Friday, July 30, 2010

Steam And Laughter By The Somewhere Tree

I have seen trees get struck by lightning then
work crews cut down what is left of the tree.

I would like to see a quick-thinking tree
reach out, grab a lightning bolt, pull it down,
throw it down, let it fizzle in the grass.

I have seen trees get struck by lightning but
I’ve never seen that lightning hurt a bird.

Even the trees that don’t want to fight back
must give a heads-up to their friends the birds
so the birds can hide when a storm blows in.

Somewhere I bet there is a tree where birds
and maybe squirrels too have worked with their friend
and the squirrels have chewed through a power line
and the stronger birds have lifted one end
of the squirrels’ long piece of thick copper wire
to the very highest branch of the tree
and tied it there with the wire sticking up
and the squirrels buried the wire’s other end
away from the roots of their friend the tree.

Somewhere I bet there is a tree where birds
and squirrels and the tree sit around laughing
when a storm blows in and when lightning strikes
it strikes the high wire and grounds to the earth
and the squirrels and birds and tree shake their heads
and one bird says what they are all thinking —
“Remember when that would make us so scared?”

Steam rising from where the lightning fizzled
into the ground, the squirrels, birds and the tree
would tell each other fun stories and laugh.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

“Yet Baghdad Is”

Jaws was never my scene
And I don’t like Star Wars

quoted in Imagine Space Cheerleaders

“I did not think any place
could be more beautiful
than Chandra, yet Baghdad is.”

Princess Parisa
, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

I am not going to do a “Star Wars” post, but I am going to do this post.

Throughout most of history, people in the West regarded the Middle East as a land of romance and adventure.

It is only in the last two or three generations—generations defined by a global oil economy—that the Middle East has become defined in the mind of the West by hatred and suspicion and endless total war.


Everyone remembers the scene in Star Wars when Luke and Leia are stuck on one side of the abyss — the abyss on a space station [!?] — and Luke fires up a line and the two swing across to safety. That was in 1977.

Back in 1958 [1958!] the extraordinary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen made a film called, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

When Sinbad finally rescues his beloved fiancée Princess Parisa from the supervillain Sokurah, an evil magician, the only path out of Sokurah’s lair is along a stone bridge across an abyss. Sokurah uses his magic to destroy the stone bridge just before Sinbad and Parisa can cross it.

Parisa summons the genie from the magic lamp Sokurah is after and the genie tosses a magic rope into the air above the abyss. Sinbad and Parisa swing to safety.

The hero and his beloved princess pause for a moment. Even though they may need the magic lamp to continue their escape, Princess Parisa tells Sinbad she promised the genie she would free him if she could. And the fires at the bottom of the abyss are the only way to destroy the magic lamp. “If we lose his help now we may never reach the ship alive. Still, your promise must be kept,” Sinbad says. Princess Parisa nods, and they throw the lamp into the abyss.

Sinbad was a very cool hero. Princess Parisa was a very cool princess.

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is a very cool adventure story.

And yet Baghdad is.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“A Concept That I Felt Was Right”

Twenty-Four Hundred Man-Years For What?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

“Heavy Cargo In The Heart Of The Sea”

Sunday I bought a new wristwatch from Amazon. I paid for two day delivery and today the ships of Tarshish carrying the wares of Tyre arrived.

The watch is a new model Timex Expedition.


I love that. It’s not an expensive watch. It looks exactly like this. (It’s not the big Expedition with the rectangular display and graphics.) But I’m a numbers kind of guy and in addition to just telling time this one also works as a timer and stopwatch and has three alarms. And when there’s a tennis tournament going on the watch has a second time zone I can set to Australia time or France time or Britain time.

When I bought the watch from Amazon I also bought an old book on music theory I wanted to re-read. That also came today and I’m very happy.

Normally when I wanted to read that particular book I checked it out from a library. But something weird happened around here.

Somebody stole the copy of the old book from the library where I normally checked it out. So last week I drove like ten miles south to another library because their computer card catalogue said they had the book on the shelf. When I got there the book wasn’t on the shelf and when a librarian looked into the situation she said the book hadn’t been checked out since 1986 [!] so that meant the book probably had been stolen from them, too.

The only library around here that owns the old book is a library I don’t like to visit. (Mischa Barton, Mischa Barton — The international banker-alchemists hang out there and I’m afraid of them.)

So I bought myself a copy of the book.

And today my new watch arrived and my new copy of a cool old book arrived.

Now I’ve got time on my hands and a good book to read.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tears From The Heart Of The Sea


Daddy Needs A New Pair Of Shoes

Expedition To Amy

The Evening Sky Is Cloudy

Someday: The Last Expedition

“Expedition” Versus “Going Out”

The Beautiful Parking Lot Without Mercy

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Calculating Marigold Space

A few nights ago I had dinner in a restaurant and when the waitress brought my tea she brought along a little container of honey. I hadn’t seen honey in a long time and, predictably, I spent the rest of the evening thinking and talking about colony collapse disorder.

A colony which has collapsed from CCD is generally characterized by all of these conditions occurring simultaneously:
  • Presence of capped brood in abandoned colonies. Bees normally will not abandon a hive until the capped brood have all hatched.

