A moment with Mehitabel: “Lousy and enjoyable”




This blog is still brand-new, so I can still set some ground rules.


Ground Rule #1: Sundays I’ll take as a day for contemplation. Instead of Something Original, I’ll just post a little text written by someone else.  Also, maybe I’ll bake something.


Today’s selection is from Don Marquis’s “The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel.” Archy was a human being who’d been a bad poet; when he died, his soul went into the body of a cockroach. He still managed to write poetry by jumping around on the keys of Marquis’s typewriter at night (he had trouble with capital letters and punctuation, as you’ll see). Mehitabel was the office cat; she was very disreputable, but full of spirit, and always a lady.


This section was probably written 1934-35, soon after the Hays Code had cleaned up the “immoral” movie industry.


mehitabel the cat

says she is not scared

by the cleanup in the moving pictures

cheer up says mehitabel

television is coming some time

and who knows but what television

will be lousy and enjoyable

and by the time television is

cleaned up

the pictures will get immoral


there is always hope says


if you don t weaken

the artistic purpose

of these periods of reform is

to give

greater zest to the relaxation

which follows




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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