my superman ...

Five for Fighting ~ Superman

3 Doors Down ~ Kryptonite

The Kinks ~ Superman

R.E.M. ~ Superman

Gentleman's choice .......


an elegance observed

"You know what I believe? I remember in college I was taking this math class, this really great math class taught by this tiny old woman. She was talking about fast Fourier transforms and she stopped mid-sentence and said, 'Sometimes it seems the universe wants to be noticed.' That's what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it - or my observation of it - is temporary?"

~ John Green

via whiskey river



the madman

"You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen - the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives - I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, 'Thieves, thieves, and cursed thieves.'

Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear of me.

And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, 'He is a madman.' I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the first time. For the first time, the sun kissed my own naked face, and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, 'Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks.'

Thus I became a madman.

And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.

But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in jail is safe from another thief."

~Kahlil Gibran
from The Madman: His Parables and Poems
via the beauty we love



letters to my son

" The commentators excoriating today’s students for studying the wrong subjects are pursuing certainty where none exists. Like the health fanatics convinced that every case of cancer must be caused by smoking or a bad diet, they want to believe that good people, people like them, will always have good jobs and that today’s unemployed college grads are suffering because they were self-indulgent or stupid. But plenty of organic chemists can testify that the mere fact that you pursued a technical career that was practical two or three decades ago doesn’t mean you have job security today.
I was lucky to graduate from high school in the late 1970s, when the best research said that going to college was an economically losing proposition. You would be better off just getting a job out of high school — or so it appeared at the time. Such studies are always backward-looking.
I thus entered college to pursue learning for its own sake. As an English major determined not to be a lawyer, I also made sure I graduated with not one but two practical trades —neither learned in the college classroom. At the depths of the previous worst recession since the Great Depression, I had no problem getting a job as a rookie journalist and, as an emergency backup, I knew I could always fall back on my excellent typing skills. Three decades later, nobody needs typists, and journalists are almost as obsolete.
The skills that still matter are the habits of mind I honed in the classroom: how to analyze texts carefully, how to craft and evaluate arguments, and how to apply microeconomic reasoning, along with basic literacy in accounting and statistics. My biggest regret isn’t that I didn’t learn Fortran, but that I didn’t study Dante.

The most valuable skill anyone can learn in college is how to learn efficiently — how to figure out what you don’t know and build on what you do know to adapt to new situations and new problems."

~ Virginia Postrel
via Reflejos



kay ryan

paintings by Odilon Redon

Chinese Foot Chart
~ by Kay Ryan

Every part of us
alerts another part.
Press a spot in
the tender arch and
feel the scalp
twitch. We are no
match for ourselves
but our own release.
Each touch
uncatches some
remote lock. Look,
boats of mercy
embark from
our heart at the
oddest knock.

from The Best of It


what have i become...

"Hurt" is a song written by Trent Reznor, first released on Nine Inch Nails' 1994 album The Downward Spiral. In 2002, "Hurt" was covered by Johnny Cash to critical acclaim; it was one of Cash's final hit releases before his death. Its accompanying video, featuring images from Cash's life and directed by Mark Romanek, was named the best video of the year by the Grammy Awards and Country Music Awards.

Just heard this for the first time last night - part of the soundtrack to the movie Columbiana. The movie is forgettable unless you're needing the cathartic release of watching a pretty girl kill all the bad guys. The only two things unforgettable about Columbiana are Zoe Saldana and this cut sung by the late Johnny Cash.



calendars for good causes

Male librarians from around the US have come together to pose for a calendar
that aims to challenge stereotypes and raise funds for charity.

Zack, Housing Works Bookstore, New York

The Naked Muse
A 2012 calendar featuring women's poetry
alongside naked male muses photographed by women.
This calendar is raising funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Poet Antony Dunn, photographed by Naomi Woddis

from RDG:
Gentlemen! Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Instead of the hackneyed box of chocolates or piece of jewelry, buy your beloved a gift that keeps on giving month by month ...
AND gives back to your community!


the incomparable ...

“I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, am out of control and at times, hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

~ Marilyn Monroe

quote via Assorted



Li-Young Lee

Woman brushing her hair, 1920
~ by Hashiguchi Goyo

Early in the Morning
~ by Li-Young Lee

While the long grain is softening
in the water, gurgling
over a low stove flame, before
the salted Winter Vegetable is sliced
for breakfast, before the birds,
my mother glides an ivory comb
through her hair, heavy
and black as calligrapher’s ink.