  • Presence of food stores, both honey and bee pollen:

    • which are not immediately robbed by other bees

    • which when attacked by hive pests such as wax moth and small hive beetle, the attack is noticeably delayed.

  • Presence of the Queen bee. If the Queen is not present, the hive died because it was queenless, which is not considered CCD.
Precursor symptoms that may arise before the final colony collapse are:
  • Insufficient workforce to maintain the brood that is present

  • Workforce seems to be made up of young adult bees

  • The colony members are reluctant to consume provided feed, such as sugar syrup and protein supplement.

Colony Collapse Disorder at Wikipedia

Some bees have figured out a place to go
and they dropped what they were doing and went.
For those with a philosophical bent,
civilization, folks said long ago,

crops up where two civilized people show.
I’m not sure what I bring or represent
when I’m one-of-two. Am I fraudulent?
Because that’s not civilization’s glow.

Somewhere a woman in a yellow dress
is observing a yellow butterfly
and nearby a bumble bee is humming.

I would drop what I’m doing, I confess,
and disappear, go to her now and try —
if I could calculate where — becoming.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pyramids In Marigold Space

A Long Walk

Escape From Earth And The Status Cow

Yellow Dress! Yellow Dress!

The Apocalypse Of Her Yellow Dress

Yellow Dress: A Keyboard Odyssey

Chopin: Keyboards And Butterflies

Lex Luthor Versus Ludwika Chopin

The Leaky Yellow Pencil

What Malcontent Yellow Pencils Are Thinking

A Consolation And An Inspiration

Petting Butterflies

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Endless Death Of Maple White

This is a girl I used to know. Those boats
spraying water on her couldn’t save her.
She went to pieces. Sank. Destroyed the world.

She destroyed the world. Not in a good way
like Elektra King in my re-telling
of that Bond thing, “The World Is Not Enough.”

But wreckage tells a story all its own
independently of the wrecking crew
more eloquently than the wrecking act.

This is Professor Challenger’s account
of what he found in Maple White’s knapsack
in addition to the artist’s sketchbook:

“From the contents of the knapsack it was evident that this man had been an artist and poet in search of effects. There were scraps of verse. I do not profess to be a judge of such things, but they appeared to me to be singularly wanting in merit. There were also some rather commonplace pictures of river scenery, a paintbox, a box of coloured chalks, some brushes, that curved bone which lies upon my inkstand, a volume of Baxter’s Moths And Butterflies, a cheap revolver, and a few cartridges. Of personal equipment he either had none or he had lost it in his journey. Such were the total effects of this strange American Bohemian.”

Throughout the history of our planet
every extinction event has been paired
with a subsequent resurgence of life

as old species struggle for dominance
with new species re-filling the niches
made available by the extinctions.

Professors write books about extinctions
but they don’t write books about those sequel
episodes of refreshed diversity.

Maybe that’s only random chance. The way
niches just happened to get filled last time.
Our teachers just like writing about death:

First, the world warms over short intervals of time because of a sudden increase of carbon dioxide and methane, caused initially by the formation of vast volcanic provinces called flood basalts. The warmer world affects the ocean circulation systems and disrupts the position of the conveyer currents. Bottom waters begin to have warm, low-oxygen water dumped into them. Warming continues, and the decrease of equator-to-pole temperature differences reduces ocean winds and surface currents to a near standstill. Mixing of oxygenated surface waters with deeper, and volumetrically increasing, low-oxygen bottom waters decreases, causing ever-shallower water to change from oxygenated to anoxic. Finally, the bottom water is at depths where light can penetrate, and the combination of low oxygen and light allows green sulfur bacteria to expand in numbers and fill low-oxygen shallows. They live amid other bacteria that produce toxic amounts of hydrogen sulfide, and the flux of this gas into the high atmosphere, where it breaks down the ozone layer, and the subsequent increase in ultraviolet radiation from the sun kills much of the photosynthetic green plant phytoplankton. On its way up into the sky, the hydrogen sulfide also kills some plant and animal life, and the combination of high heat and hydrogen sulfide creates a mass extinction on land. These are the greenhouse extinctions.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

John Kessler, Ph.D., Professor of
Chemical Oceanography, Texas A & M University,
researched methane concentration
in Gulf of Mexico oil-contaminated water
during June 2010 research funded by
the National Science Foundation

BP's Gulf Crude Oil Nearly 40% Methane -
Will Huge Dead Zone Follow?


We surveyed from the surface of the ocean all the way down to the sea floor. We surveyed from within one-third mile of ground zero (Deepwater Horizon rig) all the way out 7 to 9 miles in a radius around the wellhead. What we noticed in terms of depths was that most of this methane is staying in the deep one-third of the ocean water. We were seeing concentrations in those deep depths (3000-4000 feet down).

We found dissolved methane concentrations ranging from 10,000 times above background methane to an average about 100,000 times above background. We also saw a few samples that were even starting to approach one million times above background!


That’s what we are trying to figure out right now. I think the biggest ramification is the loss of oxygen that is dissolved in the waters. What we are talking about are the deep waters around the spill zone and we surveyed between 6 to 8 miles radius from ground zero. With all of those hydrocarbons now in the water that can be food for microorganisms can lead to significant oxygen drawdowns and potentially dead zones. What we’re trying to determine now is: will these dead zones develop? Will the microorganisms that feed on methane be able to feed at a significant rate that will deplete the amount of oxygen faster than any new, fresh oxygen might be supplied to these regions?


