Found Poetry — Spam

This interesting piece of stream of consciousness is one reason I don’t delete quite all of my comment spam on sight. I took the title from the text. It makes some interesting found poetry.

Beefjerky For The Price Of Freedom

Twice they sounded the guilded antiquitarian books for sale at the cornershop where
you can get two helpings of beefjerky for the price of freedom is often sacrifice
yourself on the alter of consumerism didn’t die in the 1980’s we should have fought
harder for a free Nicaragua is in central america the beautiful look of curiosity on
her face as I showed her this website seems to be pornographic materials are not
illicit online I can be who ever I want to be somebody else.

A Boy and His Cat

I came across Leviathan in the Graphic novel section of Half-Price Books a week ago. I bought it pretty much sight unseen mainly because of the quality of the binding and the artistry of the illustration on the cover. Whatever it was about, I figured, the art alone was worth four bucks.

Yes, I judged a book by its cover. I’m glad I did.

It’s a collection of Peter Blegvard’s turn of the century comic strip from the UK about the musings and adventures of faceless baby and his pet cat. It’s kind of like a more surreal, intelligent Calvin and Hobbes. If Hobbes had swallowed the actual Thomas Hobbes. And Calvin was still a baby. Without a face.

It is proof that literature, art, philosphy, and poetry can exist in comic book form and still be pretty darn funny. Highly recommended.

How I came to mention Turtles

Kurt asks: “Okay, I give up. What’s a turtle?”

Well, Kurt, it’s a good-natured but rather silly drinking “club” which has a loosely organized lore and history going back to some pilots in WWII. Turtles are supposedly clean-minded individuals who will keep to themselves but “stick their necks out” for people in need.

The clean-minded part is tested, as a rite of initiation by giving the right (clean) answers to double-entendre riddles, such as:

Q — What goes in hard and dry and comes out soft and wet?
A — Chewing Gum.

Yes, pretty silly, but good clean tongue-in-cheek barstool fun.

The “secret handshake” is when you ask someone “Hey, so-and-so, are you a turtle?” they have to say “You bet your sweet ass I am.” (Being clean-minded, it is always assumed that the questioning turle has a jackass in their posession. Heh.) regardless of the situation, or they have to buy the questioner a drink of their choosing.

Like I said it’s pretty silly. But so are many drinking activities perpetuated by college-aged kids. Turtles are significant in how widely they extend beyond college-aged kids.

I was sitting at the end of a two hour long design review which had left everyone, understandably, feeling a little punch-drunk. An older guy, the developer, expressed his desire to imbibe at a local establishment later that afternoon. Making conversation, I aksed where he planned to go. “The Turtle Club,” he said, referring to a floating pub along the shores of the Lake not far from my own house. “Oh,” I said, “are you one?” briefly recalling my own silly college days. And he replied, “You bet your sweet ass I am.” right there in the conference room as we were gathering up our papers to leave.

And that reminded me to ask you all out there, if only as a cheap attempt to get more comments on my blog. Shameless *and* silly, I admit. And that’s how I came to mention Turtles.

Seeing poetry

Life has no whence;
it is carrying forth,
and carrying forth again.

Death has no whither;
it is carrying away;
and carrying away again.

Ultimately how is it?

If the mind does not differ,
myriad things are one suchness.

-Dôgen, “Rational Zen”

This was a quote that came to me in another context, but I couldn’t help presenting it here as poetry. Sometimes you just find poetry, sometimes it just finds you. The cool thing about found poetry is that you have to *see* it; you develop an eye for it.

I want to develop eyes that look everywhere and see poetry.

Monkey Literature

‘An Infinite Number of Monkeys’

After all the Shakespeare, the book
of poems they type is the saddest
in history.

But before they can finish it,
they have to wait for that Someone
who is always

looking to look away. Only then
can they strike the million
keys that spell

humiliation and grief, which are
the great subjects of Monkey
Literature

and not, as some people still
believe, the banana
and the tire.

— Ronald Koertge

Turtle Talk

An exchange with a colleague at work toward the end of a long design review session reminded me of something that I haven’t asked any of you:

“Hey, reader, are you a turtle?”

