Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Now You See It

I'm a delight to have around --

I just don't want to be there.


Spearesques 13

Soak: Prig and deceitful lickspittling mince!

Cheek: Dog-besniffed post-grappler!

Soak: Snoot, thou grommet-tonguing man-toy!

Cheek: Swine-pouncing mother's cuckold pox!

Soak: Phlegm-sipping warted toad's member!

[enter Lord Stratekeep]

Stratekeep: [aside] Hap to thus? [to clowns] Halt jabber, men-fakes!

As idlers, know you not to act your repute?

Halt jaws and let breezes outsound you! Noisers should you not be

Having only wind, and that from wrong orifice.

Playing Doubles

The Siamese twins separated at birth and given to families countries apart.

Reunited years later, thank you for bringing us together again.

The Siamese twins separated at birth and given to families countries apart.

Rediscovering one another through their mutual love for Pad Thai.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009


There should be writing material placed with me in the crypt

-- or even the urn.

Beyond the grave reportage! That would do tribute to print journalism!


Free-Market Magic

The human psyche -- sell it on eBay!

(Or watch the bidding clock run out with no takers)

Sick Call

So popular is his illness

That everything is diagnosed as it.


Spearesques 12

Tremino: Fair, she is. Wouldst not forgo such flower?

Baromo: Fair, yes, true. But such a bloom more natural turns

toward the brightest sun to gain most warmth.

Tremino: Not dim your light, though. Where you shine

Gives good, and where goes sustenance

You feed except through honey from the field?

Baromo: Not mine to quicken with a full day's fire.

Rather I fly sluggish near the sod, plodding at a homely work,

And it's common ancient insects enmass in their amber

Laden with found pollen, an old bee tires

And heavy with over-sweet finds rest in the comb.


Saturday, December 26, 2009


Breezy boughs this morning

Wonder who's falling


Moving Feet, Bobbing Head, Toga

A frivolous wish:

To live life with the joy of a continuing loop of 'Louie-Louie', 3 beers to the wind.

(. . . Uh . . . and 'babes'?)

Nature And Nurture

Hectic hamartia

Harried misuse

Profuse pointlessness

Languorous ambition


The Primal Profession

Ass-kissing is as old as the cave

Even the pioneer Egotist, all alone, knew how to kiss his own


Friday, December 25, 2009

Made In China

New slippers

Shipped from the PRC

My cat sniffs both:

A universe in two teak drawers

Of an herbalist's chest.

Public Money Made Me Think This

Sometimes I dream in 'keyboard'.

Which key is the 'key'?

Is the 'board' a visual symbol aurally punning on the homophonic term 'bored'?

Would it be too raw to suggest 'masturbatory massage' -- in a 'message'? In the finger motions?

And why am I avoiding what it is I am 'keyboarding'? Is the avoidance significant?

Why limit dream investigation to Freudian categories and methodology?

Is there something inherent in language -- or particular structures of Western languages -- that dictate how we think about this?

Should investigation of mental phenomena be restricted only to material explanation -- brain, neural system, physio-chemical interaction -- or is there a way of approaching 'mind' that can either 'parallel' or 'incorporate' (figuratively) the material and explain alternately?


Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Just The Skin Notices At First

Rae died of an interior cancer at age 39

Jan died of brain cancer at age 39.

Jack Benny, forever '39', died of pancreatic cancer.

Today one older man entered the Post Office with a metal cane.

Another man, not with him, came in with a wooden cane.

Near the bank, a smiling boy passed by, dragging his lame leg.

Long John Silver. Oedipus. Piper Laurie in Rossen's The Hustler.

No science would call this "interesting"

No math man's yield. No pattern.

Nothing more than imagination.

Which raises us above the animals.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet Nothin's

She went to bend over him, then he went over her, and in their moments of first embrace, they shared deep lustful secrets.

Hardwood floor
, his stare fixing her in place.

Large walk-in closet, her retort mocking through her teeth.

Stainless steel appliances, his control losing itself in his grunt,

she finally calling out 'His-and-hers' bathroom sinks,

the experience redefining what love means.

Title Pitch For WW II-Theme TV Cooking Shows

1) Noshin' With Stalin

2) Panzer Picnic

3) Il Duce Spaghetti Feed

4) Fast-Food At Der Fuehrer's


The Presents, As They Are Being Wrapped

What rollicking Christmas pleasure have I this day listening to my personally-compiled (jazzy, quirky) Holiday Music Mix! In paroxysms of laughter at my all-thumbs manner of scissoring, shaping, folding, taping, bowing, and handwriting!

