Saturday, July 24, 2021

Words

I'm downsizing these days, expelling books from my library, also memories, some of them undergrad ones. I wave as they pass again into the past.

Friday, July 23, 2021

LeRoy 'Tuck' Tucker

I learned that a friend passed away three years ago. I left a message anyway:

"Tuck, I wish I could have seen you one more time before you passed. You were one of the best writers I know."

I don't reckon I'l be hearing back from him on that.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Literary Disappointment

I didn't even place in a poetry contest I entered this summer.

I don't suppose submitting three limericks was the most prudent of decisions for me to have made.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Willessness or Willlessness?

One of my mentors recently read what I'd written on my difficulty in typing, due to the Parkinson's that's slowing me down. That blog post was only about a week ago [July 11, actually], so you can go looking for it if you so desire. Anyway, my mentor quoted some phrase of mine that he found particularly apt and that should not be lost to our times, so here is what he said:

Your description of your typing problem would make the basis of a good poem: "the unbearable weight of willessness" is a phrase that should not be lost. I suspect that it describes the unwonted experience of many people during the covid plague.

Good idea. Maybe I'll try tomorrow, if I can find the time. (Actually, I used three "ells" in spelling "willlessness," though he is likely right that two "ells" are better than three, but what the 'ell.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Existentialism: A Link to Look Up?

Random Thoughts: Has academic study of the category "The Charismatic Leader" tended to legitimize such a category in actual political life?

Interestingly, Rudolf Otto identifies the Holy as that which arouses intense dread in the breast of the one who encounters the mystery of the fullness of Being. This same dread also comes upon the one who encounters the total absence of Being, the encounter with nothingness (as in Sartre’s existentialism, or Heidegger’s). The concept of the charismatic leader – the one who possesses some measure of Holiness – who is said to be needed in the time of a crisis of legitimacy, poses a danger through the political thought of political science. When a charismatic leader in a time of grave legitimation crisis calls out for support on the basis of his charisma alone, we are in dangerous times. 

This is something I’ve been musing upon for some time.

Monday, July 19, 2021

An Unstately Raven

Last Saturday, as we were coming down the little mountain that we ascend and descend early every morning on our constitutional, my wife and I were nearly struck by an out-of-control ancient raven who hurtled just over our heads and hit the boardwalk hard before our feet, where he bounced once, regained his balance, hopped once, then looked up at us as if to say, "So? I can at least fly."

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 12

 Hetero-zygosi-tite!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 11

 Aigs-tuh-stonia!

Friday, July 16, 2021

When Words Speak Out Against Our Will

A friend sent me a book of his poems, and though they were serious poems, I saw that a reader could respond in some other way than serious, so I did, but I later worried that he might have taken my response amiss, so I added a disclaimer:

I hope that was well received. I didn't plan to make humorous reactions; they just came to me. There's more to it, though. Poetry can evoke all sorts of responses. These are some examples. If I recall correctly, these poems in your book are poems of love, human and divine. One would expect the poems to be proper, and the response to be appropriate. But as we see, the response can surprise us. I once wrote a poem ending with the word "wrought," and a friend to whom I showed the poem objected to the word as being too technical. "But it's not really technical!" I objected. And it wasn't . . . for me. Growing up with King James English in my mind as a second language, I could also use "thee" and "thou" if I pleased, and it would be perfectly correct and natural. But she was also correct, and I had to accept her view. Words go out of style. But maybe, just maybe, I can succeed in getting the reader to accept those old words as words afresh.

I'm waiting for his response.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 10

 By Grog and Magrog!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 9

Mutter-Funker!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Compared with Borges!

I wrote: "There is a measure of irony in abruptly having all the time in the world for writing but growing increasingly incapable of putting word to paper."

A Commentor Replied: "I am reminded of Borges a bit. He said the same about being unable to read books."

Monday, July 12, 2021

Lying My Way (to the Truth)

Here's a poem in the guise of a country song that I have written for and dedicated to a certain country music singer-songwriter who described the process of writing a good song as nothing more than lying your way to the truth:

Lying My Way (to the Truth)

For DLJ

I thought I was rebelling,
but was only out there yelling,
just lying my way to the truth.

God held me hard in his thrall
when I thought me lord of all,
just lying my way to the truth.

Lying my way,
oh lying my way,
lying my way
to the truth.

Lying my way,
oh lying my way,
lying my way
to the truth.

God hard my way he then waylaid
when I thought I had it made,
just lying my way to the truth.

But I stumbled on ahead,
halfway-drunk and halfway-dead,
just lying my way to the truth.

Lying my way,
oh lying my way,
lying my way
to the truth.

Lying my way,
oh lying my way,
lying my way
to the truth.

Nearly made it to the pit,
but God tossed me over it;
just lying my way to the truth.

And my demons all did sigh
as they watched me go bye-bye,
just lying my way to the truth.

