Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
I owe everything I have to boxing. I owe the milkman, the grocer, the newspaper boy… Art Aragon There ain’t nothing like being in a corner, and the trainer is whispering in your ear and another guy is putting in your mouthpiece. Five seconds to go, then boom! The bell. It’s more exciting than looking down a cliff. George Foreman, quoted in Newsweek (January 26, 1976) ** A 1949 JOKE BOOK PREDICTS THE FUTURE They were examining an applicant for a government position at one of the more important air fields. They were helping this fellow fill out the application.They would ask the questions, he would give the answers. Finally they said, "Do you belong to any political party that plans to overthrow the government?" Yessir." "What? ...did I understand you correctly?" You belong to a political party that plans to overthrow the government?" "Yessir. I belong to a political party that plans to overthrow the government." "What party is that?" "The Republican Party." from stop me if you've heard this one: the favorite stories of three favorite funnymen - Lew Lehr, Cal Tinney, Roger Bower (New York: Permabooks, 1949) ** In an interview, General Norman Schwarzkopf was asked if he thought there was room for forgiveness toward the people who have harbored and abetted the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks on America. His answer was classic Schwarzkopf. The General said, "I believe that forgiving them is God's function... OUR job is to arrange the meeting." ** OF VIOLIN MUSIC & A STRIP-TEASER'S G-STRING G-string (n.) 1878, geestring, "loincloth worn by an American Indian," originally the string that holds it up, etymology unknown. The spelling with G (1882) is perhaps from influence of violin string tuned to a G (in this sense G string is first recorded 1831), the lowest and heaviest of the violin strings. First used of women's attire 1936, with reference to strip-teasers. I AM the spirit of the silver "G": I am silvered sadness, I am moonlit gladness, I am that fine madness Of reverence half, and half of ecstasy [from "Spirit of the 'G' String," Alfred L. Donaldson, in "Songs of My Violin," 1901] from The ON LINE ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY
FROM TWO GUEST CONTRIBUTORS POEM by Mac Bica Love Betrayed Through life he rode with sword in hand his goal to free this evil land no dragon safe, no windmill spared he spoke of love when no one cared. Oh gentle knight your task is clear between the laugh, before the tear, to show mankind he can't conceal the truth of things that are not real. Beware sweet knight your greatest foe, who'll distort the love that you bestow with cross in hand he hides the sword, his deed is sanctioned by the lord. With speed and skill he struck the dove it is the will of god above and those below who love betrayed to end this foolish knight's charade. And we who ask so much of life, seek love replace its endless strife and we who dream of what could be are doomed to sleep eternally. Prepare my friends the knight's return, and pray we're not too blind to learn. ******* FROM MICHAEL HAINES I recall going to the Roxy when the Duke Ellington band was there, and when the film ended and the orchestra rose out of the pit playing “Take the A Train," the top of my head blew off. From then on, any movie set in New York had me. Woody Allen. Apropos of Nothing. Lives that connect to others are not misplaced; perhaps wandering. I had a similar experience to Woody Allen. At the age of 18 or 19 I was in a darkened fraternity house, doing absolutely nothing and thinking I was mostly alone. The top of my mind blew off when someone dropped the needle on a record of Ray Charles doing What'd I Say. I shouted "what is that?!" I had never heard it, and someone said "it's Ray Charles." I said "can't be, Ray Charles leads on a capella chorus that performs on the Perry Como show." I became a lifelong fan.
