Saturday, March 31, 2007

Aimee Semple McPherson

Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, evangelist to the stars, Admiral of the Salvation Navy, keeper of its lighthouses, all round Foursquare shaker of the up and up, was last seen going under for the third time off the Golden Coast! All searches fruitless! Her hot stud radio operator also reported missing! O Hope! dazzling, radiant Hope!

This just in! Sister Aimee kidnapped by Atheist Avengers, who demand half a mil or they'll sell her into white slavery! Stay close to your radios, folks, and don't forget to buy Hearst newspapers!

Late breaking news! Sister Aimee crosses desert after fearless escape! Dressed to the nines, no sweat stains! No sand in her shoes! It's a miracle! Her message to doubters: "It's my story and I'm sticking to it."

Friday, March 30, 2007

Psoriadermalomatitus

Silly us. Once upon a time we believed that victims of psoriadermalomatitus were flakey, scaly, pustule-ridden pariahs to be shunned by us, the normal members of society. Thankfully, we now live in an enlightened age, one where such afflicted flakey, scaly, pustule-ridden pariahs are to be employed as productive citizens in the manufacturing of doodads and thingamabobs. We at Amalgamated Widgets are doing our part by employing victims of psoriadermalomatitus and keeping them way the hell out of sight.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

John Kerry




Before Congress, April 22, 1971:

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Huracan

Animals didn't work. They only bleated and squawked. Requiring people to worship them, it took seven Mayan gods to whip up man. But you know how committees are; it took awhile to get it right. They called in an expert, the Heart of Heaven, Huracan, to assist them. His wind and rain provided the test. Mudmen dissolved quickly. Men of wood looked better, but had no soul, so Huracan was told to drown them, too. The seven gods needed more time, so they sent Huracan home to rest. They planted seeds. Maize grew. Then they molded the masa meal into the shapes of men. Presto. Men became what they ate.
But one-legged Huracan had an appetite, too, and arrived each summer, spinning with arms akimbo to clean his plate.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

L.C. Kaflorp

L.C. Kaflorp, CEO of Smurgicals Unlimited, put a quick quash to the merger rumor with Corpsicorp. The very idea might plummet shares on the Dow, spurring a sell-off. That'd surely spell hostile takeover by Glaseeb & Sons, who've been biding their stock options for just such an elbow maneuver. L.C. hung up the phone and caught sight of his reflection in his computer screen. He looked pressured. A vacation, maybe...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Linus

Tartarus is where Greek gods go when they are defeated in battle. (Why send them to heaven when they've already been there? And hell - well, the battle was hell, so they've been there, too.) It's a gloomy place, Tartarus, could use some cheering up.

Now, Linus was not just Lucy's but Orpheus' brother. Naturally, he could carry a tune, which he did on the lyre, the Gibson of its day. He sung as well. Dreary laments for dead heroes, for the most part, but they paid the rent and he was able to land a lot of funeral gigs.

So accomplished was he as a lyrist, he taught Orpheus and the hulky kid down the street, Heracles, how to play. But Heracles' fingers were too big. He kept plucking the wrong strings. This bugged Linus to no end and he said so, called his student a bumbling oaf. Well, Heracles had a short fuse and this set him off. He clubbed Linus upside the head with the lyre, once, twice - enough times to do him in.

Naturally, Orpheus sang the ultimate Linus-song at his brother's funeral. From the shadows, Linus either approved or didn't, no one knows for sure. What is known - don't ask how - is Linus went to Tartarus singing a new song, one of life and hope, making his hell a bit less dreary.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sorry, Dr. Seuss

Once near the sketchily rendered City of Goo
There lived an approximate chap named McFoo.
He lived in a house that was planned to be built
In the Goolian Swamp, high up on stilts.

The permit to build McFoo never acquired,
Leaving him homeless and clueless and tired,
To say nothing of damp, but did he complain?
No indeed McFoo didn't, except when it rained.

It rained forty nights and it rained forty days,
McFoo cursed the storm while he floated away.
Past farms in foreclosure and schools never built,
Might drift a soggy McFoo on a raft made of stilts.

