” I just can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone who has been inside me.”
Sex and the Shameless.
TODAY FROM AMERICA:
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:
Yesterday we went to Denio’s Auction, in Roseville. It is a large mostly outdoor market combining a flea market with a farmer’s market. Although you can buy almost anything you want there, you rarely end up buying what you actually need. I bought two 1970 era Hawaiian shirts for $2 each, one with images of old Woodys along its border.
Pookie’s new shirt
Nikki got an arctic military jacket with a fur-fringed hood he insisted on wearing as we walked around in the 80-degree heat. H bought a very large picture/painting of John Cena leaping feet first toward the viewer. In the afternoon, we swam a lot and that evening we drank a bottle of Lone Buffalo Port given to me by the Dall’s that I had been saving for a special occasion. The next morning Nikki left to return to Italy — Arrivederci Nikki. ____________________________________
I am uncertain about what to pack for my trip to Washington DC next week. The weather has been brutal back there. I have only a small carry-on. Will winter still squat on the East Coast or will spring slide in on time for my trip? It’s tweener time, a time between seasons. How does one pack for that?
My daughter and I had planned this trip for the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC. We have fond memories of traveling there together many years ago when the trees were in bloom. Here in the golden hills, the cherry blossoms have come and gone. Their petals fluttered to the ground, were swept about in eddies of spring breezes or rudely disturbed by leaf blowers until they turned brown and morphed into suburban detritus.
Blossoms before the fall
The following weekend we returned to Denio’s. I refrained from adding to my wardrobe because my refined fashion sense was unsatisfied with this week’s stock of $2 Hawaiian shirts.
Pookie at Denio’s
HRM, however, spent his Denio’s budget enjoying the balloon ride at the market.
Then we ate dinner at a new positively reviewed Chinese restaurant in a strip mall in Folsom. On the next day, HRM had his first flag football game. His team won 18 to 8.
These seemingly innocent days ended when my happy pills protection collapsed and despair raced through the breech like the Russians at Stalingrad. Interest in continued existence crumbled before the humiliation of knowing that I have so much less a cause to feel this way than others (in fact I have none to think of). I know it’s physical, like a nearsighted baseball player who has forgotten to wear his contacts. To him, the ball appears fuzzy and gray but he knows it’s not that way at all. But, it is his reality. He has no option but to swing and hope no one laughs. Or as Odd Thomas points out:
“We are not strangers to ourselves; we only try to be.”
Koontz, Dean. Odd Thomas: An Odd Thomas Novel (p. 384). Random House Publishing Group.
On Monday SWAC returned to Thailand. I prepared for my DC trip. Richard and HRM braced themselves to spend the week alone together.
A Snarky Trip Through Poetry or Skipping Among the Doggerel
I hate poetry. At least, I hate wading through modern poetry to find something that I enjoy. It’s like plowing through Facebook to find something to like. Thankfully, any Facebook entry that takes more than a tenth of a second to absorb I skip anyway.
Poetry originated as stories with sound effects to help remember them. Later the rhythm of the language developed into different forms. English, at about the time of the Renaissance, began importing foreign forms. In Italian, a sonnet could recite a laundry list and still sound good. English sonnets suck.
Modern poetry it seems to me falls into a few recognizable categories.
First there is imagist shit. You know, a poem about a leaf on a tree that is incomprehensible, never mentions trees and uses the word leaf only once, if at all.
The sun warms my body
It spreads to the world around me
I think of you enfolded in its arms
My sweaty balls itch.
Or, we have love poems celebrating modern sexual sensibilities.
I dream of doing you doggy style,
In the meadow of the night
Like comets streak across the sky
Striking deep into my heart.
Or, poems focused on common domestic scenes.
Stumbles across the floor
Through the tortured shadow
of the window frame.
Takes a shit on the hardwood
Or attempts at humor:
I saw Mickey Mouse
As Steamboat Wille
On the telly
We both have skinny arms
But I can’t whistle.
Or sociological and political doggerel:
I am Wo-Man
I break stallions to harness
They ride me for my pleasure
They tend my flocks
And in the end
I paste their memories
in my scrapbook.
Among the foreign forms, haiku seems popular today even though it makes no sense in any language but Japanese. Take the quote at the beginning of T&T above:
I can’t go anywhere
Without bumping into someone
Who’s been inside me.
(18 syllables instead of 17 but close enough.)
Rap on the other hand, is real poetry. Although it is derived from black urban argot, it reflects the dialect and the social experience well. Its explosive beat at the end of each phase welcomes violent urban images. For this and other reasons, it is difficult to replace,
Hey muthafucka, I’ll cap your ass
A thing of beauty is a joy forever
and expect it to sound right. On the other hand, who knows or more importantly who cares?
(Note: If you think I am kidding [and, if truth be known, I am. I love Denise Duhamel’s Snow White’s Acne], here is an excerpt from John Ashford’s poem Daffy Duck in Hollywood:
Just now a magnetic storm hung in the swatch of sky
Over the Fudds’ garage, reducing it–drastically–
To the aura of a plumbago-blue log cabin on
A Gadsden Purchase commemorative cover.
Suddenly all is
At least, I agree with Ashford that, “Suddenly all is Loathing.”
Or, this snippet from Nick Flynn’s Bag of Mice:
I dreamt your suicide note
was scrawled in pencil on a brown paper bag,
& in the bag were six baby mice.)
2015: The Social Security System in running a surplus of over $150 billion a year and has run a surplus every year since 1983. The accumulated surplus over that time exceeds $2 trillion. So where has it gone? Mostly it has been used by Congress to reduce the political impact of tax cuts, to pay for unbudgeted military spending and to provide for social welfare. A significant portion of the national debt that the political parties complain about is the money owed to the nation’s seniors. Money those seniors had deposited into the trust fund for their retirement years.
2015: Parasites feed off many independent organisms in nature. If the host dies the parasites do not survive. Among humans, if the rich die the poor and the middle class will continue as always. If the poor and middle class disappear, the rich do also.
A. Xander’s Perceptions:
My disability and lack of income — having to live on what I get from Social Security — don’t make me all that marketable. I did date a really nice woman a few times, and she was looking for an instant hook-up, but she lives in Santa Clarita, and the kids were still in high school for another 18 months, and I wasn’t going to leave them until after Kristen graduated. She didn’t care that I was disabled. I told her in our very first phone conversation that I was essentially bedridden for weeks or months at a time. Her reaction? “I prefer to think that my presence would be helpful.”
So, I’d gotten color, was close to having the leader in my hand . . . and I broke it off, to use tuna fishing jargon. So what did the dude she married look like? Um, brown hair with gray; mustache and beard, kept from being unruly; and glasses.
Oh well. But maybe Il Papa will rewrite the Catholic canon and supply some defrocked nuns or whatevers. But who’d have thought we’d ever have a Pope who was every bit the socialist I am???
B. Today’s Paraprosdokian*:
“I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.”
(*Note: Paraprosdokian is not an Armenian rock band.)
C. Today’s Poem:
Now as I was young and easy under the
About the lilting house and happy as the
grass was green. . . .
Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days,
that time would take me. . . .
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
“Fear breeds superstition,”
Bento Spinosa (“Benedictus, Baruch)
“His vanity required constant stimulation, and constant proof that the ongoing creation of his selfhood was a project that he himself controlled.”
Catton, Eleanor. The Luminaries (Man Booker Prize) (p. 328). Little, Brown and Company.
A path less taken