Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reminiscences: TV in the '70s

Among the treasures uncovered while boxing backwards was an issue of TV Guide from the 1970’s that had been used as packing in a box of breakables. In flipping through its pages, the thought occurred that any of my readers old enough to remember those days-gone-by might enjoy reminiscing over the listings for some of the shows then current:

TV Guide listings: 1975

Apple’s Way xxxApple is upset when Paul and Kathy confide to him that incest is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

Kojack xxxRumors abound at NYPD when Kojak swears off sucking Tootsie Roll Pops and applies for transfer to the vice squad.

Ironside xxxIronside faces a crisis when a corrupt politician tells him to give up his investigation into graft in city hall or go back to walking a beat.

Medical Center xxxDr. Gannon comes under slanderous attack from an envious colleague after inventory disappears from the morgue and strange lights are seen flashing in his attic window.

Little House on the Prairie xxxCharles is kicked in the head by a mule and becomes convinced that an oddly-shaped buffalo chip is a gold nugget.

The WaltonsxxxJohn-Boy fears for his sanity when the mole on his cheek starts to whisper into his ear at night.

Movin’ On xxWill and Sonny come to blows when both call “shotgun” and neither will back down.

Mannix xxxIn solving a difficult case, Mannix survives more vicious blows to the head than any man since the first Ali-Frazier fight.

Tomorrow xxxTom Snyder hosts a discussion of peculiar practices among Turkistani goatherds. Also: Judge Crater makes a rare personal appearance.

Monday Night Football xxxCossell, Gifford and Mongo host an all-star line-up including John Wayne, Billy Graham, Former President Richard M. Nixon, the Jackson Five, and Dr. Irwin J. Stillman. Coverage of Rams-Steelers game, time permitting.

Petrocelli xxxPetrocelli corrects the sheriff’s pronunciation of his name once too often. Final show of series.

Chico and the Man xxxEd Brown blows his stack when Chico wants a day off to go to Tijuana to do research on “emission control devices.”

Kung Fu xxxAngry townsfolk threaten to burn Caine at the stake after several medically-certified local virgins are found to be pregnant.

Wide World of Sports xxxChris Shenkle provides live coverage of the world championship Amateur Geek Competition from Krakow. Taped coverage of the pro-am invitational three-legged race competition from Pocatella, Idaho. Also: in an exclusive interview, Evel Knieval announces his intention to sell the Brooklyn Bridge on closed-circuit television.

Leave It to Beaver xxxBeaver learns some new slang terms from an older boy at school and decides that he would prefer to be called Theodore after all.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Remembrances: O, the Payne of it all!

The rewards of diligent boxing backwards! One comes across gems such as the following:


Who remembers poor John Payne

Who never made the stretch to Wayne

Who donned his Colts

And done his best

But sank like George Bush

In the West?


Monday, December 28, 2009

Reflections: Let There Be


Being on vacation, this week and last, I’ve been boxing backwards like a man on a mission from God. This morning I extracted the following bit of writing from a folder of miscellaneous musings for which I had no use at the time of their composition: no blog yet, then.

In this piece, I made use of images from some several pre-existent poems. It is not dated. The run-on sentences are deliberate:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxMind Under Matter

Imagine the Genesis, the instant of the living cell, the simple datum of now, the primordial (!) of being, the impact of is, scant effervescence of flesh, more sea than surface, out of eternal silence made manifest, out of the dreamless sleep of cool minerality cast into a steeping, screaming cauldron of chaotic light, temporal and temporary, unendurable.

Regress to a notion of what that first cell had to endure, Eros at outset, want without will, need without knowing, attracted, perhaps, to light, more eye than I, repulsed, perhaps, by motion, ontology of need, epistemology of hunger.

The immensity of that miniscule event persists, incommensurate, this thing so tiny, so huge, revealing across fathomless seas of space-time the gnosis of the Big Bang, which, paradoxically, impossibly, it outweighs on the scale of significance, hoisting the whole starry explosion out of the depths of endlessly contingent night, to reveal the slight, human light of prophecy, hope, aspiration.

That improbable spark of I am, predicting complex permutations of sentient mass in motion, all material striving, from the thunderous rut of Brontosaurus to the chalkboard ponderings of alchemist Einstein, or the emotionally teleological aural alembic of a Bach chorale.

