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Apostrophe (deftly turned phrase)


You are a regular man-eater, do you know that? You are a educator or school

organization such as a PTA. You are a bard then, not a warrior? You are a

brute. You are a Party Leader. You are a prophet¤our fathers worshipped

in this mountain. You are a mere computer. You are a mere computer. You are

a bit battered at the moment. You are a true intellectual, I will have to

give you a more comprehensive answer than most. You are a lover of Gold

jewelery. You are a vegetarian so I suggest going to the EDEN Restaurant.

You are an American coming to Greece for an extended period of time. You are

a tourist with a fairly old tube map, or you last came to London over five

years ago and you may be wondering what happened to Aldwych tube station.

You are a fan of Dark Funeral, Marduk, and Setherial, but don’t like the

Peter Tatgren studio sound. You are a rap artiste, emcee, like the late

Richard Dawson, not to be confused with the periodic table of elements. You

are a minor and/or offended by such things, go watch Public Television RIGHT

NOW. You are a metaphor for God. You are a teacher who has begun to suspect

that a child is being bullied at school. You are a Berkeleian idealist or a

realist. You are a genuine talent, Mister. You are a lost woman who will

betray everything for what little power you think you desire. You are a man,

you have no guest right here. You are a curious one. ‘You are a reincarnated

soul of many past lives,’ Vivian was relaying with astonishment. You are a

junior or senior in High School and this movie was made for you so run and

check it out. You are a true romantic, you believe in the power of love and

you are willing to take a leap of faith so this movie is for you. You are an

insomniac and you like cool, dark places so go see this movie. You are a

young person who has not seen many movies and you might (emphasis on might)

enjoy yourself. You are a regular moviegoer so you have seen all this

before. You are a Star Trek fan so I would not discourage you from going to

see this movie (not that I would have success) and I guess you will enjoy

it. You are a Mathew Perry fan (it’s OK; you don’t have to be ashamed; sir)

¤save your money because he basically plays the same character as in

Friends (which you can watch for free on TV). You are a liberal Christian

who has drifted away from many biblical teachings so your inclination to

join social activist groups is understandable. You are encouraged to give

SchoolNotes. You are a disgrace to every scientist, every inventor, every

person who has ever tried to improve the status of mankind by demonstrating

that which they allege. You are an artist, are you not, Mr Dedalus? said the

dean, glancing up and blinking his pale eyes. You are a reactionary then?

You are an Irishman but your pride is too powerful. You are a distressing

pair, you and Cranly. You are a child of God. You are a foreigner, I’ll

swear, because you have such a fine contempt for us. You are a unique being,

spiritual as well as physical, and in spite of the terrible enigma

of unexplainable evil¤part of an essentially harmonious universe. You are

a monster. You are a genius. You are a friend, I cannot simply release you

without hard proof of your innocence, not in dangerous times like this. you

are a great Orientalist. You are an Esperantist. You are a restless sleeper.

You are a guest here; and we¤I¤will respect your reticence about our

customs. You are a Yorkshire girl too? You are a skilful pilot, Robert. You

will weather the storm. You are a Jacobin. You are a peculiar personage:

quiet as you look, there is both a force and a depth somewhere within, not

easily reached or appreciated. You are a Whig or a Tory: pray which party

has the honour of your alliance? YOU ARE A FLUKE OF THE UNIVERSE. YOU HAVE

NO RIGHT TO BE HERE; AND WHETHER YOU CAN HEAR IT OR NOT, THE UNIVERSE IS

LAUGHING BEHIND YOUR BACK. You are a teacher, are you not, as well as a

pupil? You are a scoundrel. You are a sort of Swiss sibyl, with high Tory

and high Church principles! You are a more unpractical man than I am an

unpractical woman, for you don’t acknowledge what really exists. You are a

fool, And that I am a worse fool yet.



—Bill Kennedy and Darren Wershler-Henry

 


Bill Kennedy is a writer, web designer, cohost of the Lexiconjury reading series and director of the Scream in High Park poetry festival in Toronto. Darren Wershler-Henry is a writer, critic and editor at Coach House Books and alienated.net. His most recent book of poetry, the tapeworm foundry, was nominated for the Trillium Award.

Originally published in the October/November 2002 issue of Boston Review


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