Orbis Non Sufficit And The Status Cow

“This Was A Different World”

The Built World Before The Wrecking Crew

Quasi Una Petroleum Fantasia

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunlight On Lidian Emerson

When trees are in shadow and sunlight shines
on the utility pole holding up
wires delivering electricity
to air conditioners and TV sets
and refrigerators and computers
the pole looks competent, strong, official.

When the cloud shadows move and sunlight shines
on the tops of trees, simple bright green leaves
don’t really look strong or official but
they look competent in a leafy way
and the wires and electric light look bare
in their efficient scientific way.

Yes I would miss my air conditioner,
television and refrigerator.
And someday my computer’s battery
would need to be recharged and I would miss
those poles, so competent, strong, official
and the electrical wires they support.

But I remind myself these words I write
I could be writing on a paper sheet
using a pencil. Thoreau made pencils.
I could go to someone’s house for dinner.
Emerson’s wife sometimes cooked for Thoreau.
I bet she was pretty in the sunlight.

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Lindsay Lohan And Rupert Sheldrake

What Is The Opposite Of Transcendent?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Endless Death Of Chrissie Watkins

I’ve seen goldfish swimming in a big tank
at a library not far from my home.
I’ve stood with a woman I know looking

and the fish sometimes looked back, their eyes blank.
Somewhere in the spaces—the quantum foam—
between the fish I’ve seen monsters lurking.


Seeing a monster isn’t the real trick.
The tricky bit comes after you’ve seen one.
Monsters appear, disappear and they’re done.
But the brain stays numb, heart frozen, soul sick.

Goldfish And Sea Monsters #1 of 3

Goldfish And Sea Monsters #2 of 3

Goldfish And Sea Monsters #3 of 3


Let’s Go To The Library And Scare Ourselves


Broken Windows From A Day In The Life

Of the various suburban libraries around these parts, about twenty of the libraries stock DVD’s of the movie “Jaws.”

Today I wanted to re-read the original novel by Peter Benchley and it was pretty hard to find. Of all the libraries using our local catalogue system only about ten stock the novel.

[ Sighs ]

As luck would have it, the only library near me that stocked the novel was a very pleasant small library I’ve written about quite a few times. It’s the only library I’ve ever visited that has an aquarium so, I guess, it’s fitting that they’d carry one of the most famous modern books ever written about a big fish.


Of the nine billion changes Steven Spielberg and his writers made adapting the novel “Jaws” into the movie, they made the fewest changes to the opening death of Chrissie Watkins.

(In the novel her first name is specified as “Christine.” I’ve written before about a movie that begins with the death of a woman named “Christine.” In that case the woman’s killer was named “Roman.” [ Coughs ] )

I’ve always hated the business of the shark eating Chrissie Watkins. I hated the scene both in the movie and the book.

I was fourteen years old when I read the book and saw the movie. I already knew I wanted to be a writer and I already knew that scenes like that “signaled” a great deal about the narrative to come, and functioned as much more than just “shock value” or as a “grabber.”

As a superficial for instance, film critic James Rose would write of the death of Chrissie Watkins:

We do not see a graphic depiction of the shark’s attack in the opening sequence of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Instead the viewer sees images that are far more terrifying. First Chrissie Watkins confused then panicked face, as she is momentarily pulled underwater. She is then dragged thorough the sea, screaming 'God help me. God help me.' The shark releases her and she takes hold of a waterline marker, its bell ringing out her death toll. The viewer can just hear Chrissie say 'God it hurts. It hurts.' The shark attacks again and again it thrashes her body back and forth. Her final scream 'God please help me' is in vain as the shark pulls her beneath the waves.

Chrissie Watkins death is simply the beginning, functioning like most, if not all, horror film prologues: simultaneously announcing the arrival of the narrative’s threat and visually demonstrating the ferocity of its attack.

... Beneath the surface of Jaws lies a narrative that is not just about a Great White shark but one about the myth of the Great White male: three different men pitting themselves against the unknown. To enable them to do this, women can have only a limited narrative function. Through their loss or their reduction to the status of victim, they enable the male(s) to fulfill their role as protector not just of the individual or the community, but for us all.


In the novel, writer Peter Benchley includes a bit of dialogue that sums up Chrissie Watkins from the point-of-view of the characters in the novel. And it telegraphs something of the way Peter Benchley thinks of her character. And it shapes—for the duration of the reading—how readers are, at least, asked to think of her character. This is Vaughan, the mayor, who has just convinced Brody, the police chief, not to close the beaches after Chrissie Watkins has been found, the obvious victim of a shark attack:

“We do have one thing going for us. Miss Watkins was a nobody. She was a drifter. No family, no close friends. She said she had hitchhiked East from Idaho. So she won’t be missed.”

The novel “Jaws” came out in 1974 and the film was released the following year.

Even as a character the fictive construct “Chrissie Watkins” was not a “nobody” who “won’t be missed.”

But as a social construct the concept of certain people as nobodies who won't be missed is very much alive.

