The Problem With Moths

the lesson of the moth By Don Marquis, in “archy and mehitabel,” 1927

(Jerry: The narrator is a poet reincarnated in a cockroach’s body. He types by jumping on the keys of a typewriter…no caps. This is a good introduction to my next post that will be written tomorrow morning with full explanation if all goes the way I plan.)

i was talking to a moth

the other evening

he was trying to break into

an electric light bulb

and fry himself on the wires

Moths are swarming at the Fenter household

why do you fellows

pull this stunt i asked him

because it is the conventional

thing for moths or why

if that had been an uncovered

candle instead of an electric

light bulb you would

now be a small unsightly cinder

have you no sense

 

plenty of it he answered

but at times we get tired

of using it

we get bored with the routine

and crave beauty

and excitement

fire is beautiful

and we know that if we get

too close it will kill us

but what does that matter

it is better to be happy

for a moment

and be burned up with beauty

and excitement

than to live a long time

and be bored all the while

so we wad all our life up

into one little roll

and then we shoot the roll

that is what life is for

it is better to be a part of beauty

for one instant and then cease to

exist than to exist forever

and never be a part of beauty

our attitude toward life

is come easy go easy

we are like human beings used to be before they became

too civilized to enjoy themselves

 

and before i could argue him

out of his philosophy

he went and immolated himself

on a patent cigar lighter

i do not agree with him

myself i would rather have

half the happiness and twice

the longevity

 

but at the same time i wish

there was something i wanted

as badly as he wanted to fry himself

archy

(Jerry: I will continue with a rant on evil  moths tomorrow morning. My thanks to the late Don Marquis and to whoever took this beautiful picture of the swarm.)

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