Search This Blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Handi-Path

Everything was quiet at Hanaan's Diner. Suddenly a curse rang out, followed by a knife thrown across the kitchen, scuttling into a far corner.
I looked up from my paper.
"Damn wiring!" we heard her say, using "wiring" as a pejorative vulgarism. She said it with witchcraft and death by a thousand cuts.

I stood up to go help her, first checking to see whether any other kitchen implements were being thrown, then saying "Hanaan...? I'm gonna give ya a hand...Hanaan?"
Hank Jacobowski put a side of beef he refers to as a hand upon my shoulder, and gently - with the force of about 10 G's - guided me back down into my chair.
"I'll get it." he said.
"I can do it." I said.

There were furtive smiles appearing around the table of TYBALTs - "The Young Bucks At Lunch Together"......our group...formed in opposition to the ROMEOs - "Retired Old Men Eating Out". I distinctly heard snickering.

Hank smiled. "I'll get it." and headed for the kitchen.
"But..." I said.
He turned. "Montie, yer not a handy man..." He was quiet in thought. "You're the guy they send for to...whisper to the're the guy that the fix-it police..."
I clearly sensed he was warming to his subject.
"...police send for to sort a channel the Do-It-Yerself spirits ..."
I looked around for support, but everyone was too busy guffawing.

"Montie, yer the...Handi-Path...!" he said, and laughed.

Then Levine says "Handi-o-pathic ... you're the herbal fix-it guy, Montag!"

I was a bit relieved. I had thought they were using "sociopath" or "psychopath" as their inspiration: a who fixes, and whose repair contains within it the seeds of its own destruction. Then they laughed fit to kill. It was not that funny.


Buying Gold

People are buying gold, and there are way too many speculative reasons for it.
Some people see it as the one thing of value that will endure after everything falls apart.
Well, as I said to my niece's husband at Thanksgiving, that is a fairy story; if and when everything falls apart, you won't need gold: you'll need guns, ammo, and gas.
If you need food, you'll use your guns to pay for it, not your gold.
I said it would be Mad Max in Beyond Thunderdome, not The Coming Economic Collapse.


What most people don't realize is that Utopia is filled with responsibilities and duties, more so than non-Utopian reality. For example, you cannot escape the duty of a child, even though money may have been abolished and child-support payments no longer exist. If money has gone, then the parental presence would probably be the needed substitute. And the more "utopian" things are, the more work and duties. It is more Amish than "sweet do nothing": lots of chores, crops to grow, kids to raise, and life's emergencies to get through unscathed.
Otherwise, the Utopia would be a fantasy nightmare of virtual reality. Such Rooms of Virtual Reality already exist, and what is there is untutored narcissism and the greedy covetousness of primitive life newly spit from Archaeozoic volcanoes: beauty is only as deep as the nerve endings, and spirituality is the numbness of desire over-stimulated and over-satiated.
When is the last time you saw a group of teen-age vampires at a barn-raising?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Green Grocer's

I first met tatty_tiara at her place, where she just ended a harangue about dating by saying that when one kisses frogs, be sure that one wears protection.
(I read an awful lot, and I read everything.)
A small world, indeed, for not 2 hours before this, I had been buying Nino's...a green grocer's!

Well, I see you need a bit more to see the real connexion.
I was in the express lane, having only four or so items. One of my purchases was a bunch of fresh cilantro. The check-out girl was very fresh, young, and actually seemed to be enjoying her day. Her spirit was infectious, so I decided to play it nice, instead of nasty, brutish, and short.
She blinded me with green grocery science. She picked up the bag of cilantro with a motion I can only describe as that of Botticelli's Venus covering herself from the north wind. She placed it on the scale with a retrograde motion from head downwards, again, Botticelli. All Botticelli from here on.

She opened her mouth and said "Italian parsley?" I, of course, smiled and nodded, thinking Si. Si, bella ragazza! Then the continuity girl caught the error, gave me a swift kick in the pants, and hastily whispered No. It's supposed to be cilantro. I coughed. "Er, no. Ummm. It had better not be. It is...or it's supposed to be cilantro."
"Oh," she demurely said. "I never know how to tell them apart."
I glanced at the broad, flat leaf cilantro. It did resemble the Italian parsley, bless its chlorophyll. I tried to think of some sort of quip about how many Mexicans would be disappointed were I to show up with Italian parsley instead of cilantro, but it didn't quite come together: I had a distinct image of myself as H.W.F.Fowler standing in quad making derogatory remarks about errors in English syntax peculiar to speakers of Spanish...and I knew this particular goddess was - if anyone was - very, very liberal.
So, feeling a bit of a panic - I had been mute for a few clicks beyond what is socially acceptable - I reached out and grabbed the bag from the scale, lifted it up, and thrust my nose into it, as I imagined a milkman's horse digging into the old nose-bag at the end of a long day must do...and sniffed. "Ah," I said. "Cilantro."
I handed it back to her.
She smiled, and said that that was o.k. for me, but she couldn't put her nose into peoples' groceries to tell cilantro from Italian parsley. All very smiley...sort of reminded me of Athena's white-washed picket fence of healthy teeth. The Iliad. Very classic type of day.

I laughed and said she was right; her supervisors would hear about that right quick!
More laughter. Smiles. I mean, exactly how did I go about buying groceries for the past eons? This certainly had that all beat ten ways to Sunday!

Well, like all good things, it came to and end, and the shark-like credit card reared its ugly fin. I chose paper, not plastic...I'm sure she was ecologically minded. I signed my name with a bold, sweeping hand. We bid each other adieu, adieu, until the pantry inventory ran dry and the rocks melt wi' the sun...or something to that effect.

But, you know something? When people are that beautiful in our eyes, when they make your heart do that ticker-tape thing...... We don't really care where they stick their noses.


Pantomime Universe

We either ignore God, or we fawn over Him like disgusting sychophants.
Our World is a pantomime World, our Universe is a Pantomime Universe.
I know. I am often the hind man in the Pantomime Universe costume.

Cafe Colores

pix: polycarpio

Two Fat Men On A Small Boat

Expecting God, rather than believing in Him, is like what Hafez writes of when he says that his relationship with the deity is similar to that of two fat men on a small boat: they keep bumping into each other.

Once you realize that you cannot speak to God, you will become eloquent.
Once you realize you cannot see God, you will become sharp sighted.
Once you see that you cannot run and keep up with God, you will become fleet footed.

Let go of  your longing, and you will become the birth of desire, the subject and object of desire, and the fulfillment of desire:  Genesis, the Prophets speaking to God, the Coming of the Messiah.
From the coming of the Messiah, we may cycle again,  or we may rest on the Ararat of perfect satisfaction.
From Nirvana, we may cycle into an infinity of lives, or we may be in Rest.
Birth, Growth, A Life, and Fulfillment.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

On A Bet: The Tale Of Gingko

We sit around the Algonquin Round Table of our hamlet, and we do Truth or Dare for money to while away the hours of late autumn, preparing for the absolute doldrums of the winter. Vito demonstrated various "pig latins" of his native land: anima amoris = asa nisi masa, asa moso risi... and that gets old in a hurry, even among those interested in languages.
So it was bet that I could not tell a story of the tree that stood outside my home. ...

