Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

InVerse

GROWL

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by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

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For Karl Rove Solomon

I SAW the second-best minds of my not-so-Great Generation destroyed by Trump Derangement Syndrome, pasty, paunchy, tenured, and not looking too sharp naked,

bullshitting themselves through the African-American streets at cocktail hour lusting for a Cialis refill and one black friend on the down-low,

aging hair-plugged hipsters burning for their ancient political connection to the White House through the machinations of monied moonbats,

who warred on poverty and Blackwater's Wal-Mart and bulbous-eyed and still high from some bad acid in 1968 set up no-smoking zones on tobacco farms in the unnatural darkness of Darwinistic delusions floating a few more half-baked secular notions like "Let's all worship Zero!",

who on the Burly Bears float of gay pride bared their man-breasts and, he she or it, bleated their vaginas' mawkish monologues to John Kennedy's ghost under the Capitol Dome and french-kissed Mohammedan agents in the gore-drenched redrum rooms of Guantanamo,

who passed gas in grad school and on into universities with radiant meth eyes hallucinating President Hillary and Vice-President What Was His Name Anyway?, envisioning world peace among the masters of war and stayed on and stayed on and stayed on sucking off the great teat of academe in unpaid student loans and over-paid professorial positions the better to molest the minds and bodies of children for decades with every third year off in Provence for bad behavior,

who were embraced by the academies and hired by the New York Times for crazy & publishing obscene odes or anything else that trashed Republicans or non-Unitarian Christians without regard for truth since there were no consequences for these posturing poseurs of puke,

who cowered in their marble-countered plasma-screened media rooms in smegma crusted underwear which was no longer Victoria's Secret, burning their money by donating it in carloads to every half-assed Democratic POL that promised re-erections in Two-Ten without the losing proposition of actually holding an election, and listening to Rush Limbaugh through the wall,

who got bombed at public wine-tastings by chugging the slops bin and referencing Sideways, returning to their summer house in the Hamptons where they ate smoked salmon and each other, smoked $400-a-bud marijuana, wore $250 denims, paid the maid $200 a week before taxes, and bitched about how the economy was a mess but did not really, as they claimed, send their $36,000 tax cut back to the government, and continued to suffer the secret shame of Affluenza,

who breathed fire and bile about ungrateful "Democrat plantation negroes" among their cooler college comrades, and shut up around the one black friend they all shared, and drank turpentine to get through "A Night with Gloria Steinem", claimed bogus ego-death, blended health shakes from Cherry Garcia, seaweed, and the dried dung of Deepak Chopra, and Ab-Busted their torsos night after night that their butts might spread on the Le Corbusier sofa eternally after,

with dreams of Two-Ten re-erection victory without elections, with seven different mood-soothing drugs in the Ikea medicine cabinet, with waking Birkenstock nightmares of Trump, Trump, still of Trump, alcohol Jello shots and the soon to be sanctified Holy Matrimony of gay cock and deballings by their now not-so-significant others,

who blathered continuously about the Florida "theft" for decades after the two Trump terms while the One put one, two, maybe three or even four justices on the Supreme Court, but still not nine!, causing a million fatal air-embolisms during consenting acts of mutual Manhattan humm-jobs,

a lost battalion of a multi-million man and mom marching platonic conversationalists jumping to conclusions about WMD off fire escapes off windowsills off World Trade Center out of the moon, yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering "Trump LIEEEEEEEEED!" forever after into deepest eternity, and moonbat memories and false anecdotes and eyeball kicks and yearning for the electro-shocks of hospitals and the briefness of jails and bring back the endless Trump wars that we may hate into our drool-cups again .... oh my sorry little schmos.... ,

who wandered around and around at midnight at the White House wondering where O smoked and Michelle hid her dildos, got the address of Obama's birthplace in Hawaii at 1776 Kenya Street and went there with fresh batteries, and found Barbra Streisand muffdiving in the lanai with Whoopi Goldberg and Goldie Hawn, all set on leaving no child's behind,

who had double-standard visions of fashionable footwear while their baby seals died, turned inside-out into a pair of fur-lined muck-lucks by Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton

who thought they were only mad when the second coming of TrumpHitler appeared in the clouds above their White House like the mother ship in Independence day proclaiming "Neener, neener, neener,"

who in humorless protest turned Hillary Clinton into their personal hand-puppet, which she enjoyed, and then complained that she looked far too much like the devil spawn of Howdy Doody and Alfred E. Newman, and that the fit was too loose,

who scribbled celebrity porn from scuffed kneepads in the offices of Vanity Fair and collected and shaved stray cats far into their barren Pecksniffian nights until that bleak Upper West Side dawn when, waking from their stupor, rolled over in bed and discovered they had slept, not with their sixth spouse, but with Barney Frank, and thought, "Well, that's an upgrade,"

who dreamt O-Ba-Ma! O-Ba-Ma! hectoring and bloviating in the White House until in galactic luminosity Nancy Pelosi stood knock-kneed and naked on "Fleece the Nation" clad only in her San Francisco penis-gourd of flaccid played-out policies, while being frisked by a thousand agents of I-Am-the-President Obama, super avenging angel of the SortaSocialist Party, now and forever recreating the syntax and measure of polluted human prose, "Oh Hope!, Oh Change!, O Timor!, O Mortis!, Oh Yes We Can't!," and then all of them in their faded glory standing before America past, present, and to come, speechless and pseudo-intelligent and shaking with unshamed shame, a whole once proud party now doomed to decorate pikes and lamp-posts,

who were reduced in desperation after aborting their next generation to bribing the fervently fertile illegal constituents of wise Latina judges with appointments, with dinner parties, with caviar burritos, with $50 a shot artisan tequila, with cash for Cuernavaca clunkers, and invitations to bi-lingual and tri-sexual Hollywood "events," rejected yet confessing to the guttering sparks of thought in its treppaned Democrat skull as it proclaimed its new positive program for "Mourning in America," "Yes, yes, yes, like our patron saint Michelle-O-LaBelle that deep driving dominatrix of The Won, we too have a two-inch political penis, give us alllll your money, give us alllll your votes, give us ALLLLL THE POWER!, we and we alone can give you the golden gifts of our youth -- appeasement, defeatism, pacifism, penury, poverty and death!",

and rose reincarnate in the tattered rags of bluster and blabber in the tinhorn shadow of the ballot box and blew the the suffering of America's lumbering liberals' lust for unearned power into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone bleat still pandering for the Jewish vote after erasing Israel, as the American people, at long last no fools they, shived the elite in their entrails and blew them off again and again right past the last bus stop of democracy

with the absolute loss of political significance butchered out of their own body politic good to lose a thousand years.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 7, 2017 10:57 AM |  Comments (62)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Climbout on Easter Sunday

      "If I take the wings of the morning,
      and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea...."
-- Psalm 139

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WE RISE in a banking curve of pure velocity
over fallow fields and grids of neighborhoods,
arcing over ponds painted with slick scum oozing
-- from the oil pans of countless sunken cars,
-- from punctured sacks of toxic trash,
-- from fleshless graves of abandoned murders,
of missing persons filed in muck.

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WE RISE embraced by first-class armchairs,
pondering the crisply printed histories
of yesterday's most meaningless events.
We rise up above our lives and lies,
above, alone, away, alas, good-bye
to families and to friends, to all terrestrial ties.
Our very cellulars, by strict law silenced
so that our murmurs not disturb
the delicate electronics on which so much
at this tremulous moment depends
that we dare not think on it, and so select
music of our choice from mid-heaven's jukebox.

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WE RISE in the faltering dark
into the pale flicker of a cosseted sun
slatted in flashes through fingers of cloud,
up into the white blood of the sinewed sky,
and so our day and world slips by.

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WE RISE UP to where all breath is snow,
so far that all above becomes below,
up until the sky is seen as vapor,
smeared white on blue construction paper
and framed by dark remorseless space.

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WE RISE UP until from Earth we seem
only a fading gesture, some echoed trace
of fog, distinguished only by our direction,
out over arid ancient seas, past all reflection.

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AND STILL WE RISE, our lush ascent
powered by ageless diatoms' descent
into the ooze between the fossiled stones,
the shattered crypts of shells and bones;
above the planned sere autumn fields
of pasture, silage, grain that yields
the bread we break in this, our floating world.

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AND STILL we rise, resurrected,
through the thinning strands of sky reflected,
until the edge of day the stars deny,
where all the worlds we knew slip by,
tangled in a mapless maze of rivers,
our passing but a whisper that shivers
the dream of a drowsing owl, a silver splinter
caught in a facet of the eye of winter,
and, unremarked or written, quickly glides
beyond the reach of records or of guides.

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WE RISE until at last held still
in that blue hand which grasps all sky,
awake within our tube of paper steel,
our long ascent levels and we slide
onto a gleaming lake of granite ink,
reflecting now the empty gaze of God,
beyond warm hands and done with Earth.

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NEVER NOW to stagger or to slip
back into the shadows and the rain,
back into the warm musk of the day,
but, keen as an iron blade
touched to the tongue,
we sail forever on these slate seas
out to the far edge of imagine,
and on, and still on beyond
into the heart of the stars,
into the silence of their song.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 16, 2017 12:43 AM |  Comments (37)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In a Handful of Dust

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What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

-- from The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

"It is too little to call man a little world; except God, man is a diminutive to nothing.

Man consists of more pieces, more parts, than the world; than the world doth, nay, than the world is. And if those pieces were extended, and stretched out in man as they are in the world, man would be the giant, and the world the dwarf; the world but the map, and the man the world. .... Man hath not that innate instinct, to apply those natural medicines to his present danger, as those inferior creatures have; he is not his own apothecary, his own physician, as they are. Call back therefore thy meditation again, and bring it down: what's become of man's great extent and proportion, when himself shrinks himself and consumes himself to a handful of dust; what's become of his soaring thoughts, his compassing thoughts, when himself brings himself to the ignorance, to the thoughtlessness, of the grave?"Meditation IV by John Donne.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 14, 2017 12:28 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
To See the Cherry Hung With Snow

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Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

"It is only comparatively late in my life, I am ashamed to say, that I have learned truly to appreciate the small beauties of the world, such as lichen on the bark of trees, moss and ivy growing on ancient stone walls, and so forth. Housman wrote his poem (or rather published it) when he was only 37, and put it in the mouth of a 20-year-old boy, much wiser than I." Look Around

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Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 8, 2017 11:39 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The River Guide

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I.

Her sinewed arms bend oars downstream,
Her belly taut against the eddied swirls
And shifting shoals of sand and silt.

Soft plash of water against the hull,
As, on the lift of wind and loft of wave,
Her legs push and her breasts swell

To the slow rotating stroke on stroke
That guides her craft past rocks and reeds
Where bighorns graze and beavers slap the pool.

Her hair, rayed out, enfolds the sun.
Her downed thighs surge and shift
To the tempo of the current's heart,

And her shoulders roll, her shoulders roll
The long blue oars through shafts of sun,
Through canyons carved from time.

II.

Unknowing, and yet knowing, I boarded her silver boat,
Armed with maps and memoirs,with the latest equipment;
With the whole weight of the world compressed into a sack.
And we cast off when the sun slid above the canyon's rim.

All day we slid past walls of slate, the hawk our only witness,
Past pages of the Book of Earth no living soul could hope to read.
I lay upon the cushioned deck, soothed by the lull and surge of rapids,
And watched her eyes become the stream, as time was silenced by her touch.

Her face, at first quite modern, changed; Diana, mistress of the moon,
Emerged to meet my gaze.The air grew still. A silken shawl
Seemed draped upon the river's skin.The sun breathed in and paused.

It was then her voice, a whisper across a glacier, moved within my mind,
And in that place, removed from time, this timeless tale she told....

Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 5, 2017 6:17 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"A being darkly wise, and rudely great"

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An Essay on Man: Epistle II BY ALEXANDER POPE

I.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

- - An Essay on Man: Epistle II Cont'd


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 4, 2017 3:44 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
"Poetry. I too dislike it."

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This is why it has existed in all cultures since the divine allocation of human speech.

Before the paintings were added to the walls of Lascaux, our brutish ancestors were declaiming. And when, at the forefront of technology today, we are deprived of poetry, it reasserts itself, often in monstrous ways. The poet Dana Gioia, whom I admire for dressing in a business suit when he goes to work every morning (or leaving that impression if he don't), stressed this last point in some lecture I was auditing, probably on YouTube. Brilliantly, he mentioned the over-genre of hip hop. Into the vacuum for poetry it exploded, in English and in Urdu, and every other global language, from its abstruse origins in the South Bronx — with an insistence that left all of its detractors (me, for instance) powerless to deny. It answered to a terrible hunger, in the way that false religion fills a void of true. Orpheus descending

"For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth."

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"Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise."

In Memory of W. B. Yeats - Auden


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 24, 2017 5:05 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

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One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 12, 2017 8:16 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
THE CHAOS by Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946)

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Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 9, 2017 8:31 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Some Say That Snow

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Some say that snow is sleep. I say
That snow is but the rest
Of clouds upon earth's surface laid
To soothe the forest's breast,
To calm the souls that linger there
Beneath an age of leaf
That hides within its brindle flesh
Whole galaxies of seed.

Some say that snow is chill. I say
That snow is but a shawl
Draped over stones of silence,
That such silence shelter all.
And in such silence seal within
The brook beneath the glass,
That when the spring shall set it free
All dreams to sea shall pass.

Some say that snow is death. I say
That snow is but the prayer
Said when soul in winter's glade
Calls the body from its lair,
To stand within the last of light,
Becoming less than air,
To leave behind what came before
In the shadows dawn prepares.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 6, 2017 12:21 PM |  Comments (50)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dark Matter

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Dark Matter

for Tom Mandel (1946-1995)

Love must see all things that are,
But not with any eye.
Dream must rise from darkling waters,
Yet still gloss clear and dry.

The heart must mimic life lived large
In its sentences and fate;
Accepting time must finally halt,
And enter through the gateless gate.

The body, all its time undone,
Must yield itself to air.
The soul, a dream no longer dreamed,
Must rise upon the spiral stairs,

That lead up to that heart of light
Which circles in that storm;
Where one eye sees all things that are,
Where that which is, is born.

The Case Against Dark Matter: A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles.

For 80 years, scientists have puzzled over the way galaxies and other cosmic structures appear to gravitate toward something they cannot see. This hypothetical “dark matter” seems to outweigh all visible matter by a startling ratio of five to one, suggesting that we barely know our own universe. Thousands of physicists are doggedly searching for these invisible particles. But the dark matter hypothesis assumes scientists know how matter in the sky ought to move in the first place. This month, a series of developments has revived a long-disfavored argument that dark matter doesn’t exist after all. In this view, no missing matter is needed to explain the errant motions of the heavenly bodies; rather, on cosmic scales, gravity itself works in a different way than either Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein predicted.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 8, 2016 1:33 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Extra-Terrestrial Life

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I accept the existence of saucers,
I concede there's a case
To be made for believing that something's achieving
the conquest of space;

I find it completely convincing
Whenever I hear
That creatures from Venus were recently seen
As a spaceship drew near:

And yet there's a problem remaining
That baffles me still.
I'm not disagreeing that some super being
Can wander at will

From one universe to another-
But if it be thus why on earth (so to speak)
Should he bother to seek
Any contact with us?"

