a bug's life

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it is a little known fact that one of the greatest american poets of the twentieth century was a cockroach who lived in greenwich village from about 1916 to about 1937 period being a roach he didnt have a larynx which ruled talking right out but he could use a typewriter by jumping from key to key period this had the side effect of limiting him to only using lowercase letters much like another more famous american poet but for archy the effect was purely a matter of practicality and not of asthetics period archy was a great observer of human nature and american life this is something that perhaps is outside the ken of most insects admittedly but perhaps there was something in the water back then semi colon after all we are talking about a roach that could type in free verse period here is one of his more famous poems semi colon perhaps as it suggests humans can learn something from what we call the lower animals period

you can read more about archy and his friend mehitabel the cat who thought she was cleopatra reincarnated at the website dedicated to don marquis period some people think that don marquis who found archys poems already written on his typewriter in the mornings actually wrote the archy columns and poems himself but that is just silly because if don wrote them himself then he would have used the shift key on his typewriter period

the lesson of the moth

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself


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"myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity"

me too archy

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