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Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006 05:59 pm

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

insectpoem #3

some of these bricks are old
crumbly a whole surface slab
flakes off at my brisk trowel
revealing a colony of sow beetles
living out their lowly lives inside
the pock holes and crevasses
they’ve probably till now never
seen light what do they live on
moisture, brick dust? but who
am I to brand their lives miserable
my rotted bricks could be
their penthouses

© Jacqueline Jackson 2006

Sunday September 24 2006 is National Punctuation Day and if it followed the lead of Labor Day which is a holiday from labor then National Punctuation Day would be a day without punctuation imagine how disastrous that might be equivalent to the mass failure of street lights in every book newspaper and love letter everywhere Even e e cummings punctuated his own name Jeff Rubin the founder of National Punctuation Day never envisioned a mass boycott of commas semicolons and ellipses but how breathlessly we would all seek the comfort of a comma after one chaotic day without a period to tell us when to stop Ive taken Rubins suggestions for ways to celebrate the day and depleted them of punctuation marks I think I will personally use the day as a holiday from punctuation It will give me a extra stash of unused commas periods dashes and exclamation marks to use liberally throughout the rest of the year
Carol Manley guest editor

Ways to Celebrate National Punctuation Day

Sleep late take a long shower or bath
Go out for coffee
and a bagel
or two

Read a newspaper and
circle all of the punctuation errors you find
or think you find but aren’t sure
with a red pen take a leisurely stroll
paying close attention
to store signs with incorrectly punctuated
words Stop
in those stores
to correct the owners if
the owners are not
there leave notes

Visit a bookstore and purchase
a copy of Strunk &
Whites The Elements of Style

Look up
all the words
you circled congratulate
yourself on becoming
a better written
communicator Go home Sit down
Write an errorfree letter
to a friend.

Take a nap
It has been a long day

Jeff Rubin is the founder of National Punctuation Day. Go to his Web site www.nationalpunctuationday.com for tips and really cool T-shirts.

Send submissions to Jacqueline Jackson Presents People’s Poetry to poetry@illinoistimes.com or to Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705.