(with apologies to Homer and Longfellow)              


This is a story primeval (updated for modern conditions).

Celibate long, and unsettled, a stouthearted fellow determined,

such would no longer suffice, and he advertised his decision:

SWM whos witty, good-looking and lives in the city,

40s, is I-S-O), and has interests from Bach to the Beatles.

So he inscribed, in all passion, alliterating in fashion.

Fifty of dollars he paid, and a hundred of letters resulted.

(Bargains abound in our era: a Paris or Don Juan would score big.)

Just as a lion in waiting, who sees several antelope grazing,

licks both his chops, tail waving, and roars before taking his action,

so did our heros hormónes begin flooding throughout all his body.

Bogart is me, he opined, as he lustily read through his harvest.

One was a card all embroidered, and scented with lilacs and roses.

Call me as soon as you can, for you sound so unusual and daring;

anxious I am, and thats certain, to meet such a man as you promise

hopeful, awaiting your voice, am expectantly eager, yours, Ellie.

So she inscribed (and with beauty), and our champion deemed her in order.

Grasping the telephone nobly, he pushed seven buttons and waited,

clearing his throat to prepare, when hello came a gravelly mezzo.

Ellie, you answered my ad. So big deal, just which one would you be?

Bach to the Beatles was key, and expectantly eager you answered.

Classical? Uh!Uh! she growled, and the Beatles? just who are you kidding?

So she reacted, and hung up, but not was our stalwart yet daunted.

Forty of calls, and a Vickie, a voice very pleasant, remembered.

Oh, Im so glad that you called me, for the Beatles are so ahn-gah-jhay.

Coffee they had at a meeting, to get to know one another.

Nice, she appeared too, in person, and attentive, with interests in common.

Gallantly, judging her worthwhile, he phoned to propose a full evening.

Well, Id of course like to see you, but under the weather you find me;

also, a friend came to town, and my daughter-in-law is expecting;

swamped at the office, Im busy , she unconvincingly told him.

Mary he tried, a bit chastened, but doggedly spurning resigning.

Mary, Im short on finances, but she was not looking for riches.

Mary, Im radical also, but she said OK, not to worry.

Awful, he said at their meeting, are Reagans new policy actions.

Oh, I agree so completely, said she with her eyes all apopping,

bomb all the Russians, I say, he should wipe out the Commies all over.

So she proclaimed, and with stress (though our risk-taker got away safely).

Thinking his ad too ambiguous, he looked up some ones placed by women.

Lady with vigor and vim, seeking S slash D slash W ;

theatre I love, and to travel; want romance and also commitment;

trust you have good sense of humor, looks not an issue. Send photo.

So she had written, and seeing no harm, intrepid, he answered.

(Siegfried himself was thick-headed, so how can aught else be expected?)

Seven oclock in the morning, but the phone would not cease its commotion.

Oh, Im so glad that I caught you, afraid youd left for the morning

-- I always beat the rush hour -- but tell me which movies youve gone to

Spielberg is such a great genius, and dont you just love thirtysomething?

Redskins I root for on Sundays, and you, I trust you want children?

So she requested his thoughts, but our ill-fated soul was not thoughtful.

Just as when Woody would listen to Bogarts advice of aggression,

kissing the one he thought nympho, and getting his face slapped pronto,

so did our dimwit misread; he committed a most grievous faux pas.

Yes, I love little babies, so lets get together and make some.

Bang! was the sound as she hung up. Our sad sack then thought over options.

Thinking Rousseau may have been right to say writing confuses the issues,

wanting to listen ere acting, he called up the Lovers Connection.

Two twenty five was the levy, but yes, he did hear a nice lady.

Told how to set up the contact, he called up her coded phone number.

This is the Lovers Connection; at thtone please do leave your message.

Thirty of seconds, and click! -- before he could leave his own number .


This is a story primeval; as such it can have no true ending.

Love always offers its prospect; our man still continues his project.

Listen, for yet he may phone you (cold-calling the crisscross street listings).



(Valentines Day, 1988)           


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