(Additional apologies to Loudon Wainwright III)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Recall Notice

Educational Command has issued a recall, repeat, a recall of all series JZ-X3 Grammar School Instructors, effective immediately. Models recalled include the Miss Quibble, shown at left, as well as the Mrs. Quimby and the Mr. Quisp. Defective circuits cause the teachers to grade on a curve, assign excessive homework, and electrocute problem students. Educational Command warns administrators to proceed with caution in incapacitating all models. Use discretion and terminate with extreme prejudice.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Child

You know I love you, honey, but I just have to tell you. I don't think the kid looks much like me. Please don't cry. No, of course not. I'm not accusing you of anything. It's just that... I've been thinking lately. You remember what it was like, the year before he was born. You were out of it most of the time, what with all the wine and the medication. But I know you remember that electrical storm and those lights in the sky. I still say we watched from the upstairs window. I'll be hanged how we woke up the next day in the middle of the field. It just doesn't make sense. I had those marks all over my body, and you... You had him. Or he had you. That's it, you know. He had you. I mean, look at how he's looking at you right now.
Honey? You're not listening to me...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fujahn Ziff

Fujahn Ziff, this year's first draft pick for the Albuquerque Albacores, brings to the sport of snuffball a much needed air of ferocity. His talent for dismembering opponents is legendary among his former teammates at the Southwestern University of the Northeast, where he earned the nickname of 'Slice'nDice.' Manager Whitey Gray had this to say: "With Ziff on the front line, the Cores stand a good chance of spilling more blood than they'll shed this season."
Time will tell.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

4 Attempts at Songwriting

1.
Some people say that the blues ain't bad,
I don't know cause I never had 'em.
But I sing 'em all the same cause what the hell -
It sure beats shoveling shit for a living.
(Put this to music.)

2.
Rocket ride, rocket ride, won't you give me a lift.
Rocket ride, rocket ride, teach me to shift.
I don't give a shift if you stop or not, cause
I'm an astral traveler and I've got a shot at stardom.
Intergalactic Pub, 3pm Wednesday.
(Hope I get there in time.)

3.
Ooooo - ooooo - ooah, ooooo - ooooo - ooah.
Booop - booop - bah, booop - booop - bah.
Bah - bah - boo - ooh - ah, bah - bah - boo - ooh - ah.
Bit - bit - da - bibbildy - boop - bop - da - bam.
(All rights reserved.)

4.
Strange song you have there,
Never heard one like that before,
Like as if, as if I'd swear,
I'd heard it before somewhere.
(chorus)
God knows,
God knowswhere.
God knows,
But God don't care.
He just don't care.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Iktome

Lakota spider boy sets bad example. Usually takes the easy way, but can lay elaborate traps when he wants or has to.

A master liar must hear the story before it gets told.
Iktome can do both.

When Lakota saw the white man, he knew they were followers of the spider. As time went by, the machinery of his web drew tighter and Iktome fattened.

Lured knows they asked for it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Robot Rabbit





Robot Rabbit has no story. He's just a toy. I thought he needed some air, so I brought him out back and took his picture.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Leperkhan

Legend has it if you can capture the Sultan of Derry, he is obliged to render unto you a potentate o' gold. But once he does so, you will be reduced to a mass o' scabs and boils and you will be confined for the rest of your days to the island of the Leper Connollys.

Of course, the legend could have it wrong.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hamrick Oster

Sixteen year old Hamrick Oster is known for one thing above all others. A little help here.

Gurlock O'turlingmook offers:

It's the huge fin on his head, of course of course. Whoy, oy've seen the little bigger flyin' doon the street, head torned soydwoys while grinnin' loik a lizard, I have. He's the envy of all the kids in the neighborhood, he is. The gorls goo crazy fer the boy, they do. Oy've nivver unnerstood any of this, o' course. Wit no oys er nose, y'd tink he'd be considered a hideous mess o' stinkin flesh, and to some, I s'pose he is. But he's OUR Oster, y'know. Why, I remember 'im flyin' boy last week, a whole gaggle o' young gorls sceamin' and runnin' after; his headfin torned soidwys, kitchin' the wind, skeetboad unner his feets jist spinnin along.

Oy don't know jist whut that pink thing is unner his chin, tho. That ting's joost digustin' if'n ye axe me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dig Here

Witch wigglers strip bark from switches.
Forked hazel makes best witchin' sticks, although
Peach or witch-elm or willow switches will work.
Water depth dips sticks different.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Howard Kurdle

Howard Kurdle's myopic plastic surgeon now operates out of Bogota.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Kimba Clan

Kimba 17 got me out of the Slurp. I had lain wallowing there for days before he came along and hauled me out. Didn't ask my tribe. Gave me water, fed me pemmican. I didn't speak his language and he didn't speak mine. He pointed south, gestured come. That was good enough for me.

