The Polite Gentlemen

Grigor and Dimitri approach each other on the street.

"Good friend, you have something on you face," says Grigor to Dimitri. "Let me help you," he says, pulling out a butcher’s knife.

"There! It was only this!" he says a few minutes later holding up Dimitri’s nose.

"Why, thank you, good friend. I am in your debt and cannot wait to repay you the favor!" says Dimitri, pulling out his own butcher’s knife. "Oh, my! Good friend, there’s something on your hand!"

"It was only this!" he says a few minutes later, holding up Grigor’s thumb.

"Good friend, you are indeed a blessing," says Grigor. "But there seems to be something on the side of your head."

"Thank you, good friend," says Dimitri a few minutes later, looking at his left ear being held up in triumph by Grigor. "Why, good friend, there seems to be something on the side of your head as well!"

And on and on it went until several hours later a starving mother and her brood of children came upon what was left of them,

"Scoop all of that up and bring it home," she says to her children, not believing her good fortune. "For meat is meat however and wherever you find it!"

Great Things! (no. 7)


a rite of autumn

collage poem

Ask I: “I just arrived?”

Q: My daughter and cousin from Los Angeles – how they shake! I just arrived?

A: America’s safe – so that’s a relief – but don’t be complacent!

Take precautions.

You have to think whenever you walk into a crowd it isn’t always possible to leave.

The hotel? That’s more secure.

A body bag that falls in front of you with a small outside compartment? Great! You can wear it. Blaze for added protection.

Fit in a photo I.D.

No more health insurance? Don’t bother with even the smallest purchases. Every meal = morning coffee.

Blend in like black shoes in a gym.

Leave home.

Stay home too.

Arm your fingers. Search online to consider thousands of options.

When you’re on the street, talk – or walk – at people without being noticed.

Stay aware, surround the moment!

blackout composition, source: “Ask Teri,” Teri Agins, The Wall Street Journal, 10/17/13.

in situ, below…

newspaper blackout

How to Find Out If My Home Has Floors

erasure poetry

erasure poem, original source:

ASK I: “I have made a hat?”

Q: Years ago, I knit the equivalent of $500. I wore it until it fell apart. I have made a hat?

A: You brush timber! How wise!

Treasure is like that.

Yes, there is often a comma.

The price tag cost as much as a label? Fine.

Start auditioning a cashmere moment.

Sift through boats to find your matches water.

Notch a center smooth.

Stand forward, but don’t stop.

Don’t dare the ill.

Measure up.

Your personal can steer you to a better call in the dark.

Loaf a lace, slip on a scarf!

blackout composition, source: “Ask Teri”, Teri Agins, The Wall Street Journal, 10/10/13.

In situ, below…

blackout absurdist advice column_a_hat

Great Things! (no. 5)

An independent research study has recently concluded that chickens that are read Great Things! aloud for two hours a day produce not only a greater number of eggs, but eggs that, when allowed to hatch, result in a hybrid kitten/puppy that is even more delicious in omelettes than normal eggs. Here’s wishing you Great Things!

s! (absurdist quotations)

Ask I: “Can you suggest a middle-man to mug?”

Q: My band continually complains enough. I have every kind of shirt. Can you suggest a middle-man to mug?

A: If you’re hot, strip.

Stick to your skin.

In Austin, Texas, note, “This is the day we’ve had.”

Look, a neck worn with shorts isn’t a formal outing.

Be all “micro-cool.”

Take the armor, eat the fabric.

Wick. Spray. Powder gold.

Perspiration works surprisingly well.

Sprinkle shoes, sock the summer!

blackout composition, source: “Ask Teri”, Teri Agins, The Wall Street Journal, 8/8/13

in situ, below…

newspaper blackout

Ask I: “I want to make that me?”

Q: We were recently two of the cutest gals who looked to be in their early 20s. My husband kept admiring how adorable they looked. Now I want to make that me?

A: Marvel at men in Paris wearing a lip or high heels.

Toss and perfect posture.

Ride around town with a nuance you can pull.

Start with the best slim body.

Ignore labels that count.

Use a weak perfection (always in with a smidgen).

Retch. Shape. Look for your belly button (i.e. the way down to your “sausage”).

Cling to your calves.

Resist the urge to boot.

Be a sharper pointed toe.

Patent a skinny eel.

Sling toes – the only skinTM

Pose on the top of your foot (hi, Kate Middleton).

Oversize your top. Open lines. Be heavier.

Tuck around the bone.

Zap Sole, shape lumps, remove loops.

Pocket sewing, pockets shut!

blackout composition, source: “Ask Teri”, Teri Agins, The Wall Street Journal, 8/22/13

in situ, below…

newspaper blackout

Ask I: “Where does a man age?”

Question: Where does a man age?

Answer: Hop for a trickier hen.

A skilled tail is worth every pen on the ten (rations may be required).

I lean for you,
dear friend of mine
who is your size.
62 looks
a good eye buys
and rare here’s what,
my friend,
looks hen,
goes hopping tops,
has often been
to small a top –
if small is tops –
and sweat can be
altered and cropped.

Dresses are these dresses in the hips only bright red prints.

My friend, small person away from Europe, tend to smaller bulk and you’re set.

Be the lookout for things that can’t be altered.

Shoulder a hard fix. Consult your chance. Grow taller.

Long a higher stick with 3 inches or less.

Balance like wedges, but not kitten-women.

Draw pants to fit and pant at Victoria’s Secret.

String the ankle from last year.

Be the pint-size lady.

Add hat straw, winter your look!

blackout composition, source: “Ask I”, Teri Agins, The Wall Street Journal, 8/29/13

in situ, below…

blackout - absurdist advice column