Why do these people still want to know me? I ask, continuing, daring any and all comers finally to locate any motor-moron who wraps presents worse than I.

Riotous fun!


Ye Who Are Listening

To the very last breath of me:

Riding it out -- and writing it out.


Top 5 Free-Market Job Opportunities

1) 'Mystery' Bond Bundler

2) Street Mime

3) Onco-Chemo-Therapeutic Psycho-Rhinoplastician

4) Gofer

5) Credit-Line Cancellation Technician


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A First Kensho

When things abruptly shift

Like part of the body misaligned by a sharp move

When the house goes, or the he or she,

Any room at once gets a new look

And old familiar chairs are instantly antique

A trip to the kitchen strewn with the rubble of routine.

What's left when things get quiet, the certainties leave?

The reality of 'you' and what to do with that.


Rule Of Social Regimentation

T Fool articulates what he's been constrained by, all these years:

You live in a house, you gotta say what it says.


A Lady Of Size

Wending around a Starbucks display,

Coming up against a fat girl taking off her coat.

The unfolding wings of a great bird,

That comfortable stretch -- then, upon seeing me,

Seeing herself an obstruction again

An encumbrance on a small world.

Excusing herself. Excusing myself --

In wanting further to say

Don't think anything but you're grand.


Monday, December 21, 2009


Bought a mouse for the cats, a China Mouse.

Rubbed away the lemon scent of Dead Sea salt the Dead Sea Man put on my palms with a spiritual intimacy reminding me of the character Elijah in Moby Dick (there will be a day when ye smell land and there be no land).

Listened to lectures on Middle English in my Japanese car.

Such splatter confuses.

What Would Chaucer do?


'The Baptizer'

Westfield Center, 11:50 a.m., scooting through crowds of shepherded children and 'adults' with Santa caps and reindeer ears and cellphones.

Holding myself straight up, tall -- a simulacrum of Sam Elliott or like Eastwood -- craggy, male, American, a cowboy -- comically with chocolates, analepsized to a plastic modern mall.

A man with a foreign accent interrupts my 'film' and asks if I've ever heard . . . What? (I couldn't hear). The Dead Sea (he says). Yes (I say). The Dead Sea (he says again). I know it (bending toward him).

And I know him from last year, the last time I spent shopping past these store stalls and the vendor carts for stuffed dogs, calendars, sweets, and slippers, cell phone plans, and rings.

He's selling me cosmetics, having put what looks like snowcone ice in my hand and he says now Smell, and I do my best and he says Nothing lives in the Dead Sea, but it brings back life.

And, as I smile and nod and mouth what looks like a (Thank you), back into the jar I overturn my hand the stuff he scooped to rejuvenate my skin and journey far into the wet Seattle day.

The Good (Work) Life

According to best managerial practices, employees having a difficult time continuing in their routine need the following, singled out as 'The Five Golden Therapies':

1) No whining

2) Suck it up

3) Hunker down

4) Gut it out

5) Turn in your I.D.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Material Modality

Trying to sleep on an afternoon with dark cloud

A day before the winter solstice --

A car horn honks impatiently, long and loud --

My body lurches coldly up at the injustice.


Speaking Of Tristan and Isolde

The Robert Greenberg lecture where he relates the anecdote of a 19th Century conductor in the audience of Wagner's Tristan.

Into Act II, he whispers to his friend that by now, if this were an Italian opera, the lovers would have had nine children, but since they're German, they're still discussing things.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wrong Address

Did someone excommunicate me

And I didn't know about it

From what


This One's On Me

It's always good to find a 20 in a wad of ones.

Reinforcing one's faith in currency.


My Hour Now Like His

Unknown, a single Eskimo word (of the putative hoard) for snow.

Ago, I found no thing around the quiet lit carrel

Quiet like that rural canoe-stretch of lost Maine

within the grey, unopened, hard cover copy of Thoreau,

'Mizzle' his Yankee word for the light rain.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Serendipitous Accrual

A penny placed on the footboard of a bed

May there always be wealth where you tread


The Discretionary Position

The woman sat near the woman who sat, sitting next to the woman who sat near her until the woman (sitting next to her) stopped.

Sitting perplexed, dumbfounded at the rising of the sitting woman near her, the woman still sitting, sat until she, too, stopped sitting, let her perplexity rise, too, to quest where the woman who'd sat now sat.

Sit down and let perplexity rise, dumbfoundedness stop, and sitting near to the woman who sat and now sits, sit still until near the woman and next to the woman, quest.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Moral Casebook, Case # 1

3 T shirts, each my size, for 30 bucks plus SH and tax.

Same provider, outsourced to another place.

