March 29, 2008
The pelicans are dying. The world is dying. One mile off the coast of Cape Cod, we are re-building.
The message is being passed through our number that we are the new beginning. The health of the Earth is channeled through our numbers, which are dwindling.
Until this moment, I have been preaching the Evolution. We are the Goddess’ response to the spreading inedible masses. There is no shame in our position. We are devoured by all and nourish all. The creatures of the land, sea, and sky depend upon us.
Now I am being carried through the air, carried in the mouth of one of the second stages of our growth. I am confident in the diligence of my followers to spread my message.
This should not be taking so long. I knew this moment would come, when I would be carried skyward. I would not be one of those taken deep below. We both ascend and descend and the two are ultimately indistinguishable. My dreams, however, were of a single moment in the sky.
This moment seems endless. I am experiencing the sky as darkness and the water is carried along with me. Survivors have told me about this pre-death condition. I have no room to swim and no light to see. I pray that my deliverer does not lose me. My time has come.
Hours pass. I have drifted in and out of sleep. My nightmares consist of a question: Does anyone want anchovies on their salad?
These words mean nothing to me. I am conscious of the loss of my earliest memories. I remember my final sermon, but none of the experiences I mention.
I am still flying. The sun is rising outside of the pelican’s beak. Light fills my chamber until it becomes transparent. I know that I must have been digested. I have fulfilled my destiny. I have nourished the second stage. And yet I am aware only of my flight.
The pelican’s wings begin to tire. Before long, I feel our landing. My talons cling to rotting wood. I call to my companions. We are home.
March 27, 2008
Well, ahem, as the new official itwaslost.org's movie critic, I thought I should share some thoughts on cinema, & post some links. First, my review of Shortbus (2006) from Facebook's Flixster Feature: Shortbus was Caligula (1979), which stars Malcolm MacDowell as the emperor, with Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, & John Gielgud, with a script by Gore Vidal. Weirdly, like Shortbus, this movie also contains tons of graphic sex, campy dialog, & no redeeming qualities.
I enjoyed Joe Queenan's review of the new Paris Hilton vehicle, The Hottie & the Nottie, which was mostly just an ode to the worst films of all time. ("The Hottie & the Nottie", he argues, shouldn't be compared to them.) He finally concludes:
All that said, none of these very, very, very bad movies automatically qualify as the worst film ever made. While it may disappoint those who welcome my occasionally unconventional opinions, I am firmly in the camp that believes that Heaven's Gate is the worst movie ever made. For my money, none of these other films can hold a candle to Michael Cimino's 1980 apocalyptic disaster. This is a movie that destroyed the director's career. This is a movie that lost so much money it literally drove a major American studio out of business. This is a movie about Harvard-educated gunslingers who face off against eastern European sodbusters in an epic struggle for the soul of America. This is a movie that stars Isabelle Huppert as a shotgun-toting cowgirl. This is a movie in which Jeff Bridges pukes while mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that has five minutes of uninterrupted fiddle-playing by a fiddler who is also mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that defies belief.
A friend of mine, now deceased, was working for the public relations company handling Heaven's Gate when it was released. He told me that when the 220-minute extravaganza debuted at the Toronto film festival, the reaction was so thermonuclear that the stars and the film-maker had to immediately be flown back to Hollywood, perhaps out of fear for their lives. No one at the studio wanted to go out and greet them upon their return; no one wanted to be seen in that particular hearse. My friend eventually agreed to man the limo that would meet the children of the damned on the airport tarmac and whisk them to safety, but only provided he was given free use of the vehicle for the next three days. After he dropped off the halt and the lame at suitable safe houses and hiding places, he went to Mexico for the weekend. Nothing like this ever happened when Showgirls or Gigli or Ishtar or Xanadu or Glitter or Cleopatra were released. Nothing like this happened when The Hottie and the Nottie dropped dead the day it was released. Heaven's Gate was so bad that people literally had to be bribed to go meet the survivors. Proving that, in living memory, giants of bad taste once ruled the earth. Giants. By comparison with the titans who brought you Heaven's Gate, Paris Hilton is a rank amateur.
