-Jean Sibelius, a melancholic alcoholic, who lived to be 91.
October 31, 2007
Hybrid helicopters have wounded my core & shield.
In heaven, when the first female president
Returns, her vulva will be snipped by the late James A. Garfield.
Are you ready for a Californian high-speed train?
To marry L.A. & S.F. in a culture of two-&-a-half hours?
I squeeze a lime in your cocktail of pain,
I will block funding for all beehives & your precious oxalis flowers.
Let's just ask her, she says she means no discord,
There's hummus all over her face, & blood on her token black cloak,
She says the revolt of laboratory bunnies was never seeking its own reward,
Now freeways usually clogged with traffic are choked in smoke.
When asked if she would attend the lost ballet, she danced a maidmarian,
She objectified objective music, & cursed the fin de siècle,
The politics of the super-rich are buried in carrion,
And she was discovered at six a.m. in plainclothes leaving the residence of a sumo wrestler.
Her daughter published a book about pregnant teenaged mosquito lepers,
It was a bestseller at Stanford, unlike the rest of you squares.
Our Lady of Past Winter had the bibacity to drink the Watergate Papers,
One righteous dude too many, a Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, & no one cares.
My man Tom was an avuncular uncle despite his penectomy,
And after they were divorced, her hemorrhoids were tossed to the furnace,
Leakage, Señor, poetry, however, arrogate my brain-child & blow me.
Only edible Porcini? those pigs should be allowed to turn around & return as.
Angels, Albion, diaphany! - & not too soon, but where's our heroine?
I hear her thru the wall discussing the coup.
Fleeing from the bent sword & grooviness, never Matisse's supine ruin,
My exclusive rights to programming cable soccer have been diluted due to the Russian flu.
She is seventeen years old, not so much eternally, but superficially.
I wonder, does it grow new leafs as fast as it loses the old ones?
Her voice-mail inbox is full, her anarchist friends are failing precipitously,
A guest in the guest-house, modern juggling, ages golden but beholden of puns.
I have licked the fleshy part of her thigh for the penultimate time!
So she will never be content with her secretaries, get them besmudged hence!
The cheesiest composers have found words to rhyme with Argentina,
But I loved her, the doctors know it, listen to them eructating the future's judgments.
This Hate Triangle - with Passenger Pigeons & the Bluebeard of the Silesian Railway - has vanished.
The cabaret has gotten boring since they banned heterosexual can-cans.
Like a muse, she advises me to keep repeating myself until I get noticed,
And like a Borscht-belt comedian, to keep copying jokes from the Romans.
An uncanny funeral with an uncanny drumbeat,
Her loudest broadcasts were insufficient to dike up the flashflood of Evangelical Environmentalism,
Your dominion to the end of the earth, no puny feat,
See your omniscience will hit the non-believers in the forehead as a sudden awesome paroxysm.
What were the motives for Hitler's vegetarian diet?
But now that she is dead, & trashing the presidential suite at the Hotel Dis,
I rejoice when the Western train is on time, & the road is spooky quiet,
With the cows I ruminate our infinite hours, no, I remember only her pelvis.
October 24, 2007
The combined score for the Red Sox's last four games is 43-6. They're doing fine. I am a particular fan of the rookie Dustin Pedroia, who is playing like an inspired person. Moving on with my photos, here are a few photos from Ithaca, New York, when I was couch-surfing with Mr Darren Soufworf People at the beginning of June. Let it be put down for the record that I believe Ithaca to be a most amazingly beautiful & friendly town. The above picture is of Milo Mills near Penn Yan. You can see everything in great detail if you click on the image.
Also, if the sounds of my highest whiny notes does not turn you off, you can go listen to a recording of Welch's "I Am Orphan Girl" I finished this morning. I apologize if it's badly & jarringly mixed - my computer microphone is not very subtle, & Manu Chao I am not. It's at this myspace: ssandrigon.
Look closely! It's a gathering of the Mimosa's Witnesses!
October 22, 2007
|Date:||Mon, 22 Oct 2007 15:43:17 -0700 (PDT)|
|From:||"James Welsch" <email@example.com>|
|Subject:||Several quotes about snake-oil|
First. I opened at this page at random by accident, from Dr Samuel Johnson's 1755 Dictionary (the quotes are in the original):
1. A doctor that mounts a bench in the market, & boasts of infallible remedies & cures.
I bought an unction of a mountebank
So mortal, that but dip a knife in it,
where it draws blood, no cataplasm so rare,
Can save the thing from death. Shakesp. Hamlet.
