Friday, December 23, 2005

3.90

American Literature II: A-
Intro. to Postcolonial Literature: A
Creative Writing Workshop II: A
Senior Seminar in Poetry: A

when do I get a scholarship?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

in the hole.

It’s been another wonderful semester here, but I’m going to do something I didn’t think I would do. I’m going to issue a plea for money. I know that there are people out there that are looking for a Good Cause, and I am it. Well, at least I am one of them.

I’m just running a little short, and I have two bills and my rent for January coming due, and no funds to cover them. I get loan money for school, but it just didn’t hold out.

I know someone else (not a friend, just an acquaintance) that did this recently (on LiveJournal, of all things), and at the time I thought that she was a jackass- I knew that she wasn’t budgeting, and I adopted a holier-than-thou attitude.

I’ve been humbled. I put the PayPal button on the ‘blog a while ago, more of a joke than anything else, but now I’m asking in earnest- if there is someone out there that can lend me a hand, I’m sincerely asking.

There are buttons on the sidebar and the footer, if you care to help me out.

Thanks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

white power morons

[Listen- this is not an Academic paper or anything of the sort- it’s not even a formal essay- it’s simply a few musings I had been mulling over the past few days, in the wake of a thing going on in Kingston, NY, not far from where I live. ]

The world treated The Third Reich and Naziism as it should be treated; a cancer and a pathology. It was stamped out, as any mass pathological has and will be stamped out. Now I find that there are wannabe Nazis in my backyard. If pseudo-Naziism is what one aspires to, it is a clear indication of deep pathological self-hate and overriding fear. This is obvious to anyone who has the ability to string more than one coherent and rational thought together; it is not that education indoctrinates, as some of the better-spoken [relatively speaking] of the fake-Nazi characters would have us believe- it allows for a framework that teaches people to think critically and rationally about any given set of concepts.

Political correctness is a euphemism for “don’t offend anyone who might be offended”, and as such, should be given some degree of scrutiny. Nevertheless, the concept of Naziism offends anyone who has the ability to think clearly and objectively. The exposure to Plato, Socrates and Aristotle, or Nietzsche, Heidegger and Sartre, the study of Philosophy and Ethics, as well as Anthropological, Sociological and Psychological studies, prepare the mind to make choices based on bases of information that have accreted over a long period of time.
It is fairly clear that most, if not all of the people that belong to the misnamed “White Power” movement are uneducated, and that’s a shame. If there are those that went to school, they either didn’t learn anything, or are so deeply diseased that they are unable to put to use the tools they were given to work.

Racism is a dynamic wherein, among other things, the Racist is projecting their deep psychological inadequacies on the Other, and the face of the Other takes on a mythic power, a fetish, for the Racist. It is this model that allows the Racist to make sense of the world. It becomes an excuse for the actions of the Racist. The Racist wants to believe that violence is caused by the Other. The Other has an alien and strange culture. The Other is taking away jobs from the Racist.

Of course, all of this is nonsense. But the problem with the Racist is that they cannot unbelieve the things they hold dear- if one were to crack the façade, the Racist would have a mental and emotional breakdown- it is a framework, however incorrect and faulty, that they use to make sense of a world in which they feel lost, and as such, can not relinquish it.

The children of Racists are particularly disadvantaged; they are being abused emotionally. They are being raised with a set of ideas as faulty as misnaming colors, or objects. If you grow up believing that “red” is actually “green”, beyond semantic issues, you have a filter with which to view the world that virtually no one else has- not only that, but this filter is objectively wrong. There are only a very, very small group of people that hold these ersatz-Nazi beliefs, and they are shunned and ostracized by most all of the educated, civilized world. This puts one in an incredibly vulnerable position. It makes it extremely difficult to find anyone who might care to relate to you, and in the end, you must stick to your own community of play-Nazis.

In conclusion, I can only assume that these tightly-knit groups of pathologically-minded people will end up only marrying within the group, and over the course of a few more generations will become consanguineous and interbred. This will, thankfully, lead to a great deal of genetic problems, and eventually they will be crosseyed and sterile, like Mules.
edit [11.24.2005]:
some moron [called himself "Ajax"- isn't that cute? Greek warrior, indeed.] just made a comment that basically proved my point- it was incomprehensible, disjointed, filled with spelling mistakes, and sounded as if the person posting it was in desperate need of strong medication. I declined to publish it, as it was incredibly offensive, but also because it was largely meaningless. As soon as I hear "conspiracy" or "jew, jew, blah, jew", you lose your credibility. Sorry jackass.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Order

The flashlight bobs in the windows,
first here
then there and here again.
The frames on the wall are all
exactly where they were before
but he needs to be sure.

It’s tiresome getting up
to check (at 3am)
but it’s a habit
or a ritual? a need?
and it’s not as if he’s
bothering anyone.

He shaves alone and showers
alone and sits at the breakfast nook
alone
methodically reading the paper,
and with no one there to please
He has complete freedom.

The smell of bookbinding glue and dust
put him at ease
the order and peace of
row upon row upon row
exactly where they’re
supposed to be.

Co-workers exchange pleasantries
and speak in hushed tones about how
the weekend went; a movie seen or
a trip to the country.
He nods, smiles and
straightens the index cards again.


©jrs

blue

the trees stand like an black inkwash against a bruised sky
the crickets are beginning the nightsong;
reet reet reet reet.
standing outside, in the darkening
watching
as the blue smoke curls and twists from my cigarette
drifting
across the blue grass and into the feet of the trees
bats flicker in blue spirals.
a light clicks on and footsteps across the crackling linoleum announce
her presence
in the stillness
the blue hour
joining me in silence
watching everything
watching nothing.



©jrs

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I LOVE EGG!!!!!

flash movie; I sing this song in my head all the time now.

You will too. "wiggle jiggle...yellow middle... that's the best of what you are (I love you egg!)"

Monday, September 12, 2005

How Bush Blew It

The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.

How this could be—how the president of the United States could have even less "situational awareness," as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century—is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace.
...from "How Bush Blew it" on msnbc.com.

Surrounded by sycophants and idiots, the President was asleep at the wheel, and then when the Hurricane hit, he didn't even know how bad it was because he couldn't be bothered to turn on the television.

This is a man that has command of most any media resource imaginable, and other than read a fluff-book once in a while, he has no idea what's going on. I suppose it's too much effort to actually be informed. He has aides MAKE DVD DISTILLATIONS OF NEWSCASTS he didn't bother to watch in the first place; he was on vacation and obviously didn't want to let the real world creep in.

Clearly, it's hard to be the illegitimately elected President.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

humming

Until this morning, I had never seen a hummingbird. I sat out on my terrace, having a cigarette, and this little black blur floated down towards me. At first, due to the soundof the buzz, I freaked a little, thinking it was a very large stinging insect. He hovered for maybe 10 seconds, checking me out [to see if I was sugary, no doubt] and then slowly rose to the terrrace above me, to play among the plants that my upstairs neighbor has on his railing. I bet he has a hummingbird-feeder up there. What a treat.

I believe it was one of these.

