Saturday, April 30, 2011

GREAT NEWS! Utah Republicans have found a way to abolish adultery,

sodomy, & fornication. Maybe they
can do away with rape and molestation while they're at it.

Orwell would be proud; 
'cause every body knows changing the definition of something 
is the best way to make it go away.

Daily Life

   by Susan Wood

A parrot of irritation sits
on my shoulder, pecks
at my head, ruffling his feathers
in my ear. He repeats
everything I say, like a child
trying to irritate the parent.
Too much to do today: the dracena
that's outgrown its pot, a mountain
of bills to pay and nothing in the house
to eat. Too many clothes need washing
and the dog needs his shots.
It just goes on and on, I say
to myself, no one around, and catch
myself saying it, a ball hit so straight
to your glove you'd have to be
blind not to catch it. And of course
I hope it does go on and on
forever, the little pain,
the little pleasure, the sun
a blood orange in the sky, the sky
parrot blue and the day
unfolding like a bird slowly
spreading its wings, though I know,
saying it, that it won't.

from: The Book of Ten. Copyright 2011.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Over 200 are dead after over a hundred separate tornadoes left a trail of destruction across five states in the American South. The nation appears headed for a record number of tornadoes this year. -- Lane Turner.

Faye Hyde sits on a mattress in what was her yard as she comforts her granddaughter Sierra Goldsmith, 2, in Concord, Ala. April 27, after their home was destroyed. 

A wave of tornado-spawning storms strafed the South on Wednesday, splintering buildings across hard-hit Alabama and killing nearly 200 people in four states. At least 58 people died in Alabama alone. (Jeff Roberts/The Birmingham News/AP)

The Big Picture documents the destruction down south.

TO DONATE: I have provided links here for


The permanent links for both are in my sidebar.


One Flower  
by Jack Kerouac

One flower
   on the cliffside
Nodding at the canyon

from: Book of Haikus. Copyright 2003.


[W]e need creative language "to keep the brain alive." He points out that so much of our language today, written in bullet points or simple sentences, fall into predictability. "You can often tell what someone is going to say before they finish their sentence" he says. "This represents a gradual deadening of the brain." 

- Professor Philip Davis,
University of Liverpool's School of English,
Via. Big Think.


close up of two hands planting a small conifer

Arbor Day is the last Friday in April of each year.

It all began in Nebraska in 1872. A special day was set aside for planting trees. This tree planting idea caught on and now we celebrate Arbor Day every year. ... [to continue reading, click here]

WHY are trees are so important to us all: 

1. Trees provide shade to keep us and our homes cool on hot summer days.
2. Trees give off vital oxygen through photosynthesis which you and I and animals need to breathe.

3. Trees absorb harmful pollutants and small particles from the air which could damage our lungs.

4. Trees provide protection from the wind.

5. Trees reduce noise pollution.

6. Trees give us products such as: chewing gum, crayons, soap, shatterproof glass, suntan lotion, cork, dyes, life-saving drugs, writing paper, syrup, perfume, pencils, firewood, building materials, and much much more.

- from: EEK! 
Environmental Education for Kids.

More ARBOR DAY links: here, here, here, here, here.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Busy-Man's Picture

   by Benjamin Franklin

Business, thou Plague and Pleasure of my Life,
Thou charming Mistress, thou vexatious Wife;
Thou Enemy, thou Friend, to Joy, to Grief,
Thou bring'st me all, and bring'st me no Relief,
Thou bitter, sweet, thou pleasing, teazing Thing,
Thou Bee, that with thy Honey wears a Sting;
Some Respite, prithee do, yet do not give,
I cannot with thee, nor without thee live.


Kissing a man with a beard is a lot like going to a picnic: 
you don’t mind going through a little bush to get there!

(Sorry. Couldn't help myself. I stole this from The Dish.)



an interview with 

Meanwhile . . .

. . . on exhibit . . .