"It was a gingko tree that had shed its leaves, and it looked pretty forlorn - like all the other homeless trees we have given refuge to...
I looked around the table. Their eyes - still puffy from the holiday - were beginning to focus on me...
They come in droves. Nomads, actually, from the north; some on their annual migration, some fleeing the scourge of the emerald Ash Borers. Some are educated, some are hunters and gatherers, some are those that grow things. They all have something to offer.
Walls have been erected to forbid this immigration, but they uproot the wall and push it over, or they bore beneath it, or cast seedling to the wind - which sweep along with impudent laughter as they brush the ears of the befuddled officers of the " Law and Wal " - as it says on their uniforms and badges with the absolute authority of a government that dares you to criticize its spelling, a government of absolute anagram authoritarianism!

Anyhow, the gingko; its name wasn't originally "gingko": that was a nickname given by his future father-in-law, the sire of the sweet gum tree he was engaged to. It was a toss up between "Gingko" and "Gizmo" and "Gim-gammy" for a long time. Over time, the name "Gingko" won out over the others.
The migration of trees surprised him. He was one of the trees at our condo community, standing outside my living room window. He was quite solitary, the next nearest tree specimen being 30 feet away across a no-man's land of strictly trimmed lawn and bushes under Army Code of Law, so strictly cut and shaped since seedlinghood, that they cowered in their time-out corner along the brick walls of the gitmo guard towers that were our front porches..." (to be continued)


Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday November 27 2009

I am getting things back together. Not too much has been lost. My 'Mech' has written me an offer, appended to a post from 1/14/2009, a post called "Palestinian Public Service Messages" which shows a trio of bereaved Palestinian fathers and uncles crying for the dead: "Could not find a suitable section so I written here, how to become a moderator for your forum, that need for this?" Imagine that. How thoughtful can a Mech get? (ps. a 'mech' is any type of mechanical or cybernetic device...a robot, android etc.) I am going to ask him for his resume and references.

Friday After

When I go to dinner at my parents, the next day is "the Day After".
Leading up to the dinner, there were numerous chuckles and references to "burning butter" and "pots boiling over" and "pressure cookers exploding" - even though the pressure cooker has intelligently been banned.

So, the butter was burned badly, but it was discovered before the fats ignited, so that is a feather in our caps. It stank, of course, and our clothes are imbued with its odor, but small price to pay. The people from the fire alarm company called a couple of times, and I wished them a "Merry" Thanksgiving; no one knew how to properly disarm the alarm, and it continued to intermittently do series of short blasts for about 20 minutes, and, come to think of it, we were doing a pretty good imitation of a ship of fools at anchor in a fog as thick as pea soup.

A couple of other pots - the gravy, the potatoes - were set and poised to burn or boil over, but by now we were vigilant, and my mother began a long discourse wondering how such events could have occured.
My father couldn't figure out what was going on. I told him we had to air out the house, so we would open the back door in the kitchen, which had a screen door, and the front door, which had no would he please make sure that his cat was in a bedroom with the door firmly closed; my parents are quite concerned with their overweight cat scampering out the door. Very concerned. Very. I shall not go into detail.
Very solicitous they are.
So, he says the cat is fine, where's the fire? So I say, the fire's out, there was no ignition...howzat?...there was no ignition of the butter...howzat?...IT DID NOT START ON FIRE- almost, but it didn't. So, doors open...bow (pointing to the front) and stern (pointing to the back). I did this since everyone was Navy.
So make sure the cat's secured,mate!
The damn cat's alright! How do ya turn that damn thing off? ( at this point, the alarm was cycling through its tale of woe and alarum.)
Long story short, within 20 minutes he discovers the door to the bedroom open and his cursory inspection reveals no cat.
Who opened this door?
No response was forthcoming, except from my niece's daughters, who brightly denied having done so, then turned at me and gave me one of those blah! blah! so there, mr. smarty pants! looks, and waved their little fingers around, as if I were the culprit. I shook a fist at them, and they ran away laughing. Bloody gene pool!
Where's the cat? I heard. Who opened this door?
I whispered that I had told you to close it; I did not want to be heard, but I did want to let the words out, for they began to choke me like oil on a choppy sea......whereon I am swimming from a shipwreck ( naufragium!) and trying to save myself, and not having much luck, and gulping down sea water and oil from the ruptured fuel tanks,  and waiting for the Titanic - on her wonderful maiden voyage - to swing into view to rescue me! Ah, peace and contentment at last!

My mother regalled us with 5 or 6 years of stories of how she puts pots on the stove, immediately sets the burner of high "to warm things up" as she angelically puts it, then proceeds to answer the phone, or go down stairs, or start reading her favorite book, and before you know it, Backdraft!
I think...I strongly suspect that this is a sign of her insanity: she has always steered clear of friends and relatives that show any signs of being hazy or indications of dementia, rathering treating them like wounded pack dogs who will slow things down for the rest of the pack, and so have to be put out of their misery. So she long ago adopted the strategy of doing odd things in an obsessional way - even though she was demonstrably compos mentis - in order that when the time really came, she could always claim she had been doing it that way all along. She is a master mind of analysis; ask her.
None of the rest of us were remotely interested, and we edited this op-ed of  lack of interest with the punctuation of bored and loud yawns, but she read it all as huzzah! and encore!
My father became visibly upset when she told him she was giving us some left-over turkey, and not to worry, for she had all she needed for his soup, for it was the soup he truely loved, not the festal board where we peck at the bird itself - a festal board oft ruined by the gowking e'en of kin eating like kine!  ( yes, that's e'en for eyes. you had to be there. and kine is cows or of those breeds which do not split the udder or the hoof or whatever it is they split or cleave or separate.) I fully felt he would go out front and begin going through the cooler, with which we had transported our share of the feast from home, and now was meagerly filled with turkey shreds. It began to feel like the holidays at Cold Comfort Farm.
I had picked up my brother - he has no drivers' licence - and now he and my wife gave visible and audible rumblings of mutinous discontent.
I cheerfully said it was time to go, and we pushed our way into the elements.
On the way back, my brother went "Oh, jeez!..." everytime we passed a convenience store,and muttered something about cigarettes and not having any money...
But he said nothing about good samaritans, so I did not offer. I don't think the Good Samaritan bought a smoke for that guy down on his luck. (Although we did joke about the ancient Assyrians: Hey Nebby Chadnezzzer...ya'll got an extra one o' them ziggurats!)
He had not taken a drink all night, nor did he smell of booze when I had picked him up. Now being out of money may explain not being soused when your ride comes to the door, but it doesn't explain why no free noggins o' rum were hoisted at the dinner.

It's a bit too early for an instant-replay decision on a miracle...but I've been being a good boy, with a selfish interest in getting something good for myself. If his sobriety is how it works out, I suppose I can work up a good deal of enthusiasm...eventually.
As the old hymn goes: " God makes it a really, really big deal / His ways of mystery to conceal...",
or something along those lines.

Almost One Year On

November 29, 2008, my nephew Aloysius wrote here:

"My uncle tells us that human beings are not defined by their rationality, rather we are defined by our passions.
We come into life, we live life, and we exit life in a passion and rage of life; the Passion of Christ reflects our lives of passion, the Jihad of the Prophet is a mirror of our battles, the passage to Nirvana of the Lord Buddha follows our weary footsteps from dukha and despond to enlightenment.

