Imagine what it would have been like if Emily Dickinson had ever been homeless. I think we can say this much for sure: it would have been a drag on her career. Ha, ha, just kidding. No, seriously, her whole image would have been blown! She was so far from being homeless, she was the Anti-Homeless Poet. Any ideas she might have had on the subject would have been purely theoretical.
Emily Dickinson said, "There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away." Likewise, there is no frigate like a pair of old dirty gym socks to haul our breath to China to be sold into slavery. Another exceptional frigate is the homeless frigate. Where does the homeless frigate take us? Could we get there some other way? What's with the hardtack and salted limes? Shuffleboard, anyone?
Maybe since the book frigate takes us on a world cruise, the homeless frigate does the opposite, it takes us to a house in the middle of Amherst.
Come to think of it, Emily was pretty theoretical on most subjects, wasn't she? Emily Dickinson called hope the thing with feathers. If Emily had your hope, what kind of thing would it be? My hope is the thing with pizza stains down its front. Maybe your hope has chocolate all over its face.
According to Emily, a word starts to live when you say it. That means Emily D. was an early exponent of meme theory. She must have known that the only way to kill words outright is to delete them from all memory files. It's like killing blackberries. The only practical way to kill them in your own back yard is to crowd them out with something worse. Go ahead, try it. Kill the word "is". Good luck.
"A wounded deer leaps the highest." How would Emily have known? What was she, some kind of sadist, wandering through the forest poking various animals in the butt? Maybe the wolverine jumps higher, huh? Always the theorist.
Then again, maybe she was torturing more than just animals. She also said, "I like a look of agony, /Because I know it's true; /Men do not sham convulsion, /Nor simulate a throe." Could this be insight born of experiment?
"Where thou art, that is home." All afternoon my roof leaked. It had a hole in it as big as the sky. No, wait, that was the sky. Doh.
Poverty is the Gust
by Copyright Dr. Wes Browning
Sing to the tune of the Gilligan's Island Theme
Poverty is the blowing Gust
That flattens us to the dirt
And drags us down an ugly ditch,
While ripping up our shirt;
It leaves us there, but lookit how
We build ourselves a yurt,
We're a little worn and slightly torn
We add up all the hurt.
Speaking of hurt, I notice from the news reports that the Liberty Bell was seriously injured by a homeless man the other day.
Let me get this straight. A piece of crap bell that was given to us by the English in 1752 and never worked is so important to us that if anyone should dent it they get locked up?
Frank Eidmann, director of special projects for the Independence National Historic Park had this to say: "Anyone who attacks a national symbol is disturbed. What he was disturbed about, we don't know."
Gosh, I don't know, Frank, let me think could it be because he is homeless, Frank, could that be the problem??!!
The man could get five years for, among other things, "damaging an archaeological resource" (I'm not making this up.)
The Liberty Bell is not an archaeological resource. It's a piece of junk, which was used by the Abolitionists to symbolize this country's failure to live up to its promise of freedom for all. That is how it got its name, that is the only reason it has been preserved.
All this man did was remind us of that fact.
© Dr. Wes Browning: firstname.lastname@example.org
2129 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 (206) 441-3247