Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Form Fitting

It's a Procrustean bed of their own making.

They made their Procrustean bed -- let them lie in it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Democrat

After an overnight five hours of sleep, I did my morning work, shopped for potatoes and meatloaf, heard a lot about the financial collapse, stripped my bed and washed the sheets, listened to the stocks fall, scraped dishes of egg, watched ten minutes of the hard-guy movie Heat, the armored-truck explosion punctuating each grind of my teeth against pecan-laced cereal, wrote five impassioned letters to my senators, committee chairs, and reps, and waited.

Just waited for the clothes to dry.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bobby Orr's German Hour's Up

Herr . . . er . . . her whore's air errs our heir's hair

Almost All-Purpose Line

'X' with a pull-date old enough to have a bar mitzvah

The Verge Of Vitality

Movement in the dreams of bacteria:

Deep will, quiet sound


When the plane landed, I found myself lifting my exhausted head off the Denny's counter top.

The eggs were cold, and two streaks of coffee incised trompe l'oeil gulleys on the outside of the cup and dried there like last season's riverbed.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The woman and her daughter went to Europe where the woman got bitten by a dog on Corfu. People were there to translate 'tetanus', and a local clinic with unfamiliar-looking tongue depressors and band-aids that were called something else.

They reassured her that the incidence of rabies on the island was very, very small. In the evening, the tour ship served small cherry tomatoes and water from springs in the Trentino-Alto Adige-Sudtirol. The sea was nice under the slivered moon, and she was nervous.

Word Sprinkles

1) instruct / construct -- construct / instruct

2) calculus / callouses /calcium

3) pi / torsion / agon

4) measure -- weld words

5) hoist: city -- fingers: philosophy

6) [done in a circle] --circuit: music of the spheres

7) work sun mold water

8) flange / tradition -- load / future

9) ions / bread / weld -- strong / corrugate / milk

10) valence / tone / pendant / orbit

11) music: steel

Disease This !

1) Over 140 / 90 and still climbing

2) Hypertensive . . . And Proud

3) Inside Me: HBP -- The Silent Killer


If there is such a thing as The Greatest Gen

I don't know if it's the one

Who had ten minutes to sit with Sartre

Or the one who sat for a lost decade

Between the stools of Gertrude Stein

And Anais Nin, or neither of the two.

For an afternoon of band music, it was Lincoln,

And for a fife's tune was the Founders.

Carnegie was pentitent for his. And ours,

Ours of Newts and Dubs,

We ghosts just move our mouth.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Being Visited

The thunderstorm comes on quickly. It is Wyoming.

Onto the porch pads a wet dog. It has clear marks of abuse.

They dry it off and feed it. It falls asleep in the kitchen and the dad stays with it.

They get a good couple of months, good weather. It manages brightness.

The two girls love the new dog. It only takes a minute or two to frame their three faces.

Later on, another thunderstorm hits. It is a shock to the whole family that the dog disappears.

Woman Times Two

1) The case against Hillary as Presidential standard-bearer was this:

If elected, her spouse would reside in the White House and be, arguably, a daily influence if not actual, unconfirmed advisor -- a problem only in that her spouse has already served the maximum two terms as President residing in the White House. This is not unconstitutional. This does raise 'Constitutional eyebrows', an alert, that earlier, fairly recent power hasn't been sufficiently severed.

2) The case against Sarah Palin as Vice-Presidential standard-bearer is this:

Had anyone stood blindfolded in any American shopping mall, been twirled around, then stopped to find the first woman they stumbled into, the odds would be strong of picking someone about as adequate.

Now And In The Future

Some speculation plays with an idea that there is already a 'future' out there, in place, at some other dimension, just waiting to happen. It's ready to fold itself into our living fabric as time comes.

Some other speculation, based (it seems) on physical theories derived from quantum mechanics, has it that there are innumerable 'futures' that accord with innumerable current universes.

Fatalism grows from the first. Nothing we do hasn't already been foretold, since wherever we aim, we will reach what is already there.

Implied by the second is confusion over what is 'real': we are living our lives, but theoretically may also very well be living our lives in many other ways. Who are we?

The second may also suggest to us a wealth of resources (uh, in this universe, borrowing metaphorically from the other) and options for what we do want to do.

