February 4th, 2009

cass groovy

APED: "monster anti-defamation league free verse"

dear sir

the monster anti-defamation league
would like to register some complaints
regarding you
and your monster poems

in your poems
monsters are always eating people
and breaking into houses
to eat people
and lying in wait
to eat people
and skulking through the night
also to eat people

these stereotypes are outrageous
and also unfounded

to be quite frank
many of us are terrifying enough as it is
without having to eat people
(have you ever seen a behinder?
you don't want to)

monsters are under beds and in closets
across the country
but they are never responsible for small children going missing
well hardly ever
it would be one thing if there were a coherent ideology at work
but there is not
we just get hungry
many monsters now have productive careers in diverse fields
such as mall security and urban renewal
we hope soon to have the vote

we do not wish to be seen as overbearing
but if you do not take our criticism seriously
we cannot be responsible
for every monster

some of whom actually do eat people
and like poets
with garlic

more Madge Kendal

At the time of George Eliot's death, Kendal remarked at a gathering that "George Eliot only married for one reason." A gentleman asked what she meant by that, and Kendal said, "To put the word 'wife' on her tombstone."

The gentleman turned out to be George Eliot's widowed husband. AWKWARD.

Most people, if they told this story, would tell it as a moment of horrifying facepalm; Kendal claims that Eliot's husband congratulated her on her brilliant intuition. Kendal also told Eliot's husband that she had cared for Eliot more than he had. Despite having met her maybe six or seven times. And she cites this as a memory she's *proud of.*

Freeeeeeoooowwww. What a piece of work.

(On a better note, she does talk briefly about acting opposite the black American expatriate Ira Aldridge. To judge from her account, Aldridge deliberately manipulated and banked on the audience's inclination to exoticize him: when he played Othello, he insisted that the actress to play Desdemona be as fair-skinned as possible, because he had a bit of business where he took her hand in such a way as to emphasize the difference in their skin tones. He had an impressive command of body language, too, and coupled that gimmick with something inexpressible in his posture -- Kendal could never figure out just what, or how he did it -- but the moment always made the audience applaud.)