-- Anthony Brode


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 3, 2016 7:55 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mountains and Rivers Without End: The Zen Poet of Kitkitdizze

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"Gary Snyder, the Zen poet, lives on a hundred backcountry acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, meditates mornings, and thanks his food before he eats it, clapping his hands together and saying “Itadakimasu,” which is Japanese for “Thank you very much.”

He likes a boilermaker at dinnertime (a shot of bourbon and a tall glass of beer) and, on occasion, the bullfrogs from his pond. “I follow the ‘Joy of Cooking,’ “ he says. “You’ve got to skin them and brine them overnight. She recommends rolling them in bread crumbs and frying them.” He finds that vulture feathers make the best pens for calligraphy, and collects them when he hikes. Some nights, he takes a blanket and a thermos of sake and a star map, walks along a gravel riverbed not far from his house to a spot among the mounded diggings left by the gold-mining ventures of the past two centuries, and, by the light of a red torch, works on the constellations....."
“Throughout human history and prehistory, the trail was only to get you somewhere,” he said. “What was important was what was off the trail. Food, roots, berries, dye plants, glue plants, poisonous plants, recreational-drug plants, squirrel nests, bird nests, everything you might think you’d need. What’s way off the trail are the places you go to be alone and have a vision and your own spiritual trip, maybe with some of those recreational plants”—knowing snickers from the kids—“and then you come back.” -- Zen Master - The New Yorker

Excerpts from Myths & Texts - Gary Snyder

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Gary Snyder's bio, poems, and articles at the Poetry Foundation

Paris Review Interview - Gary Snyder, The Art of Poetry No. 74


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 1, 2016 9:55 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Moonrise

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Supermoon science: November 2016 moon biggest and brightest in 60 years

-- for Apollo

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The moon marked out the edge of heaven.

On this, our scriptures all agreed.

The moon was fixed, it could not fall.

The moon would fill our final needs.

The songs we'd learned were of the moon,

A fitting subject, known to all,

But the songs we sang were of the Earth,

And those that lived before the Fall.

These songs of forests flowing round

The Earth's four corners warmed the frost

That killed our gardens, coming early,

To remind us all of what we'd lost.

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"Why wander yearning for the moon?"

We'd ask of stones and ancient trees.

Their silence sang back in the night,

Of lands where all free choices freeze.

"Tranquillity", they promised us,

"Is the highest peak you will attain.

Tranquillity, where your bones will rest

Forever in the airless rains."

Our numbers grew, as did our tongues,

Beside brown rivers, on ancient plains.

We made more gods, we built up walls,

We fashioned towers of dirt and rain.

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Within those walls we planted fruit

And flowers bordering roofless rooms,

Wherein we sang the centuries down,

Observing all the phases of the moon.

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In time our towers turned to steel,

And their foundations into fire.

The rooms we made were sealed as stone,

And in those rooms we rose much higher.

colormoon26032005_1_.jpg

The moon grew monstrous as we ascended;

In our window it grew larger than the world.

We lowered our ladder gingerly,

Stepped down, a bit of cloth unfurled.

astronautwithflag.jpg

We named the place Tranquillity.

A fitting gesture, all agreed.

We photographed ourselves on site,

Tossed away some junk we did not need,

moon_plaque.jpg

And left, returning to that place

Where we'd begun beside the plains,

Boasting our footprints would endure

Forever in the airless rains.

footprintonmoon.jpg

Sometimes at night, we still look up

And see the moonrise scrape the sky.

It is the same, yet not the same,

And we know why, yes, we know why.

earthrise.jpg


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 13, 2016 1:17 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Got Those Pre-Election-Nameless-Dread-Lonely-Lovecraftian Night Sweats Blues

alovecraft.jpg

Dear Fellow Americans,
Everything that can possibly be said
concerning the cliff the country is approaching like a crack-smoking Coyote running after the rollicking Road Runner Republic was all said so long ago it needs to be buried in the "Been Done to Death" Cemetery. Still, on the cliff high above the American desert-, the electorate is suiting up.

1uselectorate.jpg

Where I am on the "Choice Not An Echo" before us has been clear to constant readers here years before the advent of the Trump campaign. Indeed, regardless of the "narrowing" or the polls and the "in the home stretch" chatter from the Nattering Nabobs of NeverTrump, I'm fairly sure this cake has been baked out in the rain for quite some time.

aacake.jpg

At the same time, this election-of-the-century-so-far is:
Driving.
Me.
Crazy.

More than that, I suspect this election-of-the-century-so-far is making me -- along with many tens of millions of my fellow citizens -- sick.

Several times in the last fortnight I've woken on the dark edge of dawn with the night sweats and an elevated pulse. These are the reactions I've had in the past following nightmares, but this time I can't recall any nightmares. Just a feeling of the Lovecraftian emotion called "Nameless Dread."

2dreadspace.jpg

To go along with the night sweats, the thudding beats of my tell tale heart (Never soothing if you've had a cardiac arrest in the last five years.), and the "Nameless Dread," is the ever-present sick to my stomach feeling which has also marked the last few weeks; a persistant nausea, or as we like to say when we're feeling all Frenchified, the Sartrean:

anausee.jpg

Put them all together and you've got Pre-Election Stress Disorder, or "PESD" (Pronounced 'Pissed' as in "Off and On.")

Like I said, I don't think my affliction is unique, but sharing this epidemic with many millions of my fellow citizens doesn't make me feel any less queasy. To be on the safe side for the next 24-26 hours I'm keeping a bucket by the bed and I'm not going to be filling it with a list.

Some people might be handling this by constructing a hyperbaric chamber which they can fill with enthusiastic bong hits until the world fogs and fades out into... "Look, a puppy!"

hyperbaric-chamber.jpg

Others may well be attempting to fill their hot tub with vodka and cranberry juice and wait out Detonation Day.

Not me. I don't think I can deal with the hangover since, no matter which way our baked cake crumbles not everybody is going to want to take nap time. Many will be locking or loading (or reloading), and I want the ability to "keep my weather eye on the horizon, / back to the wall / because I like to see what's coming through the door,/ that's all."

In the meantime, when I go to bed tonight my prayer will be:

3aendingcartoonbeforehitting.jpg

For now, I hope you have a good night's sleep tonight and a good day tomorrow. I'll be taking the day off. See you on the flip side....

Yours truly,

The Man with Night Sweats
by Thom Gunn

I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat
Wake to their residue,
Sweat, and a clinging sheet.

My flesh was its own shield:
Where it was gashed, it healed.

I grew as I explored
The body I could trust
Even while I adored
The risk that made robust,

A world of wonders in
Each challenge to the skin.

I cannot but be sorry
The given shield was cracked,
My mind reduced to hurry,
My flesh reduced and wrecked.

I have to change the bed,
But catch myself instead

Stopped upright where I am
Hugging my body to me
As if to shield it from
The pains that will go through me,

As if hands were enough
To hold an avalanche off.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 7, 2016 12:06 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
William Carlos Williams, "The pure products of America / go crazy" from Spring and all (1923)

The pure products of America
go crazy--

mountain folk from Kentucky
or the ribbed north end of
Jersey
with its isolate lakes and

valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
old names
and promiscuity between

devil-may-care men who have taken
to railroading
out of sheer lust of adventure--

and young slatterns, bathed
in filth
from Monday to Saturday

to be tricked out that night
with gauds
from imaginations which have no

peasant traditions to give them
character
but flutter and flaunt

sheer rags succumbing without
emotion
save numbed terror

under some hedge of choke-cherry
or viburnum--
which they cannot express--

Unless it be that marriage
perhaps
with a dash of Indian blood

will throw up a girl so desolate
so hemmed round
with disease or murder

that she'll be rescued by an
agent--
reared by the state and

sent out at fifteen to work in
some hard-pressed
house in the suburbs--

some doctor's family, some Elsie
voluptuous water
expressing with broken

brain the truth about us--
her great
ungainly hips and flopping breasts

addressed to cheap
jewelry
and rich young men with fine eyes

as if the earth under our feet
were
an excrement of some sky

and we degraded prisoners
destined
to hunger until we eat filth

while the imagination strains
after deer
going by fields of goldenrod in

the stifling heat of September
somehow
it seems to destroy us

It is only in isolate flecks that
something
is given off

No one
to witness
and adjust, no one to drive the car


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 21, 2016 9:51 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Request by Lawrence Raab

For a long time I was sure
it should be "Jumping Jack Flash," then
the adagio from Schubert's C major Quintet,
but right now I want Oscar Peterson's

"You Look Good to Me." That's my request.
Play it at the end of the service,
after my friends have spoken.
I don't believe I'll be listening in,

but sitting here I'm imaging
you could be feeling what I'd like to feel––
defiance from the Stones, grief
and resignation with Schubert, but now

Peterson and Ray Brown are making
the moment sound like some kind
of release. Sad enough
at first, but doesn't it slide into

tapping you feet, then clapping
your hands, maybe standing up
in that shadowy hall in Paris
in the late sixties when this was recorded,

getting up and dancing
as I would not have done,
and being dead, cannot, but might
wish for you, who would then

understand what a poem––or perhaps only
the making of a poem, just that moment
when it starts, when so much
is still possible––

has allowed me to feel.
Happy to be there. Carried away.

- - - - Inward Bound Poetry: 965.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 30, 2016 5:40 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Jack Reno

Dead-Mans-Hand-4ce8a31196ef7_hires.jpg

He put his wallet on the table,
And Joe the Joker called his bluff.
Jack filled his house with a pair of queens,
But was busted by Joe's royal flush.

Jack's boots were worn and dusty,
And he'd sometimes get the shakes,
But he'd always raise the ante,
And play for bigger stakes.

You could see him sipping Turkey
And playing dollar Keno
In the first joint over Stateline.
They called him old Jack Reno.

Smiling, laughing Jack who always bought a round.
Jazzing, crazy Jack who was every loser's friend.
He had a nasty girl in Vegas, a sweet wife in Marin,
But his first love was the table where Fortune took a spin.

When he first blew into town fresh from gambler's school,
Jack knew all the odds by heart; Jack was no man's fool.
He thought that he owned all the cards. He knew his way around.
But it only took one joker to bring Jack Reno down.

You could stake him to a chip and watch him take a hit
From a brand new deck that never ran his way,
Or try to double down, or fill a California split
To build a little stack to get him through the day.

You could see him sipping Turkey
And playing dollar Keno
In the first joint over Stateline
Where they all knew old Jack Reno.

One night at a table where dealers named the game,
A man in black said, "The stakes are fates."
"I'm in," said Jack. "I'll take five cards."
He drew a Deuce, a pair of Aces, pair of Eights.

"I'll call your bluff," said smiling Jack.
The stranger showed three trays and took the pot.
"I'll be damned, " said cleaned out Jack.
"Your call," the stranger said and shot him on the spot.

They laid Jack out with his lucky charms,
And passed the hat for a box of pine,
And sent Jack to sit in with the worms
Down where no one loses all the time.

Now his ghost looks worn and dusty
As it moans and shakes its chains,
When it's haunting the casinos
And can't get in the games.

You can see it after midnight
Trying to place a bet on Keno,
In the first joint over Stateline ,
Just a chip off old Jack Reno.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 23, 2016 12:43 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ronald Reagan!

aar0onalsherrif.jpg

by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

Ronald Reagan! I'm with you in America
where you're more alive than I am

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you must feel transfigured

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you announce again a new morning

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you've strangled the last progressive
with the entrails of the last liberal

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you laugh at Harry Reid’s senate

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where we are great citizens of the same Resurrected Republic

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where your sudden appearance above the Interstate
is reported with fear or joy on every web site of the Internet

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where the Constitution is read aloud and squashes
the worms in the White House

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where we drink the fine summer wine of Liberty

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you midwife a new birth of freedom

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where your mere name makes progressives scream
in straightjackets and fill up their drool cups

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you announce the American soul is immortal
and has never yet melted

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where the traitors in the Congress are consumed
in a refining fire

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where the LORD will not suffer
the souls of the righteous to famish

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you will split the heavens above Washington
and resurrect the living human Jesus from the
secular tomb

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where there are three hundred million sane citizens
all together singing the final stanza
of The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where we embrace the United States under
our flag, the stars of the United States that shine all
night and won't let us sleep in our dream

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where we wake up luminous and transformed from the coma
of socialism, our states’ stars beautiful
in spacious skies above our fruited plains,
as diamond-armored angelic guardians of the last best hope of Earth
O liberated legions run outside O starry
spangled shock of freedom the eternal war is
won O victory where the memory of the just is blessed:
but the name of the wicked shall rot

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
in my visions you stride back from a seachange
on the highway across America glowing luminous
our founders’ vision confirmed by God’s holy angels
to the door of my bungalow in the Northwestern night


This concludes the epic poem of GROWL!. The previous two sections are:

GROWL! PART I

DEMOCRAT! PART II OF GROWL!


Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 2, 2016 11:28 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Walt Whitman's Caution.

The Left loves to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk without ceasing about their "freedom." Free to be.... "Me." Freedom to indulge me, myself, and I in anything our whim might dictate... except to be critical of the philosophy of "personal freedom" while wearing the "mind-forg'd manacles" of the State.

But it is not about "freedom." It is about "liberty." It is always about "liberty" and how much liberty people are willing to give up in order to taste the sweet sins of "freedom." Whitman, a man who indulged in a lot of personal sexual freedom, knew this.

awaltwhitmancaution.jpg

To The States, or any one of
       them, or any city of The
       States, Resist much, Obey
       little,
Once unquestioning obedience,
       once fully enslaved,
Once fully enslaved, no nation,
       race, city, of this earth,
       ever afterward resumes
       its liberty.—


HT: Michelle Obama's Mirror: I Hear America Singing Too: STFU!!!
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 14, 2016 9:11 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
At The Sculptor's Studio

arodinheadder.jpg

Long after his final forms are cast,
And the sculptor's hands are mute,
The line forms daily at his door
To tour his institute.

Long after his final fire fades,
And the sculptor becomes his bones,
Two faces in his house are forming,
Melting out of frozen stone.

Vita-Sackville-West.jpg

To your right, the dreamer strains to wake,
And struggles within her sleep.
On your left, the convalescent, pale,
Lays back upon her sheet.

Their sanded eyes, their still, stone lips,
Emerge from drifts of solid snow,
And whisper life in tongues of brass,
To the shadows of their shapes below.

Plump matrons, muttering recipes,
Shuffle past them in a bunch,
And amble into the arid garden
To stand in line for lunch.