We put out a hummingbird feeder at out home on Long Island, but none ever came; although the guide says that they exist there, I think that they are few and far between, and perhaps further out on the Island. We’re pretty centrally located, and pretty well developed, so I think the hummingbirds moved away from all the noise.

I’m getting a feeder next spring.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I moved into the condo in NP; I've been too busy to update, I'm posting as soon as I can get myself together. It's my birthday today [the 3rd]. I'm getting old. Also: wishlist is in the profile. ;)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hypnos

a stream of ants travel up and down over old words;

a codex etched in the furrowed brow of an oak tree.

the initiated few sometimes read through layers of meaning

seeing the face of truth. [it's not what you think]


meanwhile: dark entoptic gods flash behind a childs' eyes

while crows bark over the sussurus of august night-rain.

cereus petals unfold, drinking moonlight.


if only we could all wake up

wake up!

from our dreamlife; this nodding false awareness

that passes each day as a languid television river or else

an object-fetish buying frenzy;

if only we could smash the screen, claw, claw,

clawing our way out of stifling black sackcloth

to breathe in the waning moonlight as it gently coaxes the cereus

closed.


the truth is a slippery thing, it slides just out of focus

floating in the periphery, a smudge on the edge of the lens.

[the rippling surface belies the real]

We look for it where it is not; we would do well to remember the

child in the dark

knowing things, hidden in plain view;

ephemeral shades gliding out of sight

frightening in their stark simplicity

unfathomable and alien;

but certainly as real as these words.


©jrs

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sunday, July 31, 2005

a place to call home...

Another bit of good news, and I cannot help but update this with a personal post.

We found a place to live in New Paltz. I put a deposit down on a condominium right in town, located in behind the Gilded Otter Brewing Company, next to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, and .7 miles from the campus proper.

It has a terrace that runs the length of the unit, but it's actually a first-floor condo. The building is built on a grade, so the entrance is ground-level, but the back overlooks a grassy spot, the railtrail, and the Wallkill river. When the leaves drop, we'll have a view of the Shawangunk ridge and Skytop.

It's gorgeous and spacious, and I cannot believe our luck at both getting the spot and having what seems to be a really cool landlord.

I do believe that we deserve this, as we went through a miniature version of hell to finally get it.

We've been checking out every apartment in town, and a lot of them just weren't what we were looking for, or we were in competition with potential renters that were perhaps better qualified; we've got the money, but I think some of the landlords in town are spooked by "students". But karma has smiled upon us, and we got one.

I'm ecstatic right now.

Also: we are going to have pet fish.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

James Doohan Beams Up.

"In a 1998 interview, Doohan was asked if he ever got tired of hearing the line 'Beam me up, Scotty' -- a line that, reportedly, was never actually spoken on the TV show.
'I'm not tired of it at all,' he replied. 'Good gracious, it's been said to me for just about 31 years. It's been said to me at 70 miles an hour across four lanes on the freeway. I hear it from just about everybody. It's been fun.'"


I used to go to 'cons when I was younger, and I had the pleasure of having dinner with Doohan and one or two others... He was down-to-earth, had a great sense of humor, and told amazing stories. He affected the brogue for a few irish jokes, and I, never one to get excited about celebrities, left with a sense of how normal they can be.

Harlan Ellison was also with us, and he was funny too, acted like a jerk, but he's kind of known for that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Charges Dropped Against Mayor Who Performed Gay Weddings

Jason West is the mayor of New Paltz, where I go to school. He's a good guy, and I'm glad he won this one. [He's a good politician, a Green, and concerned with his constituency.]

More on Jason here.

I was going to post a NYT link, but they want you to register to view the article, which is absurd.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

GATC

floating in nutrient broth,
cloudy amino soup:
a flesh tennisball
studded with pearl teeth
slowly erupting, waiting for harvesting and implantation;
soon we will do this right in YOUR mouth, but we don't have the necessary trials yet:
interested? just sign this...
it's a brave new world, baby
with corneas and ears growing on the
backs of norwegian blacks, just
flip a few genetic switches and we're
tapping the power of organic architecture
in a lexan vat;
all patents pending.

©jrs

Thursday, June 23, 2005

supposition

supposition


New Years' Eve party, fumbling to get her blouse off, hot breath and thundering hearts.

a pregnancy test drying in the bathroom garbage, thick cake-icing snow falling on the windowsill.

warm september afternoon, lying in a hospital bed, a baby whisked down a white hallway.

29 with a husband and a seven year old; more than enough to deal with,

breathing deeply and moving on

wondering who he'll look like.




©jrs


see also: quaeris

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

1991 Time Magazine Article on Scientology

Operation Clambake presents: Time Cover Article in 1991

via

I was curious about Scientology, and so I did some poking around. I knew a lot of this stuff before, but this Time article really put everything into perspective for me.

The real question I had was "why do some of these celebrities join the CoS, and what are they getting out of it, why the pseudo-evangelical attitude towards the CoS?"

Evidently, the CoS maintains special "Celebrity Centers" (I don't know if this is what they call it, but everyone else seems to agree that's what they are), where the celebs are treated to privacy and personal sessions with auditors, &c.

So the celebs are exposed to only one small part of the whole scene. Which would make sense. The Church gets good publicity, and the clebs get a personalized spa-type experience that leaves them feeling happier, more well-adjusted, and less stressed.

I'm not saying that Scientology is completely bad- I mean, I have no personal experience with the religion, but I can see some worth in the basic ideas behind it. It's just that L. Ron was definitely a wackadoo, and while some of the concepts may have pragmatic merit, the way in which they are framed is just nutty.

Like most religions.

Read the article. It's really interesting.

Friday, June 10, 2005

I EAT TAPES- Blog Archive-New server?

interesting things going on over in #mefi-land

even the thought of any discontinuity or loss of this venue fills me with dread and makes me sweat and shake. I love chatting with this crowd.

Seraph

Seraph: Online Etymology Dictionary

1667, first used by Milton (probably on analogy of cherub/cherubim), singular back-formation from O.E. seraphim (pl.), from L.L. seraphim, from Gk. seraphim, from Heb. seraphim (only in Isa. vi), pl. of *saraph (which does not occur in the Bible), probably lit. "the burning one," from saraph "it burned." Seraphs were traditionally regarded as burning or flaming angels, though the word seems to have some etymological sense of "flying," perhaps from confusion with the root of Ar. sharafa "be lofty." Some scholars identify it with a word found in other passages interpreted as "fiery flying serpent."


I didn't know Milton was the first one to use this word in print. I love the imagery of a smoking or flaming angel- the smoke obscuring and trailing off, Lucifer falling from heaven like a meteor, shining and burning like a falling star.

Beautiful and terrible.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Age of the Essay

I've been approaching them all wrong. Mostly due to time constraints, I've viewed essays as arguments. The process involved is much shorter; consider the work, and then come up with a position (hopefully one that hasn't been addressed before) and defend it.

The other big difference between a real essay and the things they make you write in school is that a real essay doesn't take a position and then defend it. That principle, like the idea that we ought to be writing about literature, turns out to be another intellectual hangover of long forgotten origins.


