Hey, Barbecutie

In honour of the election.

Posted on: May 11, 2010

To calm her down, I asked her to recite what I knew to be her favourite American poem.

‘Okay, James Joyce-‘ I prompted.

‘James Joyce was stupid. He didn’t know as much as I know. I’d rather throw dead batteries at cows than read him. Everything was fine until he came along. He started the Civil War. He tried to get the French involved but they wouldn’t listen. They filled him up with pastries and desserts. They tried to get us to use the metric system and we said, No, go away, we like our rulers. Thomas Jefferson said, You always get the rulers you deserve.’

‘Do you know any other poems by heart?’

‘No.’

(An extract from “A Very Practical Joke” by Sheila Heti. This is my favourite collection of letters, words and phrases in lingual history, and has been a great comfort to me at times like these.)

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