2395_l.jpg

Outside, within the ivy's cloak,
All wrangled by the wall,
The rain-scorched Burghers of Calais,
Gaze numbly on their final fall.

Tanned lovers stroll and pose beside
Those forms, and buff those metal hands,
To laugh and wander off quite calm,
In their sheltered, cozy bands.

aarodin-burghers-of-calais.jpg

The Burghers' flesh and staring eyes,
Know no real pain, weep tears of time,
While those around, quite blithe, ignore
The sculptor's agony that they mime.

Yes we, quite modern, admire them.
We discuss the sacrifice they tell,
Then, laughing, use our selfie sticks
And pose knocking on The Gates of Hell.

aagatesofhelllarge.jpg


Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 20, 2016 10:58 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mire and Nice by Robert FrostDerLeun

Some say the world will end in mire,
Some say in nice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor mire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of fate
To say that for destruction nice
Is also great
And would suffice.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 19, 2016 10:34 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Caught in Traffic

ambulencetraffic.jpg

We'd strapped him to his bed for over a year,

Paid a fat, black woman to wear a white dress

Change his bed pan, and sit with him at night,

But when the bone white pigeon banked

Between the buildings in a pale twilight

The old man's brain liquefied.

Foam, whose tiny bubbles reflected my face,

Bloomed on his lips as he swallowed his tongue.

It said 5:47 on the red crystal clock by the wet bar,

And his breath rattled in the room like some

Tired exhaust fan from the Roaring Twenties.

His wife was out shopping at Woolworths,

Or trying to sell something back to Cartiers.

The black nurse was downstairs flirting

With Desi the tap dancing doorman.

Prince the chauffeur buffed the black Lincoln

And wondered what he do when the old lady died.

My wife was teasing our toddler in the living room.

Everyone else was trying to get home from work.

Somewhere inside his skull the skinned nerves

Kept sending signals down the spine to the heart.

And I blotted his lips in that burnt orange room

As his arms flapped like a beached fish before

The fisherman brings down the club.

I turned from the bed, pulled up the beige blinds,

And gazed out the window wondering

Where the bone white pigeon had gone.
Then I called the Doctor's number listening

To his wheezing until the call was answered.


"He's dying," I said to the man I'd never met.

"You should send an ambulance and a team

Of medics right now. He's going. Going fast."

The calm voice answered from far across town,

"He's home. He's been dead for a year, you know.

We just change the sheets and pay the nurses.
I can keep his body going as long -- as long --

As long as you want. You need to tell me.

Look outside. How heavy's the traffic on Fifth?"

I looked down on a solid ribbon of oozing steel.

"Wedged," I said. "Hardly moving at all."


"Look at his eyes," the voice said. I looked

Down into his eyes and they had no bottom.

"Who's there?" the voice asked on the phone.


"No one I know," I said. "No one at all."
I held the phone and waited, looking out over the park.


"I'll send an ambulance when you tell me," he said.


The bone white pigeon came sweeping out of the light

And settled on the sill as calm as the quiet in the room.


"Send them when you can," I said. "No rush.
They'll just get caught in traffic."


Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 12, 2016 9:03 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
DEMOCRAT!

democratlucifer.jpg

democratclip.jpg

PART II of GROWL

by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

What Socialist Party of lies and slavery bashed open American skulls and sucked out their freedom, brains and imagination?

Democrat! Darwinist Solitude! NEA Filth! Pelosi Perversion! Obamunist Onanism. NPR racism! Recycling Cans to find unobtainable dollars to pay off deficit trillions! Unborn children screaming silent under the D&C! Boys sobbing for fathers! Girls for mothers! Wives for husbands! Husbands for families! Impoverished old men and weeping in the parks!

Democrat! Democrat! Nightmare of Democrat! Democrat the loveless! Gone mental Democrat! Democrat the heavy aggregation of girly-men!

Democrat the incomprehensible African-American electoral plantation system of perpetual ideological slavery! Democrat the skull & crossbones soulless Senate and Congress of corruption!

Democrat whose headquarters are Fascist overbuilding with gun slits! Democrat the vast bloating stone of Deficit! Democrat the broke government of the pauper nation!

Democrat whose mind is pure rusted machinery! Democrat whose blood is gushing tax money! Democrat whose skeleton fingers are in your wallet!

Democrat whose breast is a transsexual dynamo! Democrat whose mouth is a smoking tomb! Democrat of the atheist thumb pulling out a plum and saying what a free to be a very bad boy am I! Democrat whose only god is Dracula!

Democrat whose eyes are a thousand shattered factory windows! Democrat whose empty skyscrapers smolder in the long Detroit streets like endless Molochs! Democrat whose brains dream Utopia and choke in the fog of their flatulent dementia! Democrat whose fuming bongs and facial piercings crown the crapulous cities!

Democrat whose love is lust! Democrat whose soul is welfare and affirmative racism! Democrat whose poverty is perpetual servitude to the government salad bar, no seconds!

Democrat whose only true Doctor and Cure is Kevorkian! Democrat whose foreign policy is a cloud of glowing Iranian hydrogen! Democrat whose whore is BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH!

Democrat in whom I once sat lonely! Democrat in whom I once dreamt the New Jerusalem! Crazy in Democrat! Sucker of crock in Democrat! Lacklove and lobotomy in Democrat!

Democrat of the Dot.com I've Got Mine Now Give Us Yours Centimillionaires! Democrat of Bush Derangement Syndrome! Democrat of the dried dugs of Ariana Huffington's Code Pink Synchronized Menopause Flasher Brigade known as "The View"!

Democrat who entered my soul early! Democrat in whom I was sold down the River without Huck or a raft and put over the falls of flowing ideological crypto-socialist sewage! Drowned in recycled recycled recycled compost of Democrat! Democrat who frightened me out of my natural freedom and into hive-mind chants of GLO-BA'ALWARMING-O-BA-MA, GLO-BA'ALWARMING-O-BA-MA!

Democrat of the planet has four months to live! Democrat of lies for the common good of Democrat! Democrat of crapper rapper lies of the soul! Democrat whom I abandon!

Democrat demanding that I give all to the State! Vomit in Democrat! Avenging Angels streaming out of the sky! Death of Democrat from above! God's righteous fire on the heads of Democrat-Acorn!, Democrat-SIEU! Democrat-California!, Democrat-Detroit! Democrat-Chicago! Democrat-San Fraudcisco!

Democrat! Democrat! Robot apparatchiks! Maoist czars! Evaporated liberties! Skeleton treasuries! Dictator judges! Demonic policies! Spectral communities of Democrat delusional control! Insane Democrat media madhouses! Olbermann suckers of Democrat crock! Monstrous media leg-tingle "analysis"! Democrat of presidential prop-up! Democrat of Journ-O-list talking pointed heads! Democrat of "Too Big to Fail When Failing!"

Deception of Democrat! Voters broke their backs lifting Democrat to Heaven! Payments fees now for unborn generations mostly to be aborted, for trees, for tobacco, for tilted windmills, for tons of things so bad, very bad for you we know better pay us now for Democrat death panels later! Democrat of Constitution as toilet paper! Democrat of blowing the cities and American land to hell in a hand-basket!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! hope of the world sold down the American river!

Democrat destruction of legal immigrant Dreams! Democrat of border war beheadings of citizens! Graven Image Adorations made to tin gods! Crack-pipe Illuminations crammed down the throat of taxpayers! Cap and Trade Religions! Democrat rowing ashore the whole boatload of sensitive socialist bullshit!

Democrat of a pale horse and the name that sat on him was Democrat Death! And Democrat Hell followed with him!

Democrat Breakthroughs in suicide machines! Democrat rivers of toxic educational sludge rising to flood levels in the minds of our children! New Orleans Democrat looting! Democrat flips and crucifixions of enemies, enemies, enemies flagged at flag@whitehouse.gov! Bill of Rights flushed down the Democrat crapper!

Democrat heroin fueled voter fraud! Democrat Epiphanies of mandated Abortion for all not just for choosy barren Democrat! Democrat Despairs of eternal urban ghettos! Six years' animal screams and suicide of the Republic for which Democrat does not stand!

Democrat Colonized Minds! New lusts for nothing and Democrat kicks and food stamps for free! Mad Democrat cashed-out clunker generation!

Free people despair of Democrat! Free people revolt against socialist utopia con-artists! Free people sound real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell to Democrat! They jumped off the roof! to vote out Democrat forever! waving! carrying flowers! packing heat! Down to the river of freedom! into the street of Liberty, armed and dangerous, Free people voting death to Democrat nightmare now and forever in God's holy war! Free people, mine eyes have seen the Glory!


Posted by Vanderleun at May 10, 2016 11:53 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Scar on Heaven’s Face

acometpasses.jpg

Whose will decreed this scar on sky
Would glaze our night with sunstruck ice?
Whose Plan determines stones' decline
To sand, or shapes the stars' dark lore,
Or how our very continents
Drift effortless upon the core,

Or that we mark, as clever beasts,
The passing haze of comet's swoosh,
That we, the glaze of thought on flesh,
May see Who made the Plan at all?

I know, I know...no plan at all
Is thought by some to be the Plan.
And yet, and yet ...what is this thought
That seems to measure more than man?

Look not deep in but far afield,
Beyond the limits of our sight,
It cannot be that all that is
Is all but night on deeper night.

But if night should be all that is,
And all as purposeless as stones,
The heart still sings the body's chants
And moves His light within our bones.

Perhaps this pattern that we know
As sunlight seen between two lights
Is but some dance cast to amuse
What lies beyond our blinded sight.

Yet what dark mind could gain a gram
Of pleasure from such clumsy turns,
Instead of reading evil writ
In war’s cold countenance of burns?

The countenance of comets
That the sky at night assumes
Is faced with such equations
As replicate the blooms
Of fruit trees forced to flower
On a continent of tombs.

But to stand within a meadow
And mark the waves of wind
Is ample compensation
For the Gift the days rescind.

At length our modern marvels
Are but blots of haze on slate
That we note with small attention
As we dance between the gates,

And step to some faint music,
Along the path of day's retreat,
Our ancient, ageless minuet
That rounds our sleep with sleep.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 8, 2016 10:07 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind by Carl Sandberg

attheedge_of_a_new_year.jpg

The past is a bucket of ashes.

1

The woman named Tomorrow
sits with a hairpin in her teeth
and takes her time
and does her hair the way she wants it
and fastens at last the last braid and coil
and puts the hairpin where it belongs
and turns and drawls: Well, what of it?
My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone.
What of it? Let the dead be dead.

lion.gate.mycaena.jpg

2

The doors were cedar
and the panels strips of gold
and the girls were golden girls
and the panels read and the girls chanted:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.

The doors are twisted on broken hinges.
Sheets of rain swish through on the wind
where the golden girls ran and the panels read:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.

ruinsforout.jpg

3

It has happened before.
Strong men put up a city and got
a nation together,
And paid singers to sing and women
to warble: We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.

And while the singers sang
and the strong men listened
and paid the singers well
and felt good about it all,
there were rats and lizards who listened
… and the only listeners left now
… are … the rats … and the lizards.

And there are black crows
crying, “Caw, caw,"
bringing mud and sticks
building a nest
over the words carved
on the doors where the panels were cedar
and the strips on the panels were gold
and the golden girls came singing:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.

The only singers now are crows crying, “Caw, caw,"
And the sheets of rain whine in the wind and doorways.
And the only listeners now are … the rats … and the lizards.

swsertattention.jpg

4

The feet of the rats
scribble on the door sills;
the hieroglyphs of the rat footprints
chatter the pedigrees of the rats
and babble of the blood
and gabble of the breed
of the grandfathers and the great-grandfathers
of the rats.

And the wind shifts
and the dust on a door sill shifts
and even the writing of the rat footprints
tells us nothing, nothing at all
about the greatest city, the greatest nation
where the strong men listened
and the women warbled: Nothing like us ever was.

forsaken_by_jonasdero-d4dp2jq.jpg


Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 4, 2016 8:12 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Homestead

Homestead

It was found in the fog that shivered
        the slivers of glass in the windows.
It was seen in the sheen of the moon
         on the unworn wood of the floor.
It spoke with the slow, patient clutching of light
         and tapped out the unknown codes of the flesh,
         the indistinct worm of the years and the shapes
         of desire, possession, and fate.
It was mute.

It was stitched in the spaces
         of the wind's alphabet.
It was clothed in cool hands
         gloved in wet weather.
It appeared on the paths
         that admitted no passage.
It's rachety rhythms
         were all made of match sticks.
It waited.

It's slashings were tattooed
         on drapes of dank velvet.
It's gibbering laughter inserted itself
         between doorway and jamb and continued to carve.
It's snickering plumbing
         rotted the dinner.
They had left, they had left.
         Indeed, they had left.
Of that all their objects would clearly attest.

theyhadleft.jpg


Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 24, 2016 11:50 PM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Ancien Régime **

Screenshot-2015-10-07-15-08-48.jpg

The tumbril creaks and rumbles on
Upon the road of Slate,
Retracing rutted years of sand
Whose Distance storms Debate.

Its passengers stand fixed as stone
While faces cheer from Snow.
The blade awaits it's midday meal,
When Above becomes Below.

Innovations carved from clouds
Give despair and dance New measures.
The blade reflects its evening meal
When kings slake lower pleasures.

Arrived at Hope they gaze on mist
Where granite horses roam.
Their schedules as fixed as Dark.
Their future -- White as bone.

The head within the basket sees
Vast Parliaments of sky.
Its ears hear only fading surf
Where all past gone years reply.

executionrobespierre.jpg
" Six tumbrils carry the day’s wine to La Guillotine."

** The Ancien Régime was the monarchic, aristocratic, social and political system established in the Kingdom of France from approximately the 15th century until the latter part of the 18th century ("early modern France") under the late Valois and Bourbon dynasties. The term is occasionally used to refer to the similar feudal social and political order of the time elsewhere in Europe. The administrative and social structures of the Ancien Régime were the result of years of state-building, legislative acts (like the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts), internal conflicts and civil wars, but they remained a confusing patchwork of local privilege and historic differences until the French Revolution ended the system.


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 19, 2016 5:28 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Diatom

strikingdiatomweb.jpg

At just first light in surge and drift,
Within the darkling seas,
In sheaves they swirl -- as winter mist
Evaporates in trees.

I show you here one diatom.
God's smallest lamp of glass and oil,
Suspended in our ancient seas,
Then frozen far beneath our soil.

Beneath our star these diatomes,
Misprisoned cells of oil in glass,
In drifts descended into sand,
And melted stone while eons pass.

Within such stone they liquify,
And flow in streams through granite glades
To slumber in their vaults of pearl,
And dreaming dream the dreams of shades.

Awakened soul and substance now
What dwelt in seas then leaps to fly.
We see their shadows, cold as mist,
When contrails sketch our frozen sky.

I show you here a diatom,
God's smallest lamp of glass and oil,
That keeps us in mid-heaven safe
And warm above our winter's soil.

