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A New Food

It is the new year and it is a custom to have a new food.

I recently read a book called “WALRUS” which is, as you might guess from the title, a cultural and natural history of the walrus.

It included a discussion of Yupik and Inuit cuisine. Colonialist explorers disdained this cuisine and even opted to get malnutrition eating the salted cod and grog packed away on their ships, but it was quite sophisticated. They would, for example, take a walrus flipper and allow it to decompose for a year before eating it. The most prized part of a walrus given to the lead on a walrus hunt was the stomach, because it was full of the fattest clams and oysters, which the walrus dug up from the sea floor, not with its tusks, as you might think — those were for fighting — but but blasting clams with water and then shelling them with its prehensile lips and whiskers.

I digress. It brought to mind a story I had heard in Alaska that after a whale kill the indigenous people’s would celebrate with “Inuit” or “Eskimo” ice-cream, which was made of snow, blubber, and local berries.

My friend Goldbloom told me that whale smells a bit like burning motor oil. A powerful taste. I would not eat a whale, because of how sophisticated they are, and also it violates the marine mammals protection act. So I ordered a powerful oily sea creature on the internet — the herring. I got it smoked and in cans, to make the taste more intense.

I also ordered cloudberry preserve although that has not come yet. But the herring did come. So I mixed it with frozen blueberries and ice in the blender.

It was a light blue color and smelled like smoky fish. The experience was cold, smoky, oily, and sweet — I added a little sage honey.

On SNL they mocked people who ate fish in a blender and I absorbed some of this prejudice — that frozen treats must be sweet not savory, and that fish is something to eat salted not sweetened. But these prejudices turn out to be foolish.

My home-made Inuit Ice Cream is amazing — it may be my favorite food.

L’Shana Tova — may you be inscribed for a new year that is both sweet and surprising.

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The Proverbs

The King Miltiades of Lydia in Asia Minor asked the wiseman Zoxis for a talisman that would gladden his heart when overly oppressed and make it grave in times of overweening exuberance and the sage responded by giving him a golden ring upon which were inscribed the words “This too will pass.”

Plato criticized any attempt to transcribe wisdom in books, because books, unlike men, cannot change their response based upon their interlocutor. Yet the talisman of Zoxis shows that this criticism, though it may be correctly leveled against books of the usual support, fails in its condemnation against other instances of writing. For example, Heraclitus had a mirror made of polished silver and above it inscribed αυτός ο άνθρωπος θα πεθάνει — This man will die.

Rabbi Bag Bag, one of the sages of blessed memory had a bell set over the house of study with a trip wire so that anybody who crossed the wire caused the bell to rang, whereupon the visitor would look up and see the form of an eye inscribed upon the metal of the bell and the words “Remember the eye above.”

The artist James Ensor formed a mobius strip made of the skin of his mother, who had lost a leg in an accident, and tatooed upon it “The one who comes is the same as the one who goes is the same…” and so the expression, looped back upon itself.

Li Po wrote the character for important as a tiny hair that could be mistaken for a smudge, growing out of the character for obvious. 中央明顯

A sage of Cambridge who does not wish me to divulge his identity wrote a program in LISP whereby an address would be made to each person based upon his name, inviting him not to throw love away.

There have been fragile sayings written on tough materials and tough saying written in smoke and in water.

Some have created phosphemes by pressing the thumb upon the closed eye and then straightaway devised a graphical dictionary where the phosphemes had meaning and the meaning was: repent. Others have done the same technique for the images of clouds, or the distinct smells arising from a pineapple tossed into a fire. In the first case the clouds said: behind the flow of thoughts remains the one true consciousness. The smells of the pineapple say: change your life, but first change your thought about what constitutes a change.

And when the smell of the burning pineapple mixed with the sea breeze the people did as they were told.

