Photo by Jaynne Wellygan WORDS header

















Now we begin to travel down the thin line
Described by this gray pen.
The line is held by more than just two lines…
0ne above and one below…
it is held by `the virgin page
and the jaded hand in which the pen is held
and by the thoughts held in the mind of the author
who is known to no one but himself as
Ocsar Hopewell.

Oscar is so unfamiliar with his person
That he can't even spell his own name right
The first time out,but then again he is totally
Unfamiliar with the intellectual terrorism
Of the craft of spelling and authorship is
A totally new endeavor for old Hopewell.

Oscar Hopewell a blithe jolly soul with
Little or no past
Feeble present
And little hope of a future
Wandered on to the pages of this
Small black note book quite by accident
And owes the entirety of his being to the ink
and the capillary action that draws it out of the pen

The English language not withstanding
Hopewell owes his being to the rainy day on which he first appeared shortly after a Christmas concert
Given in the crusty neighborhood
Of Kerrisdale.
Oscar had not even come into being or
Even been thought of
Early that afternoon as the
Dull head ache had carried memories
Of the Hawaiian theme party forward from
The conservatory atop the little mountain that
Overlooks the bright night lights
Of all of Vancouver.
Yes crantini cocktails apply
A penetrating presence into the day
That follows.

Oscar had not heard the middle aged
Piano student brutalize the sweet
And innocent Christmas choral ;
He had not been witness to the breaking
Of her dream of "PLAYING PIANO"

as if that wasn't enough after a few tunes performed
by the other students she came back to really
strangle the dream once and for all
stumbling through yet another
unsuspecting Christmas song
to be met by a rousing applause of sympathy
from the geriatric audience who were all
to familiar with life's little tragedies .
The choral limped back into the song book
not really to worse for wear but the woman
of course was completely destroyed.
After a tearful exchange with her
Piano teacher she hurried out of the hall
Out into the rain
Out into the oblivion of broken dreams
How could Oscar know anything about her
And what it must have felt like to have gone
Out alone into that awful embarrassment
Of being stripped naked with failure
And have your dream
Smashed in front of you.

Oscar could I suppose in retrospect
Have sympathy for her
For any caring being would
Understand and have compaction
;the whole situation had an archetypal
character to it.

Oscar's real concerns are however
More immediate than all of that
For indeed he remains in the peril
Of total oblivion at this very instant.
The intensity of the pre Christmas
Crush rush and brush
Could completely eclipse the initialization
Of his being.
He could easily be
Put on the back burner
Before he even materialized
Oscar Hopewell could be inadvertently
Put on the shelf and misplaced
Before he ever really had a chance
To make a stand at all
For beyond being referred to as
A jolly old soul we know
Nothing of him

In some ways the little black book has
more claim to being than Oscar
It would be as easy to animate the book
As it would be to animate Oscar.
Giving the book wings and having
It fly out of the dumpster
Into Oscar's hand is entirely
Within the realm of possibility
For what did Oscar know about the history
Of the book or how it had arrived
In the dumpster in the first place.

Just like Old Frosty the Snow man
Came to life when they placed
The old silk hat on his head
So Old Oscar came to life
the magical moment the book took flight
out of the recycling bin
in that single gesture of catching
the book as it flew birdlike
from the discarded
news papers and magazines
Yes Oscar came to life!

The myth of the flying book
Is no less fantastic
Than the myth of Oscar himself
Although the inanimate nature
Of the book is no contender
For sentiment to a jolly old man
And after all books are generally
The vehicle for heroes to arrive
to come into being
but what hero ever acknowledged
the paper he was spond on
or the ink which carried him into being
heroes are generally
far to self important
to insist on recognizing that they come from pens
and they are really just made of ink
Now blood that's different
And Oscar was of coarse
Full of blood not ink.
The book full of ink claimed its soul
From the stream of narrative
That spanned its pages but the blood
That sped through Oscar's heart
Was full of the sacred spirit
Of human life and it was
Charged with the will to survive
The will to be and come into being the will to be tangential to the cosmic all
the will to touch the void
and be unafraid .

Oscar stood as tall as a man
Of his stature could
For indeed Oscar was rather short
And in fact like the book
Oscar was small but unlike the book
Oscar didn't like being small at all.
The book was really beautiful
Largely because it was so small.
The book was so accessible
Because it was so small
But Oscar Hopewell
Felt less accessible because
He was so small.
Now the little black book
Was of coarse thin .
A thin little black book but here again
Oscar fell short
For he was not thin , no
Not at all thin .
Oscar was not young either
As we already learned
But we haven't learned he was
Losing his hair or shall we say
He had already lost most of his hair
And though he was not unattractive
There was little hope
he would ever regain his hair
for losing your hair is like that ;
Its one of those irreversible things .
Like a book being filled with words
The chances of regaining space
Are remote at best .
One could I suppose
Stop double spacing
Or crowd the words together
But either way its all rather irreversible
And Oscar was and still is
One to look at life straight in the eye
And no matter where he goes
He's not one to carry some
Hidden agenda
.Hopewell if nothing else is straight
forward and direct and doesn't
Contain an ounce of guile .
Sadly however Oscar never learned
To play the saxophone
Or any other instrument
For that matter
And he doesn't
Have a romantic bone in his body
So the chances of his narrative
Taking a swing into steamy sexuality
Or even mild eroticism are quite remote
And Oscar hasn't got a pension
For the intellectual
Or spiritual realms either
So we are dealing with a character
Whose best bid for notoriety
Is if we want to begin to celebrate
Mediocrity !
There is always the potential
Of adventure however
For indeed adventure like love
Can happen to anyone at any time
And why not to our Oscar
For it was after all
He who caught the book
In its flight and its he who so desperately
Wants just to be >>>
Now Oscar has this incredible
Command of the English language
And though he basically
Has nothing to say
He can say it most eloquently …
So in the spirit of self preservation
He is given to babble on at a mad clip
All about nothing at all
And its not unusual
To find him going on late into the night
Pouring forth a veritable torrent of words
Spraying out an unending
Stream of narrative
With a most erudite and eloquent tone
Though at times he has a propensity
For the pedantic
He generally stays
Solidly grounded in what we
Traditionally think of as realism
And his diction is impeccable
When he's given to enunciating
What he's going on about >>>

Of coarse he has a responsibility
To himself to give real life
To his character
For each word brings us closer
To the end of the book
If Oscar hasn't achieved
A fullness of character
By the end it'll be to late
So development of plot
Is eminent
And dogging around
Sprouting literary pap
Has no purpose
And soon wears thin…
No one is more conscious
Of this than good old
Oscar Hopewell .
Eloquence not with standing
Oscar had to forge out
And create some form of interest
Of adventure or insight
Or at least some interesting
Observations and commentary .
He could go to a hockey game
Get raped in an ally
Or find enlightenment and see God !!!

More probably Oscar's specialness
If you will
Is to be found in his commonality
Maybe there's a little of Oscar
In all of us or is it that
There's a little of all of us in Oscar
Yes that's it then
The real reason Oscar has soul
Is because he truly is part
Of the whole human condition
And he more than anyone
Personifies the separateness
Inherent within the human condition
Oscar is unique in this
And discovering the uniqueness
Of each other somehow
Seems for some inexplicable
To be terribly important
The difference here however
Is that Oscar is completely
While the rest of us are real
And if it weren't for
The little black book
He wouldn't exist
; on the other hand
we are all static and very
much a part of the mundane world
for we of coarse already created
where Oscar is just now
coming into being and for the most part
Could become anyone
And certainly could do anything. ¶