In life's first dawn they scintillate
And merge in death to darkened stone.
In sheaves they fade into the mist...
Unplanned? Unsought? Unmourned?

I show you here one diatom.

aa-diatom.jpg


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 8, 2016 9:59 AM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone by Galway Kinnell

aalone.jpg

1

When one has lived a long time alone
one refrains from swatting the fly
and lets him go, and one hesitates to strike
the mosquito, though more than willing go slap
the flesh under her, and one lifts the toad
from the pit too deep for him to hop out of
and carries him to the grass, without minding
the toxic urine he slicks his body with,
and one envelops, in a towel, the swift
who fell down the chimney and knocks herself
against the window glass and releases her outside
and watches her fly free, a life line flung at reality,
when one has lived a long time alone.

afreeswift.jpg

2

When one has lived a long time alone,
one grabs the snake behind the head
and holds him until he stops trying to stick
the orange tongue, which splits at the end
into two black filaments and jumps out
like a fire-eater's belches and has little
in common with the pimpled pink lump that shapes
sounds and sleeps inside the human mouth,
into one's flesh, and clamps it between his jaws,
letting the gaudy tips show, as children do
when concentrating, and as very likely
one does oneself, without knowing it,
when one has lived a long time alone.

asnakeorang.jpg

3

When one has lived a long time alone,
among regrets so immense the past occupies
nearly all the room there is in consciousness,
one notices in the snake's eyes, which look back
without paying less attention to the future,
the first coating of the opaque milky-blue
leucoma snakes to get when about to throw
their skins and become new––meanwhile continuing,
of course, to grow old––the exact bleu passé
that discolors the corneas of the blue-eyed
when they lie back at last and look for heaven,
a blurring one can see means they will never find it,
when one has lived a long time alone.

aalbinosnakje.jpg

Continued...
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 28, 2016 4:02 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wheat Field and Eliot Ross' "The Reckoning Days"

For the past year, Elliot Ross has been photographing the world of farmer Jim Mertens.

Inspired by the empathetic imagery of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans for the Farm Security Administration, Ross created an essay that examines the relationship between the farmer and the land, giving both characters equal focus in “The Reckoning Days.” The grains of wheat and the cracked palms of laborers are given the same attention, depicted in a mesmerizing palette of blues and yellows. This is how bread, the most basic staple of our diet, is made. “Society is generally removed from the processes in which bread and hundreds of other products reach our baskets,” Ross said. "We must protect, nurture, and celebrate the salt of the earth.”

1%20150716_Harvest_0922.jpg

The Wheat Field

From each one in the hard soil a myriad are spun.

Sheaves of gold on bronze in files beneath the sun.

Is it towards the whiteness of the wafer

The field bends on autumn winds;

2%20150715_Harvest_0479.jpg

Towards the body which is breath not flesh

That the body which is only flesh

Scuffs its limbs upon the soil,

And fears at night tomorrow's toil,

And sees in dreams the shade of musk

The trumpets rising in the dusk?

3%20matriarch%2C%20Deanna%20often%20gives%20advice%20to%20others%20that%20she%20interprets%20from%20these%20worn%20pages.jpg

Or is the seed of wheat enough,

Its own bronze parable of blood,

Enorbing in its nucleus

The architecture of the Ark,

The constant covenant of bread?

4%20Andrew%20climbs%20to%20dizzying%20heights%20inside%20the%20new%20bin%20that%20he%20hopes%20will%20soon%20be%20full%20of%20wheat.jpg

On the Thirtieth Meridian, at the pivot of the Earth,

A fan spreads out in silted twists

Pinned by five gold inches to the river's wrist,

And clasped by five white fingers of that marble hand.

7%20thewheatfieldElliotRossStudio.jpeg

Between the rise and fall of speech

The pulse is felt throughout the land,

Its rhythms mimicked by the priests,

Its regulations drawn on dirt

In circles, trisects, lines and cubes

Of numbers and of wheat,

Of incantations scratched on stone

That from their power we may eat

The bread, for we have tasted of the fruit,

And found it, if not sweet, of use

In surveying tombs and gardens that will suit.

5%20combines%20pass%20one%20another%20as%20they%20begin%20cutting%20a%20new%20field.jpg

The wilderness yields only flesh

Of fruit, or fowl, or hunted beast.

It cannot give us wheat and bread,

And it is bread that we would eat.

brimming%20with%20the%20last%20of%20the%20day%E2%80%99s%20wheat%20harvest.jpg

Though our bodies be of infirm flesh, Our thoughts enslaved to blood and heat;

Though we scan the skies with eyes of beasts,

Still we would walk in fields of wheat,

And from such sheaves deduce the laws

Of war and wealth and God, and pause

To build our towns and temples, paved streets,

And gird the very globe with grids,

And make our maps and take our measures,

And populate the final stars with our myriad

Grown from one, in the harsh soil, our single treasure.

8%20grownfromoneintheharshsoil.jpg


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 24, 2016 5:59 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink

infire.jpg

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

inice.jpg

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

fire12.jpg

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

ice2.jpg

Is also great

And would suffice.


[Illustrations from Photos of the Week / The Atlantic]
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 15, 2016 3:02 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Adult Cinema

sean-pennadonna--54554.jpg

"I think I know the warm place you allude to.
Just between the thighs, is it not, my lady?"

-- Frank Harris
1.
Copulations on candelabras draped in overcoats,
And illuminated by burning children,
Guide us inside for the pearl of great price.
Our questions and cards of aging identity
Have been checked with our hats at the door.

Within, in the gray steam composed of our breath,
The mongoloid's lips nibble the rose
That pulses and glows in the garden of meat.
No sound at all flows from the audience.
No sound at all but the wind over stones.

Surely some triple somersault is about to be performed.
Surely some deadly edged object is about to be swallowed,
To the death rasps and rattle of drums draped in black.
Surely some revelation is at hand, and its promise,
A love without name, without years, is arriving at last.

We are decently clothed and seated quite primly.
We have read all the arguments and remained most informed.
We have all made it through to these seats, our reward.

2.
But suppose if that coupling couple smeared on the screen
Would appear (for an instant, a moment, a minute)
Immersed with the bloom, the resurrection of the rose,
Possessed of that intelligence which kindles stars,
And capable, in dance, of painting the sunset dawn,
Would we then, yawning, stumble from our seats?
Would we then demand our ragged dollars back?

Nonsense! Bald nonsense! The most formless of fantasies!
For the flesh show, we know, has barely begun
To run on and run on and run on.
The shorts come first, and then cartoons,
And then coming attractions run on and run on and
Tease us deeper towards the Feature! The one we pay and wait for.

Who of all the Shes that She could be will this She be?
Or more precisely what will be the color, length and luster
Of her hair; the tint of nipples, her age and shaving rituals;
Her basic shape complete with curving thighs and breasts?
And what will be the central sight -- her central secret now
Revealed, unlike her name, to all admitted here?

Or more precisely still, describe the moves and methods
Done to her, undone in her and spun from her
Beneath the lights and looks and lenses
That complicate her love and face, her lunges
That stimulate our frozen senses.

In how many poses, positions and postures
Can orifices and organs stumble and waddle,
Plugging and piercing and probing and pumping
To the beat and the wheeze of the old in and out?
Men gathered in darkness await their pale answers,
Their eyelids in traction while their hands grasp the void.

3.
Twenty-four images flail every second
Suggesting the best way to beat headache pain,
Suggesting a hole to retire, to die in,
To be buried or burned in the funnel of clocks;
Advising one daily to dispense with all dreams
Left broken in childhood where hopes for the future
Dwelt in dim rooms on cold afternoons
With one naked lightbulb whose hands explored shadows
With the ghosts of small candles.
Dispensed with such riches, this cold pleasure we clutch,
Shutting out silence with hands made of marble,
Supporting the sex shops with the flesh of burned peasants.

Ceaseless and useless and chattering streets.
Shops without limit or number or conscience.
Scraping for mica with frozen, torn fingers
To acquire our quota and provide for our pleasures
With those of another, addicted to rations
Of popcorn and playmates and slaughter and puke.

4.
And yet, who escapes it? No one face can be found.
There remains in the center of all our dreamed heavens
That same barren room with no card on the door.
And the streets that slide out from that room
Are all empty, all barren of traffic or children,
Of laughter or new moons or open far fields
Where green paths beneath branches hang glimmered with rain,
Where no one is running, or lounging or loving.

They have all paid their taxes and gone to the theater --
And the theater is empty though they are all present,
And the seats that wait, folded, are spattered with darkness,
For the Feature is finished and only the night
Remains with its daydreams to lull us in slumber.
Shifting our bodies and rising en masse,
We mumbling shuffle from drama to drugs,
And notice in passing the promising placard.

Tomorrow, as always, there will be a fresh show.
Tomorrow more hours immersed in her thighs
Where the boy with blank eyes will ravish the rose.
He will never be older. He refuses to die.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 13, 2016 2:12 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Beasts That We Keep

banditone.jpg

If we knew the intent of the beasts that we keep
In the far fields and dark valleys, in the pale light of sleep,
In the marked shards of clay, in papyrus and parchment,
Beneath the brick hearth, in the marks on old bones,
In the marrow of bones, in the plowing of stones
Parting sand furrows where our dreams are pale sparks
In the roots of our nerves, sprouting to thoughts,
To the tee-shirt philosophies of cheap magazines,
And the afternoon shows of electronic dreams,
That drown our blank selves when dredged up from sleep.

If we knew the intent of the beasts that we keep,
We would surely sit senseless, would hide from the sun,
And turn on ourselves the unregistered gun.
If we knew the intent of the beasts that we seek.


If we knew the intent of the beasts which we slay
From couches confessional, in the stone barns of God
Where the soul's soundings echo the light in the sod
To our penitent minds; which illumines our stark
Hearts from within, that dazzles our dark
With His fierce pyrotechnics, with His animate spark
That glows in that womb where all yearning starts,
And yearns for the flare at the top of the arc --
But burns like dead screams flung down in the dark,
Like torches cast deep where drowned Incas decay --

We would know then this life takes place in one day,
That the beasts which we keep are the beasts of our sleep,
Created from dust in the long dusk of God,
That we know the intent of the beasts that we keep.

Note: The item below on Freeing Bandit brought this particular poem from several years ago to mind.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 11, 2016 8:03 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Kingfisher

aaperfect-kingfisher-dive-photo-wildlife-photography-alan-mcfayden-311.jpg

.... if I have any taste
it is only because I have interested myself
in what was slain in the sun

                             I pose you your question:

shall you uncover honey / where maggots are?

                             I hunt among stones

The Kingfishers by Charles Olson : The Poetry Foundation



This Shot of a Diving Kingfisher Was 6 Years and 720,000 Photos in the Making
Nailing the perfect shot sometimes requires a lot of patience. Scottish photographer Alan McFadyen would know: he spent an estimated 6 years, 4,200 hours, and 720,000 exposures trying to nail the perfect symmetrical shot of a kingfisher diving into its reflection.“Kingfishers dive so fast they are like bullets so taking a good photo requires a lot of luck – and a lot of patience,” McFadyen tells the Daily Mail. He also says that female kingfishers only dive a handful of times per day, so the shot is hard to predict. Finally, last month, everything came together. A bird did a perfect dive, and McFadyen finally managed to capture a shot in which the tip of the kingfisher’s beak is touching the surface of the lake.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 14, 2015 10:31 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Kingfisher

aaperfect-kingfisher-dive-photo-wildlife-photography-alan-mcfayden-311.jpg

.... if I have any taste
it is only because I have interested myself
in what was slain in the sun

                             I pose you your question:

shall you uncover honey / where maggots are?

                             I hunt among stones

The Kingfishers by Charles Olson : The Poetry Foundation



This Shot of a Diving Kingfisher Was 6 Years and 720,000 Photos in the Making
Nailing the perfect shot sometimes requires a lot of patience. Scottish photographer Alan McFadyen would know: he spent an estimated 6 years, 4,200 hours, and 720,000 exposures trying to nail the perfect symmetrical shot of a kingfisher diving into its reflection.“Kingfishers dive so fast they are like bullets so taking a good photo requires a lot of luck – and a lot of patience,” McFadyen tells the Daily Mail. He also says that female kingfishers only dive a handful of times per day, so the shot is hard to predict. Finally, last month, everything came together. A bird did a perfect dive, and McFadyen finally managed to capture a shot in which the tip of the kingfisher’s beak is touching the surface of the lake.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 14, 2015 10:31 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ancient Music by Ezra Pound

winterisincummin.jpg

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,
So ’gainst the winter’s balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 20, 2015 12:35 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Suffer Not This King: Here is naught unproven—here is naught to learn. / It is written what shall fall if the King return.

king-obama-59693.jpg

All we have of freedom, all we use or know—
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.

Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw—
Leave to live by no man's leave, underneath the Law.

Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing
Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the King.

Till our fathers 'stablished, after bloody years,
How our King is one with us, first among his peers.

So they bought us freedom—not at little cost
Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost,

Over all things certain, this is sure indeed,
Suffer not the old King: for we know the breed.

Give no ear to bondsmen bidding us endure.
Whining “He is weak and far”; crying “Time shall cure.”,

(Time himself is witness, till the battle joins,
Deeper strikes the rottenness in the people's loins.)

Give no heed to bondsmen masking war with peace.
Suffer not the old King here or overseas.

They that beg us barter—wait his yielding mood—
Pledge the years we hold in trust—pawn our brother's blood—

Howso' great their clamour, whatsoe'er their claim,
Suffer not the old King under any name!

Here is naught unproven—here is naught to learn.
It is written what shall fall if the King return.

He shall mark our goings, question whence we came,
Set his guards about us, as in Freedom's name.

He shall take a tribute, toll of all our ware;
He shall change our gold for arms—arms we may not bear.

He shall break his judges if they cross his word;
He shall rule above the Law calling on the Lord.

He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring
Watchers 'neath our window, lest we mock the King—

Hate and all division; hosts of hurrying spies;
Money poured in secret, carrion breeding flies.

Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
These shall deal our Justice: sell—deny—delay.

We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse
For the Land we look to—for the Tongue we use.

We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet,
While his hired captains jeer us in the street.

Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun,
Far beyond his borders shall his teachings run.

Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled,
Laying on a new land evil of the old—

Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain—
All our fathers died to loose he shall bind again.

Here is naught at venture, random nor untrue—
Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew.

Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
Step for step and word for word—so the old Kings did!

Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read.
Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed—

All the right they promise—all the wrong they bring.
Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King!

The Old Issue by Rudyard Kipling


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 10, 2015 10:00 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sleepwaking in the Narrows

aapathbridge.jpg

I.
The first time down the path
The cave is hidden from your eye.
You wander in a deep ravine
That frames a slice of sky.

Your unsure step will stumble
Where lizards prance on leaves,
But still the stream will waltz you on
Through the shadow-stippled breeze.