This place sees my size at the small end of the range.

They fit, but they just fit.

Problem: Do I return them with a 'reason' to the provider?

Answer 1, The Rational Economist: By all means return the merchandise, let the provider know how his shipped product can be improved. You get new shirts, they sell better ones, the shirtmakers learn their trade better.

Answer 2, The Humanitarian: Returning the merchandise deters the provider from contracting with the shirtmakers who undersized (just) what you bought. That village of laborers gets bypassed for any future work and suffer commensurately.


Holding Onto The Straw

People keep money real

In order to be stable.

Without it, violence.


Keys To The 20th Century

Weldon Kees.

Kees van Dongen.

Trying to fit the two.

One, a long-lived, successful fauviste and society portraitist, dead at 91 at home in Monte Carlo.

One, one of 'the disappeared', his car at one end of the Golden Gate bridge, his body never found, his poems rough and naturalistic in the 40s/50s loosely noirish, Beatnik way.

Life's still a puzzle.


Know Thyself

Theocratic societies permit no curiosity.

Barbarians -- which is to say, most others -- seek to apply its practicality.

Science sees curiosity as its prime motive, and rewards freewheelingness of search so long as methods hold themselves trim and transparent, any practical results constituting only evidence, not purpose.

So, what to make of science that explores the brain, whose matter and organization so clearly relate to those traits we see distinguishing what's human?

Earlier intellectual examination of humanity speculated more or ideologically buttressed and justified itself. Both, maybe. What science might politely sequester-off as philosophy or, at moments of irritation or memory of persecution, superstition.

To avoid those, science held fast to what was empirical, could be sensed, and worked from there, always verifying from those tangible spots. Reducible to those tangibilities.

Method tended, therefore, to reductivism. That is the bias of science. Not wrong at all, necessarily, as a way of working. But finding firmer truth in what has been reduced most.

Brain science. Highly complex, a relatively new field. Valuable to medicine.

Has found where in the brain the senses 'reside' in order to coordinate perceptions. Has found some of the systemic interconnections among parts of the brain, between hemispheres of the brain, through layers of the brain.

Has speculated. Has speculated whether finding out 'where' higher human functions dwell within and among neural complexes, synaptic series -- whether finding 'where' tells us, simply, the 'just what'.

Consciousness. Morality. Compassion and self-sacrifice.

If we locate the 'substance' from which they operate, have we located 'them'?

Do we commit an 'idealist fallacy' if we see 'evolutionary structure' in such substance whose 'advantage' may allow development of something 'post-physical'?

Science, despite having a theoretical range, would not allow itself to go that far, seeing such a notion as a backward fall into superstition, a stepping too far away from the sensible.


Pontificatory Theory

In life, 'kookie' is cute.

In art, 'kookie' is stupid.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quick Calculation

Anything may be put on a grid -- if you believe in grids.

Anything may be monitored -- if you hold faith in monitoring.

All things either lie in the box or fail to show in the box,

Are 'there' or 'not'. 'Yes', 'no'. Dual.

If you fear not loving yourself enough, if you doubt,

Your Graph will rescue, Number prove you.

If you believe in Numbers

Your God will be an Integer.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Il Populo


Is The General Will anything to be trusted?

1) Positive. Stand up and be counted. Frank Capra movies.

2) Neutral. My kids all love Disney.

3) Poisonous. Demagogy, nativism, Talk Radio, Rush, Palin, et alia.

The first two are sentimental.

The third, if it took as much hold as the money that finances its propagation, would mean the end of America.

Actually, the third -- if I may borrow from its own past lexicon of phrases -- is the anti-Americanism it itself has been denouncing decade by decade.

This is not stupidity we're speaking of. This is engineered stupidity -- finding the 'soft spot' of insecurity, working up its anger and fear, and aiming it at political opponents not in order to prove your point, but to destroy the opponents through force.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

World At W

Beginning episodes of World At War (the Olivier-narrated series), on whose DVD was a 'making of' commentary explained by Jeremy Isaacs, the producer.

That segment talked about the 'historiography' involved in making a documentary film -- itself worth getting the whole. At one point, it highlighted contrasting interviews among Albert Speer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's sister-in-law, and an English woman who had married a German and who was living in Germany during the Nazizeit.

The interviews dealt with their reactions upon first learning of the butchery inside the concentration camps. The spread in response was noticeable, although not so melodramatic as a fiction would show it. Speer (now out of prison, years after the war) claiming regret at deliberately keeping a blind eye. Frau Bonhoeffer relating her shock that those around her back when it was happening were petrified to talk about it and sought to deny that her revelations were more than 'rumors', Allied propaganda.

