Why BOOKPOODAH Is
SUBJECT: E. A. Poe
There was a marvelous show about Poe on PBS last night. I had forgotten, with the passing of time and my youth, with the fading of the impulse to create that comes with age as one's juices dry and the spirit seres to rustling weed, the influence, nay the very predominant effect of his writing style over my own poor efforts. Forgotten until now, that is. As the last sad notes faded with the credits, emotions of long ago returned to my troubled soul, wrong emotions, I admit, but inescapable nevertheless. Emotions of envy, resentment, dark jealousy. Was I not then a better man than he, and have I not remained so? Did I not attend the same University and was I not expelled as well? Not for me, no, not for me to slink away and submit. I returned, yes returned to the Old U to complete my studies, whereas he, the future lion of the literary world, was seen there nevermore in the purple shadows of the Lawn. Is the room within which I there dwelled preserved as a shrine? The answer to this question is unceasingly on the lips of the mean-spirited, sneering students. "Yes, that's Poe's old room, beautiful, isn't it? They didn't preserve Tims's, he was undeserving.".
And did I marry my adolescent first cousin? Not I, for I am a better man. A better man in all ways but one. This lady-necked, pouty-mouthed, weak-chinned debauched profligate was given the divine genius that, but for the injustice of existence, should have been mine.
Having seen the fawning adoration of last night's tribute, I am changed. Or, to be more precise, I am again what I was. I am retrometamorphed. Take that, Franz! Change THIS! The insulating layers of some forty years are peeling away, leaving me once again with the certain conviction that I will find no peace until I have put right this wrong. Unless I act, his works will be read forevermore, while I am consigned to the writing of instruction pamphlets for the users of thinking machines. A scribbler am I now, but I shall finely plan. I will devise a course of action worthy of HIS most feverish imagination. But once more I shall be the better man, for I will ACT! Those who consume his art will eat crow!
DATE: 24-Mar-95 at 17:51:14
SUBJECT: E. A. Poe
Response to Litforum responses:
There are artifacts in my inbox suggesting that I have sent unguarded messages. It is true that yesterday I awoke at my terminal, a half hour or more seemingly lost. Thinking nothing of it, I proceeded with the pursuit of my living. Today I found missives from strangers, supporting me. Consumed with dread, I walked the net, and found sure proof that I led another, darker life. I found the source which prompted these correspondences. A message, sent, God knows why, by ME! This twisted memo, this heretofore unknown passage proclaimed itself as MINE! I could not deny, would God could I have, my authorship. My stamp was there, but (please perhaps an escape?) the most devious devil could have forged my "chop", the obscure, the murky, the puzzling, "NONSTOP". But no, I could not deny it, disown it, it was mine. Janet (she of the wonderful wooden chains) wants to know wherefore I subscript my name with [NONSTOP], as well she might, thinking, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps,...some connection, some subtle reference, to "nevermore"? NEVER! More would I lose my thumbs than so sign myself his man. 'Tis pure chance, (I suspect, evil happenstance), proclaiming, perchance, HIS enduring influence, his undying presence in, no, atop, my life.
[NONSTOP]is, rather, my endeavor, my company, the means by which I put crusts on the table, in short, the entity which pays for the transmission of these writings, these aberrations, these ... well, never mind, time to eat, I'm ravenous.
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