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July 13, 2015
I see that in my first paragraph I spoke a version of a piece in Hillsdale Book 113-14.

Meaning both, more or less.

So what's going on here?

Let's try this. A boy walks home with his magazine rack that won 2nd prize at the fair. Mrs. Gleedahl, sneaking a look through her curtains, won't know for another twenty years, and maybe not even then, that when the boy grows up he'll keep the magazine rack beside the chair on which one night he rocked the Gleedahl girl, Lenore.

Fair enough. A girl grabs the Outdoor Life or maybe the Field & Stream when no one is looking and heads for her place in the trees. She goes through the magazine page by page, past shots of deer and lures and mounted fish, until she hits the story about the man and the grizzly, and thinks whoa that can't be good, but she reads it anyway. She won't recall in forty years exactly when the dog came along and flopped down by her feet, if she even noticed, but every time a dog snaps its teeth at a horsefly she'll feel it in her neck.

1st prize goes to a plastic pie-lifter the size of a shovel. Some kid had softened two slabs of plastic and glued them together, then shaped one end into angle and the other into a crude grip-shape. For that she gets the red ribbon. It could be that one day he'll be invited over to a friend's place. His friend brings another friend, who brings a pie (apple) and her own lifter (slabbed plastic c. 1962). "Hi, I'm Lenore," she says.

It didn't pan out. Not this time, not ever. The dog digs and digs, its tongue getting longer and longer. It's so long it gets in the way. The dog can't work around it. Gophers know better. We all know how this will end. The digging stops. The dog sighs or shrugs or something, the girl can't tell which, nor will she ever, but it's not, nor is it ever, an expression of disappointment, for that she understands, or will eventually, and the strings of slobber, bobbing like they do in situations like this, back up her theory. You can't tell her the dog isn't smiling.

I'll say, partly, half dug, it never does pan out. He tries to make it with Lenore who, busy at the side of the road grazing, is willing to look, but any move closer she'll charge or take off. He'll walk away and look back, which earns him another look. Twitch, twitch, he should know better. Yes, better he'd like to know.

Things go better with butter. The girl can't possibly think decades ahead to the day when she'll search for the source of those words, words she hasn't heard on that black-and-white RCA or anywhere, at least not yet, but she pauses, searching anyway, and only the dog, ears pricked and head at that give-me-some angle, can see her jaw tense before she bites again. The pause is a lifetime. Through creamed honey, through butter, through bread. It used to be that simple, but not anymore. Just ask the dog. The dog was there the day she noticed the layers. There's a place where the teeth meet and now she looks for it. She has to.That's how things go. Each day the bites become smaller and the pauses lengthen. It will be a while yet before she bites again.

So who's biting Lenore? Who's biting, Lenore? I doubt it. As for the dog, let's just say its puppies had puppies and some of them had the same names. Nothing wrong with that.

Lake Lenore. Lots of bites there, at least at one time. Not that I witnessed it myself. But I remember a certain fillet. It was loaded with bones.

I'll give you Lake Lenore; I'll take Rosetown. I'm talking about places with beautiful names. Everything I ate there came with a pickle, as if every plate of food--no matter how good for the body, especially the mouth--needed that star (sweet) at the top or set with others (baby dills) nodding like logs at the edge of pond.

You can't trust a pickle.

But I trust you, said Sandra Dee to Bobby Darin just now. It's a compliment to your character. And later might be too late.

Bobby pin. That's what that is.

Maybe that's an end. I wonder if we can go backwards, offer a second version of each successive passage.]

The name Bobby marks a lot of bedrooms, c.1959.

SD to BD didn't work after a while. She did more. As for career, her starlethood sank. (Go ahead and say shank there if you want.) Bobby operated half-way from Sinatra to Elvis until he too didn't last. I don't mean to diminish what reality those two, Darren and Dee, lived in the end.