BIRDS (The crow) is a laddo that can’t afford any gorgeousness in his feathers; all black, except for a better-off brother who decorates his plumage of brilliant black with snow-white bands – the magpie, the cleric of the Corvidae, a dignified chap, fond of chattering as a cleric is fond of preaching. Sean O’Casey. The Green Crow (1956) No cånyon is too cold for this little bird, none too lonely, provided it be rich in falling water. Find a fall, or cascade, or rushing rapid, anywhere upon a clear stream , and then you would surely find its complimentary Ouzel, flitting about in the spray, diving in foaming eddies, whirling like a leaf among beaten foam-balls, ever vigorous and enthusiastic, yet self- contained, and neither seeking nor shunning your company. John Muir, describing The Water Ouzel. The Mountains of California. …owling requires consideration and respect for the owl. You need to channel owl empathy. Owls are wild. On their minds are three concerns: shelter, food, reproduction. Whatever calories their bodies are expending, it is to secure those needs. To survive, Mira Ptacin. “The Art and Education of Owling” in The New York Times (February 7, 2021) The other thrushes are baroque artists, constantly elaborating, reworking and adding to their showy repertoire. The hermit thrush is a classicist, working on the principle of less is more, multum in parvo. Constantly changing variations appear within a simple, firm musical framework. Complex chords and high overtones climb and resonate between the tree trunks to create a sense of space and depth: a song In three –no, four–dimensional space that seems to speak of eternal things. Eric Salzman, quoted in The New York Times obituary written by Neil Genzlinger (November 26, 2017) ** (Egg, circa 5th Century BCE Athenian cookery) The eggs of the peacock, a rare and much admired bird, were claimed to be highly superior; 'fox- goose' eggs ranked second, and hen's eggs a distant third. The domestic hen was common in the Mediterranean by fifth century BC and almost every Athenian had one, which may explain the poor gastronomic rating of its eggs. Reay Tannahill. Food in History (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1988) ** BIRD-WATCHING (in memory of Jack Violi) Black-feathered With a voice For an eye, Its round eye opens. Flared At the neck & high Among branches, its choice Is to widen Our forest. It Frets with color As a mad painter, Jet-blue, then brown, & never sits Still. It grows fainter Then sails or Soars, flits down Into a fool's spectrum. What fastens Onto branches The way blackbirds do? Theirs is the dumb Motion of panic, is The beak that glistens With food. Blue- Black, the jackdaw thinks Mostly of hunger, Whistles its fast Among high branches, Its grackle head shrinks To a thimble fist In fear without anger, Bobbing As a wooden duck does On the edge Of a pan. Hops, Flaps in a climate Of nerves, air-flows' & twigs, it stops Only to feed, to hedge' The lake, to mate. Black birds are Anything but black, Are dark blue wiggles & wags, purple tails Jutting in air, Slightly invisible Weather vanes, then back To the isles Of branches. Their Universe Is worm-centered, An eye among storms. Flattened in air, They head North, then reverse To roost in swarms. Boat-tailed, The grackle chucks Chucks, keels To the wind,lights Treads stately, then head Up, wheels To a ribbon of black & sets its sight For water. No Tears for him, He merely adjusts To no avail. The blackbird knows Weather as he thrusts His feathers into a whim & sail. His head nods. The wind is doing some- Where, but what Flutters through branches Is not wind, But a polished flit Of blackbirds handsome As boots. The wind is Going somewhere, But what flutters Through the branches Is not wind, but grackles. (1970) ** OF PEACOCKS & A SLOW STATELY DANCE pavan (n.)"slow, stately dance," 1530s, from French pavane (1520s), probably from Spanish pavana, from pavo "peacock" (from Latin pavo; see peacock), in reference to the bird's courting movements. But some see an Italian origin and trace the name to Padovana "Paduan." Possibly it is a merger of two distinct dance words. from The Online Etymological Dictionary **
THINKING "Words do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. I seem to use more or less clear images of a visual type, combined with some muscular feeling. These vaguely play together, combining with each other, without any logical construction in words and signs which could be communicated to others." ALBERT EINSTEIN
