Wednesday, October 31, 2018

American Arians?

In "Christian, What Do You Believe? Probably a Heresy About Jesus, Says Survey" (Christianity Today, October 16, 2018), Jeremy Weber notes some of the heresies that evangelicals express, and here's a classic:
When it comes to Americans with evangelical beliefs, the survey found that a majority say that Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father (78%). However, this is contrary to the historic Christian faith, and 97 percent of evangelicals do believe that there is one true God in three persons, but 3 out of 4 of them attempt to give Jesus first-place honors even though that belief has been rejected by the church down through the centuries.
This is a fairly close paraphrase, almost a quote, but I don't have time to paraphrase it better. I would add only that these evangelicals are conflating statements about Jesus with biblical traditions about wisdom.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Ozark Cherokee

One of  my aunts who is part Cherokee was speaking with an outsider who'd moved into the Ozarks some years earlier, and the man  happened  to refer the racism of people in the Ozarks.

My aunt tore into the fellow. "Listen," she told the outsider, "a lot of the old-timers here have Indian blood. You start calling them 'racist,' and they'll go on the warpath!"

The man shut up.

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Monday, October 29, 2018


Tinkle, tinkle, little bat,
how I wonder where you shat,
down beneath the dirt so low,
like a dungeon in a hole.
Tinkle, tinkle, little bat,
how I wonder where you shat.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Once and Future King

King Arthur

The quote below comes from T.H. White's novel The Once and Future King (1958), but in searching for the quote I found many misquotes. The purplish-pinkish word "which" was often left out, so I had to check if the word "which" was original, and it was (though without being purple pink), so do read without misgivings Merlin's wise words to the future king:
"The best thing for being sad . . . is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake in the middle of the night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you." (page 186)
Sound advice. I would add only that when one lies awake in bed in nighttime's darkest hours, then arise, go forth from thy bed to thy library, and, in that insomniac time, learn something.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Transforming Love

Bonobo's Lament
I wish I were orangutan,
for that brav nam would turn you on,
and straight from here, I'd be right gone.

We'd make a happy couple, us,
and never curse, nor ever cuss.
(We're not so verbal, all that much.)

We'd argue only over who, must
love whom most, and whom the mostest,
and who'd be best termed mostly mostness.

But dialect is wee too weak,
to utter what my heart should speak,
so I can give no proper speech.

Yet you, dear miss, and missing one,
could dialogic turn me on,
with that brav nam: "Orangutan!"

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Don't think of even one!

Trying not to think of a green monkey, not even either of those two seemingly fake-news ones in the photo just above . . . he decided not to blog today (due to feeling under the weather):

"See you tomorrow, and may your dreams
be free
of the
monkey . . ."


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Been Germane Franc Lend

We see here Franc Lend's theory of electricity as being composed of two colors - the red and the black - a theory reflected in the red and black wires used in electrical wiring today (along with a variable third color that Franc Lend didn't know about because the anti-Americans of Franc Lend's day kept the color a secret from him.)

We thus see how important Franc Lend's theory is even today, once again evidence of American technological and scientific superiority!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Vampire Love

The nonsense verse of the following is my surreal poem to vampire love:

Vampire Lover

I’m a bit
in love with you,
a bit more
a bit less,
more or less.

But less is more,
so a little bit less
is a little bit more
is therefore a little bit
less and more.

I trust I have sufficiently clarified the topic of vampire love.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Photo by Jae-Uk

Just a belated birthday poem for my wife, whose birth date was October 8th, nineteen hundred-and-some-thump-paddy-other:


Sunshine of my life,
under the heavens,
need I thee alone,
alone thy leaven's
enlivening, wife?

How might I, my life,
withhold from heaven's
angels thee, alone,
nor leave thy leaven's
grace, enlivened wife?

You will have noticed that the first letter of each line, settled in a sequence, spells out my wife's name "Sunae Hwang."


Monday, October 22, 2018

Garden of Eden Invitation

I was sent the above invitation to the Garden of Eden and the following information below, along with a 'poem' by Peter Moore offering dubious advice.

I wonder why I was sent this material - I'm rather far from NYC! Maybe these people read my Bottomless Bottle of Beer story? If they haven't, they should! And so should you!

Go here!


