Earl Gray

Earl Gray
"You can argue with me but, in the end, you'll have to face that fact that you're arguing with a squirrel." - Earl Gray

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Thoughtless Experiment

Earl the Squirrel's Rule #106
     In "A Thought Experiment" we established how and why poetry outsold prose until the late 19th century.  The trick was for poetry to be rare, other diversions rarer still.  It had to be "the only game in town."  Unless we're going to confine most of our literate population without library or Internet access this strategy won't work.  And, lo and behold, it hasn't.

     When we experience more than half a century of unbroken, abject failure shouldn't we try to do the exact opposite, if only out of curiosity?  I know this sounds like a radical approach but:

1.  Instead of warning people you're about to commit poetry, why not just step up and say what you need to say?

2.  Instead of giving us your complete biography, why not just say what you need to say?

3.  Instead of prefacing a 2-minute poem with an hour-long explanation of the universe, why not just say what you need to say?

Earl the Squirrel's Rule #71
4.  Instead of prepending whole chapters of "The Book of Forms" to describe the brilliance of your composition why not just say what you need to say?

5.  Instead of screaming, stuttering or droning for three solid minutes, why not just say what you need to say?

6.  Instead of wasting time and space on random ruminations, why not just say what you need to say?

7.  Rather than write what you need to write, why not say what you need to say?


  1. If the introduction to your poem is longer than the poem, there is a problem with the poem!

  2. Exactly. Mind you, in an open mic I once gave a 3-minute explanation to a 3-word poem so...


Your comments and questions are welcome.