W.B. Keckler
Being Marjorie Perloff

    I too would like Marjorie Perloff’s approval on a poetry mortgage.  But then I would have to read all her
books and those are, people tell me, big books (I mean you could stop your Volkswagen with a faulty
brake from rolling down San Francisco’s steepest, most cinematic street by chocking it with just one of
them) with lots of words in them.  These words have to actually be read in sequence (long sequences of
words) to make sense, which is something she has dedicated her life to doing (making sense of poets
who write to resist sense, in the Marjorie Perloff-sense).  I’d also have to sift these books for ideas to
figure out what her O.M.C.T.L. (“Original Major Contribution to Literature”) actually is, and then confirm
her self-worth and self-image by saying exactly this, in a letter I suppose, about forty times.  This is how
the poet-critic economy works.  (I’m getting images out of some National Geographic Explorer where ants
are regurgitating some sort of honey or something before a big spidery queen.  I’m SURE Marjorie’s had
this dream before, or nightmare, depending on her personality.  Maybe it’s even the design motif on her
bedsheets and curtains.)  The other way would be to be gorgeous, I imagine, or live nearby and actually
feed the person but I think she’s in California and the only heads I turn are people who are sure I’m going
to shoplift something.  Of course, I could wait for her to notice me.  Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  Or maybe I could just ask someone very smart and more
industrious about M.P.’s (note the aptness of initials—do you think she has the armband?) O.M.C.T.L. and
copy that down and send it with a box of Austrian chocolate-covered cherries and my latest production.
When she bit into the chocolates she would coo with pleasure to discover that I had carved each cherry
into a little bust of Ludwig Wittgenstein with different facial expressions of amazing verisimilitude,
corresponding to different propositions of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, with the corresponding
numbers etched on Ludwig’s brow.  Maybe that would work?  Sounds like a plan to me.  Next up: Helen
Vendler.  First plan: grow hair into amazing likeness of Jorie Graham’s.  Practice standing with my back to
the world so that she confuses me with Jorie and we start a “deep conversation” about “those uppity
avant-gardists.”  Piece of snake.  I mean cake.

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