She, like a mountebank, did wound
And stab herself with doubts profound,
Only to shew with how small pain
The sores of faith are cur'd again. Hudibras, p.i.
But Æschylus, says Horace in some page,
Was the first mountebank that trop the stage. Dryden.
It looks so like a mountebank to boast of infallible cures. Baker's Reflections on Learning.
2. Any boastful & false pretender.
As nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye,
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such like libertines of sin. Shakespeare.
There are mountebanks, & smatterers in state. L'Estrange.
Nothing is so impossible in nature but mountebanks will undertake. Arbuthnot's Hist. of John Bull.
Second. This is an enormously long & almost unreadable excerpt from Ben Jonson's (no relation) Volpone, but worth mining for mentions of strange ailments & some good wheeling-dealing:
Had old Hippocrates, or Galen,
(That to their bookes put med'cines all in)
But knowne this secret, they had neuer
(Of which they will be guilty euer)
Beene murderers of so much paper,
Or wasted many a hurtlesse taper:
No Indian drug had ere beene famed,
Tabacco, Sassafras not named;
Ne yet, of Guacum one small stick, Sir,
Nor Raymund Lullies greate Elixir.
Ne, had beene knowne the danish Gonswart.
Or Paracelsus, with his long-sword.
Ladies and gentlemen!
May I have your attention, perlese!
Do you wake every morning in shame and despair
to discover your pillow is covered with hair
Wot ought to be there?
Well, ladies and gentlemen,
From now on you can waken at ease.
You need never again have a worry or care,
I will show you a miracle, marvelous, rare.
Gentleman, you are about to see something
that rose from the dead!
On the top of my head
Scarcley a month ago, gentlemen,
I was struck with a 'orrible
Though the finest physicians in London were called,
I awakened one morning amazed and appalled
To discover with dread that my head was bald
As a novice's knees.
I was dying of shame
Till a gentleman came,
An illustrious barber, Pirelli by name.
He gave me a liquid as precious as gold,
I rubbed it in daily like wot I was told,
(Takes off cap dramatically, to reveal hair down to his shoulders.)
Only thirty days old!
That's wot did the trick, sir,
True, sir, true.
Was it quick sir?
Did it in a tick, sir,
Just like an elixir
Ought to do!
How about a bottle, mister?
Only costs a penny garanteed.
Crowd:(at the same time)
1st man: Penny buys a bottle, I don't know...
2nd man: You don't need...
1st man: Ah, let's go!
Tobias (to third man): Go ahead and tug, sir.
3rd man: Penny for a bottle, is it?
Tobias: Go ahead, sir, harder...
Stimulate the growth, sir?
You can have my oath, sir,
Rub a minute
Stimulatin', i'n' it?
Soon you'll have to thin it
Once a week!
Penny buys a bottle, garanteed!
|Date:||Mon, 22 Oct 2007 14:36:52 -0700 (PDT)|
|From:||"James Welsch" |
|Subject:||Well done, man.|
|To:||"James Eliot Quill" <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
It should interest you, that at the precise moment I received a text message from you with the words "fuck yeah", Liam took a spectacular fall on his bicycle, biking drunk thru the dark streets of North Oakland, he mistook a curb for a driveway, scraping up his elbow, breaking his glasses, & throwing his chain into the wheel. We had been at the Hotel Bar, Henry's, a clean place where I go to act like Holden Caulfield, thinking everyone else is a phoney, & racking up a hilarious tab. Like last night, we racked up a hilarious tab, ordering things like marinated olives, digestif liquers, & something called a "pomtini", all in celebration of the Red Sox, I dare say, for whom I believe I am something of a lucky charm (remember the last American League Championship Series I watched, was, that is correct, in 2004). God speed! Well, Wednesday, more should happen, presuming I'm not tied up at the opera, but, care to watch all or part of this so-called World Series in the Bay Area with us? I hope you're healthy.
You have sinned against Warren Buffet's family:
To me, you a like a poop from the snakiest animal.