She sits at the foot of the bed.
My father watches, listens for
the music of comb
against hair.

My mother combs,
pulls her hair back
tight, rolls it
around two fingers, pins it
in a bun to the back of her head.
For half a hundred years she has done this.
My father likes to see it like this.
He says it is kempt.

But I know
it is because of the way
my mother’s hair falls
when he pulls the pins out.
Easily, like the curtains
when they untie them in the evening.



he's a magic man, Mama

Yep. This one is for my beloved. Last week he made me sit through 19 minutes of Captain Beefheart, here. Honestly, I had to walk away at the 9 minute mark. He says I have crap taste in music, but he loves me anyway. Without his utter and unerring honesty tethering me to this earth, I'd just be another Red Balloon floating in the clouds of denial. Payback time, baby!

I LOVE Heart !! These two Canadian sisters were my first rock girl idols. I wanted to be Ann or Nancy - it didn't matter which one. Magic Man was the theme song for the summer of 1976. Me, a bespectacled gawky girl on the cusp of adolescence, hanging out with my step-step cousin Tina from Detroit.

Tina was a full-blown voluptuous 16 year-old bad girl: daisy duke shorts, those stretchy tube tops of the '70's (yeah, you boys know what I mean) loads of mascara and bleach blonde hair, sneaking a pack of cigarettes out of the house. I don't know how Tina did it, but she managed to attract every bad boy in our neighborhood. The ones who captured Tina's fancy always had the souped-up car, the long 70's hair, a six-pack of beer and a cool as you please offer to give her a lift. I'm sure it meant: without the little girl cousin by your side.

Tina would toss her hair, give a throaty laugh and a sideways glance at me as she stubbed her cigarette out with the toe of her sandal. So I'd sit and wait on the curb, tossing little pebbles, pretending like I didn't care I was being left behind. Tina would hop in the car and tell me she'd be back in a minute or two. And off they'd go: the bad boy with the bad girl. Damn, I envied Tina. I didn't worship her like I worshiped Heart. I just wanted to figure out her allure and copy it. I wanted to be a bad girl.

You've got to watch at least the first 5 minutes of this video to soak in the cool vibe of the seventies: the hair! the clothes! OMG - MAN NIPS on the dude with the cut out leather vest ... there's two guitar solos and YES a DRUM SOLO. No concert can be complete without a drum solo. I think my mom had a necklace just like the one the drummer is wearing. Sigh. It takes me back.

This one is for you, babe! xxxxx

Cold, late night so long ago
When I was not so strong you know
A pretty man came to me
I never seen eyes so blue
You know, I could not run away it seemed
We'd seen each other in a dream
Seemed like he knew me ... he looked right through me

"Come on home, girl" he said with a smile
"you don't have to love me yet, let's get high awhile
But try to understand ... try to understand
Try, try, try to understand ... I'm a magic man"

Winter nights we sang in tune
Played inside the months of moon
"Never think never ... let this spell last forever"
Well, summer lover passed to fall
Tried to realize it all
Mama says she's worried ... growing up in a hurry

"Come on home, girl" Mama cried on the phone
"Too soon to lose my baby yet, my girl should be at home"
But try to understand ... try to understand
Try, try, try to understand ... he's a magic man, Mama ... ah ... he's a magic man

"Come on home, girl" he said with a smile
"I cast my spell of love on you, a woman from a child"
But try to understand ... try to understand ...
Oh ... oh... try, try, try to understand ...
He's a magic man ...oh ...he's got the magic hands

(solos) OoooOooo's over top

"Come on home, girl" he said with a smile
"You don't have to love me yet, let's get high awhile"
But try to understand ... try to understand
Try, try, try to understand ...he's a magic man ...yeah ... oh ...

ohhhh my, xxx


burning down the house

The Burning of the House of Lords and Commons, 16th October 1834
~ by JMW Turner

"Turner was an eyewitness to the great fire and when we view Turner’s magnificent painting, we ought to keep in mind what it was all about."

“[M]uch of commerce was carried on simply as credits and debits, often recorded in the form of tally sticks. A tally stick was a bit of hazel wood upon which a debt was recorded in the form of notches; the stick was then split in half. The creditor’s half was called the “stock,” which made him the stockholder, and the debtor’s half was called the stub. The stock would circulate as money, and as long as the stub remained it was impossible to change the debt.

