Aces Ten’d


This is a poem and an image addressing that aspect of reality and/or literature some call “layering”– several things are going on simultaneously, and as your focus shifts your perception of reality changes though reality itself doesn’t. In the image a flashlight shines through a stencil of the number 10, superimposing all or part of the 10 on four aces. That is one way to Ten an Ace.

Calliope is one of the nine Muses. The Muses are goddesses of inspiration in Greek mythology, daughters of Zeus, ruler of the gods, and Mnemosyne, who personified Memory and from whom the word Mnemonic is derived. The other eight Muses are Clio, Thalia, Erato, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Urania, and Melpomene. If you’re a Terpsichorean you have probably correctly guessed that Terpsichore is the Muse of Dance. If you’ve ever ridden on a Calliope, and are unfamiliar with Greek mythology, you have probably incorrectly guessed that Calliope is the Muse of Music. Given another guess about who is the Muse of Music, you might go for Polyhymnia. But that’s also incorrect, or at best only a little bit correct.  According to Wikipedia, Calliope is the Muse of EPIC poetry and Polyhymnia is the Muse of SACRED poetry. So who is the Muse of Music? None of them or all of them. The word Music is derived from the greek μουσική, pronounced something like “moose-ee-keh” and translated as “art of the Muses.”

“The calliope crashed to the ground” is a line from “Blinded By the Light,” written by Bruce Springsteen and performed by Manfred Mann. Lots of layers in that song too. One line was quite controversial, but I’ll let Wikipedia tell it: “The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Springsteen’s ‘cut loose like a deuce’ is replaced with ‘revved up like a deuce.’This is commonly misheard as ‘wrapped up like a douche (the V sound in “revved” is almost unpronounced, and the S sound in ‘deuce’ comes across as ‘SH’ due to a significant lisp).’ Springsteen himself has joked about the controversy, claiming that it was not until Manfred Mann rewrote the song to be about a feminine hygiene product that it became popular.

I love it that no fewer than three of the Muses are designated for Poetry. (Erato is the Muse of LOVE and/or SEX poetry.)

So why Ten an Ace? The answer is derived from the punchline of a dirty joke (technically, though, it’s the answer to a dirty riddle. This post is joked with inconsistencies). The answer is Because We Can. And not just Canners can.

I could go on with this post forever but I’ve got to Layer to rest…[unjustified grin]


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