It is alive both as a sad political reality visible in the decisions made by politicians and businessmen, and as an even sadder ethical reality visible in how many people think of themselves.

I strongly suspect both “Jaws” the novel construct and “Jaws” the movie construct are bigger and more deadly monsters than the ‘great’ white shark they feature.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Mind’s Ocean

The Mind’s Ocean Redux

Sharks From Beyond Space: Sky As Shoreline

Sharks In Shoes

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Singing Is For The Birds

And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

Genesis 1:20-23

“Song has several functions. First and foremost, it expresses territory ownership. By singing, a resident male alerts other males of the same species that his territory is occupied and likely to be defended. Song also helps unmated males attract mates. And, once mating has occurred, song helps maintain pair bonds by assuring a female that her mate is nearby and that all is well.”

Between Duluth and Chicago the dark is a brew,
a witch’s brew of broken light bulb, night, sound of crow.

White headlights. Red taillights. Los Angeles. Las Vegas.
I wonder if Britney driving alone sings along
when the radio plays a Britney Spears song at night?

Cognitive Blur #3: Britney And The Crow’s Song

Imagine a world without any trees

Like A Bright Green Fantasy

In Nature there is nothing melancholy

The Nightingale, Coleridge

The crow is in the house.

When the trees disappear
the birds will go somewhere.

Even if Britney stops
singing when she’s alone
the birds won’t stop singing.

Not for territory.
Not for finding a mate
or to reassure one.

The crow is in the house.

It’s a very old house.

The birds won’t stop singing.

Even if all the trees
and record companies
disappear from the scene
some people will sing too.

And it will be funny
if the people crying
call the people singing
bird-brained. It will be true.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Crow Equinox

All That’s Left Of The Atlantic Ocean

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Mussel Of A Different Color

By the way, cockles and mussels are two different kind of shellfish. They are both “filter-feeders” that eat whatever is in the water that flows past them and flows over their mouthparts. Mussels typically are dark and look like elongated clams. Cockles typically look like very picturesque seashells.

Molly Malone Redux

If I ever see a bigfoot I’ll try
to tackle it. I’ll try to drag it down.
Of course, fairy-lore is full of stories
where humans get dragged to Magonia
and disappear into the fairy realm.

A Bigfoot Walks Away

Ancient lore advises if you’re ever
kidnapped and taken to the fairy realms
it’s best not to eat food they offer you.
Legend has it fairy food will change you.

Cookies And High Heels In A Clean Kitchen

A couple days back
at our library
the pretty young girl
always dressed in black
was dressed in all white.
I bought a ticket
for the lottery
but it didn’t win.
I blame Tricia but
I think only courts
in Magonia
would uphold my claim.

The Road To Magonia

“My wild side that’s really me comes out in my watercolors—especially of snow, which is absolutely intoxicating to me. I’m electrified by it—the hush—unbelievable. A white mussel shell on a gravel bank in Maine is thrilling to me because it’s all the sea—the gull that brought it there, the rain, the sun that bleached it there by a stand of spruce trees.” [ Andrew Wyeth ]

A White Mussel Shell On A Gravel Bank

So I wrote mussels are typically dark
but sometimes mussels put on their best whites.

I hope mussels can get psychedelic.

That girl who rents films in the library
was really pretty when she put on white.

That’s why shellfish should get psychedelic.

There is force in visual alchemy.

And somebody must take up arms against
the sea of troubles unleashed on our seas.

The metaphor was mixed to begin with.

Psychedelic shellfish are the answer.

So let’s be careful what we eat because
even the ‘normal’ black and white mussels
might have psychedelic aspirations.

Ambition is rare. We need to stay tight
and not get sucked into the shadow realms
where there’s not enough light to see colors.

There’s a war on and these are the bad guys:

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Psychedelic Shadows

Like A Monster

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Point Of A Pin

Sweet feelings
Drop from my fingers

Manic Depression, Jimi Hendrix

Compared to the surface area
of a balloon inflated with air
or the volume of that same balloon
the point of a pin is very small.
It’s almost infinitesimal.
Nonetheless just the point of a pin
piercing the surface of a balloon
will cause an unrecoverable
catastrophic change-of-state to wreck
the balloon’s structural coherence.

This is why good guys think twice before
they drill some girls. Or deeply for oil.

Sweet music
Wish I could caress

Manic Depression, Jimi Hendrix

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“But retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's spill response chief, said a seep had been detected a distance from the busted oil well, and he demanded that BP provide results of further testing of the seabed Sunday night. Allen didn't say what was coming from the seep.”

BP, feds clash over reopening capped Gulf oil well, 7/19/10


Quasi Una Petroleum Fantasia

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quasi Una Petroleum Fantasia

Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands

Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought

The Village Blacksmith, Longfellow

I was born in a crossfire hurricane
And I howled at my Ma in the driving rain

But it’s alright now
In fact it’s a gas
It’s alright now
I’m Jumping Jack Flash
And it’s a gas, gas, gas

Jumping Jack Flash, Rolling Stones

Here comes Speed Racer
He’s a demon on wheels
He’s a demon and he’s gonna be chasing after someone

He’s gaining on you so you better look alive

Speed Racer, Theme Song

Imagine a world without any trees,
without any grass growing on the ground,
no green above or below to be found.
Gray clouds. Gray wood. Gray dust in a gray breeze.

