these are the timesdirty beloved


Greek Mythology Link
Carlos Parada
Quirky, eccentric, extensive, includes Biographies, a Dictionary, Glossary, and Images

The Spider

...thin spider lips
elevnspclip-synching hymns
elevnspcnineteenbeside the songbirds—grackles

elevnspcnineteenand bobolinks, larks and orioles—
elevnspcas full of noble melodies
as the rest. But secretly...

Susan Kelly-DeWitt
Verse Daily


Iron Tom

Howard Pyle

The county bookmobile services the trailer park where my mom lives; and where I now live, taking care of her. She reads a lot and so do I, so the bookmobile is a pretty regular thing for us, every two weeks.
I also go into the main branch once in a while, though most of my reading time is spent here, online.
Without recognizing the name, at first, I was pretty excited the other day to find in the shelf of non-fiction in the bookmobile a copy of "The Meaning of Everything" by Simon Winchester. Because it was subtitled "The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary".
If I had recognized the name I might have been less excited.
I took home Winchester's "The Madman and the Professor" four years ago, tried to read it, three or four different times, and finally threw it on the floor in disgust.
You need to understand that I can read James Michener quite happily, I can read and enjoy, in fact have read virtually all of John D. McDonald. Louis L'Amour, check. My mom gets books like Barbara Stanwyck's autobiography, I read that. But also, Alice Munro is one of my favorite authors. William Gass, Paul West, Edna O'Brien, Boswell's Johnson, Henry Fielding, Jane Austen...
The point is I'll read anything, almost, provided it isn't evil. And the better it is the happier I am.
A few years ago I was living in the vicinity of a major university and I scraped up enough to buy a "friend of the library" card that enabled me to check books out. It was a love affair. I was smitten. I am a reader of books.
The OED is like a library. I am, by virtue of being a reader of books, a reader of words. The OED is the keeper, the treasury of words, the foremost authority, the warm grandmother's kitchen of my native tongue. I virtually revere it. A book about its founding approaches the scriptural.
Winchester reeks of brimstone and blood-inked contracts.
The first sentence of the second paragraph of the Prologue of Winchester's second attempt to drag the OED into the gutter begins as so:
"A great horse race on a sunny afternoon tends always to bring out the best in people, and it is probably fair to say that the concern of most in England that summer's day was not so much with historical enterprises, however great or small they might have been, but rather more prosaically..."
It continues thus for a few more lines, and indeed the book itself continues for another 270 pages, though I'll never know whether his mind returned to its rightful place in time to shame him into a workmanlike attempt at the solemn task he set himself. I stopped there.
This is the work that holds our language safe and you sir, purport to be its historian; and yet you come to the table dressed in a pinafore and playing a slide whistle. Not that that costume is wrong in and of itself, it's the context in which it's displayed. This smacks of the vanity house, or worse, the demon's glee at soiling helpless virtue.
Fie, Winchester; had it been me I would have searched high and low for a better hand and then served as needed til the job was done.

Last time at the bookmobile I picked up a few autobiographies for my mom; one I almost didn't get, because she knows nothing of baseball, and because usually sports figures hire the worst ghost writers I've ever read to pad out their stories. But a voice said take it, so I did. It was
I Had a Hammer
The Hank Aaron Story

by Hank Aaron
with Lonnie Wheeler
I was reading some Nat'l Geographics before bed for a few days, but I wanted something a little longer or deeper, and I went through the little stack of books and there it was. I expected it to be that kind of bad Sports-Illustrated hype-and-fluff, but I gave it the Reader's Prayer - that the author be not so bad it felt insulting to read or damaging to the sense.
And within a page I was in awe. First at Wheeler's unreserved intelligence, then at Aaron's brilliance in collaborating with him, and then at Wheeler's steadfast hook in to the dark world Hank Aaron's story comes out of.
Lonnie Wheeler so obviously respects Aaron that he, again obviously, puts his whole strength into the book. And he's an intelligent man, with a grasp of history and the art of literature, and more fundamental, to the American landscape as it was, as it's revealed in the real histories of the real people who lived the real lives that made it what it was. And most importantly the real people who changed it.
I'm still reading it, in fact as soon as I finish this I'm going to bed to read it some more. It's a book I'll remember, and a story that goes into the weave of stories and lives I think of when I think of why it's necessary to fight to win, not to fight back, not even to fight to defend, but to win.
I'll come back to this when I've finished reading it.


