The nightmare of new schools had to cease. One after the other they were coming along, greedily standing behind each other, eager to kick out, not to praise or support, those that stood in front. Allah and Buddha be praised! The end has come. And the end — we are it. We shall automatically absorb all the other sects of art and literature.

Finalism will soothe the ear-drums of Scriabin’s most violent opponents, quiet the victims of Vorticism, delight those with whose digestion curried Post Impressionism and the pickled products of Futurism disagreed. But we shall do more — we afford a cure to every ill under the heavens. Finalism will appeal and satisfy all wearied young women who wish to become literati. It is reducing Irvin Cobb and George Creel, Rudyard Kipling and the Bahai, Colonel Roosevelt and William J. Bryan to a common denominator. It has come! Come it has indeed! We are it! The Finalists triumph. Finalism has arrived. After it the flood!

Hark! Tremendous mine explosions will shortly and most efficaciously destroy the last trenches of all schools of Art, Poetry, Philosophy and Religion that are not in close alliance with us. Death to all who disagree with us! No life shall stand in the way of our love for humanity.

There is something decisive about us. We do not beat about the brush. A brave idea needs no boosting. Finalism! The very sound of it is like a bugle-call, while it also suggests the Fourth Dimension. From now on, and until the end of the great Finale, we, the exponents of Finalism, intend to perpetuate and spread wide, high and low, the fame of the one magic word that is destined to revolutionize the earth. It will end wars, bring down the price of gasoline, potatoes, imported tame cats and other luxuries, preclude all futile discussions as to the length of clothing required by our womenfolk, and, in a general way, define, show, exhibit, lay bare, describe, expose, expound, unfold, comment upon, illuminate, account for, reveal, develop, elucidate, explain, demonstrate, construe, illustrate, translate and interpret the various problems open before our gaping mouths.

We shall desist only when the whole globe has been soaked in Finalism and ceases to rotate. But who are “we”? You may well ask. Everybody who is anybody belongs, willy-nilly, to our schools. Soon, I fear, we shall have to blow up some of the members. There is not enough Finalism about them. Some of them still tolerate rhythm, melody and form. These are grievous offences; combined, they are crimes.

It is perhaps too soon to lay down the law as to what Finalism really is. That we bar from our poetry the words, I, We, He and She, Music, Art, Progress, Mind, Thought and Intelligence is a mere drop in the ocean of our reforms. In due course, we shall discard all accepted words and replace them by suggestive sounds. Finalism, you should understand, is utterly elastic, catholic and plastic.

I can do this much by way of explanation. I can record one of our séances. There are twenty members. It began with one foolish man asking us to limit, confine and narrow ourselves, in short, suggesting that we give out a definition of our intentions and beliefs.

That let loose our cranks. Who cared for their definitions in Finalism? They only proved that they had no idea of Finalism at all. Listen to one fool.

“Finalism aims at expressing the end of all things. Thus, in painting a still life, one would suggest the various possible ends of the fruit it is intended to represent.”

There was too much of a reductio ad absurdum about this definition, and it was rejected by a 3 to 17 vote. Here I should explain that minorities always win in our school. Oh! we are logical. For instance, if a man can succeed in having but one vote in support of his views — of course he wins.

The next definition submitted was: “Finalism consists in burning one’s boats, crossing the Che-Rubicon of Intellectual Freedom, throwing one’s cap over the windmills and helping to settle all human difficulties.”

That was rank verbiage and stank of classicism. It received fifteen votes, and was therefore rejected. The matter of a definition was left open, and I rose to read the following poem, competing for the prize of $999.99. It is a fine piece of work, a song of the year 1940, with suggestions of haunting tunes and melodies that are cut short in a Finalistic way before the public tires of them. In anticipates finality. Two young Finalistic poets patted their clean-shaven pates and walked out when I read the title and crescendo description. No greater compliment could have been paid to me.