That gives us license, but no further direction than the person who says I don't know what to do. Worse: the person who says I'm doing this because I say so.

More On These Dances

[Mickey's] Monkey (bending w/alternating one-arm high/thumb out/banana hold)
Madison (languorous legs)

Twist (hips/elbows)
Mashed Potatoes (balls of feet)
Jerk (yanking shoulders/wrists and snapping spine thrust)

Swim ('freestyle' arms)
[Funky] Chicken
Pony (active spine/thighs hopping and arms-out/fists-parallel 'reins'-holding)

Stroll (relaxed falling ankles)

Frug (rapid arm pulls?)
Hully Gully (line dance changing steps)
Shimmy (quick shudder revolve arms straight down A frame)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Land-Locked Countries

--Africa: 13

Burkina Faso
Central African Republic


--Asia: 13




--Europe: 10



Czech Republic


--North America: 0


--South America: 2


1) Almost 1/5 of these begin with the letter (and corresponding sound) 'B'.

2) Almost one-third of these begin with either the letter 'B' or the letter 'A'.

3) The longer the 'resident continent' has had hominids, the more official countries there are.

4) The newer the 'sweep' of 'civilized' countries, the fewer the official countries there are.

How Wars Are Won

13 Rules Of War (Bevin Alexander):

1) Strike at enemy weakness

2) Defend, then attack

3) Hold one place, strike another

4) Feigned retreat

5) Central Position

6) Employ superior weapon

7) Drive stake at enemy's heart

8) Block enemy's retreat

9) Land an overwhelming blow

10) Stroke at a weak spot

11) Envelop on all sides (caldron battle)

12) Uproar east, attack west

13) Maneuvers on the rear

With Thee, I Speak, Baby

Celebrities with whom I feel I might hold honest conversation with, making allowance for differential in power, wealth, personal achievement, stage of life, and profession. Alphabetically:

Lauren Bacall
Warren Beatty
Kate Blanchett

Humphrey Bogart
Jill Clayburgh
Sammy Davis, Jr.

Katherine Hepburn
Angelica Huston
Glenda Jackson

Paul Newman
Gregory Peck
Edward G. Robinson

Gena Rowlands

Martin Scorsese
Juliet Stevenson

Meryl Streep

Nine women. Seven men. Two English, the rest yanks.

Internal Debate

My way:

No way these jots 'go elegant'

staircase in a molecular asymmetry

rather hemi-hedrality.

More 'bull elephant'.

No way!


Public Education

Tradesman's literacy


Scribal literacy

Burb Haiku

Lawn water

The neighborhood's a village

People's sweat

Bad, Bad Double Date

Look at me let you.

Get -- I can't, over this.

Stop stepping my dog.

Two cooks broth the spoil -- Man! Eee!

Your meow's the cat

A sore for eyesight.

Ear me in a whisper

Close a little comer.

T Shirt Notions

Where are those entrepreneurs?

Shakespeare Shirts [I've seen timid, limited versions of these -- come-on, people!]

Smartmouth Stuff [in-your-face 'humor', off-the-wall, 'stand-up'-on-a-chest,etc.]

Classiclit [famous -- need I say non-copyrighted phrases/lines]

What I Really Said Was . . . [fill in outrageous 'explanatory' endings]

Lance's 4 Horsemen

Of our American apolcalypse:


What In-Joke?

In one episode, Sex and the City (SATC, for those who seem to be in the know or who like unpronounceable acronyms) gave Carrie Bradshaw's address as:

245 East 73rd St.
(whose zip code is 10021)

Simply a fiction?

Does this belong to anyone who might be in a position to sue on the grounds of 'invasion of privacy'?

Tortious, that is to say?

Or: does this belong to one of the writers or producers and makes for a great teasing self-glorification?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strict Liability

Nothing about her metabolism spoke abnormality.

In a modern way, she showed fashion, but not vanity.

The business was licensed, clean, collected for local charity.

She 'bought for the office', cooperative sociability.

Monday, ten, Wednesday, ten again, and Friday's regularity

The butter-baked brown sugar-filled pecan and glazed croissant twisty.

She binged and purged her jones in smear-mouth deviltry

Sitting alone in her room with her recognized injurious dead pity.

