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Postmodern Angst

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Some Rationalizations Regarding Contemporary Poetry

Poetry is a declining art because poetry is a difficult and demanding craft, and our society no longer expects excellence. Poetry is a thriving art because poetry is a difficult and demanding craft, and there are always people who will choose a challenge over an easier task. The death of poetry is commonly predicted. On


What It Means To Live One Foot In The Grave

The idea of living one foot in the grave comes from the Zen masters, some of whom would carry a tiny coffin with them when they traveled, a reminder of their mortality, a token of the temporary nature of existence. The idea has become misused and distorted in the West, which tends culturally to make


Gateway to a Parallel World

This is the last place anyone saw Elias. He was drinking a tropical milkshake and staring out at the ocean. After he disappeared, we looked for him everywhere. On the beach, around the neighborhood. We went back to the park by the beach every day for two weeks. The Coast Guard kept watch for his


Happy Anniversary, Katrina X/O

“So that’s over,” he said. “I reckon we can go back to forgetting about it.” “Sometimes you just gotta move on,” she told him. That much was a simple truth. Lots of other people had moved on. Other would. But for some reason it was not for him. “I can’t forget.” “You won’t forget,” she


Tetsuo’s Last Stand

The door was locked, the key tossed over the wall and into the night. His brother and the rescued hostages were safe on the other side, headed for the waiting boats and their escape. Tetsuo turned and faced the dozen warriors amassed before him. Some of them stood with their jaws slack, amazed at the


Happy New Year

After the New Year we sailed our sandships along down the gulf where we hung around the landfill plinking rats with pellet rifles. The rats are the size of kittens so they make good targets. We found this place at the end of the world where old surfers end up after one wave too many


The Last Words of Leon Czolgosz

On this day in 1901, anarchist Leon Czolgosz was executed for the assassination of US President William McKinley. “I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people – the good working people,” he said as they strapped him into the electric chair. “I am not sorry for my crime.” “I am


McKinley Assassination

On this day in 1901,  lone gunman Leon Czolgosz assassinated President William McKinley using a .32 pistol. The assassin is notably mentioned in the film Slacker, directed by Richard Linklater. Philosopher and scholar Louis Mackey portrays a character referred to as “Old anarchist” in the film. He and his daughter return home from grocery shopping to


Only Watubi Can Save You Now

Skipper Jonas Grumby finds this old tiki idol and believes he’s under the “curse of Kona.” Only the powerful witch-doctor Watubi can save him. Skipper is rendered nearly mad by his fear of the curse, his senses so distorted that he does not recognize Gilligan dressed up as Watubi. Nor does he realize the exorcism Gillian


On This Day in History

On this day in 1846, Mexico declared war on the United States. Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed in 1934 by police in Black Lake, Louisiana. Eleven years later, Heinrich Himmler committed suicide. Four years after that, in 1949, the Federal Republican of Germany was formed. Back in 1430 Joan of Arc was captured and in


Birth of Spam (not the tasty kind)

On this day in 1978, the first unsolicited commercial mass email was sent by a Digital Electronics Corporation sales executive to 393 recipients on ARPANET. The subsequent pogrom to hunt and destroy the salesman and his assistant was fruitless, but DEC did make a few sales of the DECSYSTEM-2020.  


The News from Traumaville

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of John Cassavetes movies and staying up late with gypsy minstrels composing musical space opera set on the Jovian moons of Io and Europa. Fire and ice are prominent themes. When the musicians get hungry we make soup from empty cans and then mourn the death of irony. A


Hairy Solstice

“What are you doing for Christmas?” Shorty asked me. “Same thing I do every year. Nothing.” “Do you celebrate the solstice?” I do celebrate the solstice, but I lied and told him I didn’t. “My wife used to celebrate the solstice,” Shorty told me. That’s why I lied to him. No point telling him now