Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Reflections: Existence, a Tough Place to Be

Nobody ever does what they say they're going to do, except by coincidence. All human action is motivated by forces the actors choose either to deny or to ignore. To awaken to this is to know existential nausea. To overcome it is to know enlightenment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rodak's Writings: a Very Short Story

Sick Transit

Gloria Monday vomited half way into Manhattan on the uptown D train. Never had she been so humiliated.

The next morning, the stick turned blue.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Reflections on the Elections: HRC Still Dissing Millennials & Others

Hillary Clinton's campaign to-date seems to be directed with laser-like precision right at those who were automatically going to vote for her anyway. It more or less just pats those preconditioned voters on their collective heads and tells them how very *bright* they are for recognizing HRC to be the *most experienced* and *best qualified* presidential candidate EVER.
But for those potential voters who should be voting Democratic, but who are, at this point, still taking a knee to Hillary's theme music, she offers little-to-nothing. How DARE they question her supremacy? Did she not bring both Sanders and Warren to heel? Is that not proof enough for these idiots? Will they not come around now and be *useful idiots*? Time is running out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reflections on the Elections: Hillary vs. Trump

If I were a Hillary supporter, I would very much hope that the Donald isn't somehow disqualified as a candidate, because I don't think she could beat any normal Republican candidate at this point. My God, she's barely staying ahead of Trump.

 "At least she's better than Trump" becomes inoperative if Trump is suddenly gone.

Which is to say, they'd better stop merely attacking Trump and start convincing people that Hillary is actually a good choice on her own merits.


Rodak's Writings: a Poem

The Way the Music Died

I’m pretty sure
the fragment of mind
embedded in this
particular clot of mud
is near disintegration.

I have not learned much
about the Ground of Being,
obsessed as I’ve been
about being in the ground,
probing the receptive mud
for groans and giggles.

There was issue from these strivings
and all was well until those I got
commanded me stop whistling along
with the chiming of the spheres.

Finally, then, the white noise reigned:
the lovely music guttered out
and died between my ears.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rodak's Writings: a Poem

All the world's wisdom

rests in neat rows
on my shelves,
its potential exhausted
by time's long lesson:

mind games
don't play on the street.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Rodak's Writings: a Poem


I am an imaginary poet,
invisible product 
of unknown others 
who came before
and anonymously departed,
leaving behind them
no anxiety-inducing 
blueprints or lists
of commandments.
But this is not
a constant state.
I am at times other types 
of desperate being
with jury-rigged souls 
if any at all.
The poet notes this
on the unseen page.
He sometimes wonders
whether any of those 
other selves care
or benefit at all
from this arduously
feigned verbal angst.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Riffs: Halloween's a-Comin'...


"Look... You're a nice guy. But I know where Frankenstein got your dick."

Reflections: Doubt

I have been predisposed not to readily believe what I'm told by my government ever since the Warren Commission told me that Oswald acted alone.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Readings: Inspired by Brando

Somebody posted a clip of the last few minutes (beginning around minute 24) of this interview with Marlon Brando on the Dick Cavett Show on Facebook, in response to the ongoing anti-pipeline-on-Indian-land protests currently taking place in the Dakotas.

In the part of the interview posted, Brando states that his interest in the Indians and their plight began with reading a book titled Indians of the Americas. I thought it would be fun to have a look at that book and went to the Ohio University catalog to see if we have it here.

The title is generic enough that I was afraid it wouldn't be possible to identify the book not knowing the name of the author, which Brando didn't mention. But a careful search of not only O.U.'s catalog, but the OhioLink catalog, which covers the colleges and universities in the whole state, convinced me that it has to be the book by that title, written by John Collier and published by Norton in 1947.

We have it, so I've borrowed it. I'll read at least some of it and pretend that I'm Marlon Brando.

I'm sure that I saw this segment with Brando on the Cavett show when it aired live. If you're of the right age, probably you did too. It was a different time.

UPDATE:  I have just finished reading the first five pages of this book's opening chapter, and I am rocked. The man's writing style is not good; but his mindset is epic--and prophetic. This book was published in 1947--the year I was born--and Collier was already writing about the exact fears and dangers of global annihilation that those of us who are awake to them are trying to cope with today. Collier believed that the indigenous peoples of the Americas possessed that which mankind needs if it is to survive. 

As we watch the gathering of the tribes in N. Dakota in their attempt to block the pipeline that would desecrate their sacred grounds and threaten to destroy their physical environment, Collier's vision is shown to be accurate and prophetic. I am excited to get deeper into this reading.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Rodak's Writings: A Sonnenizio

Earlier today, I read the last poem in Kim Addonizio's excellent collection, "What Is This Thing Called Love."  In addition to providing me with hours of enjoyment, it also taught me about something of which I had been unaware: the poetic form called "sonnenizio." Addonizio defines the form this way in a footnote below the one in her collection, which is based on a line from Drayton:

"The sonnenizio is fourteen lines long. It opens with a line from someone else's sonnet, repeats a word from that line in each succeeding line of the poem, and closes with a rhymed couplet."

The idea of this appealed to me, so I decided to try my hand at it. I based mine on a line from "Sonnet 13" by John Berryman:

Sonnenizio on a line from Berryman

Beasts in their hills their tigerish love are snarling,
While in this dead valley I’m missing your love my lost darling.
Something stronger than love it was once brought you near me;
And once you were here it was love of your lips took me down
To the bed in my room where you taught me the love of your flesh.
Oh, how I would love one more time to drink from your mouth
And to love you again, fingers and tongue, north to south,
As you roll like a wave and sing my love deep in your throat.

I love to remember how I glowed as your bared your soft skin;
How you lay your limbs down on that bed for our love to begin.
Now love languishes lonely, long highways apart from your touch,
As I search for love’s power in words that fall harmlessly short
Of that powerful love I once felt in the clutch of your thighs,
As I lapped at love’s portal and drank your sweet form with my eyes.

                                           ***   ***   ***

According to Addonizio, another characteristic of the form was that it originally most often dealt with "the impossibility of everlasting love." So in that sense at least, I think I nailed it.