Sal Volatile

God wants us all to travel as a family.
That’s why our laptop notebook’s DVD
lets you watch films and see facsimiles
of the scenery we’ve driven out to see
without glancing from the backseat’s cuir bouilli
or in a dictionary. All outdoors,
unedited, depresses or, worse, bores
you children who are force fed on sensation.
I cannot cavil at your whines and snores
because we are the same, our generation.

© ‘Lessons for My Babies’ Alan Reynolds

Note to self: Alan, why don’t you comment on this poem?

  1. because it is boring to title a poem ‘Sal Volatile’ (a solution of ammonium carbonate in alcohol or ammonia water, used in smelling salts). Maybe ‘Sal Mineo’?
  2. because the reference to watching DVDs on a trip is ridiculous, even though Patrick Bedard wrote in CAR & DRIVER about the Lexus GX470, ‘Mom and Dad up front go first-class, cosseted by leather and beautifully finished woodwork, while the kids get optionally DVD’d into back-seat bliss during those tedious interstate hauls to Grandma’s house.’
  3. because no one believes cuir boulli means ANYTHING, even though Bob Hurley not only confirms that it is real – it is hardened leather medieval armour – but also gives a method for making it.
  4. all of the above.

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