Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Boys In The Lesbian Jazz Band

The boys was sitting in a corner of the club one afternoon like they usually do,
Playing music for a long time without interruption
That they eventually named “Lesbian Love Tune”—
They couldn't give any reason why when we asked them about it later—
One of them had said it and the others had nodded.
Apparently it just sounded that way!

After that, the rest of us sat around trying to sort it out.
Did all their other tunes sound different now?
Maybe this way or that,
Maybe masculine or tough,
But it didn’t seem to be the case,
And no one ever knew where or why
That tune had come from.

I think there’d have been less drama and curiosity
If they’d called it instead by some vulgar name
For a woman’s parts, some word
That you normally can’t even say,
But in the jazz world of that day might have prospered!

At any rate, it plagued them and followed them
From one engagement to another
Until nobody wanted them any more.
It wouldn’t have mattered any more
If they’d named the tune “Balls”
Or if they’d squelched it
And never played it any more,
But they were mesmerized by it,
They couldn’t lay it down
Any way except that one way!
They painted themselves into a corner—
With all their hearts they
Played themselves into oblivion—
And no one even remembers their names.
No, not even me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Worst or Least

You go on, no matter what, you try to stay alive,
Maintain yourself, keep steady,
At least keep wary of your worst or least self,
Then check for the newspaper every day
And resolve to answer the mail, if any...
What difference does it make
If your workshop has been condemned
Or your latest project has been long delayed
And now is mired in an impatient series of dilemmas
That overlap your petulant dreams
And elbow each other out
And never resolve or stop.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Communication

What, no messages? No email, no comments? Why the hell should there be, I guess.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Still About Freedom

Chimes Of Freedom
by Bob Dylan

Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An' for each an' ev'ry underdog soldier in the night
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

In the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin' rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an' forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An' the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an' blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an' cheated by pursuit
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Even though a cloud's white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An' the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An' for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Starry-eyed an' laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an' we watched with one last look
Spellbound an' swallowed 'til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse
An' for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Copyright ©1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music

Play the youtube of Chimes Of Freedom.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Invention

Robert Byrne:
"Getting caught is the mother of invention."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Things Go On

(from Dogger Gatsby's Dark Blue Notebook)

Christmas, you say? It's not a matter of Humbug, it's just that I don't think anything of it. Nothing is very comfortable these days, but it doesn't matter because it cannot change. Things go on, but not forever.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

High Flight

by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 1941

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Making An Impression

Another One of my Lazy Poems

That woman, I swear, had hairs in her nose,
But that's not unusual,
And for an older woman with wrinkles everywhere,
She sure looked fine, handsome, delicious,
All at the same time--she made me hot, she made me hurt!
She made me want to spend my last and latest urges
Without calculation, among the chickens
Scratching out existence on this damn dung heap,
Or purse myself like some giant kiss
And hope I can press myself upon her
As if she's the last woman left alive!
Will she be impressed?! Probably not.
She may just see me as some past wound
That's yet to heal.
She looks so good
Not only that she wiggles when she walks
But even just sitting there with her head inclined,
She makes my glasses fog
And all my glandular impulses (I'm such a dog!) even more urgent!

I just don't know,
I don't think I ever had a chance!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We Don't Know Much

In August 2006, Technorati found that the most linked-to blog on the Internet was that of Chinese actress Xu Jinglei. Chinese media Xinhua reported that this blog received more than 50 million page views, claiming it to be the most popular blog in the world.

The info above was taken from the Wikipedia article about blogs. Whether the info is accurate or not, I cannot say, but I do find it fascinating that something/someone so wonderfully popular two years ago is still an utter mystery to me--I've never heard of this or any other Chinese actress! Oh, well, actors and actresses everywhere are moving in different social circles from me. We don't know much in America, it's plain to see. I doubt that even the American actors and actresses know Xu Jinglei (what is she, anyway--a jingle bell?).

Ah, well, somebody somewhere cares, but not me...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Intergalactic Underachiever?

"The Day The Earth Stood Still" seems to be taking a bad beating, from amateurs and pros alike, so far. I haven't seen it, but the original was always one of my favorites, and I have little expectation of a movie that stars the most witless shit of a non-acting actor possible, Keanu Reeves. Well, unless they'd hired that weird comic homunculus, Jack Black!

Anyway, I'm sorry to hear, but not surprised, that this is one more movie remake that is worse that the original. Apparently, if all I've heard so far is true, it's another remake where they thought that more elaborate special effects would make up for all their lack of heart. Images instead of ideas, but that's typical Hollywood, isn't it? Too bad, I guess. I don't see many movies any more, and maybe this is one of the reasons why.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Braving The Snow

It snowed here yesterday, only a few inches, yet a thing that seldom happens in Southeast Texas. I only remember it snowing once around here when I was a kid--at least only once that was enough for snowballs and snowmen! I've grown too old to give much of a hoot for the snow by now, but it was an interesting sight, especially since I didn't have to get up early and go anywhere on the icy roads. In fact I didn't even have to go outside, though I did, but only briefly. Now we'll wait to see how many plants keel over and die from all this extreme exposure.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Boring!

Bert Leston Taylor:
"A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you."

Jesse James

Have you killed a banker yet today? What are you waiting for--Jesse James to do it for you?

Monday, December 08, 2008

I Googled Myself—Pant, Pant!

I don't remember being aware at the time (2005) that I'd been quoted (only a paragraph about the author, John Fowles) by the BBC—which just goes to show that everything that happens (even on the infernal Internet) doesn't always show!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Window Sill

Sometimes I see you have become
This other, grown, woman I seldom see.
I used to see you every day
On those vendor days on the Drag in Austin
And it always improved the flavor and the pleasure,
It was the favor the world did for me,
It always made something worthwhile for me
Just to see your smile come soaring from so deep inside
(And I didn't even mind that it was not just for me),
And then it all was followed (sometimes preceded)
By that little black dog of yours named Shadow.

But what I remember best is our youth,
Shiny and pert and new, not yet bowed down or weak,
I remember it better perhaps than I do last week
Or even an hour ago...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Empty The Box At Last

Take a long goodbye
And take it on the chin at length
And you may see what little there is
Or you may turn around and meet
What it is you've struggled toward long last
What it's been like, swearing, swaying, swerving,
Wearing way, away—oh, very fast!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

How Far You Go

Let the singer sing your song,
Let the dancer dance to your tune,
And turn your face toward us all
To let us know that nothing's ever gone
No matter how far you go.

