September 30, 2009
& I will report false advertising if it is revealed that neither of these gentleman actually have any fish to mong.
September 29, 2009
Don't you know humongous jackalopes roamed Pangaea,
Yes, their fossils test our faith, my girlfriend, the restless feckless,
In her rich aunt's necklace, she looks like an old ornamented manataea,
Yes, & the jackalopes would have eaten that creature for breakfast.
Never on Sunday, she said, & wave your underpants in the wind
Like the Union Jack--, about my girlfriend I'll wind a lengthy vignette.
Winded from two too many hookah bowls last night, her voice sounds tinned
As she complains about the President, but the history's not in yet.
Time, gentlemen, please, to ask to shake a nation,
Long time, yes, & they missed the lost Zephyr train from Truckee to Sacramento,
Time to wait, eat a veggie burrito, & time for self-flagellation,
Yes, & if it comes, she'll be waiting by the tracks, now with several more babies to attend to.
Never on Sunday, I'm like a Remittance Man in a time of peace.
I'm a spy in the vestibule of my girlfriend's filthy caresses.
She left her locket unlocked in case you forgot your keys,
As a favor, rung-in & sung, every night when she undresses.
In the midst of a crooked & preverted nation,
Yes, even you, & my girlfriend, stand up, as lights of the world,
The restless feckless, she's what's left after nature's creation
Has been recalled, yes, & infidelity with angels, with all the right curves, & garlanded & laureled.
Never on Sunday, she said, sleeping like salvation never does,
The perfect day for mimosas & whores cloistered in pavilions,
My girlfriend is like a rainbow after the gay bar closes,
My girlfriend is like a lost lottery ticket worth millions.
Time, gentlemen, please, papers scattered from here to Samoa,
Curse the fin de siecle for its redundancy,
Repeat yourself & remember yourself & mispronounce tomatoa,
Yes, not once ask a nation for clemency, deeper than naivety but still not fancy.
Never on Sunday, I'm like a Remittance Man in the Pacific Theater,
After the terrific belligerents have gone home. Bear witness
Of that light, specific that light what shines on my girlfriend's dumpster-diving career,
Bear witness that this aperitif has undertones of mermaid foam--, but is otherwise hit or miss.
Don't you know the Colorado Locusts will return,
Yes, and then our farm subsidies will be dwarfed by my girlfriend's climax.
Lay up nearer, brother, ask nicely or she'll never learn,
Or about the humongous ancient mammals, yes, we're all vulnerable to mothership attacks.
Never on Sunday, she said, but who finds time to read the moon's latest runes?
Colonel Qaddafi can pitch his tent in my girlfriend's studio apartment,
Every enabler by his own standard, & Sunday Morning Cartoons,
Every conservative by his own camp, & never a camp misspent.
Time, gentlemen, please, finish your pints & find your graves,
My girlfriend, yes, her vocoder thru a groundhog tin-can hogphone,
Can't stomach another four years if the President misbehaves,
Yes, & echo back, in a tin room, like dating your own clone.
Never on Sunday, I'm like a Remittance Man up a Jackalope's colon,
But you will repeat me, you will remember me?
Never on Sunday, she said, well, what are we allowed to do for fun?
Manuia, gentleman-- remember me when the seagulls get seasick & declare victory.
September 28, 2009
I've been told that my invitation to Tuesday's dinner party & bad poetry reading was too long-winded to even extract the date & time from - but of course, it had to be. Here it is as it stands, & we're very happy to be hosting the first ever North American McGonagall Supper:
On June 12, 1997th, nearby Dundee, on the beautiful silv'ry Tay, on-board the Frigate Unicorn, was held Scotland's first, & as far as my research has revealed, only ever so far, celebrated McGonagall Supper in honor of the recently celebrated Sir William Topaz McGonagall. Dundee's McGonagall Appreciation Society appears to be defunct, & does not return my calls. We resolve that a New World supper in honor of Scotland's worst poet should be held on the day of his death, on some September 29ths, this year being the One-Hundred-&-Seventh Memorial of what such day, in Berkeley, California, nearby the silv'ry Bay. The McGonagall Appreciation Society's website has been mysteriously removed from the internets, on that website formerly-but-no-longer there being a description of the procedure & protocol of a McGonagall Supper, we hereby also resolve to wing it; but I do recall it following somewhat in the spirit of a Robert Burns Supper, he being Scotland's greatest poet, in the stead of celebrating his birth, & therefore being Scotland's worst poet, we honor McGonagall's memorial, & mimic the pomp & circumstance of a Burns Supper, but in reverse & backwardsly, & with worser Scotch.