That single cell that gave birth to the mind which calculates and comprehends the massive fecundity of the rosy receding lights of a billion-billion galaxies.

And the Whole is patterned, the Essence is informed.

Had we the information to connect all the dots, would we fall flat in awe before the face of the Holy Spirit, or would we roll up our sleeves in resignation, perpetually to tend the Big Machine?

What provides the light that lights our dreams?

Are we circus folk or angels?

Listen now—even as the big tent collapses in tatters around us, we hear the tigers being rolled away in their cages.


Rodak's Doodles: "Excelsior!"

Analyze this one at your own peril:


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Readings: the 'Fifties

Here is the tattered cover of the only issue I ever bought of a Mad Magazine knock-off called Cracked. The "humor" inside it is extremely lame. It is one of the few magazines and/or comic books from that era that have survived. Unfortunately. This is dated 1959:


Readings: the 'Fifties

Below is an example of the kind of thing lil' Rodak was reading in 1953:


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rodak's Drawings: A Jesus for Jingoists

Here is a Christ for Conservatives: clean-cut, well-kempt, clearly comfortable, and with a noticeable tilt to the right.


R.I.P: Vic Chesnutt

I am saddened today by Vic Chesnutt's suicide. I loved his music. He was one of those guys--Dylan is another--whose music one either connects to, or doesn't. The Elect are those who connect.

May he rest in peace, no longer in pain. The pain is now ours.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rodak Relents...

...but only situationally, in order to give this nod to the season.
Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one...X

Tuesday, December 22, 2009




Rodak's (Illuminated) Writings: Unrated

Here is an old poem, the images of which were sketched onto the pages of a notebook in ballpoint pen:

Death Is Just Life Made Painless

listen now
there is a spell cast
in the room
whisperings of another voice
the voice of the carnival
turning turning
or is it my voice
lost in the wine of a sorry dreamstate
we put down to earth
wings drooping
i can see your costume glittering
in the flash of dying eyes
are we circus folk or angels
or is it just the crowd
growing hollow as the tent collapses
we hear the tigers being
rolled away in their cages

Monday, December 21, 2009

Readings: Behind the Curtain, Part 4


ARPAnet 1969

Following is the final installment of my reflections on Thomas Pynchon's novel, Inherent Vice. The denoument is summed up in one sentence:

“It’s all data. One and zeros. All recoverable. Eternally present.”

So sez Sparky, a kind of keyboarding lab rat, deputy to Fritz, the ur-Nerd, surrounded by monitors, all patched into the ARPAnet, first ancestor of today’s internet. Working on a case, Doc is wont to go to these primitive hackers for information. And so, the birth of the Cyber-Information Age, the realization of a kind of “eternal life,” perhaps infernal--also in 1969, btw—is the final thematic thread running through Inherent Vice and adding its portion to our grasp of the gist of the novel’s title. It brings us right up to the point where we sit together now at our collective keyboards, bathed in the glow of our mutual monitors.

Inherent Vice is a worthwhile read: I recommend it.
Part 3 is here.

Reflections: Drop Out

John Q. Public

The fix remains solidly in. Washington is, indeed, a parliament of whores.

The thing to do--as it always has been--is to drop out of the system. Stop supporting it with your cooperation and participation and allow the universal lack of response to the lies, disinformation, and false propaganda to throw a spotlight on the venality, greed, thievery and brutal amorality of the corporate class and their political parrots and butt-boys.

Once again, the people have spoken and their elected "representatives" have collectively shot them the bird.

Shoot back. Stay home next November, keep your money in your pocket, and post your outrage on the internet.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rodak Asks: Who Dat?

As promised, here is a photographic portrait--as close as I could find to the facial expression in the drawing--of the individual portrayed in the previous "Who Dat?" Does that help?