Tally sticks circulated in England for 500 years. It is worth noting that when the Bank of England was founded, in 1694, one quarter of its capital was in the form of tally sticks. But the bankers wished to monopolize the creation of money, and immediately set out on a long campaign to get the tally sticks outlawed. And they got their wish when the Liberal party came to power in 1832. One of their first acts was to fulfill the agenda of the Bank of England. All of the tally sticks were gathered together and burned in a stove in the House of Lords. However, the fire got out of hand and burned down the Houses of Parliament.”

~ Excerpted from the essay: Friends and Strangers: A Meditation on Money by John Medaille

via Reflejos



new year, new YOU



the end and the beginning

The End and the Beginning
by Wisława Szymborska
Translated By Joanna Trzeciak

After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won’t
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the side of the road,
so the corpse-filled wagons
can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Someone has to drag in a girder
to prop up a wall.
Someone has to glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Photogenic it’s not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.

We’ll need the bridges back,
and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.

Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls the way it was.
Someone else listens
and nods with unsevered head.
But already there are those nearby
starting to mill about
who will find it dull.

From out of the bushes
sometimes someone still unearths
rusted-out arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.

Those who knew
what was going on here
must make way for
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass that has overgrown
causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.

image: the beauty we love
poem: the mark on the wall


we are not all created equal

Opportunity and equality just aren't available to all anymore.
Not because of prejudice, but simple economics.

We Are Not All Created Equal
The truth about the American class system
Stephen Marche
There are some truths so hard to face, so ugly and so at odds with how we imagine the world should be, that nobody can accept them. Here's one: It is obvious that a class system has arrived in America — a recent study of the thirty-four countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that only Italy and Great Britain have less social mobility. But nobody wants to admit: If your daddy was rich, you're gonna stay rich, and if your daddy was poor, you're gonna stay poor. Every instinct in the American gut, every institution, every national symbol, runs on the idea that anybody can make it; the only limits are your own limits. Which is an amazing idea, a gift to the world — just no longer true. Culturally, and in their daily lives, Americans continue to glide through a ghostly land of opportunity they can't bear to tell themselves isn't real. It's the most dangerous lie the country tells itself.

for man, no circle is ever closed. we walk ever in spirals. ~ R. Scott Bakker

I have a 'thing' for spirals. I'm not sure why or when this particular 'interest' of mine began. But ever since I've had an innertent to swoop around in, I've collected images of spirals. Spirals have dozens of meanings, are found everywhere in life, the universe. I like the idea of our lives being a journey along the path of a spiral. We seem to pass the same point over and over again but from a different perspective each time. I like the idea that I have more than one opportunity to learn a life lesson ~ because, knowing my stubborn, mulish self, it takes more than one loop around the spiral to get it right.



falling behind the crowd

I am of conflicted minds when it comes to surrendering the lovely page by page turn of a book to a technological gadget such as the Kindle. I fear I will become like the dinosaurs, extinct, while the rest of my herd travels forward without me in this brave new world. I love the feel of a book in my hand. The smell of the paper. The naughty habit of turning down the corner of a page to mark my spot. I like reading all the little notes before and after the story, attempting to glean more insight about the author and publishers. I even like the dedications. I don’t write my poetry on a computer. I still write in graphed paper schoolbooks, folding the pages in a complicated origami as I revise poems again and again. Only when I am done and happy with the result, do I copy the poem into a computer document, later to post to my poetry blog. And that I do only to keep multiple copies of my work in case I lose one form or the other. For those of you who have succumbed to a Kindle (or similar gadget) I say, " Brave new you to leap forward with the trend." I fear it is here to stay.



the skin between ourselves

"There's a skin or hide between ourselves and our inner being. And in the West that skin is very thick. Inside us there's a sea and that sea is your inner life, your spiritual life, and your sexual impulses - everything you've gotten from the memory stores of evolution. Then there's the outside world made of buildings and automobiles. And these two worlds can't rub against each other. It's too painful. Therefore you develop a hide exactly like a cow develops a hide. You don't want her guts to rub against the barn."

~ Robert Bly
spoken to Lewis Hyde in an interview
taken from Robert Bly - In This World

via the beauty we love



God says Yes to me

my churlish self

"I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes"

~ by Kaylin Haught
from The Palm of Your Hand

stolen from cowboy's blog



"I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."

~ Augusten Burroughs

(Source: quote-book) via Assorted



a picture is worth a thousand words

Caption this one ...