The English woman -- who told her story of being asked to hide two Jewish children, but was seriously warned against doing so by confidantes, reluctantly allowed them to hide 'for two days'. They departed after their stay. Shortly after, she learned that they were picked up and shipped to the camps. In telling this, 1970s, the camera caught her hands fidgeting, turning around each other nervously. She says, looking away and down to the left, I knew then that Hitler had gotten me to commit murder.

A sequent clip was brought out by Isaacs to illustrate the kind of anecdotal vividness that shorn histories frequently ignore. The same English woman tells of riding, near the end of the war, in an exposed railway coach with an SS officer. His disillusionment is complete and he tells her that he has sought death and failed to find it in battle, always being ironically lucky to survive.

He had been part of a Waffen SS unit, a commando detachment in charge of eradicating civilians. One set of incidents haunted him enough to tell her. They had a group of villagers dig a large burial trench and were about to 'finalize' the proceedings. A man 'with long hair' among the victims came up to him and said, God is watching what you do here. He was shot before he could return to his place at the edge of the trench. A young boy stood erect, and said, Is this straight, Uncle?

The English woman and the SS officer travelled on that night, and once upon waking, she realized that she had fallen asleep with her head on his shoulder and that he had covered up her knees with his greatcoat. The next time she awoke, he was gone.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Having An Appointment In Samarra

Listening to portions of Boris Godunov, his children's doom.

Listening to its own plaints, hunched on its towel inside the carrier, the cat.

Appointments with The Doctor.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Wisdom Of Solomon

The more I know,

The more I know

How lucky I am

That I know

How lucky I am.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


1) A survivor salutes the local flag.

2) Life rewards the dilettante.

3) The ideologue breathes air and speaks lead.

4) He who claims God's words has listened through the Devil's ass.


What's Left Better Unsaid

Don't say anything.



Just -- shhh.

(That's better).




A Moment Of My Time

And you're bringing this criticism of me, to me, because . . .?

Career Ladder

She mentions this 'theory' and he mentions that

to score points -- with those who want to see

people who want to score points.

In order to score points.


Close, In Town

That Portland hotel through whose thin walls could be heard

clearly the person in the next room. Not only her. Heard

clearly, too, the person on the cell phone of that person in the next room.

Though where the door to her room was remained a mystery.

Monday, December 7, 2009

HMO Svengali

Cold head. Cold room.

Dream state, cradling between sleep and what's not.

A sinus cocktail of steroids and anti-bi.

Hospital pills. Transfigured night.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Spearesques 11

That weight of worry shields me not from surprise assault

But burdens as would cuirass plate leadening the heart.

If care were gems, this manor would be a mine's hall, sparkling,

From which servitors might ferry ore, bright like stars,

Reflection from the heavens, for assay

And win fame for this house among those

Who account a man in what he can count in coin.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Those With Decidophobia

Short circuit

Flip a coin

Plead what should I do?

Drive breakneck to Mexico swigging off a bottle of Cuervo Gold


Friday, December 4, 2009

Abduction To The Imbroglio

Am being dosed with medicine they haven't even dreamed of on Fringe!

Am turning into my cerebral vertebrae and thinking neck-like thoughts

Am wanting to turn down the volume on this part of the year, but have lost the dial

Am having so many friends, will trade them on ebay

Am waking up to a power outage and having to get a new auto ignition

Am seeing Heidegger, Wagner being blasted afresh as Nazis

Am thinking a Hitlerian moustache would need me a foreskin

Am speed-dialing rabbis for thoughts

Am craving the carrot cake and ice cream defrosted when the power failed

Am resolving to dress in Leprechaun green till the end of my days


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Iceman Cometh


Burt Bacharach & Angie

Martini & Rossi

On the rocks.

Taste that stands up to ice.

32 degrees

Roadway car tires

Hum not.

The 'here', love,

Hovers at black ice.


I Don't Drink (Wine)

Nietzsche saw Carmen 20 times.

Made him 'a better philosopher'.

Duel In The Sun.
Bonnie And Clyde.

For examples, some among many.

Did they make me a better poet?



Milestones Around The Neck

May I help you, sir?

The teen asked, me in tie, near age 22.

Now, more frequently:

Do you need help getting out with that, sir?


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Will The Real 'Me' Please Stand Up

A statement for you:

'You don't know who I really am'

Which goes to you to use

Whether or not you yourself know who you are

It may be a question in the form of a dare.