ALSO at:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


When the keeper has died,
whose hands have touched
so much honey,
the village will convene
to elect a successor
and to remember
the sweetness of his voice,
his dependable hymns,
the spell of smoke
and the hush just after.
While the elders
resist the old rhythms
of grief, one will speak
of the ancient belief –
that the bee-father’s demise,
kept secret, could cause
the death of the hives
in the coming winter.
Then the question will rise
in a nervous murmur:
Who will tell the bees?


I'm not sure what is really scarier to the Florida GOP, the mention of the word uterus or the public invocation of the concept of "regulation."

But Scott Randolph is my new hero -- in one stroke he managed to not only tie together the entire social agenda of today's GOP -- crush unions, restrict abortions, and allow corporations to do as they please -- but to also reveal the hysterical prudery of the folks currently in charge in Florida.

A woman's womb is a scary thing, indeed.

Meanwhile, can someone get to work on my next T-shirt: "Get the government out of my uterus, and into Goldman Sachs"?

THE LORAX, Or. . .

Dr Seuss book cover for the Lorax retitled An Inconvenient Truth

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Be yourself, 
everybody else is already taken.

- Oscar Wilde


   by Howard Nemerov

Are generally over or around
Erogenous zones, they seem to dive
In the direction of those

Dark places, and indeed
It is their nature to be dark
Themselves, keeping a kind

Of thieves' kitchen for the things
Sequestered from the world
For long or little while,

The keys, the handkerchiefs,
The sad and vagrant little coins
That are really only passing through.

For all they locate close to lust,
No pocket ever sees another;
There is in fact a certain sadness

To pockets, going in their lonesome ways
And snuffling up their sifting storms
Of dust, tobacco bits and lint.

A pocket with a hole in it
Drops out; from shame, is that, or pride?
What is a pocket but a hole?

from: The Western Approaches. Copyright 1975.

Monday, April 25, 2011

SO . . . Do They Come In Flourescent Green, or Lilac, or Fucia, or . . .

long horn sheep with bright yellow wool

Via. Flickr by Anita363.

Surrounded by Sheep and Low Ground

   by Linda Gregg

When death comes, we take off our clothes
and gather everything we left behind:
what is dark, broken, touched with shame.
When Death demands we give an accounting,
naked we present our lives in bundles.
See how much these weigh, we tell him,
refusing to deny what we have lived.
Everything that is touched by light
loves the light. We the stubborn-as-grass,
we who reel at the taste of sap and want
our spirits cleansed, will not betray
the weeds, snake, or crippled mare.
Never leave behind what the light shone on.

from: All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems. Copyright 2009.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

HAPPY EASTER. May Your Chickens All Hatch Rainbows.

rainbow colored Easter eggs

The Discipline of Craft, Easter Morning

   by Judith Harris

No use going hunting for angels,

for a Christ in the tree-mops,

a Moses winding his way up the mount
to the fire of God’s fresh stubble.
There is just a serious rain,

a steady crutch for the air,

colder than any April should be.
I am up to my neck in chores:

the cat needs more food,

my daughter’s clutter piles up like ant hills,

I fold her little sleeves, ghost by ghost.

What melody springs from the heart so well?
These lone trees can’t be dazzled by sun today,

they have such tremors like the Pope’s.

Lost loons pitched into sky folds,

their crusty buds just blinking
if to test how fierce the light is.
They sag and meander from their stems,

they bleed from transparency.

Needless or hopeless, 
as overused fountains,

they are my metrics, my fortitude;

plants with lemony grass spigots

that will never go dry.

from: The Bad Secret: Poems by Judith Harris. Copyright 2005.

Easter lilies against black background

Saturday, April 23, 2011

BREAKING: Female Soldiers AREN'T GUYS!

female soldier against beige wall with word lioness

Photo Via. NYT.


In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.

