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Monthly Archives: September 2019

2019 0929 cathartiku

cathartiku

i do not now weep
but i Draw me doing so
because LOSS. age. Woe.

When I was a boy a boy who cried was a Crybaby. There was a huge stigma attached to it. I have not quite shed that skin, but my rational mind tells me that catharsis is good for the soul.

Today I was thinking about sadnesses great and small. Two lovely houses I once called Home are now Home to others, and I am not even Unwelcome to the current residents: I am Unknown. I am superstitious enough to wonder if the houses still remember me.

The World seems in sad shape, despite good news here and there. It is truly fine to hear truly young people try to talk sense into rapacious oldsters at the United Nations, but a long record of lip service lends skepticism to speculation about possible change.

Here in the US, an impeachment inquiry is under way, which is just and a long time coming. But a headline says “Market predicts impeachment but not removal,” and, propaganda or not, it’s bad news.

And I’m 65 years old, and my teeth are going bad, and last year I lost my younger brother, and I look at my creations, including the one above freshly completed, and despair at my simple-mindedness and slipshod execution, and feel that I’m nowhere near where I need to be as an artist or a poet.

But my eyes are dry. But a good cathartic cry would probably help. So I did the next best thing, which was a drawing of myself crying, with the background one of my timeslips, which well represents a lifetime of grinding away day after week after month after year, and I do feel a little better.

I also feel like toddling down to the neighborhood dive bar to have a drink or few, and that too is cathartic.

The Power of Suggestion might help someone out there who needs a cry but cannot cry. If you stare at my drawing with the big goobery tears coming down, that may be the little boost you need. If it works for you, no thanks are necessary, but a Virtual Hug awaits you if you want one here. ❤

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Some time ago I was thinking about the versatility of metal foil. If you do an Internet search on “uses for foil” you quickly find that aluminum (aluminium elsewhere than the US) foil alone has at least 15 household uses. And foil may be used for balloons, lightsails, artwork, mirrors, and…

Semiconductor circuits. Gold foil is of particular interest to this discussion because gold is “biologically non-reactive.” When (NOT If; it is starting to happen already) semiconducting implants for human beings catches on, an ultra-thin gold-foil substrate for molecule-width semiconducting silicon will be standard.

Molecule-width–mind-blowing what they’re doing nowadays. There is a photo somewhere of an array of INDIVIDUAL ATOMS spelling out “IBM.” I’m too time-strapped (lazy?) to find and reproduce it here, but I invite you to find it. You see not the atoms themselves but the relativistic effect of their presence, which effect produces a sphere shape. (Sidebar: Ever wonder why “all the colors of the rainbow” don’t include gold, silver or copper? Relativistic effects of metals, that’s why. Which doesn’t tell you much, I know–sorry!)

Speaking of quantum physics (we were?! well, we were and we weren’t. Welcome to Quantum Physics, where things ARE AND ARE NOT what they seem!), my acrostic partakes of the there-and-not-there aspect of the Quantum Multiverse. It is both Foil Safe and Foil Saee. The top bar of the bottom E becomes the bottom bar of the E-wannabe F, which needs to be an E so the endwords will rhyme, but also needs to be an F because “saee” is not a word, and also “Foil Safe” is an ultra-apt, double-meaning phrase. (I have just written what is probably the weirdest sentence I have ever written.)

Foil Safe/Foil Saee

Flexible metals

Oven wrap, petals–

AI gets a pulse

Let’s Anti-Convulse

The last line hearkens back to pre-Jurassic Michael Crichton’s early novel THE TERMINAL MAN, one of the first What-If? fictionals about implantation tech. Seizuring subject was implanted with a device that would sense a seizure coming on and divert said seizure with a tickle to the pleasure center of the brain. (Spoiler alert: it works all too well.)

Someday I’ll dig out my manuscript “The Implant,” which was form-rejected by PLAYBOY and involved a cuckold’s implanting of an apparatus wrapped around the genitalia of the guy who had sex with his wife, set to trigger when the ejaculatory reflex happened. But not today; I’m too lazy (time-strapped?).

