“A novel in verse” was what caught my eye. A book I read many years back, during my college days. To begin with, the book was clever of course. That was a given.
It also was much more. It was about self actualization and struck a chord because my journey was just about fueled up. It has humor, it had love and it had irony. I read it multiple times over the years and just writing about it makes me want to check it out once more.
Here is how he gets going:
To make a start more swift and weighty,
Hail Muse. Dear Reader, once upon
A time, say, circa 1980,
There lived a man. His name was John.
Successful in his field though only
Twenty-six, respected, lonely,
One evening as he walked across
Golden Gate Park, the ill-judged toss
Of a red frisbee almost brained him.
He thought, “Who’d gloat? Who would be glad?
Would anybody? ” As it pained him,
He turned from this dispiriting theme
To ruminations less extreme.
and some more ….
He goes home, seeking consolation
Among old Beatles and Pink Floyd —
But “Girl” elicits mere frustration,
While “Money” leaves him more annoyed.
Alas, he hungers less for money
Than for a fleeting Taste of Honey.
Murmuring, “Money — it’s a gas! …
The lunatic is on the grass,”
He pours himself a beer. Desires
And reminiscences intrude
Upon his unpropitious mood
Until he feels that he requires
A one-way Ticket to Ride — and soon —
Across the Dark Side of the Moon.
He thinks back to his day at college,
To Phil, to Berkeley friends, to nights
When the pursuit of grades and knowledge
Foundered in beery jokes and fights.
Eheu fugaces… Silicon Valley
Lures to ambition’s ulcer alley
Young graduates with siren screams
Of power and wealth beyond their dreams,
Ejects the lax, and drives the driven,
Burning their candles at both ends.
Thus files take precedence over friends,
Labor is lauded, leisure riven.
John kneels bareheaded and unshod
Before the Chip, a jealous God.