Telemarketers, and Fingers In A Knot


In "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", Bob Dylan
Writes about how he cannot move,
That his fingers are "all tied in a knot",
Which for some reason is a condition I recognize these days
Because I so often suffer from it.
All my illnesses and symptoms conspire
To make me constantly aflutter, my gait hobbled,
One hand always resting on the walking stick,
Trying to figure out how to carry things through doorways
And yet be able to also open and close the doors...
I am always fumbling with my pill bottles
To such an extent
That while handling one of them okay
I knock another one over.
If I don't knock over what I intend to manipulate,
I knock something else down and end unmanned.
Anything that falls always falls to the goddamn floor.
Now I need THAT, so I have to retrieve it,
Except I can't bend down quite that low without agony,
So I have to go get the grabber that,
Like my cane, I bought at WalMart's cripple counter.
I shower, dress, count out the pills,
And am already tired each morning
Before I can exit the bedroom and get to the kitchen.
Life is hell, unless you somehow like this sort of thing,
Always being awkward, askance, anemic,
Tired and falling down before the beginning
And as mad as hell at everyone
And at yourself that you can't do any better.
Then maybe the phone rings and I rush to answer it
And can't believe how often it's mere jerkoff junk-call,
A recording that's horrible and probably illegal--
Why won't telemarketers ever Die? (is there no God?)--
But more than that, it's all so savagely misleading
For people like me who are sick and can't really hurry.
Nonetheless, I keep trying--it's force of habit.
If I ever can, I'm going to stop answering the goddamn telephone.
Things get kinky. Things get weird.
And ridiculous concepts of decency and dignity
Aren't going to make it ever stop.
Might as well try to bring back the forties.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"Gatsby's Pains & Tribulations".
Pp. 113-117

When it hurts to be alive, what do you do? Is death the primary option or are there more? I ponder it, but reach no conclusion. What if death is no surcease of pain or discomfort? What if one's mental agony goes on? Should I write a novel about it? How could that ever be of interest? I suspect it's all been done. There's not, and never has been, anything more boring than descriptions of such cold discomfort--at any rate, I can't imagine it.

When it hurts to be alone, what do you do? I could go out (I sometimes do), but no one's there and those who are not there have no cognizance of their absence or of mine and we are all in the stew together, even if we are alone... I guess that doesn't quite make sense, though I know what it means and it may be that you do, too...

We hang around, we wait to see, and wish that things still meant things like they used to do, but most of those old things are gone or, at the least, eroded, faded, worn away, reduced to pity's matters... If we could get out of all of this, wouldn't we? Or is that just me? Is everyone else acquainted, familiar with, and not embarrassed by, these deathful knells, these trembling spells, these waits upon the edge of every ditch or trench? It may be so... Which, though? I can't even keep track of what I postulate...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Terror In Mumbai, India;
Memories of Mosquito University

I don't know when Bombay became Mumbai, but I was unaware of it until I saw on TV that it was being blown to hell. I'm never up to date on these changes in geography--I was already embarrassed enough about Burma's change to Myanmar, and there's no telling what other name changes have occurred since I paid attention to countries that I never set foot in. Of course, I've never been to Canada, but I'd probably notice if they renamed it Arthritis or Calaban or something. After all, it's almost close enough for me to trip over, though I guess for a Texan like me that's a statement that would be more true of Mexico.


A quick review of Internet sites indicates that "Bombay" goes back to the 16th century when the Portuguese arrived, but that in 1996 the official name was changed to one by which the local population had long called their city. (Therefore, suck it up, American and other foreigners!)

In any case, I'm sorry that such terror has come to India. Terror has been there before, of course, not to mention death and destruction. I've always liked India. I've always liked their citizens, though mostly in the guise of Ghandi and other famous persons one knows from History, movies, or TV; I've hardly known any living citizens of India, although the few I've known in person (who worked or attended school at the university where I was employed as Ratcatcher-Exterminator) were likeable, too. So, too, were the Chinese, Arabs, and persons of other national origin I met at Mosquito University!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Kill Them All (Some More)!

What does Axl Rose have to do with China, democracy, or Dr. Pepper? Why would I ever, no matter what, care about such total crap?

I say, let's kill them all! But then, that's my answer to everything that's meaningless.

So I guess that's meaningless, eh?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Curiouser and curiouser?

I'm a bit nonplussed by this notion of the "followers" that Blogger recently introduced. I already use Bloglines to do my "following" of other blogs and those who are interested were mostly already following me in some manner. How this Follower crap improves things, I cannot guess. No doubt, it is explained somewhere, but it doesn't look all that interesting. Possibly hundreds of years could pass before I'd get that curious. I believe in curiosity, I think it's a good thing. But we don't need to be curious about Everything, do we? I thought not.

p.s. I note that so far I only have 2 defined "followers", and those are attached to "Most Frequent Blogger Questions", not to "The Rat Squeaks". I don't create new posts for MFBQ very often, so that seems like a waste of a Follower's time! It doesn't sound very promising to me so far.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Semolina Dildo

Feeble, fible, fable and all,
They say Jay Lemmon tried to sound like Bad Dylan in this song
And left a sad pleasant confusion for us all!!
Textperts, jexperts, it jus may be
Just as you say, boy, messed in the way, oy!
The crowd's all gone now except for the bad boy,
Colors gone too how, all fished out from frim to Fry-day,
And as faded as some poor little Jewish Tuesday can ever be!

[MEANING:
Words, what they mean and what they sound like,
Can paint a picture, either internal or external,
Real or imagined, for the author or for the listener,
And that meaning's not always the same
For either or neither or even
Any third party who's just looking on...]

This was or is a taste of the old
"I am or was The Walrus" sort of thing...
I hope you didn't blow your mind out in a car
Or anything like that.
We all have been somewhere by now, old chaps,
So prepare your Steely Dese and get wit it!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wondering About Suicide

Reading recently about a young man who committed suicide online and who was variously encouraged and discouraged to complete his mission by gawkers, I took a few minutes to look up suicide sites or at least sites that mention suicide on the Internet. Some teenagers make "pacts" to commit suicide, just as they agree with one another to do other weird things. What should they do, they're teenagers. I remember some "odd" things I did when I was a teenager, none of them seriously murderous or self-destructive or even self-abnegating. I was just crazy, and full of piss and vinegar. Me and some other guys were going to have windbreakers printed up with a bit of Dylan lyrics imprinted on the backs, but we never did it. Finally I took a Magic Marker to the windbreaker I already owned and wrote on it:

"In ceremonies of the horsemen,
Even the pawn must hold a grudge..."

I was a club of one, I guess. I don't recall how long I wore it, but not more than the season for it that particular year.

The same group was going to be very cool and wear one cowboy spur (instead of one ear-ring, you know?) and two of us did finally manage that one. We probably never found more than the one old pair of free spurs (I think it was from some sort of life-debris from the other guy's wastrel uncle).

All the rest of our misbehaviors were related to things like driving our cars too fast, or wearing our hair longer than we should have or putting some pills in our coffee that made you fall asleep (what was the logic in that one?) or maybe letting some guy drive you around your home town when you knew he was probably too fucked up to identify the planet he was on. And what about that strange guy in Houston one night who pulled a gun on everyone and you had to plead with him for five or ten minutes to calm down, just calm down--there "wasn't nothing happening!" The incident was soon over, though it stuck in my memory like some bad movie I wish I'd never seen. I wonder if he ever blew his brains out later? We were never really certain who it was that he wanted to shoot. There would have been a certain logic, and even poetic justice, in his suicide. Whether he did or didn't, it's taken me forty years after that night to even wonder about it.

Here I Am?

It's not so cold a day as before, though my fingers still get cold too easily. My podiatrist offered the other day to give me a circulation test (don't ask me!), so that's scheduled, for tomorrow, I think--it's written down on my calendar. It's free, he said, so that sounds good, I guess, though I can't help wondering why neither he nor my GP ever bothered to think of it before now. I have always complained of being cold, especially my extremities. Well, we'll see. If it's anything that bears repeating, I might even tell you here. But probably it's another one of those loads of crap that don't amount to much beyond the advertising. I hate advertising.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

There I was

It's so goddamn cold out here in my study. I never keep enough heat on or else none at all. All the plastic computer parts get so cold and stay that way mostly. Sometimes I use a hairdryer to warm things up, but it doesn't last. I've leaving now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Understand?

