For RALPH at 250
Douglas Cruickshank
We, some of us, many of us, the lucky ones, I believe, gobble up words, eat great casseroles of them, omelettes, stews, soups, We sip words, chew them, chomp them. Sometimes spit them out. We fill our days and nights and the time of others with words. We cover the earth with them like the rushing flood of neon paint covering the globe of the Sherwin-Williams sign when I was a child, face pressed to car window, driving through Oakland on the way to...to what? To words, that's what. Coming from a very talky family, words were always the currency, the coins we flipped across the dinner table, across the room. And in so doing we kept falling in love with each other, and ourselves, and our words. And once outside, others fell in love with us and we with them -- because of the words. And sometimes, too, sorry to say, we fell out of love -- because of the words. Now comes this one called RALPH, age 250, a great reservoir, a surging spring bubblingbubblingbubbling, always, of words, clear and cloudy. Delicious -- casseroles, omelettes, stews, soups; sip, chew, chomp. We fill days and nights and the time of others with words. We cover the earth with them...