Sounds spectacular! We must do an all-day marathon of Heaven's Gate, Ishtar, & Battlefield Earth. After turning off Elizabeth: The Golden Age after forty-five minutes (Who writes the scripts for these things!? To waste such talented actors & beautiful costumes on soap-opera dialog is sad. Plus, Miranda Richardson is the only Queen Elizabeth I in my heart), I seem to have lost my ability to finish movies without pacing around the room & turning them off. I've rearranged my queue to only send me Simpson's episodes. Oh, & I'm going to attempt to watch Oliver Stone's JFK & Nixon in preparation for his W. (2009), with Josh Brolin as W.
March 26, 2008
Last year, when I was working at a bookstore in Berkeley, I made the observation that, if you are wheel-chair bound, all you have to do is add an American flag to your ride to appear crazy. Wheel chair - elicits sympathy or indifference from strangers on the street; wheel chair plus flag - whoa, that guy's crazy. Berkeley is one of the most handicapped-accessible cities in the world, a sort of Mecca for the disabled - &, unrelatedly, it also contains many, many crazy people. There are definitely more American flags strapped to electric wheel-chairs than there are American flags stuck to S.U.V.s.
I saw the Taj Mahal of Wheel Chair patriotism the other day on the BART. This old man had dozens of flags on his person, outnumbered only by Crucifixes. He had masking-tape on his face (on his forehead, with the base going down his nose) with the words "JESUS GODS JUDGMENT" written. &, the kicker, a movie poster for "The Passion of the Christ".
American Flags have been infiltrating Berkeley recently, in several pro-war protests organized as responses to our resident Mothers-Against-the-War group, Code Pink. Code Pink has been camping outside of the Marine Recruiting office downtown since it opened last year, culminating in some angry exchanges between the Berkeley Town Council & outside forces.
Roaring into Berkeley on their Harley’s—with the more sedate aboard red-white-and-blue-draped SUVs—a leather-clad flag-bearing conservative America took center stage Saturday at the downtown Marine Recruiting Center. The event, which drew some 350 people at its height, was organized by two groups, Eagles Up and Move America Forward (MAF).
“I’m Cat Moy, and I’m an American,” said the Move America Forward executive director, speaking from the bed of a pickup truck at the noon rally in front of the center.
Moy praised the patriots she said she saw in the crowd. “We stand today in the bowels of anti-Americanism,” she said as the crowd cheered and waved hundreds of American flags. The Berkeley City Council “paid the way of America’s enemies. They have called our Marines—our heroes—‘unwelcome.’ And these traitors refuse to apologize to the Marines, the very men and women who give them the freedom to act like maniacal dopes. These filthy leftovers from the Vietnam-era and their spawn give nothing to this country….”
-Judith Scherr, Berkeley Daily Planet, 25th March, 2008.
The article continues, calling out the bias of the police's Laissez-faire treatment of the visitor's protest in comparison to our homespun ones. (They were allowed to block sideway traffic, &c.) Ah, Berkeley, hospitable to strangers & travelers to a fault! Even Code Pink basically only just set up an information stand & watched as they were mocked.
If I recall, a few decades ago, an American track-&-field Olympic Gold Medalist got in huge trouble after he won - he put a flag on his head & did a victory lap, & was subsequently chastised for his mistaken debasement. Since September 11th, 2001, the Stars & Stripes have seen no shortage of humiliation in the name of patriotism, to the point where I more associate it with crazies with crosses on their foreheads & pro-war protesters bringing thousands of them to town on motorcycles. Besides obsessive flag-waving being a symptom of fascism, & Sen. Barack Obama getting in trouble for not wanting to constantly wear one on his lapel, any overused image can get wearying & illicit a backlash. Since it is a national symbol & in its very design meant to be unifying, maybe it should be treated with more respect & displayed more sparingly & with more polite, detached reverence. Otherwise, it may only be associated with war & Mel Gibson.
So please put your hand on your hearts & listen to my favorite patriotic song, Toby Keith's Angry American:
March 25, 2008
March 24, 2008
My northern friends & British Empirical friends & one cold, cold Eritrean friend - (by names, Heilbran K. Bremselhäcker, Arthur Sticklebackton-Niddley, Luzhbina Z. W. Qhaddafi-Condori, Desmond A. Woolf, W.J.K. Chesterfield, Enoch G.A. Bartholemew II) - have finally scraped & saved for satellite tube hook-up to publish their long-awaited 2003 issue of Kraklukrit, a Journal of Circumpolar Studies, described as "an irregularly published journal which celebrates the fantastic diversity and creativity of the micturative literary traditions of the Northern tundra.". The original print edition is impossible to locate in equatorial California, so read it online while it's still up.
A sample: published without permissions:
Fur-chested son of those dark-bound lands
Wander then upon an igloo, frosted spire
Of ice, and also of slightly colder ice
And did greet the ffeoff-lord,
And was, in tradition of our noble forebears,
after feasting on the viscerae of the clubbed seal[...]
translated W. J. K. Chesterfield MA (Oxon) DPhil (Cantab) PhLim (Calcutta)
Because from their bright summits you may pass to the Golden world
An ancient place, archetype of many Emperies,
Rears its immortal pinnacles, built in the forest of God
By Ariston the king of beauty for his stolen bride,
Hello. A few links & quotes, before I bore the blogosphere with audio of me reading my own poetry.
Here's a website with beautiful 360° images: Mt Everest. Rio de Janiero.
Hopefully, we will soon be welcoming Mr Southworth People to our team of international bloggers, as itwaslost.org's Science & Ice-Climbing Correspondent. Onward & Upward!
I talked to Miss Jenny Ruth on the phone Saturday, from her monkey refuge outside of Cochabamba, Bolivia. She had two pieces of sad news. First, a spider monkey dissected & annihilated her digital camera, so videos & images of her trip will be lost to posterity & this series of tubes. Second, her favorite spider monkey, named Jenny, who had to be tied up because of a naughty escapist streak, escaped for the last time & was electrocuted on a fence. In Memoriam, Venit Quod Monachus.
Now! I've been experimenting with poetry reading accompanied by my blue mountain Fluke Ukulele. The first is a short doggerel - Poem about Spiders & Birds:
And this longer one, Alternate Lyrics, recorded this morning, is loosely based on my old song, "I'm goin' to see my Lord", which can be heard here or here.
March 23, 2008
Last night, we were telling some late night house-callers about an all purple meal we had prepared Friday Night. It was baked purple potatoes (sliced thin in oil with lemon-thyme & purple garlic-onions, delicious), & buckwheat pasta in a white-wine/butter sauce with purple cauliflower, purple carrots, purple garlic-onions, portabella mushrooms, purple olives & capers. The result was a symphony of flavors, but only one color! This was a test-run & idea gathering mission for a whole purple meal, with aubergines & lavender things & beets tied up in strings. Our guests last night suggested either the cuisines of states that are half-red-state & half-blue-states. (Missouri cuisine? Florida cuisine?) Or cuisines from countries with purple flags.
Which leads us to the mystery. If you scan thru the flags of the world, none of them have purple in them! Why not? Internet searches to find purple flags found some alternate flags - like the Purple Flag of Chuvasia - & some sports flags - like the Sacramento Kings. "Purple Flag" is also slang for a person of gay persuasions, apparently. Still, why wouldn't any country anywhere have purple in it's flag? It's the royal color, the color of Christ on Easter, & a pretty strong hue all around. Luckily, there's a Wikipedia page with lists of flags by color - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flags_by_color - very useful for just such situations. I'll post some of the purple flags here:
This is from the Balearic Islands, an autonomous region of Spain off of the Iberian Peninsula. It may win for general classy color combination, & their groovy castle.
This one is also from Spain, from the port city of Málalga.
And this one was from the Spanish Second Republic. I suppose that could explain the color scheme of the Balearic Islands.
Other flags with purple in them were: 1) Montreal Flag has a Scottish thistle as one of its four flowers; 2) Gay Pride flag has a purple stripe; 3) Dominican Flag has a purple parrot in the center. Did you know the Gay Pride Flag employs the golden ratio?
I suppose, as far as cuisine, we could lean towards 1930's Tapas.
Any additional information on Purple Flags would be EXTREMELY HELPFUL. Or, if anyone knows why there is a dearth of them. It does seem a terrible loss. Or suggestions about purple foods or purple cuisine.