Pling plang,
Pixie dixie dash,
Wash you mosh?
Ween woon wim.
I don!

Kill Them All!

If you ONLY could let the management of General Motors, Ford, Etc. go down the toilet and straight to hell without taking the jobs of so many employees, direct and indirect, I'd be all in favor of it. Who has ever been more worthy of hatred than the big American car makers? Maybe it's not even the wrong thing to let all those jobs go to hell, too, but I can't claim to know that! I'm not certain how one would be in the position to know the situation that well. God knows, maybe--but the rest of us are just egotistical shits (whether we're on TV or not), as usual!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For Yoyo

If I could doodle you well enough,
Either in my imagination or anyone else's,
Not to mention in some sweet stone reality,
You'd smile so neatly,
We'd be in a spin,
It'd cheer me up
Or on to victory
Or out of this dismal daunting dread I'm in,
And then maybe we'd break out of this sin together
Where mere veneer covers us, thinly like skin,
All our beastly blessed ventures--
It'd poke right through this dearth of confession,
This yearn and yen,
This deadly wedly den of thought
Combined with all our thoughtlessness
And just desires and desserts.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dogger's Lack of Appeal

Further Scribbles From His Early 1990's Notes

I wish I had more connection to people these days, but it isn't so and it doesn't seem likely to be forthcoming. I'm just here and I'm just me--not more attractive than I used to be, not more tolerant of others, not reaching out any further than what you may see at first brief glance here. If it's a hard existence or a long sentence, it's a self-imposed one and there's little likelihood of talking my way out of it or into any other frame of mind. There will probably be no suddenly growing an appealing puppy-dog tail that I could wag. What about YOUR tail--who will be crowing over that?

I can't wake up,
I can't wake up,
Although I have good intentions and
I often rise before the morning shines,
Or before my submarine alarm clock goes off--
It's dreadful,
And I'm being slowly crowded off the bed.

As noted elsewhere in this blog, Gatsby ended his life in 1994.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

News Off The Internet

HEADLINES

NASA astronauts to drink their own urine today...

NASA astronauts to drink each other's urine today...

NASA astronauts to drink Space Zombie urine today...

Some days the news is just so fucking weird. I think somebody somewhere is just making stuff up, don't you?

There is a more common vulgar phrase, "Eat shit" which I've heard all my life. I wonder if NASA will attempt to facilitate that one as well?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Somewhere

Take a look forward
Or take a look back,
You might be there
Or surprisingly here
Or, anyway, somewhere near—
You know it isn't clear, but it's all we've got any more
Except to roll in the feces or
Dodge the rain-flooded walkway out there in the yard
Or cringe like sapient dogs on the mudroom floor.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Southern Comfort?

Edith Wharton: "There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there's only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there's no reason why you shouldn't have a fairly good time."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Self-Actualization

Hey Jude — Beatles

Hey Jude don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey Jude don't be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better

And any time you feel the pain, Hey Jude, refrain
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
Na na na na na
na na na na

Hey Jude don't let me down
You have found her now go and get her
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

So let it out and let it in
Hey Jude begin
You're waiting for someone to perform with
And don't you know that it's just you
Hey Jude you'll do
The movement you need is on your shoulder

Na na na na na
na na na na Yeah

Hey Jude don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her under your skin
Then you'll begin to make it better
Better, better, better, better, better, Yeah,Yeah,Yeah

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na
Na Na Na Na, Hey Jude!
( 16 times till fade out)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

More Erratum!

You couldn't follow me if you tried! It's not that you're so slow or that I'm so fast—it's just that I'm almost perpetually errratic!

Perfect Process?

Eric Ambler: "For the skeptic there remains only one consolation: if there should be such a thing as superhuman law it is administered with subhuman inefficiency."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama's Team

I was reading a reprint of an article today from the Christian Science Monitor how one of Barack Obama's favorite books is "Team of Rivals", a book detailing Abraham Lincoln's style of administration during the Civil War. That was a book I enjoyed very much, both the writing and the portrait of Lincoln that Doris Kearns Goodwin painted. Lincoln was a very great man, but it is to be hoped that other men, sometimes even lesser men, can benefit from an admiration of his style of "keeping his enemies close", of being "inclusive". Many in Lincoln's cabinet were the exact same men who had vied with him for the republican nomination and had pretty thoroughly disrespected him, behind his back and to his face! They did not immediately decide to be agreeable to Lincoln even after becoming members of his cabinet--for a while, there was just too much Ego in the room!

I find it encouraging that President-elect Obama admires Lincoln in that regard. Of course, it's easier to admire such greatness than it is to emulate it, so I won't be holding my breath or holding my water or anything else. Nonetheless, I might actually start to believe that such grandeur is still POSSIBLE these days, and that would be a very great thing in itself.

Below is the article from the Christian Science Monitor:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081106/cm_csm/epresident

Jack Handey
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Optimism

Or Being Crazy

Havelock Ellis: "The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum."

Brave New World 2008

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!

Shakespeare
The Tempest (V, i)

What Kind Of Dream?

Edgar Allan Poe:
"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Party Favor

Or, Thought for the day

There's no use being Frank Zappa any more.

Found Treasure: Rosalie Sorrels

Rosalie Sorrels

Every once in a while on the Internet you stumble across a treasure that you'd never even heard the name of and this is one of those for me, a singer that I must have gone to a great deal of trouble to totally miss! Listen to her song, ."Travellin' Lady". I swear, if the God of Folk music is a woman, Sorrels certainly sounds like the voice of the Goddess--or at least the archangel that introduces them!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Come Together?

William Ralph Inge
"A nation is a society united by delusions about its ancestry and by common hatred of its neighbors."

Happy Trails To You!

All I can do is hope that everybody everywhere, of all sexes, all colors, all affiliations, who's ever had anything to do with these goddamn soulless robotic phone calls WILL SLOWLY DIE IN HELL!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Studs Terkel Is Gone

I never paid all that much attention to Terkel, but I've heard him talk now and then. Lately I've listened to him on the Internet even more now that he's died. Well, he had to die some time, didn't he, and he didn't exactly die young. 96 is a pretty good age. I'm sorry he couldn't live to see the end of the Presidential election like he wanted. But, really, there is no good time to die, I'd imagine. He always said that his epitaph would be that "curiosity didn't kill this cat!" As far as I could see, he always had curiosity, though, and it hadn't stopped even in his ninety-sixth year! An amazing and likable man!

He interviewed a lot of "ordinary" people in his years. Some of the people that he interviewed were celebrities, though he said his attraction to them was that they were people he "celebrated" for things he admired about them. Mere "celebrities", he said, were creatures of no particular definition at all. For the same reason, I mention him here as a man to be celebrated more than as a mere celebrity who thus fits into this Category of post! He was pretty much articulate right up to the end. Great men should always live this well, this long!

