1. He lived
2. In a particular time
3. In a particular place
Of his many editors
Proferred the generic claim
That he rote
And to this brand of righting
He gave his highest, a word
And thank you awe
For such an empyreal suggestion
And complimentary red pen
This poem harkens back to a comment I had from an editor of my college newspaper, of which I was a columnist. She noted that “I wrote colloquially.” I think that this was meant as a negative critique. I noted that I like to write colloquially. How quaint.
One thing I find funny about this exchange is that to in order say that I wrote using regional language or the expressions of a particular time and place, she had to use, what in the vernacular might be said to be a “two-dollar word,” a word like “colloquial.” I use two-dollar words frequently, and even fashion new priceless words as I seize fits. Though, for awe of these two-dollar words and priceless locution locution locution, like Forrest Gump observed, I haven’t seen any of that money.
Another thing funny about this exchange was that she made this comment from across the great inland sea known as Lake Michigan, she studying in an off-campus internship in Chicago, and I in Holland, Michigan, on the Hope College campus. To many of us hackneyed Midwesterners, we can drum up little reverence for the cosmopolitan weighs of metropolitan elites, of which she may have come under their sway. We inherently trust real people and are casually suspicious of wannabes, who more often than not are going no place better, but much faster.
As a recovering abstract intellectual, I can relate to the quest for universality. Nonetheless, I have found that this often degrades beautiful local realities and majestically loco characters. Wherever we live, we live in local circumstances. I seek to live into my singular circumstances without any particular imperial ambitions. I will not insist that you misunderstand me in a certain way. Still, I am open to empyreal suggestions…