Harry might have submitted this one to FLYING magazine, which still publishes.
On Zero Defects
|Harry, smiling through the '60s|
The question that I often hear,
Is Zero Defects’ meaning clear,
Or is it just a name?
Can this apply to us? I said,
Or should we pass it by?
Is this alive or is it dead?
I wonder – so said I.
I pondered it, by day and night,
And in the end I thought, they’re right.
This is the thing to do!
|Harry and Jeanette, 1962|
This thought occurred – in rhyme,
Not him, or her, or you, or me,
We’re not right all the time.
We make mistakes, we’re sometimes wrong.
We’re human, but, good grief,
This poor excuse won’t last for long,
Let’s turn a brand new leaf.
And leave us all get on the ball,
Let’s shift our gears to high.
And let’s support it, one and all,
Let’s do it right – let’s try.
|Harry in flight|
The Brink of Space
Let sailors spin their wondrous tales,
Of ships and storms and shining seas,
Of winds from hurricanes and gales,
Of waves as high as redwood trees;
Let sailors spin their wondrous tales.
But when an airman’s contrails track the sky,
And leave his crinkled lines on God’s own face,
The magic stirs men’s minds and hearts – they sigh;
For mankind trembles on the brink of space.
Aye, mankind trembles on the brink of space.
I had to look up "contrails," did you?
Harry sent this Letter to the Editor to New York Daily News on September 20, 1968, the day they published an article titled "Wall Street Tickers Flip Over Sweater Girl Figure." Did you know -- "sweater girl" was a term made popular in 1940s and '50s Hollywood for shapely women wearing tight sweaters; it became synonymous with "pin-up girl" during WWII.
The attached story published in your newspaper has excited my imagination to the point where the only appropriate response could be the following poem:
|Harry's copy of the original Daily News article|
Now this has been the subject of
Much idle conversation,
And it could fill a lot of books,
That's no exaggeration.
So if what I'm about to say
Sounds somewhat idiotic,
It's because those lovely sweaters
Make me mentally neurotic!
For everywhere I look, it seems,
I see a lovely vision,
No wonder all the scientists
|More 1960s photos|
I sign in every morning,
All prepared to do my share,
Then for eight exciting hours
All I do is sit and stare!
Though I make an honest effort
To perform a job that's right,
As long as I have sight.
I spend a whole day scheming,
Ah, fantastic plots and schemes,
Then at night I wake up screaming,
For I see them in my dreams!
Once I thought I was impartial,
I could look but never touch!
But really, now, I must admit
That this is much too much.
I used to be quite sane, you see,
But now I'm on the brink,
Indeed I'll go quite mad if
I allow myself to think.
I used to be quite virtuous,
|The rejection letter|
These things arouse in me a
Certain predatory urge!
Every time I see them,
they contribute to my rage,
They're so easily encountered,
But not easy to engage!
After reading through this poem,
I am sure you will agree,
There is nothing worse than sweaters,
For creating misery!
I didn't find the original NY Daily News article online, but this article gives a brief explanation of the young woman's short-lived fame: The Bizarre Story of the Wall Street Sweater Girl. And here's the complete story of Francine Gottfried on Wikipedia.
Stay tuned for more poetry next week.