You'll come to where the bathers bare
Sun themselves on steaming stones,
And one child's laughter scintillates
Like water flowing over bones.

Oak roots reach down across the rock
And map the drift of streams.
The bathers loll within their sleep,
And reflect the shape of dreams.

Snakes and crickets search the seams
Of granite aeons made,
While leaves slide down the air to spin
On water stained with shade.

The solid rock betrays your feet.
Your steps become unsure.
The raven on the boulder stands.
His wings begin to stir.

The grass bends down before the wind.
The ferns bow in the fading light.
The clouds retreat, the stars emerge,
The ravine is draped with night.

aaacreek_above_second_narrows.jpg

II.

But in such night what light awaits
This dust of dreams on bone?
The path leads back to the place of men
Through a forest turned to stone.

A rush light glows within the dark
On the far side of the stream.
It is the cave, unnoticed then,
Containing now this life of dreams.

A figure -- phosphorescent, frail --
Will bid you to assume
That all within is as without,
As tunnel echoes tomb.

You'll see within large shifting shapes
Of cities and of scenes
Remembered only as a film
Shown but oncea behind a screen.

You'll hear the songs of sailors,
Songs of women, songs of war.
Your step will freeze, your head will turn,
Your hand will find an ancient door

That leads you to a steaming room
Where pale shapes writhe and wheeze,
While from below a gray mist floats
Upon the fetid breeze.

The chink of money, lure of love,
Will fill your straining ears,
And you will hear your own voice whisper,
"All is all as it appears."

awakeupcalleverymorning.jpg

III.

Awake! A far bell coming closer
Along the paths of night,
In passing lights the lamps of stars
To guide you from this sight.

All is not as it appears.
All is as made and nothing more.
Within the cave confusion reigns
Upon the stained and skull-strewn floor.

Step back beneath the stars, step back.
Reclaim your second sight,
And stride out straight upon the path
Towards the lantern and the light,

To where the sunlight falling sings,
Where the wind is woven with the trees,
Where the thought that thinks of thought is drowned
In the mansions of the sea.

aglittpathshand.jpg

-- Tassajara Zen Monastery, Carmel Valley, California


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 20, 2015 12:14 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Valley of Shells and Bones

chiczenitzatemple.jpg
Chichen Itza

"What scaled and feathered fetish shakes awake our loamy sleep
in these sealed vaults where dust and sand enrobe our golden masks
that hover over dreaming faces drowned in tinted musk?
Here where the spider curls and chitters in the crystal locket.
Here as time's mouth leeches blood and brain and bids
the leather skin to tighten in on the empty, staring socket,
and bind the breath that fading far once laughed within the dusk?"

Here is your thin tin trowel,
And here your sable brush,
For prying loose these mitered stones,
And sweeping off the dust
That sifts between these shaded souls
Like paling ebony snow,
As you squat above the site
Where you worshiped once below.
Come thrust your torch
Through these shattered walls,
And map the stains on stone,
And explicate these distant deaths
From strewn patterns of bone.

a_apatternbones.jpg

The distance that such deaths define
Is measured by that ageless path
That winds up from the sea's last limb
Meandering to the blood's demands,
And, rolling over shells' sharp rims,
Finally finds its well-trod way
To midnight's flaming brands
Where vacant, lusting faces grin
Within masks of whitened clay.

awhiteclaymasks.jpg

This path slopes through the stunted woods
Where the mantis ruts and broods,
Then spirals down to the sacred caves
Where men in twitching files repeat
The witless chants of wind and waves.

"Thick curds of rancid smoke performed our genuflections.
Our flayed limbs writhed, then steamed in screams of light.
Our lidless eyes became one daring crow's confections.
Our shriveled nerves shrank back from the chittering coal's delight.
Our marrow melted fast as flames licked up our blackened bones.
Our gaping mouths spewed rancid smoke as if they would relate
the secret magic flint and steel on tethered flesh create."

Here is your iron pick,
And here your crested spoon.
Not silver, true, but still
The emblem of your art,
Which is, to wit,
To lay these bodies bare;
Explain their ritual agonies,
Deduce their sorry fate,
Describe their diet, sex,
The colors of their hair,
And tell how long
Their ashen lair
Has lain beneath
Our present pleasant State.


Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 10, 2015 1:05 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted by Rudyard Kipling

aaaa640768px-nasa-apollo8-dec24-earthrise.jpg
WHEN Earth's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it -- lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew.

And those that were good shall be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets' hair.
They shall find real saints to draw from -- Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only The Master shall praise us, and only The Master shall blame;
Andd no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They are!


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 25, 2015 11:35 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When God lets...

a_mysselh_j__a_danish_gravemound_from_the_early_bronze_age.jpg
Mysselhøj, a Danish gravemound from the early bronze age.

when god lets my body be

from each brave eye shall sprout a tree
fruit that dangles therefrom

the purpled world will dance upon
between my lips which did sing

a rose shall beget the spring
that maidens whom passion wastes

will lay between their little breasts
my strong fingers beneath the snow

into strenuous birds shall go
my love walking in the grass

their wings will touch with her face
and all the while shall my heart be
with the bulge and nuzzle of the sea

E. E. Cummings


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 15, 2015 9:11 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
J. Alfred Prufrock is 100 Years Old

prufrock1915.jpg

And still on point after all these years....The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Source: Poetry (June 1915).

"Prufrock's reception in London can be gauged from an unsigned review in The Times Literary Supplement on 21 June 1917. "The fact that these things occurred to the mind of Mr. Eliot is surely of the very smallest importance to anyone, even to himself. They certainly have no relation to poetry."

"Till human voices wake us, and we drown." Underway and with many surprises in store was World War One; a war so shocking to the human soul that within Eliot's mentor and partner in poetic crimes of the 20th century would write in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

There died a myriad,
And of the best, among them,
For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
For a botched civilization.

Charm, smiling at the good mouth,
Quick eyes gone under earth’s lid,

For two gross of broken statues,
For a few thousand battered books.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 31, 2014 8:50 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Time of Disturbance by Robinson Jeffers

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Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 30, 2014 2:55 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Time of Disturbance by Robinson Jeffers

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Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 30, 2014 2:55 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sermons in Stoned: Who's that writin'? -- John the Revelator / Nick Cave

Who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
Who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
Who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
He wrote the book of the seven seals

And what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
Yeah, what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
Yeah what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
He wrote the book of the seven seals

O Babe, a thousands cried O holy
A mountain of fulsome, son of god
Daughter of Zion, Judah the lion
The redeemer said he bought us with our blood

Now who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
Who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
Yeah, who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
He wrote the book of the seven seals

And what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
Yeah, what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
Yeah what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
He wrote the book of the seven seals

John the revelator, straight advocator
Catch'em at the battle of Zion
Tell'em the story, writing the glory
O God, O Lord, so love him from our heart

So who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
Yeah who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
Yeah, who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
He wrote the book of the seven seals

And what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
Yeah, what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
Yeah what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
He wrote the book of the seven seals

Moses to Moses, watching the flock
He saw the bush where they had to stop
God told Moses pull off your shoes
Out of the flock, now you I choose

Now who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
Who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
Yeah, who's that writin'? ( John the revelator)
He wrote the book of the seven seals

What's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
Yeah, what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
Yeah what's John writin'? ('bout the revelation)
He wrote the book of the seven seals


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 28, 2014 9:31 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Crumbling is not an instant's Act

Statue_of_Liberty_by_Kamy22.jpg

Crumbling is not an instant's Act
A fundamental pause
Dilapidation's processes
Are organized Decays —

'Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul
A Cuticle of Dust
A Borer in the Axis
An Elemental Rust —

Ruin is formal — Devil's work
Consecutive and slow —
Fail in an instant, no man did
Slipping — is Crashe's law —

by Emily Dickinson : The Poetry Foundation


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 29, 2014 10:19 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Waking by Theodore Roethke

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I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 20, 2014 12:07 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Press by Rudyard Kipling

Why don't you write a play  €“
 €‚ €‚Why don't you cut your hair?
Do you trim your toe-nails round
 €‚ €‚Or do you trim them square?
Tell it to the papers,
 €‚ €‚Tell it every day.
But, en passant, may I ask
 €‚ €‚Why don't you write a play?

What's your last religion?
 €‚ €‚Have you got a creed?
Do you dress in Jaeger-wool
 €‚ €‚Sackcloth, silk or tweed?
Name the books that helped you
 €‚ €‚On the path you've trod.
Do you use a little g
 €‚ €‚When you write of God?

Do you hope to enter
 €‚ €‚Fame's immortal dome?
Do you put the washing out
 €‚ €‚Or have it done at home?
Have you any morals?
 €‚ €‚Does your genius burn?
Was you wife a what's its name?
 €‚ €‚How much did she earn?

Had your friend a secret
 €‚ €‚Sorrow, shame or vice  €“
Have you promised not to tell
 €‚ €‚What's your lowest price?
All the housemaid fancied
 €‚ €‚All the butler guessed
Tell it to the public press
 €‚ €‚And we will do the rest.

Why don't you write a play?

[Rudyard Kipling, 1899]

Continued...
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Sep 22, 2014 10:25 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Shine, Perishing Republic

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While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.

You making haste, haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there are left the mountains.

And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught -- they say -- God, when he walked on earth.

-- Robinson Jeffers


Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 29, 2014 2:10 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kipling: Not Poetry but Prophecy


The Gods of the Copybook Headings


AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,

I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.

Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.


We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn

That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:

But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,

So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.


We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,

Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,

But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come

That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.


With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,

They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;

They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;

So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.

They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.

But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."


On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life

(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)

Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."


In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,

By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;

But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."


Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew

And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true

That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.


As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man

There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.

That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,

And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;


And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins

When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,

As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,

The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!



Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 6, 2014 10:48 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dark Matter

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Dark Matter

for Tom Mandel (1946-1995)

Love must see all things that are,
But not with any eye.
Dream must rise from darkling waters,
Yet still gloss clear and dry.

The heart must mimic life lived large
In its sentences and fate;
Accepting time must finally halt,
And enter through the gateless gate.

The body, all its time undone,
Must yield itself to air.
The soul, a dream no longer dreamed,
Must rise upon the spiral stairs,

That lead up to that heart of light
Which circles in that storm;
Where one eye sees all things that are,
Where that which is, is born.


Posted by Vanderleun at May 30, 2014 1:54 AM |  Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Excesses Of God by Robinson Jeffers

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Is it not by his high superfluousness we know
Our God? For to be equal a need
Is natural, animal, mineral: but to fling
Rainbows over the rain
And beauty above the moon, and secret rainbows
On the domes of deep sea-shells,
And make the necessary embrace of breeding
Beautiful also as fire,
Not even the weeds to multiply without blossom
Nor the birds without music:
There is the great humaneness at the heart of things,
The extravagant kindness, the fountain
Humanity can understand, and would flow likewise
If power and desire were perch-mates.

Posted by: Skorpion at April 23


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 26, 2014 3:13 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Suffer not the old King under any name!

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From The Old Issue by Rudyard Kipling [Emphasis added lest the point be missed.]


"All we have of freedom, all we use or know -
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago."

They that beg us barter—wait his yielding mood—
Pledge the years we hold in trust—pawn our brother's blood—

Howso' great their clamour, whatsoe'er their claim,
Suffer not the old King under any name!

Here is naught unproven—here is naught to learn.
It is written what shall fall if the King return.

He shall mark our goings, question whence we came,
Set his guards about us, as in Freedom's name.

He shall take a tribute, toll of all our ware;
He shall change our gold for arms—arms we may not bear.

He shall break his judges if they cross his word;
He shall rule above the Law calling on the Lord.

He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring
Watchers 'neath our window, lest we mock the King

Hate and all division; hosts of hurrying spies;
Money poured in secret, carrion breeding flies.

Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
These shall deal our Justice: sell—deny—delay.

We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse
For the Land we look to—for the Tongue we use.

We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet,
While his hired captains jeer us in the street.

Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun,
Far beyond his borders shall his teachings run.

Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled,
Laying on a new land evil of the old—

Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain—
All our fathers died to loose he shall bind again.

Here is naught at venture, random nor untrue—
Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew.

Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
Step for step and word for word—so the old Kings did!

Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read.
Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed—

All the right they promise—all the wrong they bring.
Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King!

democracyheader.jpg


Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 23, 2014 11:06 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"With Usura"

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The Court of Gonzaga (detail): Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), 1465-74, walnut oil on plaster

With usura hath no man a house of good stone
each block cut smooth and well fitting
that design might cover their face,
with usura
hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
harpes et luthes
or where virgin receiveth message
and halo projects from incision,
with usura
seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
no picture is made to endure nor to live with
but it is made to sell and sell quickly

Ezra Pound, from Canto XLV (1936)

TOM CLARK: "...seeth no man Gonzaga...": Andrea Mantegna: The Court of Gonzaga / Ezra Pound: from Canto XLV

Update: A link worth following as noted in the comments by Mark

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Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 6, 2014 12:33 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Working for Nothing

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For every new job that the Obama Administration says it created, two Americans have been added to the food stamp program. Obama’s America.

"For a lot of folks, the idea that if you worked hard, you could make it -- you could get a good job that paid a living wage, that you could count on your kids having a better future than you did -- those things were slipping out of the grasp of a lot of folks." July 22, 2013 Remarks by the president at an OFA Dinner | The White House

In the fall of 2011, Mr. Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to unveil a $447 billion jobs bill that has not passed. In 2012, as his re-election campaign neared its end, he renewed his vision with a 20-page economic plan. In his State of the Union address in February, the president refocused on the economy after beginning his second term focused on gun control, immigration, climate change and gay rights. And just this past May, Mr. Obama announced he was restarting his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour,” with stops in Baltimore and Austin, Tex. Obama Seeking to Take Credit and Set Course for Economy - NYTimes.com

Once upon a time
Having money was a crime,
And I was in my prime
And working for nothing.

Now that habit's hard to break,
And what I got you wouldn't take
The time to steal. Life's so unreal
When you're working for nothing.

Working for nothing
-ain't my act.
Working for nothing
-an un-natural fact,
Working for nothing.

Those cats in the top hats
All know money's where its at,
Say `You want it easy, want it fat?
Quit working for nothing.'

Those dudes hopping on The Line,
Making Fords and doing fine,
Do you think they'd take a shine
To working for nothing?

Working for nothing
-for pie in the sky
Working for nothing
-in the sweet bye and bye
We'll all be working for nothing.

That man with the handshake,
His love is just a stone fake.
He wants your love for his sake.
He ain't smiling for nothing.

He's got power in his sights.
He'll come out on top all right.
Still, his wife stays out all night,
Working for nothing.

Working for nothing --
Gotta break on through --
Working for nothing
To where dreams come true.
No more working for nothing.

Gotta get that bacon.
Gotta pay that rent.
Gotta give that loan shark
My last red cent.

Gotta make a final payment
And get my pistol outta hock.
Gotta press my three-piece suit.
Gotta darn my sock.

