Monday, April 15, 2013

Acknowledgment from an anonymous doctoral dissertation in the University Microforms International database. The Long Awaited Return of the Academic Haiku, The Oft-Maligned and Mocked "Enigmatic Free Verse" That Sometimes References Seasons, the Passing of Time, and/or Alcohol.

Sure, Cal had this graphic
sitting around, and was
determined to use it,
no matter what
kind of mail came in.
If I had a dime
for every time my wife threatened
to divorce me
during the past three years,

I would be wealthy
and not have to
take a postdoctoral position
which will only make me a little less poor
and will keep me away from home
and in the lab even more than graduate school

and all because my committee read this manuscript
and said that the only alternative
to signing the approval to this dissertation
was to give me a job mowing the grass on campus
but the Physical Plant would not hire me
on account of they said I was over-educated
and needed to improve my dexterity skills

like picking my nose
while driving a tractor-mower
over poor defenseless squirrels
that were eating the nuts
they stole from the medical students’ lunches
on Tuesday afternoon
following the Biochemistry quiz
which they all did not pass
and blamed on me

because they said a tutor was supposed to come
with a 30-day money-back guarantee
and I am supposed to thank someone
for all this?!!


  1. Brilliant! I think the creative writing department should hire him (assuming him, on the basis that same-sex marriage is a recent development), at least part time. I hope his committee has/had a sense of humor (and that he has found a way to maintain a life outside the lab).

    1. At some universities, acknowledgements are added after committee approval; at others, not.

      Brown v. Li is one of the more interesting cases, by far: "I would like to offer special Fuck You's to the following degenerates . . . ."

  2. Yo!; good job rocking that Ishmael Reed and then segueing neatly into Walter Dean Myers.

  3. I make it clear from the get-go that my tutoring services DO NOT come with a warranty. Many snowflakes, when faced with this sudden shift of accountability, run screaming away as if they stared into the Magic Mirror Gate from The Neverending Story.

    It sends a healthy message, i.m.h.o.