Familiarity with the celebrated McGonagall's "Poetic Gems" is not a pre-requirement for attendance at a McGonagall Supper, as the point of which is to read aloud from said gems, & you are the better for having avoided them hitherto so far. Queen Victoria successfully avoided ever witnessing the great poet recite by not being in attendance at Balmoral after Sir William walked sixty miles thru the rain from Dundee to ask her if he might replace Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as Poet Laureate; failing to find her in Scotland, he walked home. It may also behoove you to be in a different country to avoid these recitations.
However, if you wish to familiarize yourself with his life & work, here's is a brief excerpt, in his own words, from his autobiography, which he wrote himself:
"The Autobiography of Sir William Topaz McGonagall
"Poet and Tragedian
"Knight of the White Elephant, Burmah
"My Dear Readers of this autobiography, which I am the author of, I beg leave to inform you that I was born in Edinburgh. My parents were born in Ireland, and my father was a handloom weaver, and he learned me the handloom weaving while in Dundee, and I followed it for many years, until it began to fail owing to machinery doing the weaving instead of the handloom. So much so as I couldn't make a living from it. But I may say Dame Fortune has been very kind to me by endowing me with the genius of poetry. I remember how I felt when I received the spirit of poetry. It was in the year of 1877, and in the month of June, when trees and flowers were in full bloom. Well, it being the holiday week in Dundee, I was sitting in my back room in Paton's Lane, Dundee, lamenting to myself because I couldn't get to the Highlands on holiday to see the beautiful scenery, when all of a sudden my body got inflamed, and instantly I was seized with a strong desire to write poetry, so strong, in fact, that in imagination I thought I heard a voice crying in my ears- 'Write! Write' I wondered what could be the matter with me, and I began to walk backwards and forwards in a great fit of excitement, saying to myself-- 'I know nothing about poetry.' But still the voice kept ringing in my ears - 'Write, write,' until at last, being overcome with a desire to write poetry, I found paper, pen, and ink, and in a state of frenzy, sat me down to think what would be my first subject for a, poem."
After scotch & spam (in lieu of haggis) has slurred our power of our recitation, I resolve to watch from the strange movie "The Great McGonagall", another celebration of the death & life of Sir William Topaz McGonagall, a film by Spike Milligan & Peter Sellers, which they are the filmmakers of.
Please RSVP, & bring some bottom-shelf scotch &/or a sidedish.
For Leviaphiles, recently discovered, a McGonagall poem about Melville's muse:
'TWAS in the month of December, and in the year 1883,
That a monster whale came to Dundee,
Resolved for a few days to sport and play,
And devour the small fishes in the silvery Tay.
So the monster whale did sport and play
Among the innocent little fishes in the beautiful Tay,
Until he was seen by some men one day,
And they resolved to catch him without delay.
When it came to be known a whale was seen in the Tay,
Some men began to talk and to say,
We must try and catch this monster of a whale,
So come on, brave boys, and never say fail.
Then the people together in crowds did run,
Resolved to capture the whale and to have some fun!
So small boats were launched on the silvery Tay,
While the monster of the deep did sport and play.
Oh! it was a most fearful and beautiful sight,
To see it lashing the water with its tail all its might,
And making the water ascend like a shower of hail,
With one lash of its ugly and mighty tail.
Then the water did descend on the men in the boats,
Which wet their trousers and also their coats;
But it only made them the more determined to catch the whale,
But the whale shook at them his tail.
Then the whale began to puff and to blow,
While the men and the boats after him did go,
Armed well with harpoons for the fray,
Which they fired at him without dismay.
And they laughed and grinned just like wild baboons,
While they fired at him their sharp harpoons:
But when struck with,the harpoons he dived below,
Which filled his pursuers' hearts with woe.
Because they guessed they had lost a prize,
Which caused the tears to well up in their eyes;
And in that their anticipations were only right,
Because he sped on to Stonehaven with all his might:
And was first seen by the crew of a Gourdon fishing boat
Which they thought was a big coble upturned afloat;
But when they drew near they saw it was a whale,
So they resolved to tow it ashore without fail.
