Monthly Archives: May 2013


Dylan has his Mighty Quinn, to which I riff: Come all at sea/Come all on land./You’ve not seen nothin’ like the Ampersand.

I just cannot get enough of this handy symbol. Six years ago, in the first year of my attempt at daily art-journaling, on the 8th of March, 2007, I did this:


It is no coincidence that the Ampersand is placed close to where the pulse may be taken.

Here are the words, then and now:

Hope Not

Breathing is a part of Life
As are irritation,
Revelation, rest and strife,
Knowledge, information.

Tapestries of taste & sound
Have their place inside us,
Rigorousness may abound
In the world beside us.
Cauliflowered clouds may bloom
Energized unfolding doom.

Hope So

On the other hand
Here is a Mighty Pen

Noting ampersand
Onwarding again.

the mighty ampersand

antitheses unite
metastases to fight
pragmatic schemes alight
snarkiloquent if slight
delectables delight



The Celadon family of ceramic glazes is often ideal for a vessel with carving on it. The glaze is intensified in the incised area.

I played with the idea of illustrating this with an animation cel, a scene from Much Ado About Nothing, and a portrait of Nia Vardalos, but that would have been both distracting and (in the worst sense of the word) precious.

Here are the words:

Clay & glaze can
CRAZE a clay man

Effervesced Chi
Ends old ennui

Lulling Opera



A limited copyright is hereby granted to any reader who wishes to print a copy of the image so as not to strain her or his neck and/or eyesight reading the darn thing. It will not be transcribed. My rationalization of not going to the trouble of transcribing it is that it is best experienced in situ.

For those of you who do not know what a shaggy-dog story is, and do not want to go to the trouble of doing an Internet search to find out, this: a shaggy-dog story is a story whose punchline is some awful pun, for the sake of which the story was built. This is not a shaggy-dog story, but a shaggy-dog PARABLE, and my hope is that it has more reward to the reader than the pun at the end. For a similar reason (I think), Robert Heinlein wrote JOB: A COMEDY OF JUSTICE, and Homer of yore told the long story we call THE ILIAD and THE ODYSSEY by way of demonstration that Deities play with our lives, for ends that disregard ours.

A few posts back I attached an image of a Lynda Barry portrait in progress. Today I attach a different image, hommage-ing and burlesquing Ms. Barry’s drawing and calligraphic styles to a modest degree, and tell myself to revisit the subject after taking one of her creativity workshops. Taking one of her creativity workshops is the latest entry on my Bucket List.Image

Here are the words to the acrostic:

Loose lips & CRUDDY’s wisdom to absorb
Yon Deathtrail is New Mexican, old Maya
Neur-author’s pea-green DEMONS! give what for
Dark-sided Truth’s found through her creaking door
And ERNIE POOK’S COMEEK will never dry

If any reader should happen to know Ms. Barry, please convey this message: “Best regards from an admiring fan to a true-voiced genius.”


Today I had the Blinding Flash of the Obvious that Necklace subdivides into Neck Lace. Lace for the Neck. Hmmmm.

A lot of jewelry is displayed at the same place I display my ceramic wares, the Village Gallery, here in the Village of Oak Creek. I was putting in a four-hour shift last Monday and in a slow spell I sketched one of the necklace displays on the counter. Then in the middle of last night I surrounded it with an invented necklace, and put the double acrostic inside.

I think I finally “get” jewelry, a little. a necklace, or earrings, or waist chain, or anklet, or bracelet is sort of like a witch’s familiar, or talisman, or amulet, what certain English literature scholars call a Numinous Object. It makes a person more what they really are, in a quasi-magical way.

Here are the words to the acrostic inside:

Now Life has its Upside like tasty Felafel
Enjoyment of scents like Tabu and alfalfa
Consider for Ladies good taste unfrenetic
Knit-braided in metal: a lapis vignette

Here are the four words to the “feckless” acrostic:


“Feckless” means “unthinking and irresponsible.” Moral: don’t go outside the Neck Lace with this one, Friends!


