Tuesday, May 26, 2009

[Poetry Warp] March 31, 1998: Meditations on Klimt's Der Kuß

Meditations on Klimt's Der Kuß

It was August, golden in the climax of
and caught in the vines of your
trust we turned towards
each other for a second,
eyes tangling,
your lithe body swaying like the beat of
warmth against my torso

in the late afternoon,
my fingers had found the ruddy tendrils
of your hair,
browning flowers in funeral rites
among the curls

I leaned towards you.


"I have never been in love,"
you said, white limbs enveloped between
the course hair of mine,
and my eyes agreed,
hungry for some taste of you
caught between the golden vines of August,
now setting with the closing
of the day

all was quiet but for your breathing
on my chest,
and the soundless fall of the
dead flowers coming loose from your tousled

tracing the bow of your mouth,
I tried to memorize the
lines, the curves,
the taste of women lips.

After I had put my son to sleep,
kissing his clammy brow,
trying to still the anger in
his dark eyes,
I left the mechanized rotations of my little
my wife who busied herself trying
not to catch my eyes,
lest I remember that we were once one

there was a girl in the field, eyes partially
invisible to the sinking lights
of day,
and I watched her move sullenly from
view, lips swollen,
thighs bruised with loving.

and I felt my heart disappear with that

Align Centera kiss.

Just a Small-Town Girl

Somewhat arbitrarily on Wednesday afternoon, I made the decision to drive from New York to Detroit. With my cat.

I learned a lot of new things during this journey:

  1. Dunkin' Donuts is THE hangout in Bensonhurst at 3am
  2. This City was indeed built on Rock'n'Roll - just the bad, Bon Jovi kind
  3. Apparently, cats don't like to travel in a small box for 12 hours - mine channeled Linda Blair and I had to inform her there was no way I was going to put my hands in there under the circumstances. So I opened the back, rear windows so my ride didn't smell like cat lady. Meow.
  4. Going 80mph in Pennsylvania is a very expensive folly.
  5. Pennsylvania was also built on bad Rock'n'Roll. Although I caught some Vampire Weekend out of Penn State, which was sweet.
  6. I've never, in 31 years, been so excited to be in Ohio
  7. I can't believe I have to drive back.
Of course, Detroit=slave labor, but I ran across some of the worst, teenage writing imaginable. So I thought I would mortify my 17 year-old self by posting some of it. Since this blog is only marginally moving towards literacy. My brother, Jermois DuPre, threatened my life if I posted some of his Type-O Negative tinged writing - so OF COURSE I'm going to put some up. I think I'll put them under the [Poetry] heading, although real poets are probably drowning their muse in cheap absinthe at the thought.

Non-sequitor: Hrm... my niece is currently making out with a rubber ducky in the bath. I never thought I would hear my mother say the following: You love that ducky? You kiss that ducky?... Oh! You hurt your tongue...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

[Snippet] Thalassa (SciFi)

Sunsets on Anthrôpos IV Thalassa were always an Off-lander favorite: the densely jungled cityscape of its few landmasses violently giving over to the ageless black powder of the beaches, emptying into the endless seas therein – all this colored in brilliant jewel-tones of synth ultramarine and saffron as far as the eye could see. The rising of the enormous gilded light orb was akin to Tellus, the Off-landers’ world, a similarity the planet of Thalassa shared with its orbiting bretheren in the Anthrôpos chain: Gaeôn, Phlox and Ouranios. Ten-thousand aero-nots from Tellus, the planetary aero-ways were marked with taxonomic necessity, the fingers of the Off-landers marking their way as Trireme gave over to the genetically exact Atomic-sail, able to cut through the dark highways of the universe. These revelations was relayed via the Husplêx: tunneled through the dense dark matter of the universe ages ago with now obsolescent and crude high energy atomic Smashers, the inter-galactic filaments of a communications highway. And things had changed.