-Laurence Sterne


tree and falling star silhouetted against dark blue sky


  by Stephen Sandy

Cretan farmers still press their olives. Swallow
retsina, tend their flocks. Our scholars know
—oracular computers tell them so—

it’s just as the Minoans did. Do we
know them then, the Minoans? Is their debris
ours too? Rather consider to what degree

warehouse palaces are dazzlements,
and through the dark mullions of romance
see for once that we see nothing, nothing.

from: Weathers Permitting: Poems. Copyright 2005.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Some Song Lyrics for GOOD FRIDAY (the VIDEO too) But The WORDS are STILL worth READING.

by Leonard Cohen

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.


Joycelyn Elders Puts Congress on Blast

As social conservatives push cuts for reproductive health services, the outspoken former surgeon general says that not much has changed since her '90s battle with them.

*  *  *

[Y]ou will have a lot more poor, uneducated women with children to support. What's at stake is that these women wouldn't have contraceptives, we would have less STD testing, less pelvic exams, fewer cervical-cancer screenings, less breast exams, less testing for diabetes. Planned Parenthood and Title X funding goes to women's health, not abortion. The mean income for most women who go to a Title X clinic is less than $10,830 a year. That's poor.

We spend $9 billion a year taking care of children born to children, and then they talk about saving money. If they really wanted to save money, we would talk about comprehensive health education and make reproductive services, including abortion, available for women.

Any woman who has a congressperson who votes against women's reproductive rights is headed back to the Dark Ages, when they were owned by their husbands.

If everybody in Congress who'd ever masturbated in their life would turn green, then we would have a green Congress.




Loneliness is the poverty of self; 
solitude is the richness of self.

- May Sarton

The solitude of an apricot

   by Carl Adamshick

Away from leaf touch, from twig.
Away from the markings and evidence
of others. Beyond the shale night
filling with rain. Beyond the sleepy
origin of sadness. Back, back into
the ingrown room. The place where
everything loved is placed, assembled
for memory. The delicate hold
and tender rearrangement of what is missing,
like certain words, a color reflected off
water a few years back. Apricots and
what burns. It has obtained what it is.
Sweet with a stone. Sweet with the
concession of a few statements,
a few lives it will touch without bruising.

from: American Poet. Copyright 2010.

loose ink painting of a woman sitting alone under a tree with her head down

Thursday, April 21, 2011

As a positive counterpoint to Greg Mortenson and his 'Three Cups of Tea' scandal, I thought you might be interested in hearing about Sally Goodrich.

red tea cup and saucer on top of four old books

by Nikki Stern.

... She was, among other things, a teacher and school administrator; a cancer survivor; wife of a small-town lawyer from North Adams, Massachusetts;  the mother of a young man killed on 9/11; and eventually, a dedicated advocate for Afghan civilians, particularly for girls and young women. ...

In 2004, Sally heard from a Marine in Afghanistan, a friend of her late son Peter, who asked her to collect supplies for school children. It was then that Sally found her calling, a way to lift herself out of depression and create something positive to honor her son’s spirit. 

In 2005, 
Sally and Don founded 

Photo Via. House of Brinson.


Boris Andreev


Perhaps it is not too much to hope for the three wishes of Dorothy’s companions: A Brain to think about what we say; A Heart toward our fellow humanity; and the Courage to accept that we are but one human race with diversity having common needs. 

- by Dr. Art Kamm, Art on Issues.

To George Sand: A Recognition

   by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

True genius, but true woman! dost deny   
Thy woman's nature with a manly scorn   
And break away the gauds and armlets worn   
By weaker women in captivity?   
Ah, vain denial! that revolted cry           
Is sobbed in by a woman's voice forlorn—   
Thy woman's hair, my sister, all unshorn   
Floats back dishevelled strength in agony   
Disproving thy man's name: and while before   
The world thou burnest in a poet-fire,           
We see thy woman-heart beat evermore   
Through the large flame. Beat purer, heart, and higher,   
Till God unsex thee on the heavenly shore,   
Where unincarnate spirits purely aspire!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WHAT EXACTLY DOES "Support Our Troops" MEAN?

Please forgive me if I seem a bit angry in this, the season of the greatest Christian Sacrifice, Easter, but the article quoted below brought to mind a number of other travesties concerning "Our Troops."