This is an example of a List poem. They are easy to write, and I wanted to take it easy today after straining my brain to beat the buzzer yesterday. They are also fun! I certainly had fun with this one, especially with the dastardly villain and the faint-hearted brassiered Bunny.

The words:

Dilettantish feelgood Doc
Echolalic tone-deaf Bach
Faint-heart Bunny in a bra
Eczematic registrar
Coptic cop who worships Ra
Teletabby rat fanatic
Indoor-outdoor carpet addict
Villain Rotten to the Core
ELVIS reft of pompadour


Robert A. Heinlein wrote a book called THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS and with it brought into the world TANSTAAFL, which stands for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” A few years later one of his disciples, Larry Niven, invented Ringworld, and with it the curse word “tanj,” which stands for “There ain’t no justice.” Hitchhiking, or “Hikehitching” as I’ve switcherooed it, doesn’t ever involve a free ride. Hikehitching costs time, dignity, and personal safety. I only did it once, and only because I was desperate to see my then-girlfriend. It was rugged and took forever, just to get from Glendale, Arizona to Tucson.

Here are the words to the acrostic (an explanation will follow):

Honk of Horn–hiroi, neh
Hostel? je te plumerai
Ipse dixit with Yoplait
If a lenser like Belloqc
Kidnaps vista’d lake or loch
Kudos to the eye-rich bloke
Eyeing endless roads, it’s clear
Enter prize eg Tangiers

“Hiroi, neh” is a Japanese phrase meaning, approximately, “That’s harsh, isn’t it?” I learned the phrase from the then-girlfriend I was hikehitching to.

A hostel is a cheap accommodation often used by hikehitchers.

“Je te plumerai” is a French Canadian phrase meaning, approximately, “I will pluck you.” It’s in the unbelievably violent song “Allouette.”

“Ipse dixit” is a Latin phrase meaning, approximately, “The thing speaks for itself.”

Yoplait is a brand name for a soupy yogurt, usually fruit-enhanced.

John Ernest Joseph Bellocq was a pioneering American photographer who took pictures of opium dens in New Orleans’ Chinatown, and prostitutes in New Orleans’ Storyville. He was quite the lid-lifter. The movie PRETTY BABY fictionalizes some of his exploits.

A loch is like a lake but localized. (I sure love building sentences like that.)

Kudos means “praise.” It is singular, but is as badly misusaged as “au jus.”

“Enter prize” is a cheap punnification of “enterprise.”

“Eg” is an abbreviation of “exempli gratia,” a Latin phrase meaning, approximately, “for example.”

Tangiers is an exotic place referred to by Bob Dylan in his song “If You See Her, Say Hello.”

I drew several hikehitchers, iconic, supernatural, conventional, ironically unneeding of transport (eg the passenger in the speeding car), messianic, and hickish (the cowboy in lower left). Not only do all of us, as Dylan has it, “Gotta serve somebody,” but we all want some kind of ride.


This page contemplates both footware socks and the sock-it-to-me socks. Of the former, there seems to be a guiding principle: An inverse proportion exists between sock desirability and sock durability. The pair that looks and feels fantastic is doomed within days: either they will get an inoperable wound, or one of them will be lost to the Laundry Sock-Eater. The ugly, scratchy, falling-down-your-leg pair of socks will last forever. (I finally threw away a pair that were older than this century, though they were still good for several more years at least.)

This is the first acrostic I’ve posted wherein the title is part of the acrostic. I had to try it to know for sure that I didn’t like it.

Here are the words:

STATIONS of the Darned Satrap

Ozone & the jowls of Opar
Oscillate away below par
Corded-sandaled, Ararat
Couldn’t mash the drama flat
Kewpie DAHLS adore a journal
Knotting naughtiness diurnal
SUMMING as an Ogre summeth:
Socks away: the AXMAN cometh

Provenance notes: Line 1 is a variant on “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar;” Line 5 has a pun on Kewpie Dolls, originally created by Rose O’Neill as an illustration for the Ladies’ Home Journal, later incarnated in ceramic form, one of which is in the time capsule from the 1939 World’s Fair; Line 8 is a nod to Eugene O’Neill and his “The Iceman Cometh.” To my knowledge Rose and Eugene were not related.