The Writer's Almanac/4

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"It's the birthday of Duane Pipe, born in Toad Suck, Arkansas, USA in 1932. He's the prolific writer of many instructional guides to Do-It-Yourself plumbing, but yearned to be a poet according to his widow Elaine. By her account, he would never share any of his personal writings, but kept many scraps of paper in a wooden box under his desk, and in his toolkit.

"After his tragic blimp-related death in 1959, she gathered all his papers together and sought the attention of every major publisher in America, only to have them rejected as 'poor, 'amateurish' and 'not even real poetry - did you bother to actually read these before submitting them?'

"Later, she sold most of their worldly goods in an estate sale to finance a self-published book under the title: 'Duane Pipe: Broken But Unbowed'

"Here's a poem by Duane Pipe for his birthday. A poem from 1959, and what many consider to be the least bad of his writings, which were quite bad, and coincidentally the last bit of writing he completed before his untimely demise:

- 1 dozen eggs (check)
- 1 gallon of milk (check)
- 1 pound of butter (check)
- 12 ounces cheddar cheese (check)
- 5 pounds of potatoes (check)
- 2 ribeye steaks (check)
- 120 feet of lead pipe (check)
- sink (check)
- toilet (check)
- bathtub (check)
- plans for installing a sink, toilet and tub into a blimp (check)
- a smaller blowtorch (still looking)
- a parachute (back ordered 7 weeks)