Sunday, October 21, 2018

There Is No Race

Racing Against the Clock

Race Against Time

Earlier bread
earlier rice
keeps a man
healthy, and nice will suffice.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Bed Wedder

Honeycomb Moon


Already bedded,
already wed,
sugarplum visions
still dance in his head.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Overheard in the English Lounge

Gingerbread Man

Interlocutor 1: Next time, let's do gender roles, okay?

Interlocutor 2: Sounds great! Shall I bring the ginger rolls?

Interlocutor 1: Please do! Bring lots of examples!

Interlocutor 2: Lots of samples, right!

Interlocutor 1: Looking forward to it!

Interlocutor 2: Me, too! See you!


Thursday, October 18, 2018

A German Joke: Will Cause Laughter

The German Joke

Interlocutor 1: Why is 10 afraid?

Interlocutor 2: I don't know. Why?

Interlocutor 1: Because 7 8 9!

Interlocutor 2: Oh.

Interlocutor 1: Why is 4 filled with fear??

Interlocutor 2: Because 1 2 3?

Interlocutor 1: No, idiot! Because 4 is a German!

Interlocutor 2: I don't get it.

Interlocutor 1: The number "4" is a German! Hence "Vier," which sounds like "fear."

Interlocutor 2: Okay, but why is 4 a German?

Interlocutor 1: Because it's the punch line dammit!

Interlocutor 2: Oh. Very funny. Hah-hah. No wonder they say German jokes are nothing to laugh at.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Shallow is Here

Probably Good

I went to see A Star is Born this weekend and I like the theme song. Its lyrics are the words you see below, and you can click on the title to hop over to the song itself:


Tell me somethin' girl
Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more
Is there somethin' else you're searchin' for?

I'm fallin'
In all the good times
I find myself longing for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

Tell me something boy
Aren't you tired tryin' to fill that void?
Or do you need more
Ain't it hard keepin' it so hardcore?

I'm falling
In all the good times
I find myself longing for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

I'm off the deep end
Watch as I dive in
I'll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface
Where they can't hurt us
We're far from the shallow now

In the sha-ha-sha-ha-ha-low
In the sha-sha-la-la-low
In the sha-ha-sha-ha-ha-low
We're far from the shallow now

Ooooo aahaaa ooou
Ooo ouo oooo haaaa

I'm off the deep end
Watch as I dive in
I'll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface
Where they can't hurt us
We're far from the shallow now

In the sha-ha-sha-ha-ha-low
In the sha-sha-la-la-low
In the sha-ha-sha-ha-ha-low
We're far from the shallow now

One thing that strikes me in reading this song is how important music is in giving poetic force to weakly poetic words. Imagine listening to somebody recite Shallow. Wouldn't work.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Burden of Our Dreams

The Monster

I had a dream last night about Frankenstein's monster. For some reason, I was the object of that creature's wrath, as if I were Doctor Frankenstein himself. This monster differed from the original one in that it had to replace body parts every so often. These were ripped from innocent bystanders. Curiously, though, the monster could then use its electrical power to regenerate those now missing parts of the people missing them, such that it restored them to wholeness. I realize that this story makes no sense, but I'm not the one re-writing it!

But who is then . . .


Monday, October 15, 2018

Nonsuch Franklinism

Nonsuch Nuttiness

Nonsense Doggerel

Early to bide
early to ride
makes a man help
himself well
to abide.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Visible Gorilla?

An article I was reading in a newspaper over the weekend spoke of the "famous 'Invisible Gorilla' experiment" as a great example of how we ignore things outside our basic interest.

I've never heard of this famous experiment, and the article never mentions it again. I could look it up, but I suspect it's a kind of trick to show I'm a fool for taking this seriously and wasting my time on it since there's no way to locate an invisible gorilla, so it's entirely outside my basic interest.


Saturday, October 13, 2018



Scurry to bed,
scurry to rise,
will teach you but little,


Friday, October 12, 2018

Stuff Happens in the World of Fiction

Mother Goose Musings
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood
in quantities sufficient to fuel the feared blaze
that would motivate the trapped fly and flea
to vacate that proverbial place of the flawed flue,
much as the dog in a famed factor-analysis problem
learned wit enough to solve the multi-causal
problem posed by asking for one effect from
a multitude of causes, knowing that cause
becomes effect as burning stick moves a dog.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

If You Believe in my Make-Believe Moon

Paper Moon

This is the moon that the moo 'over-jumped' . . . and the cat has lost its fiddle!

