Friday, August 17, 2012

The World Is A Flat Onion

Back in the day
when I was a
high school senior
I was given the lead role
in the senior play

Getting this role
was considered to be
an honor
I was okay with it
though I was
not that thrilled
with having to shoulder
all of the responsibility
for the ultimate success
or failure of the show
(especially in front of
my family and

I played the part of
Toby Kwimper in a
play called
Pioneer Go Home!
that was based
on a satirical novel by
Richard P.Powell

The book was also
adapted into
its play format
by Herman Raucher
and then adapted
to a movie version called
Follow That Dream!
starring Elvis Presley

I actually was able
to identify
with the part of Toby
whose family leaves
New Jersey in search
of the American Dream
in a fictional state called
Columbiana that closely
resembles the state of Florida

The Kwimper family
ends up homeless
squatting by the
side of a highway
where a bridge is
being built thereby
outraging local officials
who want the
squatters removed
by any means necessary

This is a long introduction
to bring up a minor part of the
plot where Toby
recites a mock poem entitled
The World Is A Flat Onion
(which was meant to be
a mocking satire
of the Beatniks
especially taking aim at
the so-called Beat generation and
the writings of
Jack Kerouac and
Allen Ginsberg in particular!)

For me reciting the poem
during the play was one
of the highlights of the show

I have never forgotten the words
of the poem
that go like this:
The world is a flat onion
with a bug on either side
no end and no beginning
 just a crawling occupant
to remind us all
that there is someone else
besides ourselves
in this selfish universe!

For whatever reason
these are the only lines from
the play that I can still remember
all these many years later

I often find myself
reciting the words
(soto voce to myself
as a kind of
personal mantra)
especially in times of trouble
as a reminder of better times
when the spot light
was  locked on me
and I was for a brief
moment in time
the prince of center stage
still in the prime
of my youth
and at a time
when I was chock full
of good health
when I still had my moxy
when I was still
at the height of all of my
creative powers and
just chock a block full
of just plain spunk!

Reciting the poem
kind of helps me to
stay balanced

Reciting the words
also helps me to
keep my creative
juices flowing
during the more
difficult times
when I find myself
prone to
drying out and
shriveling up
and in danger of
being blown away
with each and every
passing wind

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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