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FROG

Digital poem-painting, 2000, by Chris Wayan

Don Marquis in his strange book "archy and mehitabel" (which he claimed a cockroach wrote, not him) has a love song that a cat chants in the Paris catacombs, among the dead, a song with this sad, creepy, unpunctuated refrain:

all mens lovers come to this
It looped in my head for days and started to hiss. All men's lovers come to this. All men's lovers come to thissssss.

So I started doodling frogs and textures in Photoshop to distract myself, but that damn line went wiggling through the pixels like an Eden snake, hissing its pessimistic conclusion....

And then suddenly it broke. The grim line mutated, left themes of loss and death behind, and twisted into a wry, self-biting loneliness. Beats fatalism!

An airbrushy space full of pastel patterns, frogs and salamanders... and singles seeking each other.
The mutant lines, collected, say:
THE NERDS AND THE BEES

How many frogs must I kiss?

(Wait! Is that a tail behind me?
Dare a newt critique frog-dates?)
O that it should come to this!
(Let's not romanticize
Eating squirmy flies)
How many kisses must I miss...
(Dating or predating,
It's hard to meat)
Ere I find a lover's bliss?
Ere I find a lover's bliss?


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