There's alimony, child-support,
There's last month's union dues,
And my baby needs a new pair
Of hand-made English shoes.

She's been broke before,
And says she won't put out no more,
If putting out just means
She's working for nothing.

Working for nothing...
-But there ain't nothing free.
Working for nothing...
-It's just the fool in me
That's working for nothing.

I used to be a winner,
A syncopated sinner.
I gave out all my love for free
(Yes, that was really me.)

Now I jump when they push the button,
Trying to get me a piece of something,
Trying to make a deal that beats
Working for nothing.

Gonna pull myself together,
Buy the papers, find a job.
Maybe dress up all in leather
And break legs for the mob.

Maybe wear those real sharp suits,
Be the servant, play the clown,
For those jokers in the penthouse
That own the whole damn town.

Maybe be a jewel thief,
Or rob banks like Willie Sutton.
Be a local discount hit-man.
It's better than working for nothing.

If you're working for something
-don't take no bets
It only seems like something
-cause you ain't seen nothing yet
No, you ain't seen nothing yet.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 23, 2013 5:08 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Lifer by The Bard of Murdock

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The Lifer
Article link: Rep. John Dingell sets new record for congressional service

While others pause to praise the man
Who’s given sixty years,
We might recall what he has wrought
Before we join the cheers.

An advocate for government,
With bureaucratic heart,
In every regulation passed
Our John has played a part.

The EPA, the FDA,
And now Obamacare!
For every bit of overreach
Our Dingell has been there.

And how he prospers through the years
While moving up in rank;
The latest calculations show
Five million in the bank.

For us, the hand of government.
For him, a fortune gained.
Forgive me if my accolades
Might seem a bit restrained.

While Johnny pauses to reflect
And hear his life acclaimed,
For what he’s done with sixty years
He ought to be ashamed.

The Bard Of Murdock: The Lifer


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 18, 2013 6:56 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Doors: "Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection / Send my credentials to the House of Detention"

Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek (February 12, 1939 – May 20, 2013) has passed away. His music endures.

"Forty days after finishing film school, thinking they had gone their separate ways, Manzarek and Morrison met by chance on Venice Beach in California. Morrison said he had written some songs, and Manzarek expressed an interest in hearing them, whereupon Morrison sang a rough version of "Moonlight Drive". Manzarek liked the songs and co-founded the Doors with Morrison at that moment."

Continued...
Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 22, 2013 11:56 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

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Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

aaawheresnyderwrote.jpg

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.

aaasourdoughlookoutmyths.jpg

           by Gary Snyder, Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems

[Photos from the location]


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 19, 2013 4:18 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Grudge of the Old by D.H. Lawrence

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The old ones want to be young, and they aren't young,
and it rankles, they ache when they see the young,
and they can't help wanting to spite it on them
venomously.

The old ones say to themselves: We are not going to be old,
we are not going to make way, we are not going to die,
we are going to stay on and on and on and on and on
and make the young look after us
till they are old. We are stronger than the young.
We have more energy, and our grip on life is harder.
Let us triumph, and let the young be listless
with their puny youth.
We are younger even now than the young, we can put their youth in abeyance.

And it is true.
And they do it.
And so it goes on.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 27, 2013 2:39 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Nightmares: The Poetry of the Young Barry Obama

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Because the child is father to the man. Or, in this case, the man might have been the....

POP*

Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken

In, sprinkled with ashes

Pop switches channels, takes another

Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks

What to do with me, a green young man

Who fails to consider the
Flim and flam of the world, since

Things have been easy for me; 

I stare hard at his face, a stare

That deflects off his brow; 

I’m sure he’s unaware of his

Dark, watery eyes, that

Glance in different directions,

And his slow, unwelcome twitches,

Fail to pass.
I listen, nod,

Listen, open, till I cling to his pale, 

Beige T-shirt, yelling,

Yelling in his ears, that hang

With heavy lobes, but he’s still telling
His joke, so I ask why
He’s so unhappy, to which he replies...

But I don’t care anymore, cause

He took too damn long, and from

Under my seat, I pull out the

Mirror I’ve been saving; I’m laughing, 

Laughing loud, the blood rushing from his face

To mine, as he grows small,

A spot in my brain, something

That may be squeezed out, like a 

Watermelon seed between

Two fingers.

Pop takes another shot, neat,

Points out the same amber

Stain on his shorts that I’ve got on mine, and

Makes me smell his smell, coming

From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem

He wrote before his mother died,

Stands, shouts, and asks

For a hug, as I shrink, my 

Arms barely reaching around

His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; ’cause

I see my face, framed within
Pop’s black-framed glasses

And know he’s laughing too.


*A poem by Barack Obama published in the Spring 1981 issue of “Feast,” a 51-page student literary journal that described itself as "a semi-annual journal of short poetry and fiction collected from the Occidental College community.” The journal is no longer published, according to a college spokesman.

From 2008-09-24


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 3, 2013 10:09 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Beneath the Aegean

atlantis.jpg

When all Earth's seas shall Levitate,
Dark shawled within the skies,
Upon our eyes will Starfish dance
Their waltz of Blind surprise.

The sun will Rise within wine Dark
As Argonauts imbibed,
Whose drunken arms embrace that sleep
Where Phaeton's horses Stride.

Upon all of Earth's wind-sanded shores,
As dolphins Learn to soar,
All we once were on the land
Shall be sealed behind the door

Of Ivory and Chastened Gold,
That the Mystery solved complete
Shall never til the seas' Long fall
Wake mariners from their sleep.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 20, 2013 1:09 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Robinson Jeffers' Time of Disturbance: 1951
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Original at January 1951 : Poetry Magazine


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 3, 2012 1:30 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
At the Sulzberger's Summer Home

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Bright blooms of flame spattered shadows on that tide
Whose strangling fingers clawed into our land,
And scraped out slots like graves upon our sand.

A far-off signal flared and sputtering fell,
Its bloom of sparks splashed deep in slate,
But, like our last edition, this signal came too late.

The drumming bursts of broken cannons
Stomped along the edges of our gilded cage,
And faded like the lies we smeared on our front page,

Faded until all we heard of want or wish or war
Were the screams of our grandchildren slain
Beyond our gilded sand, upon our once fruited plain.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 18, 2012 4:30 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How We Live Now: The Illustrated Desolation Row

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The most enduringly prophetic Dylan song juxtaposed with images found in the Life Magazine Image Library, and supported by the extremely strange but somehow successful "Desolation Row - The Marionette Performance" by Vlamik, in two parts.



Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 4, 2012 1:01 AM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Ancien Règime **

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The tumbrils creak and rumble still
Upon the road of State,
Retracing rutted years of sand
Whose Distance storms Debate.

The passengers stand fixed as Stone
While faces jeer from Snow.
The Blade awaits its midday meal,
When Above becomes Below.

Innovations carved from clouds
Give despair and dance New measures.
The blade Reflects its evening meal
When kings slake Lower pleasures.

Arrived at Hope they gaze at mist
Where granite horses roam.
Their schedules as fixed as Dark.
Their Future -- White as bone.

The Head within the Basket sees
Vast Parliaments -- of sky.
Its ears hear only Fading surf
As the past gone years Reply.

Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 3, 2011 10:49 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The City of Brass by Rudyard Kipling

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Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 17, 2011 12:53 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: American Dream By Emily Louise Smith

evansphoto.jpg

By the time Walker Evans arrived, there wasn’t much

besides the shrug of a tenant house,

sun-stiff shirts hung like paper-doll garland.

Red-clay road, a gash in the earth. Come evening,

an oak limb strew a negligee of shadow

across the barn. He’d never seen light

touch things like that, nearly prayerful,

the way it blotted roofs and wood floors.

It would prove as impossible to capture

as the odor of smoke, lye soap, and sleep

the children carried like clouds in their pockets.

He tried leaving them out, but to photograph

a field is to hold a mirror to longing.

Even cutlery kept between a board and wall

reminded him of them wedged in the single bed

Years later, a potbelly moon would spit stars

across Massachusetts, and he’d remember

the baby napping at Mrs. Field’s breast.

How, just before he made their picture,

she stroked a lock of blond hair and

launched, in the child’s dream, a paper boat.

There is in every photograph a secret

that implicates the viewer in someone else’s memory

of a pasture, a rusted sign, a dress pattern.

It’s what love does: makes room

for a boat on a tenant farm in Alabama.

All day he’d wait for the right light

on a stove, by which he meant to say

the effect of them on that place. Even long after

the grown child inherited his forbearers’ sleep

like the emptiness under the belly of the house.

Discovered by Daphne who says, correctly, This talented woman writes like a well hung, glossy shutter: true, tight and gorgeously smooth.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 8, 2011 8:32 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Working for Nothing: My Little Ditty for the Hard Core Unemployed

Job Data Casts Pall Over Economic Recovery and nobody, but nobody, believes 9.6% is true.
newyorklifeaugust2002.jpg
Wall Street, NYC Photo by Vanderleun

ONCE upon a time
Making money was a crime,
And I was in my prime,
And working for nothing.

Now that habit's hard to break,
And what I got you wouldn't take
The time to steal. Life's so unreal
When you're working for nothing.

        Working for nothing
                   -- ain't my act.
        Working for nothing
                   -- an un-natural fact,
        Working for nothing.

Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 3, 2010 4:44 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Unknown Unknowns: The Found Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld

Knowing

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things
We know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say, we know
There are some things
We do not know.
But there are also
Unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know
We don’t know.

-- Donald Rumsfeld, 2003

To many, this seemed silly at the time it was first recited by the author. But of late it seems to be more and more prescient and prophetic with every passing day.

[Thanks for the memory to William M. Briggs, Statistician サ Rumsfeld and Keynes on Probability]


Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 21, 2010 11:44 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Origins of the State

tumbleddollparts2.jpg

They expose the unwanted infant
On a hot flat stone, or throw it
Whirling head over foot into the ravine
For the raven's obscene brunch,
And walk back down
Their barren blasted Hill
To their village of rocks,
Hearing the mother’s moans,
Approving the father's stern smile.
All male, the state demands,
And sound.


Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 6, 2010 12:39 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

bannrrfrost.jpg

Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 17, 2010 1:07 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Leonard Cohen Silences an Audience with "A Thousand Kisses Deep"

In London, last November. There are small laughs coming from the audience at the beginning.... and then the magic of this old master overwhelms them into silence.

Not found in the video here is the complete text for Cohen's A Thousand Kisses Deep

Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 7, 2009 10:04 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obamlet

To surge, or not to surge: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous battles,
Or put down arms against a sea of troubles,
And by withdrawing end them? To retreat: to fight
No more; and by retreat to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To retreat, to leave;
To leave: perchance to lose: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that leaving, what defeat may come
When we have shuffled off this Afghan soil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of a long war;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of polls,
The oppressor’s wrong, the talking head’s contumely,
The pangs of pacifists, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his swift exit make
With a curt order? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary war,
But that the dread that some would cry “defeat,”
That vicious accusation from whose bourn
No politician returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!
The fair Nobel Committee! Wimps, in thy orisons
Be all my sins forgotten.]

-- By sooth it is by ye bardlette: neo-neocon »


Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 30, 2009 3:10 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Monday: Photo Captions from Around the World 6:29-09

refugeewoman2.jpg

"About suffering they were never wrong, 
The Old Masters" -- Auden

Supporters of President Bambang cheered
At a rally in Central Java Monday.

Iraqi security forces showed peace signs
Patrolling Basra Monday.

A boy beat the heat in a cool, cool spray
Out near Chandigarh Monday.

People enjoyed the coolness of the Tuileries
In central Paris Monday.

A Canadian civilian contractor relaxed outside
His tent at Kandahar Monday.
Volunteers sorted rubbish
For recycling at Glastonbury Monday.

A man worked stacking sticks
At a Yingtan timber market Monday.

Cliff diver Alain Kohl dove off
A bridge in Frankfurt Monday.

A priest held confession before an ordination
Ceremony in Switzerland Monday.
An Iraqi police officer kissed the national flag
On his police car in Baghdad Monday.

Agnieszka Radwanska returned a ball to Melanie Oudin
During their Wimbledon tennis match Monday.

Israelis collected vegetables to be thrown
At a demonstration in Jerusalem Monday.

An Israeli police officer spoke on his radio
At a Jerusalem shopping mall Monday.
A boy rode his bicycle on the embankment
Of the Danube River in Budapest Monday.

New priests prostrated themselves
During the ordination Mass Monday.
Spanish marines competed in the Fan-Pin
Military race in San Fernando Monday.

A woman displaced by fighting in Pakistan
Sat with her daughter at a U.N. camp
In the Swabi district
Monday.


Captions with their images can be found at Pictures of the Day
Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 30, 2009 10:07 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The New American Anthem

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.


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 28, 2009 6:32 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Caught In Traffic

pigeonstill.jpg

We'd strapped him to his bed for over a year,
Paid a fat, black woman to wear a white dress
Change his bed pan, and sit with him at night,
But when the bone white pigeon banked
Between the buildings in a pale twilight
The old man's brain liquefied.

Foam, whose tiny bubbles reflected my face,
Bloomed on his lips as he swallowed his tongue.
It said 5:47 on the red crystal clock by the wet bar,
And his breath rattled in the room like some
Tired exhaust fan from the Roaring Twenties.

His wife was out shopping at Woolworths,
Or trying to sell something back to Cartiers.
The black nurse was downstairs flirting
With Desi the tap dancing doorman.
Prince the chauffeur buffed the black Lincoln
And wondered what he do when the old lady died.
My wife was teasing our toddler in the living room.
Everyone else was trying to get home from work.

Somewhere inside his skull sore nerves
Kept sending signals down the spine to the heart.
I blotted his lips in that burnt orange room
As his arms flapped like a beached fish before
The fisherman brings down the club.

I turned from the bed, pulled up the beige blinds,
And gazed out the window wondering
Where the bone white pigeon had gone.

Then I called the Doctor's number listening
To his wheezing until the call was answered.
"He's dying," I said to the man I'd never met.
"You should send an ambulance and a team
Of medics right now. He's going. Going fast."

The calm voice answered from far across town,
"He's home. He's been dead for a year, you know.
We just change the sheets and pay the nurses.
I can keep his body going as long -- as long --
As long as you want. You need to tell me.
Look outside. How heavy's the traffic on Fifth?"

I looked down on a solid ribbon of oozing steel.
"Wedged," I said. "Hardly moving at all."
"Look at his eyes," the voice said. I looked
Down into his eyes and they had no bottom.
"Who's there?" the voice asked on the phone.
"No one I know," I said. "No one at all."

I held the phone and waited, looking out over the park.
"I'll send an ambulance when you tell me," he said.
The bone white pigeon came sweeping out of the light
And settled on the sill as calm as the quiet in the room.
"Send them when you can," I said.
"They'll just be caught in traffic."

releasepigeon.jpg


Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 17, 2009 9:10 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oceanside

When you walk along this beach
You take all that you can carry --
Dog, shoes, shadow -- even,
If you are not very selective,
"The Ride of the Valkyries."