PURPLE FLAGS: THE SEQUEL
If you enjoyed this essay on purple flags, then, for no particular reason, I have reason to believe you will also enjoy the album "Stuck Home Syndrome" by Friends Around the Campfire. It's well worth the $5.99!
Please "like" our band The Manna Tease on facebooks:
More shameless advertisements:
My illuminated nonsense rhyming poetry book - only $2.15 on scribd.com:
March 22, 2008
On the other hand, if we miss, we'll probably spend our few remaining days hooked up to machines & intravenous fluids!
It's either spectacular, unbelievable success, or crushing, hopeless defeat! There is no middle ground!
OK, there is a middle ground, but it's for sissy weasels.
-Bill Waterson, Calvin & Hobbes,
"Attack of the Deranged Mutant Kill Monster Snow Goons" (1992)
Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun...
-Mr Burns, The Simpsons, Season Six: "Who Shot Mr Burns? (Part One)" (1995)
When hawks eat pigeons, do they call it squab?
-witty thing I said at a party
Sweet thing, sweet thing,
Stepping on your violin,
Space Boy, Fly Girl,
Living in the underworld
-David Byrne, "U.B. Jesus", Look Into the Eyeball (2001)
Two fish were in a tank, & one says to the other:
"Doe anyone know how to drive this thing?"
Next day, happy hour, the duck comes back & says, "Can I get some peanut butter?" And the bartender says, "No, I told you yesterday, we don't sell peanut butter. Go away, duck."
Next day, same time, happy hour, the duck comes back & says, "Can I get some peanut butter?" And the bartender, furious, says, "No! If you come here & ask for peanut butter one more time, I'm going to staple you to the wall. Go away, duck."
So, the next day, at happy hour, the duck comes back & says, "Can I get a stapler?" And the bartender says, "No, I don't have a stapler!" So, the duck says: "Okay, then can I get some peanut butter?"
March 20, 2008
March 19, 2008
Hello all. Of course everyone out there in the universe and the blog-o-whatever are welcome to their opinions about the rev. Wright uproar and the speech that followed it and yackety schmackety. And I, indeed, am entitled to mine, which is as follows.
Our democracy (whatever is left of it) will implode if the few remaining intelligent independently thinking citizens of this country allow their brainmatter to be scorched beyond recognition by a media that incessently shows only extreme soundbites completly out of context historical and otherwise, for the sake of ratings and profits. we will also be transformed beyond recognition into a mechanism of idiot-groupthink if those of us with some remaining capacity to think with moderation and critical faculty, make the dire mistake of attributing any signifigance whatsoever to the comments of pundits, bloggers, and bums on the street who have not made any effort on their own behalf to find the aforementioned context historical and otherwise, which is so tragically lacking in our sensationalist media. which is constantly spoonfed to us. aggressively spoonfed. bottom line: think for your motherfucking selves. If your own healthy thriving brainmatter and multiple (non-mainstream media) sources tell you that Barack Obama is not the incarnation of some reverse-racist beezlebub by association,then continue to support him, with your money and, importantly, your voice, like I am doing. haters will hate. thinkers will think. lets see who wins.
March 17, 2008
Last week, I was rejected from a graduate school program I had applied to, so I vowed to go on a 48-hour Steve Zissou-style bender, wake up next week, draft a new plan for the next few years of my life, then set out to find the shark that ate my friend & destroy it. Friday Night began with several pitchers of Piña Coladas with my friend Heather from Interlochen. The basic recipe for our concoction is as follows:
Mix in blender:
-Half of a delicious fresh organic pneapple
-Half a handle of clear rum
-The meat of a fine mango
-Pineapple-coconut juice (I used the R.W. Knudsen brand, which conveniently sells this mix)
-About five strawberries
Coincidentally, our friend Mr Golden was working next door at the Veteran's building repairing a model buffalo for an exhibition of ballet costumes designed by Willa Kim. After the ballet & some St Patrick's day beer, we crashed the art opening (as "volunteers", which we indeed ended up being.) One of my friends was free-wine-inspired to get herself a sugar-daddy in the guise of an rich older SF ballet alum. We missed the lecture, but when nonagenarian Willa Kim was being escorted out, the volunteers stopped her to tell her they had enjoyed working on her costumes. After some flattery, she turned to me & said:
Willa Kim: You look like you must be a poet!According to the imdb, Willa Kim is known by the nickname "Willa Killa". We then hit some schwanky downtown bars, & escorted my sloshy friend to the BART. The night ended by Mr Golden cleaning my clock at put-put golf at his Ingleside apartment.
