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As I travailed upon the steep mountain slopes, I happened upon her womanly province. It was there I would set up camp and entrench myself for the evening. And yet I was turned away by the harsh tidings of her womanly promise. Scorned and humbled, I quickly lost my footing, resurrected only by her womanly crevice, to which I now feverishly clung.

Date Written: January 30, 2004
Author: Texxx
Average Vote: 2.2

02/9/2004 anonymous (1): What the fuck is this? Is it supposed to be verse? Province, promise, crevice? Are those rhymes? If so, it's terrible. If not, it's also terrible.
02/9/2004 Benny Maniacs (3): Like the idea but too many "womanly"s.
02/9/2004 anonymous: Shit sandwich.
02/9/2004 Dylan Danko: Travail upon? Or just travail. Anyone?
02/9/2004 anonymous: 'Traverse' stands alone. 'Travail' requires a preposition. You jackasses ever heard of a prose poem? Jeez.
02/9/2004 Dylan Danko: Ah! Quite right, Feldspar. I was just openin' it up for convo.
02/9/2004 Ewan Snow: Ooooh, Feldspar wrote this?!? Somehow, I don't believe it...
02/9/2004 Dylan Danko: Danko feels sheepish as he's not now really sure if this is indeed Feldy.
02/9/2004 Dylan Danko: Yeah, you were another possibilty. Along with that jimson fella.
02/9/2004 anonymous: What i want to know is how Jimson got back in the esteemed authors group so damn fast!
02/9/2004 Ewan Snow: I didn't write this and I don't think it's Jimson, either. It could possibly be Matza. Even though his comic prose is first rate, his attempts at doggerel are, well, second rate, or at least they used to be...
02/9/2004 anonymous: Prose poem? Is that what this is supposed to be? Usually they're free verse and don't have lame almost-rhymes.
02/9/2004 anonymous: Is this your first experience with poetry? It's quite commonplace (and widely acceptable) to employ rhymes not of the simplistic 'roses are red, violets are blue' variety.
02/9/2004 anonymous: But they don't qualify as slant rhymes, either. And on top of that, they're all feminine. You might be able to get away with a couple of those pussy rhymes in a longer piece, but not in this little one. Unless that's what's supposed to be funny about it, and if so, I don't really get it.
02/9/2004 anonymous: Consonant rhymes, anyone? Kind of funny to see you invoking 'pussy' as an anonymous critic.
02/9/2004 qualcomm: wasn't me.
02/9/2004 Phony Millions: By my lights this is just prose. What would make it a prose poem? Anyone?
02/9/2004 anonymous: I couldn't spell out the exact definition of a prose poem, but I do believe the emphasis on the sounds of the words used here (and not just their meaning) pushes the short into that territory. The sound quality of 'province,' 'promise,' and 'crevice' helps propel the piece and provide a particular cohesiveness.
02/9/2004 qualcomm: 'sreally more of a tone poem.
02/9/2004 anonymous (4): you know what? 4 stars!
02/9/2004 Jon Matza (2): Don't blame this compost heap on me.
02/9/2004 Craig Lewis: I'm with Brad: this is just prose, and shite prose at that. Would the poet care to explain how lost footing gets "resurrected"? Is this a metaphysical process? Is the Patron Saint of Quality Footwear involved?
02/9/2004 Craig Lewis: More questions for the Bard. 1.) RE: Her womanly province. Is it anything like Ontario? 2.) I'm confused about time-frame. How long after setting up camp was the wayfarer forced to pull up stakes and flee? Did he get any sleep? 3.) RE: Her womanly crevice. Is that, like, her cunt?
02/10/2004 Phony Millions: I think 'crevice' is indeed her cunt, Craig. Could it be: Maybe this guy wants to get laid, but has to wait it out for the night because she's on the rag - so he's 'turned away' by her 'harsh tidings'. Makes me think of Henry Miller, this one, in its objectifying adoration of a woman, which almost collapses into mysogynism-lite, a sort of condescension towards her amidst all that deifying at her temple...