The Off-landers had not always been extra-species conscious, and it was their distant ancestors, the Erth, who had sculpted the universe to their design, the ten-thousand planets of the Web, now an inter-galactic clade claiming descent from the First, the Erth of Tellus. Many native fauna found extinction at the hands of the First: through disease, through obsolence, through genocide. The Cataetyx of Thalassa had not always walked upright nor strayed from the Sea. Bred to the oceans of Thalassa, they had lived in the undersea castles, coming only to land when they gave birth to their young. With under-developed vocal chords, the Founders had depended on telepathic communication, their innate direction sense unparalleled in the universe. However, once the vestiments of their origins had been shed, their voices trained, their lungs and limbs culled from the ocean-mold, little remained of the Cataetyx of old. Vestigial remains sometimes were seen among the young, as some did not lose the gill-sacs or water-eyes after birth. Very few yet could tap into their inherent telepathic abilities, and they lost as a race their direction sense (echo location) – for above the water, eyes were sufficient for survival.

But the Cataetyx, like the winged Galliformes of Ouranios and the thousands of lesser species who conformed to the Erth-founded clade lost much much more. The Web was a complicated entity, often cumbersome under administrative beaurocracy, but division fell into only one of two categories within the law. One was either OfTellus or OutTellus, Citizen or Unclean. <>

The girl on the shore sat against the sunrise, legs brought up to carry the weight of her head. The long, livid strands of her unbound hair danced in lopsided waves against the tides of the wind, here and there some rough hanks of it finding succor in the narrows and bends created by her seated body. She had been there for some time: long enough that her opalescent flesh had taken on the vermillion shades of daybreak, without the life-giving warmth. The girl, called Zena by her grandfather and often other, less kind names in the Thalassan patôis, was dressed in a simple herringbone woven jacket of pea green and a muted plaid skirt that was wide enough to cover her stocking’d legs and heavy leather shoes. Devoid of the irridescent silks and native jewels (pearls, coral) of Thalassa, only an Off-lander would think her native - but for the wooden barrel of fish, Thalassan silver-fins, at her right knee. The granddaughter of a Returner (Aaydaa), her father unknown and a mother who had drowned in the Sea, she bore the tripartite stigma of her ancestors – the indigo eyes of the Old Cataetyx, called the “water eyes.”

The “water eyes” were a vestigial remnant of their distant past, bestowing upon the bearer a distorted chiaroscuro half-sight of glistening lights and the deepest of shadows. To the uninitiated, they were extremely beautiful, and had been collected from the earliest Cataetyx species of Thalassa, and worn like small, shimmering amethysts among the OfTellus. Exceedingly rare, not the least for their crippling vision, the affliction usually ran through familial lines.

C'est la vie, Wilson

As of Tuesday, May 19 I am officially unemployed (although my PT job pays the same as my former FT job). I'm not surprised and am actually taking this as the kick in the pants to complacency that I really needed. As long as that kick in the pants doesn't require a trip to the doctor's office ;) In some ways, it's awesome to have some non-working time. Although I really feel for my co-workers who had invested in the Co. for 20+ (some 40+) years and were summarily liquidated for semi-literate catalogers/indexers. *puts sarcasm back in box*

One thing I'll miss from work was the breadth of information I ran across every single day. It was hard working on the obits (I don't know why Mccleans has those obits) after my Dad passed, thinking about the imprint ordinary people leave behind (something I think about while archiving) and their legacies to later knowledge of this time period. And thinking about my own - or lack thereof. Or how furious I became on the behalf of Alice Jones Rhinelander, the woman who never denied she was mixed race (in a turn of the century New York), but was forced to show her breasts to a packed, all-male, all-white courthouse when her husband wanted a divorce and was proving that she was guilty of "passing." Grrr.

But when I was clearing out all the junk I had accumulated on my computer, I ran across some random snippets that I had written over my lunch hours. So I thought I would randomly post some of these for laughs (or so that I stumble across them later and think, "Wow, this was a good idea for a game.")

C'est la vie, Wilson.

Monday, May 18, 2009

[WFOTM] Word Facts of the Moment #3


Divination by means of arrows.