You turtles are now duty bound to leave me a comment or you owe me a shot of bourbon. You know what to say.

IOU: A Good Entry

I guess Overflow is more or less on hiatus. Or more like a work slowdown. Mainly because I don’t have a damn thing to say. Or maybe it’s because I realize I never really did. Or maybe the river of life is flowing by so quickly that I don’t have the focus to write. Like I Love Lucy in that famous candy conveyor belt episode.

Children in, children out. CPS is so pleased with Speedy’s progress they want to fast-track his adoption, while our previous experience with emotional/behavior case children is triggering our impulse to move more slowly. Olivia has found a nice African-American couple who wants to take her home to Dallas and adopt her. That’s a fairy tale ending for her, but it’ll leave a hole in our hearts, losing the smilingest baby this side of the bayou. They want you to attach to these children so they learn to attach properly, all the while knowing that they’re gonna be ripped from your adoring arms someday. It’s the foster parent gig — we’ll cry happy tears for Olivia when she goes, but they’ll still hurt. And then we’ll say “Thank you, sir. May I have another?” Actually I think we’ll need a little break…

So speaking of breaks. I can’t say how often I will post here in the next few weeks. I am off kilter, having lost use of my filter. The filter that tells me what’s blog worthy and what’s not. Like you could probably give a flying fig that my favorite local coffee house is going to start selling my favorite locally roasted coffee. Do you really care that I am allowing myself to read a not good for me fiction book for the first time in a long time and that I’m enjoying it? Or that I joined the local YMCA? Or that Bad Art Night is this Wednesday?

No, probably not. Problem is that I have no ideas right now other than the passing events of life. I’ll le t you know when I think of something.

But come to Bad Art Night. We’re playing one thousand blank white cards. It’ll be fun.

Expensive Silence

It may have cost us a small fortune, but it was worth it. When Heidi and I walked up to the hostess at the Tex-mex restaraunt we frequent, she asked us how many were in our party. “Two,” we said.

Two. Not eight. Or six. Or even three. Two.

Granted, our three and a half hour dinner and shopping date was expensive, but we had the luxury of kid-free shopping. We were able to eat in peace. While our food was still hot even.

I had to resist the impulse to reach over and cut Heidi’s food into bite-sized peices for her. I didn’t have to wipe anyone’s mouth once. Heidi didn’t have to tell anyone to eat their food because this was the last food they were getting until tomorrow.

As we were walking out to the car getting ready to go do some kid-free store browsing, I realized that at some time in the future this will again be so common as to not be special. Someday our small-children years will be as distant a memory as our pre-child years seem to me now. I made a mental note to remember to appreciate the kids at this age because they’ll never be this young or cute again.

Of course. Sure. As soon as we pick the kids up from the babysitter.

Neo Dada

Neo Dada is a gallery of mail art. I don’t know much about Dada, but it’s a nice page of cool art pics. You can send in your own postcards and, if they’re Dada anough, they’ll post ’em. I’ve got a couple I’d like to send myself. They’re just weird enough to make it on. Maybe.

Spaces Between

I had a great find yesterday. I went to Half-Price Books looking for a particular thing and could not find it. (I should always remember that you rarely find a particular title you’re looking for a Half-Price. That place is for browsing.) So, when I couldnt find what I came for I checked out the DVD racks, which is usually fruitless because the DVD racks there are usually 98% crap.

But there it was — a Richard Linklater film I’ve been wanting to see called Before Sunrise. It’s about a 24 hour long romantic conversation between two strangers who meet in Vienna. I love movies about good conversations. I love good conversations period.

Toward the end of the movie the female character Selene said something that struck me. A partial answer to why I love conversations, relationships, and art. She said:

Y’know, I believe if there’s any kind of God, it wouldn’t be in any of us. Not you, or me… but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something [sigh]. I know, its almost impossible to succeed, but… who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt.

Spaces between. Sharing. Like the spaces created by converations and relationships. The shared meaning between lovers, friends. What is conversation or art but attempts to create a space between, a shared meaning?