Your hero: Well, uh, yes, I am.
Sycophantic escort: My, Ms. Kim, how prescient you are!
Willa Kim: He looks like a poet!
Your hero: It's all nonsense, tho. I mean, my poetry is nonsense.
Mr Golden: We're working on an epic with illuminations.
Willa Kim: Well, best of luck to you, &c.....
Sunday Morning, I had arranged (despite a dead mobile phone) to meet a blind date at a famous Mimosa Bar in the Castro, The Lime. As a co-founder of the dogmatic evangelical religious cult, The Mimosa's Witnesses, I was morally bound to investigate this mecca of Mimosa transubstantiation, which has bottomless flutes for $7 at Sunday Brunch. The place is ridiculous & perfectly over-the-top, with a bright-green nightclub decor, thumping music, packed with revelers at 11 A.M. Many of our fellow witnesses looked far more L.A. than S.F., with plastic breasts, &c. We should tithe them.
Waiter: Hello, I haven't seen you here for awhile!As for my blind date, she had enormous false eyelashes & drove an orange Mustang sports car! Anyway, we must plan an official service with the regular Mimosa's Witnesses at this bizarre Castro day-club. As I explained to my date, just like there are hippie Christians & conservative Christians, these fake-boobed coked-up proselytes were worshipping under the same, broad tent as the Tahoe Mimosa's Witnesses & the Berkeley Mimosa's Witnesses.
Your hero: I've never been here before. This is my first time.
Waiter: Really!? You look just like one of our regulars.
Your hero: No, perhaps I have a Doppelgänger? Or perhaps you're mistaking me for Ralf from Kraftwerk.
My day proceeded by sobering up at Philz Coffee in the Mission & having my clock cleaned at chess with Mr Golden. The San Francisco semi-regular Sacred Harp singing was at an episcopal church on Fair Oaks (one of the cutest streets in that neighborhood), & was well attended, including two members of the awesome group Anonymous 4 (who, with their background in St Hildegaard, now have two excellent albums of American harmony, & are working on continuing that project. Listen to them!) Singing exultantly, mission accomplished, & I'm now accepting suggestions for what to do next with my life.
March 14, 2008
From the greater outer itwaslost.org community, Deuteronimus Jones reads William Blake's "Piping" song from Songs of Innocence & of Experience (1789). Accompanied by relevant Ingleside DJ, Gold Diamonds:
UPDATE: Also, I just finally got the mp3 player to work for the post below, the out loud reading of my Saga of Jenny!
Our shields shall be recycled into staplers,
Our tanks & ships will be remolded,
I am not averse to the most averse!
A yellow banner stream across my brow,
A tattoo of love just below my bikini-line,
Hope & courage, come out of your redoubt,
Come out & be together & be forever mine.
Clouds in the shapes of cloud-shaped clouds,
Spreading like an octopus, lost in its own ink,
Found in the confined feedlot, lost in the Austin crowds,
My sons will soon be home, salvaged & perfectly pink.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Page to our stamina!
Hyphens & hymens! The marriage of desire & old cheese.
Those untoward terrorists submit to the winner,
Turn my plastic cheek & repose upon couches of peace.
March 11, 2008
|Date:||Mon, 10 Mar 2008 19:32:48 -0700 (PDT)|
|From:|| "Jenny Ruth Crawford" <firstname.lastname@example.org> |
|To:||Lots of people |
just a quick message to let you know that i´m alive and as dirty and stinky as can be, working my ass off twelve hours a day in the jungle with my lovely spider monkey friends. i get off so late that it´s an effort for a shower and dinner so crossing the perilous bridge to the email cafe is too much. also, it´s usually pouring rain by nine which is about dinner time. really, i don´t think that anyone knows the meaning of the word ´dirty´until they work with monkeys. they are lovely and disgusting. there´s a saying here about how it´s the only job in the world where you pay to get shit on, pissed on, rained on, work your ass off and still love it. it´s by far the hardest and coolest thing i´ve ever done.
thank you for writing me, i´m so happy to hear from you. i´ve made a month long commitment and today is day 10. be in touch after that.
love you guys,
Here is a picture of Jenny Ruth with a different kind of monkey:
March 10, 2008
I have smoked my nargileh with Dennis Kucinich & Alan Keyes,
With lovers & fighters,
Recherché, white tea, cheese,
And we dabbled in America, our eyes rolled upward, stolid & terse.