Shipley's Dictionary of Early English (1955) classes belomancy under aeromancy as one of many methods of divination involving appearances in the air, including but not limited to these gems:

: divination by sharp points

aleuromancy: divination by dough
anthomancy: flowers (she loves me, she loves me not)
axinomancy: divination by balanced hatchet
cleromancy: divination by dice (not unlike praying for that d20, eh?)
dririmancy: divination by dripping blood

Mostly, I envision the following scenario whereby the practitioner of belomancy, seeking to know whether his brother is going to die or not, shoots a random volley of arrows into the sky in the general vicinity of his sibling. Although, aichomancy also sounds fun:

"Tell me the future!" Poke. Poke.

"You're going to get punched in the head if you don't stop poking me."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chinese New Year's Resolution #1: Your ears have requested new music, NOW!

[ed. note] This was originally on Facebook, but I moved it for purposes of unwieldiness.

One day I woke up and realized that there was more music in the world than I could ever possibly know about (about two weeks ago - so I guess I'm following the Chinese New Year... yeah...). Probably because I'm a Librarian (i.e. Nerd), I decided that a a thorough study needed to be made. So utilizing methods fair (linktivity, youtube, MySpace, etc...) and foul (badgering my friends and random people on the street - thanks to the guy who explained the Watchmen instead on Friday night!), I have been trying to succeed at this Chinese New Year's resolution #1.

Because I have found some really sweet song prose and some absolutely HORRIBLE stuff, I thought I would start to make a list. The following is, per literary set-up, that list (in no particular order, since I have the memory of a goldfish on a good day):

#1: Asa [Asha] - So Beautiful
Nigeria folk/pop. This song was so beautiful (so aptly named!) - but I profess that I was a little disappointed that Asa wasn't referring to her lover when she sang about "Queen of my World." I might have to put this on a mix for my Mom - which isn't nearly as cool as when I gave her her last one featuring the lyrical styling of Tupac Shakur: "And even as a crack fiend, mama/You always was a black queen, mama." I'm beginning to believe that no one gets my humor.

#2: Ivri Leider
My friend, Adam, is still giving me beef about professing that I was moving to Israel to hook up with the aforementioned "Jesse." (I believe my exact words were, "I can be that girl in Chelsea in thirty minutes!") Frank sent me this after I complained about Charro/David Hasselhoff smack downs, so I was understandably concerned that what little is left of my brain would disintegrate under the onslaught of a singer who had called up the related songbar (on YouTube) "Erection Selection." The minute "Jesse" smiled, I was totally hooked on this song. And it's really catchy.

#3: Owl City
This was also a completely random choice (admittedly since Mr Owl City, also named Adam, is very cute). I'm not usually into electronica, but it's really awesome that Mr Owl City writes these catchy tunes while suffering from amnesia. And the female backing vocals suits his voice perfectly. I really liked the lyrics for "Saltwater Room" ("what will it take to make or break this hint of love"?) I actually bought this album and often listen to it as I slide through Midtown at 2am (which is happening with increasing frequency of late).

#4: Carl Creighton
I found Carl Creighton on Antifolk - which apparently is a "scene" unique to New York. He has a very nice voice (I prefer male singers to female anyway). A lot of the Antifolk stuff sounded very similar (including a gentleman who bore a terrible resemblance to my arch-enemy, the Pseudo-Archivist "A"), but Creighton's lyrics were very clever and felt honest to me. I particularly liked "Derrius," and bought the album. I also emailed him (to tell him how cool he was) and hope that he has a gig in the area at some point. And he wrote back! Yes!

#5: Rodney Crowell (This was actually cheating, I have know about Mr Crowell since Roseann Cash's "Tennessee Flat Top Box" days)
Sex & Gasoline is a really good album. Particularly liked "I've Done Everything I Can." As a note about the album cover - I think Crowell looks completely shocked to have a twentysomething woman in a g-string in his bed. I think at moments like that, you just have to go with it and accept your wiles.