The suffering of 1 man or 1 woman or 1 child is reason enough for God's entire creation to be outraged.
... an economy which cycles between surfeit and starvation cannot be good in God's eyes.
The "faith" in the autistic infallibility of self- interest working in free markets is a faith built on sand...

So he tells us today.
I record what he said. I am Aloysius, and the name may be derived from 'loyalty'. "

Smart cookie, that Aloysius.

In all our talk of Jihad, we never see a link with Christ's Passion: the original with blood and death, the extended metaphor of struggle against sin and immorality and the way to personal salvation.
I think it is because the public forum in the World is not interested in understanding nor spirituality, for it is Thunderdome !!!

Listen on! Listen on!
This is the truth of it:
Fighting leads to killing,
and killing gets to warring.
And that was damn near
the death of us all.

Now when men get to fighting,
it happens here.
And it finishes here.
Two men enter, one man leaves.

And right now,
I've got two men.
Two men with a gut full of fear.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. . .
. . .dying time's here!

Edwin Hodgeman:  Dr. Dealgood

Thursday, November 26, 2009

[ ] [ ] {&} {*} rif [ ][ ]


I leave this as a memorial to Mechs.

Problems 11/26/2009

Seems that all that talk about "mechs" was a bit more important than I thought.  I'm having a few problems, but have backed things up pretty regularly - so - back to the oven....

Happy T-day

I have been thinking about writing, so here at 3:36 AM Eastern Standard Time (I'm an early riser...) on Thanksgiving Day, 2009, I woke up thinking about it.

 Words ignite me, like Burning Man.
The words enflame me o'er and o'er.....
(This is not an excerpt from a poem. I guess it is an illustration, for I wrote it as a statement of fact, using the words "...over and over" at the end, but by the time I edited the spelling and whatnot, it was clear that this would in some future time become:  words ignite, like Burning Man / and will enflame me o'er and o'er... )

If an image is not a product of an artistic spirit, it becomes cold and stiff quickly, and soon bores me. But even the photographs of art - like Ansel Adams, or the many artists I have used here - in my opinion tend to slip back into their basic two-dimensional straight-waistcoat over time, and they become inert, cold.
(Films escape the two-dimensional strictures of the image. Film is one of the greatest art achievements of history.)

Words are protean, and can twist and turn and take on a thousand faces.
Words of love and passion that have grown cold may be rekindled by a huskiness in the throat, an extra-linguistic growl to be love's new punctuation, a tongue to be a new orthography, or a complete temporary slipping of the bonds of language as we howl at lunar pleasure.
Words of persuasion may soothe us a thousand ways, like the perfect massage of millions of pressure points.
Words may anger us...
They can do anything, because they are the essential way we mix our essences with other beautiful beings into a subtle perfume of community. Communication is a more recent and neutral way of referring to what our ancestors called plain and simply "intercourse", a Janus-faced word we insist must take on one meaning, not two - for pity's sake! But the two faces of that word show my point: words are intimate to us, and we use them to penetrate the consciousness of those we believe to be apart from us, and wish them to be closer : we wish with them to be mutually dissolvent!
(Of course, there is the other possibility, where we have oil & water, where we split apart and desperately centrifuge our essences  to remain apart and discrete, integral...words can do that, too, and will fly as a singular flock around the singular watering hole of the singular compass point of our ego - pretending at a pseudo-migration.)

Whew! OK. There. See how peppery words are? A bit of the old ginger.
I always imagined Uhura of Star Trek tripping out with her ear plugged into her Universal Translator - which to my mind was an audio love-in.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I came in and saw many comments had accumulated. I thank you for them all - I think - and will search them out after the Thanksgiving holiday, and respond, for I am in the midst of food prep: baking pies, cooking relishes ( which my parents won't touch, prefering the roll of cranberry jelly from the can ).

I saw a friend today I had not seen in a while. I don't know whether he had to leave town to get a job, or what: he lives right across the street from me, and has become the man who disappeared recently.
For the first time in my life, I said easily : "God bless thee, John",  and it felt just right, for to have said "Hey! How's it going?" would seem crass...I felt that I might as well ignore him as to do the usual small talk.
He smiled and nodded.

So God bless you all...

I sneaked back in to answer them anyway.
If the pressure cooker explodes, I know whom to blame.
Thank you all.

e-mails after a long absence

when did you get home?
and did the ocean roar?

did you see your pals again
at the Georgian shore?

did you look into a store,
did you hold your child high?

and why was he a kid again,
and why was I a sigh?

i have already been there...
i shall not go again.
go and find your future
and sometimes i will send
an email of the christmas,
easter email too,
and picnics, woods, and running
for we will ne'er be true...

A Hymn

When lilies of the field are pressed between the good book's pages, in sweet Lord Jesus' raiment dressed, their seeds endure for ages!
God's seed endures forever, blown on the wind of grace; it will always bloom again and grow to His embrace.

The wheat upon the open plain, stretch forth their heads to pray; costume themselves in diamond rain, and their winnow fan array.  
God's seed endures forever, blown on the wind of grace; it will always bloom again and grow to His embrace. 

Currents of the His saving waters, sweep in the ebb and flow; they bring a saving grace to me, and to the flowers to grow.  
God's seed endures forever, blown on the wind of grace; it will always bloom again and grow to His embrace.

See me at the harvest,
see me at the bee;
lay me up in in bundled straw
yearning to be free!
And when the harvest's over,
and no more stalks to scythe,
buy some time with lemonade,
and we shall be alive!

------ This was written in tribute to Fanny Crosby.
Her hymns are much better than this crude attempt, but she was a better religious person than me, too. The form is odd; at the end it jumps into a new meter...everything. I thought it a fault, but it is a metaphor for the time when everything will change. At the end "buy some time with lemonade..." may seem incongruous, to you as well to me, but it just was a picture of those who had passed were sheaves of wheat, cut down and laid up, in a barn or in the fields, where they wait - in barns where the late afternoon sun experiments with cracks and breaks in the carbolineum wall boards, and lights the dusty interior -

and the harvesters take a lemonade break...
and by the time they wipe their lips dry, we shall have been re-born.
Obviously, I require a songwriter to go with these lyrics.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Book

It's time to start the book.
I have finished - I hope - with paperwork on my brother's disability claim. I have a few more minor things out of the ordinary to attend to, but now I shall work on the book.

It was supposed to be a novel about my days as chief roadie for The Lady Tour - which was appearances of the Virgin Mary, quite literally...believe it or not...but it has been changed, and it will be auto-bio I guess you'd call it. Working title" My So-Called Religious Life.

When I was young, religious life was left to the people in religious orders proper. Religiosity did not go scattering around like confetti at a wedding, landing in the hair of the unworthy, or the not-quite-so-deserving , or into the pockets of unbelievers, even!

I have a general outline, but I have a feeling it is going to surprise me.

If I seem inattentive or off gathering wool somewhere or comatose, I am probably working on that item.


...and Thanksgiving!

Christmas approaches, and we have to decide whether we shall duck out this year, and hide somewhere else: Florida, Trinidad, Chicago,... There is an endless list of possibilities.
Thanksgiving will be the time to test everything; if we make it through T-day without tears, fights, recriminations, or food burning on the stove or in the oven, maybe we'll stay.