Gray rain falls to gray puddles, sidewalk seas
reflecting gray birds flying, somewhere bound.
Gray squirrels scraping gray dead wood, gray dead sound.
This gray world the gray iron sewer grate receives.

Red, yellow, the last refuge of bright green,
traffic lights will flash while power grids hold.
Above the sewer grates cars will pass, pass, pass.

When US paper currency is clean
it’s green and will buy things until banks fold.
The last thing I’ll buy will be gas, gas, gas.

Like A Bright Green Fantasy

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Like A Bright Green Fantasy

Adventure’s Waiting Just Ahead


Homeopathy And The Groupie Hierarchy

Sharks In Shoes

All That’s Left Of The Atlantic Ocean

These Are The New Days

The Flat Night

Shanghai In The Epipelagic Layer

A Shadow Too Dark For Atlantis

“Perfect In His Generations”

Modern Romance In The Noir

Is This A Junkyard Church

Industrial Landscape, Industrial Decay, Jazz

Fire Maidens From Atlantis Via Russia

The Built World Before The Wrecking Crew

The Occult Technology Of Lost Songs

Ancient Cities Of The Moon

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tears From The Heart Of The Sea

" ' Haran, Canneh and Eden and merchants of Sheba, Asshur and Kilmad traded with you. In your marketplace they traded with you beautiful garments, blue fabric, embroidered work and multicolored rugs with cords twisted and tightly knotted.

" ' The ships of Tarshish serve
as carriers for your wares.
You are filled with heavy cargo
in the heart of the sea. ' "


" ' As they wail and mourn over you,
they will take up a lament concerning you:
"Who was ever silenced like Tyre,
surrounded by the sea?"

When your merchandise went out on the seas,
you satisfied many nations;
with your great wealth and your wares
you enriched the kings of the earth.

Now you are shattered by the sea
in the depths of the waters;
your wares and all your company
have gone down with you.

All who live in the coastlands
are appalled at you;
their kings shudder with horror
and their faces are distorted with fear.

The merchants among the nations hiss at you;
you have come to a horrible end
and will be no more. ' "

Ezekiel 27:23-25 and Ezekiel 27:32-36

I have an umbrella leaning against
the corner in my room. The umbrella
is made of bright blue waterproof fabric.

It isn’t embroidered but it is blue.
And when it’s open I’ve never been wet.

I almost lost it once but I found it.

Once I made a video about it.

I use the umbrella to exercise.
It helps me keep my balance on lunges
and spread my hands properly on push-ups.

A martial artist once instructed me
on a couple of proper ways to thrust
the umbrella’s point and to use the shaft
to parry and misdirect an attack.

I have a waterproof blue umbrella
and my umbrella does a lot for me.

But I don’t expect my blue umbrella
to help me against the heart of the sea.

The sea is salt water. And so are tears.

I don’t want an umbrella that stops tears.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mischa: The Temptation To Go Unplugged


Pluto In Magic And Alchemy

Imagining My Lost Blue Umbrella

Umbrella Button: The Movie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Molly Malone Redux

“Molly Malone” ... is a popular song, set in Dublin, Ireland, which has become the unofficial anthem of Dublin City.

The Molly Malone statue in Grafton Street was unveiled by then Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alderman Ben Briscoe during the 1988 Dublin Millennium celebrations, declaring June 13 as Molly Malone Day.

The song tells the tale of a beautiful fishmonger who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin, but who died young, of a fever. Recently a legend has grown up that there was a historical Molly, who lived in the 17th century. She is typically represented as a hawker by day and part-time prostitute by night. In contrast she has also been portrayed as one of the few chaste female street-hawkers of her day.

However, there is no evidence that the song is based on a real woman, of the 17th century or at any other time.

“Molly Malone” at Wikipedia

Back at the start of the month I did a post called, “Sharks In Shoes” that included a reference to Molly Malone and a reasonably cool video of a couple of young Euro musicians performing the song.

When I wrote that post I kind of took it for granted that everybody knew the lyrics to the song and would be familiar with the background a little bit. But ever since I put up that post I’ve been thinking that I’m probably nuts. Probably most people never heard the whole song and have no idea about its background. So I decided to do another post with the lyrics and an excerpt from the song’s Wikipedia page. Just to be clear.

I will have more posts sometime in the future with Molly Malone.

By the way, cockles and mussels are two different kind of shellfish. They are both “filter-feeders” that eat whatever is in the water that flows past them and flows over their mouthparts. Mussels typically are dark and look like elongated clams. Cockles typically look like very picturesque seashells. Here is a recipe for monkfish with cockles & mussels.

Here are the lyrics to Molly Malone:

In Dublin’s fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”

“Alive, alive, oh,
Alive, alive, oh.”
Crying “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”

She was a fishmonger,
But sure ’twas no wonder,
For so were her father and mother before,
And they each wheeled their barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”

“Alive, alive, oh,
Alive, alive, oh.”
Crying “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”

She died of a fever,
And no one could save her,
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone.
Now her ghost wheels her barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”

“Alive, alive, oh,
Alive, alive, oh.”
Crying “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One Quick Megan Fox Moment

If news reports and the IMDB are to be believed, Megan Fox did talk herself out of the female lead role in the next Transformers movie.

