Monthly Archives: April 2013


Unfortunately, when you illustrate Disarray with a text component, the text become nigh-impossible to read. That’s why I’m grateful for the annotative aspect of blogging–I can provide the text in readable format, thus:

Discussion’s fine if density goes SHEER
It helps when once-opacity turns clear
Still: bubbles effervesce in Perrier
And NOW is quickly LOST in yester-day

Does it seem random? (Note to historians of the future: in the first decade of the twenty-first century, the word “random” developed a pejorative connotation.) I’d like to point out that Disarraneous rhymes with Miscellaneous.

Why are there three Rs in my Disarrray? Just seemed right.


This page has an odd provenance: I’d just eaten French toast. There was a puddle of butter/syrup on the plate. A bagel was available to sop it up (Goodness GRACIOUS, what a Glutton), but the puddle didn’t want to cooperate. Then I remembered that magic of physics known as Capillary Action, and set two bagel-quarters inside-down and waited; lo, they did absorb. This led me to read up on Capillary Action via Wikipedia, and that led to lacrimal ducts, and acrostic compulsion led to Lacrimal Ductwork.

The acrostic defies pure rhyming, but the first thing that occurred to me was that “you” rhymes with the “goût” of the French expression “chacun à son goût,” which may be translated to “each to his own.” Then the first line sprang to be, but the third line could only be near-rhymed, and, Heaven help me, I could not resist trying “hermaphroditic.” This led to thinking about how Man’s Inhumanity to Man might be cured with androgyny (anyone under forty read THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS by Ursula K. LeGuin?), and then the poem pushed me aside completely and wrote itself.

Here are the words:

LIQUIDITY may not need Liquid
And TRAGEDY may not need U
CAUSALITY’s hermaphroditic
RIGHTEOUS? Chacun à son goût.
IDEALLY we’d never kow-tow
MISANTHROPY makes us so do
ANDROGYNY’s a higher power
LUCIDITY unkinks a Kook

I don’t think it’s too much a stretch to relate all this to Lacrimal Ductwork, which involves Crying.


Here are the words to the acrostic:

Happily en route to Appalachia
Evergreen Adventuress’s job
Raconteuse with nary wail nor sob
Earning fine time being gently-laughin’-ey

It was unusual panhandling. Most often I’ve been tapped for money; sometimes I was hit up for a bus pass or transfer. This is the first time I was asked to purchase and donate multiple vitamins.

I am not an easy touch. My younger brother had more than one bout of homelessness, and had his HOMELESS/HUNGRY/PLEASE HELP cardboard sign; yet on at least one occasion he told me NOT to give money to some cardboard-signers unless I wanted to enable their continued hard-drug use. Also, I am congenitally stingy–might as well own up. But here I had an opportunity to get something in return. The vitamins were $12.99 plus tax; I think I got my money’s worth.

Anybody in the Etherverse want to render their opinion about panhandling, this one in particular or generally? Here’s your chance!


In 1977 I did a paper for my Human Factors in Engineering class; its title was “Work’s End.” In it I predicted that, given the advent of industrial robots and the mundanity and ignobility of conventional blue-collar toil, manual labor and “work” in the conventional sense would not last the century. The instructor, University of Arizona professor Russell Ferrell, annotated the B grade he gave my paper with his impression that though my premise was interesting, he didn’t think we’d get all the bugs out of “the Problem of Production” by my deadline.

And here it is, 2013, and part of my current job is folding napkins for an independent-living retirement community, and I am glad I was wrong. Of the many ways to render aid and comfort to the aged, hand-folding napkins to enhance their dining experience is seemingly trifling, but circumstantial evidence that they are special. I feel privileged to fold those hundred per night. They are a lovely purple, which also connotes the specialness of royalty. (I’ve color-enhanced my drawing to make it match that hue as close as I can.)

I imagine some readers smiling and thinking how pathetic this particular napkin-folder must be, trying to make such a drab endeavor out to be noble. I stand by my notion.

Here are the words to the acrostic, changing the spelling of UFO to its phonetic pronunciation to avoid confusion:

Nimble Jack, be deft–don’t goof
As e l u s i v e as an Oof-O
Perfect crease ain’t taught in school
Knappa: foe from Chester Gould
If i n e p t i t u d e ‘ s severe
Nab some cloth & dry a tear

NOTE: Chester Gould was the cartoonist who created Dick Tracy. He also created a multitude of bizarre characters–see the Warren Beatty movie Dick Tracy for samples. Here I’ve imagined Knappa, a villain who employs napkins in the binding of his kidnapping victims.

I hope the subtext of my page and these notes comes across, but I’m not proud: let me explicate. We are all headed for old age, if we’re lucky. We all need taking care of, and we get it, if we’re lucky. Part of being taken care of is life’s assurance that we deserve attention and dignity. The little touches of assurance may loom as large as the big ones, especially for people facing mortality.