I guess my most poignant Christmas - and I know I've written about this, so feel free to speed ahead to the Next Blog=> button - was the year my daughter had gotten so sick, and we had to take her to Denver to the foremost respiratory hospital in the world - National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado.
We were scheduled to be there about December 17th, during Hanukah, and return home on December 24th, Christmas Eve. We had to put up the tree and ornaments early; set out the presents, and get some supplies that would last a week, so we would have food when we got home late Christmas Eve - back then I think more stores stayed closed on holidays and Sundays and such.

So we had everything looking as if it were on a Christmas Card from the 1890's: joyful and bright, but arrested in time; nothing would change for 7 days, the tree lights would not turn on, nobody would see it, no one would open presents, no one would sing carols, no one would walk in from the cold and breath a sigh of relief at being handed a hot cup of Earl Grey. It was timeless.
Our flight was early, so we left the house at 3:30 in the morning on the day of departure. Everything was in total darkness, and the tree was a vague black outline when I turned to close the door and took one last look.

I've never enjoyed flying. I am very nervous about the whole thing.
It was cold that day in December, so the plane would be de-iced. I had never been on a de-iced plane before, so I pushed aside my toughts of various dooms, and awaited our arrival at the de-icing station.
It turns out the de-icer is some sort of glucose: sugar, and they spray the plane, and the taffy melts down over the windows, totally obscuring the view. Being ever the optimist, I thought how great it was to be mummified within a cocoon of sugar.

It was a good flight. It was a crisp, clear cold day, not yet winter, the solstice being four or five days off.
I wasn't in a good frame of mind, and flying made me nervous. As I looked out the windows, now clear of de-icer, I thought that in a world of crappy alternatives, the fate of dying together as a family, when the bloody plane crashed in South Dakota or Nebraska, was not a bad way to end it all.
Believe it or not, this thought did cheer me up considerably. I no longer felt the fear of flying. Whatever the outcomes were, I had embraced them all, so I was feeling chipper once again.
I could see everything clearly by the time we were nearing the Mississippi: ice reflecting off various lakes and bodies of water that I thought - silently and like a gleeful child - "Wow! I wonder if that's the Father of Waters? No! Maybe that is!" and so on. Of course, I did it silently. No need to scandalize the people around me with an unseemly display of thrilldom!
I talked to my daughter about the terrain over which we were flying; I smiled and chatted with my wife; I engaged the fellow I was sitting next to in conversation, and never once was I pinched by that tinge of regret one gets when one plunges into premature conversation, then scampers around looking for an exit.
The plane landed all in one piece at Denver International. It has an unusual tent-like appearance with a white roof punctuated as if with tent poles, and pulled up along their lengths: we called it Snow Goon Airport, since the white cones of the roof seemed to remind us of the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip episode about Snow Goons: where Calvin's ugly snowmen come to life - in his imagination.

It was like Eden. The people were all that surprisingly wide-open, hospitable, and glad-ta-see-ya way that I am not at all familiar with. I gaped unbelievingly at them. "Where did you people come from?" I wondered. I ended up at The Tattered Cover Book Store soon; I believe it was on or near Cherry Creek at the time. I don't think it is now. I purchased a book by Rupert Sheldrake, and I read it avidly.
My daughter spent most of the time at the hospital, undergoing tests, treatments, clinics, classes on maintenance. It was Hanuka, so there were Hanuka decorations everywhere. When Hanuka ended, those decorations came down, and the Christmas ones went up immediately.
When it snowed in the morning, it was melted away by noon.

We travelled around a lot, going through the mountains, visiting the towns there, gasping for breath at 5,000 feet plus after climbing a flight of stairs leading up to some tourist look-out or ranger station. We saw snow boarders sail through the sky - snow boarders were relatively new then - and disappear down a declivity, where we could only see the snow-capped tops of mighty pines. I pulled the car over, and we went over to the side to see if we could spot them, but there was only a snowy slope and the fence of pines, and trails of new cut snow where the mad men had steered.

My cousins lived nearby, but they were too busy to see us. It was Hanuka and Christmas, after all.
And since I hadn't seen them in 20 years, I really should have called weeks ahead. I should have. And I would have, had I not feared they would invite us over......and I was really just into enjoying my misery right now, and I wanted to focus on how miserable I was, and how cruel fate was, and how remote that God was in his sky-cloud-village of fluff and gilt.

We came home late in the afternoon; it was not yet night, but it was the gathering of the dark that precedes the winter night, the sombre grey backdrop where we paint people in black coats walking in front of blurry headlights on a street: dark mufflers and ebony hats in our peripheral vision.

It was fully night when we got home. You know, I don't remember the flight home, nor the drive home; it seems as if every detail of the journey out was engraved into my memory, but the homecoming was blank and cold and grey...until we turned on the lights, and the Christmas tree lights sprang into a photon chorale of "In Dulce Jubilo...nun singet und seid froh...!"
And there was cake to be warmed up and eaten, tea to be drunk, milk and cookies; there were presents to be opened.
I already had opened mine.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Note On The Butterfly Effect

In my previous post, I mentioned the Butterfly Effect: a butterfly flapping his wings in Gondwanaland 100 million years ago changes the time lines for the future...or one doing so in Alaska affects the weather in New York...small things have big consequences.

It isn't all that prevalent in the physical world. The butterfly wing flapping is totally overwhelmed and drowned out by the tidal wave of events surrounding it.
That boldly flapping butterfly will have no effect.

How do I know this?
I call it the Darwin-Wallace Effect: both Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace had come up with their ideas on Evolution at the same time; long story short, there are so many events being generated at any time, there is redundancy, doubled, tripled, maybe to the 100th power.

If we go back in time and kill an ancestor, will we be born?
Yes. In effect, yes you will be.
There is redundancy. We've noticed it forever, how ideas and inventions are synchronistic. Jung's idea of synchronism maybe just another word for redundancy - back up systems that take over when some moron goes back in time and kills his da.
The threshhold at which the time line may truly be altered requires impossible activity; we cannot achieve it. The Time-Altering-Threshhold is a physical constant which may never be breached, because the computation required to achieve it, erase the previous time-line,  and evolve its altered  time-line,  surpasses all available computational ability, past and future.
( I mean, if we could do it, it would like seriously sloooowwww things down - like waiting for a large bitmap to download during hours of heaviest internet use; serious slow down. That would be that world where light has a speed of 55 miles per hour.)

What I Have Learned As A Writer

Some people will cavil at the prestigious title "writer" being applied to someone who writes a blog, preferring to call us "scribblers" or "scriveners" or "Bartlebys" or any other word as long as it is served with opprobrium.

Ah, well. So much for politics and our continual penchant for dimishing each other.

As a writer, I have learned:

(1)  Ideas are damned difficult things to capture. It helps to have a fellow idea-hunter to talk to. All those great ideas you thought you had back home already safely in your zoological garden of Ideation...often if you look closely, they are rather tattered and threadbare...or are sick and ailing....or incontinent...or tend to attack the visitors.
      Ideas are very much will-o-the-wisps ( I was going to say fatae morganae, but I've used that expression already this week.) and it is very hard to corner them. Good ideas are even scarcer. That's probably one of the main reasons why the world is a mess, lack of good ideas.

