On this day in Chicago in 1925, a boy was born who would grow to realize a wonderful talent: the ability to create brilliantly rhymed and illustrated stories seemingly at a whim. His name was Edward Gorey. He wrote over 100 books in his lifetime, starting with The Unstrung Harp in 1953. He was a reclusive fellow who, sadly, died in 2000 at the age of 75.
Gorey was one of my favorite all-around artists – a remarkable writer who could illustrate his own work like no one else could – and in tribute to him I offer up this little poem that, imitating his unique style, drolly works its way through the alphabet.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to draw up a bunch of macabre pictures to go with it. Sorry. But then, few people have Gorey’s talent (though I might have done well to commission the amazing sketch talents of my friend Jay for this). UPDATE: Jay has gone and drawn up a very Gorey-esque piccie to go with his favorite line (see N below).
My humble offering here pales by comparison to Gorey's work (see for yourself) but is most sincere in its homage.
So without further ado…
The Apple of My Eye
She Adores all the things which most girls despise.
She Boasts she was blessed with two mismatched eyes.
She Clambers up onto her fat uncle’s head.
She Deposits the fish-guts out back in a shed.
She Empties her stomach one way or another.
She Frequents the same sleazy bars as her mother.
She Gargles with grapefruit juice squeezed in a shoe.
She Harasses the marmosets down at the zoo.
She Ignores all the warnings ‘bout racing a train.
She Jumps at the chance to catch frogs in the rain.
She Kicks at the anthills then sets them on fire.
She Lingers for hours in places most dire.
She Mangles the slugs that she finds in the garden.
She Neglects the scones and allows them to harden. [illo]
She Opens the windows to let stenches in.
She Pries off the lock that’s guarding the gin.
She Quivers three days before a full moon.
She Refuses to eat chicken broth with a spoon.
She Stumbles ‘pon luck both good and most foul.
She Tethers her duck to a tree with a towel.
She Unleashes her demons whenever she pleases.
She Vents her frustrations by spraying her sneezes.
She Waxes erotic at the least provocation.
She Xeroxes photos of breast augmentation.
She Yearns to be somebody’s beautiful wife.
She Zips up her dreams and goes on with her life.