Be that as it may, here is a much easier one:

Identify one, or both, of these handsome dudes in the comment section.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Readings: Behind the Curtain, Part 3


In another example of the kind of synchronicity of which I’ve written before, during the work hours of the same day on which I read the following passage from Inherent Vice after dinner, I’d had a conversation about the film The Wizard of Oz with a colleague in the office. This guy is a film buff and talks about “the cinema” often. On this occasion, my colleague had told me of having experienced exactly the same eye-opener related to Doc Sportello by his colleague, Sauncho in Inherent Vice—i.e. seeing The Wizard of Oz for the first time on a color TV and discovering that Kansas is in black-and-white, while Oz is in living color.

Although I am nearly a decade older than this guy, and can well remember those days of yore when all “television sets” were black-and-white, I never had this particular experience. I had seen The Wizard of Oz in the theater, multiple times, as a child. The film was shown every year—I think during the Christmas season—at a theater in Grand Rapids, Michigan, near where my maternal grandparents lived. This theater was in the shopping district of a neighborhood called Burton Heights, a short walk from my grandparents’ house. Under the supervision of the oldest cousin, we gathered kids would excitedly make that annual walk, eager to immerse ourselves in the mind-blowing wonders of Oz. It was a family tradition.

Here, now, is Inherent Vice:

On the way back to the beach, Doc looked in at the offices of Hardy, Gridley & Chatfield. Sauncho was there, but mentally for the moment not available, having the other night happened to watch The Wizard of Oz (1939) for the first time on a color TV set.
xxx“Did you know it starts off in black and white,” he informed Doc with some anxiety, “but it changes to color! Do you realize what that means?”
xxxNo use. “—the world we see Dorothy living in at the beginning of the picture is black, actually brown, and white, only she thinks she’s seeing it all in color—the same normal everyday color we see our lives in. Then the cyclone picks her up, dumps her in Munchkin Land, and she walks out the door, and suddenly we see the brown and white shift into Technicolor. But if that’s what we see, what’s happening with Dorothy? What’s her ‘normal’ Kansas color changing into? Huh? What very weird hypercolor? as far beyond our everyday color as Technicolor is beyond black and white—“ and so on.

I use the term “mind-blowing” above, which usage is, of course, anachronistic. That term came into common parlance in the psychedelic ‘sixties. The glimpsed perception of those alternate realties—those states of awareness just behind, below, above, or beyond, the workaday reality of the ego—offered by the use of psychotropic drugs, is mirrored here in this talk of Oz and “hypercolor.” But you can’t describe it. You have to have been there.

And Oz, of course, like, say…LSD…was not all sweetness and light. In Oz you had your witches and your flying monkeys. Bad trips, those.

Nonetheless, The Wizard of Oz has always been my favorite movie.
Part 2 of this series is here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Remembrances: Still Boxing Backwards

I opened a copy paper box that was sitting on the floor of my closet the other day. This was a box full of stuff from my desk in a previous office. Amongst the stuff was a CD-RW with "R.D." scribbled on the index. I had no idea what might be on this particular disk, so I popped it into the computer to find out. In there with all the spreadsheets, drafts of correspondence, and other detritus of the daily grind at my former position, was a word document designated as "Hell." This turned out to be the draft of a poem that I must have created during a lull in a bad day at the office. I kind of like it--"unfinished" though it remains--so I thought I'd post it.

The drawing is another from my high school art class days. My daughter saw it as I was preparing to scan it into my computer and told me that it was certainly the Gollum. Apparently she saw a resemblance to this creature that I drew way back in the day and Gollum as created for the movie version of LOTR. Since I made the drawing at least a year before I read the Ring Triology as a college freshman, (and have never seen the movie), any resemblance between the drawing and the Gollum, is purely coincidental. I think that it does make a nice accompanyment to a poem entitled "Hell" though.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxthe smothering solitude of hell
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxpunctuated only
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxby the incessant dread
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxof an arrhythmic ringing--

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxthe unwanted dead
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxcalling up to mock--
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxphoning in the bad news--

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxbut those blessèd dead--
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxthose whose voice
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxone ceaselessly desires--

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxeternally silent

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxin an impossible future.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Readings: Behind the Curtain, Part 2


Do I have your attention? Okay, then...