“This may please you so much that you will deny me the prize,” I said. “It is an epic, a love epic, a war-love epic, a sea-war-love epic, and, alas, a deep-sea-war-love epic in the end. It is an accumulation of sea and sound waves and a colored transmission of suggestive thoughts. Please to concentrate on a sweet girl, a box of candy and a liner on its way to somewhere in France. It is, I believe, the last breeze, almost a gasp. The title is “Sinker.”

Vzeeh Plumh, Vzeeh Plumh! Waves beating a ship!
Salt laden sea.
One sweet maiden, Kimali and me.
Thousand miles across the sea,
Yet so near
You could close your eyes and see
Us two deers.
Vzeeh Plumh, Vzeeh Plumh!
Z Wind Z .. over Z …… Waves .. Zeeeh
(Red, yellow, blue, green)
And over hollows
Also sweeping the billows
(Ships laden sea.
Men laden ships. .
Food laden men. . .
Love laden two).

“These last four lines are wonderful,” I remarked, echolessly.

There was a pause. A musician coughed, and I feared for my prize. I went on, however, finalistically, with the second verse.

                        Moo — oo, ooh! Ooh! Ooh!
                        Scarlet, bluet, violet, greenet
                        Eyes sunken, passion laden.
                        Most happy them!
Oh, happy, happy, happy them!
Sweet little parrots on the perch.
                        Au nid soit Kimali and me.
Crash! Pash! Tash! Pump!
Blue, blue, blue, Bubble.
U-boat, periscope, sunken-eye, too.
            Far below
      Later decides to come up.
            All too famous,
      Blows Plum once, blows Plum Plum twice.
            Him O. U. D. R.
            Her E. S. D. R.
      One sweet maiden, Kimali
            And me.

I smiled triumphantly. The board room was almost empty. Thus encouraged, I read the third verse.

      Roo-mo, roo-mo, roo-mo.
            And the race for boats
      Purple, yellow, grey, yellow, yellow.
            Stars shining, eyes streaming, hands squeezing
      Y. Ripe. Y. Sacrifice. Y. Love laden
            One sweet maiden Kimali And me
      Green O, Blue O, Purple O, Red O.
            One, two, three
            One, two, three
      Vzeeh Plumh, Vzeeh Plumh!
      Coo-oo, Coo-ooh — Bliss — Miss — Kiss
            Wind sprays
      The Captain bade them goodbye.
      Him belonged to her home town . . .
      Small world — Huge billows ——
            Much he hollers and bellows
      One, two, three, four — Men defy elements:
            Allons, enfants de la Patrie!
            Nearer, my God, to Thee!
            Après des siècles d’esclavage!
      Vzee Plumh, Moo-oo, ooh!
            Eating her candy.
      Reddish, purplish, bluish, greenish,
      Us connect it not with danger
      One sweet maiden, Kimali, and me.

The members of the council were filing in again. Drat their conservatism! “Fourth verse and Finalistic,” I announced, with the accent on stic.

Tra, Taratara, tara — Tara!
Twala! twala balabo!
Far, far away, thousand miles across the sea,
      Yet so near!
Distance laden. Lovely solitude.
      One sweet maiden Kimali
      And me.
But . . . Au nid soie! Onyx . . . oie . . . ! O Niçois!
      Boats gone.
Eho! Ohe! Eho!
Grey, white, grey, black, blank!
      Captain gone,
      Lookout men, drink-laden, Gone. Vzeeh Plumh! Vzee Plumh!
      Periscope gone. . . .
      Eyes sunken! Eho! Eho! Bubble!
      Paper gone —— Turn over.
      Ship gone.
      One sweet maiden Kimali,
      And me.”

“This short poem is fine, but lacks ballast,” the chairman said, “and I caught a melody in verse 1 and a pun or two . . . However, let us vote . . . . . . Those in favor . . . . . . kindly — will — those — fy — up — seats.”

The result was 2 to 18, and the prize was in danger of being deferred. On my asserting the fact that the other voter who, beside myself, approved of my poem, did not know what it was about, and had been made the victim of a practical joke, I succeeded in winning the crown of glory for my finalistic poem. The next one will be a sucker.

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