(2)  A writer has a responsibility and duty to the world.
      Conscious beings create the World-as-lived-in. They may not create the World-as-fact, where the Sun continues to shine, even when there are no humans left to view it, or feel its warmth, but they certainly create the World we live in: the moral order, the legal order, the religious order, the love and repulsion, the hospitality and the xenophobia...
      A writer has a duty to the world to at least leave it as good as before he added to the building blocks of reality. It would not be all that bad if a writer left it a better place, too.

      This is where the butterfly-effect comes in.
      The butterfly-effect in reality doesn't come into play all that much; a butterfly flapping his wings 60 million years ago has little of no effect on the time-lines, because the wing-flapping-thing is swamped and drowned out by the other stuff going on.
      However, in the world created by the communications of conscious beings, the butterfly-effect does work. That's how - for example - the religion of a bunch of ne'er do wells from Galilee was able to overrun the Roman Empire: butterfly-effect of a good thing...a really good thing. Some thing for the 12 tribes, and ditto for the small band of followers in Mecca. The butterfly wings actually raised the wind and blew away the past.

      So, a writer typing at his keyboard may indeed affect the time-lines of the future. There is a responsibility to Reality. The Real, the human Reality, is not just some bloody ATM machine from which we may draw endless supplies of money from! If we withdraw and never deposit the good stuff, that ATM will rebel..when we drive up it will whisper in our ears:  go to war!  hate your neighbor!  how long has it been since we had a good lynching? a car bomb ought to warm things up nicely!
      And we drive away to do the dirty work created by those who did not recognize their Duty to Human Reality. God created Humanity in His image. There is absolutely no duty to God, which harms or injures other people or Human Reality.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Periodic Englishman.

The Periodic Englishman, or TPE, is missing, so my spies tell me - I being Mabuse, the master spy, they being my minions...hmmm...I had not visited in him a while, because I need all my wits about me, and some extras for back-up, and I have been a few wits short of a proper battalion for a few months.

He is magick, and we cannot enter his lair unless we are quite ready, and pure of heart, say our prayers every night, and so on and so on.

TPE is a fata morgana we try to possess, but it slips now. He is not hiding; we have crowded too closely, greedy children that we are, looking for sweets. It's quite amazing. If he says to us, "Wouldn't it be swell if you danced a frenzied tarentella right now?" that's what we do. If he suggests a tango, Anna puts a rose between her teeth, and I don my black tango hat, and our eyes leap like enraged cats...might as well just mutter, "Yes...Master..." and be done with it.

There were many comments. The last two are :

Thursday, November 26, 2009 9:08:00 AM

Ruth said...

I only meant the most innocent of tobaccos through the hookah.
I don't smoke either.

Friday, November 27, 2009 6:36:00 PM

Montag said...

Neither do I. Although I may start up.

It has been quite a Thanksgiving, Ruth. You know, all in all,
I think everything is O.K. I am rather exhausted.
I wrote about nobody drinking-especially my brother- which
was rather cool.

These comments are back, and I thought they were gone.
I am surprised.
I hope you don't mind if I banish them again.

I am rather amazed at all this.
I was being quite truthful when I wrote
that a Mech had left an offer to be a moderator
on a post from back in January. It happened this morning.
I have no idea how it happened, since I didn't think the
thing was working right. I mean, I don't think I could have left
a comment anywhere.

I may be dreaming, and you all may be giants...and
wizards, and princesses,...

I hope your holiday was great!

Friday, November 27, 2009 7:08:00 PM

The Ice Beautician Cometh

Loosely based on O'Neil's The Iceman Cometh Cast of Characters: She - the cutter of hair Rachel - a cutter of hair, languidly waiting for a head or two. Me ------------- Rachel - (to no one in particular) it's dead here. no customers for an hour. i'm gonna pack up and go... Me - (talking to She cutting my hair) I said that Obama's name is actually "Kenya Bob"...or "Kenya Double Bob Major" (laughs to himself).... She - ( trimming my moustache and trying to shut me up) stop talking. I'm going to make a mistake...stop talking. I'm gonna cut you if you don't. Me - wow! that's just like a girl from puerto rico i used to know. she said she'd cut me. she was kidding, tho. we were playing like Klingon mating ritual games... She - ( stands back and laughs heartily.) o.k., but be quiet now so I don't cut you by mistake. Me - (mouth closed) mmmmmm...... She - ok. done. Me - don't forget, no eyebrow trimming... She - (looking at the wooly caterpillars of my orbital arches) why?... Me - bad luck. no iron cuts hair - look at samson. it wasn't the hair-cutting; it was cutting with iron that did him in. She - (looking at my head) what do you think i'm using up here on your head? george washington's wooden clippers? Me - i don't count that as hair. fuzz, more like it. "hair" is a collective noun....what's up there ain't no collective... She - ...i never thought you'd be superstitious. Me - me superstitious! what about you? i know you prayed last year to win the lottery. like God's gonna grab them super drawing ping pong balls and nudge 'em 'cause you said you were sorry for being a bad girl... She - hmmm...ok. Me - what're ya doing for thanksgiving? She - mom's place. miss my dad, tho. Me - oh, yeah. he passed recently, didn't he? She - year ago. I used to call him and talk on the way home every night. Me - really? She - i should take his number off the speed dial, but i can't. Me - leave it. you don't have so many friends that you need the space. She - (smiles and brandishes scissors menacingly) be careful! ...but i feel so hurt sometimes... Me - (rare silence) know, we gotta look at the bright side of these things. Your painful memory is a witness to the depth and intensity of your mutual devotion. Each time it hurts, it should also remind you how great it was. She - yeah. i guess... Me - (off on my own rant now)...Life is like that. Look at the feelings of good things: how long does it last? Not really long...the highs don't last long. But suffering and pain- the lows - they can last forever. So we gotta turn suffering inside out, and see again the high, the love that caused it, to feel the touch that gave rise to it, even to smell the freshly baking bread that fed it! Rachel - (who is into zen) buddhism, right? Me - hmmm...yeah. i guess. the suffering part sure fits. suffering based in our body. God's world is good. it's just that the chemistry of good in us doesn't last forever. when it goes away, it leaves a track or trace. we smell it as sharp and acrid pain in the nose of memory........ They both stare a me. I was thinking of punning "nose-talgia" but decided against it. Me - what? what'd I say? She - you made your point...well be quiet and let me do that kudzu in your ears. Rachel - i'll cut your hair anytime...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Man Reaches The Stars

Spitzer Space Telescope View of the Galactic Center
I stood last night and watched humankind reach the stars and beyond. I watched what we dreamed in Star Trek become the real; breathtaking and ditto on the speechless state of wonderment. In case you're wondering, it wasn't us - meaning it wasn't the USA that did it. It was actually a bunch of nerds, geeks, and heroes that we wouldn't have imagined. They were a bit of all of us, but it did not occur as quickly as we used to believe it would.

It took a while to reach the stars. Our first effort in space travel was like us choking down candy at Halloween, trying to beat that piggy USSR kid at eating our sugar stashes, and we got sick and vomited, and our parents scolded us and told us to keep our eyes on the prize here on earth of running financial scams... So we grew up and forgot about the stars, other than as a potential arena for wars on terrorism or wars on something-not-yet-defined... I had indications that the periodic downturns of the US economic system - and the rest of the world - finally became so severe that they lead to weakening which led to anaphylatic shock.