Magnifier on Microsoft Mouse

When I had to buy a new mouse the other day, I was only vaguely aware of it having an additional button (new to me). It's on the top left edge (center) of the mouse and it turns on and off a magnifier. The magnification is of only one power, though the box itself can be continuously adjusted from small to nearly as large as the screen. It reminded me of a conversation I had long ago when I was griping about small print and various people advised me about the View-Text sizing. I do sometimes use the View to enlarge things, but the magnifying button is pretty cool when I encounter the Internet equivalent of "fine print" in legal documents or medicine labels where it's just a small message, not the whole screen, that's way too fucking small. The button is very useful, though it is hard to get used to and not be turning it on and off without intending to do so! I'm sure there's web sites and magazines that have reported this and other technical crap to the max, but apparently I never go there! I had no idea there was such a button. Not a bad thing, though!

See the
Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000
if you're curious.

Or see the magnifier (shown at its smallest size) imposed over a photo of this post below:




Saturday, November 01, 2008

I Saw You

I dreamed I saw you in a passing car
Going another way,
And it was oh so many years later
And still I hadn't forgotten.
It might not have been you, but it hardly matters, does it?
Whether it was or not, it prodded me, it pierced me,
It made me bleed and sweat and weep and pray
As I had not done for years,
Whether I should have done or not—
But that part, too, doesn't matter.
We are past it.

It was like some last sad song of youth
That I'd heard now just once too often,
Sung by the most ethereal, soulful country songstress
Softly crooning those old Beatles love songs
That stung us awake and left us alive but lopsided,
Not intact, but fragmented like this—
It then left our hearts in the dirt for eternity...
I never knew it would be so long
When you went away,
Not until this last time that your image
passed me by like a ghost in a transparent dream.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Growing

He was a burgeoning misfit and sinking morass,
A growing maniac
That any and all could see
Could not be hindered,
He was a worry to his family
And a blot on the reports and repartee that
Self-appointed experts or his fading friends might make
That ought to please, yet nothing pleased...

Spectacular moonbeams like monograms on the wane
And steeped in wine, robust movements
Of comfortable pillows
On top of twisted mangled bowels,
Tawdry dreams and lacklustre schemes
And the old bitch science, who's failing
Each and every one of us
And falling down, from grace in drag,
On Tuesdays and every Friday...
It has all squashed my resistance now
And heaped up this poverty of appetites
Until every lick of poetry in the bowl
Is more sticky and more satisfying
Than oatmeal on lumber that's never sweet,

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dead Mouse

I was offline for about a day because my second effort to clean my mouse killed it! The fact that I've cleaned mice previously doesn't matter much, evidently, because it froze up and wouldn't show any sign of life. I was going to consult my nephew about it (he might still have my optical mouse that travelled to his house), but he was out of town, so I broke down and bought a new one. It's not as if they're expensive. I paid $20, but there were $10 ones! Considering how much gunk I found in the mouse that just died, I think I'm pretty happy to be back with an optical mouse, not to mention a new one! This Microsoft bugger sure does move fast comparatively! I keep running right off the screen.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bail Me Out, Too, Mister!

Daniel Webster:
"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bellies

I knew a girl, I didn't know her very well,
I used to tell myself, though,
How I'd love to belly up to her
Even if our bellies were all that was involved
Except for our kisses. There should always be kisses,
Slow and long and lingering on the lips...

Meanwhile, she was just so fucking cute
I couldn't bear it
And couldn't wait any more
And I fell to sticking my tongue in her
While she rolled and jerked around!
It was very nice of her to like it so well, I thought,
When I myself liked it so much!

I'd love to tickle her somewhere,
Anywhere that would tickle her!
Oh, what an effect that would be!
But I'm not all that cool
And can't pretend to be, at least not for long,
So do I know her or not?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Authority

Albert Einstein:
"To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself."

Goddamn

While riding as a passenger in a car the other day, I was jarred by an unexpected speed bump and exclaimed "Goddamn", as I am (at the least) wont to do at any significant provocation. The driver bit my head off for it (exclaiming "That didn't hurt you!"), apparently forgetting for a minute what decades have passed since the 1950's when nobody except auto mechanics (like my father) ever said bad words. I'm not in favor of teaching "bad language" to children, but anybody who can drive a goddamn car is way too old and experienced (I would have thought) to try to crush me for that particular sin.

I have to admit that I'm an extremist. I cuss a lot and I do so emphatically, most especially when I'm alone or think no one's close enough to hear me rant. But I wonder about the driver's statement that the sudden bump "didn't hurt" me. True enough. But the truth is that the only way I could avoid such neurotic automatic responses would be if I were someone else or if I were taking powerful pills (don't I take enough already?) for my nerves. I would need some pretty serious dope. I don't like to be startled!

I am pretty constantly tensed up in expectation of some surprise, pain, or shock, whether it be an expectation of pain in my back from leaning over to pick up objects or the fear that objects I need to move will be too heavy or the dread that a four year old boy will rush at me in fun and knock me off balance and onto my ass! Don't laugh--when his older sister was young, she knocked me down in just that way and it was both difficult and embarrassing to get myself picked up again. You may think those fears are pathetic; I certainly do--but it's the condition my life's been in for a few years now and I don't know how to fix it so that I couldn't possibly offend someone's sensibilities. Well, I could kill myself, but surely no act of Harikiri is required here! If there's a problem, just bugger off, and let me do the same!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Reference To An Old Song

I'm an old pipsqueak from the Rio Grande,
But I promise I won't press the issue.

Actual song lyrics at my old post about The Old Cowhand

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Onset Of Boredom?

I answered 2 or 3 other easy-as-pie questions on Blogger Help Group since Monday, but my energy level is pretty low about it. I don't have nearly as much commitment or obsession as I used to have. Well, we'll see. Some things fade away in life, whether they be lovers or just loved things.

Maybe I'll learn to just go and pick my nose until it bleeds; that'll keep me busy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Woogie, Ancient Blog*Star From Hell!

I answered some silly question (easy one) on Blogger Help Group today, the first one I've answered in a couple of months. All the other questions seemed to require some thinking on my part, so I didn't answer any of them. Maybe my habits have changed at last and I can't get back in the habit of being a Blogger knowitall? It could be. Just a tainted, water-damaged, rusty old Blog*Star ready for the garbage heap. Let it rain on me. It doesn't hurt, though, so what does it matter?

Maybe this is another retirement from Retirement? I can't keep track.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crazy?

IN THE DREAM I BURNED IT ALL

In the dream I burned it all,
First the letters never sent,
Then the ones addressed to me.
Next came my poems and stories—
Every paper draft, every final page.

Then came the program files—
Truth, fiction, databases, all—
All melted in the flame.

Then all the leather, raw and finished.
I don’t know why I’m so surprised
To see how well that skin will burn—
Even hide as thick as that.

Only this lazy cognizance remains, and it seems
Too poor a thing to lay much claim to fame.
Or am I merely stating
That I'm starting over,
Standing in a circle,
Like some crazy syphilitic phoenix?


rcs.
3rd draft: 10/19/08

Friday, October 17, 2008

Whistle

Woody Allen:
"It is impossible to experience one's death objectively and still carry a tune."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blind Jack

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950).
Spoon River Anthology. 1916

I HAD fiddled all at the county fair.
But driving home “Butch” Weldy and Jack McGuire,
Who were roaring full, made me fiddle and fiddle
To the song of Susie Skinner, while whipping the horses
Till they ran away.
Blind as I was, I tried to get out
As the carriage fell in the ditch,
And was caught in the wheels and killed.
There’s a blind man here with a brow
As big and white as a cloud.
And all we fiddlers, from highest to lowest,
Writers of music and tellers of stories,
Sit at his feet,
And hear him sing of the fall of Troy.

