Just Thinking of You

     I am not here to mock those who have never gotten into the habit of writing verse.  I am here merely to enlighten those who are unaware of the mental processes of versifiers.  See, to the person who does not write poetry, the art is something rarefied and elite, an outlet for people who are inspired by the sun, moon, and stars and think elevated thoughts beyond “Getting late: am I missing the latest episode of Ridiculousness?”

     The fact is that for those of us who speak Poetry, anything can bring on a couplet or quatrain.  You have only to look at the wall of an old school restroom to realize that.  Speaking of which, postcard poets are frequently inspired by the outhouse.  The card at the top of this column reflects succinctly on the camaraderie of sharing a roadside rest stop (a reflection which, thank goodness, is almost unobtainable today.)

     Other outhouse poetry isn’t nearly so romantic  But it takes all types of poets to make an anthology.

     And I am sorry to say that in this fast-paced modern age we are losing an ability to think of insults as an inspiration for verse.  We are more likely to get off a quick tweet, or simply repost somebody else’s prose wisecrack than pause and think “Hey, this would be even more devastating if it rhymed.”  But once upon a time, one could insult a whole social movement with a few short lines with rhymes at the end.

     Mind you, they could retaliate by rhyming a few observations on your own situation.

     Once upon a time, THIS was how we reposted other people’s remarks.  Did you know some young lady who was on the prowl for matrimony?  You could pick up a postcard poem and let her know you’d noticed.

     Other poets could be relied upon for a card to send to the young man whose matrimonial goals were fairly obvious.

     And if any of these couples had kids, you could pick up a poem to mail it and insult the offspring.

     You could insult specific groups with a well-chosen poetical postcard.  (Let us pause for a moment to consider a cultural artifact here.  No, not the old-style spelling of sauerkraut.  When, exactly did firehouses become associated with great amounts of food.  This was before the days when firehouse chili or fire department cook-offs became popular.  Just another note to these who are in search of their degrees: a thesis topic that could please and help them toward their Ph.D.s.  There: a free poem with no postcard attached.  Now where were we?)

     Postcards remarking on a fisherman’s inability to catch fish or a hunter’s failure to bring home anything but an appetite are legion.  But it takes a poet to really show it.  (No charge for that couplet, either.)

     But the bestsellers were probably the simple, basic digs.  Here is a fine old leather postcard which states things as simply as possible, so you could send your regards to anyone at all, at all.

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