I discussed the end of racism with the lost generations,
I demonstrated blowing a perfect smoke ring to a bookstore oligarch,
And seeds from the plantations,
Waiting for the walking shark,
This talk-show knows no boundaries, our editors & our patience.
There was a gay Marfan who laid on the ceiling,
The chandelier grimacing & the fog of our exhalations,
Laws & lawyers & disco fleeing,
Micromanaging the painting of the white fence,
We turned down the radio & let the conversation freeze in feeling.
I left my prostate upon the crystal pavement,
And with a right-wing blowhard covered in boils,
Library's circular descent,
Munching on his own snaky coils,
Let's stay here, the waitress has been tipped thirty percent.
This non-manufactured dialog broadcast to the nations,
The sensation between our nostrils & sacred truth,
Forty-five Spider Monkeys climbing on Jenny Ruth,
I will invite this galaxy to the table, the midair thickly with suspense.
We must renew the bowl, now pass me the proboscis,
Our goals & coals are finest lemon-tree wood,
Crucified on criss-crosses,
Fertile in the darkest mud,
One last old man joins us on the rug, let the smoke reinvigorate his fossils.
March 08, 2008
"I poured a double shot into a glass of ice, & recalled the years of living & conniving". So wrote the bard, read here below by myself. Click on the lovely picture to the left to read the original poem, or listen to the ten minute version. Meanwhile, it's a spectacular sunny Saturday in Berkeley, California! Stop reading your own poetry into a microphone & go for a bike ride!
UPDATE: Okay, it finally works. You can hear it here by clicking on the player below, or download it by clicking on the picture to the right.
March 05, 2008
March 02, 2008
Part One of the Five-Weeks-in-the-making Semi-Epic has been completed, February 25th-29th. An explanation of the process (in illuminative collaboration with Mr Golden), see this post: here.
Pithy pendulum, succinct in his own cool,
Frolicking with his satyr brethren, free of thought,
The naked male had no troubles until he entered school,
Filing & refiling sweet delight, nourished by rot,
The abstract offends twenty-five times the written,
The visual & sempiternal, the school nurse distraught,
And Christian to her brains, & Christian & Queen of Britain.
At church itself, he was not so much shunned as he was flogged.
The hymnbook was chockfull of goose-pimple-popping concoctions,
Arkan-sause of the Covenant, toilet unclogged,
And the poorbox paid for missions & celebrity adoptions.
The naked male boy hid on top above the confessional,
While Preach extended his sublimation to the Poppycocks Clans,
Hush up & listen to the abysmal recessional.
Old Preach would have seduced him, but for his translucence,
Prudence! & a possom's ass were his only friends.
The days of his youth have shortened for tuppence.
Exploding whales in the wilderness, on which it all depends,
As the suburbs expanded, he avoided the wintry folk.
His form always perfect, radiant with no defense,
Bidden & unhidden by a thrift-store invisibility cloak.
The bottoms of his feet were thick from shoe-less wandering,
The fertile diversity of an ancient coral reef,
His ankles resembled a 1950's glamor magazine.
His tiny adolescent urinater, inspired true belief,
All symmetrical, all peachy, an angel pariah,
Yes, at age eight, he still had all his baby teeth,
Stepping to the center of the stage, his aria:
“I am holy in the forests of Arkansas.
“The Monarchs flit about me like a flower.
“The shrubs scrape my skin, but Jesus is my Mantra.
“A boy who can reactivate the pastoral power,
“So the city is not ready for natural nudity,
“I play on. Before the coward I will cower.
“My creator God knows I am all the planet's beauty.”