February 18, 2011
By Philosophe BRONZE, Chino Hills, California
Philosophe BRONZE, Chino Hills, California
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

"More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

"Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)"

The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

i'm only gonna write this once,
so pay close attention and
don't read it again later:

i'm starting to wish that
rain would fall from clouds
instead of taunting us with buoyancy,
reach down and connect us
with waterways
paths erased by tomorrow's sun

and you could build a boat
and i could build a boat
and we could send our thoughts
in gondolas instead of
rotting them in a drawer
drying unsent messages
waiting for a call.

i'm starting to wonder if
crossing the world would change you
so you'd long for sun instead of
rain, want to paint your face gold
and pretend it's a mask,
blind with preconceptions and
deaf to clich├ęs

and that's why i want it to rain.
('cause maybe then we'd know.)
and i've always wanted to build a boat.
and i can't finish my thoughts
without a conduit to yours.
(can you tell?)

i'm starting to change my
ways, stop wishing on stars
and bits of poetry, start
making things happen. i'm
fabricating a gondola in my attic and i'm
calculating the paths a river would take.

(can you hear my raindance?)

The author's comments:
My only poem ever written without any capitalization. Written 1 December 2010. Critique welcome.

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This article has 3 comments.

Lise said...
on Mar. 4 2011 at 5:07 pm
That was part of the spontaneous beauty of it -- the juxtaposition of an almost defensiveness in the beginning, followed by the intimate revelations. Very human.

Notapoet said...
on Mar. 4 2011 at 3:47 pm
I liked this poem very much but found the first stanza a bit harsh and out of character with the rest.  Absolutely loved the last 2 stanzas and last line.  "I can't finish my thoughts without a conduit to yours." is brilliant and gives me goosebumps.

Lise said...
on Mar. 3 2011 at 5:01 pm
Absolutely beautiful. A sophisticated structure that reads fluidly and seemingly effortlessly. Thanks.


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