Dead And Deadly Singers


Fabulous Dead Pop Singers

  1. Elvis Presley
  2. Gram Parsons
  3. Jimi Hendrix
  4. Richard FariƱa
  5. Janis Joplin
  6. Jim Morrison
  7. Buddy Holly
  8. Jimmy Reed
  9. Faron Young
  10. Sandy Denny
  11. Roy Orbison
  12. Kate Wolf
  13. Ray Charles
  14. John Lennon
  15. Tim Buckley
  16. Rick Nelson
  17. Johnnie Ray
  18. Otis Redding
  19. Billie Holiday
  20. Cass Elliott
  21. Eddy Arnold
  22. Jim Reeves
  23. Patsy Cline
  24. Johnny Cash
  25. Dinah Washington
  26. Edith Piaf
  27. Bessie Smith
  28. Minnie Ripperton
  29. Nicolette Larson
  30. James Brown
  31. Nat King Cole
  32. Marvin Gaye
  33. Sam Cooke
  34. Jimi Hendrix
  35. Richie Valens
  36. Hank Williams, Sr. (We can only wish it for junior.)


If I left out any good ones, feel free to list your own and I might add them to the list. If I don't like them very much, though, it won't matter to me how famous they were. I notice I didn't list many blues singers--although I may like some of them very much, I am not conscious of thinking about the dead buggers as great singers.


p.s. OK, so I left out Frank Sinatra, but I despise that Las Vegas scuz and his lame efforts to speak like the black musicians he worked with.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

As I Walked Out One Evening

by W.H. Auden

As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
"Love has no ending.

"I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

"I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.

"The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world."

But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
"O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

"In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.

"In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

"Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver's brilliant bow.

"O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you've missed.

"The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

"Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
And Jill goes down on her back.

"O look, look in the mirror?
O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.

"O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart."

It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Harold Arnett

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.

I LEANED against the mantel, sick, sick,
Thinking of my failure, looking into the abyss,
Weak from the noon-day heat.
A church bell sounded mournfully far away,
I heard the cry of a baby,
And the coughing of John Yarnell,
Bed-ridden, feverish, feverish, dying,
Then the violent voice of my wife:
“Watch out, the potatoes are burning!”
I smelled them ... then there was irresistible disgust.
I pulled the trigger ... blackness ... light...
Unspeakable regret ... fumbling for the world again.
Too late! Thus I came here,
With lungs for breathing ... one cannot breathe here with lungs,
Though one must breathe.... Of what use is it
To rid one’s self of the world,
When no soul may ever escape the eternal destiny of life?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Attitudes

We have attitude and platitudes,
And plenty of.
But we don't have much real choice any more
(Said the pogo stick in an awkward voice
To a dead horse wearing lovely makeup).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Philosophers

William James
"There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers."

Minerva Jones

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.


I AM Minerva, the village poetess,
Hooted at, jeered at by the Yahoos of the street
For my heavy body, cock-eye, and rolling walk,
And all the more when “Butch” Weldy
Captured me after a brutal hunt.
He left me to my fate with Doctor Meyers;
And I sank into death, growing numb from the feet up,
Like one stepping deeper and deeper into a stream of ice.
Will some one go to the village newspaper,
And gather into a book the verses I wrote?—
I thirsted so for love!
I hungered so for life!

Modern Phones

Among the things disturbed or zapped by Hurricane Ike seems to be my cordless phone I used out here in the study. I bought that AT&T phone sometime before 1988--so it's ancient. I remember I paid something like $150 for it and didn't mind it, it seemed like such a fine new toy to me at the time! Nowadays, they are as common as dirt and nearly as cheap. All the fancy phones are in the house these days, so I bought the cheapest one I could find at WalMart (less than $10) and it seems to be perfectly good. It seems like it's even better in some ways because it's smaller and lighter. I have no real use for cell phones, so all their lightweightness and smallness has not much intruded into my life, but I can see how they too have reached a premium stage of existence for those who have to carry them around.

Technology is a wonderful thing, I guess--until it tracks you down and locks you up, of course.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lock And Lither

Pither, fither,
Lock and lither,
Schlock and flither,
Clock and chither--
Out on the way to Mayfair we bumped
Into a drunken lazy bum who stumbled.
Now we swindle, swelter, and connive, and
The Jews and all my juicy friends are helter-skelter!
Shriek your shrug and hang your quiver,
But don't just hang around here
Like some kind of bad luck personified
Or with any great expectations, either, Chuck!

Pig snouts, without a doubt,
Who knows what'll rise up out of the dust next
Or what will rip what ripe flesh
Or who will go down in pride now without a word?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Too Much At Once

Anonymous:
"Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn't seem to be working."

The Song that Bush Sings In The Shower

Political Science


by Randy Newman

No one likes us-I don't know why
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
But all around, even our old friends put us down
Let's drop the big one and see what happens

We give them money-but are they grateful?
No, they're spiteful and they're hateful
They don't respect us-so let's surprise them
We'll drop the big one and pulverize them

Asia's crowded and Europe's too old
Africa is far too hot
And Canada's too cold
And South America stole our name
Let's drop the big one
There'll be no one left to blame us

We'll save Australia
Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo
We'll build an All American amusement park there
They got surfin', too

Boom goes London and boom Paris
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town
Oh, how peaceful it will be
We'll set everybody free
You'll wear a Japanese kimono
And there'll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let's drop the big one now
Let's drop the big one now

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

I'm not sure when it became permissible to put one's God and one's militaristic leanings into a single pot and stir them together, but certainly there was no one during the Civil War who didn't believe that God was on his side and would help smite the enemy! (What a bunch of jerks we are!)

This was an American abolitionist song written by Julia Ward Howe in November 1861 and first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1, 1862 that was made popular during the American Civil War.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hippo



I think about things every day that aren't even important to me, so how much less (I figure) is it to you? This is just one of them, I'd say--not more, not less--even if it's wearing steel-toed boots and a mauve tutu without any bra or panties.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Not Out Of Spite Or Anger

Nothing Was Delivered
by Bob Dylan

Nothing was delivered
And I tell this truth to you,
Not out of spite or anger
But simply because it's true.
Now, I hope you won't object to this,
Giving back all of what you owe,
The fewer words you have to waste on this,
The sooner you can go.

Nothing is better, nothing is best,
Take heed of this and get plenty of rest.

Nothing was delivered
But I can't say I sympathize
With what your fate is going to be,
Yes, for telling all those lies.
Now you must provide some answers
For what you sell has not been received,
And the sooner you come up with them,
The sooner you can leave.

Nothing is better, nothing is best,
Take heed of this and get plenty rest.

(Now you know)
Nothing was delivered
And it's up to you to say
Just what you had in mind
When you made ev'rybody pay.
No, nothing was delivered,
Yes, 'n' someone must explain
That as long as it takes to do this
Then that's how long that you'll remain.