So they got a rope from each boat tied round his tail,
And landed their burden at Stonehaven without fail;
And when the people saw it their voices they did raise,
Declaring that the brave fishermen deserved great praise.
And my opinion is that God sent the whale in time of need,
No matter what other people may think or what is their creed;
I know fishermen in general are often very poor,
And God in His goodness sent it drive poverty from their door.
So Mr John Wood has bought it for two hundred and twenty-six pound,
And has brought it to Dundee all safe and all sound;
Which measures 40 feet in length from the snout to the tail,
So I advise the people far and near to see it without fail.
Then hurrah! for the mighty monster whale,
Which has got 17 feet 4 inches from tip to tip of a tail!
Which can be seen for a sixpence or a shilling,
That is to say, if the people all are willing.
And that invite in facebooks' format is here. For more on all this, & including our exclusive William McGonagall hip-hop, click on this label. If you are out of the country, I encourage you to read aloud a McGonagall poem or watch Mr Milligan's movie on Tuesday.
September 27, 2009
For those of you who were bored reading Tolstoy's ramblings in War & Peace, perhaps this will help you appreciate just how crazy one can go thinking too much. I'm sure we've all had such conversations with ourselves in various states of sobriety.
September 26, 2009
We went to an extended vocal techniques workshop at Mills College last week with legendary singer Joan La Barbara - - we learned glottural clicks & practiced singing while inhaling. & I was going to write a little bit about the interesting question & answer session... But in case I never get around to that, here's a classic video of her singing the alphabet on Sesame Street in 1977 --, (hat tip to Miss Shani for pointing this out) - - -
September 25, 2009
Behold the mighty Englishman
He rules the Indian Small,
Because being a meat-eater,
He is five cubits tall.
Gandhi quotes [this] 'doggerel of the Gujarati poet Narmada' that was popular 'amongst the schoolboys'. The doggerel captures the colonial nationalist understanding of the role of the body in the construction of political power.
September 24, 2009
September 23, 2009
I get a lot of mass emails from my friend Bantu--here's today's fare.
IDLE worship ?
IDEAL worship ?
After immersion .. ?
The Day after ..
Would you like your Gods bulldozed like garbage ?
and treated like this ... ?
or dumped like this ?
left to rot for scavengers to feast ... ?
Lying at your feet ....Helpless .. Abandoned by worshippers !
And you create a hue and cry when some statue in your city gets 'desecrated' ?
You burn down busses and call for bandhs ?
Was that statue a GOD,
Is this GOD only a Statue ?
nothing will happen to you if you don't forward this mail.
But it would be great if you can do it to avoid real desecration !
Hope you will help save the environment for our future generation.
Nothing like using a small idol that we have at home.
Some of our foxiest friends have been procreating, so as a special feature from the editors at itwaslost, here's a gallery of nature's most beautiful reproduction, & fresh from the designer's studio.
First on the runway, & the winner of the judge's special prize (due to avuncular prejudice) is Miss Lily with the handsome & well-behaved Oliver Darwin:
At five months, the young Mr Welsch already has a distinctive, how do you say it, chichi dernier cri.
This season's newest arrival, here comes Miss Jennie with one-day-old baby Kajsa, virtuously sleek in a full white ensemble:
And here's the same expecting mother a month earlier, taking her bump for a wander in the wilderness.
Speaking of sylvan parenting, when it comes mycology, why not start training young the difference twixt the poisonous & the scrumptious!? And who can't tell delectable when they come across it in the fallen leaves? Miss Zoma sure can with her stylish 2008 issue Amadeus Darius:
And finally, here's the classically lovely Miss Claire with newborn baby Alexander - they look so cute before they grow up to conquer most of the known world.
Thank you, ladies, for your hard labor to bring so much beauty onto the planet & to make Fall 2009 the most stylish season this city's seen since Jaqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy went shopping for pillbox hats. Until next autumn - -
September 21, 2009
This mockup magazine cover from Mr Chadwick Crawford's blog. He writes: "The streetcar photo is by Tony DiLorenzo, and I greatly appreciate his allowing me to post it here!"
Mrs Smith has a website, & I just saw this section for the first time, What people are saying about Bonnie Whiting Smith:
"You look like a vestal virgin. People will mob the stage."
-Frederic Rzewski, 2006
"When you played that drum solo, it was tight."
-Anonymous 5th grader, Culver Elementary, 2006
"You're a good cop. You are handling this well."