Next day we were set upon by a band of Toznu huntsmen. They chased us into a ravine where we were both ensnared in vinery. Swinging side to side upside down, I whined my last whimper, or so I thought. It seemed Kimba 17 grunted their language and engaged their leader in vociferous debate. I assumed by Kimba 17's simulated retching that he was arguing our inedibility. Tonzu spears to our throats were ordered down. We as well were lowered and allowed to go.

We reached the Kimba colony on the third day. The entire village came out of their holes to greet us, or rather to greet 17. I was viewed askance until introduced, then poked and prodded and pinched and generally assessed. I judged their demeanor eventually registered approval. I was led to a lavish spread of rabbit and quail.

I've been here eight days now. All the Kimba are very kind and encourage me to eat my fill of all manner of delicacies. They have been decorating the village for some sort of ceremony, and I could be wrong, but I believe it is to be held in my honor.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Vicuprogoths

Vented Yellowstone geysers occasionally make manifest dwellers of the fissures, the Vicuprogoths. Not the real deal, as they would die if brought higher than five miles deep. No, rather the mirror image reflected in electrically charged water vapor. The science is little understood, but we're working on it.

Theory has it Vicuprogoths, like us, were delivered to earth as spores. They evolved from enzymes to protoplasm to single celled organisms to (eventually) something something like us, only with lava instead of blood. Their varied shapes conformed to spaces between igneous rock deep in the earth's crust. We can only guess as to their culture, should such exist.

The only other Vicuprogothic manifestation known to us other than the one cited above is the extremely rare fossil fragment imbedded in volcanic projectiles. Seen here is a cast made from one of these fossils recovered on Anak Krakatau in 1936.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

True Story 11: Backyards

The old fart racks his brain.

I've been trying to remember (Google's been no help) whether we observed Daylight Saving Time before 1966 in New Jersey. It was that year the practice was adopted nationally, with a few exceptions.

I should remember, because it would have been a big deal.

Okay. Long summer nights didn't begin with the institutionalization of DST. They were, however, instantly demarcated on a calendar and given a date to be anticipated. Which all of us kids would have done. I'm sure we would have rejoiced on the day of its arrival, because it would have given us, in an instant, one more entire hour between dinnertime and dark to play wiffle ball in the O'Conner's backyard.

As it was, we played wiffle ball up until and sometimes after we could no longer actually see the bright white plastic ball. The darker it got, the greater the batter's advantage since he or she could see the ball better than could the poor fielders. So light was at a premium.

Beginning today, kids are granted an additional three or four weeks of evening sun. I'm sure some will welcome it, although most will be inside doing homework or playing video games. And many will not like waiting for their morning school bus in the dark.

All this brainracking got me thinking about back yards and how they were utilized by us. In addition to O'Conner wiffle ball games, there was the Tupper's backyard, which was reserved for Duck Duck Goose. We had to wrangle permission from old man Tupper since he didn't have kids our age, but that wasn't difficult. The yard was perfect for the game, as it had hedgerows and lots of places to hide. I don't know if any of us ever got permission from the Gaylords to use their hill for sledding. The run came to a point at the bottom where a set of steps led to an open gate. If you launched the steps dead center, shifted your weight in mid-air slightly to the right and made it through the fence opening, you would get an extra backyard (the Smiths') out of the deal. Come to think of it, the Gaylords would have been nuts to allow this, as some, like Jay Weathers who missed several weeks of school as a result, didn't quite make it through the opening. Still, we were never chased away.

Aside from death-defying fun, backyards served us kids well as shortcuts. We walked nearly a mile to and from school, so shortcuts were prized. The regular route utilized no less than eight backyard shortcuts from the O'Conners to the Tuppers. These were paths well worn by us and I suspect kids before us. No one ever questioned our rights of access - our rites of passage? - they were a given.

A few years ago, a girl rang our doorbell and asked if she and her friends could use our back and side yard for a shortcut. We said sure, so the school bus began dropping them off in front of our house and the kids would noisily descend the hill. This went on for the rest of the school year and part of the next. You could set your watch by sound of the kids shortcutting. It was nice. We felt we were doing our part. Then one day the bus no longer stopped out front. Maybe they hired a more accommodating driver or something, but I like to think the kids figured out for themselves there was a shorter, less steep backyard shortcut down the road a ways.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lady of the Wood
















Moss bedecked and shroom adorned,
she bade me enter her wooden glade.
No sooner had I than she moaned,
"I'm not the woman you think you've laid."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Buddhic Abecedarian

Exposed finally to suffering, Siddhartha wondered how it felt. One day he decided not to come in out of the rain. He got a cold, ran a fever, sweat and froze, shivered and shook . When rats nibbled his toes, he let them. He drank little and ate less. Disliked the lack of taste so much, he consumed less and less. He cut his skin and bled copiously. He stopped sleeping but never fully awoke. He was a mess. And yet he knew he remained a neophyte, far from the godhead. He had learned how to suffer, but not how to overcome suffering.