And just for fun, here are the lyrics to "It's Only a Paper Moon":

It is only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believe in me

It is only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believe in me

Without your love
It's a honky-tonk parade
Without your love
It's a melody played
In a penny arcade

It's a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believe in me

Without your love
It's a honky-tonk parade
Without your love
It's a melody played
In a penny arcade

Here's a link to the song sung!


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"The Annie Cho" Reviews the Bottomless Bottle of Beer

My friend Annie Cho has reviewed my first novella, The Bottomless Bottle of Beer, and has ranked it at three exclamation marks:
Really good! Well written! Great illustrations!
Three exclamation marks amounts to five stars, I gather. Thanks Annie, for the concise praise!

Moreover, rightly appraising a scary story such as mine requires a Ghost Person, which seems to be the actual name given to the sort of non-photograph displayed above.


Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Brave Moo: The Real Story

Hey diddle-diddle,
the cat and the fiddle,
the moo jumped
over the moon.
The little dog laughed
to see such sport,
and the dish ran away
with the spoon.

As for the moo, its moonly leap took it along a milky way as it went on to explore the far reaches of the galaxy and the even farther reaches of deep space, while the cow that you expected from this old rhyme remained behind, too cowed to attempt the spatial leap but taking a coward's credit for it anyway, that cowardly old cow!


Monday, October 08, 2018

Paper Money? Paper Moon?

Franklin as Money

zz to bed
zz to rise
leaves out a few zzs
or so I surmise.


Sunday, October 07, 2018

Gerard Manogue's Review of Jang Jung-il's Short Novel When Adam Opens His Eyes

Regular visitors will perhaps recall that Sun-Ae and I translated Jang Jung-il's Short Novel When Adam Opens His Eyes in 2013. While surfing through the Internet, I found that the book is still being read, or it was at least being read in 2016 by Gerard Manogue. His review is relatively long, so the quoted passages below are only a small part of what he actually says:
In a small Singapore bookstore (Books Actually, lovely place) I was intrigued to come across this novel, as I spent some time teaching in South Korea in 2013 and have always wanted to acquaint myself with the literary tradition. This book is also part of a more expansive Library of Korean Literature series, so I hope to read more of these titles in the future as I generate income.
* * *
This wistful, lonely novel gives us the story of a young Korean man — we never know his name but we get the biblical nickname 'Adam' — and a portrait of his life as a nineteen-year old transitioning from boy to man in Daegu, a major city in the southern part of the country. Adam enters a cram school with the goal of entering a top university, acquiescing to the desires of his mother, who works in an underground subway mall to pay for Adam's tuition. Disillusioned with his prospects and feeling lonesome and stuck, Adam helplessly and apathetically searches for an exit from convention, using sex, music, reading, and different forms of loitering as ineffective devices.
* * *
Overall I really enjoyed this book, and I recommend this book to anyone who wants a deeper perspective into the South Korean psyche, or just a bittersweet, heartache of a read.
Mr. Manogue apparently liked the translation, though he didn't specifically say so. At any rate, thanks to him for taking the time to read the novel translated by my wife and me! For blog readers who want to read the full review, click here.


Saturday, October 06, 2018

I Circuit-Short the Body Electric

A Short-Circuit
is a
Stun Gun
"I'll tell you a story about Jackanory,
And now my story's begun.
I'll tell you another about his brother,
who died from the shot of a gun."


Friday, October 05, 2018

I Cerebrate the Body Eclectic

No Poeming Aloud

Mixed Up Memories

Healthy a man makes, wealthy and wise,
bed too early, and too early rise.

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Thursday, October 04, 2018

What is the question? That is the Question.

What are we putting into our lungs?

What makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise?

Early to bed? Or early to rise?


Wednesday, October 03, 2018

You Know Who! So Don't Say It!

Note that today's blog avoids mention of the name touted in various entries lately!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Dr. Ben Franklinstein

Dr. Frankenstein was only doing what Ben Franklin did - draw the power of electricity from the skies down to the earth . . .

Perhaps we should be speaking of Dr. Ben Franklinstein!


Monday, October 01, 2018

Bin-Jameen al-Farankleen: Mosaiced or Pixelated or Both

Nonsense Doggerel

Bleary to bed
bleary to rise
makes a Jihadi
of Frankenstein size!