Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Alfred Owle Experience

Time for a little cross-blog promotion! Many of you know that I have been making jewelry and selling it on eBay and Etsy. I have a blog called Jewelry by Scotti. One of my latest pieces of homemade jewelry is the Alfred Owl Necklace (at left).

What does this have to do with writing? Prepare to be amazed (or bored or troubled).

"Alfred Owl" is a name that came from a distant time in my youth. My father took my brother and me to a professional baseball game in St. Louis. It was an exciting experience for us (we were fairly young, maybe ages 10 and 13?) We actually got to see Willie Mays play.

Anyway, all during the game, we kept hearing a vendor shout what sounded to us like: "Get your Alfred Owl buttons right here!" We kept looking at each other. Alfred Owl buttons? What's that? It became a joke between us. We never did find out what the vendor was really saying. There was no baseball player or anyone named Alfred Owl.

As a teenager, I wrote a long, very strange poem called "The Alfred Owle Experience." I am sharing it below. In those days, I just loved to play with words and plunk them down in the midst of things without worrying about how much sense they made together.

Many of my poems contained a "secret message." In this case, just take the first letter of the third word in each line (before you get to "All these are The Experience"). If you read the first letter of the third word in each line from top to bottom, you will see the message.

The Alfred Owle Experience

To be tangible -- in an imaginary, theoretical existence.
To be hollow -- where once there endured the pulsation of life.
To be eternal -- and part of an expansion that wavers but never runs its course.

To be wistful -- sighing at the futility of another endeavor.
To be obdurate -- belligerent in defense of total injustice.
To be romantic -- sentimental and genial, but only at twilight.
To be destined -- and yet without comprehension of a goal.

To be impoverished -- lacking even a sympathetic glance from an itinerant breeze.
To be sagacious -- aware of all eventualities except extinction.

To be loyal -- but betrayed by the subconscious dream.
To be obscure -- yet master of every indigo, emerald, amethyst, scarlet hue of the rainbow.
To be valiant -- even before the sedulous derision of acute grief.
To be enchanted -- possessed by a laughing leprechan of cognac.

All these are The Experience. The Now. The Creation.

But who

Is Alfred Owle?

Do you see the "secret message"? If you read the first letter of the third word in each line from top to bottom, you will see: the word is love. (This was the 1960s after all.)