Doc Sportello’s primary antagonist in Inherent Vice is a cop whose handle is Bigfoot. Bigfoot is that rare officer of the law who uses a large vocabulary fluently. The two men seem to be opposite numbers. Yet it is almost as if the existences of Sportello and Bigfoot are each necessary conditions for the existence of the other. Here, Bigfoot and Doc wax Gnostic on the topic of Charles Manson:

xxx“It’s like,” Bigfoot had continued, “there’s this evil subgod who rules over Southern California? who off and on will wake from his slumber and allow the dark forces that are always lying there just out of the sunlight to come forth?”
xxx“Wow, and…and you’ve…seen him? This ‘evil subgod,’ maybe he…he talks to you?”
xxx“Yes and he looks just like a hippie pothead freak! Something, huh?”
xxxWondering what this was about, Doc, trying to be helpful, said, “Well, what I’ve been noticing since Charlie Manson got popped is a lot less eye contact from the straight world. You folks all used to be like a crowd at the zoo—‘Oh, look, the male one is carrying the baby and the female one is paying for the groceries,’ sorta thing, but now it’s like, ‘Pretend they’re not even there, ‘cause maybe they’ll mass murder our ass.’”

The year 1969 was a dark one in many ways: Nixon took office; the secret bombing of Cambodia commenced; Weatherman seized control of SDS; the Stonewall riot took place in NYC; the My Lai massacre became public knowledge; Black Panther, Fred Hampton, was murdered in his bed by Chicago cops; following the peak draft year of 1968, the Selective Service Lottery was introduced; demonstrations and riots against the war grew in size and frequency; the Walrus was Paul... But two 1969 events—the Manson Family killings, and the violent deaths at the Altamont Free Concert—served to permanently freak out the counter-culture. There was never a complete recovery. Things were never the same. It was the end of any real belief in “the Woodstock Nation”—among its former inhabitants, anyway. It was the Fall. It was the expulsion from Eden. The Man Behind the Curtain cranking the wheels was not the blustery, mischievous Wiz: the Man was Charles Manson.

If you missed Part 1, it is here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rodak Asks: Who Dat?

We will now take a short hiatus from Thomas Pynchon to present another installment of "Who Dat?" This one may be more obscure than were previous offerings. In addition to not depicting an American pol, it will be noted that the art class assignment had evidently moved on from strict line drawings to more use of shading. So, who is it?

I'd never have guessed, as I was drawing this portroon from a photo, that a bit more than a decade later I would meet the man in person.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Readings: Behind the Curtain, Part 1


Lest anyone think that I’ve been doing nothing but rummaging around in old boxes in recent times, I will now endeavor to write a few words about, and provide a few excerpts from, a witty and entertaining novel that I yesterday finished reading: Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.

The protagonist of Inherent Vice is a dope-addled hippie/beach boy/private investigator named Larry “Doc” Sportello. The novel is set in Los Angeles and vicinity, in the recent aftermath of the Charles Manson murders, the occurrence of which provides the book with one of its several noirish refrains.

It would be easy to read this book as a humorous blend of satire, parody and nostalgia; it is more than that. As with all of Pynchon’s novels, the subsurface preoccupation is with the mysterious, sometimes dark, sometimes benevolent, forces inhabiting our world and operating just behind the skrim of “reality” which ordinarily prevents them from manifesting at our conscious level. Pynchon, in this book, remains very much the postmodern Gnostic.

It will take me three or four posts to present, and say a few words about, each of the excerpts I have chosen as essential introductions to Inherent Vice. The first of these made me laugh out loud when I read it. The novel is replete with allusions to song lyrics and other pop-cultural markers of the early ‘seventies. In the excerpt that follows, Pynchon pokes fun at the emergent blaxploitation genre, which was one such marker:

East of Sepulveda the moon was out, and Doc made pretty good time. He peeled off the freeway at La Cienega, took the Stocker shortcut over to La Brea. Programming on the radio, appropriate to the hour, included one of the few known attempts at black surf music, “Soul Gidget,” by Meatball Flag—

Who’s that strollin down the street,
Hi-heel flip-flops on her feet,
Always got a great big smile,
Never gets popped by Juv-o-nile—
Who is it? [Minor-seventh guitar fill]
Soul Gidget!

Who never worries about her karma?
Who be that signifying on your mamma?
Out there lookin so bad and big,
Like Sandra Dee in some Afro wig—
Who is it?
Soul Gidget!