Repent! heroes & lovers! Mormons & Scientologists!
I am alive, our land is theocracy & sound-bites.
My daughter was famous for five minutes for her monster-slaying quests,
Now she lives naked on the streets with no bananas & no rights.
Lay down, we tire of championing the Third Amendment.
Sleep & dream of breasts & dream of the pope's topiaries.
There are still worms underneath Interstate Five, awaiting their return to their covenant.
The man in all red chokes & collapses at the pub, another of hope's canaries.
Here is my daughter again, never calling except when she's broke.
4,140 angels are fighting over one muttonchop, & writing my name on their foreheads,
The Sierra Nevadas erupt into a storm of purple smoke,
Cannibals & vegetarians are interpreting from the same text, the same lyrics with different chords.
Raspberries? So processed & distorted, no bear will touch them.
I called out a Democratic campaign manager to a duel of wits,
And the aggressive motherlover smashed me in the side of the head with a truncheon.
I find refuge in the valleys of my mistress, for hours I have hidden there in her cruel armpits.
Sing for me one of your forgotten State Songs, show me, I will listen.
We decided to fund my daughter's excavation of the Ashfall fossil bed.
I could sit here savoring these various sounds, but it's late & the light-rails glisten.
We made her free her archaeologist slaves, Jefferson's dichotomies were impossible to wed.
Speaking of nuptials, I bet it would only last six months,
And it only lasted three minutes - like moon over Kennewick -
Her perceptions were enlarged by a rapper exhaling sex blunts,
Many things have been lost inside her, including origami cranes & a candlestick.
Energy crises, flatulence or scatological humor, it's all on the table,
Infinity is proven, maundering about materialism,
He is a crimson savior in the drunk tank, his horse chained up in the south stable.
Terrific, they say, & bound like a mouth over a furious chasm.
You call me a mountebank, but I am not, I am real.
Where is the plastic surgeon for these celebrities?
My daughter hardly looks like herself anymore, covered in gravy & cornmeal.
I shot her ex-husband in the face with a razor gun: even pacifists like ourselves can occasionally let down our integrities.
She will never change her last name, but she has re-christened the night
Ten thousand times, hearts, tongues, figures, scribes, bards, poets cannot,
But my love is for the future of money, & Pluto's flickering gaslight,
A morning spent in Tijuana beneath an agave plant, I remember the planet.
Wake up, come back, Paul Robeson! Your lowest note is the military's highest.
The wasted red-face zombie down below the floorboards stirs,
And his brain explodes, out of the county paradigm, a sexy cowboy antichrist,
All over North America, somehow not heeded, but one teetotaling prophet concurs.
She is dead in my arms, there is nothing we can do, I cannot even weep,
I argued for weeks with her biographer about plumbing the thumb.
I must be to the asphyxiated miners as a shepherd is to his lost sheep,
And send all of your Emmas & Emilys back up where they came from.
October 21, 2007
Well, this is a bit of a disappointing book, but worth reading as an easy refresher course on what biblical laws most Americans aren't following (as they quote Leviticus as a justification for anti-gay laws.) It's a Jewish comedian who has set out to follow every law in the bible for an entire year, but it's very gimmicky & watered-down. Anyway, I like his portrayal of Snake Handlers, whom he describes as a friendly & welcoming congregation. Mostly I bring up this book, because I wanted to post these amazing rationals (from the Creationist Museum) for how it's possible that the universe is only six thousand years old, but yet stars are billions of lightyears away:
1. The speed of light may not have always been 186,000 miles per second. Perhaps it was faster when the universe began.
2. The time-zone analogy. You can leave Kentucky at 5:00 p.m. & arrive in Missouri at 4:00 p.m. In the same way, there may be something to continuous time zones in space.
3. Something called gravitational time dilation. I didn't quite understand it, but it had to do with our galaxy having a special place in the universe.
As Jacobs points out: "you have to be quite sharp to be a leading creationist."
October 20, 2007
But I would rather be famous in my lifetime, & then live forever.
Finish your collard greens,
Let your garments be always tusk-colored jeans.
We are gentle in our success, together our lives are one terrific endeavor.
I have thousands of beautiful children,
Thank heavens my wives were unfaithful.
