Friday, 14 January 2011

Never as grand as you planned

"People will read again!" It was said in Vanilla Sky, a favorite movie of mine. I just think the demise of the written word has been greatly exaggerated.

There's a public aversion to the poetic, some would say. That it's self-indulgent. That it can be self-deprecating and that poetry is outbounded by the vulgarity of verbal brigands. But that's preposterous. There's plenty of ruddy ramshackle verses to amuse yourself with. And most of them were written by people who never considered using the words public and aversion side by side.

Poetry, in its finest forms, aims to imagine the universal human condition concisely and with wit. And wit is the fulcrum of sanity. How can that go out of style? Walk about your day and unlatch your personal space-enclosure and wit it up. Impress a stranger with a clever remark, but topically. Always topically. Unless, that is of course, you're not a topical person. Some would say topics are meant only for fancy dinner parties. I wouldn't say that.

Never understood the phrase, "don't get smart with me." Yeah, the person might be a prick, but just laugh, you always win if you laugh. I suppose it can become tiring, though. The rapport, banter, quips, jibes, snipes, it can take a turn to the negative quite quickly. And that's when someone invented the word smart-ass. It combines the concepts of off-the-cuff reflexes and an animal with disproportionately strong leg power. A pack mule with massive hooves. Hilarious.

Ever just think about the etymologies of some words? Two things shoved together. And this was way before Brangelina. Usually the result is worth a peek into your imagination. You don't have to declare yourself a poet grasp why there's the urge in many people to organize their thoughts into couplets and sometimes capricious idea organization schemes known as verses. And then I put on a mashup of Queen and the Beastie Boys and smile.

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