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POETIC DEVICES / Jim Hall MY LANGUAGE is a great two-headed fish thatlives onlyin one pond in a remote mountain region. No other two-headed fish exist, and the greatest experts say that my two-headed language has no relatives in the whole world. This fish is Basque. Butit didn't take me long to understand thatifI wanted tobe the richest man I could be, I would have to leave behind my language. I would have to learn to speak in American. I moved to Vermont. This is in the country of America where everybody owns something expensive. Usually they own a very fast car. This is necessary because in America it is said, "Time is money." I came to Vermont, America, because I wished to become rich. It was an impractical wish. For everyone in that country wants the same thing. Two hundred and twenty million wishes, and all exactly the same. The air is packed with this wish. But I believed my wish would happen, for I was using an approach that appeared most unusual. I wanted to become rich by writing poems in this language. I had learned that there was only one rich poet in America. He lived in California. This is the reason I chose Vermont. In a country so big, I was certain that there was room for at least two rich poets. This appeared reasonable. The other reason I lived in Vermont was that it was the home of Robert Frost who said, "Free verse is like playing tennis with the net down." I believe Mr. Robert Frost became a rich man because of ideas like this. AU verse should cost something, like a tennis ball. This is also the part of America where another rich poet once lived.The most famous and wise and rich Mr. R. W. Emerson, he said, "I think nothing is of any value in books, excepting the transcendental and extraordinary." I agree with this sentence too. One more sentence I agree with is, "The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world—and it is beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such a topic are those of a bereaved lover." This was said by a man named Allan Poe who never became very rich, but it was only because he died in a gutter before people got to know how great he was. If Mr. Allan Poe had not died in this gutter, he would be a rich poet now. I found abeautiful woman who was also extraordinary. And she was also a user of the form of meditation named transcendental. This is a word very hard for me to pronounce. Her name was Fay 70 ¦ The Missouri Review Trigger. This sounded like a beautiful name to me, and I used it in several of my poems. Fay Trigger worked in a bar in the town I picked to grow rich in. The bar's name was Snowdrop. This is poetical too. Hereis Fay, and how she talked: "One more night in this jerkwater hole and I'll puke. If I didn't have such a damn good disposition, Td cut the throat of the next bastard that walked in here drunk looking for a warm fanny to pinch." Some of her words were so extraordinary they were not in my dictionary. She was beautiful too. Her hair was blonde and sometimes when she woke in the morning and I turned on the flourescent light above the bed, I could see a rainbow of green and blue shining through her hair. I bought her many things to show her I loved her. Much of the money Grandmother gave me, I spent on the beautiful jewelry and perfumes she was used to wearing. She also liked beer and chocolate. I was happy. For when I came to Vermont, I knew nobody, and could speak onlya fewlines from poems I hadmemorized, and some other words thatwould buy food for me. And then all at once I had a lover, with blonde hair. The next morning after Fay Trigger and I fell into our love, I wrote my first poem in America...


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