Like the man from Kentucky
Who let his morals become unstucky,
Now he preaches bone-abstinence to the dogs in the meat-hole.
But I must follow road signs & underwear signs.
I sit here perplexed by a one-piece jigsaw puzzle.
The words of my heart shall be discovered
Like mold spreading in the back of the cupboard.
My sphincter has been scrubbed with bleach, but the geyser still doth guzzle.
Your sisters rode atop Futalognkosaurusus,
But mostly the system is not that tiny.
With the bad son & the diarrhea-patient you have to share it,
So don't complain about which portion of the infinite you inherit.
I have stumbled over the rock of offense & you have lusted after the super-skinny.
Coffee has heightened my awareness of ursine dangers,
And Jane Goodall has deepened my understanding of omnivorousness.
Go to the desert alone
Sand & wind you become.
My love is like a lifegaurd at a carwash, our rhymes are a pure form of justice.
October 19, 2007
|Date:||Fri, 19 Oct 2007 22:10:23 -0700 (PDT)|
|From:||"James Poet Welsch" <email@example.com>|
|To:||"Cosmo Wernicky" <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
Dear Miss Cosmo Wernicky, if that is you name, ho ho ho.
So good to hear from you! And those pictures! I suppose it will take a while to get thru them all, but I'm so glad you finally put them up. There's a lot of beauty there~!
Sounds like things are going pretty good in ole Frisco. I was wondering what you'd been up to. A plant store sounds like a perfect job for you, for the time being. You always did like plants, a little too much. Remember, how we used to call you "Plant Wernicky"? Ho ho ho.
Don't get down on yuppies tho, remember, you'll be one too some day. Ho ho ho. There's also beautiful creative young fun people in ole Frisco too. Just think, you could be living in HELL.
I told my friend Liam today, whenever he thinks he might be having a gay thought, remember, there's nothing gay about HELL.
Well, I hope to hear from you more often. I might be visiting ole Frisco sometime soon, I'll look you up. Remember, if it's just a cigar & a stained dress, it doesn't count as sexual intercourse. Ho ho ho!
James Poet Welsch
October 17, 2007
I have finally developed this roll! Here are three from my trip to Alabama in May. The first two, I am leading the Old Flatwoods Primitive Baptist Church at their annual Mother's Day Sacred Harp singing, in Walker County. The third picture is, of course, kudzu. I will publish more from this roll when it is appropriate, altho for some, it will never be appropriate. You can see it larger if you click on it.
Trembling on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving,
Can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers, see our mothers,
And our children sinking down;
Brethren pray and holy manna
Will be showered all around.
My birthday present from my father was a large Nevada Flag, which will hang in the center room in my apartment. We hung it temporarily last Wednesday at Harold Ave in Ingleside - there are some more spectacular photographs with my brother & I being developed, but consider these two (from Miss Willis's camera) as a teaser, & please check back this website on October 31st.
- Henry Kissinger
Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done.
- Ernie Kovacs
October 15, 2007
Terry Gross: We're here with S. Sandrigon, the prophetic poet & America's National Bard, welcome, it's good to have you back in the studio. I've been meaning to ask you some things ever since you wrote this poem this morning.
S. Sandrigon, Prophetic Poet & America's National Bard: It's good to be here again.
TG: So, this is the seventh in your series of “Prayers”.
SS: Yes. Well, this may be the last one, there may be seven, or there could possibly be twenty-one. But not eight or thirteen, you know, because there's twenty-one lines in each prayer, so the total number of prayers has to be seven or forty-nine or something.
TG: Is there any numerolgy in your use of the number seven?
SS: About as much numerology as there is on your forehead, Terry.
TG [laughs a little too loud]: Okay, let's get down to details. The poem, from the title, would seem to be about George W. Bush, but it's hard to tell exactly what you're talking about.
SS: You know, a lot of people have told me that. Sandy, what are you talking about? You know.
TG: The poem appears to be about a lot more than the president.
SS: Oh, yes, it's about a lot more than the president.
TG: Yes, for instance, in the first stanza, you seem to be talking to someone named Kevin. Who is Kevin?
SS: I'm glad you asked me that. I was hoping someone would ask me that. Well, whoever is speaking the lines of the first part, see, he's breaking up with his boyfriend, who's name is Kevin. It's actually pretty clear.
