He wrote several poems from the point of view of “archy,” a cockroach character he created, who lived in his office, and would sneak out after hours and hop around on Don’s typewriter to write insightful thoughts.
Because he was limited to hopping (cockroaches are pretty tiny), archy wasn’t able to use any punctuation or capitalization, resulting in a pretty cool stream-of-consciousness style of writing. I hope you enjoy this story from archy!
the lesson of the moth
By Don Marquis and archy
i was talking to a moth the other evening
he was trying to break into an electric light bulb and fry himself on the wires
why do you fellows pull this stunt i asked him because it is the conventional thing for moths or why if that had been an uncovered candle instead of an electric light bulb you would now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense
plenty of it he answered but at times we get tired of using it
we get bored with the routine and crave beauty and excitement
fire is beautiful and we know that if we get too close it will kill us but what does that matter
it is better to be happy for a moment and be burned up with beauty than to live a long time and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up into one little roll and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty for one instant and then cease to exist than to exist forever and never be a part of beauty our attitude toward life is come easy go easy
we are like human beings used to be before they became too civilized to enjoy themselves and before i could argue him out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him myself i would rather have half the happiness and twice the longevity but at the same time i wish there was something i wanted as badly as he wanted to fry himself
How about you, would you rather have half the beauty or twice the longevity?