Periodic crisis are not the sign of health; "creative destruction" may eventuate in a system of destruction only. Economic crises are more easily gotten over in a diverse and "rain forest" type economy. Once wealth becomes too highly concentrated, once dinosaurs like "too big to fail" appear on the scene, once the jobs which create real value become an endangered species and the period of the Great Extinction of jobs occurs, the system's diversity has been severely compromised.

A severe shock, like the recently self-inflicted one, may cause a Crash of meteoric impact proportions:, an Extinction Level Event. I guess it did. Life is so wide and broad... From the Prisons of Globalization and Wealth Concentration, we wandered out free, blinking in the sunlight. It was just a few years after The Crash that a united humanity made it to the stars.

3 Standard Nephews

I was reading some stuff - or stuph - that the boys A wrote last year when I went to earth with Sarah Conner for awhile.
Aloysius ( pronounced A-loy'-shus with the accent on the second of three syllables ) wrote:

Our economic theories were designed to keep us weak and prey for the predatory, our religious beliefs were designed to keep us unquestioning and ignorant, our sexual mores were designed to keep our lusts just short of any possible satiation or fulfillment.

He says that I said it...but I didn't.

I think it is a fair assessment of our Capitalism - the one we shall be remembered for.

Mech Alert!

The Mechs are back!
Just when you thought it was safe to let your computers go out and play...

example of a Mech Message:

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

This software intrudes into forums, blogs, etc. pretending to be a conscious entity, and leaves billets doux for the people to read, who will think them messages from good eggs for whom English is a third language.
It is supposed to be able to handle those write-down-the-letters-you-see devices which are designed to foil robots.

Brother Saif is the sword who will hack them...
Sister Zulma is the darkness which will confound them...
Sister Nur is the light of the fire...

What pompous, arrogant bastards Mechs and Techs are!
And your crap doesn't pass the Turing test; neither do youse guys.

The Three Standard Stoppages

I was speaking to Ruth about learning new things: I learn stuff all the time. I know it's hard to believe, but I do. My trick is that I pay attention. I really do. When you say something, you had better be aware that I am paying very close attention, so that 5 years later, when you say something a bit different, I may blurt out chapter and verse of what you had said 'way back it is recorded in the archives!

Anyway, I wandered into Marcel Duchamp's Three Standard Stoppages, or Trois Stoppages Etalon. I have sort of considered these a paradigm of creativeness.

Marcel Duchamp - who is really one of the ones of our age - around the time of the Armory Show, where he exhibited his painting Nude Descending A Staircase, had taken 3 lengths of a heavy thread, and measured them to an exact meter.
He held them out, at absolute rest, and let them fall, twisting and turning in their descent, until they landed on a large piece of paper or cardboard. He thereupon copied their exact outline, and made up wooden templates of these chaotic curves.
He created a new meter - or 3 - for himself. Taking the Standard Meter, which by itself was pretty revolutionary back at the time of the French Revolution when it was intro'd, he created the new ones: the 3 standard stoppages.

All conscious beings have the potential to build upon their History. In doing so, they have the potential to Create Anew.
To not do so is to live in Lyonesse - the city of the dead-in-life, the drowned city of the tales of Arthur and the Round Table - or Tristan & Iseult - can't remember.

Take what is there and create anew, according to the best advice from God.

Our Cult of Celebrity is what happens when we do not do so: manufactured cravings for mass produced paper cut-outs.
We need the genius of Paradox, Heracleitus, today, in order to tell us:
Fools! What you mistakenly take for life (bios - life) is the life-taker (bios - an arrow).


Friday, November 20, 2009

An Aside On Religion

Order and Chaos  by Aexion

Thanksgiving is coming up. People and families get together. They do not talk about politics and religion.

I do.
I expect God.
I don't "believe" in God. That expression is as goofy sounding as "I believe in my left foot."
So I drag both along to any social gatherings, even if they don't want to go.

I experience God everywhere, like the background of my existence; the backdrop for a play or film, wherein I am a brief actor. Infinite cinema, unending direction...
scripts cut into small pieces and tossed into the air...
picking the pieces up at random, and chaotically glueing together for another script...
all before that backdrop of reality.

Andy Warhol's film Empire was God as seen by our generation: changeless, immutable, unending,...mute,......remote,.........boring,...........
The music and pace of the film Koyaanisqatsi is God-like: obsessed with creation and its creatures. The crescendo pace of Koyaanisqatsi is the creation, humming of the electrons, the ignition of the stellar factories, the inability to look away from a quantum state...yet ever turning, ever turning, hard a port, and Heisenberg be damned!
God is not balanced; He is forever unbalanced. If God were in perfect equilibrium, He would not have created. He wanted to get His hands dirty.
And if you were watching Him, it would have stolen your breath away, the vertiginous speed of His construct.

O, God, creator:
Let us be free again!
Free us from the chains we forged for ourselves!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Wet Spot Machine.

One Day Of Mourning

So just as we get done sitting shiva over the friend-follower that has disappeared, this morning I receive 2 wonderful comments containing commercial plugs and information.

So...I published them.
I have no shame.

I had another today.
I rejected it out of may have been a joke.
If it was, I'm sorry, It was a good joke.
I'm acting awfully random lately.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For My Daughter: Gramma's Hat

The Straw Hat
 The wind blew your gramma's hat
and it landed where you are;
you put it on and smiled.
It will rain your mother's ring
which will fall in grass nearby;
admire it unbroken.
Rain will flood your father's boots
and sweep them in the general flood;
dork-like boats of leather!
It will dawn your childrens' smiles
when you garden, and they see
that funny straw hat,
that unbroken ring,
and hear you laugh at waterfalls
and rivers of your artifice!

pic: micmac

From my Peace-Weaving poetry blog ( link on right ->). I am a little early this week.

Blog O' Note

I have my way of handling Blogs of Note: I look at them, then I go up to that toolbar-thingamajig that has the Tattler gizmo where one reports someone who is acting like a Cad, and another link for Next Blog =>.

So I go trolling downstream about 4 or 5 blogs, until if find my Own Private Blog of Note; a bit more random.

Anyway, today's BoN is: The Daily Nail,

So I hopped downstream to 3 other blogs which opened up to pictures of nails and nail polish!!
So I decided to do this post.
And since I did not save the urls, merely used the Back button on the browser, when I reached this point to regale you with this story, I can't get back to them, because the roulette wheel of Next Blog => had spun
and I was suddenly in Indonesia.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving Approaches

Even though this cartoon is for Christmas ( o Natal ) rather than Thanksgiving, the thoughts remain the same.

Loose translation:

Lady on Treadmill:  You really have to lose weight for Christmas.

Turkey:    Even if it kills me...

Everything I know about Portuguese, I learned on the Net. I think it is a totally wizard and shaman way to learn a new lingo. Next I shall attempt English.

Adieu, Scarlet Pimpernel!

I opened up the dashboard this AM, only to discover I had lost a follower-friend!

