Pet Peeves

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Poet Who Nose It

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz

I told my wife that I was going to put my name in for Laguna’s first poet laureate. My wife told me back she was going to take my name out for Laguna’s first poet laureate. “That hurts,” I moaned. “Don’t worry. I put your name in for village idiot. The honorarium is as good as yours.” I asked, “How much?” She said, “You pay the village $10,000 to put up with you.” “Nah, make it $20,000.” My wife smiled. “Congrats. You’re our first village idiot.”

I was all jazzed up after reading the Indy article, “Arts Town Embraces Poetic License.” The city was looking for a candidate willing and able to become the city’s official ambassador of the creative writing community. The one-year position requires the winner to promote the literary community and celebrate the written word, especially poetry. The focus should be directed to the next generations of writers and storytellers. Geez, I’m great at baby talk. “Say Da-da. Say Da-da. Oops. Got it. Say Ma-ma. Here’s Ma-ma. I’ll go look for Da-da.”

My wife doesn’t think I’m right for the position. She would know. She tells me in four letter words what I’m doing wrong. Her storytelling is concise and to the point. She’s made me cry on more occasions than I can remember. It’s hard to make me cry. I’m a guy. Guys don’t have feelings. Guys are simpletons, who only respond to four letter explanations. I think my wife should be Laguna’s first poet laureate.

“####, ####, ####,####, are you an idiot?” she prosed. “I guess. You put my name in,” I answered. My wife groaned, “We can’t have a village idiot and a poet laureate from the same family.” I started to cry. I blubbered, “Why not?” She handed me a baby wipe she keeps on hand for her four letter poetry readings to me. She sighed. “Well, we would be working at cross purposes. I would be reaching out to the big thinkers and you would be reaching out to the people who don’t think. We would never see each other in our one year commissions.” That made me cry harder. “I won’t see you?” She answered, “There is a way we can see each other. You’ll have to make a sacrifice.” I grabbed her lifeline. “Sacrifice? Just tell me to which god.”

I withdrew my wife’s name for poet laureate. My wife withdrew my name for village idiot. We decided to live in obscurity instead of notoriety. We have each other. That’s what’s important. My wife deferred comment to her lawyers. Her lawyers made me cry and cry and cry. They don’t have baby wipes there. Now, I’ve changed my mind. I put my wife’s lawyers in for Laguna poet laureate. They understand about being paid for the written word. That’s an important lesson to the next generation of writers and storytellers.

My wife and I have agreed to joint custody of her four letter poetry readings. It’s what literary experts call poetic de-coupling and anger stanza management.


Crantz tells the Indy that he’s bought a French beret and bongo drums to help in the poetry readings.


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