How this drawing came to be: Last February I sent my friend Karen, who has done me innumerable favors, a dozen yellow, meaning Friendship, roses, with a card that read KAREN, YOU ARE ALWAYS THERE. I SURE APPRECIATE IT. LOVE, GARY. After she got them and thanked me I asked her to please send me a photo, since I’d never seen them. (We live in different cities.) She graciously did so, and I started a drawing based on the photograph, then stopped in mid-line, following the “put this away for a while” hunch. Today I had another look at it, and the oxymoronic “Rose Fell” popped into my head. Then Faye Dunaway, in a western-southern accent, in LITTLE BIG MAN: “…and I am a Fallen Flowah.” Then Arthur Brown, self-proclaimed “God of Hellfire,” sang the opening lines, quoted above. Then a slide show of Man’s Inhumaneness to Flora and Fauna informed my acrostic.

About Arthur Brown Wikipedia has these trivia of interest:

“Brown quickly earned a reputation for outlandish performances, which included the use of a burning metal helmet, that led to occasional mishaps, such as during an early appearance at the Windsor Festival in 1967, where he wore a colander on his head soaked in methanol. The fuel poured over his head by accident and caught fire; two bystanders doused the flames by pouring beer on Brown’s head, preventing any serious injury. The flaming head then became an Arthur Brown signature.

“On occasion he also stripped naked while performing, most notably in Italy, where, after setting his hair on fire, he was arrested and deported.”

Lastly, one definition of “fell” is an adjective meaning “likely to cause or capable of causing death.” Grateful acknowledgment is given Merriam-Webster, available online.


the tide of human feelings comes in
the kelp of annoyance the salt water tears the foam of compassion
sand crabs of denial burrow quickly into the mushy sand of secrecy
and it all makes a brew a melange a wash
to be a human ebbing and flowing with and without companions
to breathe with the ocean of the indifferent world

it is still a world that gave and gives us life
that moves us
sometimes lifts us on that seventh wave
sometimes grinds us into the grit with remorseless undertow
and we may wallow and bob
we may drift and be particle-polished
we may surf for the thrill and the transportation
we may drown and become flotsam

we may even become the tide
wash over lives and beat on rocks
dissolving their minerals into ourselves
we may drag souvenirs away at ebb
and say hello at flow


They fly and crawl and jump, sting and bite and pinch, buzz and chirp and hum. They are a nuisance and a test. We have much to learn from them.

The words:

Wayfaring without a brain to speak of is so stark
Hum & chirp & whine & buzz & swarm till heavens darken
Ants & hornets, EARWIGS, gnats–survivors go go go
There’s a subtle wisdom in the chase avoid & sow


Not all modern folk know that turning over a new leaf means turning a page of a book. Many sayings are rooted in the archaic, and we’ll know what they mean metaphorically even while we’ve forgotten how they came to be. “A stitch in time saves nine,” but who stitch-sews or darns any more, darn it?

In this age of controversy about genetic modification of plants, though, a “new leaf” could mean anything from ganja to a more efficient oxygenator. Both? The mind boggles.

This page was done under conditions of extreme sleep deprivation and sporadic retail sales. Looking at it, I don’t know exactly why I went semicolon crazy. I do know that my hero Kurt V had scorn for semicolons, thinking them hermaphroditic.


Abs; traction may well; be a Pal
NeoReal may boost; morale
Evangelics wax; aloof–a
Way; fair; err; a; semi; goof

I also debit SleepDep for the sloppiness of illustrative execution. That top right leaf certainly could use some makeover…


I want a new Arms race. Let us invent protection, and let us disinvent harmseeking. The Taser is a step in the right direction, but it is easily abused. The technology imagined in Damon Knight’s “Rule Golden” SEEMS impossible, but much less impossible than when Knight dreamed it up, around the time I was born. I hope he will prove to be prescient on that score.

Then there are branches, the arms of trees. They take away the Cee from Cee-Oh-Two, and we continue breathing. Plant Earth, Friends! Race you the world round!


Perhaps it is correct to hug a tree
Lay down our arms or drop them in the sea
And grow a hateless horde with hearts that soar
Now let us uninvent the col de mort
‘Tis tantamount to Lazarus, Come Forth


Here I imagine the eponymous flowers with a mist of free-floating memories, hard to see but there.

Words to the triple acrostic:

FORMERLY: meant something then
O so BE IT: means Amen
Recently I dreamed an auto
Got a winning numbered Lotto
Ending strife without complaint
Takes an easy-tempered saint


Hummingbirds get my vote for most amazement per pound. They’re swoopy and freeze-framey and often iridescent, and I love it when one shows up.

Here are the words to the iambic-septametric double acrostic:

Bodacious Sugar-Water hits the spot like half&half
It’s rocket fuel to take a guy as high as a giraffe
Right now this little roustabout has hit the motherlode
Determined to drink up till he’s as gravid as a toad
& soon he’s fully on his way with energy to spare
A happy hovercraft who goes with glee out on a tear