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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 4, December 2014

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Ray Rasmussen
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Muse's Letter

We've been apart two months and she writes: "I miss you—it's so nice to have the photo of you sporting your new beard."

I'm glad that she likes the photo but my beard hairs are like coiled springs—every morning there are dozens popping out in different directions. I look in the mirror, think, Not nice – grubby!

For grubby, my thesaurus suggests: thickly covered with ingrained dirt or soot, dirty, besmeared, shabby, raunchy, seedy, filthy, frowsy, unkempt, smutty.

I might be able to accept "thickly covered" but not with "ingrained dirt or soot." And since I shower regularly, I don't think "dirty," "filthy" or "besmeared" fit.

"Raunchy," "frowsy" and "smutty" are also out. They conjure a person with a dirty mind. Perhaps true, but I'm not into confessing today.

No, mirror gazing takes me more toward "shabby," "seedy" and "unkempt," particularly when I match the face with my bathrobe rife with holes, tears and frayed edges. I'm one of those men who hates shopping and so some rather well worn garments have had to make do when I meander in public places. Were I to walk downtown with cap in hand, I imagine it would be filled with coins at the end of an hour.

brittle—
moss hanging from
an old oak

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