Inventory/Trending

Four are the words I should never know:
Reasoned, researched, methodically slow.
Four are the words I always forget:
Disinterest, hesitation, ethics, regret.
Three are the thoughts that keep me from rest:
Innuendo, pretense, the time to invest.
Three are the things I shall have till I perish:
A keyboard, some coffee, the urge to embarrass

I was playing around with one of my wife’s favorites, “Inventory” by Dorothy Parker:

Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.

But it ended up being a sendup of social media, in the tradition of Wallace Stevens’ “Anecdote of the Jar”:

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion every where.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

An NPR story about a novel that mashes up classic literary characters and contemporary texting and social media usage also came to mind. This was just a fun little ditty to write.

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