Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pistol Whipped

Don't get me wrong. Editors are wonderful human beings who clarify ideas, cut excess verbiage, and make dull prose shine. But when it comes to poetry, sometimes they just don't get it. I, for instance, had once written a brilliant little piece about my days as a vigilante, blowing away thieves who periodically ransacked a neighbor's home after a hurricane. There was a scene in which, overcome with bloodlust and a sense of triumph after nailing one bandit, I place a foot on his dead body and wave my pistol at the sky. But I'm not one to glorify violence so plainly: while taking this victorious stance I am filled with sudden remorse—worry, really—that perhaps I have been seen by disapproving eyes. So I included the watchful gaze of an eagle from above. My editor, of course, didn't understand a thing, and, misunderstanding the symbolism altogether, replaced the bird with a plane.
  • Retool an ode? Yes, a wing is a sign I was eyed on a looter.

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