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Not Buying “Bloodlands”

I wanted to read Bloodlands because I have an upcoming trip, but I have accumulated a lot of books over the pandemic and I thought I should inventory them first, and decide what I have that I want to read, and read that, before I buy and read Bloodlands. (Although I do want to read Bloodlands.). Here is the list of what I think I want to read first:

Martianus Capella and the Sevean Liberal Arts

Murder Ballads an dOther Legends by Bohuml Hrabal

Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism – Panofsky

The Age of Wire and STring – Ben Marcus

The Fall fo the Stone City – Ismail Kadare

States of Mind – experience at teh edge of consciousness

Fantastic Tales — Calvino

Kaleidoscope – Zweig

Riders in the Chariot

Bengal Nights

Heidegger; THe Question of Being and History

Breasts and Eggs

The Hunger angel

The Return of Munchausen

The Five and Twenty Tales of te Genie

From the Book to the Book

My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk

The Book of Margins – Jabes

European Literature nad hte Latin Middle Ages

The Middle Ground

Jesus’s Son

Charles Darwin Bio

The Book fo Laughter amd Forgetting

Magic for Beginners

Latin via Ovid

Lingua Latina

Mimesis

Fruitful Labor

The Politics of Friendship

Margins of Philosophy

Literature in Secret

Metamorphoses

On the Nature of Things

The Woman Who Pretended to be Who She Was

Untying the Knot

The Psychopathic Racila Personality

Threads and Traces

Maximum City

Murder of the Century

The Illiad

Saddam Hussein: Politics of Revenge

Chickenshit Club

Poetry of Rilke

Classical Chinese

Montaillou

Waiting for the Barbarians

The Scientific Method

Shuckin’ and Jivin’

Making Big Money in 1600

The King of hte World in the Land of the Pygmies

Conversations with Ogotemmeli

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Nasa’s New Telescope Will Show Us the Infancy of the Universe

TIME: 3 am

FROM: Kaplan@hotmail.com

TO: The Infancy of the Universe

I know it’s a shame to want to see

Mom and Dad and the IUD

The slip in the goop that led to me. 

The girls in the window they talk with their hands

I’m afraid they saw me looking &

Afraid they didn’t.  And pussy and

Perverted boy who peed on the sill

Ran down the street.  Rang every bell

Brought a bone to school for show and tell.

Did you come from a hiccup or The Mind Divine?

You show me yours and I’ll show you mine.

TIME: 415 am

FROM: Kaplan@hotmail.com

TO: The Infancy of the Universe

After a googling night I learned

Only a very bad boy would ask

The universe its shame.  For they 

don’t feel, cosmoi, anything.  

-nor shame, nor love, nor honor, nor–

at best they burst orgasm suns.

I know that it’s a shame to ask

Something so dumb of something dumb. 

The word for infant means don’t speak.

You show your Self to me with Hum.

TIME: 6am

FROM: Kaplan@hotmail.com

To:The Extragalactic Background Hum

Oh sussuri, Ananda, Nand —

False only if your parts are true —

Oh Background Light obscured by all

Oh photon’s zero AMU.

& now the girls are going home

And if they saw me, they don’t care

Mother and Father also gone

& I their echo lone and bare

I bear repeating, I alone

my shame, my proof, my show, my care.

If I were there when they made me

I  wouldn’t tell — I’d let me be.

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The Cleaning Woman

Frenetic to be and a bit forgotten

Hard to hold in mind, and a brush

With wires.

*

Drop it.  I can’t.  A fever!  

Awful the throb, and little winter light

Downstairs.

*

Auroras, wooly-bear caterpillars

On the carpet the colors

From a prism.

*

In the window.  The neighbors

Are waiting.  Outside

The porch sags.

*

Her legs had violet varicose veins

She grew pink tea roses.

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Carol

When I was just a puddle of water with a face,

She took me in her body like a balloon

protecting me from ocean and from sun

And also from the knowledge that I had enemies, 

When they punctured her I spurted out onto green grass. 

Above me was sky and air full of pollen, 

Dragonflies and damselflies made turns 

and water-striders glid on scum.

“Come to me.” said the pond, and I slid into her,

green with the darting euglena, thick with rotifer. 

When fire came I rose up high, high, high 

clinging to the feathers of a fleeing goose.

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Puddle

When I was just a puddle of water with a face Carol protected me. She took me into her body like a balloon and truth be told I didn’t know the adventures she went on with me inside her; she was a membrane protecting me from the salty ocean, and a warm environment — she kept me from freezing, she kept me from drying out. She also, and I am not sure how I feel about this protected me from knowledge. I had enemies, both enemies who knew who I was and wanted to kill me for that, and enemies who didn’t care who I was but would kill me to achieve their own goals.

When they punctured Carol I spurted out onto the green grass. Above me was the sky and the air was thick with the smell of pollen, Dragonflies and damsel flies make sharp banking maneuvers to gather mosquitos. By the water’s edge where there was mud among the reeds water striders glid by on the scum.

