The Utility of Gnatflies poem by David Mitchell

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I really miss that Biercian encirclement
Of truth, the wrynecked glance over
Half-spectacles from the
Gazebo on some far hill:
Mencken had a dollop of it,
But often mistook rancor for wit;
And of the few still alive only
Carlin is getting just as close,
If one forgives the occasional
Wild party all those ghosts host
In the back rooms of his cerebrum.

But the old man of Owl Creek
Was a paragon of persistence.
No matter how you swatted at him,
He never went far from the point
Or lost that elegance of pushing
The proboscis precisely home:
Living proof that you can
Find more aromatic honey with flies
Than with vinegar .

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