** Men don’t care what’s on TV. They only care what else is on TV. Jerry Seinfeld That is how the mind of a top-flight comedian works. My mind when, at odd moments, it thinks does not think like that. Most of the time my thoughts are in free fall, the larger parachute called ideas rarely opens. For example, when I was in college I enjoyed thinking about naked women. I still do, but now I wonder how different my life would be if the Philosophy Department had changed its name to THINKING ABOUT NAKED PEOPLE just how successful that Major would have been. I cannot think of any Student I knew not signing up for it. The Chair of the Department would soon be paid more than the football coaches. Philosophy teachers would be needed by the dozens. Final exams would be fun to take, and our nation’s low opinion about critical thinking would change overnight. LJP **
MOVIE WISDOM "When a man is wrestling a leopard in the middle of a pond, he is in no position to run." Cary Grant's character in the classic screwball comedy directed by Howard Hawks --"Bringing Up Baby” ** I recall going to the Roxy when the Duke Ellington band was there, and when the film ended and the orchestra rose out of the pit playing “Take the A Train," the top of my head blew off. From then on, any movie set in New York had me. Woody Allen. Apropos of Nothing. -- ** SCI-FI Bruce Weber of The New York Times (December 6, 2008) began the obituary of this man with the following: It’s a common claim that someone is the world’s biggest fan of such-and such. Elizabeth Taylor’s biggest fan . The biggest fan of the New York’s Jets. The world’s Biggest country music fan. Hardly anyone takes such a designation seriously, except perhaps when it comes to _________ ________, whose obsessive devotion to science fiction and horror stories was so fierce that he helped propel their popularity. Indeed, he was widely credited with coining the term sci-fi. Can you identify the man who coined the term sci-fi? Forrest J Ackerman. According to Bruce Weber: “Mr. Ackerman said he came up with ‘sci-fi’ in 1954. He was driving in a car with his wife when he heard a radio announcer say ‘Hi-fi.’ he term, sci-fi just came reflexively and unbidden out of his mouth. ** THE POLITICAL SCIENCE FINAL EXAM Please answer the essay question in the blue book provided. In October 2020, Televangelist Pat Robertson announced that God told him that Donald Trump would win the Presidential election. Why did God lie to Pat Robertson? ** Dear Editors: I beg to differ with the New York Times headline that refers to Marjorie Taylor Greene's destructive fantasies as "remarks". Gertrude Stein remarked that "Remarks are not literature," but hate speech is not a casual remark. Free speech is one issue so many Trump-driven supporters do not understand. calling for Nancy Pelosi to be killed or accusing Jewish persons of starting forest fires with lasers from a distant planet is the equivalent to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Using "free speech" as a catch-all to spread false narratives and to express disdain for truth and scientific fact creates a poisonous environment that kills freedom, drains the oxygen from the air that true speech needs to thrive in. Not all speech is equal, nor is all speech free. Words can kill. Sincerely, Louis Phillips ** AS IF ONE COULD LIVE ON LIGHT ALONE The moon with its bad eye Is a midnight feast. Why are so many of us Dining at the wrong table? **
Thus, I refute all those critics who say I do not know anything! I
knew how to fill out my own report card for my parents to sign.
T-SHIRT MESSAGES #2 The proper term for senior women should be Queen-Agers Send a text When you arrive No need to knock and Get the dog involved I’m not arguing I’m explaining why I’m right I have red hair because God knew I needed A warning label Bigfoot saw me, but Nobody believes him I sometimes wonder what happened to people who have asked me for directions Thou shalt not get on my nerves. Mood 24-7 ** “If we behave like those on the other side, then we are the other side. Instead of changing the world, all we’ll achieve is a reflection of the one we want to destroy.” Jean Genet ** CREDIT CARDS …the term credit card…was coined by the visionary Edward Bellamy, in his popular utopian novel Looking Backward:2000 to 1887, published in 1888. In Looking Backward a young man falls unconscious and wakes up at the millennium to an ideal world where cash has been replaced by ‘a credit corresponding to his share of the annual product of the nation…and a credit card is issued to him with which to procure at the public storehouse…whatever he desires, whenever he desires it,’ Nancy Shepherdan. “Credit Card America” in American Heritage, vol. 42 (November 1991), COURT SAYS PROTESTERS MAY NOT BURN CREDIT CARDS Because many Americans living in the Dominican Republic are spending so much time outdoors at the beaches or sipping pina coladas at numerous restaurants and bars, many tourists and ex-pats may have missed one of the most important news items of the past year. Late in 2020, the ideal of Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment suffered severe setbacks when the Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-3 decision, that, although it is now lawful to burn the American Flag, it is not legal for an American Citizen to burn his or her credit card. This 6-3 decision, one of the more controversial in Supreme Court history, has the effect of declaring unconstitutional the Credit Card Desecration Laws of the original 13 Colonies and 5 multinational Corporations Until today it has been l egal for a person to destroy his or her credit cards and unpaid bills. In the Majority Decision, Clarence Thomas wrote: "For decades it has been a crime