The Onion On My Internet Belt

Each year I try to write a Christmas letter that contains at least one fact. Beyond that, all bets are off. I’m very much of the opinion that if the limits of a relationship are a single yearly communique then one can expect to learn very little about the other party in a meaningful way. As such, I chose not to chose that. I chose something else*.

There is a popular tradition of poetic recontextualization and alteration in the employ of this yearly communique. I like this tradition and this year my first pass at the annual letter employed this technique. While I found it to be incredibly amusing it was also much too far off in the tall grass for popular consumption. So I decided to share it here. The original has thirteen elements, Christmas has twelve days, and not wanting to cause too much confusion I went with eleven altered stanzas.

If this isn’t too your liking I’ll recommend you check out “This Be The Verse” by Phillip Larkin, which is the favorite Christmas poem of poet Emma Bolden. If you have a Christmas (or one that you associate with this time of year) poem you’d like to recommend, I’m all ears.

Enjoy and happy holidays.

Eleven Way of Looking At Christmas (After Wallace Stevens)

I
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the Fed Ex Truck.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a kid
When there are three toy catalogs.

III
The Mills Fleet Farm Flyer whirled in the winter winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and Santa
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The Carolers whistling
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of Krampus
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of The Gap ads,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the spoiled kid
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That iTunes is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the credit card bill extended out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of Tickle Me Elmo
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For a Wal Mart.

*This line is also an altered line of another work. Bonus points to you if you know it.

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Comments on: "Christmas Alterations (After Wallace Stevens)" (1)

  1. This is bloody brilliant, my friend!

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