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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Today there are two works in progress and one finished. First, a vase thrown in January of 2007 gets a substratic coat of acrylic paint mixed with matte medium:

vase113014

Second, a page begun last night got another slug of composition work put into it:

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Lastly, here is a poem in the form of a note originally posted to Facebook, written in its entirety today.

cold and fuzzy in the neverafter

randomness always increases
such is the provable implication of the second law of thermodynamics
which a lot of us have heard before
and many of those usses have heard of “the heat death of the universe”
and a few of those usses can do the math

but i and most of the usses can’t even state the laws of thermodynamics
but in our wonderful 21st century we can look it up
so here’s a quick education courtesy of wikipedia
between the asterisky borders:

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  • Zeroth law of thermodynamics: If two systems are in thermal equilibrium respectively with a third system, they must be in thermal equilibrium with each other. This law helps define the notion of temperature.
  • First law of thermodynamics: When energy passes, as work, as heat, or with matter, into or out from a system, its internal energy changes in accord with the law of conservation of energy. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the first kind are impossible.
  • Second law of thermodynamics: In a natural thermodynamic process, the sum of the entropies of the participating thermodynamic systems increases. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.
  • Third law of thermodynamics: The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero.[2] With the exception of glasses the entropy of a system at absolute zero is typically close to zero, and is equal to the log of the multiplicity of the quantum ground state.

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in my layman’s mind then i see a future a trillion years or so from now
where it is very cold and fuzzy
and scattered
and uninteresting
and there are no usses

but on the bright side (not that it’s bright)
there are no thems either

and on the brighter-yet side for some of us-and-now
what has happened so far is so miraculous
and surprises seem to be around every corner
that something else might be in store
even without divine intervention

but on the wet-blanket side
i for one-of-us doubt it
and wish i didn’t

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This morning Denise told me something that inspired first the acrostic bookends and then the words within them. This page and this post, therefore, are dedicated to her, with my love.

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Throwing guidebooks in the trash
Rids us of the “have-to” cache
Useful more to sense our aura
Eminent as one adorer
Safe within that two-souled breast
There will grow our Fearlessness

There are some words that seduce the poet through ululation. Ululation is one such. Then there are uvula, Pavuvu, Honolulu–and alula.

An alula, also known as a spurious or bastard wing, is a substructure of the bird’s wing that when flexed changes the airfoil of the wings, raising the pressure differential of upside and underside airflow, which helps prevent the bird from stalling. My first encounter with this word was as a teenager reading Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Menace from Earth.” His protagonist, one Holly Jones, resident of the Moon, liked to fly using her top-of-the-line Storer-Gulls. Controls encircling her thumbs allowed her to flex her alulae.

When the happy mashup of Honolulu and a peregrine falcon showed up on my radar, I could not but celebrate with this page, which is really a celebration of the word alula and its plural alulae.

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falcon alulae

flight is pull & swoop & hula
atmosphere the crafter’s tool
lift her over honolulu
climb with her into the cool
oft aloft: the sky’s bathsheba
never stall–“thumbs” up, meine liebe

One of my most prized possessions is an e-mail I received from Roger Ebert on April 3rd, 2010. He was telling me that I’d inspired a Twitter tweet of his, and he screen-printed the tweet for my perusal. I still have the e-mail in my Outlook Inbox, and so was able to take a screen print, thus:

rogernote 112714

Here’s the journal page Roger saw that inspired his tweet that compelled him to send the e-mail:

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And here’s a link to another tweet, that awards Roger’s tweet Best Use of Antidisestablishmentarianism: https://twitter.com/kbeninato/status/11552988313

Lastly, here’s a Roger Ebert page I just finished today. It wasn’t the first Ebert page, and it won’t be the last. And let me make something clear: Roger’s generosity with his fans was thousandfold. What is a huge thing to me was something he did dozens of times a day. He read EVERY SINGLE THING his myriad fans sent him, and responded to an incredible number of them. I’m grateful for this tangible evidence that we interacted–it’s no coincidence that I’m doing this post Thanksgiving Day–but I’m sure that the number of people Roger similarly interacted with is well into four figures, if not five. And the number of people who miss him is in the millions.

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In some attempted creative expression the end product offers the creating party a trade, saying, “You don’t get to get me completely–I’m ungettable by my very nature–but I’ve got something you’ve never done before, and you better keep it.” I think this is one of those.

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What Gave

Wizened horseman sought a gig
Wayward daughter worked the trig
Had some talk at 8th & Shea
Hopped a plane unto LA
Added travel slow & rev
And a Stan with last name Lev
Thus the Trickster plays a fife
Tuneful of an orphan’s life

NOTE: The “Stan with last name Lev” is probably Stanislaw Lem in disguise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanis%C5%82aw_Lem

we put some stuff in our mouths
and open the food-intake part of our throats
and the stuff goes down the esophageal chute
and in about eleven seconds
it goes to a holding area known as the stomach
which uses an acid bath to leach the good stuff
and sends it on its duodenal way to be absorbed
via fingerlings called villi
and on down through windings of sausage-casings stuff
and the good stuff gets taken some here some there
and the extra or bad stuff gets packaged for offloading

and it all bears a resemblance to taking a stream of thought
and worrying the good engagement out of it
and refining it into words
while extracting the extraneous and the wrong
via backspace delete and cut

each of our glorious bodies are editors
chemical processors
and fertilizer manufacturers

and why that is a source of shame and not pride
is in the labyrinthine history of our convoluted culture