Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Strike a match, believe it not lit

Your finger tells you different

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Standard commentary on Invasion of the Body Snatchers revolves around politics, the McCarthy era, the mindset of America hot with H-bombs, Soviet spies, a Red China, a Korean War stalemate.  

The film is seen to warn us against creeping state centralization and the loss of individuality.

A counter-take sees the film warning us against the virulence of conformity imposed by fear, how judgment is clouded, how vigilantism destroys a society.

What about something more 'personal'?  After all, the story centers on two intelligent adults whose potential love circumstance destroys.  Subsidiary relationships among other characters wither, too, as precursors to the main.  Father-daughter.  Mother-son.  Husband-wife.

The only virtue is survival, mass survival.

The clip where Carolyn Jones sees King Donovan's shape and soul inhabit the 'pod' found nearby.  The opening of his eye, a 'first sign' of life, an alien life.  She is to lose her husband, just as all are predicted to lose human bond to all others.

This world poisons all love.

Classiqueaux 1


I see she's dead now,  fashionista,

Histrionic, taller than me, her mouth large,

Her tongue uncompromising.

Shopping, tireless in the fitting rooms,

You'd hold hangers while she slipped over and in.

She made -- and kept me -- male.

(notes for a future long poem)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Long Poem Project

Thomas Hardy

D.H. Lawrence

Phillip Larkin

John Fowles

Ian McEwan

If not a course, then a long poem.

Not a critical epistle, no, but a poem in cantos or movements, musical movements in quasi-musical forms.

Sonata. Minuet-Trio.  Rondo.



Each movement collapsing one of the author's main works, entry/exit, and developing that 'content'.


A, B, C, Per Penny

A course list I'd like to teach:

Thomas Hardy

D.H. Lawrence

Phillip Larkin

John Fowles

Ian McEwan

Call it a seminar, give it an institutional marker, maybe 'English 498'.

And for the term I teach it, 'English 498: English Love-Lost'.

I 'own' a course like this.  It has my name incised into its marble.

And I'll never be teaching it.  Our system will have me at 'English Blah-Blah: The Utilitarian Justification For Studying Language At All'

Higher Education begging tuppence from a skinflint.  

A wet sheet hung out against dreadful windchill.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Et. Al.

Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms.

Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner.

Rothko, Pollock.


All 'irregulars'.  None without 'issues'.  

A list that could go on, if I had the breath and breadth.

Is it that they're 'like us', frail?  Is it that we're like them, capacious?


Waste Management Poem

Yard waste next to the fence.  Cans/glass nearer the street.

She say, she do, the reverse:

Blue bin next to the fence.  Grey bin nearer the street.

It's an 'eye' thing, she say.  Terse.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Daughter Lines, Enlarged

In the numberless numbers, the late night of their weight,

Lie philosopher puzzles, a jumble of man's talk

As if somebody listened.  Men strolled along porches

And taught, not what they knew, but what they yearned --

The head for the heart, waiting for love to appear.

After working the numbers, after accounts for the who who reads them,

I took a midnight walk, and, with you, conversed 

As if you were there.  We passed in the halogen halo of lamps 

And laughed, not at the wit, as at the fact that it was we,

We who walked as the night reared its ear.


Daughter Lines

After working the numbers, after accounts for the who who reads them,

I took a midnight walk, and, with you, conversed

As if you were there.  We passed in the halogen halo of lamps

And laughed, not at the wit, as at the fact that it was we,

We who walked as the night reared its ear.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

For Marcella H, Who Wanted This Close To Her


hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come.

Our daily bread give us today.

And forgive our debts 
as we forgive our debtors.

And do not lead us to the test.

(scholarly retroversion of Matthew/Luke versions of The Lord's Prayer, in A Marginal Jew by John P. Meier, 292)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All Balanchine

The house.

Old ushers.  Young girls with their mothers. 

The stage. 

Toe-shoe, tutu,

Turn  the toile, tulle-étoile,

Arch-crouching, crouch-arching

Weightless revolving

The hundred-pound foot-flutter,

Pad, leap, land.

The hall.

All red curtains, steep seats

Low light serious art.


The Birds

Pet store.

Parakeets all on the floor bars of their cage.


But the store shines from above and around.

Parakeets all on the floor bars of their cage.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Funeral Suit

Indian import two-piece for 86, or
Brooks-Bro two-piece for a 10-fold more

58 Degrees

Inside the electronics store several young male retailers.  White shirts, ties, low pay.  Wiping-down the cell phone displays with paper towels, chatting and talking.  Dry cells shucked like peanut shells.