#6: Azis!!!
Ok. This was completely a Frank thing (via PerezHilton). It really did destroy my will to live for a few minutes - but then had me crying at work as I recalled the video during weak (databasing) moments... which is pretty much all day. Peter actually asked me if I could spread the drug-love. Sadly, I had to let him know that I was completely sober and just being myself. Here is the madness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXqWSDp4gEc&feature=related

As per Wikipedia, Azis actually ran for a seat in the Bulgarian parliament. Democracy boggles my mind.

#7: She Wants Revenge
Wasn't so sure about this at first, "Tear you apart." Until the lines, "Now a little crush turned into a like/And now he wants to grab her by the hair and tell her." Then I was like, "Wow. That is Knife Party intense. I have to listen to this on the train!" Joaquin Phoenix directed the video for the song. But who the hell are the "Reds"???

#7: Tegan and Sara
Completely random find. I thought, "Wow, these girls have funky cool hair," so I clicked on their MySpace (still pondering asymmetrical haircuts, tho I look better with long hair). I think this just reminds me that I should move to Canada. I think most of my favorite bands are Canadian (including my obsession with Neverending White Lights). The song "Nineteen" is me at nineteen. Man, am I ever happy to be thirty.

#8: AJ Lite (this was also cheating, since Kish sent me the link)
Kish actually sounded like Pete Steele (Type O Negative - how the years have led us apart!) on one of the tracks. This was also cheating, but since I've been back at Mrs S's cataloguing, I haven't had too much time for much more than sleeping, typing out my missives on Facebook so that my fam knows I'm alive, and hanging out with my Posse.

#9: Brendan Benson
Since I'm secretly (well, not so much now) in love with Brendan Benson (who I never knew about pre-Raconteurs), I was very happy to see that he had done some solo work. All I can say is how cool would it be to hang out with Brendan Benson and Jack White? And I also realized (this has nothing to do with anything), that I am band-stalking Josh Homme!

#10: Feist
This sounded like a name I should know (being only one name of consequence) - so I checked her out. Really liked "How my heart behaves." Feist would be good background music for... certain activities (noting to those with Valentine's Day coming up).

#11: Ingrid Michaelson
Cary sent this to me (I vaguely remember her from a ten second clip on VH1 in the era when I actually owned a television). The video is very cute. I liked the lyrics "I'd buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair/Sew on patches to all you tear."

Friday, May 15, 2009

[WFOTM] Word Facts of the Moment #2


Probably a corruption of Tur aie! 'Thor, aid,' a battle-cry of the Norsemen. - Wace. *

The word is very generally now (ca. 1888), and was formerly invariably, spelt huzza. The pronunciation in Pope's time, and even until living memory, was hurray. The following couplet from the 'Rape of the Lock,' shows the current pronounciation at the time the poem was written:

One self-approving hour whole years outweighs
Of stupid starers, and of loud hazzas.

Ed note: Important to note the pronounciation discrepancies if one finds themselves inadvertently the passenger in a time machine whereby they end up in a locale predating 1888. Otherwise, you would be seen immediately as an inter-time interloper. The teeth wouldn't give it away at all. No way.

* This has Victorian romanticism written all over it (i.e. "I pulled this out of my corset"). In fact, Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina Powlett Cleveland's The Battle Roll (1889) seems to further this madness:

Thor-aide the old Scandinavian cri de guerre once in general use among the Northmen which was exchanged for Dex aie (Dieu-aide), their war cry at the battle of Hastings. (p163).

[WFOTM] Word Facts of the Moment

So, I stole this book from work: "Word facts and phrases," which I have found to be inordinately hilarious. So I thought I would occasionally bug the hell out of my listers by divulging the secret history of some of the English language's craziest phenomenon.
* * * * *

The etymology of this word is uncertain.*

Johnson says, "As it was anciently written gebrish, it is probably derived from the chymical [Chemical] cant, and originally implied the jargon of Geber [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geber] and his tribe." Geber was an alchemist, and, as Nares says, "Considering the great prevalence of that affected science, and the early ridicule thrown upon it, [Johnson's theory] is not improbable."

*I don't think they needed to elucidate further, really.

ed. Note: I think this might also be one of those words, like "Gyp," which don't appear to modern users to be highly culturally insensitive until you realize it's foundation.