The Late Lawrence Lankurski’s Lament
By Ivan O’Uris
(As told to him by the Late Lawrence Lankurski?)
I apologize, dear reader,
For these late lines,
Though my lateness is logical,
For I was late when I lived,
Late for Lincoln Logs and leapfrog as a lad,
Late for lute lessons in Louisiana,
Late for lattes with Lena in Luxembourg,
Late for lasagna, linguine and liver lunches with lumberjacks in Liechtenstein,
Late for tuning into “Loving You” on “The Late, Late Show.”
I didn’t want to be late when I lived,
But it’s a little late for that.
Background Notes: The above poem was written after a string of complex events related to a séance. During the séance – for which Ivan arrived late, coincidentally – the medium told Ivan he would be possessed at 3:45 p.m. July 20, 2003, by Lawrence Lankurski, a recently deceased auto mechanic known for his chronic tardiness and his penchant for clog dancing while working. Lankurski possessed Ivan’s body – at 1:15 p.m. July 22, 2003, when Ivan was covering a speech by then-U.S. President George W. Bush as part of his day job as a foreign correspondent for The Luscian O’Buenkalava, the national newspaper of Luscia, Ivan’s homeland. During the speech, Ivan – filled with Lankurski’s spirit – started clog dancing with a CNN correspondent and screaming, “I HAVE NO LUG NUTS!”
President Bush stopped in the middle of his speech and stared blankly at Ivan, a move that Democratic U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy criticized as “a passive response to an important national issue.” Republicans defended the president by saying he always stares blankly.
A few days later, Lankurski possessed Ivan again and apologized for the incident. Lankurski – who was eager to be a posthumously published poet, having taken up poetry writing during an afterlife fling with Emily Dickinson – offered to make amends by helping Ivan compose a poem. Ivan claims he composed the piece and was merely “inspired” by Lankurski. Lankurski, however, insists that Ivan merely wrote down what Lankurski dictated. Based on the evidence, it’s unclear if this is an Ivan O’Uris original or the work of a ghostwriter. Hence, there is a question mark in the subtitle. What is clear is that Ivan O’Uris scholars Mark Moyer, Erik Pointer and Shawn Roney found the piece in late 2003 under a pile of bills in Ivan’s apartment, all past due.
Background Notes – An Update: Rumors have spread since “The Late Lawrence Lankurski’s Lament” and its background notes were published July 17, 2004, in The Examiner, a Jackson County, Mo., newspaper*. Some Ivan O’Uris fans claim that a tape of Ivan’s clogging performance has circulated online and that it actually held the YouTube record for total views until May 2009, when Susan Boyle came along. Others claim that Ivan has been inspired by Susan Boyle’s success and is hoping to turn his possessed clogging into an act and audition it for “America’s Got Talent,” “The Girls Next Door” or “So You Think You Can Clog While You’re Possessed by the Spirit of a Dead Auto Mechanic/Dancer/Afterlife Poet as One of America’s Worst Presidents Gawks at You.”
In a related rumor, some fans claim that Ivan has become depressed and refuses to leave his cluttered Midwestern apartment because he has failed to channel Lankurski’s spirit again. In a rumor that’s related to the related rumor, Lankurski’s spirit reportedly has had a falling out with Ivan and is instead being channeled into Susan Boyle.
All the rumors are false. What is true is that the above references to Susan Boyle are part of Mutt Media’s shameless attempts to lure Internet surfers to this blog. The folks at Mutt Media are unceasingly committed to riding the coattails of the latest media sensation. This is provided, of course, that the media sensation doesn’t threaten to sue Mutt Media and come after Ivan with 20 lawyers who ride pit bulls to work and want to show him how tough they are by challenging him to scrabestling. Pronounced SCRA-BESS-LING, scrabestling is the hot new illegal underground mixed martial arts sport that combines wrestling and Scrabble.
In closing, the following is a shameless attempt to make this blog appear in as many Google, Bing and Yahoo! searches as possible by shamelessly repeating the following:
Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle, Dave Kleinschmidt**, Susan Boyle.
*A direct link exists to “The Late Lankurski’s Lament,” as it appears on The Examiner’s Web site. However, because of technical problems, it’s recommended that you use the general link to The Examiner’s general Web site (http://examiner.net) and search for the poem in The Examiner’s archives by entering Ivan O’Uris’ name. This recommendation retroactively applies to “Death Visits Suburbia” and “Death Revisits Suburbia,” the poems featured in issue No. 22, which has problematic link.
**It got tiresome copying and pasting Susan Boyle’s name. Dave Kleinschmidt is a professional cocktail frank taster who lives in Ivan’s apartment building. He eagerly permitted his name to be used here because he wants to be more famous than Susan Boyle.
©2004-2009 Mutt Media LLC. All rights reserved.