Three Legs Up, Cold as Stone;
Six Legs Down Blood and Bone
By Jerred M. Metz
Saint Louis, Missouri: Singing Bone Press, 1977. Edition of 101.
6.5 x 9; 28 pages (20 pages, 4 leaves of plates). Pamphlet sewn binding in paper wraps with folded flaps. Drawings by Phil Sultz. Printed by Tom Lang. Signed by Sultz, Metz, and Lang on the title page.
Jerred Metz:: "These riddles were inspired by An Annotated Collection of Mongolian Riddles by Archer Taylor, American Philological Association, 1954 and a chapter on riddles in Homo Ludens or “Man the Player” (alternatively, “Playing Man”) by Dutch historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga, 1938. I wrote one riddle a day for thirty days.
"In 1977 Singing Bone Press published twelve of these poems (several with corresponding visual riddles by Phil Sultz) in an edition of 101 copies. Among other reasons that I like riddles is that I enjoy letting the reader experience the shift from 'perplexity' to 'knowing,' an inherent part of the riddle and a feature that is sometimes a part of poetry – 'figuring it out.' The reader naturally has to think about what the hints add up to. Not hidden meaning, but a form in which meaning means a lot. They call for and reward cogitation.
"You can see how different your response would be to these riddles if, instead of letting you come to the answer by your wits, I gave you the answer as the poem’s title.
"To discover the answer to each riddle, go backward in the alphabet to the next letter for each letter given."