This makes much more sense, is much more interesting, and I think makes for a much better paper overall... but one can't do it quickly. There's got to be more rumination, more rolling around of ideas to explore- it's more playful and almost counterintuitive. Start somewhere, then wander around and connect some dots.

You just can't do it in a day, or maybe even a few days. It's no good for an undergrad, in terms of academic work, but I can immediately see the value in doing this regularly.

Perhaps we'll see some essays here, in the future.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Can we please get on the ball already?

A method for classifying civilization types was introduced by Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. Known as the Kardashev scale, classifications are assigned based on the amount of usable energy a civilization has at its disposal and increasing logarithmically:

Type I - A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available on a single planet, approximately 10^16W.
Type II - A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single star, approximately 10^26W.
Type III - A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single galaxy, approximately 10^36W.
Human civilization has yet to achieve full Type I status, as it is able to harness only a portion of the energy that is available on Earth. Carl Sagan speculated that humanity's current civilization type is around 0.7.

A major criticism directed at the Kardashev scale is that the difference between a Type II and Type III civilization is ten orders of magnitude and that significant civilization types likely reside within that range. Moreover, given the seemingly extreme energy sources available to Type II and III civilizations, the question as to why we haven't seen evidence of these advanced societies remains unanswered, a possible indication that no such civilizations exist.


Between this and the Drake Equation, I wonder whether we'll ever see anything interesting before we sputter and extinguish like a candle in the dark.

I mean, I envision a future where we eventually leave our cradle, and go on to seed other places; in order to get to a point where that is viable, we'll need to be past Level I anyway. If we manage to make it that far, chances are that we won't be anything like we are now-certainly we'll be the same physically- but the very nature of the type of space exploration I'm talking about necessitates a wholly different type of social management, government, and psychological outlook.

I'm dying to know whats out there.

I wonder whether we'll ever make it far enough to find out...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

pish

pish is still an awesome game. I'd play it just to listen to the music in the background. [shockwave]

Orson Scott Card: Sci-Fi author, Social Critic, or both?

Orson Scott Card is a great writer, but there has been some recent discussion about his political stance, as well as some insight as to the author's psyche (and perhaps sexuality?) informing and infusing his fiction. I liked Ender's Game when I read it several years ago, and I'm curious to see whether I'll read it differently given some new filters. I am curious as well about "Songmaster" and "A Planet Called Treason". The latter two I haven't read yet, but I expect an interesting read, given some of the commentary I've read about them.

He's written some essays, about same-sex marriage and other current political and social issues, linked below with commentary.

Orson Scott Card on The Riots of The Faithful

America's Anti-family Experiment.

The Ornery American

above links via.

Creating the Innocent Killer

Any input from fans or critics of Card are appreciated.

Friday, May 27, 2005

totally unrelated words

slapping and biting and scratching and pulling and slipping and straining and lifting and thrusting and bending and sliding and pushing and sucking and arching and twisting and sweating and flexing and gripping and riding and caressing and pressing and clinging and stretching and mounting and churning and rolling and stroking and cupping and rubbing and licking and clasping and squeezing and parting and panting and and spreading and tensing and touching and

relaxing.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ok, real content to follow this post

English Literature 1 : A-

American Literature 1 : A-

European Literature : A

Ethnic Literature of the U.S. : A

gpa : 3.81

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I am trying to keep from making journal-style posts, and yet...

...one is going to slip out once in a while.

I checked out a house in town tonight, as a potential place to live next semester / year. The people that live there are really cool, at least that was the impression that I left with. The rent is completely doable- 2/3 of what I'm paying right now, if that. It's exactly the kind of situation I was looking for- responsible but not uptight people, quietish, beautiful older house with tons of art on the walls and painted unconventionally inside. It's close to the campus and even closer to the town. They seem to want to maintain a sense of community. I can get with this. Why live in a house with other people if you're not going to enjoy their company? It reminds me a little of the old "Red Balloon" House in Stony Brook. At the risk of sounding new-agey, it's got a 'good vibe'. They are seeing a bunch of applicants though, so it's not a sure thing by any means. Still, it would be a nice situation. It would also allow me to live up here year-round, which is what I wanted in the first place.

Cross your fingers for me.

Living in the technological dark ages.

I am working with a ~7 year old CompUSA AmeriNote Laptop, with a 3.5 gig hard drive, that crashes like five times every day. One of these days, it's not going to come back. I just finished my last post, and lost the whole goddamned thing.

I'm just venting. It makes me really frustrated. I suppose when it dies, I will just have to start posting from the terminals on my campus.

Translucent Concrete

I have a thing for design. I used to go to the New York Gift Show for my old job, and usually the coolest stuff there was either in the "Handmade" section, (mostly art glass and metalwork) and the "Accent on Design" section.

There's more stuff at the inhabitat website. Look at the "Tetris Shelving". (via)

You can also find similar cool stuff at MoCo Loco

Friday, May 13, 2005

purification

the trees reach up, green dendrites
arching to shock the sky.

the grey roughly kisses them, the wind
a crushing swaying embrace.

the robins are hopping close
the jays are screaming for it

then the sky cracks in half like
a fresh egg...

You walk through this mad earth-love, as
fat raindrops leap down
hammering your soul,
stripping away rough rusty ideas
blasting away thought
burnishing and polishing
until
soaked, you reach the door, turn the knob and
step in;

only to drop your bag, turn smiling
and walk back into the rain,

knowing that this is as

close to God

as you will ever get.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Classes, New Paltz, Fall '05

41302 02 English Lit. II, 10-10:50 tu w th f, Hack
41445 01 Creative Writing II, 5:30-8:20 tu, Doherty
41332 02 American Lit. II, 2-3:10 m tu th, Stoneback
41385 01 Theories of Writing, 3:30-4:45 m w Crockett
41450 01 Seminar in Poetry, 12:30-1:45 m w Waugh

Monday, April 18, 2005

"Bedazzled"

A jeweled wasp stuns A cockroach & plants an egg
Inside. In no time, easy
As fear eats into someone,
The translucent larva grows
Beneath its host's burnished
Shell. The premature stinger
Waits like a bad idea, almost
Hidden. Summertime
Breathes on a thorny leaf.
Before the new wasp breaks
Free, they are one. No longer
Fat on death's fugacity,
By tomorrow afternoon
It will cling to a window screen
Bright as Satan's lost tiepin.

-from "Talking Dirty to the Gods"
Yusef Komunyakaa

Thursday, April 14, 2005

nightmare.

the bed is rimed with the grey salt of nightmares,
acrid smoke of bonefires in my throat.
rheumy eyed surgeons display rusted wares;
brown scalpels cut away the flesh-coat.

clutching gobbets of viscera excised
like a hopeless abortion, i flee
running through dank wet halls, brutalised,
shadows and distortion hunting me.

crows peck at my face and hands, crying out
understanding not how i move still
(expecting a free meal no doubt)
frustrated at their impotence to kill.

i don't think these dreams will ever end
as sure as my soul will never mend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Literature

Literature

wikipedia. tons of good subtopics.

still life

still life

an ashtray overflowing with crushed stubs
a stained mug cold with drying caffeine silt
unopened mail scattered like dying fish
laptop fan hums, vibrating in the dark

the birds no longer sit on the railing
the moon oppressed by malevolent clouds
occasional loud cries of drunken fools;
unsettling, hateful punctuation.

waiting for another day to dawn
for more of the same, and more of the same
no dancing, no revelry, no sweetness.
no smiles, no joy, no lightheartedness.

another cigarette and more coffee
more letters unopen and forgotten
screaming tires, breaking bottles, howling
idiots playing overloud hip-hop.

light another one, deeply inhale and
remember that it will end, it must end.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Fear of the Unknown.

