Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Iambic Pentameter in Your Wallet

'Money is a kind of poetry.'
--Wallace Stevens, insurance man by day, poet by night

This week's Free Times contains an entertaining ramble of a cover story, by author Tom Kelly, something of a minor legend among local writers and raconteurs of old Cleveland. He's not known for--how shall we put this?--being the most exhaustive reporter, researcher or fact-checker. But he is a mean storyteller, with an Irish blarney kind of flair for dramatic tales well-told. One small but important correction: contrary to his assertion, the Plain Dealer has indeed won a Pulitzer. It just happens to have been for something less easily remembered (an editorial cartoon) and before most of us were born: 1953. Which prompts another thought: how could Working With Words have been so remiss as to have overlooked the chance to note this half-century anniversary last year? Mea culpa...

Blogs/Bloggers We Like III. In past weeks, we've touched our scepter upon the heads of Hotel Bruce's Marc and Jim Kukral, dubbing them the Chosen Ones (of the non-hoops variety, at least). Round three goes to a guy I've never met, but whom I'm increasingly enjoying as a reader. A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a self-described "post-Zapruder film" George Carlin-memorizing trombone player who now lives in Cleveland, by the name of Jerry. He's almost single-handedly threatening to subvert our lazy generalizations about geeks not being literate and well-rounded. We love him for his wide interests and seeming inability to write a dull sentence, for his deft sense of humor and light touch with the pen--or at least keyboard. And we especially enjoy the fresh, unexpected ways in which he invariably puts things. An example? Try this one on, for instance. While a lot of pundits have complained about conservatives' opposition to gay marriage/civil unions, he finds a far more forceful, persuasive argument that they're wrong. To wit: "My old-school, heterosexual marriage doesn't seem to be collapsing due to gays getting married so far. Go figure. Other things not affecting it include last night's Jay Leno monologue, the migration of crabs in the Pacific Ocean, poorly maintained turnstiles in the New York City subway system, Paris Hilton's reading list, Liza Minneli's dating pool, and the Counter-Reformation."

If that's not enough to get your heart racing just a bit, try this stirring post from last September 12th, a poetic explanation for why this Canuck came to and remains in Cleveland. With writing like that, we think Jerry-mania is alive and well, and building momentum all the time...


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