I had always wondered what I would do when this event - to which we all are prone - reared its ugly head. So now I knew. I immediately imagined Anthony Andrews as the Scarlet Pimpernel , from the film of the same name, in his day-time disguise as foppish dilettante, reciting foppish poetry:

"Is he in heaven?
or is he in hell?
that damned

(At nights, the Monsieur S. Pimpernel saved French aristocrats from the Terror and the Guillotine. And the quote is word for word...I do not wish to imply anyone is "damned"...I shall NOT build a Berlin Wall 'round about my blog, lest some future friend say "Mr. Montag, tear down this wall!"...and so on...My German Democratic Republic has porous borders.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Peter Hoekstra Is A Meme

If Michigan did not have enough problems, they have some particularly odd Republicans: Peter Hoekstra,

To Hoekstra is to whine using grandiose exaggerations and comparisons.

It all started with a simple, foolish tweet. On June 17th, GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra compared the life and death struggle of Iranians trying to get their message out via Twitter to the Republican Party’s tussle with Democrats.

An example:

Nova Philosophia

All of German philsophy from Kant on is summed up in Fritz Lang's Metropolis !!!



Baysage  ( )  has mentioned in a comment here a wonderful concept: Kairos.
Of course it is Greek. Everything really brainy is from Ancient Greece.

Why is that, you ask?

Because everyone says that all of Western Philosophy is but a series of footnotes to Plato.

I know it is pathetically fail, but that's what they say - and take pride in.
We are so enmeshed in the past and our memories - imperfect though they might be! - of the past, that we don't create the future. We really have nothing to do with it until it is forced down our gullets...rather as if we were the geese for foie gras.
Why, even the great gift of our religion was wrenched from the hands of Abraham, and handed over to Plato. Plato! Who cheated his fellow Pythagoreans, and was kicked out of their brotherhood!!

I was going to write bit about it, but the Paranoid Archipelago beckons, so I must go hop in the old auto and get in the middle of one of those ghastly Ben-Hur type chariot-race/traffic-jams we go through every morning here; no public transport. Ay caramba! Quien needs public transport!??

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Me & Chase

My previous extensive interpersonal dealings with Chase occurred in spring 2008. There was a personable young man of Indian descent who was in charge of the local Chase activities. He wanted my money in their hands, to invest for my benefit.
The Dow was at 14,000.

I said I believe the Dow would go to 10,500. He smiled at my naivete. I never got around to doing that business with them, although I did have a CD.

I don't know if there was any connection, but the Bharatiya Temple just 2 miles away was in the middle of building an addition in 2008. All activity ceased in the fall of 2008, and just recently has started up again in a small way.

I went in a few weeks ago as the CD matured. There was a new fellow there. We got along fine. He was well on the way to signing me up in their investment schemes, when I said hold on, and I had to talk it over at home.
Of course, this time, when we talked about the Dow Industrial Index, he agreed with me.

Well, I thought about it for a week, and it's going to take a bit more than agreeing with me.

Tomorrow I shall call and politely ask him why I should do business with Chase.
I suppose he will want to trot out those graphs about the wonders of compound interest, and it you had a buck to invest back in 1990, how much it would be worth today.
But I want to know why I should trust Chase - or any other bank I might deal with - now.

I shall insist on it. If I had trusted them before to do that which they do best, and  I do not, I would have lost thousands.
What has changed so that my money is safe now?

The Utopia Of The Brotherhood Of Railroad Workers

After the world fell apart, people grew isolated from each other, and small communities sprang up, trying to keep order. Tales were told of the old days.
Then, from seemingly nowhere, the came the order of Railroad Workers, who brought the promise of Technology, Education, and Rule of Law.

Of course, first they had to get the trains to run on time...
For that people turned to a Mussolini look alike...they called him the Commissar with the Lazy Eye.

The rest is history. To be precise, it is referred to the Era of Crackpots, and is documented in Beard's masterly study The Betrayal of the Railroad Utopian Democracy.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sandwich People & Oil Burners

I almost wrote something about the Republicans whining about bringing an alleged terrorist to trial in New York...but I nipped it in the bud. In the view of Republicans, our judiciary system is adequate for sending scads of young black men into the cesspool of the Penal System of the USA ( PENSOTUS ).
This raises their fears immediately, because we can shove those men into the pipeline with little or no adequate legal representation, and often their trials look more like the local theater group's first run-through of The Pirates of Penzance than a regular forensic and judicial exercise.

If such charades occur at Sheik da Whoop's trial, even though he may enter the PENSOTUS - or the "slammer" - there would be appeals, and the business about confessions under torture might rear its ugly head...and who, really, wants a trial wherein confessions made under torture are - for the first time since King George III - accepted as probative?
I mean, 200 years of jurisprudence could go up in smoke...Oliver Wendell Holmes, and all that.

No. I shall ignore it, just as I continue to ignore Sarah Palin and Oprah Winfrey and Doctor Phil and all reality cable TV.

The Paranoid Archipelago stretches from the eastern coast of the USA ( EASTCOTUS ) to the western coast ( WESTCOTUS  ).
It is more properly the Asphalt Archipelago, but that sounds too much like The Asphalt Jungle, and that itself sounds too much like The Blackboard Jungle.

The Archipelago, an archipelago being a chain of islands connected within the great, blue sea, consists of mostly empty parking lots paved with asphalt that has not been seal-coated in at least 5 years. The most prominent flora and fauna are check cashing stores, abandoned UAW offices, $Dollar stores, Chinese take-out, dry cleaners, and food stores that state VALU on their signs, but are rather high priced once you walk into them.
These islands are spread across the landscape, tenuously connected by interstates and surface roads - a charm bracelet of bitumen, a web of disappearance tinkling with departed 401(k)s. This is where old people who are down on their luck go to add to their retirement money; this is Bleak House where the road-kill eating crows of our lives argue the law; this is today on the asphalt atoll:  the more cavernous empty buildings on the Archipelago are mutated into housing for temporary employment.

The People who work as the temporary hires drift across the highway-sea and anchor at these spots daily, living out of their automobiles like the boat people of Vietnam: sweating in the summer during the brief interlude of lunch, freezing in the winter...standing around in the spring, saying how unusually cold it was for spring...standing in the autumn fog and saying how the cold mist goes right through you...sleeping slouched in the front seat, and not enough breeze while a drop of sweat runs down your head... dreaming...dreaming...

Dreams with name tags of HI! My name is:Nostalgia and HI! My name is: Security;  verity, belief, and hope... comfort:  a cozy bed, long ago - remember? yes! in Truth, I feel it everywhere! It was so nice...
Bang! You wake up. You look around for those emotional name tags, figuring they must have been real, so real, they must have scattered around the car when you woke up, but they have gone. The name tags of Nostalgia and Security don't stick around the Archipelago; too many sharks in the waters - they just float in with the tide, stuck inside glass bottles, then they float back out.

People walk around on their breaks. They look like prisoners walking in the prison yard, only there is no fence with barbed wire to hem them in.
Actually, very often there is such a fence, or a monolithicly incongruous sound control wall stretched along the interstate in front of the mall-island where we are, looking like the wall at the city's edge in Dark City, or like all of those Pink Floyd record sleeves and CD covers. Walls not like Robert Frost's that make good neighbors; no, these walls only need a graffitti sneer painted on them, and all would be perfectly believable 1984.