-Steve Reich, after a rehearsal of Music for 18 Musicians, 2008
". . . a cross between Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk, with a little bit of Karlheinz Stockhausen thrown in for good measure."
-Dr. Charles McGuire, after a performance of percussion and text pieces at the Oberlin Conservatory, 2009.
She also has a section in her photo gallery where she's wearing items of clothing from various composers. I think the project got started when Steve Reich left behind his raincoat (he has a famous early tape loop piece called "It's gonna rain", so you would think he would know to be prepared.) The other photos are with Frederik Rzewski & John Luther Adams, respectively, hatless, Mrs Smith in their hats.
September 20, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 18, 2009
As Archpope of Transubstantiation for the Mimosas Witnesses, it's been brought to my attention that the hue of our sacred beverage is central to the interior design world's 2009 line. Look for it in yuppie kitchens everywhere - Mimosa is the new Wasabi!
Mimosa Embodies Hopefulness and Reassurance in a Climate of Change
CARLSTADT, N.J., Dec. 3, 2008 - Pantone, an X-Rite company (NASDAQ: XRIT), and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced PANTONE® 14-0848 Mimosa, a warm, engaging yellow, as the color of the year for 2009. In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow.
"The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation."
Pele was shy about her discovery:
Pele: Old News. Olds?
September 17, 2009
September 16, 2009
I'm sorry this blog has been a bit quiet, but I've been spending a lot of my time online playing Landgrab with our bulgarious friends. It's the Risk board game on a pretty nifty website, but you can play on hundreds of different maps. Like this elegant one, "ShowMR" by Foist, we've been playing on:
The last time was a long game, all the continents are so interconnected (there's sea passages around the edges of the board), that everywhere feels like you're fighting for Asia. The continents have bizarre names like "Rap the Musical" & "Nature's President". You can also play on Pangaea. You can play in Belgium or the Great Lakes. You can play for Istanbul. You can play on the moon, on the Monopoly board (the most confusing board in my opinion), on The Band's Big Pink house, Star Wars' Millennium Falcon. I know this is a lame excuse for writing less, but there you have it, & let us know if you want to play with us.
The off-the-record recording where Barack Obama called Kanye West a "jackass" this week was leaked & ubiquitous now.
I asked Mrs Eley-Nelson if she thought, in her weathered English opinion, that he had had a few pints. She replied "I see what you mean. He sounds like a disney drunk. Whu'du'ya'mean.... kind of thing. Hic." It's nice that we no longer have a teetotaler in the White House, but, I said, "So you agree? He shouldn't risk being recorded when he's unwinding in the Lincoln bedroom with a few Nixon martinis." Nixon's martini, he stole the recipe from Winston Churchill, is to pour a glass of gin & glance across the room at the vermouth.
As for Mr West, I hate to say it, but the whole event seemed a little staged to me, & it'll probably help everybody's record sales. He'll probably call his next album The President's Jackass or something.
September 11, 2009
Our continuing series, a yearlong celebration of the three-year anniversary of this blog, we reprint what I wrote exactly three years ago, to the minute. This essay is interesting because I still feel similarly; & I've made drinking friends in Berkeley, some of which are the Brooklyn friends who slowly realized I was on to something by moving to Berkeley.
After college, many of my friends settled in Brooklyn, the only place in America I have no interest in living. I went away to one boarding school for four years & one college for four years (including one year abroad in England). Relationships are, of course, measured in both time & space. During my eight years of education, I developed many close friendships, all of which were displaced every spring. Few people, when they are deciding where to go after school, would take into much consideration where their friends will be moving. Ambitions, art scenes, employment opportunities, desire for travel, love – these preside over keeping “the gang” together. Drinking companions are best found around the corner, anyway, & are easily replaced. Still, some friendships are more mystical, inspiring, collaborative.
Look what happens to the average “long-distance relationship.” Either the couple is together, then moves to separate locations, & there is a gradual idealization & growing apart, resulting in catastrophe; or, they move apart, & then move back together after a time, & the gradual idealization & growing apart results in an awkward period of disillusionment. This is an extremely generalized over-simplification: some long-distance relationships have ended in the happiest marriages. What about friendships in the age of e-mail, cellphones, & MySpace? Perhaps, because there is no pressure for ceaseless love & daily communication, one can make these connections in college, for instance, & continue to receive the mystical collaborative elements thru e-mail, whilst receiving his drinking-companion needs around the corner (if around the corner offers no conversations about Bartók or Thomas de Quincey.)
