Friday, June 23, 2006

Newspaper Poetry

Newspaper poetry is the art of saying the most possible in the rigid forms of daily journalism, compared to which haiku is as long-winded as Thomas Hardy. Caught a wonderful example of the genre this morning.

My favorite reading every Friday is the time I spend with the "Distinctive Properties and Estates" advertisements in the Wall Street Journal's Weekend section. There's something soothing about envisioning lavish homes in the world's pleasure spots, even those that are in places I wouldn't live if I had the money. What craze among America's wealthy is sending them marching like lemmings to Charlottesville, Va? I''ve been there. Nice place. But the rich have better options for gracious addresses, many better.

In today's Journal, an ad in the back of the estate ads was newspaper poetry at its best. Some anonymous real estate agent was struck by a moment of genius. That's not snark. Most of us are still waiting for our first one.

Here, more or less verbatim, is the poem


Abandoned Farming/Mining Settlement, Less 2 hrs from Albuquerque, 20 acres-$17,900 (per acre, I assume).

Old Farming and Mining Community. Incredible Setting! Including Frequently Running River.....

That's poetry folks. The tale of the birth, life, and death of an entire town in the old West, all told in the one adverb "frequently."

I'd pack a canteen, potential buyers.


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