Saturday, October 30, 2010

Melanie the Red-Haired Troll

This is the story of Melanie the red haired troll.
Melanie may not seem to be a scary name
You may even have a favorite relative named Melanie
For all I know You may even know a Melanie
You could even be a Melanie
But if you're a troll
you don't want to have a name like Melanie

Friday, October 29, 2010


  Ahi viene el agua
  Por la ladera,
  Y se me moja
  Mi calavera.

  La muerte calaca,
  Ni gorda, ni flaca.
  La muerte casera,
  Pegada con cera.

I, of the Storm

Dark, the thunderous skies
erupt into light and sound
the heavens open up
and the rain begins
to pour down

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Lines Second Thoughts — Paul Clifford

Boston window through rain.

While the author and the book may be forgotten, the first words to the Edward George Bulwer-Lytton novel Paul Clifford are perhaps the most famous opening words in the history of English literature.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.'

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crustacean Migration

Along the fence in our backyard is a smattering of tunnels. The entrance holes are about the size of a baseball. I am unfamiliar with native burrowers indigenous to this area. The possibility of what kind of critter might emerge from the dark passageway was unnerving.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Not My Birthday — Kerouac Still Dead

Piper's Bar, Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico

The bloated corpse of Jack Kerouac was rushed to a hospital in Florida on October 20, 1969. Still breathing, he expired the next day. His death was attributed to natural causes — a lifetime of heavy drinking. Elsewhere in the cosmos a five-year-old boy sat at the bottom of a staircase in tears. Left in the care of an alcoholic World War II veteran and a German shepherd. The stairwell was his refuge.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Augustino and the Choir of Destruction — A Review

In a deliberate attempt to weed out the undedicated reader, this 300 page meditation by Marie-Claire Blais is a work of art. For those brave enough to take on the challenge of pushing through this unbroken monodiatrialogue of words, feelings and descriptions, a warning must be issued.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jacobson Wins Booker Prize

London author and columnist Howard Jacobson was named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction on October 12,  for The Finkler Question, published by Bloomsbury. Jacobson has been longlisted twice for the prize, in 2006 for Kalooki Nights and in 2002 for Who's Sorry Now?, but has never before been shortlisted.

The Finkler Question is a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today. Said to have ‘some of the wittiest, most poignant and sharply intelligent comic prose in the English language', The Finkler Question has been described as ‘wonderful' and ‘richly satisfying' and as a novel of ‘full of wit, warmth, intelligence, human feeling and understanding'.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Thirteen blackbirds.
Thirteen black birds.
Among twenty snowy mountains,  
The only moving thing  
Was the eye of the blackbird.  

I was of three minds,  
Like a tree  
In which there are three blackbirds.  

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.  
It was a small part of the pantomime.