I’ve never seen this happen before.

In all the popular franchises with continuity I’m aware of (Scream 1-3, Star Wars 4-6 and 1-3 and the Twilight things) no actor or actress ever was replaced during the series.

Now, I’ve said and done a lot of stupid things in my life. Sometimes the stupid things I’ve said and done have had serious consequences. But I’ve never talked my way out of one of the most commercially successful and biggest budget trilogies in the entertainment business.

This was an extraordinary achievement for Megan Fox. I didn’t see “Jonah Hex” but I did see “Jennifer’s Body” and Megan should not have been talking herself out of any paying project let alone one of the most high-profile projects in Hollywood.



The other “Transformers” note I have is that the only character I really liked in either of the first two movies was the evil sexy mechanical Alice from “Revenge of the Fallen.” Look! She’s reading an astronomy book! She and I would have a lot to talk about! Damn—I never get to meet evil sexy mechanical creatures that are interested in astronomy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Like A Bright Green Fantasy

Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands

“The Village Blacksmith,” Longfellow

Imagine a world without any trees,
without any grass growing on the ground,
no green above or below to be found.
Gray clouds. Gray wood. Gray dust in a gray breeze.

Gray rain falls to gray puddles, sidewalk seas
reflecting gray birds flying, somewhere bound.
Gray squirrels scraping gray dead wood, gray dead sound.
This gray world the gray iron sewer grate receives.

Red, yellow, the last refuge of bright green,
traffic lights will flash while power grids hold.
Above the sewer grates cars will pass, pass, pass.

When US paper currency is clean
it’s green and will buy things until banks fold.
The last thing I’ll buy will be gas, gas, gas.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This week my Monday and Friday
posts will sort of go together.

They’re not part one and part two of the same thing,
but they are related. A blogging kind of diptych.

I don’t know what I’ll post Tuesday, Wednesday
and Thursday. But Friday my post will be called,

“Quasi Una Petroleum Fantasia.” Yeah.


Homeopathy And The Groupie Hierarchy

Sharks In Shoes

All That’s Left Of The Atlantic Ocean

These Are The New Days

The Flat Night

Shanghai In The Epipelagic Layer

A Shadow Too Dark For Atlantis

“Perfect In His Generations”

Modern Romance In The Noir

Is This A Junkyard Church

Industrial Landscape, Industrial Decay, Jazz

Fire Maidens From Atlantis Via Russia

The Built World Before The Wrecking Crew

The Occult Technology Of Lost Songs

Ancient Cities Of The Moon

Friday, July 09, 2010

Women From The Ancient Cities

Almost more than anything I enjoy
looking at a woman but most of all
I enjoy looking at a woman while
I’m drawing her. But many women now
or maybe it’s been this way for decades
but somehow I’ve just never noticed it
pose for drawing as if a camera
is involved somewhere in the equation.
They smile. Or they make a cute face. Emote.

As if the world is divided between
what Taylor calls Disney bubblegum shit
and the sexting stuff Miley does for fun.

You can have a metaphor only if
something stands in the place of something else.

Everything else has been taken away.

It’s a rough time to be a woman but
it’s worse if you’re a guy who likes to draw.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sexting Teens: Miley Cyrus, Vanessa Hudgens,
Nudity and Cell Phones

Taylor Momsen: I’m Not ‘Miley Fucking Cyrus’


Ancient Cities Of The Moon

You Damn Punk Kids

I’m Sorry The World Did This To You

“Sexy As The Dead Bridges”

The Metaphysics Of Elle

The Built World Before The Wrecking Crew

Is This A Junkyard Church

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Electric Golgotha

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This afternoon I took a walk ( “Bender, I can crawl again!” ) for
a Hershey’s bar and I saw this scene about a block from my house.

I still don’t have a camera—I’m waiting to see what Canon brings
to the micro four thirds/EVIL format although I like the
Olympus E-PL1 very much and almost certainly will get one if
I can find a good deal on the body with the new zoom lens—but
I was carrying my phone. If you ‘pre-visualize’ things as
silhouettes even a cheap camera can sometimes grab
interesting pictures.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Lex Luthor Versus Ludwika Chopin

In television’s incarnation of the Superman legend called “Smallville,” Lex Luthor and Clark Kent grow up together in a typical American small town. Although they begin life as best friends, over the years they both come to realize their personalities and maybe even fate have cast them as adversaries. This troubles both of them and, while their friendship is still strong, they often try to understand how affection can turn into hate, how friends can turn into enemies. In season three, episode 20, “Talisman,” Clark and Lex are confronted with an ancient Native American prophecy about Earth and Krypton that speaks of powerful friends becoming powerful enemies, one a hero, one a villain. Clark, who knows the truth behind the legend more completely than Lex, tries to deny how the legend will impact his friendship with Lex. Lex faces up to the reality of the legend and searches for an interpretation that fits his personality and Clark’s.

LEX: You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about this prophecy. I’ve got a new interpretation. Want to hear it?

CLARK: Sure.