Simultaneous adoration and cloying condescension towards the ladies, and an obsession with all things vag? I've got two words for you, gentleman: Ewan Snow.

"Many a proud cock has been lost in that scapa flow, never to return..." - Henry Miller writing about fucking while your woman is on the rag in 'Sexus'

I'm giving it four stars because it's given us all pause, and the language is indeed poetic.
02/10/2004 Phony Millions: Scratch that - it was Tex! But, Ewan, I still see your influence...
02/10/2004 Texxx: Not that anybody cares at this point, but I'd like to explain this short. It can be read in two different ways. In the literal sense, the guy is scaling a mountain and referring to its topography in the same way in which many refer affectionately (and reverently) to natural and/or manmade wonders, especially when they dwarf and intimidate us. Like a yacht, or a, uh, mountain. The repetition of 'womanly' reflects this guy's stubbornness and determination, and the various words attached to 'womanly' ('province,' 'promise,' etc.) provide manifestations of a singular viewpoint. In the metaphorical sense, the guy is failing to score, and he equates the woman's body with a treacherous mountainside. That's kind of funny, isn't it?
02/10/2004 Ewan Snow: Brad, are you crazy? Did you really think this was me? I was anon_user_a. I think this is perhaps the worst thing ever published on the site. Prose poem, Texxx? Have you ever read one? You ask if this is my first experience with poetry with such condescension; it's truly unbelievable. No, I'm an avid reader of poetry, have published poetry myself, and have studied poetry for several years at the graduate level. I am familiar with virtually every form as well as every sort of rhyme (not just the rose are red, violets are blue variety) as you ridiculously put it.

But I have to say, even considering the shit that gets shoveled in a grad school poetry workshop, this is one of the more worthless pieces I've ever seen. Consider how much experience you have next time you decide to condescend; this short demonstrates you have none.

Also, it's not funny.
02/10/2004 Ewan Snow: Also, you say, "In the metaphorical sense, the guy is failing to score, and he equates the woman's body with a treacherous mountainside. That's kind of funny, isn't it?"

Where do I begin? Did you think that your explication was required? Did you think the problem was that the short was too difficult? In your comment above, you say that he was failing to score in the metaphorical sense; how was he doing in the regular sense? Or was the comment just poorly written like the short?

And to answer your question, no.
02/10/2004 qualcomm: i had a strange experience with this one. i took it as a total joke when i first read it, and was prepared to give it three stars. i didn't think it was so horrible. then, spurred by ewan's (anon_a's) comments, the author started defending this thing as a well-written piece of poetry (or anything for that matter). i thought it was poorly written on purpose, as part of the joke, sort of like old feldy would do. did i give you too much credit, texxx? because now i don't know how to feel!
02/10/2004 anonymous: I'd latch onto that escape hatch if I were you, Texxx...i.e., both the poem and your comments about it were poorly written on purpose.
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Man, Texxx, why do you do that? You're just giving the monkeys a taste for human flesh. Plus, it's ugly.
02/10/2004 Craig Lewis: Thank you, Texxx, for your lucid explication of this piece! In fact, I, too, often "refer affectionately (and reverently)" to the "topography" of yachts: the sleek contours of a ketch, its mizen-mast silhouetted against the Antipodal twilight; or the more craggy spectacle of a Chinese Junk, its foredeck fairly teeming with Chinks. In any case, I now understand how fucking GREAT this short is. Thanks, guy!
02/10/2004 Craig Lewis (1): Oh yeah, almost forgot.
02/10/2004 Dylan Danko: You know what I would like to see? Texxx's ex post facto attempt to explain his short posted as the short of the week itself. This especially: "In the literal sense, the guy is scaling a mountain and referring to its topography in the same way in which many refer affectionately (and reverently) to natural and/or manmade wonders, especially when they dwarf and intimidate us." Or this: "The repetition of 'womanly' reflects this guy's stubbornness and determination, and the various words attached to 'womanly' ('province,' 'promise,' etc.) provide manifestations of a singular viewpoint." This has got to be a joke, no? Texxx, we'd like you more if you just said, "Yeah, I don't really know what the fuck a prose poem is." You're explanations are much worse than your shorts, some of which I aren't that bad.
02/10/2004 Texxx: Ewan, how am I supposed to know it's you if you're cowering behind the anonymous feature? So am I supposed to assume that everyone understood the short and just didn't think it had any humorous value? I wasn't being condescending by offering up an explanation of the short - I honestly thought people didn't get it. If you don't like it, so be it. I wasn't defending its quality, nor was I complaining about the ratings. Guys, relax a little, okay? What a lovely bunch of people you all are. Almost makes me question my friendship with Disney, who's apparently friendly with the majority of you. How and why, I have no idea. Lovely.
02/10/2004 Ewan Snow: Yes, I think we're all questioning our friendship with Disney. As for cowering behind anonymous, so were you! We put in all of this anonymous author stuff so you could be convinced that your terrible ratings were because your shorts were terrible, but you don't seem to be catching on.