My high school & college friends have settled in a startling plethora of locals – New York, London, Liverpool, India, Hainan, Alabama, Massachusetts, L.A., Brazil, & even Texas. I was saddened that few of my close friends visited me when I was living in Tahoe, a place I wanted to show off, but who can blame them with travel so inefficient & expensive. I've moved to the bay area to increase the feeling of community, & already surprising people have visited & plan to visit. I'm not having much luck establishing regular drinking companions, tho, but that comes with patience & employment.
The book I am reading is by William McDonough & Michael Braungart, a chemist & an architect who propose redesigning how things are made. Valuable technical materials & chemicals are regularly mixed with natural materials, & disposed in land fills where both are useless. They suggest that everything can be made to be infinitely recyclable or immediately biodegradable, separating the biosphere from the “technosphere”. Newspapers, for instance, are made from recycling things things that were not meant to be recycled, & are printed on with toxic inks, & bleached with more chemicals, & are useless after one or two cycles – everything is always “downcycled.” This book, Cradle to Cradle, is not made out of a tree, but of high quality plastics & safe inks. It is extremely durable & waterproof; but when it is thrown “away”, it can be washed & melted to create another equally high quality book. They suggest that current methods of recycling are merely “less bad”, & often placate the liberal masses with righteousness; however, it is possible to a create a system that is “good.” Slowing down the current destructive industrial system could actually be worse in the long run; & preaching “efficiency” & being conservative with resources just pisses off capitalists obsessed with growth. It pits environmentalists against industry. In nature however, growth is good. (Their example is of a cherry tree, whose excess blossoms & fruit are not “waste” but nourishing & beautiful.)
I just got to a part where they suggest that all sustainability is local. Diversity, adaptability, culture, dialect: these are successful reactions to location for both nature & human society. And this Earth offers an almost infinite variety of locations, all of which life has adapted to inhabit. Sustainable local systems nourish your community, & add up to a fully nourished macrocosm. Liberals often point out that Super-Walmarts in sprawled suburban areas hurt every aspect of society: “Main Street” culture, the local economy, the quality of your neighbor's jobs, lack of support for local agriculture, the quality & ethics of distant agriculture, the amount of fossil fuels burned to transport the products, all the unnecessary packaging waste, and the list goes on. I would never imply that long distance friendships are the Walmarts of Modern America. But, your average white post-college American liberal tends to be semi-nomadic, befriending people everywhere, & settling in a baffling array of places. I would like to see a statistic for how many settled where they grew up. Conservative Midwesterners, as a stereotype, are much more family & hometown oriented.
Plato often evokes love for God by discussing love between humans, & mystics use the language of the natural world to describe the subtle heavens. Human connections – a web of nourishment, waste, & sustainability – can perhaps be understood with a model of community, agriculture, energy flows, and Walmarts. Or, more likely, they are a synecdoche (an inclusive metaphor, a metaphor which is included in what it stands for.) Friendship & love are as much a part of a balanced, healthy society as the politics, food cycles, architecture, & everything else. Indeed, this spiritual interconnection can be seen as the soul to a town's body. The Electoral College in a huge county deprives local communities of an actual democracy (in California, for instance, I know we'll get the democratic presidential vote, so there's no reason to campaign or canvass or even argue with my neighbor.) Could the combination of cheap travel, easy relocation, the Internet, and sprawl add up to a modern civilization where friendships are like the disposable diapers that fill up our landfills?
September 10, 2009
September 09, 2009
@cbsnews He needs to offer a Publican Option for bartenders & Roman contractors. (CBS News live > http://ustre.am/2bWW)
25 minutes ago from Ustream
@cbsnews And, Obama needs to offer a Glennbic Option for revolutionaries against the oligarhy
20 minutes ago from Ustream
@cbsnews Finally, Obama needs to offer a Pubic Option for Freudian misspellers.
18 minutes ago from Ustream
I was mentioning that Glenn Beck oligarh-acronym moment to a friend of mine, who had never heard of it, & it occurred to me that with Jon Stewart on vacation, a lot of these amazing cable-news moments get missed by a lot of people. So for our far-flung correspondents in the Balkans & the Navigator's Islands, here's FoxNews's fiery teabagging revolutionary: