Friday, March 14, 2014


Good Morning, Class of ‘64
David Hockney - Bigger Trees Near Warter - -

Mailboxes in Late Winter

Jeffrey Harrison

It’s a motley lot. A few still stand

at attention like sentries at the ends

of their driveways, but more lean

askance as if they’d just received a blow

to the head, and in fact they’ve received

many, all winter, from jets of wet snow

shooting off the curved, tapered blade

of the plow. Some look wobbly, cocked

at oddball angles or slumping forlornly

on precariously listing posts. One box

bows steeply forward, as if in disgrace, its door

lolling sideways, unhinged. Others are dented,

battered, streaked with rust, bandaged in duct tape,

crisscrossed with clothesline or bungee cords.

A few lie abashed in remnants of the very snow

that knocked them from their perches.

Another is wedged in the crook of a tree

like a birdhouse, its post shattered nearby.

I almost feel sorry for them, worn out

by the long winter, off-kilter, not knowing

what hit them, trying to hold themselves

together, as they wait for news from spring.

  Have you ever seen a child when they are so tired they are annoyingly silly? Have you ever been downright tired and silly yourself?

  Let me tell you, there are mailboxes along many a country road that have had it up to here with winter! They are dad-blasted tired. They have been bumped and battered and pushed and shoved till they're feeling like a boxer in a ring with a chimpanzee (thanks, Larry). 

  The ruckus you've been hearing during the early morning hours, waking you from a sound sleep, was that stand of mailboxes down the road telling mailman jokes and laughing themselves silly. Never mind that if it weren't for that man or that woman driving by and  stuffing them with all sorts of paper junk, they'd be thrift store finds and placed in somebody's garden to hold old, rusty tools. They would probably be painted pink or purple, too.

  Speaking of silly, some of the songs you old codgers, and fine ladies, too, bent your ears to back in the fifties and sixties were fall-down-on-the-floor-and-writhe-from-one-side-to-the-other silly. The writers of those songs had to be so tired they wouldn't have been able to rest well in Grandma's feather bed or the best bed and breakfast in the country. Is there any other way to explain Flying Purple People Eater?

Silly Season

 The Purple People Eater
Reached #1 in the Billboard pop charts
Reached #4 on the Cashbox country listing
The Purple People Eater -  Sheb Wooley - 1958

“We’re all a little weird.

And life is a little weird.

And when we find someone whose

weirdness is compatible with ours,

we join up with them and fall into

mutually satisfying weirdness—

and call it love—true love.”

Robert Fulghum


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