So.

Last night, I killed a monster. Not some bugbear of the unconscious, this was a living thing, a modern Grendel.

As I sat reading, I caught motion on the floor, down and away from the table.

Let me note, before I go on, that save a single hornet that made his way into this apartment on a sunny, warm day last week, there has not been a single instance of a sighting of an insect of any kind in my living-space. Furthermore, I generally have a tolerant attitude towards insects; I grudgingly acknowledge that we must share the same space, and act accordingly.

This abomination scuttled across the floor, like greased lightning, straight under my bed!

It had millions of legs. I jumped up, dove onto the bed, and turned the nighttable light on, as well as grabbing a flashlight I had handy.

I located the beast, but it was too far to reach. I grabbed several paper towels, and found it lying in wait underneath the bed. After a few moments, it shot from under the bed to just outside the corner, where it was exposed.

It was an outrageous battle, knocking over furniture, breaking lamps, and causing no little noise.

The thing was huge. It was the size of a Buick, with multifaceted eyes like basketballs, and slavering jaws. I feared for my life, thinking that I would have to stab it multiple times with a kitchen knife.

The battle raged for a minute or so while I dispatched it with the paper towels.

Afterwards, elated at its death but disconcerted at its appearance, I did some research.

This, the Scutigera coleoptrata, was the monster that I so valiantly fought. And I must admit, at hearing this news, I felt somewhat less justified in prematurely ending its life. It's mostly a beneficial little creature, with no ill designs as I had supposed. And it only has 15 pairs of legs. Not a million.

Like chewing my eyeballs out as I slept, feasting on my flesh, or injecting eggs into my brains. Not so. Simply a little housecleaner.

I cannot swear that I will let the next one (if there is a next one) live, but I have at least tempered my demeanor towards this thing, and perhaps I will think twice before slaughtering the next one.

Unfortunately, the Fear contributed to its early demise, but armed now with new information, I am less likely to act quite so rashly in the future.

I think.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ode to Tea

The first cup caresses my dry lips and throat,

The second shatters the walls of my lonely sadness,

The third searches the dry rivulets of my soul to find the stories of five thousand scrolls.

With the fourth, the pain of past injustice vanishes through my pores.

The fifth purifies my flesh and bone.

With the sixth, I am in touch with the immortals.

The seventh gives such pleasure I can hardly bear.

The fresh wind blows through my wings as I make my way to Penglai.

-Lu Tong (AD 619-907 (T'ang))

Thursday, March 24, 2005

An interesting concept...

"Can you raed tihs? Olny srmat poelpe can.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!"

This was sent to me by someone in an online community, and while I haven't yet verified the source, it is an interesting idea. This would account for the ease of reading 1337 as well. Evidently, all you need is a signpost or two, and your brain figures the rest out contextually.

never defend your writing against criticism...

instead, try to explain what it was you were trying to accomplish.
(via)

Noam Chomsky blog

Through znet.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The grades are in...

American Lit. I: B+ (on a previous test) A for the Midterm
English Lit. I: A, A, A-, A- (four separate grades for the midterm; three essays and a short answer section)
European Lit.: A, A, B+, A (four separate grades for the midterm; three essays and a short answer section)
Ethnic Lit. of the United States: A for the paper.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Über das Marionetten Theater

Heinrich Kleist: On the Marionette Theater

An interesting essay on human movement and the gracelessness therof, due in part to the problem of human consciousness.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Government Propaganda

State Propaganda: How Government Agencies Produce Hundreds of Pre-Packaged TV Segments the Media Runs as News (from Monday, 2005.3.14) Democracy Now!

The Thirty-Six Dramatic Variations

There are probably more, but this is a good start.

The Hunting of the Snark: an Agony in Eight Fits

"Each thought he was thinking of nothing but "Snark"
And the glorious work of the day;
And each tried to pretend that he did not remark
That the other was going that way."


You have to love Lewis Carroll

More stuff, including "Jabberwocky" and "Phantasmagoria" here.

I just noticed something.

Another blogger had a really lame name for his blog, and then he came to mine, and changed the name of his. aww. I'm glad I inspired someone.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Slander.

There are some things that are really unacceptable. While I am of the belief that censorship of any type is bad, especially in a University, I also believe that there is a level of common sense and decorum that should be adhered to in an academic setting.

Today, in an American Literature class, we were discussing E. A. Poe, in particular, The Fall of the House of Usher. The discussion concerned, in part, Poe's use of the taboo against incest, and the intimation of necrophilia in the story.

As the discussion progressed, we spoke about how in the 18th and early 19th centuries, there was some question as to the connection between Phisiognomy and Psychology; that is to say that there was the belief that one's demeanor and behavior could be, in some sense, predicted or assumed by their physical characteristics.

At this point, the professor said something to the effect of "I myself do not know any necrophiliacs, so I cannot attest to the truth of that idea." He looked at me when he said this, and jokingly, I said "Well, not that you know of." He responded that that was true, indeed. How would one know?

The few statements afterward were, in retrospect, what I believe to be completely inappropriate. I felt extremely uncomfortable at the time, but as I look back at it, I get more and more angry.

He said something to the effect of "Well, you might be one. Or do you like them alive? Your victims." This was said in a joking tone, but there was a palpable stir in the room, and some muttering. There was kind of a "whoa" vibe, but that's just my impression.

I just looked at him, I think my head was cocked, incredulous. I'm not sure how I looked to everyone else, but I remember shaking my head and just saying quietly "That's fucked up."

I looked over at the student that sits next to me, and he too was shaking his head slowly, as if in agreement.

In the interest of disclosure, I should qualify the situation: I freely admit that I have internal disagreements with a lot of what the professor says, but I try to not allow it to color the subject material; I read critically and come to my own conclusions about texts, hopefully with the guidance of a professor. I don't get into pissing matches with him, as he does, in the final analysis, wield the "Red Pen", and it behooves me to keep my personal politics and beliefs out of the debate. I think he's arrogant, but then so am I; I believe that a lot of arrogant peolple, when they aren't covering up for other psychological deficiences, are actually some of the most intellectually powerful and creative people that there are.

But arrogance, when coupled with derision and pretentiousness, along with the occasional couched ad hominem, makes for a weak teacher.

On reflection, I become more and more aware of the implications of the type of statement that the professor directed at me. It borders on slander.

One can liken it to calling someone a Child Molestor. It's totally unacceptable to call someone a child molestor, even in a joking manner. Why is this? It is because once you say something like that, even in jest, you cannot un-say it. It is as if you have indicted the person by association; once it is said out loud, it opens the door to speculation. A whole potential chain of thought is unleashed, and one might find themselves actually asking the question "Could X really be a child molestor?"