The Air Loom
For everyone who has since had messages beamed at them through fillings, mysterious implants or TV sets, or via hi-tech surveillance, MI5, Masonic lodges or UFOs, James Tilly Matthews is Patient Zero.

Matthews was convinced that outside the grounds of Bedlam, in a basement cellar by London Wall, a gang of villains were controlling and tormenting his mind with diabolical rays. They were using a machine called an 'Air Loom', of which Matthews was able to draw immaculate technical diagrams, and which combined recent developments in gas chemistry with the strange force of animal magnetism, or mesmerism. It incorporated keys, levers, barrels, batteries, sails, brass retorts and magnetic fluid, and worked by directing and modulating magnetically charged air currents, rather as the stops of an organ modulate its tones. It ran on a mixture of foul substances, including 'spermatic-animal-seminal rays', 'effluvia of dogs' and 'putrid human breath', and its discharges of magnetic fluid were focused to deliver thoughts, feelings and sensations directly into Matthews' brain. There were many of these mind-control settings, all classified by vivid names: 'fluid locking', 'stone making', 'thigh talking', 'lobster-cracking', 'bomb-bursting', and the dreaded 'brain-saying', whereby thoughts were forced into his brain against his will. To facilitate this process, the gang had implanted a magnet into his head.
The Air Loom Gang
by Mike Jay
image of the Air Loom
and article on Matthews at Wikipedia
Illustrations of madness: Exhibiting a singular Case of Insanity, and a No Less Remarkable Difference in Medical Opinions: Developing the Nature of An Assailment, And the Manner of Working events; with A Description of the Tortures Experienced by Bomb-Bursting, Lobster-Cracking, and Lengthening the Brain. Embellished with a Curious Plate.
by John Haslam
full text online at
Catalogue of the Historical Medical Digital Library
of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
(link Brown University)
Influencing Machines
Reading and Resources
Gender and the Idea of the Machine
Dr Laura Salisbury
Birkbeck College
University of London


My new Groove camera has a movie option.


"The two best things a writer can be, in my opinion, are honest and brave. In the moments when a writer can be both these things, he or she speaks for every living thing, without trying."

Pam Houston

A goodly chunk of Emmet Grogan's Ringolevio is online and free at the Digger Archives

Writers on the Edge is where the link to Suzanne Antonetta came from; and now this link, to Freeman House, digger and apprentice salmon savior.

Shopping at the ocean mouth
divine, I'd suck the sorrow out and spit
its thrashing body from the window
and there, her grandfather would live
forever, there, her friend's father
would rip the cancer from his chest
and weave it into a basket, there, she and I
will see mountains...

Bob Hicok
Verse Daily

"We are supposed to stay silent. About the madness running in our bloodlines, the revolt going on in our bodies, the cancers raining down around us. About the poisoned landscape that is now America. Susanne Antonetta laces all these demons together with words that sing a terrible and beautiful song. I don't know exactly how she does it, but she sure as hell does. And we all know she is right. Know it in our bones. Know it as we wail over our lost ones. This is a report from the flesh instead of the numbing statistics. This is our neighborhood written in blood."

Charles Bowden, on Body Toxic, by Suzanne Antonetta (Paola)

Suffice it to say Jim Dodge wrote the foreword.




naked Russian children
In The Master Mystery
Weird Tales April 1924
gazing into a gazing ball
in the box

Tent of the nomadic Kirghiz. Golodnaia Steppe

General view of the Bibi-Khanym mosque from Shakh-i Zindeh. Samarkand


tomorrow - Modjeska

and there were birds in those trees, as well

Matisse in the studio

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