It’s time to determine what’s “Genius”—I mean, yes,
The talented people, deserving of grants
MacArthurs, of course—they give dollars to scholars
And artists, and authors, and folks who can dance;
Lawyers, musicians, mathematics, dramatics,
Inventors of this or the other device
Each year, I think “hey—sepielling? No telling!”
Each year, I conclude, “well, it would have been nice”

The money they grant is a bonus—the onus
Is, people expect that results are produced!
In truth, there is no obligation—creation
Is side effect only, when talent is loosed.
These grants, to the people who need ‘em, give freedom;
A muse unencumbered—a license to play!
Myself, I could use such a present—how pleasant!
You know some MacArthurs? Please, send them my way.

Yup, it’s that time of year–the MacArthur “Genius Grants” have been awarded. They are legitimate, so I know I will never be awarded one…. but they are so esoteric that every year I think “hey, just maybe…” before my hopes are dashed. The good news is, I can’t recall any MacArthur grant I consider to be less worthy than I am, so that’s cool. The bad news is, I can’t actually recall what I had for breakfast yesterday, so it is entirely possible that there have been dozens of MacArthur grant recipients whose contribution to humanity is actually considerably less than my invention of the Sepielle (I have resigned myself to the reality that all of my other writing–even the stuff where I brilliantly skewer philosophers, physicists, and phundamentalists–will never come within several stones’ throws from the MacArthur people… but, by damn, I did invent the Sepielle, and I think that is every bit as earth-shattering as any other poetry/jazz/dance sort of creative endeavor. (And yes, let’s generously grant that… I realize that still puts me up against thousands of extraordinary talents whom I would gladly defer to; there are geniuses, and geniuses… and somewhere way down the line, there are cuttlefish.)

Anyway, Yet another year of being overlooked by the people whose job it is to overlook those who don’t deserve to be looked over. Hey, none of you got a genius grant either! And hey… if you did, and you read here? Let us know, cos damn, we would be really proud of you! Same link as above, The MacArthur awards have been announced. I love this stuff, every year!

…oh, and if you happen to be on the committee? Seriously, the Sepielle is a brand-new verse form, utterly deserving of boatloads of money to try to convince actual poets (the people who don’t every rhyme stuff any more?) to start using it.

I could really use a grant.


  1. Cuttlefish says

    Kinda realized, this verse sounds a bit like I’m complaining.

    That wasn’t really the point (other than humorously)–the intent is… Go look at the awardees, and celebrate their coolness! This is a Very Good Thing!

  2. says

    The judges’ decisions leave me muddled, befuddled–
    How could they credit such godawful stuff?
    A couple of inscrutable poets, they show it’s
    Just hobbled together words, raving and rough.

    The music man’s output, each earful is fearful,
    His merciless dischords are torture at best,
    The singer’s voice-over? With screeches it teaches
    That Cuttlefish sepielles should beat all the rest.

    OK, so there was one cool and deserving one, in my opinion: Danielle Bassett and her brain research. Maybe someday she’ll come up with answers as to why government leaders become unhinged and plunge all the rest of us into their insane war scenarios. And why people cling to lunatic belief systems and are wlling to kill for them.

    Say, Cuttlefish, would you be willing to accept a privately awarded grant? I can do that.

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