he commented on the state of democracy in both Australia and the USA.

now, boss, listen up to this upset cockroach
i have been very quiet for weeks
yet the world seems to go on
without being upset or falling to pieces

i have been wanting to rant on about this
still i cannot get the energy to be offended
and no one cares or even notices
that i have been silent about the world


and mehetibel says wotthehell wotthehell
and sneers in her superior alley cat way
who would take notice of a ranting cockroach
you are only one and one will never to change the world


but, boss, you know i talk sense
and all to no effect that i can see
while those who talk nonsense
are respected and find themselves elected


i was in your bookshelves reading a book by mencken
h l wrote that the white house will
eventually as democracy reaches its ultimate
be inhabited by a moron but he did not name names


so i may leave your office and your library
moving to the white house and take it over
spinning in delirious circles while stumbling
over words and accepting the worship of all


i know i will need to buy a new library
i cannot abide donald duck cartoons and snoopy
though i doubt mencken or goethe or socrates
or even descatres will help my re-election


so boss, should i listen to mehetibel and stay
or should i go to the center of the world
and show a stupid side so men of power
will hold me up to the world as a great leader

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
electorate

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.

28th Sept, 2009

humans have birthdays all their life
one every year and when they are young
they need to behave to get their presents
and when they are older they can be bad
and sometimes get better presents

mehitabel is now so old that she
is often told to do nothing i wouldnt do
as if that were a virtue but if
the teller is younger then they need
to behave unless they are older

so mehitabel the catess who once
was cleopatra on the nile says
to them all that i will do what i like
for it is my birthday and my life

and ann a human who once was
helen of troy is having a birthday
while hoping that paris is not gay
and saying with mehitabel
wotthehell wotthehell

5 Apr, 2009

eating of smaller life forms
is not polite or nice
please do not think
the grasshopper or the honey ant
are without feelings
even when dipped in chocolate
and consumed by socialites

remember that cockroaches
do not taste better
with wasabi

22.08.07

i do not see why people are so interested
boss in how tall they are for to be tall
is to be noticed and if you are noticed
great heavy shoes are apt to land
upon your carapace and leave you fractured and sore

i have read that there are human mehitabels
who try to be taller than their bones allow
and wear spiky things under their heels
which can be completely fatal to such as i

while growing tall may seem good
it is silly if the doors are not made higher
and the beds longer

although if i were taller and bigger and had boots
the gnats would fear me with cause

but being small and short is safer

archy

25th Nov, 2007

In another place I have been involved in a discussion on traditional christmas cakes. The ones which are moistened with brandy or sherry. I found that my philosophical cockroachy friend had made his own comments on the subject.

Even though he is unable to hit capitals or even punctuate, he makes a powerful argument.

have you two legs ever considered
the fate of a six legs who finds
upon the floor a dropped crumb of cake
which overbrandied or even sherried
makes control of those six legs impossible

such carelessness can lead a teetotal
cockroach into dipsomania and even
extreme clumsy dipsomaniac stupidity

like my friend who lay on the floor
on his back waving his legs in the air
he was squashed quite flat by a giant
twolegs who was unfriendly

so take care when you are
eating your celebratory cake
and especially do not spill your sherry
on the waiting floor

03 .05.07

why has he left the red ribbon on he is inconsiderate at times because red is for debtors and i owe no man so tonight i shall worry about spelling in red not in black and white

boss it always amuses me
when spelling is concerned
and arbitrary rules are applied
by pedants and control freaks
who are much the same group
who crush cockroaches underfoot
which does not amuse me at all

so please boss use that dictionary
of which i have eaten but few
of its pages and most of those
were the introduction and index
for i feel vulnerable when
the pedants come out to hunt

22.11.06

I opened up my office this morning and found that Archie had been busy. I thought he had been offended by the insecticide I had used against the mosquitoes. Now I find he has been suffering an ennui similar to mine. I have rants bottled up inside, yet my anger is such, my inbuilt censor blocks me from expressing myself in the language I wish to misuse. So I go with the flow and refuse to stress.

now, boss, listen up to this upset cockroach
i have been very quiet for weeks
yet the world seems to go on
without being upset or falling to pieces

i have been wanting to rant on about this
still i cannot get the energy to be offended
and no one cares or even notices
that i have been silent about the world


and mehetibel says wotthehell wotthehell
and sneers in her superior alley cat way
who would take notice of a ranting cockroach
you are only one and one will never to change the world


but, boss, you know i talk sense
and all to no effect that i can see
while those who talk nonsense
are respected and find themselves elected


i was in your bookshelves reading a book by mencken
h l wrote that the white house will
eventually as democracy reaches its ultimate
be inhabited by a moron but he did not name names


so i may leave your office and your library
moving to the white house and take it over
spinning in delirious circles while stumbling
over words and accepting the worship of all


i know i will need to buy a new library
i cannot abide donald duck cartoons and snoopy
though i doubt mencken or goethe or socrates
or even descatres will help my re-election


so boss, should i listen to mehetibel and stay
or should i go to the center of the world
and show a stupid side so men of power
will hold me up to the world as a great leader

That was what I found. I looked through the book which was open on my desk and found the passage Archy referred to; “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

I had no need to look at the book as “Top Blog of the Day” raincoaster had also used the quote.

