official lyrics from The Milk-Eyed Mender
Oh, where is your inflammatory writ?
Your text that would incite a light, "Be lit"?
Our music deserving devotion unswerving —
Cry "Do I deserve her?" with unflagging fervor.
(Well, no you do not, if you cannot get over it)
And what's it mean
when suddenly we're spent?
Ambition came and reared its head, and went.
Even mollusks have weddings,
though solemn and leaden
but you dirge for the dead,
and take no jam on your bread —
just a supper of salt and a waltz
through your empty bed.
And all at once it came to me,
and I wrote and hunched 'till four-thirty
But that vestal light,
it burns out with the night
in spite of all the time that we spent on it:
one bedraggled ghost of a sonnet!
While outside, the wild boars root
without bending a bough underfoot —
O it breaks my heart; I don't know how they do't.
And as for my inflammatory writ?
Well, I wrote it and I was not inflamed one bit.
Advice from the master derailed that disaster;
He said "Hand that pen over to me, poetaster!"
While across the great plains,
keening lovely & awful,
ululate the lost Great American Novels —
An unlawful lot, left to stutter and freeze, floodlit.
(But at least they didn't run,
to their undying credit.)