LEX: This Naman guy is supposed to come from the stars, have the power of ten men and shoot fire from his eyes, right?

CLARK: It’s just an allegory, Lex.

LEX: I know. But if one person could do all that, he would be a formidable enemy. He could conquer the world. He could become a tyrant if nobody kept him in check. So I’ve been thinking. Anybody who’d be willing to fight him would have to be pretty brave. Clark, did it ever occur to you that maybe the hero of the story is Sageeth?

Ludwika Chopin, the composer’s older sister, gave him his first piano lessons when he was a child. The two remained close through his life. In 1849, when Frédéric was dying, he asked his friends to arrange for Ludwika to be at his side.

Ludwika had an odd relationship with her husband. It appears to have started with love, but then, somehow, turned into something else. Her husband apparently hated Frédéric and was jealous of Ludwika’s affection for her brother. Her husband refused to pay her expenses to travel from Russia to France to be with her dying brother. Ludwika was able to raise enough money for herself and her daughter to travel to France, but not her sister and mother.

Ludwika was with Chopin when he died. Afterward she wrote a letter to her husband expressing her grief at her brother’s death and at her husband’s actions, her love for her brother and her hatred for what her relationship to her husband had become:

I went there to look after him, to nurse him, to console him, to endure any hardship as long as it would bring him even the smallest relief in his sufferings—and he, poor thing, liked to talk late at night, to tell me all his troubles, and to pour into my loving and understanding heart anything that concerned him most.

... Out of a friend you became a tyrant, and I out of a friend became a slave. ... To all my sufferings one more was added. I ceased to believe in the existence of friendship.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Thomas Dolby Update (Sick Day)

My back is still bugging me, and the aches and pains make me feel awful in just about every way imaginable.

Instead of scrapping together a bad post I’m just going to include a link to a musician I’m keeping track of. (This is like me calling in sick for the day.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A few months ago I did a post called, “Expedition To Amy.” At the end of the post I included a video from British musician Thomas Dolby. Dolby is an interesting guy. For a while he was considered cutting edge (in a lame kind of way). Then he retired from the music business and set up an engineering company in California. Now he is returning to the music business.

He’s built a studio on a boat—can’t be bad!—and recorded a new album with a lot of cool British talent playing guest roles.

It might be good.

I doubt it. He’s now, you know, an old British guy who really wasn’t all that cool when he was a young British guy. But you never know. I like the bit about him building a studio on a boat.

(FYI: His name, “Dolby,” isn’t his real named. It started just as a nickname given to him by friends because he was always recording things. And around that time Brit Ray Dolby created the Dolby noise reduction system used in movies and electronic devices. Legend has it Ray Dolby wasn’t too happy about Thomas Dolby using that name.)

Anyway, I’m keeping track of his return to the music business because some of the old stuff he did was fun.

Here’s a link to his website with all the Thomas Dolby news anyone could want:

Monday, July 05, 2010

Homeopathy And The Groupie Hierarchy

“Stop watching the Video Game Channel,
you big bunch of losers! You’re wasting
your life! Get a job! Kiss a girl! Do
something! No offense.”

Sam Puckett
from “iStage an Intervention,” iCarly

I hurt my back a few days ago.

If I were a video game guy
these last three days I’d have played a lot.
But I’m not a video game guy.
I’ve never even owned a console.

Now that I’m feeling a bit better
I was reviewing the last few days
and—strangely, for slacker me—feeling
proud of myself for using my time
at least a little constructively
not being able to walk around.

I typed stuff that sooner or later
will make it up here onto the blog.

I did some drawings with Flair markers
that I didn’t like but, heck, I tried.

I looked into “homeopathy”
because although it’s discredited
it’s a field of endeavor that won’t
go away. Fringe scientists always
are testing out dilute solutions
attempting to prove water somehow
has something akin to ‘memory.’
If there is any truth to that stuff
even if oil can’t evaporate
the water that does evaporate
around the oil gusher in the Gulf
will fall as rain on half the US
bringing its mystical ‘memory’
of pollutants and dead animals
as a grotesque watercolor wash
that will re-paint landscapes and portraits
in ugly colors, polluted, dead.
If there is any truth to that stuff
about water having ‘memory’
it’s a topic that will pop up here
a lot. I do have a memory.

So, anyway, now that I can walk
I was kind of glad I never bought
a Playstation 3. This water stuff
has more of a future than shooting
zombies. Well, at least pretend zombies.

And I was glad I practiced guitar
as much as I did. One of these days
I will get more videos of me
playing guitar up here—I have some
loose ends to tie up with the guitar.

I saw, however, a depressing
guitar note in some print magazine.
Some musician said he was so glad
he made the effort to make the switch
from guitar to keyboard because now
the women who hit on him—he says—
are a much better class of woman.
Yeah. I didn’t even save his name.
And I threw away the magazine.

Yeah. So I’m thinking keyboard players
maybe get some better groupies than
guitar players. (I’ve heard it before.)

But I’m not giving up on guitar.

I’m hoping—at least!—guitar players
still get a better class of groupie
than girls who dig video game guys.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Water Memory at Wikipedia

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sharks In Shoes

Great white shark warning off California

Coast Guard Issues Shark Warning for Tri-State Waters -- The warning is for the waters from New Jersey to Maine

Great white sharks have been sighted off both coasts.
That’s okay. Everyone can go swimming
in the Gulf of Mexico. Oh, wait. No.