Things like this can cause the loss of a job, distrust in relationships, as well as having an influence on how one is perceived among their peers.

So it is, too, with the casually thrown slur "necrophiliac". He did not explicitly say I was one, just as he did not say that I was a serial killer through the second part of his statement. But the implicit tone was that I could, potentially be one.

Why does this disturb me? I know that I am not, yet I wonder how a statement like that influences the perceptions of the people around me. It's as if an unintentional seed of thought has been planted, and while probably relatively harmless, it disturbs me deeply that such a comment could roll off of his tongue so easily. It's as if he had no governor between his thoughts and his mouth.

Words mean things, and I think it could not hurt for people to choose what they say with a little more thought for the potential effects on those around them, and the ripples that continue long after the stone is thrown into the pond.

Rant over. If you have any feedback, by all means, comment.

Blogger...

is slow as frozen molasses today.

I just took an English Lit. midterm...

....and I feel like I have been intellectually raped with a baseball bat covered in fish-hooks.

25 quotations from assorted texts.

"list author (if anonymous, specify), title of work, and what the signifigance of the quote is in terms of style, plot, literary conventions, characterization, &c."

in 30 minutes.

~1 minute per question.

there were easy ones, like:

"And Naegling snapped." (Beowulf, Anon.)

"This carpenter answerde, "Allas, my wif!
And shall she drenche? Allas, myn Alisoun!" (Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale)

"Send us the timely fruit of this same night." (Edmund Spenser, Epithalamion)

"When Offa's kinsman understood that the earl would not put up with cowardice, he let his beloved hawk fly from his hand toward the woods and advanced to the battle" (The Battle of Maldon, Anon.)

"And this they named the numbles, that knew such terms of art." (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Pearl Poet)

"The nick on his neck he naked displayed." (ibid.)

There were harder ones though.

Everyone was freaking out, thinking it had to be a joke. a minute a question? half the people handed in blank sheets. I got most of the answers, but in terms of completeness, if I was given a few more minutes, I'd have been able to do far better.

The other thing is, he only quoted from maybe eight or 10 of the readings; we did closer to thirty, so my head was polluted by all this other crap that I assumed would be on the test; like middle english lyrics, elizabethan lyrics, all sorts of short little crap things-- I am glad to have read them, but they were a waste of time in terms of studying for the exam.

Now I have to write three different papers, between now and tuesday, comparing different works from the class, and I have a Euro. Lit. midterm on Weds. that's going to be roughly the same deal. (same Prof.)

ouch.

It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have Goethe and Racine and Tasso and Danté and Poe and Hawthorne and Marmon-Silko and Morrison and all the other nonsense clouding everything.

odd morning in cyberspace

A couple of the sites I frequently visit are down, but the Internet Traffic Report says that everything is pretty much normal.


I checked the MeFi wiki for a status update, but some asshat had filled the page with pr0n links, so I had to fix that. wikis are good, but they rely on trust, and these days, well, who can you trust? Not linkspammers.

On an unrelated note, I did some calculations, and I am budgeted to $ 6.34 a day from now until the end of the semester.(not including bills; I'm pretending they don't exist.)

Anyone have any good ideas / resources for cheap vegetarian meals? Books are wonderful, but I have found that one cannot eat them.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

"Wood" as a word for insane.

This has been popping up in a lot of my recent reading, from Chaucer to Langland to the Pearl Poet. I was wondering where it came from, and now I have a better idea. Shame it's fallen out of use.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Dana Wireless by AlphaSmart

I absolutely MUST have this.


I didn't even know these things existed. It's love at first sight.

I intend to eventually get this; my laptop died today, and with the student pricing, this seems like a good deal.

Anybody want to help me out?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

History of Vegetarianism - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals....

"I once had a sparrow alight on my shoulder for a moment while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn."

"I have found repeatedly, of late years, that I cannot fish without falling a little in self-respect. I have tried it again and again. I have skill at it,and, like many of my fellows, a certain instinct for it, which revives from time to time, but always when I have done I feel it would have been better if I had not fished. I think that I do not mistake. It is a faint intimation, yet so are the first streaks of morning."

Friday, February 25, 2005

This poem raises the hair on my arms every time I read it. Just beautiful.

Love Sonnet XI

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
-Pablo Neruda

haiku for the year


spring

the crocus shoots push
up through the warming soil
straining for the sun.




summer

crickets sing loudly
in the sweet honeysuckle
through the brief, still night.




autumn

Persephone's fruit;
slowly sucking sweet pulp
from pomegranate seeds.




winter

the sun carves a path
slowly across the carpet
as the day slips by.




©2005 jrs

32,000 year old bacteria revived

via mcgraw at MetaFilter

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I knew about this....

But I did not know about all this other stuff.

You learn something new everyday.

Who knew what Chaldean meant?

More Hunter stuff

audio HST interviews: mp3
more audio HST interviews: mp3

Some more takes (columnists and authors) on HST:


Tom Wolfe


Joel Achenbach


Stephen Schwartz

Mckenna on Language

"Communication is real; it allows one mind to flow into another; it allows viewpoints to leap from one soul to another.

If you wanted to look for the thumbprint of the goddess on being, the phenomenon to look at is human language. Notice that it's a behavior. If someone's keeping their mouth shut you can't tell whether they're a verbal person or not. But once someone starts to talk, it's the most extraordinary kind of human behavior. It's that thoughts are downloaded into a symbolic notation composed of little mouth-noises, which then sail across acoustical space and are reconstructed in the brain of the listener, so that these thoughts are magically reconstructed in the brain of the listener. We take this for granted, but when you analyze it, it's an extraordinarily mysterious, almost, you could say, a supernatural power, that we exercise all the time."


-Terence Mckenna on Language, transcribed from a talk given upon the release of his book, "Food of the Gods"

mp3's here

Monday, February 21, 2005

Entelechy: another word of the day (week?)

entelechy: Definition and Much More From Answers.com

What a beautiful thing.

More Hunter....




Wikipedia Entry on HST


"4. Rude Music And The Sound Of Many Shotguns . . . Rude Vibes On A Saturday Evening In Vegas



We finally got into the suite around dusk, and my attorney was immediately on the phone to room service — ordering four club sandwiches, four shrimp cocktails, a quart of rum and nine fresh grapefruits. “Vitamin C,” he explained. “We’ll need all we can get.”

I agreed. By this time the drink was beginning to cut the acid and my hallucinations were down to a tolerable level. The room service waiter had a vaguely reptilian cast to his features, but I was no longer seeing huge pterodactyls lumbering around the corridors in pools of fresh blood.

The only problem now was a gigantic neon sign outside the window, blocking our view of the mountains — millions of colored balls running around a very complicated track, strange symbols & filigree, giving off a loud hum.

“Look outside,” I said.

“Why?”

“There’s a big .. . machine in the sky, . . . some kind of electric snake . . . coming straight at us.”

“Shoot it,” said my attorney.

“Not yet,” I said. “I want to study its habits.” "

-from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I'll probably be doing more HST stuff for the rest of the week.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

P.D Ouspensky: Method for Mind-Expansion.