Band Of Literacy

Read on a train: can
Read in a car: can't

Laundramat: can
Read to music: can't

High-wire attention

Hair-fine concentration
Thin 'zone'

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If You Don't Commit, Jimbo, What Are You?

The official insisted the pen at him.

Inked boxes stared up at him from the form page.

'Other', he checked, and overfilled 'specify':

Protestantized Judeo-Unitarian panentheistic Taoist.

It was over. They gave him his passport and told him he could leave.

In the open air, he felt someone looking.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Rod Spared

So the parent let go with a set of recriminations the strength of a fatwa.

An Era Of Humor

The postal employee had a favorite joke whose punchline was 'Eeyoww!'

He shared the joke with another worker who often sat near him, both of them at their mail cases.

They found moments during each evening's work to repeat the joke in various contexts, struggling time and again to hold back the unrestrained laughter the joke brought them to.

The punchline itself became a shorthand for the whole joke, and it signaled laughs just on its own. Over time, the laughter diminished into chuckles, then into smiles, into a greeting and sometimes an inadvertent mumble below the breath of one or the other of them.

Eventually, the second worker retired.

The day afterward, the first worker, sitting at his customary place, looked forward at his mail case and repeated, to no one in particular, 'Eeyoww! Eeyoww!' A laugh came out with a quick snort. 'Eeyoww!' He repeated, and the tears of laughter ran down his cheeks.


You walk into a large church, a city's large church, late when there are no people, the usual silence and coldness of a big space with little heating. God's house. Nothing between your body standing somewhere near the entrance and the structural walls and partitions and benches and raised forward area where holy things specially take place.

Outside, occasional wheel traffic. Inside, no more than low slides and twists of a building's viscera.

'Hello?' you call. You move in so that the building can hear better. "Hello?' your head turns as you call.

God's voice.

The Golden Mean

In a world of 5 Star restaurants,

A burger, fries, and a malt.

In a world of mass starvation,

A burger, fries, and a malt.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

One-Sided Conversation

Nurse: Room 249 Window.

[ ]:

Nurse: She's more alert today -- when she woke, she said I'm resurrected. Why did you resurrect me?

[ ]:

Nurse: We're ruling out sepsis.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Formula One

Bertolucci's Ashkenazi's
Fibonacci beat the Stasi:

Yin yang, feng shui
Mah jongg, wu wei


Through an agency outside himself, the hood of the boy's car flew up and wrapped around the windshield.

Neither he nor his friend was hurt, but to get home they had to stick their head out the door windows as they drove.

God damn it! -- an imprecation his father, the rabbi, hurled when he found out.

The boy, who died before he had children, retracted his head and quivered.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mood Spike

Earthiest of coffees, of root matter, so distressed and dirty

Plus brown sugar crumble

Over a bowl of warm glazed wheat

Contrast, wash it, go: bitterest of coffees

Morning, everywhere it's sunrise

Love's in its abundance, even in its sores

Crest Fallen



Eleventh Hour As It Passes

Coming suddenly, no thoughts follow.

A self-conscious dying: Grabbing for rescue. Finding resolution. Learning a lesson. Facing one's totality. Utter loss. Anxiety. Utter rest.

More of it, this dying, from a living vantage:

Running to the edge of the high board, springing with a breath and holding onto form. Sailing off it.

Seeing your friend the other side of the restaurant storefront glass and waiting that moment before you greet. The crystalized conversation where you each find the other, where everything makes sense.

Emotion, Viscera

The story about Confucius: upon hearing an imposing ceremonial music for the first time, he lost his sense of taste for meat for three months.

The dialogue of John Cassavetes in Minnie and Moscowitz: 'I love you so much I forget to go to the bathroom.'

Saturday, September 6, 2008


It's smothering.

Like it must be when one's drowning.

A mountain filling the mouth, bacterial dirt clogging the interstices between each tooth, the gag reflex prevented by no further room for the throat to do but recoil in order to disgorge, but in the recoiling only to make room for more silt, root matter, fungi, that ever-intrudes.

Being waffled against firm chainlink as the hooligan crowd rages in their hundred toward your exit.

Like it must be when a vast sea storms and water hits like corner brick and the breath waits its patient count to 200 and quickened 400 and itself vacuums its fill of flotsam, phyloplancton, and fine salt.

Is power.