Inside and out, round Filipino women with nice feet.  Their t-shirts and flip-flops.  Quiet morning.  White and dirty-white cumulus, pastel blue sky slivers, pale solid blue in lagoons overhead.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Conversational Bits

1)  Lee:  (rushing up to a stranger) Do you have a cell phone . . . Can I . . . do you have a cell phone?  I've got to call my brother!

2)  Bitrick:  You think you can walk on water, then?

    Davidson:  I've never tried, but I'm told that's my heritage.


Friday, June 11, 2010


Then not poor

Just smart enough to make investment sure.

I teach

What others' wealth put into reach.

They've no money now

To raise a peasant to the middlebrow.

Were it today,

A diminution, I'd be put away.

From charity

The system brought me into clarity.

The 'subject' Charly

I am he.

Teacher Man

I lecture so much -- I perform so much -- that I run out of throat.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Artaud Apropos Of Van Gogh

Experience and understanding, a case in question.

When Antonin Artaud said  I even know what nothingness is, and could even say what is inside it,
did his 'knowing' later become 'becoming'?

Or had his 'becoming' resulted in 'knowing'?

Earlier Artaud:

Later Artaud:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Math Problem

A young person, Smith, attaining adulthood in the USA this year, was aged 9 when the Twin Tower attack occurred.

I was a significantly older adult at that time.

A similarly-aged child, Jones, at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, equally-distanced in age from an older adult (as I from Smith) would know that older adult to have been born in 1886.

In what year was I born:

a) 1955

b) 1932

c) 1946

d) 44 B.C.E.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Does Fair, Is Fair

Approaching music like a simple animal

catching the body English with the same eye

that picks up flame, yet knowing this is not random

that this is intentional, a fire on purpose


Friday, June 4, 2010

Teaching Debrief

I know what evals are.  I don't like any little reservations by anyone.

Reservations about me!

Sometimes a guy just wants to go berserk. Speaking of guys in general, not me myself. I'm the humorous one. They all like me, they do.

Well, maybe not all.

All are anonymous, names I do not know, don't want to.

And I'm glad they're gone.  Even dead.

But I wouldn't wish really bad things on them, like being sent to North Korea for comedy purposes, or to members of the Turkish army if the sendee were a woman.

Turkish Sultans used to marry a whole passel of them, women, if 'marry' is the right term.

So I don't look at my evals. They're in an envelope waiting. They're waiting for the day I retire so that I can send them to Borneo.

Borneo is the place where some people still eat some other people. It's said that is true, but I'm not sure.

But I'm willing to test it out.


Crossing On The Yellow

Sometimes, from a shudder rippling the spine, it's clear that one of two things has just happened:

a)  A black cat has just walked across your grave; or 

b)  The wife's laughter means more than might be suspected


Our Gang 2

Libertarians:  hubristically selfish

Moderates:  quietly fearful

Social democrats: stridently programmatic

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pass Me My Cardigan

Third day straight noticed my inadvertent, quiet chuckle sounded like that of Ozzie Nelson.


Hobnobbed I Never

Talia Shire

Tallulah Bankhead

Tama Janowitz

Tilda Swindon

Tori Amos

Tova Feldshuh

Trish Van Devere

Twyla Tharp

Tyne Daly

Having never met women with such given names or surnames


Artistic Concentration

New York Times Critic Anthony Thomassini on Mozart:

"Though he lived through the French Revolution you search his letters in vain for anything other than the most oblique references to this continental cataclysm.  He had no feeling for nature and no interest in the visual arts.   In his letters home during his wide-ranging travels he describes everything he heard and nothing he saw."


Our Gang 1

Anarchists:  recklessly adolescent

Communists: homicidally ideological

Conservatives:  dull-wittedly self-satisfied

Fascists:  vengefully brutal

Liberals:  self-deceptively optimistic

Populists:  stupidly shallow

Progressives: impotently reformist

Reactionaries:  violently resentful


Keine Scheisköpfe Hier!

Woman with bush from navel to knees

Man with tattoos ejecting his sleeze

Bottles got down to the dregs and the sneeze

Apartment let out all their scraws and their screes

The begging, the promise, the vows, and the pleas

Couldn't make up for the poxy disease


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bad Cop, Good Cop

A: You must think the world revolves around you!

B: Yes.  Doesn't yours?