And, no, I wasn't expecting you to know who it was. I was just expecting (foolishly) to read something funny.

To answer your question, YES! You were to assume that everybody understood the short and didn't think it was funny. Are you seriously claiming that the question, "Is this your first experience with poetry?" wasn't being condescending? Has you experience on this site led you to believe that the rest of the authors need your help with reading comprehension?

And, by the way, I'm completely relaxed. What makes you assume that criticism of you cannot be dispassionate. Is it possible that people have ordinary, detached, rational reasons for thinking your shorts are no good?
02/10/2004 Dylan Danko: FU Disney!
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Hey Texx, what about this: By explaining a story or a joke or whatever, you force the discussion from one of subjective "like" or "dislike" to one of objective fact. You say a joke works because it is doing A, B, and C. Folks are then forced to ask themselves if your statement is, in fact, true--at face value. Problem is, if the gag didn't work the first time, chances are that knowing your intent isn't going to help much. I learned this in art school (where I became an artist). Some folks would get a bad critique (or "crit" as we would refer to them), and then they would try to explain themselves; justify their work, and invariably fail! They would say stuff like: "I meant for this part here to refer to that thing over there," to which others would respond, "Well, it doesn't. Try harder next time." Sometimes the maker of the work would continue to argue that the first thing did, in fact, effectively and concisely refer to the second thing, and that's when things got "ugly". I'm not saying intent isn't important. Just saying it's hard to convince people that they should like something by pulling it apart and showing them how it works, especially when they don't believe it works in the first place. I'm also not saying that this site should be a place for people to "hone their craft", because we all should only be posting perfect work. I'm just saying is all.
02/10/2004 anonymous: I'd like to hear more of Texxx's musings on poetry. Does he have a favorite poem/poet?
02/10/2004 Texxx: Ewan, if you're such a poetry maestro, then why didn't you understand the rhyme scheme? Your initial question seemed to come from someone with little or no poetry experience. If you think the work stinks, then so be it - but you were questioning the rhyme scheme itself, as though the scheme in and of itself were somehow not valid. I'm not familiar with your particular temperament, so you're right - you or anyone else could certainly offer harsh criticism in a 'dispassionate' state, as you put it. I can't help but feel a little touchy on this site when my pieces, especially those that receive good reviews, pereptually receive anonymous low ratings. I don't know who's behind it - and I don't know why. It's nice to see Matza wait until my name is revealed to crap all over a short that's received roundly positive reviews. I guess it's predictable by now, so I shouldn't be surprised. My work's not 'terrible,' as you put it, or I wouldn't have been the highest rated guest author when I was promoted. If you'd like to point to my low ranking, it's plummeted because, as I just pointed out, some of you clever guys have a fondness for tanking my shorts. We are all operating behind the anonymous feature - that's true. My point was that it's pretty easy to shoot pointed criticism towards someone when you're hidden. I've used the feature to leave commentary, but when I really dislike someone's work and feel the need to say so, I offer my name. That's my choice. Your first anonymous question was stupid, in my opinion, and uninformed. I responded appropriately. Pony, you make good points.
02/10/2004 Craig Lewis: Texxx, I'm going to be as clear as possible about this. I want you to concentrate hard on what I am about to say to you. Read my words; reflect on them. Muse upon them. You may want to put down some of your reactions in heroic couplets and post them to the site. Here goes. THE REASON THAT EWAN DIDN'T UNDERSTAND YOUR RHYME SCHEME IS BECAUSE IT DOESN'T EXIST, OK? THERE ARE NO RHYMES IN YOUR RIDICULOUS MOUNTAINEERING STORY! GOT THAT?
02/10/2004 Texxx: Lewis, last time I checked, you're still a guest. Step off.
02/10/2004 Craig Lewis: Incidentally, Texxx, I'm almost completely convinced that you don't exist. This has got to be some kind of elaborate performance art piece. Has anyone actually ever met this "Texxx"? Am I wrong to think that there is some trickster figure/Acmeshorts regular snickering behind the Texxx pseudonym?
02/10/2004 Phony Millions: Touche, Texx - well said. I think you guys are teaming up on Texx. Ewan, I'm sorry I thought it was you, but I think you're using a bit of a double standard on Texx - you're rather harshly telling him that his stuff is worthless, and then you're getting defensive if he (I thought jokingly) makes a quip about your poetic knowledge. If I read this whole set of commentary, it sounds mean-spirited, and the mean-spiritedness isn't coming from Texx.

