Saturday, June 19, 2010

Scenes of the Crime

ZICL (Zambaras Institute for the Corruption of Language aka Zambaras School of English). The perfect spot for executing what aspires to pass as passable composition, whether it be fiction, non-fiction or (egad!) piddling poesy masquerading as profundity.

The "Milk and Honey" House. The poet's chief hideout and inner sanctum. Witnesses are kindly requested to focus on the fireplace, the existence of which makes it child's play to destroy any incriminating evidence, i.e the stacks of earlier drafts of poetry which, if found by literary ghouls after the poet has departed the scene, will certainly be used against him when he is put on postmortem trial for debasing the currency.


  1. ZICL rhymes with tickle. :)
    A dictionary lying open, books stacked up against the fireplace, leaning against and hovering on top one another in the bookcase--truly, a writer's workplace that feels immediately familiar, and comfortable. Re: the writing, I have to disagree about the "piddling" part--surely this was said in jest!

    What an image though: literary ghouls combing through one's first drafts of anything (assuming one saves them), evidencing the struggle, so to speak, to arrive at just the right word(s). Loved the fireplace! (Is that a wall of stone to the right and left of it? So rare anymore, I would give anything to have a wall like that.)

  2. What a wonderful inner sanctum, Vassilis.

    A place worthy of the great poet and wordsmith who does not corrupt language but elevates it to higher levels.

    thanks for letting us take a peek inside.

  3. I daresay, even I could learn English in such a fine atmosphere. Where do I sign? And do you have a vacant room in back?

    And there’s the dictionary. Open, of course. Considering the many improvements you’ve made to it thus far, I’m not surprised.


  4. Vassilis,

    the very best practitioners have always sounded this humble and self-denigrating note about their work. Ultimately it will be your readers during and after your life who'll make the correct judgement (we're too close to the fire for that!)

    And that judgement will be an enrichment of currency, friend.

  5. Annie,

    Some things are better said under the guise of serious jest; besides, as Conrad so perceptibly points out, it will be someone else's task to
    pass judgment. Suffice for me to say I always feel uncomfortable when faced with praise I feel is undeserved; still, it's good to hear such words as Elisabeth's, as they remind me to stay as humble as possible. As for Wild Man William, who would have thought such a consummate artist lacked the rudiments of English? It's all Greek to me!

    Thanks to all four of you for commenting.


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