Afterword on Genetica the First
By Prof.Griar Augurst
I shall now briefly discuss some of the individual poems; the ones I feel that the general public might not understand or appreciate at first glance. The others in this volume that I have not discussed here, I felt would stand on their own and therefore allow the reader to discover their beauty by himself.
Big Fat Fanny
From my understanding, this short and unusual bit came from a single experience which Genetica was told about by a friend of his. Apparently this friend of Genetica's was on holiday in the far reaches of the deep southern swamplands when they encountered a certain older lady living among the brumpleweeds dead in the middle of the swamp. This friend, being quite the gentleman, attempted to engage the older (and quite large) woman in conversation. When suddenly the woman turned around, bent over, and thrust her gargantuan, porcine derriere into the air, and let fly an enormous amount of air from her lardly bottom. The friend, totally frozen in shock at this, stood there quite unable to move. Right then, two neighbors drove by and saw what was going on. They stuck their heads out the window and yelled, "Look, there's Greasy Granny!" They laughed and drove on. The woman then stood up, yelled some obscenities at the two men, and went back into her hovel. After Genetica's friends told him this story, he made it a point to always give the southern swamplands a wide berth.
The Ballad of Buffalo Bill
Or, as it is also known, the potty song. This naughty bit of fun was written one night with several friends while on holiday. It was late, they were all tired, and suddenly Genetica burst out with the first verse, out of nowhere. Everyone cracked up laughing at the surprise, and within a few moments the entire song had been written.
A poem by Flamin' Fred
This was written by Genetica at a very early age. He wondered if in Hell they had songs like they have in Heaven, and wondered if indeed they had songs, what would they be like? So he wrote this, mostly as a joke, and partially as a poke in the ribs to all those silly devil worshippers.
Once when Genetica was in his youth, a companion of his told him he was going to write a book about a madman who believed himself to be Death incarnate. He asked Genetica if he would be interested in writing some poetic prophecies for the character, named Deathspawn, to recite at various points in the novel. Genetica agreed, and came up with several poems and short sayings that Deathspawn would say. Unfortunately the book never got published, and the prophecies were forgotten. They were discovered in Genetica's home several years ago, and this is the first time they have been published. They certainly are unlike a 'typical' Genetica poem, but they are that way on purpose. They are a testament that Genetica was adaptable to virtually any type of poem.
A Poem of the Lowest Caliber
This, the final poem written by Genetica before his death at age 203, is mostly a satire of many of his earlier works. Genetica had many recurring themes throughout his poems. There is the old man, who represents the irony of old age; which is wisdom combined with senility. As one ages, one becomes wiser, yet also becomes more senile.
There's the young girl, who represents innocence, usually alone. She reflects Genetica's belief that innocence is vanishing and the few are still innocent are tormented by the guilty.
And of course, Genetica himself in the poem. He constantly refers to himself as the last one left, or left alone, and so forth. This reflects his lifelong battle with loneliness. He often felt completely alone, even though he was married. However it is believed that his wife was not entirely faithful, which led to tensions between them. (This theory is the most accepted one in relation to his continuing themes of 'Lost Love'. Several times Genetica refers to Love as being a negative thing; a thing that will kill you).
These themes are prevalent through many of Geneticas's poems. Yet, in A Poem of The Lowest Caliber, he spoofs himself by including these themes in their most extreme variation. The moon, which normally is present in his poems as a silent, eternal setinel, always watching with neutrality, is now active. It is somewhere it isn't supposed to, along with everything else in the poem.
The Old Man is no longer wise yet senile, he is completely insane. This may have to do with Genetica's own age, as he was 200 years old at the time, and maybe felt himself now the subject of his own poems written decades ago.
The poem is also a homage to many of Genetica's favorite writers, there are lines which are indirectly taken from L. Carroll and T. Guisel among others.
The Last Sighting Of Willie McGrew
This epic, difficult poem was discovered in a lost notebook of Genetica's in his townhouse. It has defied all attempts at being deciphered. It is Genetica's longest, most involved, and most baffling work. There are familiar themes present in the poem, but the sheer number of oblique references make it incomprehensible. And yet, there is a certain enchantment one gets when reading it. It is a clumsy poem, sometimes even stagnant, but even so it ranks as many people's favorite. Perhaps it is the spacious vocabulary present in the poem, it soars at times, and especially in the last segment, seems almost climactic. The structure of the poem is interesting in that it seems to be someone giving advice to someone else, and we are eavesdropping on their conversation. We have no idea what the speaker is talking about, but presumably the person they are talking to does. It makes you think that with just a bit more information, we might be able to interpret the conversation, and in doing so gain a wealth of knowledge, and perhaps even use the advice being given for ourselves.
The title of the poem is even more confusing in that it seems to have absolutely no bearing on the poem at all. Many have speculated that this is not even the actual title Genetica gave the poem. One viewpoint is that Willie McGrew is the person in the poem who is being spoken to, and if the poem is taken chronologically, after the last segment, when 'Willie' tied the score, it is plausible to say that he disappeared after this, having failed in his attempt to reach Heaven's Door, whatever that may be.
There has been much debate over what exactly is meant by 'Heaven's Door'. Some take this literally, thinking that Genetica was speaking of the fabled Gates of Heaven, which in the Bible are said of being made of pure gold. This seems unlikely, as Genetica was a spiritual person and probably would not spoof Heaven, for fear of upsetting or offending God. More likely he is referring to a Personal Heaven, which he has referred to in several other poems, notably Impending Flashback with the line:
In ...Willie McGrew Heaven's Door is another reference to this perfect place. Perhaps the entire poem is instructions on how to achieve or find this Personal Heaven. Or it could be McGrew speaking, trying to tell a loved one how to achieve a Personal Heaven, and when that loved one failed, McGrew retreated into his Heaven never to emerge again. This is keeping with Genetica's ongoing themes of Lost Love.
Unfortunately, we may never know what Genetica was truly referring to this poem. We do not even know when Genetica wrote it, as he did not date it. It doesn't seem to fit in any recognizable period of his writings, such as the Latrine Period, which produced such poems as The Final Days of Flushing and Listen to the Septic Tank. Nor does it fit into a period such as the Galactic Period when he wrote things like Requiem for Andromeda and the Pleiades Ballads. Many Geneticalogists now believe that it was the final poem he wrote, perhaps on his deathbed.
In any event, Genetica the First remains one of the millennium's foremost poets. And his wide variety of poetry, from epic sonnet to short limerick, to obscene doggerel, all shows the amazing talent of this ordinary man. His work has lasted for nearly a thousand years, may it last another thousand.
About the Authors
The man called Genetica the First was born in the city of Drize more than a thousand years ago. He began writing at an early age, and by the time he died at age 203, had written nearly 4 thick volumes of verse.
Griar Augurst is the Lead Professor of Poetry at Squiddibble University. He is married with 8 children. He has a cat.
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