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Category archive for: Russell Edson

New Prose About an Old Poem

    One day an old poem is carried away by the wind. Its poet is relieved, now he won’t have to be nice to it anymore.
    The poem was always too good to throw away, yet, not good enough to publish.
    It lived with him demanding to be reconsidered every so often.
    But, even so, he sees that he’s not to be rid of the old poem, the wind in reverse has returned it to his desk.
    The old poem is glad to be home, and wants to be read again.
    The poet reads it and realizes once again that it’s too good to be thrown away. Perhaps, he thinks, he’ll send it out in the next mail, knowing, of course, that he won’t; and that he’ll have to go on being nice to it for the rest of his life. . . .

from The Rooster’s WifeFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2005
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

The Cat

  An old man is dressed in lingerie to amuse his cat. He says, You didn’t know your papa was a lady, did you, pussycat?

  Then being visited by another old man he says to the other old man, You’re probably wondering why I’m wearing lingerie.
  Not at all, says the other old man.
  Surely you must be curious, perhaps even a little disgusted at seeing an old man romping about in silk undies like a sex kitten.
  Well now that you mention it. . . .
  —Yes, let’s put everything on the table.
  In that case, why in hell are you wearing women’s underwear?
  To amuse my cat.
  To amuse your cat. Why didn’t you say so, that explains everything. For a moment I thought you had lost your mind. Incidentally where is your cat?
  I don’t have a cat. . . .

from The Rooster’s WifeFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2005
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

The Wonders of Nature

A circus manager, who secretly likes to wear women’s clothes, has run out of money and is selling his wonders-of-nature show.

A slightly damaged fat lady, who for lack of a watercress salad has lost a couple of ounces of carefully nourished heft, priced for quick sale.

A contortionist who has twisted himself into an emotional knot being offered as a piece of modern sculpture.

A special bargain, Siamese twins, buy one, and get one free. Two for the price of one.

A three-legged man who has only two, but insists on a third; you have only to open his fly—By appointment only. Ladies preferred.

Finally, the bearded lady, who is actually a man wearing a dress. Otherwise the circus manager himself with a goatee pasted on his chin. . . .

from The Rooster’s WifeFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2005
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

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