When we failed to supply our Troops with 
proper body armor or effective helmets;

when we neglected to arm our Troops with 
appropriately armored vehicles;

when we refuse to care for them properly when they are injured;

when we don't let them out of the service 
once they've completed their term;
what does 'support' mean?

Paying for the flag we give their next of kin?

[I]nsurance coverage for treatment of brain trauma injuries is spotty and unpredictable. 

One key therapy is not offered to troops, a glaring deficiency in military health care that investigative outlet Pro Publica has been persistently exposing for months. 

Now Rep. Giffords' office is making the case for brain trauma rehab to be included in the health-reform law, setting up the possibility that Giffords' injury—already a human interest story—could become a political one as well. . . .

[I]n the important next phase of Giffords’ recovery—months of intensive rehabilitation aimed at maximizing her quality of life—Giffords is receiving a level of care unattainable by thousands of Americans who have been wounded on the actual battlefield. That’s because the costly treatment Giffords is receiving at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research at Memorial-Herman is being paid for by the federal government, but such care for U.S. troops is not.

... Most military personnel ... are covered by an insurance plan called TRICARE, which does not cover key elements of cognitive rehabilitation therapy. As revealed in a series of investigative reports by the non-profit news enterprise, ProPublica, TRICARE claims that the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation therapy are not well enough established to warrant providing it to troops. TRICARE bases this assertion on the findings of a study commissioned by TRICARE itself, and which ProPublica’s reporting has found to be “deeply flawed.”


(Jack Black & Katherine Hepburn)


line drawing of a girl reading a book

Reading a book is only the first step in the relationship. After you've finished it, the book enters on its real career. It stands there as a badge, a blackmailer, a monument, a scar. 


  by A. R. Ammons

I said I will find what is lowly
and put the roots of my identity
down there:
each day I'll wake up
and find the lowly nearby,
a handy focus and reminder,
a ready measure of my significance,
the voice by which I would be heard,
the wills, the kinds of selfishness
I could
freely adopt as my own:

but though I have looked everywhere,
I can find nothing
to give myself to:
everything is

magnificent with existence, is in
surfeit of glory:
nothing is diminished,
nothing has been diminished for me:

I said what is more lowly than the grass:
ah, underneath,
a ground-crust of dry-burnt moss:
I looked at it closely
and said this can be my habitat: but
nestling in I
below the brown exterior
green mechanisms beyond the intellect
awaiting resurrection in rain: so I got up

and ran saying there is nothing lowly in the universe:
I found a beggar:
he had stumps for legs: nobody was paying
him any attention: everybody went on by:
I nestled in and found his life:
there, love shook his body like a devastation:
I said
though I have looked everywhere
I can find nothing lowly
in the universe:

I whirled though transfigurations up and down,
transfigurations of size and shape and place:

at one sudden point came still,
stood in wonder:
moss, beggar, weed, tick, pine, self, magnificent
with being!

from: The Selected Poems: 1951-1977. Copyright 1986.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


No HINTS Intended
(You know who you are)

(You know the number)

Sort Of

*   *   *


rock cairn balanced against blue sky and sea background

[D]oing nothing allows all kinds of fiscal changes that politicians generally abhor to take effect automatically.
First, doing nothing means the Bush tax cuts would expire, as scheduled, at the end of next year. That would cause a moderately progressive tax hike, and one that hits most families, including the middle class. The top marginal rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, and some tax benefits for investment income would disappear. Additionally, a patch to keep the alternative minimum tax from hitting 20 million or so families would end.

Second, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obama's health care law, would proceed without getting repealed or defunded. The CBO believes that the plan would bend health care's cost curve downward, wrestling the rate of health care inflation back toward the general rate of inflation.

Third, doing nothing would mean that Medicare starts paying doctors low, low rates. Congress would not pass anymore of the regular "doc fixes" that keep reimbursements high. Nothing else happens. Almost magically, everything evens out.

- Annie Lowrey, Slate.

