Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Sunday, October 13, 2013

9 Questions that plague the mind--

1.
Why is it that when a peaceful, lovely, semi-elderly cat gets out of the house, she panics and thinks that her adored humans are toothy creatures from that mining planet in the ALIEN movies?

2.
Why must novels never be 100% finished but only abandoned? (Yes, I just abandoned mine on a lonely hilltop, where it will survive or not.)

3.
Why do facebook friends ceaselessly try to lure me into the real of Fritterdom?

Marly Youmans18 minutes ago
YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE: I *know* hope springs astonishingly eternal in your breast(s), but I will never have time to play Zynga Bingo or Penguin Parade or even Words with Friends. Well, maybe when I'm hyper-old if utterly deserted by the muse (stay with me, lovely Muse!) Till then, it's words and friends, not Words with Friends.
4.
Why does Susquehanna the extremely elderly dog start barking the world to bits, angling for a jaunt and doing her biz just as soon as the jammies go on?

5.
Why do people get their knickers in such a very confounded scold of a twist about Columbus (who, yes, did some things that make us gasp) when they know perfectly well that the era and even centuries after was a time when their ancestors relished a good public hanging (draw and quarter, anybody?), slavery was rampant, and native Americans veered between peaceable and astonishingly and imaginatively barbaric? (My husband is an eighth Akwesasne Mohawk. Those fellows were terrifying! Even when Christianized, their saint was also terrifying in her fervor... Kateri Tekakwitha used to chop open the ice on the Raquette River and jump in for her morning ablutions and penance. I suspect this bit of genetic potency may be at the root of why my over-educated husband is driven to feats of insanity and hunter dare-devildom around the world.) 

It's a puzzle. Gentle academics everywhere are torn between wanting to condemn the man and wanting to keep their day off from work.

Proposal: How about we celebrate Brendan the Navigator Day? In his travels he encountered all sorts of wonders--the crystal tower that must have been an iceberg, the precincts of hell (volcanic eruptions in Iceland), and what many have said must have been Florida! He appears to have been peaceful and good and brave and modest. 

6. 
Why do people run after books we all know to be meretricious hog slop while ignoring works of beauty and power? 

7.
Why does the shutdown of the government by two very silly parties have to mean that we totally forget about the rest of the planet? Hordes of people butchered at church and elsewhere, Syrians to mourn and bewail, Kenyans threatened again: is the human head that flighty?

8.
Why does one person on an airplane go in the lavatory to recreate Flemish portraits with napkins and seat covers and neck pillows, while another has nothing but destruction and havoc and death in his mind? (I want to play with toilet paper with Nina Katchadourian!) Why is one person a poet, and the other a terrorist who kills him in a mall where you can only go home free if you can name of the Prophet's mother?

9.
When ten lepers are cured, why does only one say thank you?

10 comments:

  1. These questions ARE the plague! Did you find any answers yet? Please don't lose sleep over them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ours is but to ask... No answers! Well, I do know the answers to some of them, I suppose. Human nature, the Fall, forgetfulness of history and everything, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Regarding the Facebook question, here's a solution I wish I'd known about sooner: If you're being plagued by game requests, look for the little down-arrow on the upper right corner of the post. Click it and it will give you the option to hide everything about that game. Do that once for each game as it arises and fairly soon you won't even know your Facebook friends are playing games...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here are my thoughts (not answers, surely!) to your questions: 9. 1/10th of the population is grateful, and we are populated with an even smaller percentage of people willing to volunteer to do good. 8. It seems that there are more destroyers than creative playful thinkers. Come on! What can a terrorist do with toilet paper?! 7. Some think that we need more than two parties. I think that more parties would give us several silly parties who like to lunge at each others' throats. 6. Most mass produced "art" is crap. It's junk food for the mind and soul, and like food junk food, it is sometimes tasty and very VERY bad for us. So, when certain folk reach for the fries and desserts, many others go for the pulpy wet bad literature to read, and they gaze on mental rot movies. . . because it's somehow entertaining (don't ask me, it's just what I observe). Matter of fact, this summer, I must admit that I went to see a piece of @#$t movie because I was convinced that imbedded in its insanity and tripe were bits and drabs of Hollywood code language that would let us all know that they knew the world was ending very, very soon. 5. In most minds, especially for those who do not know history very well, history is sanitized in memory. Its sanitation is passed on to many generations like old wives tales. Each tribe of wives has their own version for sure. 4. Didn't you know that dogs' business hours are different than our 9 to 5? 3. Someone posted on my wall a "no thanks" invitation to some game. I wrote back: "Good morning! I did not post any game invites". So, I agree with you, Marly. Nuff said. 2. If I read your novels I can assure you that I would not abandon them, not even for a smidgen of a percent ! AND 1. Is this the cat that gets lost standing near the litter box?

    Yolanda

    ReplyDelete
  5. Some people are very thorough! Thank you, Miss Yo-Yo!

    For the edification of the general public, I must admit that I have a cat that gets lost in the house. If I come upon her downstairs, I often carry her up to make sure she can find the essential part of the house...The other cat occasionally bites her. I guess it's irresistible. A cat of very little brain (but lots of heart.)

    She was a gift horse.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have a suggestion for question number five.
    Perhaps we should celebrate Columbus's demise rather than his achievements. I think many people think in that way in any case. It could be like the Guy Fawkes' Day on November the 5th in the UK. We could have bonfires and torch processions and fireworks!
    Or - more in keeping with seafaring, we could all eat haddock on that day.
    What else are people going to be doing on Columbus Day?

    Question number six is easier, really. People read hog slop because it makes them feel superior to the author.

    Questions 7 and 9 are related, possibly.
    (OK, they are not. At all. It is a bafflement)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Capt. Pugwash,

    It could be yet another excuse for fish tacos! Excellent concept! And who can resist fireworks and bonfires?

    7 and 9 are related in the sense of humankind's infinite distractibility... But ultimately, I think not.

    I should like to know the history of your ancestral Pugwashers. Must be quite curious. Are you by any chance related to the Pugwashes of Ohio, and their ancestor Athanasius T. Pugwash, inventor of those little bristly toothpick thingies?


    ReplyDelete
  8. Mrs. Skinny-Atlas5:20 PM, October 14, 2013

    Oh, ho!

    Marly Youmans, I just saw this on your facebook page:

    "Ahem! I just want to say that I am highly suspicious of your identity, Captain Pugwash, you from a long line of UK-derived Pugwashers (alternately Pughwashers or Pouwashers, and unkindly maligned as Peuwashers.) However I am honored that you visited my little barking blog and left a plethora of Pugwasherian comments."

    You are wrong about the identity of Captain Pugwash. You are barking up the wrong tree.

    I know Capt. P. well.

    Yours sincerely,
    Matilda Skinny-Atlas

    ReplyDelete
  9. Matilda, my atlas!

    I know who Captain Pugwash is, you silly twit! He's a cartoon character.

    Also, this fellow. Barking up the wrong tree indeed.

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.