And you think that because
You walk this beach
So easy and so free
That you will always
Stroll upon this sand.

Look up. A large black dog
Shambles and sniffs
Along this wet, black strand.
Eight dark ravens
Settle at the surf line,
And the drunken crone
Paws in the sand for a sign
Where there are no signs.

You're weary of all you carry,
So you leave it behind
In a pile upon the beach,
Heaped with the crone,
The ravens and the dog,
Hoping it will fade
Forever out of reach,
Becoming just one more
Bonfire on the beach.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 16, 2008 12:21 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Growl

superobama.jpg

growlclip2.jpg
by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

For Karl Rove Solomon

I SAW the second-best minds of my not-so-Great Generation destroyed by Bush Derangement Syndrome, pasty, paunchy, tenured, unelectable, and not looking too sharp naked,

bullshitting themselves through the African-American streets at cocktail hour looking for a Prozac refill,

aging hair-plugged hipsters burning for their ancient political connection to the White House through the machinations of moonbats,

who warred on poverty and Halliburton's Wal-Mart and bulbous-eyed and still high from some bad acid in 1968 set up no-smoking zones on tobacco farms in the unnatural darkness of Darwinistic delusions floating a few more half-baked secular notions like "Let's all worship Zero!",

who bared their withered breasts and, he or she, bleated their vaginas' mawkish monologues to John Kennedy's ghost under the capitol dome and french-kissed Mohammedan agents in the gore-drenched redrum rooms of Guantanamo,

who passed gas and on into universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating President Al Gore and Vice-President Noam Chomsky envisioning world peace among the masters of war and stayed on and stayed on and stayed on sucking off the great teat of academe in upaid student loans and over-paid professorial positions the better to molest the minds of children for decades with every third year off for bad behavior,

who were embraced by the academies and hired by the New York Times for crazy & publishing obscene odes or anything else that trashed George W. Bush without regard for truth since there were no consequences for these posturing poseurs of puke,

who cowered in their marble-countered plasma screened media rooms in underwear which was no longer Victoria's Secret, burning their money by donating it in carloads to every half-assed Democratic PAC that promised impeachment in a nano-second without the losing proposition of actually holding an election and listening to Rush Limbaugh through the wall,

who got bombed at public wine-tastings by chugging the slops bin and referencing Sideways, returning to their summer house in the Hamptons where they ate smoked salmon, smoked $200 marijuana, wore $250 denims, and bitched about how the economy was a mess but did not really, as they claimed, send their $36,000 tax cut back to the government, and continued to suffer the secret shame of Affluenza,

who breathed fire and bile about "that crooked administration" among their friends and shut up around people with real jobs and drank turpentine to get through "A Night with Gloria Steinem", claimed bogus ego-death, and Ab-busted their torsos night after night,

with dreams of real electoral victory without elections, with seven different mood-soothing drugs, with waking Birkenstock nightmares of Bush, Bush, Bush, alcohol Jello shots and the soon to be sanctified Holy Matrimony of cock and endless balls,

who blathered continuously about the Florida "theft" for the entire ninety-six months of the two Bush terms while the Evil One put one, two, maybe three or even four justices on the Supreme Court, causing a million fatal air-embolisms during consenting acts of mutual humm-jobs,

a lost battalion of a multi-million man and mom marching platonic conversationalists jumping to conclusions about WMD off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon, yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering "BUSH LIEEEEEEEEED!" and moronic memories and false anecdotes and eyeball kicks and yearning for the electroshocks of hospitals and the briefness of jails and the endless Bush wars .... oh my sorry little schmos.... ,

who wandered around and around at midnight at the Democratic National Committee wondering where Howard Dean hid his dildos, got the address of his love nest in San Francisco and went there with fresh batteries, and found Barbra Striesand drooling in the alley set on leaving no child behind,

who had double-standard visions while their baby seals died, turned into a pair of mucklucks by Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton,

who thought they were only mad when BushHitler appeared in the clouds above their Iowa Caucuses proclaiming "Neener, neener, neener,"

who in humorless protest turned Cindy Sheehan into their personal hand-puppet, which she enjoyed, and complained that she looked far too much like the devil spawn of Howdy Doody and Alfred E. Newman,

who scribbled celebrity porn from scuffed kneepads in the offices of Vanity Fair and collected and shaved stray cats far into their barren Pecksniffian nights until that bleak dawn when, waking from their stupor, rolled over in bed and discovered they had slept, not with their sixth spouse, but with Ward Churchill, and thought, "Well, that's an upgrade,"

who dreamt Hilary Clinton hectoring and shrieking in the White House until in galactic luminosity that crass and shabby woman stood revealed on "Fleece the Nation"in her SupportHose of pallid played-out policies, while being frisked by a thousand agents of Barrack Obama, super avenging angel of the Democratic Party, now and forever recreating the syntax and measure of poor human prose, Oh Hope!, Oh Change!, Oh Yes we can!, and then all of them in their faded glory standing before you speechless and pseudo-intelligent and shaking with unshamed shame, a whole once proud party now unable to get elected to high-school treasurer, reduced to bribing judges with dinner parties and invitations to Hollywood "events,"rejected yet confessing to the rhythm of thought in its naked and endless head as it proclaimed its new positive program for "Mourning in America," "Yes, yes, yes, like our patron saint George Soros, we too have a two-inch political penis, give us your money, give us your votes, give us THE POWER, we and we alone can promise you appeasement, defeatism, pacifism, penury, and death!",

and rose reincarnate in the tattered rags of bluster and blabber in the goldhorn shadow of the ballot box and blew the suffering of America's lumbering liberals' lust for unearned power into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone bleat still pandering for the Jewish vote, as the people, no fools they, shived the elite in their entrails and blew them off again and again right past the last bus stop of democracy

with the absolute loss of political significance butchered out of their own body politic good to lose a thousand years.


NOTE: By request, "Growl" is now in PDF format and suitable for printing: Download Growl Here [Back because whatever Larwyn wants, Larwyn gets... ] HT to Dinocrat's Howl 2006
Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 24, 2008 3:02 PM |  Comments (50)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Country & Western Song Cleverly Disguised as

.... a personal ad in the London Review of Books:

"The man with a genius

For picking losers

Is ready for the next in line."

Sort of writes itself, doesn't it?


Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 23, 2007 10:26 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Shortest Country & Western Song Ever

"I can't live without you,
So I'm leaving today."


Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 23, 2007 10:23 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fifth Beatle of the 17th Century

Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes

GOLDEN slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles awake you when you rise.
Sleep pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby;
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

Care is heavy, therefore sleep you;
You are care, and care must keep you.
Sleep pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby;
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

-- Thomas Dekker, 1570-1632

HT: Patrick Krup @ Anecdotal Evidence: `In Poetry the Immediate Pleasure is Physical'


Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 15, 2007 9:58 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Waiting on the Way Forward
Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 10, 2007 5:25 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Warblogger's Poem

A Pen of Steel
George Pratt.1832 --1875

GIVE me a pen of steel!
Away with the gray goose-quill!
I will grave the thoughts I feel
With a fiery heart and will:
I will grave with the stubborn pen
On the tablets of the heart,
Words never to fade again
And thoughts that shall ne'er depart.

Give me a pen of steel!
Hardened and bright and keen,
To run like the chariot wheel,
When the battle-flame is seen:
And give me the warrior's heart,
To struggle thro' night and day,
And to write with this thing of art
Words clear as the lightning's play.

Give me a pen of steel!
The softer age is done,
And the thoughts that lovers feel
Have long been sought and won:
No more of the gray goose-quill—
No more of the lover's lay—
I have done with the minstrel's skill,
And I change my path to-day.

Give me a pen of steel!
I will tell to after-times
How nerve and iron will
Are poured to the world in rhymes:
How the soul is changed to power,
And the heart is changed to flame,
In the space of a passing hour
By poverty and shame!

Give me a pen of steel!
But even this shall rust,
The touch of time shall feel,
And crumble away to dust:
So perishes my heart,
Corroding day by day
And laid like the pen apart,
Worn out and cast away!


OBITUARY NOTICE OF GEORGE PRATT

GEORGE PRATT died at his home in Norwich on the 4th of June, 1875, after a severe illness of nearly three weeks. He was in the full vigor of manhood, being forty-two years of age, and had arrived at a period of his professional career which was most honorable to himself, and gave promise of great eminence and usefulness for the future.


Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 10, 2006 10:02 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Acquainted with the Blight

ON THIS, the pretty much 38th day in a row of rain in Seattle, I (with all apologies to Robert Frost ), scribble off this short adieu.

I have been one acquainted with the blight.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain,
(And out in rain -- and back in rain,
And out in rain -- and back in rain,
And out in rain -- and .... you get the picture.)
I have been skinsoaked under every city light.

I have looked down every moss-choked city lane.
I have passed drowned dolphins on my lawn
And splashed them with galoshes unwilling to explain.

I have stood up to my kiester in the ceaseless plop of drops
When over head an scheduled cloud's deluge
Sloshed the houses with a mound of mist,

But not to call me back but slather me with slops;
And further still at an unearthly height
One more damned raincloud against the sky

Proclaimed Seattle was neither dry nor Right.
I have been one acquainted with the blight.

And so, like all other foul weather cowards in Rain City, I'm off to sunnier more semi-tropical climes for a week or so. Blogging will continue but, unlike this blasted rain, will be slightly intermittent.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 27, 2006 11:20 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Spambox Poesy

IN THE KEY OF "You can't make anything foolproof because fools are so creative" comes this selection of subject lines from my Spam catcher. You've probably seen something like these subject lines in your own Spam Filter, but did you ever notice how, taken together, they make a kind of poetry that almost makes sense. It's like what might happen if Maya Angelou shared her crack pipe with e.e. cummings and opened her commodious capture buffer.

Here's a brief example of how to make Spam subject lines add up to a poem even Teresa Heinz Kerry would have been proud to have written after two bottles of Pinot Noir. All I'm doing is cutting a pasting and putting in a little punctuation. I call this soupcon of poesy,

"Not read of Genius"

Her lose the collate,
Or ask on provocative.
He start or latchkey,
Or lumber downriver the bitwise.

Ice try scurry.
Angelo try crotch.
Clarinet try remediable accretion again.
Subliminal may Edwin, may sooth.

Now some may believe that the origin of this poesy is a 'bot, but I demure. It seems to me that someone is coming up with these gems. Someone who once was a writer for either captions on porn thumbnail sites or foreign policy papers churned out by the Democrats. Either way, he's come up in the world.


Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 18, 2005 10:53 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Uptown Date

couplewithheart.gif
"Original Dating are holding another speed dating event at Oblivion Bar on Monday the 27th June. You will meet up to 20 new people in one great night out! Dates last just four minutes each. Long enough to work out if you want to
see someone again and not too long if you don't!" -- Announcement, June, 2005

      [with apologies to Alexander Pope]

WITHIN OLD GOTHAM'S canyons there dwells a shallow race,
That is only moved to mark and then pursue the face
Whose pursed lips promise much, and yet deliver little,
Except more cash and fame to the various lickspittles
Whose manipulation of the young is really quite refined,
And whose underwear is personally hand-signed by Calvin Klein.

Presented daily with an echo shrouded in a choice,
It surprises none among us that some presume a voice
That yaps and apes authority, and urges happiness
Can be possessed by the possession of a new designer dress
Designed and sold by Donna, or her many fawning friends,
That such a tiny swatch of fabric may yet cover bigger ends.

Armed with such frail weapons, these creatures nightly strive
To convince themselves and others they're vibrantly alive
To life and wit and wealth, and not just sunk in shame,
As in the bistros of the night they play the dating game.
This game is played by two who always seek to measure
The shortest distance now between self-esteem and pleasure.

The entrance fees are steep, yet still these fools rush in --
Each to take their turn, each to have their spin,
Upon a wheel of fortune made of money and of mist,

Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 27, 2005 11:23 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blog Suite

When I write blog
I am moved by strange whistles and wear a hat

When I write blog
I am the hunter. My prey leaps out from where it
hid, beguiling me with gestures

When I write blog
all may command me, yet I am in command of all who do

When I write blog
I am guided by voices descending from the naked air

When I write blog
A revelation of movement comes to me. They wake now.
Now they want to work or look around. Now they want
drunkenness and heavy food. Now they contrive to love.

When I write blog
I bring the sailor home from the sea. In the back of
my car he fingers the pelt of his maiden

When I write blog
I watch for stragglers in the urban order of things.

When I write blog
I end the only lit and waitful things in miles of
darkened houses

-- Apologies to Lew Welch who disappeared. (Wherever he may be, God rest and keep his Beat soul.)


Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 3, 2005 5:21 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Avalon


Avalon, Catalina Island, 01/02/03

".... THIS MUCH I'VE LEARNED
In these five years in what I've spent and earned:
Time does not finish a poem.
Upon the old amusement pier I watch
The creeping darkness gather in the west.
Above the giant funhouse and the ghosts
I hear the seagulls call. They're going west
Toward some great Catalina of a dream
Out where the poem ends.
                                             But does it end?
The birds are still in flight. Believe the birds."

-- Jack Spicer, Imaginary Elegies, 1950-55


Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 2, 2005 1:40 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke."

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED the quotation feature at the top of this column. Quotes are a common element of blogs. The feature here at AD pulls a quote at random from a large file I've collected over the years and displays it whenever I update the page.

One quote in particular caused Amy, in the comments about Michael Schiavo's Song to ask,

Your quotation: "A woman is just a woman, but a cigar is a smoke..." I don't think I got it right, and you don't leave comment space for your quotations...drives me nuts... But here's the thing.... a good woman can make you smoke - before and after sex. A cigar can't do that.
For reasons I won't go into here, this is another of the strange conjunctions of circumstance that have cropped up around here lately.

As for Amy's question, I agree about the smoking sex. Still there are many times in a man's life when a cigar is to be vastly preferred to a woman, and this evening is one of them. So I choose to, this day, celebrate cigars over women by lighting up one of my three surviving H. Upmann Connoisseur No.1's Cubans, and settling into some Kipling -- who knew a lot about women and even more about cigars.

Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 22, 2005 7:18 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
When the SmartMobs Rule

 

The Old Regime

The tumbrils creak and rumble on
Within the roads of slate,
Retracing rutted years of sand
Whose distance storms debate.

Its passengers stand fixed as stone
While faces cheer from snow.
The blade awaits it's midday meal,
When above becomes below.

Innovations carved from clouds
Give despair and dance new measures.
The blade reflects its evening meal
When kings slake lower pleasures.

Arrived at now they gaze at mist
Where granite horses roam.
Their schedules as fixed as dark.
Their future white as bone.

The head within the basket sees
Vast parliaments of sky.
Its ears hear only fading surf
Where the past gone years reply.