Nothing is better, nothing is best,
Take heed of this and get plenty rest.

Copyright ©1968; renewed 1996 Dwarf Music

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Duels

Mark Twain:
"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pathetic

Jerry Garcia: "Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cooler Temps And Shirts And Pants

I had to start wearing a few of my long-sleeve shirts this past week. Whether the warm weather is "all over" here in Texas or not, it at least starts to feel like it's not quite hurricane season, and you know that can't be bad! I even turned the bathroom heater on this morning and it's hard to remember when I did that last. I think last winter was so tolerable (to me) that I almost never turned it on. That's always the oddest odor, though, the smell of the past year's dust burning off of the heating element--for a moment or two before realizing what it is, I panic.

The first morning I reached for a winter shirt last week, I grabbed one that was a very tight fit and wondered if I'd grown fat during the night! I finally recalled that it was one I'd meant to set aside from the "normal" shirts and had failed to do so. The tight shirt was the same "large" size as all the others, but still it was for someone just a few pounds lighter! I can't recall how I acquired a shirt that didn't fit very well, but maybe it was one of those fifty-cent wonders I sometimes buy at Good Will.

At the same time last week I began trying on some of my smaller (size 36) pants and found that I've shrunk again in that regard. So now I have two sizes of pants in my closet, size 36 and 38. If the smaller sizes stay comfortable, I'll eventually move the larger ones into the bathroom closet to avoid the confusion!

I'll keep the cargo pants handy, though, since all three pair of them are the larger size! I like all those pockets, though it's seldom that I use them all! Nonetheless, when using a cane for walking as I have done much of this past year, one sometimes needs either an extra hand (no one sells them) or an extra pocket.

Meanwhile, it's weird to have some pants so loose they fall off without a cinched belt and others that stay up without any belt at all!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Middle Class Depressed

Dog Eat Dog

Even after the Depression, most people had survived, though I'm not sure so many of them had so far to fall as would currently be the case. The rich have always been rich, but the successful middle class has never been so large or felt themselves so entitled to something perpetually better. I can only barely recall life without TV or air conditioning! When have we ever done without anything? We would all have such a long way to fall, and then we'd all land in a heap on top of one another. We wouldn't know who we should kill or who we should eat.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Big Piece

Ludwig Erhard: "A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Body Experience

You ever look at yourself and feel like it looks like someone else? I never have out-of-body experiences, but I do have this experience (see my photo in sidebar).

All that aside, my internet connection self-suspended itself for the past several days, but finally just unplugging the modem and turning it back on again fixed it. A cheap fix, once my nephew came along and just did it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fretless Guitar

Blow your brains out, blow your cigar,
Blow all your juices, blow your regard,
Blow out the candle with a soft squeeze box
Or with a soft breeze
Or blow it to hell with Hurricane Ike--
Doesn't matter, it'll be out!

Jeff Beck's been on my mind lately,
Can't say why, he just stays there
On the fringes of my consciousness--
Anyway, he once made a fretless guitar
Out of boxes and stuff, when he was a kid, I mean...
The frets were painted on, I read.

I've seen him listed as one of the top one hundred
Or even one of the top four guitarists, but I don't know,
Myself not being even one of the top 10 million guitarists.

Black And White

Martin Luther King Jr.
"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Exegetic Halitosis Folk Song

I've been whispered down the turnpike,
Paying tolls to know not where with know not what!
I've been unctiouus and deplorable and invested,
And fractious, undeserving, cathartic, owed, and
Flipping up your frilly pink skirt behind at night!
It was better than anything until we elope
Or until we can kiss and moan like we did before
With that secret dope you keep in your closet.
You've been kept stapled stable somehow for no reason
Yet we all rage on.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Free Choice

Peter Ustinov:
"In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from."

Get up, get out of bed!

Seems like I spent forever this morning waking up, getting dressed, getting to the computer. Only my usual 60 to 90 minutes, though. I can barely recall the details of how when I was younger, I'd wake up ten minutes before I was due at work when I lived at least 15 minutes away! I'd drive there, somehow, in a coma. These days I'm lucky if I can feel my fingertips well enough to button my shirt.

Damn the details, full speed ahead!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Give Away?

Frank Zappa:

"I ain't got no soul to give away..."

Oops, that wasn't Frank, that was me!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mail Box And Post

On top of having no cable TV, we can't get the daily paper at present because we have no box for it. The box for the paper was attached below the mail box, which is also gone. If you want those details, I include them below.

The storm didn't get the mail box, but some drunks or pill heads cruising around town the night after managed to wipe out the three mail boxes and posts grouped together. The post for our mail box was some piece of pipe, about 4 inches wide and very sturdy, that my father had put there decades ago--I wouldn't have thought it would be damaged, but the old Oldsmobile they say plowed into it must be more powerful that a hurricane. That pipe, buried 3 feet deep in the ground came up out of the wet ground along with the other two less sturdy posts! Somebody in the neighborhood pulled that car out of the ditch and sent the three drunks/pill heads on their way, one of them bleeding badly from bouncing his head against the windshield. Apparently our neighbor just wanted to get them out of our area--send them to kill somebody somewhere else, I guess. Maybe they had a wreck in front of a cop the next time (one can only hope), but I'm sure police were still straining to maintain order in my small town the night after the storm and would have been hard to contact. I don't know. I wasn't here. Weird shit happens when you leave home.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Got Home

Got home to a mess, though not as bad as Hurricane Rita. Detail later, if I ever catch my breath! I'm sure it was worse for many thousands of evacuees, but it's always hard when you're sick.

Good lord. Stuck for the past week in a different state where the local Texas storm news was pretty scarce, here we are local again but the cable TV is still out! So, no TV news. I guess when power comes back, one expects all other amenities to follow--but not so!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Hurricane Blues

I'm headed north again.

I Hate Hurricanes

Gustav missed us, but here comes Ike. This is really the first bad season since Rita was so destructive here, and before Rita, we'd had it pretty light for a long long time. I'm becoming a nervous wreck just watching the weather news.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Worse

Diseased and disarmed
And all get worse...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Log Blog

Everything continues to be. Boring. Slow. And heavy.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lift My Sword

Is Everything The Same?

Now it was before the final assassin came
And before that nascent ascent began,
I noticed that forceps ripped out your tongue
And no one cared,
You who had once been famous,
You couldn't even rouse the yellow press
In such a public panic as we all were in
To see us with our lungs caved in--
Ah, men they danced in the streets with death masks on
And ladies lifted their skirts so high to dance
That even young men had never seen such a sea
Of white elastic encasing such a wave of cloth
Or such a waft of hair around that pink American flesh!
How could anyone object?
I lift my sword, I lift my glass,
I lift my glans for all to glance
And spill my seed and steer my steed!
We lift our arms in nimble praise of all that gentle ass!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Unpacking for Gustav

I can't believe I had so much stuff packed for the hurricane; when I unpacked it, it seemed like three times as much! I must own too much stuff, that's all I can think! I'm back, and I wish I had stayed. Gustav made us all work, but didn't work much damage around here! That's good, but I' so tired I can't see straight. Wish I could hire someone else to do this shit!

What The Hell You Care?