Maybe this is the start: Sharks off both coasts.
Maybe the next step will be rains of sharks.
Hungry sharks in Nike shoes that rain down
then chase down and eat people who are shocked
to see sharks in shoes ripping off their arms.

I have never seen a shark wearing shoes
and I hope I never see one. I bet
the creatures in the Gulf of Mexico
never saw the water turn black and hoped
they’d never see it. But they’re seeing it.

The ghost of Molly Malone is singing
about sharks in shoes, Alive-alive-oh!
Life becomes survival of the fleetest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

All That’s Left Of The Atlantic Ocean

Sharks From Beyond Space: Sky As Shoreline

Frogs From The Sky!

Puddle Monsters: Puddles In The Sky

Thursday, July 01, 2010

2010 2nd Quarter Index

June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 -- I Wish ‘Gwen Conliffe’ Could Exist

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 -- Mischa: The Temptation To Go Unplugged

Monday, June 28, 2010 -- Pluto In Magic And Alchemy

Friday, June 25, 2010 -- All That’s Left Of The Atlantic Ocean

Thursday, June 24, 2010 -- The Beautiful Parking Lot Without Mercy

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 -- The Harajuku Station Forever

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 -- Stop-Motion Animation Meets Wood Burning

Monday, June 21, 2010 -- Affannato

Friday, June 18, 2010 -- Exact Numbers

Thursday, June 17, 2010 -- These Are The New Days

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 -- Puddle Monsters: Puddles In The Sky

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 -- Frogs From The Sky!

Monday, June 14, 2010 -- The Impossible Kisses Statement On Lady Gaga

Monday, June 14, 2010 -- Mischa: A House That Can’t Be Fixed

Friday, June 11, 2010 -- The Flat Night

Thursday, June 10, 2010 -- A Scene From “The Big Screen Girl”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 -- The Intention Of A Zombie’s Kiss

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 -- The Empire Of Kimberly’s Innocence

Monday, June 7, 2010 -- Margo Makes Movies That Don’t Get Released

Friday, June 4, 2010 -- Shanghai In The Epipelagic Layer

Thursday, June 3, 2010 -- Another Jupiter Impact!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 -- Persistence Personified

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 -- A Shadow Too Dark For Atlantis

May 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010 -- People Become Things: Carreg Samson

Friday, May 28, 2010 -- Cookies And High Heels In A Clean Kitchen

Thursday, May 27, 2010 -- Return To The Kitchen

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 -- “Perfect In His Generations”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 -- Porcelain Scientists With Metal Helpers

Monday, May 24, 2010 -- The Squirrel Silhouetted Against The Moon

Friday, May 21, 2010 -- Modern Romance In The Noir

Thursday, May 20, 2010 -- Cézanne Thinking

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 -- Is This A Junkyard Church

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 -- Shanghai Rain

Monday, May 17, 2010 -- Industrial Landscape, Industrial Decay, Jazz

Friday, May 14, 2010 -- The Epistemology Of Stevie Nicks

Thursday, May 13, 2010 -- A Feeble Post

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 -- New Light For My Nefarious Doings?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 -- Seeing Zombies In Christina’s World

Monday, May 10, 2010 -- A Compass Like A Piece Of Clothing

Friday, May 7, 2010 -- Poor Lucy Falling To Pieces

Thursday, May 6, 2010 -- Not A Moment To Feel Pain

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 -- Thinking Of Mountains

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 -- Sundown In The Place Called Atlantis

Monday, May 3, 2010 -- Chopin: Keyboards And Butterflies

April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010 -- Coming Attractions

Thursday, April 29, 2010 -- Fire Maidens From Atlantis Via Russia

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 -- When Any Woman Visits My Studio

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 -- Real Estate Gothic

Monday, April 26, 2010 -- Yellow Dress: A Keyboard Odyssey

Friday, April 23, 2010 -- The Occult Technology Of Lost Songs

Thursday, April 22, 2010 -- In Shanghai We’re All Dramatic Chipmunks

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 -- I Understand, But Then There’s Joss Stone

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 -- A Consolation And An Inspiration

Monday, April 19, 2010 -- Mathilda And Nicole: A Bra Odyssey

Saturday, April 17, 2010 -- Big Glass Views Of The Heavens

Friday, April 16, 2010 -- The Bright Lights Of The Finished Show

Thursday, April 15, 2010 -- “Are you a witch?”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 -- “Don’t think! Just Pick Up The Phone...”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 -- Imagining My Lost Blue Umbrella

Monday, April 12, 2010 -- Not For The Faint Of Tongue

Friday, April 9, 2010 -- Something Like Fear Whispers Over Tea

Thursday, April 8, 2010 -- Dumbbell And Gobbledygook

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 -- An Embrace On The Past

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 -- Farther

Monday, April 5, 2010 -- Becky Is A Moving Pictures Girl

Fridayday, April 2, 2010 -- “Organic Chemistry Is So Hard!”

Thursday, April 1, 2010 -- 2010 1st Quarter Index