Lying my way,
oh lying my way,
lying my way
to the truth.

Lying my way,
oh lying my way,
lying my way
to the truth.

I don't know what DLJ would think of this song since it hearkens back to an earlier era of country sound pre-outlaw style, when a country song could sound like a hymn, and he is definitely post-outlaw, in the tradition of Waylon Jennings.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

My Parkinson's

My friend Kevin Kim recently had a stroke and wrote of the experience, prompting me to write of my experience with Parkinson's:

Interesting to hear about your experience typing since your stroke. It reminds me of my own experience since Parkinson's. I was never good at typing. But I could type, fairly slowly, and with mistakes. What differs now is that I sometimes find myself sitting at the typewriter, trying to recall how to type. I even imagine that I must know precisely how hitting a key on the keyboard gives the correct letter on the screen. I sometimes think that I must be able to visualize this process for the process to work. I wonder how a fixed keyboard can give variable sequences of letters. I sometimes even have to remind myself that the screen is where I need to look to read what I've written. I have to ask myself, "Okay, where am I? No, the keyboard isn't the place. Maybe I should look up. Oh, yeah, there it is, the screen." The worst is when I am afraid to type. I recall how finding the right key can take so long. That causes anxiety, which increases my fear. I feel the unbearable weight of 'willlessness' - if that's a word. I mentally shorten the sentence, but that doesn't help. I must just sit very still and persuade myself that the process is not really so hard. If I can get past that first step, I can type again . . . badly.

PS I should add that what I described is not my everyday experience but more my experience when I'm tired and writing to meet a deadline.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 8

Bullscent!

Friday, July 09, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 7

Bullsent!

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 6

Hellitosis!

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 5

Hailitosis!

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Bombs Bursting in Air?

I got this spam email today from a fake delivery service:

If you use a mobile device, you can receive notifications about the delivery of your package and track it from our free app. To ensure your safety, the Delivery Agent will drop the package at your doorstep, ring the doorbell and then move back 2 meters while waiting for you to collect your package. If you are in a containment zone, the agent will call you and request you to collect your package from the nearest accessible point while following the same No-Contact delivery process. We hope to see you again soon.

I'm glad I neither live nor work in this imaginary place! I suppose this is for Covid-safety authenticity, but the procedures sound like advice from the Mod Squad gone Terrorist!

Monday, July 05, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 4

Darnation! (Not to confuse with "tarnation.")

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 3

Jesús Aloulouia! (Not to be conflated with a baseball player from the Dominican Republic.) 

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Pseudo-Oath 2

Crystallization!

Friday, July 02, 2021

Pseudo-Oath

 Thunderation! (I like this one - it sounds impressive! I once noted it before in one of these blog posts long ago.)

Thursday, July 01, 2021

David Lynn Jones "in what used to be the old car museum."

The Lady Di recently informed us of an upcoming appearance of David Lynn Jones:

Just a heads up: July 10th [2021] Hardy Arkansas . . . . David Lynn Jones, Tim Crouch and Friends will be playing . . . . Lynn introduces some new songs and the one he and Tim are working on to release as Bluegrass.

Lady Di had heard that the performance would take place at the Civics Center, but I couldn't confirm this, for my contacts who looked into my query found nothing about Jones playing the Civics Center. I checked with another source, Chuck Young. Bingo!

Ironically, he was the original source for Lady Di! Somebody there misspoke or misheard. Here's the corrected information:

David Lynn Jones, Tim Crouch and Friends will be playing at Hardy, Arkansas on Saturday, July 10th, at 7:00 pm in what used to be the old car museum.

That's right, the venue will be "in what used to be the old car museum." No problem. Drive around. Ask a native whereabouts someplace called something like a car museum used to be. You might run into the original Arkansaw Traveler.

Once upon a time in Arkansas . . .

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A Jovial Oath

By Jove!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Intending lots of poetry . . .

Intending to write poetry is one thing; actually writing it is another. For instance, some will say, your poetry is a joke. I will have already met that criticism by making certain that each poem I write can be read as a joke. This will throw the critic off at the outset, when I smile in complicity and praise the critic's perspiquity.

Yes, I have a bright future before me, indeed. (See the joke?)

Monday, June 28, 2021

Close of an Epoch

Retirement papers to sign.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Just in Case of Interest . . .

 . . . I'll be taking early retirement from Ewha Womans University as of August 31st this year (2021), due to a certain condition that has slowed my typing down considerably and forced me to me to make some decisions about which areas of writing to concentrate on. This blog will take a hit. Entries will generally be short. Like this one.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Self-Satisfied Oath of a Prig:

"My Goodness!"

Friday, June 25, 2021

A Powerful Oath!

"Great Guns!" An oath used by artillerymen.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Another Odd Oath

"Land O'Goshen!"