TG: And that's sort of like... George W. Bush?
SS: Yes, sort of.
TG: Okay. And in the second stanza, there's a lot of people making a lot of noise, & a dog barking, & you're talking during a church service. Is that about people not listening, or about the media?
SS: I never mention that. I mention journalists & senators, but those are just who the dog is trying to imitate.
TG: So what's the point of all that noise?
SS: I think you can talk thru a church sermon & still get the gist of it.
TG: Now, a lot of people talk a lot about the president. Since the poem is named after him, & the whole middle part is about people talking a lot, I find it hard to believe it doesn't have something to do with him.
SS: All of the prayer poems are about making noise out loud versus communicating silently.
TG: This poem is about a lot of things. What are some of the things this poem is about?
SS: You look good today, Terry.
TG: Thank you. It's hard to tell that over the radio.
SS: Most people don't know what you look like.
TG: That's true.
SS: Everyone knows what Rush Limbaugh looks like, but he also has a TV show.
SS: You have a far more pleasant face than Rush Limbaugh. They should put you on the television.
TG: It's never really been my medium.
SS: You should reconsider. I think some of your conversations, like this conversation, would make really good television.
TG: Well, we're just about out of time. I'm glad we had the chance to talk about the poem you wrote an hour ago.
SS: I hope I cleared up some of the ambiguity.
TG: The world will not be indifferent to you for long.
SS: I am America's National Bard.
TG: So you say. So you say.
Hell of a lot of assassins, tho.
Bunches of kingdoms, Kevin, for ever, it was only the heroin & the whistling of the tea kettles
That made me think I loved you. Essence of juniper, climate change, or heaven.
Your last day in California,
And my final Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band show,
All this finality & conclusivity, but I need to stop communicating with you, Kevin.
We gossiped at church, before, during, after the sermon, whenever, all the time,
We talked with atheists,
We talked during transubstantiation, with our mouths full of bread & wine,
At the morning cocktail party, amidst the din, we violently ordered her dog
To please stop barking,
It was trying to imitate her senators, journalists & priests,
So I took a moment to myself while I was weeding the garden, & winking at a hedgehog.
Twice! Off camera he was much more solemn.
I don't name-drop when it's raining.
If the usurers usufruct me off of my Crawford Ranch, damn them.
Six thousand years ago, the Sumerians had already invented glue,
Amnon's heart is merry with mimosas,
There were many funerals in the Old Testament, & a lot of complaining.
I don't need to see Arthur Schlesinger or Henry Kissinger, I only want to see you.
October 14, 2007
While everyone else is drunkenly commenting on the new Radiohead album - (which, for anyone not paying attention, is being sold for "what you want to pay", which includes nothing, an economic principle called "tipping", & so far has made a ton of money, because people don't mind giving on average eight dollars to a filthy rich rock band for a mediocre later album) - I was thinking about covering John Denver songs & John Lennon songs.
Several thoughts: First, Julie Taymor gets a bad rap, & her Beatles movie is a lot of fun & looks beautiful. I think of her still as an opera director, & after she's gone mainstream, she's still doing what opera directors do: play us music we've heard ten thousand times, with new singers, & dazzle us with expensive set pieces. Stringing overplayed Beatles songs together into a plot, like she's done with a Disney movie, Kahlo's paintings, Shakespeare, & Stravinsky, allows us to enjoy as fresh, & relive some greatness in what we're otherwise sick of. I also think of her as like Terry Gilliam, managing to push thru the system huge imaginative bizarre projects with large puppets & dense colors, which the critics love to hate. So the movie has some cheezy singing, & is maybe best appreciated by stoned sixteen-year-olds, let's just enjoy what's good about it.