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 14, 2005 1:16 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
THESE ARE THE THINGS: The Found Poetry of War

BLACKFIVE BRINGS US A LONG REPORT FROM THE FIELD with the deceptively bland title : Air Force Pilot Experiences Ground Combat

"Here is a report from an Air Force pilot who was assigned to several operations in Iraq as the Forward Air Controller - the USAF guy responsible for calling in Air Strikes and communicating with the aircraft above a ground combat mission."
It is more a memoir than a report and, although lengthy, I commend it to you.

By way of example, here's an excerpt from a long block of text that I've broken into a kind of poetry by this anonymous officer.

Do you doubt it? Take it to your nearest Poetry Slam and give it an outing, or just read it aloud to yourself. You'll see what I mean.

Something to read in response to the next strident reporter claiming to be the victim of soldiers much too quick on the draw.


These Are the Things That Wear On You
by Anonymous, Air Force

The things no one really talked about,
or even thought about much:
except for one percent of your time --
when you had a free moment --
those thoughts crossed your mind
that you wish didn't.

Stupid things like:
I wonder if going to the port-a-john today
will be a life or death decision based
on which one I choose, and at what time I go,
based on when and where
the mortars or rockets impact.

Thoughts like :
I wonder if the piano wire
attempting to decapitate us
will be strung between the trees or telephone poles
along our route tonight.


Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 9, 2005 11:48 AM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Quitting Time at Penn Station

T hey seek a dedication
No passion prints on stone,
Their reveries -- of clouds.
Their benedictions -- moans.
Not one can name their masters,
Nor indenture's date reveal.
Doomed to ride the animal
That runs within the wheel.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 24, 2005 11:34 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Into the Silence


1.
The last sound heard before the silence
Settled on my flesh in wisps,
Was the shriek of frozen ambulances
Wraped in sharp, revolving red.
Then two holes in my skull sealed shut,
And on my tongue I heard the tang of brass.

At first a ringing whine rose high and faded far,
Then bells began, each dun and laced with smoke,
And merged with walls of wind upon crisp water,
Bloomed high in white, white only, drifts
Of softly falling snow that falling softly
Blurred beneath all shapes of sound and speech.

The memory remained awhile, and moving lips
Became the signs of sound I could not see
To read, and all my mind filled not with silence,
But with dark brushed on deeper dark
Within which all stars died and dying threw
A single fist of sound beyond all song.

It moaned and chittered, groaned and sighed.
It grinned at me, inscrutable and blank
As shells evicted by the sea are spurned
By waves and parch above the sand,
Polished first by dust, then honed by rain,
Into whitened replicas of stone.

2.
Made new, I loved large gestures.
Marked furrowed face and curl of lip.
Memorized the signing hands that stripped
My half-guessed comprehension bare,
And learned at last to wait upon a glance,
Upon small words scratched on slate.

As days to years enlarged their rule,
All records writ within my skull were smudged,
All songs and music drifted off to send
Pale emblems of their realms as tribute
To the stone that once had formed a throne,
Now crowned with unsensed pleasures shrugged.

All treasure spent, all gems decayed,
All metals melded into dust, all trace of walls
Where once the filigreed firebird sang,
And drums of heroes' skins were stunned,
Were now but shadows strewn as faint
As lines of light on planets seen from space.

And then, with time, all that too -- Erased,
And sands and seas swarmed over all,
And ruled at last alone a globe of frost,
Of ice, of snow, of sheaves of glass,
Until along the farthest strip of polished shore
One distant crystal glinted, gleamed, and chimed.


Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 9, 2004 11:18 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Poet's Admonition

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonor'd, and unsung.

         -- Sir Walter Scott - The Lay of the Last Minstrel - Canto VI


Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 17, 2004 11:02 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The People, Yes


rockwellthepeople.jpg

by Carl Sandburg

Between the finite limitations of the five senses
and the endless yearnings of man for the beyond
the people hold to the humdrum bidding of work and food
while reaching out when it comes their way
for lights beyond the prison of the five senses,
for keepsakes lasting beyond any hunger or death.
    This reaching is alive.
The panderers and liars have violated and smutted it.
    Yet this reaching is alive yet
    for lights and keepsakes.

    The people know the salt of the sea
    and the strength of the winds
    lashing the corners of the earth.
    The people take the earth
    as a tomb of rest and a cradle of hope.
    Who else speaks for the Family of Man?
    They are in tune and step
    with constellations of universal law.
    The people is a polychrome,
    a spectrum and a prism
    held in a moving monolith,
    a console organ of changing themes,
    a clavilux of color poems
    wherein the sea offers fog
    and the fog moves off in rain
    and the labrador sunset shortens
    to a nocturne of clear stars
    serene over the shot spray
    of northern lights.

    The steel mill sky is alive.
    The fire breaks white and zigzag
    shot on a gun-metal gloaming.
    Man is a long time coming.
    Man will yet win.
    Brother may yet line up with brother:

This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
    There are men who can't be bought.
    The fireborn are at home in fire.
    The stars make no noise,
    You can't hinder the wind from blowing.
    Time is a great teacher.
    Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
    the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people march:
    "Where to? what next?"


Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 3, 2004 8:20 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Poet Goes On The Wagon
Continued...
Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 22, 2004 9:09 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Expecting to Fly

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings."

(Sung a la Neil Young:)
"There you stood
on the edge of forever,
expecting to fly...."

These days
Every day
Is a Great Day
Not to fly.

These days
Every day
You have to fly
Is one day
Filed under "Well, what fresh Hell is this?"

These days
Every day
You choose to fly
Is one day dedicated
To getting terminal in the terminal where you can check in but never leave.

These days
You get confused
Stuck in the terminal
Wandering and wondering
When it was that Yoko Ono began to look like every other old Japanese woman you see waiting in that terminal.

These days
It's a good thing
Everyone terminalized
Is unarmed....
except, of course, "Security" which, these days, is securing everybody obviously not Islamic and patting down that fat Hoosier over there, yeah, the threatening one with Down's syndrome drooling in his tinfoil wheelchair, or paging Two-Ton Tessie, the bull dyke who last found work with William Burrough's Naked Lunch Freight Lines humping ten tons of toilets over the Great Divide and down into Joplin, M. O., with her patented dual-control dildo, Steely Dan, as her only companion until she washed up here in this Federally-funded program for lifetime pervert employment that gives her a whole new career here at the Terminal, even though she's older now with prolapsed kidneys giving her an itch and a drip and a bad attitude which she employs when she steps in from her meth break to secure Grandma Moses with a polite, "Stand up, spread 'em, up against the clear plastic wall, y'all, and feel my big steel wand slide beeping up one thigh and down the other, over and under your withered jugs , you don't mind, do you, Grandma, well do you punk?," while Abdul, Achmad and the Mugwump sail on by to the Sky Club to take over the sauna until plane time chatting about how fortunate it was they kept that Polaroid of Tom Ridge and Achmad in the back of a Buick 6 up on Lover's Leap in 1996 angled just so you can see Achmad giving Tom his special wink as he performs his special trick called "Swallow My Sword and say 'Allah Akbar,' my beloved Infidel."

These days
I suppose
It was only a matter
Of time until
They started stripping off everything but your shoes, yanking out your gold fillings that were beeping the machine, sanitizing their blue steel wands, and whispering to the eagerly shuffling line,
"Your flight is boarding now
We've upgraded you all to first class.
Step right up for your cavity search.
This way, citizens, this way to the gas."

These days
If you're expecting to fly,
Just make dead sure
Old Yoko Ono boards first.


Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 21, 2004 2:02 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
John Muir on Mt. Ritter


After scanning its face again and again,
I began to scale it, picking my holds
With intense caution. About half-way
To the top, I was suddenly brought to
A dead stop, with arms outspread
Clinging close to the face of the rock
Unable to move hand or foot
Either up or down. My doom
Appeared fixed. I MUST fall.
There would be a moment of
Bewilderment, and then,
A lifeless rumble down the cliff
To the glacier below.
My mind seemed to fill with a
Stifling smoke. This terrible eclipse
Lasted only a moment, when life blazed
Forth again with preternatural clearness.
I seemed suddenly to become possessed
Of a new sense. My trembling muscles
Became firm again, every rift and flaw in
The rock was seen as through a microscope,
My limbs moved with a positiveness and precision
With which I seemed to have
Nothing at all to do.

-- Gary Snyder


Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 12, 2004 10:26 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And Death Shall Have No Dominion

LISTEN AS DYLAN THOMAS READS his immortal poem, "And Death Shall Have No Dominion." [Wav file, 1.9 megabytes -- Patience please as it loads, it is worth it.]

May Terri Schindler-Schiavo rest in peace and God have mercy on us all.

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

-Dylan Thomas

-- Michelle Malkin: AND DEATH SHALL HAVE NO DOMINION


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 31, 2004 6:42 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
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SIDELINES

opuhleasesire.jpg

By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty

It’s not just about the showerhead.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure. | Foundation for Economic Education [HT: Never Yet Melted]


In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.
It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan. It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Impaired


Fake News. At the same time of the political putsch, the mainstream media outlets,

in particular the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks, via broadcasts and social media, began an orchestrated campaign of defamation and delegitimization.
The crazier and more diverse the media mythologies, the better. Melania Trump was a former call girl and illegal alien. Ivanka Trump was peddling her business wares from the West Wing. Jared Kushner was a profiteering collusionist. Steve Bannon was a racist, Sebastian Gorka an unrepentant Nazi. Baron Trump was a spoiled, autistic child. The late elder Trump had run a racist campaign for mayor. And on and on. Resistance & Regime Change: Any Means Necessary – Lies, Leaks, Violence | National Review


Crime simply does not pay as well as politics or banking.

That may be the way to look at something like the Clinton Foundation and, coming soon, the Obama Foundation.
These are not explicitly criminal organizations, but they certainly play outside the spirit of the laws. Obama is out of office and prohibited from running again, but he still controls the Democratic party. The Clintons would be in charge, if not for the fact that the voters took their under boss out in the Tuesday Night Massacre, otherwise known as the presidential election. Even so, the Clinton Family is still a player. Late Phase Capitalism | The Z Blog


Bodymore, Murderville”

Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world.
Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored. The Killing Season | The Z Blog


New Blog Arriving Soon

Some have asked, "Gee whiz, Unca Gerard, where is that thar new blog you keeps a promisin'?"

I am hoping for sometime tonight. Hoping. We've been having some issues getting this winged dinosaur landed.


Drink Tea

ateapour.JPG

Drink tea, together with your friends; pay attention to the tea, and to your friends, and pay attention to your friends paying attention to the tea. Therein lies the meaning of life. The Essence of Peopling

We would love to cut a deal with the noble indigenous peoples across the Earth—

you can have your Navajo panties and aboriginal dot paintings and every last freaking burrito on the planet so long as you give us back our computers and cell phones and cars and indoor plumbing and electricity and air conditioners. Deal?

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left.

As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a "progressive" future by Hillary Clinton;
an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination. Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History. Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome. A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a "progressive" world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again. Opportunity


Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. -- neoneocon

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency,
but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice | HuffPost [Retreived from GoogleCache after it was expunged from the Huffington Post]


A bee in her bonnet

aabeecar.jpg

Thousands of bees took over a car in the UK and beekeepers are struggling to make them leave -
At first it wasn't clear why the bees chose the blue Nissan car and he and a colleague were trying to determine whether this was just a temporary stop or a new nesting site. But as the bees moved to the inside of the bonnet, filling every nook and cranny, things got more serious. "They're building a lot of wax in there now, and of course once they start doing that, they're reluctant to leave it, because it's the start of building a house. They put a lot of effort into producing the wax," Coulson told Hull Daily Mail. "I've got a feeling this might be their chosen permanent home."


[Bumped] "They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue."

Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left | Roger L. SimonRobespierre is alive and well in 2017 USA.

This pathetic character in Alexandria is, now was, the left's ungoverned id. By any means necessary -- that's for sure. They will undoubtedly try to shove him under the rug as quickly as possible, just one more aberrant individual to be forgotten, just one obscure Bernie volunteer gone bad. Sanders did his best to separate himself within minutes of the revelation. Yes, it's undoubtedly true that this was just one rotten apple, but it's also true that only five years ago Bernie was recommending Venezuela -- now ground zero for starvation, kidnapping and murder -- as a path for us to emulate.



Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

Man leads Jeffco deputies on low-speed chase in stolen flatbed truck after unable to get out of 1st gear The driver - later identified as 29-year-old Randy Dewayne Vert - refused to stop and continued driving south on Center Point Parkway, Christian said. Vert was apparently unfamiliar with the complexities of a modern manual transmission.

The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.

Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation.
NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968. Stuck


The Japanese. Nuked Too Much... or Trying to Get Their Mouths Around Fujiyama Volcano Plate

vk-10.jpg

We put Japan's most phallic-looking roast beef meal into our mouth at VolcanoKitchen | SoraNews24
Since we’d already become somewhat desensitized to the initially unsettling sensation of peeling strips of meat off the top of the shaft, we mercilessly crushed the egg, sending viscous, gooey liquid running down to the base of the meat rod.
vk-8.jpg


The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

Oscar Diggs behind the curtain projecting the image of Oz the Great and Powerful!
The Internet did not kill the power of the newspapers. It was suicide. And not just because most of them had Marxist editorials, editors, and reporters. Newspapers lost their sense of community -- and their credibility -- when the heirs to hometown publishers didn't want the paper, sold it to a chain for $1,000 per subscriber to a chain -- Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Thomson -- and moved on. Don Surber: Craigslist killed newspapers


When terrorists enter your children’s school and begin to execute them...

will the gun ban (you favored) in school that prevented abiding staff and teachers from saving your child, come to mind as a good idea?
If the answer to any or all of these and many more reasonable questions, is 'yes,' then you may be a delusional liberal, and likely a coward, and almost as big a threat to our nation as the terrorists who are at war with us." - Morgan K. Freeberg


"Happy birthday, Mr. President...."

atrumpbaSTARD.jpg



First truth which has been grounded into dust, must spring forth from the earth again.

At the present time . . .he who practices loving-kindness is esteemed and sought after, while he who champions the truth in word and in deed is persecuted and shunned. 
For men desire to base their affairs on everything except the one incorruptible truth which has been set down before us by God , and therefore these affairs have no permanent value . . . only when love and truth meet together, only when men come to understand that the highest act of loving-kindness is to bring men to know and practice the truth, only then will the marriage of love and truth produce that condition on earth in which everyone and everything will occupy the place which has been assigned to it by the will of God. Truth and Peace - Men Of The West


What happened to Nuclear Winter?

Gasmask.jpg

As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive;
John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened. Raconteur Report: Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton


If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. - - Woodpile Report


Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam

She walks on a major felony? Of course she did. And who believes she'll keep her end of the deal? In her defense, we're assured she's "a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues." Oh ... okay. That explains everything. Hugs from all the little people. Woodpile Report

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular.
I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talk-s – why just that? The present‑tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult? | Aeon Essays



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