Paper Prose(s)

Remember that Anita Bryant/Marie Osmond song, “Paper Roses”. It wasn’t my favorite.

What would you call these? O’Keefe Cuttings? O’Queefe’s? Be sure to check out the other paper art on the bottom. I love this site. And I said bottom!

Today is Dorothy Parker’s birthday. In my new English III class (American Lit) we read some of her stuff to celebrate. Of course, since Parker married the same dude that she suspected was gay (“queer as a billy goat”) three times (he ended up killing himself), was an alcoholic, constantly underestimated her exceptional talent, had several unfortunate lovers, one of whom impregnated her, which led to an abortion (“It’s just like me to put all my eggs in one bastard”), a deep depression, and several suicide attempts, the celebration was not the raucous in-class party you may have envisioned. It seems the kids caught onto Parker’s angst, and less so her humor or optimism, both of which were evident in the selections I chose.*

At the end of the class, one of the boys came up to me. “Ms. R,” he said to me – the students in my new school know my name after only two days, and actually use it, which is in sharp contrast to those in my own school, most of whom still call me and say, “Hey Miss! How’s it hangin’!”- “Ms. R., I want to tell you something, but don’t judge me! In that first poem we read, I am Dorothy Parker! I feel just like her! My girlfriend just broke my heart, and I have been so depressed about it. Here’s the weird thing – you could have called on anybody, but you called on her to read it, and it was like she was telling me my feelings in somebody else’s words, and she knew I was hurting, and didn’t really care!”

American Lit: It’s brutal, kid. Welcome to my class.

A Fairly Sad Tale

I think that I shall never know
Why I am thus, and I am so.
Around me, other girls inspire
In men the rush and roar of fire,
The sweet transparency of glass,
The tenderness of April grass,
The durability of granite;
But me- I don’t know how to plan it.
The lads I’ve met in Cupid’s deadlock
Were- shall we say?- born out of wedlock.
They broke my heart, they stilled my song,
And said they had to run along,
Explaining, so to sop my tears,
First came their parents or careers.
But ever does experience
Deny me wisdom, calm, and sense!
Though she’s a fool who seeks to capture
The twenty-first fine, careless rapture,
I must go on, till ends my rope,
Who from my birth was cursed with hope.
A heart in half is chaste, archaic;
But mine resembles a mosaic-
The thing’s become ridiculous!
Why am I so? Why am I thus?