Olsonic Digressions: A Fictional Look into the Fictional Mind of the Fictional Charles Olson*
A Monthly Series by Benjamin J. Shaw, The California Poet

Episode One: On Weed Eating

“I got a new weed eater over the weekend…a Swedish one. Fjordson. Heard of it? Very light…high power, superior torque, and low noise. Perfect. It’s a straight shaft weed eater, so it’s good on my back…and the three-piece crankshaft is built to last. You know how most weed eaters get the trimmer line tied into a knot after awhile? Not this one. It has two lines coming out…the spool is split by a plastic shim. Both sides, the top and bottom, are wound separately of course. Genius. A piece of plastic…this big. Problem solved…the way it should be…and never mind those optional attachments. Think about it: 1) When you’re in the rough…you know, knee deep in it…you can’t exactly see what you’re cutting, and 2) There are many ‘surprise’ obstacles when you’re barreling through the thick of it. In both cases, the attachment tools tend to strike objects (be them rocks or what have you), so they never really last long. Bottom line: The trimmer line is superior because it breaks off when confronted with uncompromising objects…a new bit of line is simply fed out. Now, this brings me to perhaps the most critical aspect of weed eating: The importance of proper safety must never be understated. I only wear heavy-duty canvas pants…sometimes even your ordinary everyday blue jeans or overalls…the kind you can get at the Sears. I only shop there. They got everything. Flannel shirts. Work boots. Gloves. Thick ones. Even long johns. The best part about it is that I don’t even have to leave my domicile…they send me one of those catalogues so I can get all I need delivered right to my very front door…well, almost. I always go to Ned Turner’s hardware store and ice cream pavilion down the road there to get me some of them safety goggles, you know the kind that slips right over your glasses and comes in an assortment of translucent colors (Sears does carry safety goggles, but none of them are as comfortable as the ones from Ned’s shop…they fit perfectly over my glasses. Snug, yet loose. Perfect.). And, I must admit to it, I had to go clear to Yuba City to find the proper weed-eating helmet. That’s right…I said it. I wear a helmet whilst I weed eat.”

~Thus spoke the Olson~

* DISCLAIMER: This in no way whatsoever at any given time or place, including in any and every known as well as unknown dimensions, should be confused with THE Charles Olson…but it must be stressed that this Charles Olson was in fact genetically engineered by who “normal” people call aliens (Olson tends to call them “flying saucer spacemen”)…from a compromised DNA sample that was allegedly taken from the alpha Charles Olson, that weird old guy who hides in the back of the Circulation Department.

* It must also be noted that there was an article in last month’s Post-Modern Librarian Monthly where the argument was introduced as to whether the Charles Olson in question, the one these digressions are in fact both based upon and inspired by, is in any way organic at all. Yes, the author was so bold as to say that the Charles Olson in question is in fact an android (created by flying saucer spacemen, of course).