Surf’s up, Soul Gidget’s there,
Got that patchouli all in her hair,
Down in Hermosa she’s runnin wild,
Back in South Central she just a child—
Uh who is it?
Soul Gidget!

That's nearly perfect. The subject of the next excerpt will be (gasp!) Charles Manson himself.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Riffs: Some Cultcha


As I type, I am listening to Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No.3, featuring soprano, Dawn Upshaw, with David Zinman conducting the London Sinfonietta.

Back in the early ‘90s, this recording was something of a major fad. Tribes of Euro-Quaalude freaks (or maybe it was Ecstasy) were gathering in converted airplane hangers featuring vampire castle lighting and pumped-in clouds of detergent foam to dig the haunting beauty of this piece of music while trying to remember where they’d left their genitalia.

Or something like that.

I will freely admit that I don’t listen to much symphonic music. My personal strings are more attuned to three-chord guitar classics. I will also confess that I sent away for the disc due to curiosity about its cult status, rather than as a high-toned exercise in music appreciation.

All of that said, if you don’t know this gorgeous work, and if archival Poison, Kanye West and Coldplay just aren’t diddling the ol’ G-spot like they used to, you might want to check it out.


Rodak Asks: Who Dat?

XOkay, this one's surely a gimme, and time has expired on the previous offering. The benignity of the portrait below is reflective of the (now hard to remember) fact that in 1964 when it was drawn this man was still wearing a white hat:

Just three years later, his tagline was “I coulda been a contender!” The current resident of the White House should take a deep breath and learn from history.

A definitive I.D.--or further remarks--will be welcomed in the comment section.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Remembrances: La Rochelle

I intuit that there are readers out there who have been muttering to themselves, “When is Rodak going to lay off with the doodles and give us another poem?”

(Huh? What’s that, you say? You’d rather chew sand? Well, FU2.)

The window through which the picture below was shot provided this poem with one of its central images. The words are addressed to another beautiful Jewish woman (not “Leah”), who was a pivotal figure in my life.

Before the Fall

Sweetly androgynous birds of dawn
on dawn’s light float,
on tiled roofs, sea sky.
Our eyes and lips
for making words alone,
our meaningless song, before the fall.
Our soles flinch yet
from the crushed shells’ bite.
The taste of wine renews
the garlic sauce, orange light,
blue beach umbrellas, moules,
the musky night.
Sand from our shoes
sifts onto the floor. Time

lounged in breathless windows,
where mosquitoes sang love songs.
My joy, my frenzy, passed for disease
or drunken charm.
Don’t let this image come to harm,
nor question now
what it is was that, then, you knew for sure.
It is far too late to live again,
and Friday’s smile for Wednesday’s love
makes a month of Sundays real.

Memories, scars, so pretty
once the wounds have healed.
It is we, yes, perfect,
completely formed and poised before the fall.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Reflections: Just War Doctrine

B. Obama: It's just war.

N. Gingrich: I'm right behind you, Barry!

S. Palin: You betcha!

Rodak's Drawings: The Donald

Please indulge me as I honor the memory of the ceramic coin bank of my idyllic Midwestern boyhood:


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rodak Asks: Who Dat?

Before Rummy, before Dick "Big Time" Cheney, there was:

Name this man in the comments section.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rodak's Doodles: Contra Darkness


UPDATE: This is a very old drawing and not on acid-free paper, as the yellowing indicates. For anyone having trouble making it out, the caption reads: Confident of success with Gandalf at his side, Frodo grimly challenges the forces of Darkness

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Remembrances: In a Sense, Abroad*

...and I think that I took this next one in Egypt. It’s hard to remember after all this time. I call it, Horses, Sand, and Colored People:

I seem to recall that our little native guide (spoke terrible English; never heard of Right Guard) tried very hard to make a big deal out of those raggedy-ass stone structures in the background there. Sheesh! This photo was taken over thirty years ago. That stuff is probably looking really shabby by now!


*cf., this classic

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rodak's Writings: The Suicide's Satori



The Suicide’s Satori

I hover about my life
as the ghost malingers near the corpse—
not appalled, unamused.

Wondering how long the feeling can last,
I touch your hand.
Half hopeful, facing one more dawn,
I rise to kiss the sun.

