The Writer's Almanac/2
"It's the birthday of poet Rusty Rickshaw. Abandoned at birth at a hostel in Gofuku, Japan in 1927, he was given the name "Bigeye Whitey Bastardchild" when attending staff were at a loss for what to call him. He later adopted his new monkier when rickshaws were banned in China after the Communist takeover in 1949.
"Famous for writing about everyday events, he was oft criticized for being unimaginative, until he wrote a poem about being criticized for being unimaginative.
"Here's a poem by Rusty Rickshaw for his birthday. A poem from 1959, and what many consider to be his master work:
- "Airport Security"
- Into the airport I wandered,
- Feeling lonely but looking suspicious
- Our eyes met; he beckoned me to the wall
- I felt his hands grasp me roughly
- Fingers riverdancing down my ribcage
- Circling my waist like drivers around a racetrack
- But failing to achieve pole position
- Much to my obvious dismay
- "I've seen you here before?" he said.
- I nodded solemnly.
- "Show me your ticket." he said.
- I shrugged nervously.
- His palms seized my thighs,
- Patting me forcefully but meaningfully,
- In a way that made my feet sweat,
- And my buttocks tingle.
- Our eyes met; there was the slightest pause.
- He looked me up and down.
- "Same time next week?" he asked.
- I nodded.