Lucid Waking

It's almost like moving meditation; being truly present. I've read other bits by Ouspensky, here and there, and I agree with the nut of what Gurdjieff was trying to elucidate; we are, most of us, sleeping all the time. We think we are conscious, but we aren't. Ouspensky talked about "Remembering the self", and gave an account of how to try to cultivate this technique by being conscious and present while doing other things: walking, talking, &c.

I've been able to get snatches of what I believe they are trying for. When I meditate or do Chi Gong, I become much more receptive to what is "out there".

Hopefully, this can be used as an aid to writing; at the least it's mind-clearing, at best it's inspirational and perhaps will provide some grist for the intellectual mill.

Magical Realism

I was thinking about Gabriel Garcia Marquez' A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings today.

Magical Realism: Definitions

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

poem


Persephone's Fruit;
Slowly sucking sweet pulp
from pomegranate seeds.



©2004

The Best Pen

I love these. Once in a while, I may post products that I like; I'm not getting anything from it.

I present to you:


The Pilot Precise v5 Pen


I buy them in packs of 12. They're good for writing, doodling, taking notes...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Word of the day

i·bi·dem

adv. Abbr. ib. or ibid.

In the same place. Used in footnotes and bibliographies to refer to the book, chapter, article, or page cited just before.

[Latin ibdem. See i- in Indo-European Roots.]

One can use ibid. repeatedly, given that a source is clearly identified; Once a new source is cited, ibid. refers to that source.

Books that will induce a mindf*ck (idea)@Everything2.com

Books that will induce a mindf*ck (idea)@Everything2.com


This is an excellent list, and E2 is a great resource for many things.


I've read some, but most of these are on the "List"; that is, a list of books that I need to get to, eventually.

To clarify, a "Mindf*uck" is that which turns one's perceptions upside-down. Think of the movie version of "Fight Club". It's arguably my favorite type of writing, next to Metafiction. Danielewski's "House of Leaves : A Novel" is a perfect example, having many layers of Meta-. Sometimes, the two go hand-in-hand. A novel with footnotes, presenting itself as an academic or scholarly work, would fit that bill. I can't think of any offhand, but I know that I've read them.

Tim O'Brien's "In the Lake of the Woods" is close.

So, go enjoy warping your perceptions!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Word of the day

hi·er·o·phant
Pronunciation Key (hr--fnt, hr-, h-r-fnt)
n.
1. An ancient Greek priest who interpreted sacred mysteries, especially the priest of the Eleusinian mysteries.
2. An interpreter of sacred mysteries or arcane knowledge.
3. One who explains or makes a commentary.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophants : hieros, holy; see eis- in Indo-European Roots + -phants, one who shows (from phainein, phan-, to show. See bh-1 in Indo-European Roots).]

Was Bush coached?

More importantly, did the NYT deliberately not report it?

The Emperor's New Hump via MetaFilter

This was an issue mostly discussed online, immediately after the debates, and it ranged from reserved, sober speculation to the far-left "tinfoil hat" conspiracy theorist craziness. While I tend to be pretty cynical, I felt that I shouldn't judge either way at the time.

The fact that NYT didn't report it bothers me greatly. The idea of a "free" press in this country is incorrect. There is none, at least in terms of major media outlets.

Lexical FreeNet

Lexical FreeNet

An amazing "connected" thesaurus- this is a utility that shows relationships between words, including finding synonymous words, as per regular thesaurii, but it also will find more subtle connections, like rhymes and anagrams.

One can find "degrees of separation" between two words, choosing how many degrees desired.

It's a fun tool to play with.

The Word Spy

The Word Spy

nanopublishing, biostitute, and one of my favorites, at least in concept- the mobius fax

Tracking neologisms that are absorbed into common usage through popular culture.
Index by subject is here.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Everything you Need to Know About Writing Sucessfully: in Ten Minutes (Stephen King)

Stephen King tells us how.

This reminds me of William Strunk Jr.'s Rule #17: Omit Needless Words.

Really, the nut of the essay is this:

A. Be able to write decently.
B. Know your market.
C. Prune, prune, prune.

I am also reminded of Charles Bukowski: "Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink." No, wait, that's not it.... oh yes, it was this: "Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way."

Or what he said in this interview: "People just don’t know how to write down a simple easy line."

That interview referenced above is great, by the way.

Fun With Words

"Honorificabilitudinitatibus, 27 letters long, is the longest English word consisting strictly of alterating consonants and vowels."


Word Oddities

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

sorry about the comments....

....or rather, the lack therof. I just turned them on. If you have any comments on any of the previous posts, by all means, leave them here.

Relocation

Having moved, and really enjoying everything- freshness and clarity, I'm more in tune to things lately. I've been more aware.
Geese
a comma and an open parenthesis
join slowly in the sky
resembling a drunken angle bracket
drifting south

©2005

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

short short story

Anesthesia

	
	Waking up, he rolled onto his side and looked at the clock. 
It was early, probably too early to actually get up. He propped himself up on one arm and listened. There was

somebody down on the couch sleeping, their slow, rhythmic breathing indicating deep
slumber. Otherwise the house was quiet.
He slowly sat up, tucking his legs underneath, and felt around for a glass. Finding
one, he nestled it between his legs and felt around carefully for the bottle. It was in the
same spot he generally put it in, and he uncapped it and took a large mouthful. The
bourbon went down in a hot ball, and he silently burped. Pouring a glassful, he recapped
the bottle, giving the cap a deft spin. Eyes adjusting to the semi-darkness, he took stock of
his surroundings. It was a cramped loft-space, with a vaulted ceiling that only cleared his
head by a two or three feet when sitting; he had to shuffle around on his knees. There
were two framed cutouts to his left that served as windows from which he could look out
on the living room. He liked this. It made him feel like the guy in the t.v. show "taxi" in his
little booth, surveying the comings and goings of the others. He had two national flags,
made out of filmy polyester, that he had tacked up for drapes. German and French. There
were pinups on the walls and the ceiling. He could make out Miss February's Chiclet teeth,
smiling innocently in the dark. He had a makeshift bookshelf with a selection of books that
he liked to reread, and a pile of unused medical textbooks. Assorted papers and magazines
on the floor, with a collection of VCR tape cases. There was a sheet hanging from the
ceiling, blocking a set of stairs that led down to the living room, 13 or 14 shallow steps.
Once he could see, he grabbed a pack of cigarettes and shook one out. The match
flared and ruined his night-vision, so he felt around for the ashtray, putting his fingers in
the ashes before pulling it closer. He wiped his fingers on the sheet. He alternated drags on
the cigarette with gulps of bourbon, and he smiled in the darkness. He pushed the German
flag-drape aside, and looked down. It was Mike on the couch. Finishing off the glass, he
uncapped the bottle and refilled the glass halfway. He lit another cigarette with the end of
the previous one. It was starting to get a little light out, enough to see the smoke rings he
blew. He put the butt down, and reached over and lit a candle. The bourbon was beginning
to really kick in, and he rubbed his face, pressing hard on his eyes. His stomach gurgled.
He knelt and shuffled over to the stairs, drink and smoke in hand. Avoiding two steps he
knew were particularly loud, he padded down, and then at the bottom of the steps,
realized that he wasn't wearing any clothes. He muttered "Shit." Not recalling who was
there besides the housemates, he went back up and put on a pair of blue surgical scrubs,
throwing the cigarettes in the back pocket. Going back down the steps, his stomach was
more insistent, growling loudly. Picking his way around empty beer and liquor bottles, and
red plastic cups with cigarette butts floating in stale beer, he went to the bathroom and
turned on the shower. When the bathroom was filled with steam, he disrobed and got
under the water, moving the bar of soap over on the ledge, and placing the glass of
bourbon next to it. He urinated and let the hot water run over him. His stomach gurgled
again, and he doubled over and vomited, the amber liquid diluting and running around his
feet. Holding on to his knees, he dry-heaved a few times, coughed, straightened up, and
had a sip of his drink. He turned off the water, toweled off, and threw the scrubs back on.
When he went back into the living room, Mike was sitting up, watching the
television. "'Sup Jeff."
"G'morning, Mike."
"Sleep well?"
"Yeah, not bad, but I think I only got an hour or two-- it was a late night."
"Always a late night for you, dude." He stretched and yawned, turning back to the
television.
"Yeah, well, you know how it is, someone’s gotta make up for all the lightweights
around here. fucking grad students, you’d think they were eighty years old."
"Shit, man, are you drinking now?" Mike said, shaking his head.
"Yes. I'm thirsty. I need sustenance."
"Whatever, man. you're fucking crazy, I swear."
"Like I said, gotta balance out the lightweights."
"It's six o'clock on a Sunday. you know? Sunday morning."
"What, you're religious now?"
"I'm just saying. Nobody drinks at six in the morning on a Sunday. It's crazy."
"Well, I do. And it's good for you, and you should try it. Try watching the morning
show with a beer or four-- it's much more entertaining."
"No thanks, man. Don't get defensive-- I don't care what you do, really. I'm just
saying you're pretty hard-core." He added as an afterthought "Six o'clock, shit."