Of course, part of it is the whole online writing thing - it's like road-rage - you can go off on someone with no immediate reprecussion. It seems a little weak to mitigate a vindictive comment by saying you're just 'calm' and having a good time; it doesn't quite ring true.

Texx, if you piss people off, it means there's something of value there!
02/10/2004 anonymous: I'm not friends with Disney in the first place so I don't have anything to question.
02/10/2004 Texxx: As you, Evans, are an esteemed writer on this site, I hope your comments carry some weight here, as mine, seemingly, do not. Much thanks.
02/10/2004 Will Disney: Keep me out of this!
02/10/2004 Dylan Danko: But Texxx, you're fucking yourself in your asshole! Lewis is right! If you don't know anything about poetry just say so. You're misguided wankery, Is really starting to rankle me.
02/10/2004 Craig Lewis: Whoa! "Step off"! The Texxx Man is cold pulling rank! Sorry, Texxx: you're quite right. I'm just a guest. I'm getting dizzy from the thin air up here in these steep slopes, where The Authors abide, striding from mountain pass to mountain pass -- from womanly province to womanly province -- scaling e'er greater poetical heights! Consider me scorned (and humbled).
02/10/2004 Dylan Danko: I meant that last line to be a couplet. Danko bungles the html yet again. Brad, I've often felt similarly in recent weeks and publicly said so. There has been a rather gratuitous mean-spiritness, some of it directed at Texxx. But Texxx's quip wasn't in jest. It's not that he's defensive, it's the way he defends himself. Surely he needs to be taken to task for some of his comments below. I like anon_c's question. Give us more of your thoughts on poetry, Texxx.
02/10/2004 Craig Lewis: Hey, Texxx...Texxxy? Were you actually serious about trying to shut me up because I'm, like, in a different authorial caste than you? Are you fucking kidding me? Can someone demote this turd so I can give him a little Krav Magda ass-kicking down in the Guest Ghetto? How does one apply for promotion? Is there any formal process in place? When is it MY TURN to shine? When can I walk on equal footing with the Great and Good Texxx -- poet, scholar, lover, Alpine adventurer? How I would love to break bread with him, recite Donne with him, compose alexandrines with him!
02/10/2004 Dylan Danko: spiritedness
02/10/2004 Texxx: Come on, Lewis, buck up. If I thought I were above you, I wouldn't read your shorts and I wouldn't take the time to add commentary. I remember my origins.
02/10/2004 Dick Vomit: As I groped her tits with my sweaty paws, I noticed her poon. It was there, in her poon, that I would stuff my thumblike weiner! "No, not yet. I'm dry," said she. Hrm. She must need foreplay. So I just sort of desperately gripped it some more, kinda, I guess.
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Ha ha
02/10/2004 Ewan Snow: Brad, a lot has happened since you left. Yes, it has become rather abrasive around here. But my criticism does not come from a vacuum. I won't go into all of it, but I didn't start out posting comments like the ones below. The long and short of it is, Disney promoted Texxx to author without consulting anybody. When his short were criticized, he got really defensive and claimed that there was a conspiracy to trash him. So we instituted this anonymous feature where nobody can see who wrote the shorts for a day or so. As my commentary below shows, I did not know this was written by Texxx when I gave it one star. Nonetheless, he continues to insist it's a conspiracy. I'm sick of it.

