The Journal of Paolo Honorificas
Compiled by J. Scott Malby
The following text has been submitted for accedemic study, slight amusement, and posterity by none other than the shadowy figure known only as "J. Scott Malby." It is not without great reservation that I run this work; the death threats have been frequent and explicit. Finding myself rather gratified by these threats I only publish the contents of this journal with all the more fervor.
As for "J. Scott Malby"also known within certain circles as The Grand Imperial Funky One and Dark Lard of Salubrious Verbiagehe remains at large, lurking at the periphery of what is "acceptable," an "intermediary" between "the" poet Paolo Honorificas and "myself."
Humbly yours ","
John Lawson, Editor
P.S. After beating myself with a construction worker's hardhat and lunchpail I have come to the conclusion that, in
the "words" of J. Scott Malby, "This sucks so bad it's good,
Journal entry #2
When did I discover I was an incorrigible romantic and hopelessly na´ve? I don't know. The realization crept up on me. I suppose fate was being kind and broke the news gently when I wasn't looking. There were subtle indications along the way. When I was seven my front tooth fell out. I was devastated to loose such an important part of myself. "It's all right", mother consoled me, "You look cute." When my back was turned she crossed herself. From then on I was known lovingly as "Pumpkin Head." I didn't have a tooth fairy or a fairy god mother. I had two in one. Boy was she formidable looking. The Janis Joplin of the fairy god mother set. Her breath, for that matter, her entire body exuded the unearthly fragrance of Yukon Jack. You had to feel sorry for her. She used to visit me in my dreams. Once, she gave me a wish. Just one mind you. This was a no nonsense fairy. She didn't believe in spoiling people.
I would like to say I wished for world peace or an end to suffering. Lets face it, kids are greedy and I was one of the greediest. Without hesitating I blurted out, "I want to be a writer." "Done!" she said, puffing out in a haze of whiskey-smelling cigarette smoke. The problem was my wish was only half articulated. She did not hear me add, "...and to be paid for writing what I want to write." Thus, the dreaded illness was passed to me early in life. I learned later that an overriding compulsion without an independent income to support it is called a curse. I wish I had never met that witch. If I were able to do it over again I would have opted for four shiny quarters instead. Thank god I didn't ask to be famous. I would have ended up on a wanted poster.
(Scene shifts to the present)
I was in the shower when it hit me. A revelation like a cosmic deluge of icy vapor. Then again, I might have just run out of hot water. In either case, I gasped for air. There are more out of work poets peddling their wares then prose writers. To trip over one prose writer on the literary internet you have to step on at least 500 poetic toes. Here was an approach I hadn't thought of. Where was that damned novel of mine. I had given up on it years ago. Actually it had given up on me. It was too embarrassed to look me in the face without laughing. The title of the novel was "Pumpkin Head." Scraping the silver fish off the yellowing pages, I plotted my campaign. I could serialize it, sending out a few pages at a time to an unsuspecting editor. That way they wouldn't realize how bad it was 'til too late. Thumbing through that pitiful, frayed binder was like browsing in a hall of broken things at the opening of a museum exhibit titled "Treasures From the School of Hard Knocks".
Add sentimental to my list of failings. I just couldn't expose that faithful but trashy whore to more ridicule. She had already received more then her deserved share. That left me with nothing but a few plays and the proverbial desiccated pot where I throw all my old poems. I needed something fresh. Something with the scent of today mixed with the freshly washed odor of a current, trendy, new-made me ( I had just used Irish Spring soap). What does a clean but out of work never-has-been do in a situation like this?
Writing my memoirs was a possibility. Why should I be penalized just because I've never done anything memorable or noteworthy? If I waited till that happened they'd never be written! On the other hand, that was my ace in the hole. I didn't want to burn out too early. Besides, I had the feeling I was talking about "work" (A dangerous kind of animal lurking somewhere in the pit of drudgery. I could almost feel its fiendish eyes glaring up at me). There had to be another way. I felt like the last living member of the "Lost Bay Poet's Society." Hmmmm. "The Lost Bay Poet's Society?" What about a column on dead poets making fools of themselves? Could this be an idea? At least I would know what I was talking about. I was the most accomplished expert I knew regarding how to make a fool of oneself. I've had years of practice. I don't know what shame is. I'm without decency . This just might work. No. I seem to remember another dead poet's society. What about interviews with famous poets? The only problem was that I didn't know any. So what? Why not release the poet in me and talk to him. I could give each interview I took with myself a different dead poet's name. Face it. Its unlikely the specific poet in question is going to write me a dirty note or email. In the unlikely event that he or she did, it would give me something really important to write about.
Look for The Journal of Paolo Honorificas to continue in the next issue of The Dream People!