Y'know, when you do a filk or a parody, you feel really great when it starts to come together, and if you stick with it 'till it's done, you feel ecstatic and feverish as you realize you're going to pull it off. Then you post. Then, as you wake up, and your muse sleeps it off, you feel... blank, and empty. (Mine has been taking speed lately so she's hard to wake up.) You feel awful until you start the round again. It's like an addiction, I guess. You filkers out there, you know what it's like. The writer Paul Theroux, asked what it was like to write, said, "When you're writing, it's hell. When you're not writing, it's even worse."

I read this part of Leaves of Grass this morning in just such a state, waiting for the MARC Penn Line local to take me from D.C.'s Union Station to beautiful downtown Lanham, Maryland ( xp ) and the headquarters of the IRS, where I ply my trade. I thought, "How nice... for him." I think ol' Walt would find D.C. a little different these days.

By Lovely Lanham's Lots after "By Broad Potomac's Shore"

By lovely Lanham's lots, sayeth O my nose
(Still reeking of burnt coffee, still litter-strewn, willt thou ever be lovely?),
Again old fart so sneering and cynical, again to you, your streets, the sense of summer retreating,
Again the smog and the tractor-trailers, again Maryland's leaden sky, turgid grey and greyer,
Again the dirty whitewash o' the warehouses,
Again the grassless lots, planted thick with brick and concrete,
Again the multicoloured graffiti gesturing.

Salute this scribble o' mine O defiant graffiti, I double-dog dare ya!
Perfume its pages subtly with your partially-consum'd hydrocarbons Lanham!
Give me of you O Indian summer, some dead leaves before I close, to put between its pages!
O dirty whitewash o' the warehouses, before I close, of you!
O endless asphalt, of you!

By Broad Potomac's Shore

By broad Potomac's shore, again old tongue,
(Still uttering, still ejaculating, canst never cease this babble?)
Again old heart so gay, again to you, your sense, the full flush spring returning,
Again the freshness and the odors, again Virginia's summer sky, pellucid blue and silver,
Again the forenoon purple of the hills,
Again the deathless grass, so noiseless soft and green,
Again the blood-red roses blooming.

Perfume this book of mine O blood-red roses!
Lave subtly with your waters every line Potomac!
Give me of you O spring, before I close, to put between its pages!
O forenoon purple of the hills, before I close, of you!
O deathless grass, of you!

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