Jeff sat down at the coffeetable across from Mike, and lit a cigarette. They sat
quietly for a while, the television droning on. After some time, he got up, went upstairs to
the loft, and refilled his glass again halfway. Looking down to the common room, he saw
the rest of the people who were waking up slowly trickling into the living room, one in the
kitchen, brewing a pot of coffee. There were the housemates, Mike and Walter, and a
smattering of girls who had spent the night, mostly graduate students in the anthropology
department at the university. He grabbed one of the unmarked VCR tape cases on the
floor and shook it lightly, listening to the rattle. There was a muffled metallic clink. He
tucked it into his pants and crawled over to the bookshelf, selecting "A History of the
Boston City Hospital 1905-1964". He opened it up to the middle, and took two small wax
paper baggies out of the hole he had cut into the center of the book. He went back down
with the case and the baggies, and sat down at the coffeetable.
"Anyone mind if I get high?" He asked this to no one in particular.
One of the girls said "You asked us that last night, and you went ahead and did it
anyway. Why bother asking?"
"Well, it's the classy thing to do, and I'm a high-class motherfucker."
“Does your whole high-class existence revolve around ‘getting high’?”
“Yes, now shut the fuck up. is it any business of yours?”
“You’re not right. you’re just....not....right.”
Ignoring her, he opened the case and pulled out a bent-handled teaspoon, which he
placed on the table, along with the baggies and some cotton balls. He took out a short
orange-capped syringe, and placed it lengthwise in his mouth. He got up and went in the
kitchen, got a glass of water, and went back and sat down again. Opening one of the
baggies, he asked "Anyone want some?", muffled by the needle in his mouth.
"No way." said Terri, one of the girls. A couple of people came over and sat down
to watch. He emptied the bag into the spoon, and drew water into the syringe, then
squirted it into the spoon. He flicked the lighter, and held it under the spoon until the
liquid sizzled. Putting a tiny bit of cotton in the spoon, he stuck the needle in the cotton
and drew up some liquid. Everyone watched. Setting the needle on the table, he lit a
cigarette and opened a pre-packaged alcohol swab, running it over the crook of his arm on
the inside of his elbow. Switching the syringe for the cigarette, he held it up to the light
and flicked it.
"Why do you do that?" asked Walter, one of the housemates.
"To get the air bubbles out. The bubbles can give you a heart attack."
"Heart attack? you're shooting drugs and you're worried about a heart attack?"
"Shut up, man, you fucking asked."
"Whatever." Walter shook his head, and sat back watching the television,
monitoring with a sidelong glance every now and then.
Satisfied with the flicking, Jeff grabbed an adjustable green cat-collar that doubled
as a tourniquet, and wrapped it around his bicep. Pulling it tight, he put the end in his
mouth to hold it. He tapped his arm with a finger, and selected a spot in the crook of his
arm. He pushed the needle in and eased back on the plunger. A little spot of blood
appeared, and he let the strap fall from his mouth.
"And here we go." He slowly pushed on the plunger, the small red spot
disappearing, along with the rest of the liquid in the syringe. They all watched. One girl
held her hand over her mouth, as if she had just tasted sour milk. He pulled the syringe out
and a small drop of blood formed on the skin where the needle was. He started counting
aloud, as he put a cottonball on the spot and bent his arm around it.
"Seven, six, five, four, three, oh, oh, holy shit." He leaned back in the chair, and his
mouth hung open, still holding his arm up and bent. "Ohh. oh, god." He reached over with
the other hand and pulled the tourniquet off slowly, letting it drop into his lap.
"What does it feel like?" asked one of the girls.
"When it’s good dope, it’s like an hour long orgasm in a warm bubbling
Jacuzzi--no, better than that. But I can't really put it into words. It's like God is kissing
your insides." His eyes were half-open, and he was absentmindedly scratching his belly and
crotch. "But when you don't have it, or you run out...." he trailed off.
Walter got up and went into the kitchen.
“How do you know it’s good? I mean, if you can’t like sample it or whatever? or
can you? I don’t know anything about this stuff.”
Jeff scratched, and was silent. Pans were banging on the stove in the other room.
“Well,” he began, “I knew this particular shit would be good because last week there was
something on the news about how all these people were dying in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn
from heroin overdoses. This means that it’s really pure. The best shit is the shit that’s
killing motherfuckers.” He paused, scratched. “So I knew to ask the guy for the good
stuff. He knows.” The overnight girl stared.
“You mean you got that stuff deliberately?”
“Of course. What, you think I’m going to spend my money on crap?”
“I guess not.” She said this while studying the floor.
The banging of the pots continued, everyone flinching with the BANG each time.
No one spoke. After a few minutes Jeff got up, still scratching, and packed everything
back into the tape case. He went up the stairs and sat on the mattress, smoking. He closed
the German flag-drape. He laid down and let the world drift away for a while. After some
time, he became aware that people were leaving, and he sat up. The front door shut, and
the house was quiet. He poured a drink and went downstairs, turning on the television.
The produce guy on the morning show was saying to “Never ever ever” put tomatoes in
the refrigerator because they lost their flavor. He heard the distinctive sound of Walter’s
truck pulling into the driveway, and mentally sighed. The front door opened, and Walter
came in and sat down. Jeff said “where’d everybody go?”
“The beach. Nevermind. I cannot believe you.” He squinted, looking at the
television. “I let you live here, rent-free, and you shoot up in front of guests. Are you
kidding me?” He looked over at Jeff. “Now I look like a fucking idiot. Is that how you
treat a friend?” He got up and started to pace across the room.
“I don’t suppose so.” Jeff continued to stare at the television.
“I mean, I thought that you were down on your luck, this was a temporary thing,
and you’ve been here for three months, you have no job, you stopped going to classes,
you were a month from going on to your residency, and now this.” Walter threw his arms
up in the air. “This is absolute bullshit. You think I’m stupid? You think I don’t know
what’s going on? You need help, man. You do realize that, right?”
“I could use a couple of bucks, that’s for certain.”
“What? Are you insane? You’ve got to get out. You’ve got a week. I don’t care
where you go, I’ll give you a ride to wherever, but you have to leave.”
“So that’s it, huh? Thanks mom.”
“Yeah, that’s it.”
“If that’s it, that’s it, I guess.”
“Yeah. Like I said, you can stay for the next week in order to get your stuff
together, make phone calls, whatever, but I swear, if you take anything, if you go near my
room, I will kick your ass from here to the next life. I’m not joking.”
“All right Walter.”
“Okay. I’m doing this because I can’t take this craziness anymore, and I know it’s
trite, but it’s for your own good.”
“All right Walter. I got it.”
“Okay.” He blew out a long breath and went to the other end of the house.
Jeff got up and went back upstairs. He sat for a while, smoking. He sat and
thought about the grads at the beach with the white sand, sunlight glistening off the waves
and children laughing. He thought about wearing a suit and a red silk tie, maybe a clean
white lab coat. The smell of an expensive leather briefcase filled with patient histories. A
black BMW. He poured another drink, and wondered if it was still too early to call the
guy in Brooklyn.


