Impatience for the Inheritance

Impatience for the Inheritance

Her whiney children sauntered under
the blessed ladder of success, and
it fell on them, but she

had a will and
they couldn’t wait
for the give way.

With external charms
the séance went well:
a dark spirit suggested,
“Give her a smoke alarm.”

Alone, their old lady
burnt her toast as usual
no problem

But the damn piercing alarm
threatened to embarrass her

She climbed a ladder
to turn off the whine,
fell off and died.

Her whining children
had wine. The County
blamed the ladder.
The devil made
a toast to progress.

— Douglas Gilbert

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12 thoughts on “Impatience for the Inheritance

  1. Great work, i like the little changes, it flows along better than the 2nd draft. The poor mother would probably just die of a broken heart if she knew how horrible her children were being, wanting to off her for some inheritance and in cohorts with a dark spirit in order to do so. Quite sad from any angle you look at it.

  2. Thanks. You were quite helpful in asking questions. It’s always OK to be puzzled, and it’s great to find something I can change. I was looking through a very old psychology textbook where they give this theory and that theory and don’t want to commit themselves to anything. So I’m thinking, that was a long time ago and probably by now they’ve decided on something, but apparently not. We’ve come full circle — we’re approaching another Great Depression and possible looming World War, and in the midst of it, no one agrees on the nature of aggression and war, on the nature of compassion, empathy, on roles, on family… They have a reference to Margaret Mead and her Sex and temperament in three primitive societies, New York: William Morrow, (look at this) “1935”[in the middle of the Great Depression]. She describes three New Guinea Tribes: The Tchambuli where the males are like females in their roles, The Mundugumor where everybody is violent in the male role we think of, and the Arapesh where everyone is loving and supportive (the female role in Western tradition). But when I search on the web everybody on both sides are extremely hostile to the other’s point of view. So apparently, there is no agreement on how culture influences behavior and what might be appropriate behavior. I guess when there is a horrible dictatorship you get the “Mundugumor” clan to kill everyone and leave with a small stipend from a University to live quietly on an isolated island of warriors and then have the “Arapesh” re-settle but you need warrior guardians to keep them from being conquered again. In the short term, people with aggression and weapons will always win. But in the process of training them there are problems…how do you turn on and turn off aggression which is needed for defense. Compassion for an enemy must wait for an appropriate time… hmm, you might ask: how is this relevant? um, uh, um…
    the nature of evil?
        In desperate circumstances, poor, and feeling threatened, or I suppose ultimately, unloved, unrecognized, or of low status, aberrant behaviors emerge and it is asked if it is chosen, conditioned, or mistaken from misunderstanding. I would have thought they’d have the answer by now. I think we’ve given them enough time for study. But they seem to be bringing us War and Poverty. Gee, WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia…Ruwanda… and some 20 in-between. Hey look: they had a psychiatrist who committed War Crimes as a leader in the Bosnian war — his training didn’t teach him much.
        OOoops. Oh sorry. I guess it’s just the simple matter of the nature of evil and if we can avoid being seduced by its perceived benefits when we allow our compassionate nature to be suppressed. Oh hell, pardon the expression, don’t bug me and I’ll love you.

    1. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. About the roles…males are naturally more aggressive than females because they have higher testosterone levels right? I wonder if the tribe’s hormone levels were different from the other tribes (maybe from their diets or something along those lines) or if maybe the roles were really more of a learned behavior? I mean i can’t really imagine myself being different than i am but what if i was brought up differently, would that affect me? I’m not sure because a lot of times siblings are total opposites even though they were raised by the same parents in the same ways. I had a whole other paragraph but i re-read it and it made no sense so i deleted it. That happens so much lately, i think i’m on to something and then i read it and it sounds like something a first grader would write. I mean, it probably wasn’t that bad but i’m just feeling insecure with everything lately. I wish i understood things better and didn’t feel so lost. I wish everyone would just quit it and get along. I’m so tired of wars, all the fighting makes me feel sick.

      1.     Yes, I’m getting lost too. I try to hold onto the whole of an essay once I’ve digested it and try to make a compact version of it for myself but I guess it’s like a sugar-rush — it disappears and then you’re tired and lost again. The explanations I read don’t seem to hold together in my mind long enough to concretize them(make a mist into a snow cone?). I make notes which seem to make sense for a while — it reminds me of all the elements I’m suppose to hold in my mind together until they coalesce. Maybe the essay is like a recipe — I have the cream, the sugar, vanilla and the whisk but I’m not cold enough to have a taste of an understanding.
            “higher testosterone levels right? ” Yes, that’s interesting because a lot of people bring that up when it comes to aggression and it does seem to increase aggressive tendencies(and there were those cases of out-of-control rage by athletes playing with hormones and steroids). But then sometimes people blame everything on it. I saw some lady economics expert on twitter reference a study that said that when male stock traders have high testosterone levels they make more reckless stock(or whatever) trades. Then I saw that she twittered someone on how she admired how two other experts(male and female) had a bantering sense of humor. So I thought it would be safe to send her a comment on her study: “I said maybe there should be more women on Wall street under the table pulling the men away from the computers.” I guess she was highly insulted because she blocked my account right away. I didn’t even get a chance to apologize or explain or anything. I was thinking about what they call “over-the-counter stock trading” and other stuff. Geez, I didn’t mean that women don’t have the right to be stock traders and are just as smart as men and I didn’t mean they were only to be sex objects etc…. Geez, it was about the stupid study — not everybody on Wall street is wild and out of control just because of testosterone. They’ve written very complex rules that required a lot of thinking to be complexly wrong and it wasn’t even about aggression.
            So, I know what you mean about having a whole other paragraph that’s like what a first grader would write, but regretfully I don’t always delete it. And I almost never get to explain myself. If anybody ever got to know what I meant to say… well, that’s a whole other story…

  3. I’m sorry, but that is so funny. I’ve giggled about it several times today (even WITH this headache). I can only imagine how she took it and then you didn’t even get the chance to explain yourself…sounds like some of my awkward moments in life. I’m heading off to bed, hopefully this headache is gone by morning. sweet dreams!

    1. Hmm, now that is very interesting. Having read your positive and supportive commiserating response, I re-read my comment and laughed. I don’t think I laughed when I wrote it and I don’t think I got my own sense of humor. I think I’m beginning to understand the euphemism in the Eskimo language about “laughing together.” That is such a warm thing. So many “primitive” cultures have such intimate things when they are not threatened or poor in resources. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful trade: we could share our wealth(during a boom cycle) and practical technology for subsistence and they could give us their laughs, sexy warmth, family and love. The blessed child is the after-laugh, oh such a giggle rainbow, colors that grow in many modal drawings of love, in crayons, in finger paints, in ink, in the paint of explosive ____________ … (trying to morph into a new poem)…. (lost where to go)
          Anyway, responding out of sequence with mixed-up knowledge of other posts, so I hope your headache gets better and if it’s a migraine that you can get whatever special potion is appropriate for it. Well, I think they have things so that you don’t have to spend time in an igloo because I think hotels in the tropics are better for these topics.

      1. I’m glad you laughed when you re-read it, I was worried i’d offended you or came off as rude when i wrote about it being funny. Yeah, laughing together at some things (especially things you can’t change) probably takes a lot of the stress load off of an otherwise awkward moment. That would be a wonderful trade although i bet we could discover it on our own with just a little push. I’m guessing that we could start with eskimo kisses and work up slowly from that point? I read once that they have something like 150 words for snow. I’m going to try to think of new words for things that are important to me…perhaps it’ll work like a good luck charm. I need it! I cut two of my fingers today at work with a butcher knife while i was chopping cucumbers. I didn’t go get stitches, they aren’t huge cuts but they are kind of deep, i hope it doesn’t get infected or anything like that.

      2. Oh geez. I hope you can wash and cover the wounds and keep clean. I once held half a lime in the palm of my hand and was using a knife to loosen up the pulp so I could squeeze it easily into a glass of bad tasting beer. I had done it before without a problem, but this time I stabbed myself right into the palm. I didn’t think I was going to be able to stop the bleeding. But then I’m thinking, I smell like hell and haven’t shaved, so if I go right to the emergency room they’re going to think I’m a worthless bum and just do a quick “wash and go” or something or ask if I was in a knife fight(defensive wound — put up hand,” but Sir, who did you stab?” ). So I’m thinking while my hand is bleeding — maybe I should shave first and then take a shower and then…. but the bleeding stopped and I didn’t seem to have hit a nerve or anything. Fortunately, it healed without a trace of any damage.
            150 words for snow. Yeah, I’ve wondered about that. They probably have one word xgwq that means “snow with Polar Bear urine”. I’m thinking we should have special words for whole concepts. So it would be like saying she is feeling like Act 1 Scene 4 of the standardized play. Standardized allusions to things as vocabulary words. We do it now but it’s not standardized in a dictionary. I’ve heard people take about the “Borg” from Star Trek and say the “Borg” mentality of conforming to group-think. So right now there’s just Shakespeare and Star Trek I guess, but it’s not a standardized thing like the word “fish”(but G.B.Shaw said with spelling variations, you could spell it ghosi — gh as in trough, o as in women and si as in something that ends in sion.). You have to pity the poor Eskimo that makes his igloo out of ~*snowΨ but there’s probably a way to stop bleeding with Ψsnow∂∫…

    2. {COPY — NOT SURE HOW TO GET INTO RIGHT REPLY BOX}
      Oh geez. I hope you can wash and cover the wounds and keep clean. I once held half a lime in the palm of my hand and was using a knife to loosen up the pulp so I could squeeze it easily into a glass of bad tasting beer. I had done it before without a problem, but this time I stabbed myself right into the palm. I didn’t think I was going to be able to stop the bleeding. But then I’m thinking, I smell like hell and haven’t shaved, so if I go right to the emergency room they’re going to think I’m a worthless bum and just do a quick “wash and go” or something or ask if I was in a knife fight(defensive wound — put up hand,” but Sir, who did you stab?” ). So I’m thinking while my hand is bleeding — maybe I should shave first and then take a shower and then…. but the bleeding stopped and I didn’t seem to have hit a nerve or anything. Fortunately, it healed without a trace of any damage.
      150 words for snow. Yeah, I’ve wondered about that. They probably have one word xgwq that means “snow with Polar Bear urine”. I’m thinking we should have special words for whole concepts. So it would be like saying she is feeling like Act 1 Scene 4 of the standardized play. Standardized allusions to things as vocabulary words. We do it now but it’s not standardized in a dictionary. I’ve heard people take about the “Borg” from Star Trek and say the “Borg” mentality of conforming to group-think. So right now there’s just Shakespeare and Star Trek I guess, but it’s not a standardized thing like the word “fish”(but G.B.Shaw said with spelling variations, you could spell it ghosi — gh as in trough, o as in women and si as in something that ends in sion.). You have to pity the poor Eskimo that makes his igloo out of ~*snowΨ but there’s probably a way to stop bleeding with Ψsnow∂∫…

      1. I think my fingers are going to be OK. I’ve been keeping them clean and keeping antibiotic ointment and band-aids on them and so far they look fine. It’s really weird though, i never realized how much i use and depend my left hand until i try not to use it. Your hand story made me giggle…if there’s a next time you cut yourself and need stitches i could go with you and make sure they know that you aren’t a bum and that they have to do a perfect job stitching up the wound. I’m glad it healed up good without the stitches, it makes me feel a little braver about my cut. Oddly, i have another knife-slice-cut scar very close to the spot where i just cut myself. I did that peeling an apple for my cousin when we were little.
        Xgwq – teehee…i need to make sure not to eat any of that snow! I do like polar bears though, the baby ones are just adorable. I have a picture of a polar bear sneezing…i guess they have allergies too or it’s probably just the ohio river valley…the allergies are horrible here. I read an article about a family of bears that broke into a cabin, tore up the place, ate all the food and even drank 100 beers. I didn’t know bears liked beer but i guess every one needs to have a little fun every once and a while. I think the beer drinkers were black bears, it was somewhere near the mountains if i remember right.
        I like the idea of special words for whole concepts and i like those neat little symbols you know how to make that are around your snow words. I’m not quite sure how to do those. Ok…so sleepy. I better get into bed.

    3. I’m glad your fingers are OK. I found some bears and beer stories but it seems to be in Norway. I spent a lot of time trying to write a poem about it and couldn’t finish it quickly… I wanted to post it as a comment at a Norwegian newspaper. It took a while to do that — I had to register an account with them and then after all that, the comment box didn’t do the line breaks or paragraph breaks so it looked ridiculous and was incoherent. But, of course, no way to edit it. Geez, newspapers never seem user friendly… they really don’t want comments I guess or are still at the elitist stage thinking they’re doing the “Letters to the Editor” thing where nobody sees it or cares…. the British papers have a lot
      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/bears-drink-100-cans-of-beer-1260206
          I forget which one that is. I think all the stories are basically the same. There was one in an Alaskan newspaper. It varies in whether they call it a cabin, hut, or shack that the bears got into. But they all agree on 100 beers. I guess someone counted them. It wouldn’t make a good story if it was 94 cans and a can of cherry soda.

      1. I think i originally saw the article on yahoo news…i tend to get stuck on their news threads a lot ’cause i sign into my email on there. But it’s the same story i read, i typed it into the google search and it looks like lots and lots of websites have articles about it now. I guess it’s a popular story and i suppose 94 beers and a cherry soda just doesn’t have the same ring to it as a 100 beers. yeah, that website didn’t look too user friendly…not allowing spaces and stuff in comments…

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