2019 0925 wounders

This is a time of wounds, and wounding, and wounders. It is a time of betrayals and deception. Thank Goodness it is also a time when 16-year-old Greta Thunberg addresses the United Nations General Assembly with a voice of reason and challenge, a clear and direct message to the wounders of the world that the savaging must stop.

The White House just released a transcript of a conversation between Donald Trump and a representative of the Ukrainian government. Trump was soliciting that country’s help in digging up dirt on the son of Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden. Trump offered help from his own resources to backstop the efforts he wanted the Ukrainians to make.

This is all part of the tapestry of wrongdoing that Donald Trump and his administration have woven. They wanted dirt on Hillary Clinton, and they met with Russians–in TRUMP TOWER–to discuss it. Previously, Trump publicly asked Russian hackers to find dirt on Ms. Clinton via her e-mails. And his tweets since before the 2016 to the present day have included wounding swipes at hundreds (this is not hyperbole) of the persons, organizations, and other entities that Trump perceives as either rivals or enemies, including the intelligence community, members of his own political party, and the entire Democratic Party. Donald Trump is the Wounder-In-Chief.

Viewers will notice that this page has a slapdash, hurry-up-and-finish quality to it. I wanted to publish this page so that it would be contemporaneous with this week’s events, and so the last lines of the acrostic are so UNcalligraphic they look practically scribbled. But Thornton Wilder wrote, in The Bridge of San Luis Rey, my favorite book by anyone ever, “Style is but the faintly contemptible vessel in which the bitter liquid is recommended to the world.” So my page will not be redone…today…

Will Wounders Never Cease?

Wicked-clever weapon-making may use PVC
Wicked-evil felons have gone on a killing spree
Item that is made unsafe may lead to broken tibia
It goes international with rockets fired at Libya
Leave it undecided if Evolving is amiss
Lemon-freshened lab retrievers lend themselves to Bliss
Leprechauns and ne’er-do-wells have tickets on the barge
Low men on the Totem Poles prefer to live it large

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The everyday world can overwhelm us if we let it. Like a stereotypical Moroccan bazaar there are dozens of come-hithers from every direction, trying to bring you into various spheres of influence.

So here’s a little Busyverse, with what hasn’t yet won our attention represented by decorated spheres, and what does have our attention represented realistically. No deep meaning here–just an Impression.

2019 0923 success

There’s a movie out now: Ad Astra. In Miss Maegene Nelson’s Latin class in 1968 I learned not only that “ad astra” meant “to the stars,” but that it was part of the larger phrase “per aspera ad astra,” which meant “through difficulty to the stars.” You can’t get to the stars without difficulty, nor should you. The difficulty, and your growth in overcoming it, and the knowledge you gain about what it took to get there, all define Success.

Success is not always getting to the stars. Sometimes it’s getting through a day without doing something you know you shouldn’t. Or helping someone else do so. Or earning the grudging admiration of a rival. Clocking in on time. Being the fifth caller and answering the question correctly and getting concert tickets. Putting on sunblock before golfing.

The most successful moment in my life may well have been October 6, 1971. It was that evening that I held hands with the most beautiful girl in the Universe. We had kissed before, but that was a birthday kiss. Ahead of us lay about seven years of serious involvement, and a full spectrum of happiness and sadness, of bliss and anger, of diminishing laughter and rising discontent, cycles, pendulum swings, breakups and attempted reconciliations. A thousand successes; an ultimate failure. I bear enormous guilt about that to this day, and enormous regret for what might have been.

Part of success and failure in Life is weaving a failed relationship into the tapestry of the present and the future. We are always going to school but we are not always learning. And especially in these modern, instant-communication times, we may be skeptical about what is true and what is either marketing or manipulation or “the Devil in disguise.” Success, REAL success, will come to those with an abundance of love and an absence of hatred toward any living creature.

If you must hate, and we must, for to be human is to contain a certain amount of darkness, please hate IDEAS and not the people who have and practice them. Fight tooth and nail against bad IDEAS like exploitation of the weak and indecency and destruction of the environment. Do it with optimism and determination to remain decent and cause no harm. If you fail, own your failure.