©2005

Sunday, January 30, 2005

How to Deconstruct Almost Anything

How to Deconstruct Almost Anything

"In fact, one of the beliefs that seems to be characteristic of the postmodernist mind set is the idea that politics and cleverness are the basis for all judgments about quality or truth, regardless of the subject matter or who is making the judgment."

Online Etymology Dictionary

Online Etymology Dictionary

Because words, especially the Etymologies of words, make me Hot.

The Postmodernism Generator: Communications From Elsewhere

The Postmodernism Generator: Communications From Elsewhere: "The essay you have just seen is completely meaningless and was randomly generated by the Postmodernism Generator. To generate another essay, follow this link. If you like this particular essay and would like to return to it, follow this link for a bookmarkable page."

Isn't that neat?

Openinghooks.us Opening Hooks, the hook project

Opening Hooks, the hook project�welcome

A collection of opening passages from stories and novels. You can vote and make submissions.

Serious Reading....

Complete Reading List for the semester:

James Baldwin, Going to Meet the Man
Toni Morrison, Sula
Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller
Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters
Art Spiegelman, The Complete Maus
Junot Diaz, Drown
Sapphire, Push
Werner Sollors, (selected texts)


Selected Readings from:


Giovanni Da Verrazano
Alvar Núñez Cabeza De Vaca
Samuel De Champlain
John Smith
William Bradford
Thomas Morton
John Winthrop
Anne Bradstreet
Mary Rowlandson
Cotton Mather
John Woolman
St. Jean De Crèvecoeur
William Bartram
John Edwards
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Paine
Thomas Jefferson
Phyllis Wheatley
Assorted Native American Texts
Washington Irving
James Fenimore Cooper
William Cullen Bryant
Caroline Stansbury Kirkland
Francis Parkman
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Margaret Fuller
Henry David Thoreau
Edgar Allen Poe
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Herman Melville
Henry Wadswoth Longfellow
Abraham Lincoln
Frederick Douglass
James Russel Lowell
Walt Whitman


Dante La vita nuova
Tasso Jerusalem Delivered
Racine Phedra
Goethe Faust
Leopardi Selected poems
Baudelaire Les Fleurs du Mal
Flaubert Salammbo
Rilke Duino Elegies
Hesse Steppenwolf


Cædmons' Hymn
The Dream of the Rood
The Battle of Maldon
Beowulf
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Chaucer: Prologue to Canterbury Tales, Miller's Tale, Wife of Bath, Pardoner's Tale
William Langland, assorted
The Wakefield Second Shepherd's Play
Assorted Medieval Lyrics
Sir Thomas Malory, Morte Darthur
Assorted Elizabethan Lyrics
Edmund Spenser, The Faery Queene, Epithalamion
Shakespeare, assorted sonnets, Twelfth Night
John Webster, The Dutchess of Malfi
John Donne, assorted songs and sonnets
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
Thomas Browne, assorted selections from Religio Medici and Hydrotaphia
Ben Jonson, assorted
Robert Herrick, assorted
George Herbert, assorted
Andrew Marvell, assorted
Richard Crashaw, assorted
Henry Vaughn, assorted
John Milton, Paradise Lost


Good Stuff.


The best paper airplane in the world!

Paper airplane - The best paper airplane in the world!


I am going to build a fleet of these and launch them from my 2nd floor terrace. They're æsthetically pleasing as well as flying (gliding) beautifully.

Poynter Online - Fifty Writing Tools

Fifty Writing Tools By Roy Peter Clark.

Excellent advice for journalists, primarily, but I can see the value in using these with all writing.

Bitten by the opera bug.

Puccini's La Boheme libretto, complete opera translation in English

I'm trying to find an online source for the libretto for Turandot- if anyone knows of one, please direct me to it. NPR played a recording of Turandot at the Met in NYC today, and I enjoyed it immensely. They're doing La Boheme on Feb. 19th, I think.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Middle English Pornography

Middle English Pornography
I have a noble cock.

The following text is from this link.

"1 I haue a gentil cook,
2 Crowyt me day.
3 He doth me rysyn erly,
4 My matyins for to say.
5 I haue a gentil cook,
6 Comyn he is of gret.
7 His comb is of reed corel,
8 His tayil is of get.
9 I haue a gentyl cook,
10 Comyn he is of kynde.
11 His comb is of red scorel,
12 His tayl is of Inde.
13 His legges ben of asor,
14 So geintil and so smale.
15 His spores arn of syluer qwyt,
16 In to the worte wale.
17 His eynyn arn of cristal,
18 Lokyn al in aumbyr,
19And euery nyght he perchit hym
20 In myn ladyis chaumbyr.

"Loose Translation:
"I have a noble cock
Who crows for me at daybreak.
He rouses me up early
To say my matins.
I have a noble cock.
He comes from great ones.
His comb is of red corel.
His tail is of jet.
I have a noble cock,
He comes from kin [or nature];
His comb is of red squirrel,
His tail is of indigo.
His legs are of azure,
So noble and so slender.
His spurs are of white silver
As far as the wartwale.
His eyes are of crystal,
Set all in amber,
And every night he perches himself
In my lady's chamber."

Now that's classy!