Of all the traditional filler material any blogger or columnist might be tempted to use for a last post before Halloween, there is probably nothing so hackneyed, so stale, and so overdone as a parody of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven.
So here we go.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious version of the lastest meme
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my monitor screen.
‘Tis some FB message,’ I muttered, `tapping at my monitor screen -
Only this, nothing I haven’t seen.’
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak sales of October,
Authors spamming each other like begging old bums.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought a borrow
From KDP surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the sales doldrums -
For one rare and radiant sale to break the humdrum -
And give excuse to raise a cold one.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each beige bar ‘round the planet
Numbed me – bummed me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I clicked repeating
`Tis some message I probably should not ignore -
Some late message I probably should not ignore; -
This it is, and nothing more,’
Open here I flung the in-box, when, with many a flirt and flop,
In there stepped a stately Indie of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my monitor -
Perched upon a bust of Rowling just above my monitor -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this plucky scribbler beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it took,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no salesman.
Ghastly grim and ancient Indie casting a penetrating look -
Tell me what thy lordly name is behind thy penetrating look!’
Quoth the Indie, `Buy my book!’
The Indie, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
Those three words, as if his soul in those three words he had forsook.
Nothing further then he uttered – not a pencil then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have tried to sell me -
On the morrow they will try again most surely.’
Then the Indie said, `Buy my book!’
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,’ said I, `what it utters is its only playbook,
Caught from some lack-of-sales disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his words one echo took -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy echo took
Of “Buy! Buy my book!”‘
`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if angel or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us – by that promo we both undertook -
Sales are down across all platforms,
Nobody is getting a sniff on Kobo, Kindle, or Nook -
Not even a sniff on Kobo, Kindle, or Nook!’
Quoth the Indie, `Buy my book!’
`Be those words our sign of parting, fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest, you wretched, wretched snook!
Leave no black plume as a token of that plea thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! – don’t you have spam to cook?
Take thy hand from out my pocket, seriously, at least your spam do cook!’
Quoth the Indie, ‘Buy my book!’
And the Indie, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Rowling, both giving me that look;
And their eyes have all the seeming of demons that are preening,
And the monitor light shines on blurbs without a catching hook,
And my soul cries out for a blurb with a catching hook.
And by the way, Buy my book!
As always in closing, another real one-star review of a real book, by a real reader.
Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe