Dr pt, a nt on ur ltst sbmssn

Daniel Boden

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?


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