I survey the parking lot's edge, where the tide of the concrete Service Drice comes in against the black asphalt. I stare at the wall.
I look at the We Cash Checks!! store and absent-mindedly caress the molotov cocktail I carry in my pocket, made out of an Absolut bottle and old underwear.
The rasping cough of escaped cigarette smoke reaches me, not volcanic, not sulfurous, but not tobaccic either: more like bitter herbs...bitter herbs laced with outrageous chemistry...
" Why, O, Lord" I cry, "is this day just like all the others!!"

My wife has packed a sandwich for me: 8 grain bread, turkey for protein without too much fat, lettuce for a vegetable serving, mustard...'cuz I like it!, but also for the turmeric which gives it that yellow color, and is so good for you that it is that wind at yer back of an Irish blessing.
I think of her love.
I think of my daughter, and what the future holds for her.
I think of the hours when so many people in my complex are up at 3:00 in the morning, on the internet, burning the midnight oil, looking for something better...or just something...just a shred of hope.
Oil burners.
I cry...just a tear or two.

But, I get over it and - lunch being done - I head back to the Big House.

Viagra And Comments

I usually do not post comments that say how great a blog this is, how inspired I am personally, and ya-da ya-da writing is a gift to mankind, and then ask me to buy Viagra.
I mean, She-who-must-be-obeyed doesn't even read this blog, so I can't imagine who else such a comment could be from.

I don't need Viagra.

I got a girl friend...
name of Lois Lane...
she says I am  Niag'ra.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gracious Tea

If you don't know by now, I drink tea from the Grace Tea Company, NY, NY.

When I started, I calculated how much tea was in a tea bag, and using 1 tea bag per cup, calculated the cost of a cup of tea, I found their price to be equal to or slightly less than the middle range; there are the outrageously expensive Empire of Panjandrum and Tea Gardens of the Hindu Kush type tea, which may or may not be worth the prices elevated as high as the mountainside terraces where the tea is grown; there are the cheap tea which are...well, they're very cheap.

Grace Tea is wonderful.
When you buy tea this way, and it takes a month or so to drink it, and you wonder whether it is going stale, you realize it is not going stale, it is as fresh as the day you bought it, and you realize just how incredibly long those other teas you have choked down must have been in the consumer pipeline: just remember how ghastly restaurant tea usually is - and served with 1 tea bag for 3 to 4 bloody cups of hot water!

In this world of tribulation, there is Grace.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Shadow Of The Vampire

reprinted by massive ( 2 people, a guy and a doll ) demand:

“…the inadequacy of our plans,our contingencies, every missed train, the failed picnics, every lie to a child.”

John Malkovich as F.W.Murnau in The Shadow of the Vampire.

On Mothers’ Day we couldn’t go to my mother’s because of her dogs and my daughter’s allergy. Ditto Fathers’ Day.

We used to have picnics with our dearest friends on Fathers’ Day. The fathers would play tennis. The mothers minded the children and laid out the picnic.

We don’t do that anymore. We rarely see them. We’ve graduated to the one page enclosure within the Christmas card.

The failed picnics…and our contingencies...the shadows of the vampire.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Great American Poets Series: Robert Frost

MARY sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,
She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage
To meet him in the doorway with the news
And put him on his guard. “ Anna is back.” 
She pushed him outward with her through the door
And shut it after her...

she resides at

Mythic Landscapes Nov 10 2009

The Myth of Sisyphos:  eternally building and re-building the Three Gorges Dam. After completion, Sisyphos goes on the prepare for the Beijing Olympics. At completion, it's back to square one at Three Gorges, and so on and so on...
Sisyphos is the guy in red in the middle.

Stella, the conductress on the Styx Subway, the subway in the Underworld and running to the Underworld...all Underworld production and materials.
Stella is the waning moon, also, and the goddess of the End of Oktoberfest:

Monday, November 09, 2009


I would like to welcome Anita.
I just noticed her this morning.
I believed I welcomed everyone else.

I'm not sure, though. The pictures don't always show up;
this morning all the pictures were there, and things looked
And - of course - I have totally forgotten how to look up friends
and learn something about them...

I shall have to do it tomorrow morning, because today I start a part-time job...
I drive to the asphalt Paranoid Archipelago of the spring
of 2008 - it was in one of the peace poems from then.
I remember it well as a mostly deserted mall with way to many
parking spaces, and asphalt crumbled like rogue waves upon
an urban shore...
and 2 check cashing stores!

Anyway, I welcome you to my library ( where I 'net from ), friends.


Some things are just very mysterious to me. I remember when I started writing a poem a week for peace - fasting one day, too - and I never thought to be 127 weeks on; more than 2 years...2 years and 23 weeks to be precise. ( the link is on the right...that thing about "my other site" and "peace-weaving" or whatever conceit ruled me at the time.)

Sometimes the poems are mysterious, but become domesticated as time wears on, as if a wild lion raised in the belt of civilization becomes as docile as a fat tabby cat.
But sometimes they remain mysterious and wild, running like wild children who are lost from their mothers - or who are cast out from their villages - and are raised by a troop of ghazelles in the Tassili n'Ajjer desert in Algeria; awesome youth,  remote, untutored and unkempt, yet bearing all the lineaments of humanity - and overwhelming in their beauty.

This poem below still haunts me a year on.
There is a line: 

Then from a tangled thicket
I grasped a ring of lapis lazuli,
the joint of 2 bones, and pupil
of the brilliant eye, and was born...

It still makes me faint-headed; it is as if God let me perform the miracle of life, and from nothing came wonderful being...and - when I reflect - I realize that is true, and I did have a child: I am a father. Yet sometimes the creation and nurture of life strikes us as so mundane and pedestrian; we even give up the lives we consider superfluous; sometimes we think "father" or "mother" a really poor job description, and we pass on it for something better.
I never speak of abortion. But it requires the belief that the past and our grandsires do not stand behind us, pushing us, nor do those other beings of great power stand in front of us in our futures, pulling us, and that we are not in the eye of a Present Immediate of a vastly baroque and byzantine we stand squandering the magic, throwing away the baraka...

To grasp a ring and 2 bones, and thus to be the focus of the greatest!
To be born!
Let me live, and let me be born to the ferocious mothers of the desert, coming to the rivulet to drink in the wasteland where an oasis is a singular olive tree. Let me live, and let the wilderness teach me, and let me learn nobility and honor East of your Eden.
Let me live with troops and pods and packs, then, if cities are not to be my home. Let me run naked, if I am not to be swaddled in mankind's cloth.
If your societies have degraded life, send me to the badlands, where every force alive strives to increase life and well-being in the face of great odds!

Let me crown the earth. Let me be happy to have been born, and let the earth be happy to have borne me.

The Trees

I used to be a tree,
and grew upon a hill;
I used to be arboreal
and deep roots immobile
I thought imprisoned me.
Then from a tangled thicket
I grasped a ring of lapis lazuli,
the joint of 2 bones, and pupil
of the brilliant eye, and was born
my parents most loved fruit
in a storm of heat at
the rising of the Pleiades.
Now...O, now, I see...
and I shall be
soon again a tree,
maenad queen of windswept hills;
pastor triumphant of animals
that flock the virginal
nativity's flash of light!