As to your question about the "rhyme scheme", Texxx, Lewis is right. There is no rhyme scheme, just a hack attempt at one that serves no purpose. As to the reason you were the top rated guest writer, itís because none of us voted on most of it.
02/10/2004 anonymous: Saaaaay, buut waasn't that Mister Poooony fellooow the top raaated guest authooooor at the time of the promooootion?
02/10/2004 Texxx: Ewan, did Disney consult the rest of you when the others were promoted too? Or was I the only one anointed in this way? If you read my commentary closely (which you probably have no interest in doing), I've been responding in a tone commensurate with that of the criticism. Nothing more. I didn't take umbrage with the fact that you (or anonymous a, at that point) gave the short one star. What I don't like is the fact that people have been giving my work anonymous bad ratings to try and discourage my participation. But I'm sure you have nothing to do with that. Am I the only one who can't respond sarcastically to negative feedback without being maligned as a defensive incompetent?
02/10/2004 Will Disney: Just a note, Ewan, in response to your comment below. 1) Feldspar was consulted and did not object to me. 2) At the time Texxx was promoted, the site was moribund, and basically nothing was being published by any of us, including you, and me, and Matza, and Feldspar, etc. As Iíve said before, in retrospect, a vote wouldíve been a good idea. But what I was trying to do at the time was resuscitate the site and I certainly donít expect to get shit for that.
02/10/2004 Will Disney: And let me say again, yes, there should have been a vote. I don't own AcmeShorts. No one owns AcmeShorts. Just like The Nation.
02/10/2004 Will Disney: For Texxx's sake, for the site's sake, especially for my sake, etc.
02/10/2004 Dick Vomit: As Ari inched the Ferrari toward the driveway, he squeezed between the two city recycling bins at the curb, the kind that look like giant plastic tits. You know that kind?. Like big, plastic hugangoid mammers, fucking injection-molded wobblers, babe. And so the car's between 'em, kinda like when you titfuck. Yeah, so he just eased around those mounds, mmhmm, then snaked (wink-wink) up to the garage, and he was just about to pretend he was driving this big metal dick into a pussy, but then out comes the wife. "No, no I gotta back out first! I gotta drive to town and store my mink!" Huh? "My FUR, Ari! Jesus. Let me back out the Galendawagen!" Ari gripped the clutch!
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Ha ha
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Please, Dick Vomit. You are making a mockery of Acme Shorts.
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Please stop.
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Ha ha
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Stop.
02/10/2004 anonymous: Pony, you coward.
02/10/2004 anonymous: anon_user_h, you think you're tough?
02/10/2004 anonymous: Youuu, there, G--Pooooony is the braaavest duuuude yoooou'll ever meeeet. Sooooo shuuuut uuup.
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: You shut up, G. I'm really not that brave at all.
02/10/2004 Dick Vomit: Billy played bumpy-bump with his sister's dolly-wollies. Bumpy-bump with the fuselage of die cast model of a Boeing 747, in fact. "Bumpy-bump! Bumpy-Bump!" Then Clarissa the Babysitter strode in, toying with her cell phone, giggling with Brad, and scowled at him. "Billy, stop DOING THAT with your sister's dolls." Billy was about to run out of the room when Clarissa said, "get over here with that plane, young MAN."
02/10/2004 Mr. Pony: Ha ha
02/10/2004 anonymous: No more anonymous comments or votes.
02/10/2004 Jon Matza: How's that for restraint, Disney?
02/10/2004 Will Disney: Remarkable.