Expecting to burn, I feel no heat.

Awaiting yet the vision manifest,
I perceive just light—
mere, yellow light.

Ah-ha. Ah-ha.


John 12:25

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Quote(s) du Jour: Last Milosz



Lest they be forgotten, here are the last couple of excerpts I pulled from the pages of Czeslaw Milosz' great novel, The Issa Valley, and never used:

If only a moment of everything’s happening could be arrested, fixed, examined in a glass jar; if only it could be peeled away from the moment before and the moment after, and the tissue of time stretched into an ocean of space! But no.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx# # #

We are given to live on the border of the human and the bestial, and it is good so.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rodak's Doodles: You Know Not the Hour

Here's another oldie out of the box:


Friday, December 4, 2009

Rodak Asks: Who Dat Now?



This "Who Dat" offering is a bit more obscure, although the mug was highly visible and recognizable, back in the day. "The day" would have been 1964-1965, when I was a senior in high school. These drawings, which I have now dubbed "portroons," were drawn for an assignment in an art class I took.

Name this man in the comments section.


UPDATE: What? Nobody is able--or can be bothered to--identify this esteemed gentleman? Well, that certainly shows one how fruitless, finally, is the pursuit of fame, influence, and power!
UPDATE.1: Wow! There was a freudian typo, if ever there was one. I had myself in high school in the 1990s! LoL! If only!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rodak Asks: Who Dat?


Today begins a new little feature--which will be short-lived--again based on my current "boxing backwards" project.

Found in one of those ancient boxes was a small cache of portraits, or cartoons (okay, then, "portroons") mostly in pencil, of some men who were prominent in the early-to-mid 1960s, when I sketched them. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify these personages in the comments section.

I've started you off with an easy one, which is actually one of the notebook margin doodles.
Addendum: I should have noted that in addition to being the only notebook doodle in the series, this one is the only true caricature--the rest will all be portroons.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rodak's Writings: Solipsist?


Possibly because of my persistence in defending the righteousness of operating as a sola scriptura Protestant; or possibly because I’m just a stubborn and hyper-opinionated contrarian, Tom--Keeper of the Keys at Disputations—has not been able, from time to time, to resist the temptation to characterize your humble host as a solipsist. Say what?

I must admit that I was a bit miffed--after I looked the word up and found out what Tom was talking about. Then again, if one gets a good whiff of the attitude expressed in the following old poem, one might be prompted to allow the possibility (slight though it might be) that old Tom is, after all, a just taxonomist.

Not Asking Much

I’ll eat my strained prunes
if you let Grandma make me God.

I’ll wear a bright sign
and sing in the streets:
Don’t work! Don’t vote! Suicide is out!
Go home! Take a bath with a friend!
Drink wine! Make love!
For, verily, as the last virgin succumbeth
it trippeth some kind of lever, et voilà!
the Apocalypth!

Judgement cometh! Take a break!
Baptize thyself in funky waters!

Yea, verily, I’d be God, alright!

(But then the old, beat-black, funk-dipped
wino shuffled up to the candy store counter, and said—
Don’ tell me! I knows! said—
Jeezis maybe went up that tree a Englishman, o’what’evah,
but he come back down a nig-gah!)

Redemption, is this your price?
To be pulled by the ear down Broadway
by some huge mutha Japanese boom-box?


Then behold!—
TV addicts in their hundreds of millions,
straining to act as one;
going mad with frustration,
‘cuz the thing’s not perfected!

Within the pillar’d alabaster breast
of every stout Rotarian sire beats—
paper-thin—the hive-swelling communal heart
of a retooled Red Chinese cadre!

So, come! (Ye perfect capitalists!)
Come! (Ye cannibals of the future!)
Truth is but a lamb in the swamp!
Come dance on my funky grave!
Come eat my dust!

Now try to scream.

x …All I want for this moment,
x for the price of this moment spent
x on a single freaking tear,
x is a little mercy:
x is to be able to stand
x on line down at the supermarket,
x perfect in patience,
x filled with joy
x and in awe of existence…

Is this too much to ask?

Then, Grandma, stuff thy strained prunes.

In the final anaysis, however, my interpretation would be that I’m exonerated by the bit about the supermarket..