Dr pt, a nt on ur ltst sbmssn
O my gd, ur uzng shrthnd agn. Stp! Linda
what have I told you about using shorthand?
Hello, do you see sand? Are we in the middle of,
excuse my French, flupping Cairo? Then how
do you expect me to decipher your goddamned
hieroglyphics? If I had wanted a stenographer,
I would have telegrammed a carrier pigeon to shit on
Samuel Morse’s tombstone, then he could’ve
tippa-tap-tand Pitman down in his burrow, asking
to mobilize his band of out-of-work stenographers—
at least sixty or seventy thousand, brandishing
their bifocals, manhandling their miniature typewriters
with only—how many?—twenty-one keys. The entire
craft is being commandeered, I mean almost
literally land-ho waylaid by pirates. Not the Barbary
coast type buccaneers, either, but Somalians.
With machine guns, zodiacs, text messaging.
Not that you would know the difference. Oh my God,
of course I don’t want another Secretary. Linda.
Linda. No, don’t stand up. My flupping thyroid gland,
pardon my French. That’s better. Where were we again?
Okay. Dear poet, a note on your latest submission.
We thank you for your interest in—berk! Oh my
God, who made this coffee? I can taste the Robusta.
It’s vulgar. What brand is this? No, don’t tell me.
It’s probably some hand-ground free trade shit made
by vegans in Santa Monica, still petitioning for Mandela’s
emancipation. Talk about two decades behind the times.
Not to mention their—you’re really gonna have to call
the censors on this one—focking tandem bike rides to
Bikram yoga classes. I’d like to see them take the metro
from Central Park to Canal Street in mid-July.
I can’t stand to drink this. Bland is one thing, but this is
simply pandering for decency. How do I dial out? Son
of a betch, I’m on hold. Isn’t this an intra-office phone line?
Hello? To whom am I speaking? Randy probably-an-intern
Polowski, with your vast knowledge of the literary compendium—
not excluding the incandescent acumen that your university
gurus, pregnant with lexico-syntactic transcendentalism,
abandoned in your barren sulci—can you tell me what magic
wand I must wave to get a cup of fresh aromatic café Arabica
in my office within, say, my next lifetime? God, Linda,
do people even understand what I do? I mean, I like this kid’s
poem. But I’m an editor, not Lucy candy-coating the truth
with nickel psychiatric help. With a capital T. Am I wrong
Linda? The poet—she was a real one—was so close too,
but she needs to learn not to use that, that word if she wants
to get published here. We’ve been together so long
Linda, even you know this: verbal motion demands
Accelerando, the shadow of expansion expands. If she
absolutely, really needs to, like when a word is stranded, when
there’s nothing left to italicize—at least use an ampersand.
But off hand, I would say brevity is paramount.
What do you think Linda? No, the barbarians weren’t
pirates—well, notwithstanding the Vikings.
These aren’t thoughts, these are questions.
It means yuck in French. Oh my God, I think
I’m gonna really swear this time: What flupping cont is dandily
boondoggling, whilst I wither away javaless? A poet
that’s planned is oft in demand. A poet
that’s planned—it’s my mantra, Linda.
Since always. Oh my Gawd, did you like have a random
encounter with eternity Randy? Consider this your professional
reprimand. Excused. Can you smell this, Linda?
Is that Macadamia? Sandy beaches, palm fronds, sangria.
Are you following this? Earth to Linda, the bandwagon
is departing. Hello, Linda, can we book a one-way ticket
out of Lalaland? Where are we? What have you written?
Does Morse really need an apostrophe s?