to desecrate, mutilate, and/or willfully destroy American money. Credit cards obviously represent new money. Once credit cards burn who knows how the American Economy will suffer. What will be next? Melting down Fort Knox?" The ruling came in the case of EXXON VS. ROE, when John Jay Roe, protesting recent oil spills in Beverly Hills swimming pools, cut his Exxon card in half and returned it to the company. The oil company, sensing a environmentalist revolt upon its hands, immediately brought suit. The case has Lawyers on Roe's behalf argued that since the Court had approved the burning of the flag (ruling no. 88-l55) that the same principles should apply to the cutting, burning, and tearing of credit cards. "Not so," claimed Chief Justice John Rogers in filing the minority report . "The flag is a ymbol. Credit cards and dollar bills are not symbols. They are the real thing. " The Trump White House, however, reiterated the ex-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's statement at the time of the flag burning decision: "Surely one of the high purposes of a democratic society is to legislate against conduct that is regarded as evil and profoundly offensive to the majority of people..." Certainly, the majority decision explained, nothing can be more offensive than watching a prospective customer and/or debtor destroying his or her buying power. The burning of paper money and credit cards threatens the very underpinnings of Capitalism. Response to the decision was , as might be expected, sharply divided. A. Koorp, President of Let's Give More Credit to Americans, hailed the ruling as "A victory for the American Dream. Everything America stands for has been vindicated." On the other hand, Ms. B. Fritchie of Whittier, California, leader of Project Poverty said: "It does not help to heal the wounds of America by declaring that money and credit cards a re more important than our Flag." Still left undecided is the question of whether the destroying of carbon copies of credit card bills in restaurants is protection against fraud or symbolic desecration of the card itself. *** THE APPLE SAUCE CHRONICLES TRY SOCIAL DISTANCING THEMSELVES FROM THEIR AUTHOR Fairly original wordplay by Louis Phillips * JECBUST –Change of subject. ** Charles Portis -- His novels transport us Into true Americana --i.e,ˆTrue Grit." (A truer verse than this has yet to be writ). ** What’s the difference between a Rattus norvegicus) and the mountain Noah’s Ark Landed on? One is a rat, the other is Ararat. ** ENCOUNT -- a brief encounter OF – shaved off What is the difference between MA and a Catholic service? One is half MASS, the other a full mass. ** Ned Rorem, All by himself was a quorem. ** SEX SURVEY Dating? Mating? Rating ? ** CHEAT AT AN INSULT GAME ON OUR SCHOOLS' PLAYGROUNDS ' Hinky Pinky Hanky Panky && TARZEN – achieving nirvana while swinging tree to tree on a vine. ** THE ANSWER: Lex Barker THE QUESTION: what do you call a person who sells dictionaries at carnivals & fairs? Lex Barker also portrayed Tarzan in movies. PALINDROME: Telegram from a noted botanist SUE ANN ILL LINNAEUS ** BRIEF REVIEW OF ODYSSEUS’S ENCOUNTER WITH THE CYCLOPS There’s more here than meets the eye. ** G.O.P. –GREED OVER PRINCIPLES ** FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF MOVIE-GOERS Howard Keel, In reel after reel, Sang his heart out. (Young people have no idea what I’m talking about.) 21st CENTURY POEM OF PRAISE ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) ;^)) **]] ** Dear Editors: William Giraldi opens his review of Why I Read by asserting that "For writers literature is a talent show. Those with the most talent win." But what do the most talented win? Win readers? Sometimes.But the books that attract the most readers frequently are not written by the most talented. Win prizes? Sometimes.But for every prize given to a "best" book there are numerous non-winning books just as deserving of prizes. Million dollar contracts? Sometimes, but not always to the most talented. Prizes and money are useful to further a career and to buy more time to write. Not much else.How many Pulitzer Prize winning authors are no longer read? Nor dp I believe that when it comes to readers that "everybody wins" ( Giraldi's third sentence). Readers who read books that tell lies, spread propaganda, and are not as true as the writer can make them, even in fiction. are definitely losing. Write what you like, the way you like it, to the best of your ability.Try not to shame your craft. If that's not winning,, I no longer know what winning as a writer means. Sincerely, Louis Phillips
Thou shalt not get /
On my nerves/ mood 24:7
THE FOUR HORSEMAN OF NOTRE DAME
