The menu looked good but the service and ingredients were lousy
is it any wonder that people were getting up to leave in droves!
Their expectations were shatterred and diminished by one or two
who feigned knowledge of the main course, offerred little solace.
Instead they indulged and reveled in harsh antagonisms for their own sake
even to the point of evoking reactions that were uncalled for by themselves.
The question on everyone’s lips was: “how could one stay and survive?”
when the road ahead was being plagiarised and mocked by a corrupt academic
who had a way with words but didn’t have the knack to put them in decent verse.
It was quite evident that that person’s appetite did not extend beyond their own nose
and stomach so could not or would not even offer a compliment where one was due.
Cries of “what a ****** and what a pity!” were heard to resound across the table
by those who came and went on a daily and weekly basis in bewilderment thinking
there has got to be something better than this where the subject matter was concerned.
Then there was also the added hostility of being called a “***” by one with a name that sounded like
a woman’s in the middle of a useless argument fathered by the one who only sought self gratification
privately attempting to lure some or all newcomers to the table for a lashing at a place called PFFA.
Perhaps that was the initiation not undergone or ventured that aroused the harsh comments
to flow and continue unabated but we also get the strong impression that there is a need for
genuine inspiration and criticism that is constructive and not the opposite which has been
the case at the table for some time and whenever someone comes along who offers one or both
the onlookers there mumble amongst themselves or in private on how to get a piece of the cake
without much thought for the wellbeing of the newcomer who has been attacked by the aforesaid.
There were also present some very nicely groomed women who showered kind words and offered
encouraging comments with proper etiquette almost to the point of distraction and fellowship but
they also had their hands full trying to mitigate the onslought of the ones who were the aggressors.
At least these were the impressions which appear to have induced all those to want to either leave or stay and continue to savour any or no dessert in the form of moderation and understanding and have their voice heard in a congenial manner by one, some or all who came to dinner at Algonquin’s table.
Good intentions are necessary in thought, word and deed by all those who use writing as a means for
expressing themselves in any forum where ideas flourish and are used to further inquiry and learning.
Private collection, written in October 2012.
Note: This is a satirical piece of writing, a prose poem if I may use the term, about my initial experiences on another website called Algonquin's Table. Although a small website as far as membership goes, it offers a broad spectrum of expression across several fields of creativity such as a poetry forum of course, prose, member art gallery (including photography), film & television discussion and review, poetic co-operation, 'wordworx', workshops, audio and music, etc. Most members are somewhat helpful offering genuine constructive criticism and some are not and it may be noted that there are quite a few who are in their sixties, seventies and beyond with strong views about the written language. Check it out.