Suddenly I realised the cause of my anger and the cause of my silence. No one cares about excellence. Not anymore. Our leaders must be just like Uncle Reuben, our experts must have served an apprenticeship in professional sport and our actors have learned all we need to know.

We become experts ourselves by watching the fifteen second film clip on the six o’clock news. We no longer ask ourselves what we can do for our country, rather we ask that we are not caught as we fiddle our books and take from those least able to give. As we rush headlong into the consequences of global warming, we oscillate between denying it will happen to ignoring the obvious.

I am the only one who sees the approaching train wreck. Am I the voice of one crying in the wilderness?

But I will not rant today. I, like my erudite cockroach friend, am only one voice.
No one listens.

No one cares.

10.10.06

I have a friend whose favourite philosopher is a cockroach and who managed to washingmachinise a mobile phone! I also love this cockroach although the similarity in names is simple coincidence. I wrote this yesterday in my friend’s honour.

while most humans check their pockets
pre-wash and take out that which costs money,
how many take the time to check for cockroaches
in their pockets or caught in a fold of material

while cockroaches care about food and eating
humans spend their time earning and caring for
money to live with and not just to eat.
how often is money spent on music or art.

How often on things you cannot eat
but listen to and talk with and about
mehitabel does not see the problem for she knows
of no cats which have ended in the washing machine

and now i read, on the yahoo news
that north korea has exploded.
will this cause more loss of money or be
just a ripple with no tremors to follow

archie

It is interesting being archy, he cannot strike the upper case on the keyboard and he does suffer from a fear of being stepped on. He reads a lot and often comments on those books. He enjoys philosophy and often questions the more abstract thoughts of Kant or Soctrates for many of their thoughts have little relevance to a cockroach.

I am a human of reasonable age and stature yet I also have a fear of being stepped on, by State or Employer or Peer Group. I feel some affinity with my cockroach friend.

06.09.06

The subject of a possibly broken bottle of rum surfaced in a discussion elsewhere. The cockroach in me crawled out from under my id with the following and apologises to the shade of Don Marquis.

i have noticed that
when humans speak of temperance
they mean total abstinence
which to me appears as
intemperate as dipsomania
for surely temperance is in the centre
not at one end or the other

one should not break the bottle of rum
neither should it be drunk in an hour
rather it should be appreciated over
several hours or days
yet not so many as would allow
the evaporation of the contents

sobriety is a graceful state
of which the intemperate know little
while the obstinate absinate
fly their sobriety like a flag

neither know the glorious mean
of which the greeks wrote
for i have not read where
they invented rum

although they may mean mead

archy philosophically pontificating

13.08.06

i am eating a book boss
the discouerie of witchcraft
wherin the lewde dealing of witches
and witchmongers is notablie detected
all latelie written by reginald scot esquire
1584 and it talks of bishop syvanus
his leacherie opened and covered againe
how maides having yellow haire
are most combred with incubus
how married men are bewitched
to use other mens wives
and to neglect their own
and boss i wonder if a
poor pretend cockroach will ever
recover his ability to spell
mehtibel looked at the book
and said she was once a
yellow headed maide
and it was all true what
reginald scot wrote
but wotthehell wotthehell

9 responses to “archys musings

  1. Trust me, you are not ‘the voice of one’ just one of the most eloquent.

    Like

  2. But one who is “Crying in the Wilderness”!

    Like

  3. Pingback: archie muses again « Archies Archive

  4. Ann.... the Innocent

    Don Marquis has a smile knowing that life is still being viewed from the underside. Foibles and fralities. You add a dimension that must be relished by all archy lovers. Kudos and appaluse, me deario.

    Can one do worse than to espouse a cockroach as one’s philospher?

    Like

  5. Ann, I always feel a little concerned about Don’s feelings when the poetic cockroach takes over my keyboard. Although I am honoured that he does. I sometimes wonder in what form Don Marquis was re-incarnated.

    Like

  6. Pingback: For Ann « Archies Archive

  7. Pingback: For Ann « Ærchies Archive – The Curmudgeon’s Magazine

  8. Pingback: Archy Returns; The Thoughts of a Cockroach « Ærchies Archive – Digital Detritus

  9. Pingback: Sweet Pussy Cat | Ærchies Archive - Digital Detritus

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