Touching AMERICAN LIFE, Profoundly

logo of black rectangle with pointing finger, United States, and sapling
 This American Life is an award winning, weekly public radio show produced by Chicago Public Media, & distributed by Public Radio International.

From 2006-2008, they produced an Emmy winning television version of This American Life on the Showtime network, which is now re-airing on Current TV.

Thet're also the co-producers, with NPR News, of the economics podcast and blog Planet Money.

There’s a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always.

There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe. Probably the best way to understand the show is to start at our favorites page, though we do have longer guides to our radio show and our TV show.

If you want to dive into the hundreds of episodes we’ve done over the years, there’s an archive of all our old radio shows and listings for all our TV episodes, too.

There are several ways to get the show:


 by Adam Zagajewski 
translated by Clare Cavanagh

I watched the arctic landscape from above
and thought of nothing, lovely nothing.
I observed white canopies of clouds, vast
expanses where no wolf tracks could be found.

I thought about you and about the emptiness
that can promise one thing only: plenitude—
and that a certain sort of snowy wasteland
bursts from a surfeit of happiness.

As we drew closer to our landing,
the vulnerable earth emerged among the clouds,
comic gardens forgotten by their owners,
pale grass plagued by winter and the wind.

I put my book down and for an instant felt
a perfect balance between waking and dreams.
But when the plane touched concrete, then
assiduously circled the airport's labryinth,

I once again knew nothing. The darkness
of daily wanderings resumed, the day's sweet darkness,
the darkness of the voice that counts and measures,
remembers and forgets.

from: Eternal Enemies. Copyright 2008.

Monday, April 18, 2011


[I]f by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal." 

- by John F. Kennedy, September 14, 1960.

A child said, What is the grass?

      by Walt Whitman

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
    is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
    green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we
    may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
    of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
    from offspring taken soon out of their mother's laps,
And here you are the mother's laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
    for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
    and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
    taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
    at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and


Sunday, April 17, 2011

I heard that Chuck Norris doesn’t read books,

he stares them down 
until they give him the information he needs.

Chuck Norris Facts.


From the dog's point of view, 
his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog.


by Ben Downing

-- which is to say "God willing," more or less:
a phrase that rose routinely to her lips
whenever plans were hatched or hopes expressed,
the way we knock on wood, yet fervently,
as if to wax too confident might be
to kill the very thing she wanted most.

It used to pique and trouble me somehow,
this precautionary tic of hers, but now
I understand why she was skeptical
of what Allah in His caprice allots,
because that she should live He did not will
or, more terribly, He did that she should not.

In Memoriam Mirel Sayinsoy, 1967-1999.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I dread no more the first white in my hair, Or even age itself, the easy shoe, The cane, the wrinkled hands, the special chair: Time, doing this to me, may alter too My anguish, into something I can bear.
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

A Fear of Old Age

              by Jack Anderson

The dread, always,
of coming to this:

to sit
day after day
chain smoking
in a soiled undershirt
beside the cracked window
of a fifth-floor walkup
on Railroad Avenue
with stains on the wall, 
dead flies on the sill,
no hot water,
and the cold water rusty;

to sit
smoking and coughing
watching dust settle down,
freights rumble by,
and beyond the tracks
the river flowing
gray and tedious

while on the other,
the opposite, shore
the distant lights
of someplace else 
rise up in a glory
more awesome than Rome
and now unreachable
as anyplace anywhere.

From: Getting Lost in a City Like This. Copyright 2009. 

Friday, April 15, 2011


"The moral measure of this budget debate is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless or poor are treated. Their voices are too often missing in these debates, but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciences and our common resources. 

white lotus flower against black background

A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons. It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly."
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The F.B.I. Needs Your Help!

The FBI is seeking the public's help in breaking an encryption. Two notes were discovered in 1999, on the body of a murdered man.

(Click on the images to embiggin)

Do you have an idea how to break the code?
Have you seen similar codes?
Do you have any information about the Ricky McCormick case?

