TARNATION!  Another Note to My Tarheel Home-Boys

Well, it seems the hog-wrasslin’ is getting’ a mite heated up, an’ no wonder.  The Pennsylvania Review got wind o’ my note to you-all, an’ done published it.  Now I shore didn’t plan on that.  I done said things thar that warn’t meant for no eyes ceptin’ yourn.  Now I gotta figger how to keep spoutin’ virtue, even though my betters all see that I ain’t no Yankee.  Consarn it, this here Salemi feller gets me more tied up an’ tangled than Brer Rabbit’s Tar Baby.

I oughta ’splain how all this come to pass.  I done wrote that parody o’ Salemi’s essay, but there warn’t nobody would print it, ceptin’ some little no-account Nashville varmint named Mike Butch.  This here Butch feller runs a big, sprawlin’ website, and I figgered he’d be willin’ to publish it, longside all his whinin’ an’ moaning’ ’bout the Palestinians and what-not.

This Mike Butch… well, like we say in Piedmont, he don’t rightly know his ass from a hole in the ground.  He ain’t got no real consarn for poetry, ceptin’ how it might be used for some sort o’ liberal politics.  But you-all know them Nashville types—always a-kissin’ Yankee butt iffen it’ll profit ’emsomeways.  That’s why I went to Butch first-off, axin’ him to publish my parody.  Butch took three ass-whuppins from Salemi already, an’ wuz just itchin’ for revenge.  He fairly jumped when I done sent him that piece.

Well, my parody come out at Mike Butch’s website, an’ there ain’t no response AT ALL, leastways none worth mentionin’.  ’Course I did hear, by word o’ mouth, some reactions.  Most folks was o’ the opinion that it was labored and tedious, and did nuthin’ but draw attention to Salemi’s essay at the Penn Review.  Even more tellin’ wuz the fact that the same folks also reckoned the parody jest didn’t make a single argyment or point of an-AL-ee-sis agin what Salemi done said.  But as I beenconfessin’ to you-all, I ain’t good at argyment.  That’s why I’se partial to parody.  So I shore don’t know what I’se supposed to do now.  I gotta spout virtue somehow!

Consarnin’ that,  I ’spect you-all figgered out by now why I done posted that thar thing on Facebook, urgin’ the ladies to speak up ’bout all the menfolk in the poetry world what harassed ’em or molested ’em.  An’ I axed ’em to name names, and not be shy ’bout doin’ so.  I shore knew that none of ’em would be a-namin’ ME.   That’s ’cause I ain’t never tetched a female withouten her express go-ahead, an’ iffen I did, I done clean forgot ’bout it, an’ so did she, prob’ly.  Anyhow, ain’t nobody (man or woman) gonna dare name R.S. Gwano in any kinda disgraceful charge or complaint, seein’ as how I got ’nuff pull in the poetry world to stop ’em dead in their tracks.  Ain’t no woman poet fool ’nuff to dredge up my peccadilloes, iffen she knows what’s good fer her.

So you-all see, boys, how that Facebook thing was just another way for me to get in good with my Yankee betters. I wuz a-spoutin’ virtue. I wuzproclaimin’, like a preacher, the Good Word. I wuz a-tellin’ folks (’specially the women-folk) how I don’t cotton to no harassin’ an’ molestin’ an’ rapin’.  And I wuz also a-hopin’ that mebbe a few ladies would let fly some accusations agin my enemies.  That way, I wouldn’t have to think up no argyments to answer ’em.

By the way, I most deeply hope you-all ain’t forgot that jug o’ white lightnin’.  I kain’t get nuthin’ like it where I am, and keepin’ up this here charade o’ virtue-signals shore do leave a man with a powerful thirst.

P.S.  I just seen that Mike Butch has done had a real shit-fit over at that thar website o’ hisn.  Tarnation, if he ain’t split hisself open wider than a ripe maypaw!  I’m mighty glad he stuck up fer me—’specially since I ain’t got no skill in argyment, an’ just kain’t make no serious nor intelligent comment on Salemi’s essay.  But this here Butch… well, he jest fired away at that Salemi feller will all sorts o’ abuse, like makin’ fun o’ his last name, and bad-mouthin’ his choice o’ headgear, an’ sayin’ nasty things ’bout the name o’ his magazine.  Shoot—he even done suggested for me to stab Salemi will a K-Bar knife!  Now that thar’s some real solid argymentation.

But you-all need to understand sumpin’ ’bout this here Butch feller.  He ain’t never bin quite the same since the last election.  He was a-hopin’ an’ a-dreamin’ an’ expectin’ for that Clinton lady to be elected, jest like I wuz.  I don’t doubt but that it wuz ’cause Butch’s wife is from Arkansas, just like them thar Clintons, an’ mebbewuz even connnected with ’em.  Anyhow, Butch went into severe shock on election night, and it shore seems likely that his wife was a-cryin’ on his shoulder all evenin’. That sorta thing do get a man riled up bad.  And Butch is still smartin’ over those three ass-whuppins that Salemi done gave him.  From what I hear-tell, there’s another one a-comin’ in the next TRINACRIA.


R.S. Gwano teaches at Lame University somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line, where he tries very hard not to be taken for a southerner. He was recently appointed the director of a major poetry conference, after having artfully positioned himself for the job once the previous directrix had been dismissed.