Meteorologists are now naming storms as well as hurricanes. Consequently I heard tell a few days ago of Winter Storm Zeus, and I liked the challenge of a six-five-four triple acrostic, to wit:

Wind-whipt humans cry Puh-Leez
In this twistered ride to Oz
Its effect of vortexed cause
Nebulized your souls to seize
No telling what cold games ensue
Tell smiling Gérard Depardieu
Take S H E L T E R–esta eres tu
E X E U N T on trembling knees
Ever, I S O M E R I C laws
Relent to Ancient Mother’s jaws

Cold page–warm heart. Honest!


Hiking here in the Verde Valley is usually quite civilized. Many of the trails are marked by cairns of red (and sometimes not-so-red) rock in a containment matrix of baling (or not-so-baling) wire. From any cairn but the first and last, a hiker will be able to see the cairn preceding and the cairn ahead. Life would be more navigable if there were decision-cairns and opportunity-cairns. Come to think of it, there are, if the astute observer looks and listens.

Here are the words to the acrostic:

Climbing guide is brac-a-bric
An auspicious rock piled trick–O
If we gain a mountain’s top
R I S E with summitry & pop, I
Now sing kudos chop chop choppa

Trivia: “kudos” means “praise.” It is singular. “Kudos” is also the name of the Arts supplement of the Red Rock News, a local publication.


Once upon a time I was an Administrative Vice President of a multi-million-dollar corporation. Once upon another time I was an Office Administrator for the second largest sportsmarketing firm in the United States. Once upon yet another time I was an Administrative Coordinator for a major hospital system. And once upon last night I was a Clerk. Such is life.

Here are the words to the apical double acrostic:

Apply for admission
Edit curriculum vitae
Remit acceptance fee
Oblige supplemental demanders
Demand forensic accounting
Yelp if overwhelmed
Nod passively appropriately
Anticipate critical junctures
Moderate riled debates
Irritate naysaying fatalists
Complicate tired traditions
Initiate decisive strategems
Start successor search
Take a vacation


Alas, the man who opened Woodstock in electrifying acoustic is no more. Richie Havens could sing from the innards like no other. And who can forget that camera angle that revealed that he had no upper teeth?

In the movie I’M NOT THERE, Mr. Havens has a wonderful cameo, on a front porch, jamming Dylan with two buddies. It’s a great part of that great movie.

Here are the words to the triple acrostic:

Roused the crowd at Woodstock: aah
In fine, graveled voice–voila
Chords acoustic–delta-V
Helped deliver Soul-Ohs FREE
Interp-cepting Geo [Harrison] & [Bob] Dylan
Easily dispatched Love’s villains

Delta-V is mathspeak for “change of velocity.”

Here’s hoping Mr. Haven’s Heaven includes a Choir Invisible that is vocal as all get-out.


Apologies for the crude rushedness of the drawing. As has happened before, I was running out of disposable time before reporting to Night Clerk duty. What I intended was, at top left, a closeup of a flying insect; then down through the diagonal a closeup of the top of a building; then a not-so-closeup of a couple of skyscrapers, looking town at them; then the Earth-Moon pair; then the Milky Way Galaxy from afar. I like the conception; I’m ashamed of the execution. But I think the double-acrostic poem is OK without adornment. Here are the words:

Defining space & time is not unpeeling a banana
Infinity is out of bounds beyond a mortal span
Sequential myths abound & all untrue as ABC
Though we all chase them ardently, horizons tend to flee


Yesterday I worked the two-to-six shift at the Village Gallery, the artist’s cooperative where my ceramic work is displayed. (All members are required to put in two shifts per month.) It was a slow afternoon, and though I was working alone, I had a lot of time on my hands. With Willie Nelson playing on the CD I made this page:


Sorry about that, Willie. Doesn’t look much like you unless you squint; and the words imply rocky relations. Such is the nature of acrostic, rhyme, meter restricted poetry.

Oddly, the back of this page had a previously drawn panel array with a near-Willie in it:


I had started this the day before, intending to flesh it out with eraser and more pencil. I may well leave it as is. It’s nice and mysterious with what’s left unsaid.

Here are some more sketches I made during my shift:





Note that one of the sketches is all words. That’s OK–Charles Dickens did some sketches that were all words, compiled in SKETCHES BY BOZ. “The Poetical Young Gentleman” is a must-read for poets who don’t want to make fools of themselves.

Most of these sketches are exemplary of the way one of my pages gets started. I just think out loud on paper (that isn’t loud at all, is it?), and sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t. (Note the drawing problem of the fellow starting up the stairs, for instance.)

But the sketch that I feel best about was left at the gallery, in the folder of Husain Abdul-Alim, an artist who with his spouse has purchased a couple of my ceramic creations. He does carved-wood masks, mostly intended for hanging on a wall. I did a calligraphed thank-you note that included sketches of three of his masks. I hope he likes it!