Saturday, July 18, 2009

Who is this guy Stubbs, and does he have an agent?

Steve Stubbs responded to my Air and light and time and space post with something too funny to leave languishing in the comment trail

There was a startling new discovery in the library of Podunk Junior College recently. Nobody knows whether it is authentic or not, but the discovery appears to be a manuscript of an earlier version of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven. Poe was a little short on cash when he wrote The Raven and poured out his despair into the earlier version. Then he wadded it up and threw it in the trash. How it ever got into the library of Podunk Junior College I’ll never know. It does give you an idea of why being a starving writer in a garret is a real pisser. This is a first draft, so bear that in mind. Since Poe was a little worried at the time, you will understand why he did not call this earlier version The Raven but

The Craven
By Edgar Allen Poe
(And if he didn’t write it, then someone else did.)

Once upon an MS dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Ignoring many a quaint and curious scribbled page of vapid lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
It was a bill collector I deplore.
“When ‘re you going to pay?” he’d implore.
I responded, “Nevermore.”

Ah, distinctly I remember
He was the worst and bleakest member,
Of a collection agency I’d dismember
If I could.
I’d done it before.

But this time he was not alone,
A cop was there I thought had gone,
I thought was gone, he was not gone,
Standing at my chamber door.
“Open this door,” he’d implore.
Again said I, “Never more.”

The gentle tapping turned to rapping,
And then the rapping turned to slapping,
And finally the two were bapping,
Bapping at my chamber door.
They’d break it down, my chamber door,
I bade them go, Forever more.

“You owe us a pile of money.”
I said, “Knaves, you’re really funny”
“You really think I’d pay you, honey?”
“Ha, ha, ha, you I deplore.”
“I will pay you Nevermore.”

I made a mad dash for the window,
It would not open, my wretched window,
I looked at it, I saw the reason,
I nailed it shut the night before.
To keep the bill collectors out
I nailed it shut the night before.
I started sweating from every pore.

The rapping grew louder, louder at my chamber door.
“Open up, you scoundrel,” the rappers did implore.
“I’m just a writer. My books have tanked.
I have no cash like I did before.”

Finally their angry rapping,
Finally their insistent slapping,
Not much more a gentle rapping
Forced open my wretched door.

You rat! You’ll pay! I heard them say.
I see your wallet through the door.
There’s nothing in it, I implored.
They raised my wallet from the floor,
Chewing gum, and nothing more

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
I grabbed my marijuana bonger and made my mad dash through the door.
I left them both running through the door,
I’d see those two fiends Never More.

Rushing wildly down the hall
I heard a sound that me appalled
My persecutors were on the ball,
On the ball they rushed through the door.
With my credit cards galore.

I worked hard on a query letter,
The last one’s bad, but this one’s better
I folded up the better letter
And shoved it in the proper door.

Janet Reid will solve my problem,
Solve my problem, she did before.
Or was that Kristin?
Was it Rhonda, Barb or Listin?
I felt at once my memory slippin’,
Slippin’ like it did before.

I may write – nevermore.


Aimee K. Maher said...


That was great.

Ricky Bush said...

Hey Mr. Stubbs--

You might just get an offer that you can't refuse. Anyway--

I'm a vampire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy Coffelt said...

Very Poe-etic.

Seriously though - that's some nice slaloms down that literary hill.

Chewing gum - at least you have that. My wallet's filled disappointment.

Deb Salisbury said...

Oh, well done! I'm glad you retrieved this breathless prose from Podunk Junior College.

Thanks for the giggle!

Mira said...

Lol. This is great. Impressive skill.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Brilliant. I heart him. :)Especially since Im from Baltimore, so love me some Poe.