Badges

Hanging from their necks,
belts, or ties, with photo,
they come from somewhere,
and have some place to go.

She sees them bouncing up and down
the streets, swagging vigor to and fro.
Sometimes they meet and talk,
badge to badge, boar to sow.

She doesn’t get what they say.
Normally, they just proceed,
prancing days, romping nights,
round and round they gambol

through tunnels of sun
sounding golden horns,
steeds indeed, lit up
in glorious gowns a glut.

She had one once, but let go,
repeating the hollow phrase,
preferring not to be badgered,
“And that has made all the difference.”

Badge

A Cat For All Seasons

A Cat For All Seasons– It’s spring! Don’t you just love spring?
– Winter will come again. It always does.
– The ice has melted. Like e. e. cummings said,
in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious”
– It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow.
– But this is today! And we’re alive in this spring moment!
– A more responsible view is to remain mindful that the seasons are in constant motion, and anything can happen and usually does. In any case, from a universal perspective, there is only one season, a murkiness that lends itself to a contemplation of a dark void.
– Yes, but it’s spring! And I feel like hop-scotching and jumping rope!
– It won’t be long before the hurricane season will be upon us again, to say nothing of tornadoes. As Robert Frost pointed out, “Some say the world will end in fire / Some say in ice.” And he should have known; he was a poet. But I don’t see how it much matters, an end is an end is an end is an end, but all these literary allusions are just illusions to wile away the time until winter comes again and we cry out, “Winter is icummen in,” and you know the rest.
– Oh, you’re just an old goat!
Cherry BlossomsLook at this wonderful picture I took last night with my cell phone of the moon glowing through the cherry blossoms!
– Reminds me of the time we went to see “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!,” and they burnt the popcorn. Besides, you can’t fool me; that’s not the moon – that’s an electric spotlight in the parking lot of The Old Spaghetti Factory.
– Listen! I think I hear a whistle!

Bob Dylan Knows in Singing the Highway Dust is All Over; or, The Tunes They are a-changin’

The oven bird, the icebox batty, the kitchen nook warbler – Bob Dylan can sing. Dylan’s voice blasted into the room on our old tin can speakers, that voice rising falsetto like a broken water heater then falling basso profundo like a coal car slowing for some hobo, a Sinatra nightmare, a barker in a carnie show, a crier of the street court. What do you think voices inside burning bushes sound like – Bing Crosby? But Dylan could do that too, as he showed on Nashville Skyline and the critically despised Self-Portrait album. But the voice of Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, with the harmonica – a train wreck between the ears. But listeners may not value that kind of wake up call, a noogie across the ears, so they say Dylan can’t sing; but what do you want to hear in a song? He’s singing songs here, not soap or perfume ads, not elevator rides (“The yellow curb is for the loading and unloading of passengers only: no parking”). Dylan’s voice? It was electric before he ever plugged in. Dry location use only. Other types of fuses may burst. Put a nickel in your ear and a quarter in the machine. Dylan’s voice today? A slowly melting high voltage fuse. Like Robert Frost’s “The Oven Bird,” Dylan “knows in singing not to sing,” and the “highway dust is over all,” and for that itinerate weary hobo, the dust is all over.

From a 2006 Guardian review of Dylan’s Modern Times: “Here are the kind of jazzy songs that would count as mild-mannered crooning if they were performed by Bing Crosby, but which invariably take on a slightly unsettling air when subjected to Dylan’s catarrhal death rattle.”

But the tunes they are a-changin’: check out Ben Sidran’s 2009 jazz covered Dylan, “Dylan Different.”

Me epistle on “Moopetsi meepotsi”

Whenever challenged with words unknown we go first to the OED then to Finnegans Wake. We did so this morning looking for meep, following yet another Language Log thread. We found meep in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, on page 276, in footnote number 4:

“Parley vows the Askinwhose? I do, Ida. And how to call the cattle black. Moopetsi meepotsi.”

A meep, then, is a calf, and a moop, the calf’s mom.

The moral of me epistle can be found in today’s Boston Globe, where the principal barning the word learns who abuses meep, steps in moop, for the pot (principal), trying to silence the kettles (students) back, starts them whistling, creating a word stampede:

“That was the first joke of Willingdone, tic for tac. Hee, hee, hee! This is me Belchum in his twelvemile cowchooks, weet, tweet and stampforth foremost, footing the camp for the jinnies. Drink a sip, drankasup, for he’s as sooner buy a guinness than he’d stale store stout” (p. 9).

Let the peeps meep, for as Robert Frost said, “…there must something wrong / In wanting to silence any song” (“A Minor Bird”).

Robert Frost and the LHC

We’re happy to hear the great collider is up and running again. The BBC informs us the LHC is “…one of the coldest places in the Universe.” And it’s right in our backyard, Universe speaking. “Colder than deep space,” the BBC says, like our downstair’s bathroom in the morning in late Fall before we finally give in and kick on the furnace. Colder than hell, we might add; we’re reminded of the Frost poem, “Fire and Ice,” first published in Harper’s Magazine, in 1920. The physicists working the LHC hope to gather evidence of the state of things immediately following the Big Bang, when Fire married Ice.