Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's in a word?

The news today reported another two Australian military deaths in Afghanistan. One occured when a helicopter crashed, the other:
"The lance-corporal was a cook at the forward base and was taking his turn on piquet duty when he was murdered by the Afghan National Army solider who had only recently arrived at the base."
The term "piquet duty"—if what the reporter meant was that he was on watch, on sentry duty—is archaic, has been replaced by "picket duty." But the term "piquet" or "picquet" has another meaning, which, in these days of waterboarding & sensory deprivation, is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

To quote—forgive me for doing something I advise everybody not to do—Wikipedia:
The "picquet" (alternately spelled "piquet") was a method of torture used as military punishment in vogue in late medieval Europe.

The punishment of the picquet required placing a stake in the ground with the exposed end facing upward. The exposed end had a rounded point. The malefactor was typically a junior officer who had disobeyed orders. One thumb was suspended from a tree, while the sole or heel of the opposite bare foot was balanced atop the stake. The point of the stake was sharp enough to cause considerable discomfort, but not sharp enough to draw blood. To relieve pressure upon the tortured foot, the prisoner relegated all his weight to the thumb, all but tearing the thumb from its socket, which could only be relieved by shifting weight back onto the tortured foot.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Today the
postman brought
me an unsigned
ransom note
threatening to
destroy the world
unless I came up
& across with $10
million in incon-
sequential bills.
"Such is life," I
thought & threw it
in the rubbish. Ex-
istentialism does
have an upside.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today the
postman brought
me a book on
plagiarism. No-
thing I hadn't
read before,
word for word,
in a number
of other books.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

this morning's unbidden internal songtrack

Bring me my
bow of burning
gold, bring me

my arrows
of desire. Bring
me my spear—

O clouds unfold!—
bring me my
chariot of fire.
William Blake

Friday, May 20, 2011

Today the
postman brought
me Fundamental
. Mis-
representation if
you ask me. Not
a fart joke in it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

geographies: Riga

Coating the
last gray
years of
rule with
bees wax

may put less
pressure on
local forestry
but will lead
to ostracism
in any
play group.

Friday, May 13, 2011

He talks of snow.
I talk of sand.

He talks of yaks.
I talk of camels.

He talks of water
flowing & spring

flowers. I listen.
We talk of ghosts.

Ashina Jiesheshuai (d. 619 C.E.)

included in: Rivalling The Six Dynasties: Poems from the Eastern Turkic Khaganate selected & translated by Umberto Allegrezza; The Uzbekistan Historical Society; Bukhara, 2000.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If I were being charitable

I might say that Mr Diaphragm Head, the leader of the conservative opposition in Australia, was trying to imitate a scrotal sac, but since he doesn't have the balls that go along with it.....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


post at won des laits will be a found pwoermd, onwer.

It's fair to describe it as journalistic sloppy seconds, since the word that preceded it in the news report was the incorrectly apostrophed "it's" as in "a dog and it's onwer."

But, thinking about it, isn't "sloppy seconds" an appropriate term for most journalism these days?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

A line from Anonli Necata-Logue

Admire the bucolic Blue
Ridge Mountains in
the distance as you
sit on the porch sipping

lemonade in this breezy
dress. The breathable
100% cotton material lets
the gentle wind kiss your

skin while the button
front & epaulets add subtle
decoration to the rustic
print. Add a headband,

sandals & a necklace, &
whether you're in West
Virginia or elsewhere,
you'll look like heaven.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Color me

a confused old fart, but I find it passing strange when a panel discussion on the impact of the death of Osama Bin Laden starts using terminology more suited to the dissection of a marketing campaign, with terms like franchise—referring to al-Qaeda Iraq, al-Qaeda Somalia etc.—& talk about the loss of the brand—Bin Laden himself.

What's next? The War on Dunkin' Donuts? The War on KFC?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Otoliths issue #21 is now live

The expense of getting a new designer outfit for the Royal Nuptials means there's no money left in the budget to appropriately acknowledge the fact that Otoliths is celebrating its fifth birthday, so we'll just have to let the issue speak for itself, & it does, as elegantly as ever.

Once again it's a wide-ranging compendium, containing text & visual work from Kirsten Kaschock, Tom Beckett, Marilyn R. Rosenberg, J. D. Mitchell-Lumsden, Martin Edmond, Ed Baker, Eileen R. Tabios, Nava Fader, Michael Caylo-Baradi, Curt Eriksen, Eeva Karhunen, Howie Good, Jennifer L. Tomaloff, Andrea Jane Kato, John M. Bennett, Sheila E. Murphy & John M. Bennett, Sheila E. Murphy, Patrick Williamson, Michele Leggott, Beni Ransom, Philip Byron Oakes, Jim Meirose, Cilla McQueen, Thomas Fink, Theodoros Chiotis, Christopher Mulrooney, Keith Higginbotham & Matt Margo, Raymond Farr, Cherie Hunter Day, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, J. D. Nelson, NF Huth, Patrick Cahill, Mark DuCharme, Pam Brown, SJ Fowler, Tony Brinkley, Cecelia Chapman, David Mitchell, Felino Soriano, Jamie Bradley, Peter LaBerge, Charles Freeland, Corey Wakeling, Jeff Harrison, Jen Besemer, dan raphael, Yoko Danno, Joshua Comyn, Emma Smith, Cassandra Atherton, Michael Rothenberg, Bill Drennan, sean burn, Kit Schluter, Caleb Puckett, Rosaire Appel, Robert Gauldie, Zarah McGunnigle, Bella Li, Hala Hoagland, Marcia Arrieta, Reijo Valta, Gregory Kan, Lawrence Bernabe, Housten Donham, Sam Langer, Bob Heman, & Gustave Morin.

The issue is dedicated to Robert "Bob" Gauldie, painter, poet, scientist, & regular contributor, who died suddenly, in Utrecht, on April 5.