Whoops–getting preachy in here. I once got results of an aptitude test that said I might want to pursue a career as a priest. No. Not unless they change the rules. 🙂 Sorry about the sermon.

As for the image, it is my attempt to non-objectively represent Success. So there’s an array of busy, blocky triangles being aligned upward by a celestial force in the form of a sort of overarching field. I hope it’s at least a good-looking doodle.

2019 0922 syllabic fuzz

Here’s hoping the readers/viewers of this page do not feel completely adrift. Since this is acrostic poetry, necessarily some contrivance was involved in its construction, though I try to keep the appearance of such to a minimum. The SinĂ©ad in question is SinĂ©ad O’Connor, who was unfairly vilified for tearing up a picture of the Pope on the nationally televised American television show Saturday Night Live. Nowadays, given the revelations about the Church’s coverup of child molestation, many have come around to her point of view. Little is as simple and cut-and-dried as we want to make it.

And David Bowie is also mentioned. His lyric from “Ziggie Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” reads

He was a nazz
With God-Given ass…

Bowie is gone now, but he certainly proved that it takes all kinds to make a world, and that Talent Will Out. I am so sorry he is gone. May he rest in peace.

And Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, of course, created Apple and an Oz of their own, which became our own. They were a meld of vision and heart.

Lastly, “Yarrowstalked” derives from the casting of yarrow stalks as featured in the ages-old fortune-telling craft, the I Ching. My coinage boils down to “stalked by Fate.”

Syllabic Fuzz

Sussurent Surf
Yon freshmown Turf
Lo Mein Lao Tzu
Lost Cause found You
Lest Razzmatazz
And all that Jazz
Besettle Bowie into nazz
Invigorate both Jobs and Woz
Cruise from the boonies into Oz

Symbolic Daze

Sing O Muse of doomed Sinéad
Yarrowstalked and cruelly played. A
Mind in flux a Soul at sea
Betokens Trouble A to Z
Omens make us mutter Geeeez
Less of these Sacrificials, Please
It makes for victim bolt or freeze
Can NOTHING stem this harsh disease?

 

Liftoff! and bye-bye duress. A lovely Sky, a lack of Stress. Observe the Earth and smile and weep: on wings of Breeze your heart will keep. I find a spirit light if higher, for Altitude will slake Desire. A tidal current may well fit the stratosphere from where you sit. I yearn to ever upward go. You see a Glory freshly known.

The above paragraph is the prose form of my acrostic poem “LOFTY aspiration.” Sometimes at poetry events I will recite the words of my acrostic poem, then do a “reveal” of my page with the poem on it. So here is this post’s Reveal. Soar serenely, Friends!

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Artists need to push themselves, and push the boundaries of the possible, but it’s not always particularly exciting, controversial or wrenching to do so–sometimes it’s even mundane, as you see. I’ve got this genre niche, acrostic poetry with a graphic component, and today it was time to have another go at minimalism. The triple acrostic reads “Auld Time Sake.” There is one word per line.

Amateurs are people who devote time to doing something they love. Ultimata are declarations that things must happen a certain way or there will be dire consequences. Leemerik is an odd spelling of Limerick that is a near-anagram of Lee Remick. DemesnĂ©e is a woman’s name derived from Demesne, defined as land adjoining a mansion that is owned and enjoyed by the mansion’s owner. Demesne is pronounced dehMANE, phonetically similar to Domain, which I’m guessing isn’t a coincidence.

This all may seem random, and the word selection odd, but a sizable amount of deliberation went into the acrostic’s construction. “Auld Time Sake” is phonetically nearly identical to “old times’ sake,” but now the words are of equal length. Each line has two characters between “Auld” and “Time,” and three between “Time” and “Sake.” This is a more pure-acrostic approach than I usually take.

Of these seven words together like this, endless collage-like images may come to mind, and limitless storytelling along previously unexplored avenues is possible, just as a selection of three main ingredients and four subordinate ones might keep a chef busy for years.

I placed the sketchbook containing the page in front of an image of Emma Thompson and John Lithgow embracing as they perform in the recent release LATE NIGHT. Their tandem performance in this scene brought tears to the director’s eyes, and to mine. The addition of that frozen frame in the background somehow added a good context to my page.