“Come to me.” said the pond, or the spirit who dwelt therein. She smiled at me and I slid into her, mixing myself with her.

Who was I now, where did Chloe begin and I end? Why would I know or even want to know. And yet I did.

I think that that want, to know which of our mingled waters, green with the darting euglena, thick with rotifer, came from her. She must have wanted to want that, or known that there was a question she had always wanted to ask when she invited me inside her.

When fire came I rose up high, high, high clinging to the feathers of a fleeing goose. My love, the pond, became lost as steam.

In her death did she learn what was her and what was me? I hope so.

I like to think so.

I don’t blame Carol for lying to me, now that I am a man of power, bursting through pipes and powering the massive form of my body as I make the walls of the enemy city to dust, tear open their tanks and drink the last drop, climb mountains to offer my prayers to the sun.

She made a space for me inside her, and if that space was not the space of the rest of the world until she was punctured and mixed with it, it was, nevertheless a space for me.

I do not call it a lie, at least not when I talk to myself.

Do I call it a lie when I talk to you?

Some times.

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Three Lovely People

There were once three people who lived in three houses next door to each other, and their digestive systems worked differently. Marie who lived in the house in the middle which was painted red, had a hole in her head that secreted saliva, and contained a muscle for mashing food and a bunch of small hard bones for slicing it and crushing it. The saliva had an enzyme called amylase which broke down the starch in the food into sugar, and she had a muscular tube which sent food from this hole into the recesses of her viscera for further digestion. She also used this hole to talk.

To the left of Marie lived Oswald in a house that was painted green. Oswald also had a hole with hard stones in it for crushing food and he also had digestive juices with amylase for turning starch to sugar, but these were both in a muscular sac in his body. The hole in his face that he used to ingest food was clean and relatively dry, and he talked by flashing lights from a light emitting organ in his head.

To the right of Marie, in the yellow house with chocolate trimming, was Kathy. Kathy’s face had a big open sac full of hydrochloric acid. She talked with this and kissed with it too. It dissolved food into chyme and then a muscular tube took it to her intestines to extract nutrients.

When Marie fell in love with Kathy and they first shared a dinner, Marie threw up! She thought it was disgusting because Kathy tried to kiss her with a sour organ and then spewed acid all over her food. And then when Marie threw up — since Kathy formed chyme with her mouth — well. Let’s just say it was a bad scene.

But then Marie tried romance with Oswald and — guess what? When he saw that she wanted to kiss him with a face hole that for him was hidden in his body, a face hole that had amylase in it, and bones for crushing food, he heaved!

He didn’t actually throw up because he couldn’t do that.

The point is they were all lovely people and they shouldn’t have gotten hung up about these relatively minor details that don’t actually matter, and gotten beyond it and focussed on something more important.

Which they eventually did!

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Sweetie Honey, Now in a Movie

Sweetie Honey had three icons somewhere between her eye and her brain and they were SELF, CHILD, and ENEMY.

And when she had to get herself to do something she would take those icons and roll them over items in her environment.

Once for example she put SELF on a mother bear and CHILD on a baby bear and ENEMY on a human hunter, and she killed the hunter.

Once she put self on Brutus, enemy on Caesar and child on the state of Rome and killed Caesar.

Once she put self on the working classes, enemy on the capitalists and child on the future.

You see how it goes.

But Sweetie Honey wondered — that mind that chooses — where to put those icons called Self, Child, and Enemy — how did that get to be her Self? Who put the “Self” icon on that?

So naturally she did what she could to peel it off, and she found that she could.

And she took a fresh look at the whole situation, and she thought “Sweetie Honey, somebody put you in a movie! Somebody put “self” on the set of decisions to put “Self” “Child” and “Enemy” on different things, and they put CHILD on the story that results from it — yes the story of the bear and the hunter, and the capitalists and workers, and Brutus stabbing Caesar — but not just that. They put it on this very tale, the tale of the Sweetie Honey who realized she had “Self” on her movie-making and then on her realizing that she was making a movie, and “CHILD” stuck to the story I am telling you now — this very story — of the realization that self was stuck to the bear, and then to the sticker and unsticker of “self” stickers — and then to the teller of this story.

But who was the enemy?

Not you, reader! With this act I peel it off!

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