If so, write to the following address: 

FBI Laboratory
Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit
2501 Investigation Parkway
Quantico, VA 22135
Attn: Ricky McCormick Case

There is no reward being offered, just the knowledge that you may be solving an intriguing murder mystery.

For more about the story: NetWorkWorld.

Irritable Mystic

              by Nathaniel Mackey
— "mu" fifth part —

  His they their
we, their he
 his was but if
need be one,
I, neither sham nor
 excuse yet an
alibi, exited,
the only where
 he'd be.

the long since
 body, imagines
each crack, each
    crevice as it sweats
   under cloth,
                   tongues touching
     down on love's endlessly
 warmed-over thigh.
                             The awaited one
    she mistook him for haunts
       him, tells him in
     dreams he told
                            him so.
       Such offense,
   but at what
      won't say,
                       no resolve if not
      not to be caught
                             out. . .

     Abstract advance, its
    advantage unproved,
     what wish would
 give. . .
             Late eighties
momentarily bleached by
         bomblight. Awoke,
     maybe inwardly wanted
       wrestling with dreams
                                      of the
 awaited one again.
back but a moment later
        what moodier start
     to have gotten off
       angered by that but
 begrudged it its impact
     so sits remembering,
         pretending, shrugs it
off. . .

             Arced harp. Dark
     bent-over body. Esoteric
         sun whose boat its
 upheld. . .
vast underbelly of
       limb-letting thrust.
                                  Tread of
     hoofs. Weighted udders of
 dust. . .
               His it their she
once they awake,
       arisen one,
           at her feet,
                                 her feet
       one with their
   ankledeep in damage
                                   though she
           dances. . .
 The slippings off
                         of her
 of their hands define
her hips, whose are
       the suns whose
           his nights taste
     and as at last he
       lies her legs loom,
 loose gown pulled from
           her, sleep
And he with his
           cramps the air,
       lotuslike, lips
                           part kiss,

from: School of Udhra. Copyright 1993. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Man in Clown Outfit

sad clown bust in charcoal and sepia

by Gretchen Mattox


He's waving a plastic pointer, stiff flag enter lot here, parking
at the edge of Lincoln--bright-yellow clown suit with bold ruffles
   and floppy shoes
(the kind with stuffed toes) and from even a short distance he could be
anyone degraded selling what?, he could be, but he is a man,
   clearly Mexican,
underneath the nose that honks, a black mustache, illegal alien? probably.
Like the girls in bikini tops and grass skirts outside casinos in
   Las Vegas,
who say Come get your free lei (colored plastic wrap á la Hawaii), he does
what he's been told to do: on automatic, flag arm ticking like a metronome.

Underneath the painted smile is another expression--harder to place.
The urgency of traffic, who has time to care?
He takes his job seriously. On the way home, reverse route back,
he's still there waving, a swimmer treading water.

From: Buddha Box. Copyright 2004. 
Painting: The Sad Clown, by Aiden Ivanov.


A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.
- Søren Kierkegaard

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


If it wasn’t for socialism, I wouldn’t be sitting at this computer right now. In order for me to get out of bed and hosed down and fed and all the other stuff that’s a prerequisite for rolling up to the computer, I employ a group of humans who rotate in and out every day to assist me. And their wages are paid by our tax dollars via a state program. It’s that evil bloody goddam job-killing socialism at its finest.

Cripples in states like Texas and Wisconsin and Kansas are fighting like hell to stop the funds that pay their assistants from being cut off. Governors are instead giving tax breaks to the mega-rich so that they will create more jobs. We all know this is true. When the mega-rich get to keep more of their money they throw bigger and better parties, which creates more jobs for cocaine dealers and prostitutes.

caricature line drawing of Mike Ervin in a wheelchair


Mike Ervin, 

Shall We.


Munch painting the scream in knitting
Munch: The Scream

THIS IS KNITTING! courtesy of Norma Box, of:

Via: The Guardian, UK.

All the world's a stage

Act II, Scene VII, Lines 139-166             
by William Shakespeare

Jaques to Duke Senior:
                          All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.