The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame comprised a group of American football players at the University of Notre Dame under coach Knute Rockne. They were the backfield of Notre Dame's 1924 football team. The players that made up this group were Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley, and Elmer Layden. In 1924, a nickname coined by sportswriter Grantland Rice and the actions of a student publicity aide transformed the Notre Dame backfield of Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller, and Layden into one of the most noted groups of collegiate athletes in football history, the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.[ from Wikipedia FOOTBALL Blocking is something you have to make yourself do. Catching is natural; but it isn’t natural for a civilized man to run around hitting people. Besides, it hurts. Lance Alworth If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead. Emma Bomback Football is not a contact sport. It’s a collision sport. Dancing is a good example of a contact sport. Duffy Daugherty Football –a sport that bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture. Elbert Hubbard I love to hit people, and I admit it – blockers as well as ball carriers. Defensive football players are innate hitters. It’s a joy to me. I tell people it’s how I work off my daily hostilities. During the week I’m as gentle as anybody. Sunday is my time to hit. Dave Robinson. Green Bay Packers’ player/ (1969) Asking about the secret to the (ALABAMA’S) Tide’s success is like asking an elephant for his secret of squashing bugs. They have the best coach and the players. There is no second sentence. Michael Rosenberg. Sports Illustrated (October 20,2017) He (BUNNY LARKIN) would line up all the candidates for the Carlisle football team, show them a football, and in a few words he would explain to them how the game was to be played. Said Bully Larkin: “When white man has ball get him. When Indian has the ball, knock down white man.” Bill Stern. Bill Stern’s Favorite Football Stories. “I have two weapons. My legs, my arms, and my brains.” Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons Quarterback, 2006) If you’re going to be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price than your opponent will ever pay. Bud Wilkinson ** FAIRS I saw at Southwark, at St. Margaret’s Faire, monkies and asses dance and do other feats of activity on a rope; they were gallantly clad a la mode, went upright, saluted the company, bowing and pulling off their hats; they saluted one another with as good a grace as if instructed by a dancing master. They turned heels over heads with a basket having eggs in it, without breaking any; also with lighted candles in their hands and on their heads without extinguishing them, and with vessels of water, without spilling a drop. I also saw an Italian wench dance and perform all tricks on ye tight rope to admiration; all the court went to see her. John Evelyn, in his diary (September 11, 1660) To Southwark Fair, very dirty, and there saw…Jacob Hall’s dancing on the rope, where I saw such action as I never saw before, and mightily worth seeing… Samuel Pepys, in his diary (September 21,1668) *** To THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Dear Editors: Although I love some books much more than some people, I believe I was not the only Book Review reader who was shocked by Geoff Dyer's confession to his wife that he'll "just never love another human being as much as I love my books.' Does he have children? I do believe,however, that Mr. Dyer dislikes change. Human beings change; books do not. Our perceptions, rereadings, and interpretations of books change. Don Quixote is one book for a college-age student. It will be a completely different book when read by that same student some 40 years later. Dyer and I may also share a sense of disappointment that Dante did not create a special circle of Hell for persons who borrow books but do not return them. Sincerely, Louis Phillips **
Long live the circus with its sandy ring, its prideless palfreys, its jovial clowns, its gracefulness, its robustness, its mockery, its rides, its mimicry, its trapeze at the top, its carpet at the bottom, its somersault, its gibberish, its acrobatic prowess and the mystery of its morals. Le Couriere francais
ON AUTOGRAPHS & H.ALLEN SMITH AT PARAMOUNT PICTURES "Smith found other ways to amuse himself during his stay with us. He spent one afternoon at the studio's main gate with an autograph book and a pen. Each time one of our stars passed in and out he'd approach the performer, open the book, write his own autograph, tear out the sheet, hand it over, and say, "There you are. Thanks very much for asking." B.G. DeSylva in his introduction to Lost in the Wild Horse Latitudes by H.Allen Smith (NY:Doubleday, Doran & Company,1944) ** AUTOGRAPH HUNTING Autograph hunting is the most unattractive manifestation of sex-starved curiosity. Sir Laurence Olivier
ACADEMY AWARDS …the Dorset coast – or, as it is occasionally and inadequately known, the Jurassic Coast. The crumbing cliffs along it, dating from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, are a happy hunting ground for anyone seeking the fossilized remains of ancient creatures. The nearest American equivalent would be the Academy Awards Anthony Lake , reviewing Ammonite in The New Yorker (November 16, 2020) ** BEATLES (THE) When reporters at their first press conference asked the cheeky Brits to sing a song, John Lennon set them straight: “We need money first.” Time. Visions of the 1960s.
i POLITICAL CORRECTNESS The three towering geniuses of European culture, Shakespeare, Mozart and Leonardo Di Vinci, were not allowed to appear on the euro note as they might, in their separate ways , cause offense; mozart because he was a “womanizer”, Shakespeare, because he wrote The Merchant of Venice, a play judged to be anti-semitic, and Leonardo because he was reported to fancy boys. Now the euro note carries a picture of a rather dull bridge. John Mortimer, Where There’s a Will POLITICAL THOUGHT From the Renaissance to the eighteenth century, The impulse behind classic works of political thought was the urge to shape events. Machiavelli wrote to rescue Florence and Italy from internal corruption and external weakness. Jean Bodin designed a theory of sovereignty that might rescue France from its wars of religion. The Marian exile of the mid-sixteenth century, and John Locke under Charles II, devised justification for resistance to prevent tyranny. Blair Worden in TLS (August 4,2006) POLITICIANS/POLITICS No matter how paranoid you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you can imagine. William Blum Don’t believe anything until it’s been officially denied. William Blum People used to complain that selling a president was like selling a bar of soap. But when you buy soap, at least you get the soap. In this campaign you just get two guys telling you that they really value cleanliness. David Brooks
LIGHT VERSE POET BRUCE NEWLING WRITES ABOUT
SOON-TO-BE- EX-PRESIDENT TRUMP
President Trump Delivers His State of The Union Address,February 4,2020 He stood below the Speaker's chair, With golfer's tan and flaxen hair Entirely his, with no toupee And all with very little gray. Given his looks belie his years, What does he have between his ears? What is this man? All huff and puff? Or is he made of sterner stuff? Is he a steak? Is he a ham? Might he be mutton dressed as lamb? A statesman? No; as that, he fails; He's one whose trolley's off its rails. But showman? Yes;he made his points. Most notably, he self-anoints And,as his Congress claque applauds, Adds to his string of self-awards. Stromboli-like, Pelosi fumed; Her copy of his speech was doomed. She clutched it with a raptor's grip-- Oh,rapture! Yes, I heard it rip. Glancing,nauseous, through her copy, It's no wonder she got stroppy. It seems the copy--every page-- Then wound up in her parrot's cage, Or so her housemaid said, when pressed. This is recycling at its best. The sheets, bespattered, I daresay Will be collectibles one day; And maybe once Trump's on the skids, It will be time to call for bids. "Chump Impeached by Champ Pelosi"-- Give the champ a gorgeous posy. The Coda Tempting fate trough self-seduction, Trump promotes his own destruction. When that will be, God only knows: Nemesis comes on tippy-toes. Copyright (c) 2020 Bruce E. Newling OUR VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence Knows from whence All Presidential power flows, Hence, the brown upon his nose. Louis Phillips ** The 14th Amendment, Section 3: No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State,who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature,or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. **
IMAGE CIRCULATED FROM AN UNKNOWN SOURCE ON THE INTERNET
0;p THE MERRY JESTS OF WITTGENSTEIN #4 By Louis Phillips No mask. No reading. NOTES FROM A DIARY Even in a medieval cottage Illuminated by erotic wattage Of souls in collision & collusion, Love is nothing if not specific. ** Even if this sentence were false, you would read it all the way to its conclusion. ** John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is disguised as this this simple sentence. The disguise was nearly perfect until one astute reader penetrated its clever cover. The first word of this sentence is missing, but it still makes sense. WHO SAYS Stand up & listen. Who says Poetry cannot work miracles? Consider this: It is a miracle I can Write these words. ** Verschlimmbessern In order to improve this quatrain I decided to add in the 3rd line The German word verschlimmbessern To rattle around in your brain; You cannot hug it to your bosom. Obviously it does not make This poem any better. What’s a rhyme for verschlimmbessern? ** Every third word in this weird sentence will begin with the letter W at some weird future time. WARNING If you shackle yourself to this sentence, you will be forcibly removed, taken to an undisclosed location and interrogated, beaten, and waterboarded until you tell how and why you did such a foolish thing. *** WHO, NOT KNOWING Mistakes are with us like the crack of dawn. Who, not knowing, How fragile the morning is, Dropped it? This sentence once was only four words long. If this sentence does not convey any information, then why does it exist? ** No animals of any kind were killed or injured in Making this sentence. ** Underneath this sentence is another sentence that praises whoever reads it. Unfortunately, this sentence is on top of it and cannot be moved. This sentence ends here. Sorry for any inconvenience. ** Old riddle What is the longest English word? SMILES There is a mile between the first & last letter. ** TRACER OF LOST POEMS This poem has been missing From the better anthologies For more than 5 decades. Aren’t you glad that it has been found? ** Any resemblance between the words in this sentence and any real words is purely coincidental. ** Feel free to add any words you wish to this interactive sentence. ** All the words in this sentence appear closer to the reader than they really are. URANIA Whirling electric Muse of Astronomy Descends with “star-bespangled” song To confess: Copernicus, with his heresy Has been proven wrong: This poem is the center of the Universe & you, Dear Reader, Are its beloved satellite. You orbit, Orbit all around it. ** CAUTION—VIRUS WARNING No word in this sentence wears a mask, nor is any word six feet away from any other word.