Another thought: I just bought Mary Alice Amidon's beautiful new solo album, Keys to the Kingdom. The title track, Keys to the Kingdom, is a song I have on a 1929 recording by Washington Phillips, the elusive zither-playing preacher. His flash-in-the-pan field-recording career is supposed to be the earliest example of gospel text set to blues chords & structure, then he disappeared entirely from recorded history. I was thrilled to hear Gillian Welch play an extremely powerful version of this song (it got humongous) at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park last weekend; then, we went home & listened to the old recording; then, two days later, Mary Alice sent me her new album in the mail - one of those coincidences where different versions of a song can suddenly appear on different fronts. Washington & Gillian both sing about Daniel & the lion, & "the devil can't do me no harm", but Mary Alice sings about John & Gabriel & "the world can't do me no harm." I guess maybe they don't believe in the devil in Vermont. She says she first heard the version by Lillie Knox from the Alan Lomax Collection. I don't have much of a point, except I'd like to know more about the history of this song, & that both Gillian & Mary Alice know how to sing it. This YouTube Video says it's from The Dame in Lexington:
Also, relatedly, here's David Rawlings singing "Girls just want to have fun", which I'm told he sung two years ago at the Hardly Strictly:
October 13, 2007
Have you heard of the immortality of the redwoods? A silver-plated word?
I have never met anyone who has won a Nobel Peace Prize,
And I never met Ennio Morricone,
But I've met a lot of decent Minnesotans with the same name.
If you're secretly missing me, don't feign surprise in your eyes.
Gird up the wrinkly part between your legs, like a man,
You had a stellar amateur career,
You are pointing to the sky like a disco dancer, before October began,
Steroids & extreme diets, all is vain: fasting is like abstaining from music.
Your mother used to wipe your bottom,
And she threw out thousands upon thousands of diapers,
Now you yearn for the Shroud of Turin, but leave soon, it goes quick.
Spin like a dervish, like Uranus, be my mate, spin like creation!
Turn like the seasons & like butter!
Play loud on harps & drums, sing for God & sing for Bear Nation!
Or fishermen toppling the captain's tower, kiss me with a twelve foot tongue,
The morning after the war,
The sun rose like a dying eel, like a comedian with a stutter,
But I refuse to compare one thing to another thing until every thing you can fling has been flung.
October 12, 2007
Two new developments have altered the way we live. The first is my phone being able to send instant messages thru AOL. The second is my friend having a desk job where the company uses AOL instant messager to send inter-office memos. Mr Golden tells me that incoming messages pop up innocuously "New Instant Message from O It Was Lost!" I keep trying to send him dirty messages in hopes a manager will oversee one & he will have to endure a sheepish talking-to. Here was today's correspondence.
Oitwaslost >What a storm. Might hit up the pubs near campus round 8, perhaps demographers, perhaps Darjeeling movie
Liam >interesting...... might join you
Liam >toe jam
Oitwaslost >Al Gore
Liam >nobel prize
Oitwaslost >Sex on the beach
Liam >by the fire
Liam >back seat
Oitwaslost >Aunt [...]
Oitwaslost >Uncle Willie
Oitwaslost >Mr Elbow
Oitwaslost >Mrs Body Part
Oitwaslost >Lady Diarrhea
Oitwaslost >Lord Thomas Jefferson
Oitwaslost >James Quill
Oitwaslost >Alaine Testicles
Oitwaslost >Papa Taint
Oitwaslost >Mama Areola
Liam >james quill in two weeks
Oitwaslost >Sir Cumsize
Oitwaslost >James Welsch
Oitwaslost >I'm copying this conversation onto my blog, because it is important, & it is raining.
One-love to Nancy.
Monstrous & atrocious, when we were stoned on our Haitian Vacation,
From the kiss to the pesticide-free Persimmon tree,
Are we the joint-heirs with Christ?
Or must I re-chisel my memories to fit your fancy?
Well, I insist upon full custody of the dog, Nancy.
We argued in our dreams, darkle darkling, with such poetry,
We woke the dead neighbors.
My rhetoric is closed for business, & a fortune-teller's symmetry,
The Republican Congressman from Alabama is not superstitious,
His prayer-language is Romansh,
And he keeps several other threatened tongues in his chambers.
But when the paparazzi discovered him with my boyfriend, the little weasel got vicious.
It took a fortnight for the bookshelf to fall, after the hurricane,
But we ran out of toothpaste right away.
Of all America's domestic disorders, my plagiary should not complain,
And plebeian lab rats, who have builded a Greek theater for tragicomedies,
And "Measure for Measure" in squeak speak,
If they can only find a counterfeit coin to play the end of the day,
Keep crying, Nancy, a plague of Colorado Locusts is headed this way, & terrorists on dromedaries.