Works in Progress: #6

Thank you very much. Please be seated.

Are you seated? I sincerely hope so, because I have news so shocking that the mere transmission of it from your eyes to your brain will tear both of your ACLs as if they were made from Bible paper: I have scanned the following lyrics of “Lawrence of Arabia, (I Am Not)” and there is not a single mention of ANY of the Seven Pillars of Lyrical Fallback upon which I rely so heavily. They are, as you probably know, 1.) Food (usually of the delicious sort), 2.) Animals (usually monkeys — also of the delicious sort), 3.) Books, 4.) Pencils, 5.) Blind hatred of things I don’t understand, 6.) My spring-shaped model of space-time, and 7.) Body organs that don’t exist naturally.

I always have a predictable mood swing after watching movies about remarkable people. I remember desperately wanting to lead a bloody rebellion (against whom, I know not) just after watching “Braveheart.” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” lead to three decades of wanting to be taken away by a spaceship (more on this later). “Gandhi” just made me want to eat my weight in steak. Regardless, a good movie about an incredible person should first leave you in awe. Then make you feel tiny. Then make you want to do something to combat that tininess. This leads to late night musings of whether or not greatness in people can only be coaxed out during extraordinary times. It also leads to drinking port until your fingers are numb to the second knuckle.

This song’s acorn was a cold night’s viewing of “Lawrence of Arabia” at the Fargo Theatre. In Fargo.

“The horizon trembles from memories of being badly burned.

The crack of a distant rifle: my invitation from Destiny.

Fight and flight flow from my toes;

I’m a mission disguised in dead man’s clothes

That smell like gunpowder and loose electricity.


Sun hooks my keffiyah like a vengeful molten scimitar.

I don’t notice — I’m larger than history.

Then the credits begin to roll,

I grab my popcorn and leave the show

For a storyline with no plot or mystery.


I am not Lawrence of Arabia,

But maybe a

Reasonable  facsimile thereof.

I am not Lawrence of Arabia,

But maybe a


Forgery or copy…

Shoddy duplication…



I am a good man.

I’m not a great man.

I’m a product of unremarkable times.

This age’s mediocrity

Is a travesty: a lobotomy:

A two-act tragic-comedy

Told in cheap rhymes.


I am not Lawrence of Arabia.

But neither was he — until he was.”


So I lied: I do mention popcorn at one point. Be on the lookout for an on-the-road interview with 3 Minute Hero ivory tickler and melody line-acologist, Dan Danny Boy Dillenger American Pie Dreamy Dreamin’ Frosty the Snowman Frost. If I can find him. Please return your trays to their upright positions.




All of this particular material is copyrighted ©2012 Jeff Nelson.