Page 1

Published at the address given by David F. Ash, who has not yet made himself truly the MASTER of

The Bunglesome Press
Toledo, Iowa 52342

Scholarly Note

During my senior year at Cornell College (1922-23), I was fiddling with “The Patchwork Soul,” of which the Husk for March, 1922, carried the first printed version. About 1928 the present version was prepared for the first Little Book of Cornell College Verse, edited (nominally) by “Toppy” Tull and myself. – D. F. A.

The Patchwork Soul


MINE is a Patchwork Soul, composed of many things:
Biology and books and grey dim castles by a misty sea;
Dreams of things that are sweet because they are past;
Things too that are sweet because they can never be;
Dreams, all dreams – “a parcel of vain strivings”;
The bitter memory and fantastic hopeless hopes;
The faces of schoolgirl friends who have long ago wed and forgotten;
Climes I have seen and climes I shall never see;
Tropic days and tropic sunsets, tropic moons;
Books in red leather binding and deep rich browns in the light of a wine-warm fire;
The bust of chill Minerva ghastly in a shadow;

Page 2 and 3


Warm Caribbean’s purple wine milk-mottled with cream traceries of foam;
Massy boulders of lava spongy but heavy and worn but unmoved by the pounding fury of the tide;
Gaunt dull-green cacti straining like vines up fissured grey-brown lava-cliffs;
A sudden turn in a macadam road and a valley-vista of mile upon mile of leaping jungle;
Vivid flies asleep in a dense clump of cool fern over-arched by lithe rods of slim bamboo in a thin green mist at the joints;
Tall green trees drooping purple flowers and cascades of tangled vine down to the lilypads of rushing yellow rivers;
The blood red gash of an old quarry in the leonine line of a noble hill sharp against white clouds mound upon mound in a gem-blue sky;
Parakeets a-chatter in the rich red-green of an orchid-laden mango grove threaded by leaf-cutting ants on beaten trails;
A ghost-white road straight in the white gush of an ivory moon through curving palms to an olive-black sky-line;


High-crested iguanas adoze by a crumbling tower near the festering green of a swamp without bottom;
Masses and strings of jelly, spawn of the frog and toad;
Starfish and seaweed and coral and clattering crabs;
Crawfish and lizards and octopi and snakes;
Alone the hum of hidden bees in dim cool jungle silences;

Page 4 and 5


Gold-embroider’d purple curtains, hanging low in heavy folds;
Cocaine and the dull throbbing of Chinese gongs;
The dull-spicy and opiate smoke of red tobacco, slow-rolling in contorted grey spirals through a blue haze;
Opium and spices and incense, sweet smokes of all kinds, wreathing and writhing and boiling from censers and basins;
Bitter fumes of Indian hemp and the crystal-green poison of wormwood seeping through a riddled brain;
Jules Verne and thin pinnacles of a fantastic city on Mars and dim shapes on Ultima Thule;
Shuddering silence broken suddenly by the sharp whisper of a dead name given back in indistinct murmur from chill dews on mouldering walls;
Low music purple and black in deep reverie upon the opium-dream of Poe;


Myself alone as was Gordon Pym on a rotten deck in unknown southern seas;
The gasping whisper of a walled-in man – “For the love of God, Montresor!
Mourn without end for the death of her whose name was Annabel Lee;
Books of poison, myrrh and honey, bitter-sweet with high romance;
“From too much love of living,” Oscar Wilde and Limehouse Nights;
Masters and Lindsay and Sandburg, Omar Khayyam and Nietzsche;
Love of death and hope of blackness, death of love and the end of life;
Ruskin and the scented curves of the stones of Venice;
Gothic windows, heavy black-faced type;
Fairy tales and books of sorcery;
Wilde and Swinburne and Poe:
These are my Patchwork Soul!

Page 6 and 7


The sun has dropped untidily
into a sea of purple and gold
splashing the black sky
most untidily
with gold.

Page 8


THE BODY TYPE of this number is 12 point Monotype Van Dijck (from Mackenzie & Harris); the 14 point headings are foundry-nicked Goudy bold caps.

The first page 24 point title is Caslon old style (from A. T. F.); and the 12-point date line is a modified Caslon (from Kelsey).

Decorative details are from a Kansas foundry. The “little printer” (also to be seen in the great A. T. F. 1923 catalogue) was one of Charles Broad’s “antique” revivals; but our helpful friend Bernard Schumacher (who deserves citations and medals) has several sizes in his wonderful Cut Bank.

D. F. A.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *