Writers, Retreat?

A little devil sat on Shakespeare's shoulder
Poking at him with Dante's pitchfork
Whispering poison into his ear:
"Marlowe is better, those revenge tragedies 
Are immense. 
Bennie J's poetry is skillful and correct
And after you will come Marvell
Yeats and Blake. 
You don't know them now, but
Everyone else will
And these pissant tragedies
And lame comedies
All those boring histories
And your deathly sonnets
Will fall into an ocean of
Heck you will only be able 
To leave your old lady
Your second best bed. 
Give up, Billy boy
No one will read ya after
You are dead!"

Austen perched herself upon a bough
Reading future copies of Harper's Bazaar
New York Times and as much of various
Gossip mags as her bad angel would allow.
Devouring the scandals and the c list news
And thinking to herself how nothing
Much changes, whilst crying along
To Joni's "Blue".
She was not sure what a dishwasher was
Or a coffee machine, but she was sure 
Richard made the wrong choice,
Then settled back down to reading about
Some Kardashian's new Rolls Royce. 
Her Angel was left with nothing to do.
Sweet Jane was a wap grrl doing
It for herself,
Worrying over old maidens, at 25
Being left up upon society's 
Unpopular reject shelf.

One leaned over to t'other
Swapping stories about who
Married who's sister or brother,
Which wedding got wrecked,
Who was pursuing whom
Either to the Chapel, or the Tomb.
Billy boy sighed, he was wearing
A filmmaker's disguise,
As Austen was deciding whether
To use Janey's Gotta Gun or
Some New York velvet fun
As her theme tune.
"What say we bail?"
He asked her politely
She took his hand
And they stepped away
Sending the twilight
Reeling madly.

The better angels of writers
Sit in the bleachers and the stables
Playing cards and pontoon
Huddled in the very furthest rooms
Of the tallest of Heaven's towers
Sighing over fairy queens
Overflowing natural bowers
And wondering if you give a 
Human a pen and a fire in their belly
Will they write the ultimate story
Or end up staring blindly at
Netflix on the telly.

Jane and Bill broke open
A packet of ranch flavored
Licked the grease from their 
And imbibed some more 


  1. clcouch123

    I would have enjoyed reading this right before my comprehensives in medieval, Renaissance, and nineteenth-century literature. I think Benny J must be cool.

    1. The Paltry Sum: Detroit Richards

      Ben Johnson might have been a lot of things, but he was always a bane to me and not cool. Perhaps I should reread and reevaluate? I decided amongst all the pitching, submissions and rejections I might as well have some fun. I love writing. I hate the business of writing. Hope you are doing well? ~D

      1. clcouch123

        Well, the persona you created is cool. I agree, Ben Johnson generally is a trial to read. I can understand your loathing for the business part of writing. There should be a more efficient, less de-humanizing way to get the words out. I’m okay, rather numb over my older brother who has cancer and it’s severe and my living below someone who’s dedicated to my not having peace where I (we) live. I mean it; her noise is deliberate because she can make it and get away with it (landlord makes excuses while I’m overpaying rent to him). I have to say it’s a problem made worse by heart disease and a form of p.t.s.d. And isn’t that more than you were asking? How are you?

      2. The Paltry Sum: Detroit Richards

        I am so sorry to hear about your brother, and your apartment woes. There is very little more stressful than noise. It can be absolutely devastating to rest. I hope you can find a way to solve the issue. I hope your brother is at least comfortable?
        As for the writing game, it is appalling. But I will just have to have a few days off and try and get my head together. I am under a lot of stress, as my rental subsidy is not being renewed and I only have three months left. It is hard to work when you are scared about the rent…

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