The creator of Archy & Mehitabel, Freddy the Rat,
Warty Bliggens the Toad, The Old Soak
and other timeless American treasures

archy experiences a seizure "Where have you been so long? And what on earth do you mean in coming in here soused?" we asked Archy as he zigzagged from the door to the desk. He climbed onto the typewriter keys and replied indignantly: soused yourself i havent had a drink and yet i am elevated i admit it i have been down to a second hand book store eating a lot of kiplings earlier poetry it always excites me if i eat a dozen stanzas of it i get all lit up and i try to imitate it get out of my way now i feel a poem in the kipling manner taking me And before we could stop him he began to but on the keys: the cockroach stood by the mickle wood in the flush of the astral dawn We interrupted. "Don't you mean Austral instead of Astral?" Archy became angered and wrote peevishly: I wrote astral and i meant astral you let me be now i want to get this poem off my chest you are jealous if you were any kind of sport at all you would fix this machine so it could write it in capitals it is a poem about a fight between a cockroach and a lot of other things get out of my way im off the cockroach stood by the mickle wood in the flush of the astral dawn and he sniffed the air from the hidden lair where the khyber swordfish spawn and the bile and belch of the glutton welsh as they smelted their warlock cheese surged to and fro where the grinding floe wrenched at the headlands knees half seas over under up again and the barnacles white in the moon the pole stars chasing its tail like a pup again and the dish ran away with the spoon the waterspout came bellowing out of the red horizons run and the grey typhoon and the black monsoon surged forth to the fight with him with three fold might they surged to the fight for they hated the great bull roach and they cried begod as they lashed the sod and here is an egg to poach we will bash his mug with his own raw lug new stripped from off his dome for there is no law but teeth and claw to the nor nor east of nome the punjab gull shall have his skull ere he goes in the burning ghaut for there is no time for aught but crime where the jungle lore is taught across the dark the afghan shark is whining for his head there shall be no rule but death and dule till the deep red mauve are fed half seas under up and down again and her keel was blown off in a squall girls we misdoubt that we ll ever see town again haul boy haul boys haul "Archy," we interrupted, "that haul, boys, is all right in the eye, but the ear will surely make it hall boys. Better change it." you are jealous you let me alone im off again the cockroach spat and he tilted his hat and he grinned through the lowering mirk the cockroach felt in his rangoon belt for his good bengali dirk he reefed his mast against the blast and he bent his mizzen free and he pointed the cleats of his bin nacle sheets at the teeth of the yesty sea he opened his mouth and he sluiced his drouth with his last good can of swipes begod he cried they come in pride but they go home with the gripes begod he said if they want my head it is here on top of my chine it shall never be said that I doffed my head for the boast of a heathen line and he scorned to wait but he dared his fate and loosed his bridle rein and leapt to close with his red fanged foes in the trough of the screaming main from hell to nome the blow went home and split the firmament from hell to nome the yellow foam blew wide to veil the rent and the roaring ships they came to grips in the gloom of a dripping mist "Archy," we interrupted again, "is there very much more to it? It seems that you might tell in a very few words now who won the fight, and let it go at that. Who did win the fight, Archy? But Archy was peeved, and went sadly away, after writing: of course you won't met me finish i never saw as jealous a person as you are Source: Archy's Life of Mehitabel by Don Marquis

Return to the opening page

Jim Ennes

Don Marquis