Monday, August 03, 2009


While I am in an admiring mood, a mood that I really like and I hope that I can stay with a nice long time, I have to add the following woman to my list of really great writing people:


But first, I must say a few things that I don't like about her.

1) There are too many 'L's in her name. Three, at least. Two, I feel would be more than enough.

2) That's about it.

Here she is, courtesy of MUDLARK, who first published this (prose poem collection called ELEPHANT ANGER), and of course the extraordinary, passionate sensual and yet scholarly Ms. McCullough herself:


There’s a backstory—there always is—Topsy was a live elephant and you can see the black and white video on the Web, or maybe you already saw the video of the decapitation by Islamic terrorists of an Australian journalist and this is just too tame. I watched it though, and I’ve been to Coney Island, the boardwalk at Asbury, and to Palisades Park. I was there for the World’s Fair in 1964. The Sinclair Dinosaurs haunted me, the incorrect Brontosaur that couldn’t find a home after the fair was done; its head moved; its jaws opened and closed. I was only four. I never saw the Diving Horse at Atlantic City. But you want to hear about the elephant. I saw the video, the elephant led in, then nothing—there is no sound track or voice over—than the tremble as if the creature has been startled, then the smoke coming up from its feet, and then it lists and falls forward, crumpling like a toy. It was all about a war: Edison versus Westinghouse, and Edison had been electrocuting cats and dogs for years with AC claiming his DC was safer. When Coney Island wanted to hang their rogue elephant for killing the man who fed him a lit cigarette, Edison had a better idea. I don’t get AC-DC, I bet you don’t either, but I get why destroying someone else’s electricity is an insult, thrusting them into prehistory. Dinosaurs and humans didn’t live in the same era, though if you go to Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas, you might be convinced they did. They have human footprints in stone right next to those of dinosaurs. It could be true, couldn’t it? We always leave something behind.

I would like to write her and ask her how she does it. I want to, and I think I will.

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