When an urchin offered him a bowl of rice, Siddhartha was touched by her compassion. He accepted it. He decided then and there he would have to find another path, one less extreme. Asceticism alone offered no clarity of thought. He needed his health to attain mindfulness.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Shawnika

Momma says I should stop playing with Shawnika. Momma says Shawnika's a fiction of my imagination. But that's cause Momma can't see Shawnika. Shawnika says no grown-up can see her. No grown-up can see any kid like Shawnika. That's cause kids like Shawnika don't want to be seen. Not by grown-ups. Grown-ups hurt kids like Shawnika. Shawnika says her momma hurt her. She drownded Shawnika. Now Shawnika only wants to play with me. I like Shawnika. She's my best friend.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Salieri

Maestro Salieri, fickler than that silly Austrian prodigy, awaited commissions equal to his station. He dropped Cosi fan tutte like a hot buffa. But only the drawing room set regards the stately as necessary.
It is Die Zauberflötes that endure.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Fouke Monster

Until now, no close-up photograph of the Fouke Monster has been known to exist. And this one wouldn't either, if it weren't for one little video camera left on in the canoe of a Cornell researcher navigating through a remote Arkansas swamp. Although the monster disappeared about as quickly as it appeared, the film proved one thing for sure: that a new infusion of cash donations would insure the search would continue in earnest for years to come.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tomb of Jesus

For your edification, Hidden Missives now presents irrefutable proof that the recently discovered Tomb of Jesus and Family is not only one hundred percent authentic, but worthy of papal endorsement by decree. These are the bones and mummified remains of the entire Jesus clan all right, plus a few others thrown in for good measure. You got your Judah, you got your Jofa, you even have your Mary Magdalene. Keep in mind, these photographs have not been Photoshopped or retouched in any way.



Here you see Jesus Christ, not as He was in life, mind you, but how He looks in 2007 A.D. A little worse for the wear, perhaps, but clearly still radiating love and compassion.








And here we can plainly discern not the visage, but the veritable sarcophagus of the Virgin Mary. See how she mourns in supplication.





We're not sure who all these people are. Obviously not servants or slaves; the bone structure is decidedly holy. Cousins, most likely. They were found crammed into an earthen ossuary so tightly, no oxygen could enter, thus preserving the remains mummily.


So now that you've seen the photographs, who are you going to believe, leading scientists and theologians, or James Cameron and your own eyes? We think the choice is clear.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sylene

Under the gun of deadline, this is the only photo I was able to take of a window I made this week for the Tabriz auction, benefiting the Arkansas Arts Center. The original artwork which inspired the piece is seen below. It's called "Me Up Close," and was included in last year's Young Arkansas Artists exhibition. That's the artist and subject standing next to it, Sylene Cortez. She turned sixteen last week. Happy Birthday, Sylene.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mosquito

She was a wriggler once, like the rest, breathing through her bum. When she pupa'd, she developed a taste for her larval lessers, causing her peers to take note. Then she took flight.

She can feel your heat. She can detect carbon dioxide on your breath, in your sweat. You are protein to her.
She needs you to feed her young. You will not feel her enter you.

Crepuscular, she prefers twilight and dawn, as do all fleeing lovers. It is not her intention to irritate or infect. In fact, she wants to mix the blood of all races, unite them into one glorious cocktail without their ever knowing. How selfless is that?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Montag

My Book Report
Wanted for Murder: Montag. Occupation: Fireman.
We burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes.
Oh, mummy, look! Firemen.
Mummy, there's going to be a fire.
Twenty-three antisocial elements were detained, pending re-education.
These books are my family.
Behind each of these books, there's a man.
Montag will report to the captain's office.
Take my word for it, Montag, there's nothing there.
The books have nothing to say!
These books were alive. They spoke to me.
They came to take them away. They do that now, don't they?
The system will eat itself.
We'll have to go away from here. I know a place.
Repeating. Calling all citizens.
Wanted for murder. Montag. Fireman.
The criminal is alone and on foot.
Let each one stand at his front door. Look and listen.
A crime against society has been avenged.
They are books. Each one, men and women, Everyone.
Tramps outwardly, but, inwardly, libraries.