LETTERS TO THE EDITORS or AS YOU LIKE IT humor by Louis Phillips When icicles hang by the wall And Dick the shepherd blows his nail And Tom bears logs into the hall, And milk comes frozen home in pail. When blood is nipped and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-who; Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. When all aloud the wind doth blow; And coughing drowns the parson’s saw, And birds sit brooding in the snow, And Marian’s nose looks red and raw, When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-who; Tu-whit, tu-who; a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. William Shakespeare If Shakespeare had published “Winter” today, the letter column of every book review section in the nation would be filled to overflowing. For example: Dear Editors: I recently was astonished to read in your publication a poem by some new poet (if we can call him by that designation) named William Shakespeare. His poem “Winter” is offensive to all your women readers. It does not take a scholar to notice that when he mentions males (Tom and Dick) he makes no disparaging remarks about their physical appearance. Yet, when Mr. Shakespeare remarks upon Joan, he calls her “greasy” and when he writes about Marian he notes only that her nose “looks red and raw.” How insulting. If you wish to encourage male chauvinism you may do so without my subscription. Sincerely, A. Merryweather Chairwoman, Equal Time in Literature *** Dear Editor: Mr. Shakespeare’s (I assume that it is a pen-name) hatred of religion, as evidenced by the line “And coughing drowns the parson’s saw” is a misguided attack on all faithful churchgoers. We who attend religious services, even when the weather is foul, deserve more respect. I am tired of reading poems celebrating godlessness. Please cancel my subscription. Sincerely, Reverend Arthur Montroy III *** Dear Editor: I don’t know much about poetry (just what I read in your publication while waiting in my dentist’s office) but I do know a thing or two about owls. Recently, I was perturbed to read a contribution by some upstart crow named W. Shakespeare. Show me an owl that goes Tu-who, Tu-whit, and I’ll eat it. In the future, if you persist in your misguided efforts in publishing nature poets, then please locate a poet who knows something about his subject. No wonder poetry is in such decline. You might recall I wrote a similar letter to you when you published John Keat’s execrable sonnet wherein he had Cortez discovering the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps you should consider dropping poetry from your publication altogether. Yours, Quigley Horsefahr, President of Accuracy in Poetry *** Dear Editor: I recently borrowed a copy of your literary rag and I could not help but notice how your learned journal persists in its prejudice against shepherds. In a poem by a Mr. William Shakespeare, he shows all persons doing something positive (keeling pots, whatever the hell that means, or bearing logs into the hall) but he portrays shepherds as being lazy and egotistical, fit for doing nothing but blowing upon their fingernails. Let Mr. Shakespeare be warned! If we shepherds ever get hold of him, we shall teach him a thing or do publication would do well to portray the simple, hard-working shepherd in a more favorable light. Yours, Tom David Chinminn, President of Teamsters Local 79675 (Shepherds’ Division) *** Hey Yo! How come you’re always publishing poems about cold. What’s wrong with Summer or Spring? Get with it. Your readers would enjoy some other seasons for a change. Yours in the heat of the sun. Jack Frost *** My dear persons: Is it not possible to pick up your review without encountering more literary efforts endorsing the exploitation of the working classes? Sure, let poor Tom bear logs into some rich person’s hall. How much is poor Tom getting paid to do all this heavy work? Probably less than minimum wage. Most likely, he’s not getting paid at all. If you don’t show more sensitivity to the plight of the blue collar or even the no collar worker, then I suggest you pack it in. You haven’t published a decent working-class poem since “Man With a Hoe.” Now that’s the kind of poetry you should be publishing. Yours on the way to my night job, Harding Question, Esq. *** Dear Editor: Is your gray-eyed boy Shakespeare seriously suggesting that our little town is not safe? The line “When blood is nipped and ways be foul,” is an offense to our to our town council. We demand a written apology. Sincerely, Town Council Hey you! Sure, let your readers think it is not good to order milk in winter. What is the is propaganda Bill Shakespeare insinuates into nearly every poem he writes? I refer specifically to the line, “And milk comes frozen home in pail.” When we deliver milk, we make certain that our customers get what they order and unfrozen too. Everyone knows that Mr. Shakespeare has it in for us dairy farmers and milk-persons ever since a dairymaid told the constable about his deer poaching. We demand a retraction. And on the front page of your next issue. Yours truly, Howard Raftrough American Union of Home Milk Deliverers **
ADVICE TO THE READER Noel Coward advised a young actor “Memorize the lines & don’t bump into the furniture.” The same advice cd apply To all readers of this poem: Memorize the lines, But if you want to bump into a table or two, Go ahead & do so. Who am I to tell you what to do?