Like A Rolling Stone

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
But you'd better lift your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Copyright ©1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

I got some invite from someone about Twitter. I don't know what Twitter is, don't know what they "do so well" that they themselves brag on without surcease, and I don't want to know what or who they are. I was more concerned to hear that Shelfari has been bought up by Amazon! But that too pales beside the impending Hurricane Gustav! Shit, I gotta get out of here! Evacuation is likely to be mandatory by tomorrow morning.

Hope Gustav zooms through fast and we can come back soon, though I packed four changes of clothes in addition to the clothes I have on. I'm even taking an extra hat--cheap one, of course--so I can protect the good one, I wont mind if the $3 one blows off my head and down the street and never returns. The good hat's fine in slight rain, but I don't want it getting soaked!

I can't believe I packed up so much stuff when I distrust the Experts. At this point they don't know where it's hitting, they just wave their arm in a wide arc and say "Somewhere thar!" Real bunch of scientists. Anyone can understand evacuating New Orleans, but places as inland as my town shouldn't have to panic with so little factual input! But, maybe I'm wrong to grump. I wasn't wrong before (Hurricane Rita) when I wanted to get the fuck out of town. But that just confuses me. It was a different storm, different year. We'd gone for decades around here before Rita came along and stomped on us and smeared our lives across Southeast Texas like we were all cocoroachs. Now, I guess we're paranoid, but with good cause!

Friday, August 29, 2008

BEYOND WHAT HORIZON?!

Modern Times or Modern Plagiarism?

Before I went off and bought Bob Dylan's "Modern Times" album a few weeks ago, I'd heard most of the songs on the Internet and I'd quickly read a few reviews online, from Rolling Stone and so forth. I think it was RS that kept identifying bits of music or lyrics that were derivative or stolen from specific other old songs.

I didn't worry much about that because I knew Bob started out as a folkie and they stole from each other and from their predecessors. After I bought the album, though, I forgot all that shit. From time to time, I'd notice that his song, "Beyond The Horizon" sounded SO FAMILIAR. At one point I decided that it sounded like some whole class of songs from the past--that generality would have satisfied me if I hadn't heard "Red Sails In The Sunset" on the jazz radio station one day and I realized that THAT was the tune he'd stolen! Though I hadn't heard it a lot lately, it is an awfully well-known song for him to pilfer. But, everything is up for grabs in today's music, even at the top! But with today's lawyers, one doesn't always get away with it, I hear.

I never knew until this year that Apple got sued by Chuck Berry's lawyers because the John Lennon line, "Here come old flat-top, he come grooving up slowly" was a recognizable ripoff from one of Berry's songs! Apple lost or gave way, I'm not sure which.

Lennon was still alive at the time of the suit and a part of the settlement was that he'd record x number of Berry's songs, which was probably no great burden for an ex-Beatle in the throes of reliving his rocker youth! I guess when you listen to too many pop songs for 20, 30, or 40 years, you can't tell what you're creating or what you're remembering! Dylan's old enough to claim all sorts of enfeeblement of the mind. Too bad, but it's a good legal defense!



Actually, I have more sympathy for unconscious thieves of bits of song or literature. I often think of some great line, then realize it's something I remember from some song or book! Long ago, I had a line I liked a lot, "a foggy knight in mourning", that I thought I'd use in a poem some day until reality crashed down on my head and I realized that "A foggy night and morning" is the name of the last chapter in Thomas Hardy's "Far From The Madding Crowd". That rained on my parade. Or something! Now that I think of it, wasn't Joe Biden (democratic candidate for vice president) accused of plagiarism about 20 years ago when his eventual defense was the same as mine, that he'd forgotten where the line came from! Politicians and poets, who can you trust?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bob What?

Nothing was decoded
And I tell this truth to you
Not out of spite or anger,
But simply because it's true!

Stolen from Bob Dylan

Who said all that? Crap, I don't know the answer to nothin'!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Danger--Soup Ahead!

No comments—it's so sad. Guess I'd go kill myself if I could be neat about burying myself afterward. Guess I could go find a giant construction site—a new dam or something—where I could jump into the concrete. I'd be dead, I'd be buried, and I wouldn't stink up the place any more! The rest of you morons could go on like nothing had ever changed, at least until it's time for you to jump into the soup. Everybody's got some soup waiting for them somewhere, whether it's concrete, salt water, or minestrone.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Never Say Die!

The Kennedys Go On

I didn't watch Ted Kennedy's appearance at the Democratic Convention, but I'm sorry I didn't. I notice on the Internet his relatives are all saying how "unbelievably well" he's doing despite his medical treatments for brain cancer. I hope that estimate is all true, but you know, that's just what the Kennedy family is always like. If the assassinated President Kennedy had lasted a couple of days instead of mere hours, they would all have been putting a positive spin on the worst possible scenario.

I don't accuse them of any dishonesty, I just say they possess a family trait that is no more familiar to me than if it was the behavior of just-arrived Martians. Someone in my family always says, "How can we go on without him (or her)?" The Kennedys never say "Die," no matter how many of them have died, no matter how tragically or how publicly.

The love of God, country, and family aside, I would guess that they most believe in just plain True Grit.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tell Me, What'd I Say?

Myself, I think I'm moving into a form of cryptology where I can't even decode myself.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Greatest Record Ever!


Actually, I liked "The White Album" More

I didn't necessarily read all the "liner notes" that accompanied the CD issue of various old records or, if I did, have not retained them very well. I was poking through those CD liner notes for "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" earlier today. Once again, I was reading too fast, but not entirely skimming! Some interesting facts did impinge on my ancient brain—for one, that the recording took a total of 700-plus hours as compared to the first Beatles album which took less than 600 minutes. Big shots all across Britain, Europe, and America must have been shitting their pants over that investment. After all, if time is money, so time pissed away is money pissed away!!! (Besides, who were all those goddamn people?)
The investment paid off, though. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine showed it as the greatest album of all time among 500 other noteworthy albums. 'Nuff said!

p.s. Of the top 10 on the above list, the Beatles had three albums, Bob Dylan two, and the Rolling Stones had one.

Even Roaches Like To Maintain Their "Place"

I get meaner and less worthy of sympathy as I go along. I'm just making an observation, you don't have to jump up and declare that you still sorta like me! I'd probably question your heritage and doubt your synaptic integrity if you did!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pitiful

Well, that blip was pitiful, two ways at once. If you missed it, don't ask--I covered it up.

Bomb The Bastards!

Won't these goddamn Olympics ever end? I haven't been watching them intentionally because nobody's forced me to watch, not exactly. But it's on the news so often and all the talk show mavens are "talking" about it in their usual aimless, pointless manner (as if it's better than sex) that it seems to me like it's "on" day and night, sixty minutes an hour! I have never so badly wished that somebody would drop nuclear bombs on China! Now would be a good time.

Do you think the nations of the world would still have Olympic games four years from now? As if nothing had happened, despite the incineration of thousands of contestants? Shoot, who knows, maybe that would be the way to officially end the games every time from now on. NBC could leave the cameras on and step out quickly "for a smoke", then high-tail it to their waiting airplanes! BOOM! Ah, the host country just paid the price for all that attention and glory! China (or whoever) won't have to explain why their gymnasts all look six! The ultimate way to destroy all the evidence!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Everything About Me

If you subscribe or even if you don't, beware of my poems' first editions, for they are sometimes revised 3 times in the first 30 minutes.


