Friday, February 27, 2009

Where the mind repairs

While watching my Maine Coon cat Reggie at the end of his tether at twilight, I’ve just read a back of the book (mag-end) piece by Eric Hanson about celebrity encounters in which Swoosie Kurtz is the sightette.

I think all writers should be required to write fluff-pieces like this forcing them to reveal who they think is (or was) a celeb, leaving us a voluntary dig into their (if not our) time. Just how fluffy were they? The names they drop will reveal all.

Example: I could begin with Somebody we all know & admire (John ‘Kenneth’ Galbraith) & work my way down to an as-yet-not Somebody who I know & admire (poet Karl Kadie) sparing you their specifics, directing you instead to Google for proof of their relative existence on The Web.

Which is where the mind now repairs, right?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


In 1952, @ 10, I read a sci-fi pulpmag story in which a far-future monk secretly uses his tunic buttons as a crypto-rosary. I'm now told it's "The Quest for Saint Aquin," (1951) by William Anthony Parker White, (pseud.) Anthony Boucher.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weighty matters

Weighty matters weigh heavily as the Taurus
carbon observatory falls to Earth & sinks.

Mardi Gras offers one last day’s distraction.

Obama gets even seriouser with Congress;
Bernanke says the recession will lift this year.

Anybody still running on hope is wondering:

What in hell are the Republicans thinking?
Can’t they see we see right through them?

(24 FEB 09, Santa Clara CA)v2

Speculative poem

I’m thinking of writing a sci-fi poem. You’d think - having grown up on sci-fi, it’d be easy, but it isn’t; I just don’t know where to begin. BEMs (bug-eyed monsters) are just not my thing, nor are rocket-ships. Dimensions are more like it, but which?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Das Leben der Anderen (2005-6)

Yesterday Anita & I watched a Netflix DVD: "The Lives of Others" (2005-6), in German, w/subtitles. Here is a par. from the New Yorker review by Anthony Lane (12 FEB 2007).

It is a tribute to the richness of the film that one cannot say for sure who the hero is. The most prominent figure is Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), yet if you passed him on the street you wouldn’t give him a 2nd glance, or even a 1st. He would spot you, however, & file you away in a drawer at the back of his mind. Wiesler, based in East Berlin, is a captain in the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, better known as the Stasi—the state security service, which, by the mid-1980s, employed more than 90K personnel. In addition, a modest 170K East Germans became unofficial employees, called upon to snoop & snitch for the honor—or, in practical terms, the survival—of the state. “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” Jesus said. The German Democratic Republic offered its own version: Watch thy neighbor, then pick up thy phone. The movie begins, fittingly, in 1984...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

neoCreative Acccounting

How many Republican governors
does it take to flummox a stimulus?
Just as many as are running in 2012.
This isn’t the New Math, it’s the old,
based on campaign contributions;
their fingers are already stuck
in corporate pies: whenever
the pies pop open, they sing
about neo-creative accounting,
chirping ‘less’ but taking more.
Sheer duplicity accounts for it.

(22 FEB 09, Santa Clara CA)v3

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Poetic Endorphins

For years now, I’ve realized that writing poetry releases endorphins in my brain; no matter how anxious or despairing I am, writing or editing a poem acts as a temporary anodyne, restoring my self-confidence. What makes me a poet evidently seems to keep me going.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Drought Rain

(AP) What could be the largest storm of the season is bringing heavy rain & snow to sections of CC with winter storm warnings for the Sierra Nevada & flood advisories from SF Bay south to L.A.

Here on SF Bay, during "The Rainy Season" (=Winter), it's pouring much needed rain during what they say is a drought: reservoirs are low, streams down to a trickle, etc. People are rain-shy here, but say "we need the rain..." as they go out into it. Today is Presidents' Day & the Santa Clara Sr Citz pool is closed; I fear getting wet, having grown up on MA Bay where I often had bronchitis, later, pneumonia. Deep inside me a sick little boy lies abed, watching a Vicks Vaporizer bubbling away....

NorCal pours, while its
weathercasters warn of
drought & reservoirs rise
from 49-52% of normal.
Californians airily say:
“We need all this rain”
& testily step out into it.
As a MA Bay transplant,
torrential rain, hurricanes,
coastal floods, all seem
normal to me as I watch
all this from 4 floors up
in Silicon Valley.

(18 FEB 09, Santa Clara CA)v7

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kiss my B&W

“Kiss my B&W ass” says Obama
asked how he intends to enlist more
Republicans in his stimulus bill. “If you
think nothing but tax-breaks work,
join Dubya in Dallas, getting wasted.
We have serious work to do.” No more
Mr. Nice Guy, Obama unsmiles; hardass
Republicans know their bluff's called;
McCain stiffly folds his one bluff hand.
Palin waves hers from way up in AK.

(10 FEB 09, Santa Clara CA)v9

Monday, February 9, 2009

"The Reader/Der Vorleser" (2008)

Last nite, at what Ivo called a 'civilized' hour (7pm), we went to West San Jose's Santana Row CineArts theater & saw "The Reader" (2008) starring Ralph Fiennes & Kate Winslett playing a Nazi-era working-class German whose 'moral idiocy' led her take job as an Auschwitz guard after one at a Siemens plant. Her tragic flaw is that on trial, she is too simple-minded to not admit that it was a voluntary choice (thus condemning herself) & to disguise that she was illiterate then (finally only learning to read in prison.) The more I tell you about her will only complicate your sympathy for her, but I believe that the only commensurate (forget just) penalty for her & her cohort of 6 female guards is death (for having 'selected' women & children for gassing), yet that isn't the sentence pronounced. Instead, she gets life (serving only 20 yrs) & the others 4.5 years each because they claim "she was in charge" (she wasn't, but doesn't dare admit her illiteracy - which could easily prove it.) Calling her life a tragedy only diminishes the tragic deaths of her victims, so what are we left with? Are we ready to be responsible for all the crimes we committed on our jobs? Or do we believe we’re trapped in History’s web? Did we perform our jobs just to live or only just to survive? If we finally realize our guilt, when & what type of justice do we administer to ourselves as both victims & victimizers? Which wrist do we slash first?

(08-9 FEB 09, Santa Clara CA)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Got starch?

How much starch (if any) does Obama
like in his dress shirts? Some? None?
How’s about a reasonable amount ? Is
he a no-iron, drip-dry guy? Ask his shirt:
“How much fresh sweat does he work up
on an average day?”(Answer:) Lots more
than you actually get to see, soaking in
sweat as he re-nominates his cabinet;
cool to look at, but sizzling in his suit.
Solution: do it all in a Bulls uniform.
Let righteous sweat fly where it may!

(04 FEB 09, Santa Clara CA)v6

Monday, February 2, 2009


People say they don’t read,
meaning books: thick blocks
of thin printed paper. But
everybody reads everything:
food-labels, traffic signs, manga,
newspapers, computer screens.
Like this one, right now.

(01 FEB 09, Santa Clara CA)v7

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I don’t drive; I just walk
to the nearest bustop, ride
to the local train station,
get off at the last station,
switch to the subway, catch
a bus going up-hill, walk
up the street, up the steps,
using the cities' innermost
transportational links.

(01 FEB 09, Santa Clara CA)v9