TREES We’ve learned a lot about trees recently. Apparently they communicate with one another via chemicals that waft on the wind and via a fungal network underground. They warn of parasites, they feed their fellows in time of need. Like people are surprisingly social –they are at their best when there are many grouped together. David Byrne . “By the Book “ in The New York Times Book Review (October 11,2020)
BUMPER STICKERS Keep America beautiful -- eat a beer can. ** Support your President; burn a copy of the Constitution. (during the second term of George W. Bush; today more applicable than ever) ** God Made Us Sisters; Prozac Made Us Friends My Mother Is a Travel Agent for Guilt Trips Senior Citizen: Give Me My Damn Discount (Spotted on a passing motorcycle) If You Can Read This, My Wife Fell Off Veni, Vedi, Visa: I Came, I Saw, I Did a Little Shopping What If the Hokey Pokey Is Really What It's All About? Coffee, Chocolate, Men; Some Things Are Just Better Rich Gravity...It's Not Just a Good Idea. It's the Law If You Want Breakfast in Bed, Sleep in the Kitchen If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Isn't for You The Trouble With the Gene Pool Is That There's No Lifeguard Get a New Car for Your Spouse. It'll Be a Great Trade Wanted: Meaningful Overnight Relationship Anything Not Worth Doing Is Not Worth Doing Well A Day Without Sunshine is Like Night First Things First, but Not Necessarily in That Order Old Age Comes at a Bad Time In America, Anyone Can Be President. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to ME. BEER: It's not just for breakfast anymore. So you're a feminist...Isn't that cute. I need someone real bad... Are you real bad? BEAUTY is in the eye of the beer holder. The more you complain, the longer God makes you live. NEBRASKA: At least the cows are sane. God must love stupid people...He made so many. Smile, it's the second best thing you can do with your lips. I took an IQ test and the results were negative. It's lonely at the top, but you eat better. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again? Always remember you're unique... Just like everyone else. HONK ... If You Want To See My Finger God is my co-pilot, but the Devil is my bombardier. I don't have a license to kill. I have a learner's permit. Taxation WITH representation isn't so hot, either! Who were the testers for Preparations A through G? Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change. 5 days a week my body is a temple. bThe other two, it's an amusement park. EARTH FIRST! -We'll strip-mine the other planets later. Save the whales! Trade them for valuable prizes. My wife keeps complaining I never listen to her ... or something like that. Sure you can trust the government! Just ask an Native American! Alcohol and calculus don't mix. Never drink and derive. Nature always bats last. **
OUTSIDE OF THIS HOUR ON THE SEA Outside of this hour on the sea. We imagine the Antipodes Where the sun rises at midnight &, as Theocritus sd: “In sleep, every dog dreams of food.” But when I dream, I am wandering in a house Near the ocean Where the waves are black & high. It is my house & not my house , & persons inside are quarreling Because I am late, or early, or lost. Inside this house, There is always a room I have never known about, Did not know it existed. A door opens. Inside is a woman. She stands with her arms Folded across her chest, A sign of modesty or diffidence. “Enter,” she says. “Enter.” Through a window, the sea surges. Breaking waves seem to ask: Why are you here? Where are you? Outside of this hour on the sea, Who am I really? Louis Phillips