Kleptomaniac

I had hardons in my life
For some very sweet soft women,
Day and night,
And night and day overlapping—
I had Boogie in my britches
That seemed like forever sometimes,
Stretching from my itchy eyebrows to the stars in my eyes
And right back down to my mindless stares
And vivid vacuous ire I shared
With nearly total strangers!
Now everything else about me has always grossly stunk
Of some old cheese I dreamed or
Of thwarted themes of what I sire
And tumultuous winds and terminated fire
Until this time around, at least--but now
That Boogle in my soul reached out and knocked me down
And left my lying here collapsed, elapsed,
Like some old smelly inner tube from that last flat bicycle tire!

How do you get this way, this bad?
I don't have enough hard lusts to go around,
Not even for the girls around here--
I never did, I never will,
Although the reasons why I must
Vary according to sickness, sadness,
Availability, enthusiasm,
And lastly my failure of will as time goes by.

"I wish you'd get a move on,"
I say to some, some say to me,
And things are left that way, like in a dream,
Vague and never clear
While everything we'd like to say is left unsaid
And all that we once could feel so easy
Is hard to even steal a glance of
And only comes back to us at all
With the firm reminder of one of those old soft songs
About the gloss of shoes that tightly fit,
Or blues guitars that gently weep or stubborn men who won't.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bowls Of Fruit and Nuts

No Grabbing!

I'm going to start calling you futzers by name! I don't know what good in the world it will do me, but I'LL DO IT! That'll fix you, Fred! You too, Helen of Fucking Mergetroyd! And all you stupid gits from the Teeney Weeney Penis-waving British Petunia Bros. Band! Everybody knows what you are, and all those buxom girls helping you put on your disguises one trouser-leg at a time, too! And Charlotte Rae, with that big sexy hair, we miss you so!

(Did I leave anybody out?!)

Bite Me!

I used to have 2 or 3 comments every day. These days I can crawl through the grass and under the house and not get 2 or 3 snake bites. If you offer to bite me, though, I'll bite you back!

Break Out The Fear And Loathing

Among the Bob Dylan songs I've "listened to" lately on the Internet Youtubes was one I hadn't paid close attention to in a long time. I found that "Desolation Row" is still a terrific, terrifying frightfest of dark images that paints us all into a very tight corner.

How could a man say all that at any one time?! Did he set out to scare the dogs and children or did it just work out that way?

DESOLATION ROW, by Bob Dylan

They're selling postcards of the hanging
They're painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They've got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they're restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row

Cinderella, she seems so easy
"It takes one to know one," she smiles
And puts her hands in her back pockets
Bette Davis style
And in comes Romeo, he's moaning
"You Belong to Me I Believe"
And someone says," You're in the wrong place, my friend
You better leave"
And the only sound that's left
After the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up
On Desolation Row

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortunetelling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain
And the Good Samaritan, he's dressing
He's getting ready for the show
He's going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row

Now Ophelia, she's 'neath the window
For her I feel so afraid
On her twenty-second birthday
She already is an old maid

To her, death is quite romantic
She wears an iron vest
Her profession's her religion
Her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah's great rainbow
She spends her time peeking
Into Desolation Row

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk
He looked so immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
And reciting the alphabet
Now you would not think to look at him
But he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world
Inside of a leather cup
But all his sexless patients
They're trying to blow it up
Now his nurse, some local loser
She's in charge of the cyanide hole
And she also keeps the cards that read
"Have Mercy on His Soul"
They all play on penny whistles
You can hear them blow
If you lean your head out far enough
From Desolation Row

Across the street they've nailed the curtains
They're getting ready for the feast
The Phantom of the Opera
A perfect image of a priest
They're spoonfeeding Casanova
To get him to feel more assured
Then they'll kill him with self-confidence
After poisoning him with words

And the Phantom's shouting to skinny girls
"Get Outa Here If You Don't Know
Casanova is just being punished for going
To Desolation Row"

Now at midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders
And then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row

Praise be to Nero's Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody's shouting
"Which Side Are You On?"
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain's tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row

Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the door knob broke)
When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they're quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can't read too good
Don't send me no more letters no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row

Copyright ©1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cool And Uncool Redux

I was talking about my cool and uncool grandfathers. It is odd that the cool grandfather was married to the uptight grandmother, a strict and rigorous and Bible-beating woman! And the uncool grandfather was likewise married to his own opposite, a woman who at least tried to consider the difficulties in the world and the differences in people.

It was my mother's mother who was at least a little "laid back" by the adult standards of the day. It was a double-edged sword, though. Just as she might be forthright on some controversial topic of the day, she was also a teller of unvarnished truths about Life, and as she got older, the more I'd hear her tell of how wearying life got to be and how it wouldn't be any burden just to Give It Up! I guess I was a teenager at the time, certainly not twenty yet, and I knew it was perhaps something I didn't know how to handle. I remember uncomfortably smiling and grinning and nodding, but I don't remember what I said, if anything. It wasn't the kind of statements that you wanted to encourage an old person in, but I didn't know enough to say much about it—nobody would.

I understand now much of what she was saying, though even now it makes me secretly tearful to consider it! I'm sorry she felt it and said it. I'm sorry I now have personal knowledge of it, but sometimes I'm sorry, too, that I have no one to share it with, to tell it to as she told it to me. I didn't know if it did her any good to speak her mind, but I can't help but believe that it did. But here I am. Even my sister—who was always dangerously close to sharing my grandmother's mindset—is already gone. And I remain. My elderly mother is not a likely candidate for that conversation, at least not for me. I don't know why, but one can be more frank with grandchildren or grandparents than with one's parents. It is simply so.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Grandfather Cool And The Uncool Cats

I don't remember publishing this, so I'm going to do it all over again!

"You might have to start kissing up to your relations and your friends so you won't get eaten by your cats."

My grandfather on my father's side didn't die surrounded by cannibal cats, but only because his very adult children were worried about it—they hounded him to get rid of all the cats (both tame and feral) that he fed—there were dozens! He lived far out in the woods with no really close neighbors and no one to clean the house every day! So his kids worried vividly about some scenario involving the cannibal cats, but also they worried about the dust, allergens, and germs that were being brought in by the cats 24 hours a day! I was still in my early twenties and I thought it sounded pretty cool, but that grandfather was very cool. Calm, cool, and collected. After my grandmother died (many years before my long hair), there was no one in that house who worried about much of anything.

My other grandfather was a drip, unceasingly loud about religion and politics. And dominoes. He always got in my face and offered to give me money for a haircut. I have never liked anyone getting in my face! He would persist until I walked out of the house to get away from him. He didn't know, or wouldn't face it, that the world had changed.

(Now I've gotten old and the world has changed again! Although I don't care much if the young people have no morals or look funny—how else am I to be amused?)

The cool grandfather only grinned and asked, "How long did it take you to grow your hair that long?" VERY cool. I miss that old man and the visits to his lonely house.

Two guesses which grandfather's death made me sorry to hear about! I don't think much any more about either of my grandfathers. My grandmothers, too, are both gone now, but that, too, has been a very long time. That's another story.