Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And draw

Faint wears the ribbon
traversing twixt the spools
left and right many times over

pulled to the limits
tripping the gear
for a reverse

And quaint
is thought the unplugged-in
and the users thereof

Saints of the written word
Mayn’t they also write
upon their walls
by firelight,

using bits of charcoal?

Or paint their pictures
with former-day devices labeled
Remington, Olivetta, or Underwood?

Taint them not
you disciples of Gateway and Dell
T’aint right in a world
dangerously uninclusive

Janed or Dicked be ye?
e’r the waning inks go dry

Haint it true
Something dark is
what makes the mark?

So gather ye multi-media-ed
whilst ye may.....

[Zep archives]

Monday, March 29, 2010

How you get (got) to sing the blues

1. All Blues songs must begin with "Woke up this morning..."

2. "I got a good woman" is no way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman,
with the ugliest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes... sort of:

"Got a good woman with the ugliest face in town.
Yeah, got a good woman with the ugliest face in town.
Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues is not about choice. If you stuck in a ditch,
you stuck in a ditch. Ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars:
Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broke-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or sports cars. Best Blues transportation
is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train (blues NEVER go on the northbound train). Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet.
Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adult" means old enough
to get the 'lectric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. Blues can take place in New York City, but not in Hawaii or in Canada.
Hard times in Milwaukee or Seattle is probably just clinical depression.
Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis and Kansas City are the best places to
have the Blues. You can't have the Blues in any place that don't get rain.

8. A bald man ain't the Blues. A bald woman is.
Breaking your leg cause you was skiing ain't the Blues.
Breaking your leg cause a gator be chomping on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go out in the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Best places for the Blues:

a. highway

b. jailhouse

c. empty bed

d. bottom of a whiskey glass

Bad places for the Blues:

a. boutiques

b. gallery openings

c. Ivy League institutions

d. golf courses

11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit,
'less you be old, and you slept in it for the last 6 months.

12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues?

Yes, if:

a. you older than dirt

b. you blind

c. you shot a man in Memphis

d. you can't be satisfied

Not if:

a. you have all your teeth

b. you were once blind but now can see

c. the man in Memphis lived

d. you have a pension or trust fund

13. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck.
Tiger Woods can't sing the blues. Sonny Liston could.
Ugly white people also can sing the blues.

14. If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues.
Other approved Blues beverages are:

a. cheap wine

b. whiskey or bourbon

c. muddy water

d. nasty black coffee

The following are NOT Blues beverages:

a. Perrier

b. Chardonnay

c. Snapple

d. Slim Fast

15. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues end. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to go.
So is the 'lectric chair, a drug overdose, or dying lonely on a broke down cot.
You can't have a Blues death during a tennis match or liposuction.

16. Some Blues names for women:

a. Sadie

b. Big Mama

c. Bessie

d. Fat River Dumpling

17. Some Blues names for men:

a. Joe

b. Willie

c. Little Willie

d. Big Willie

e. Whiskey Willie

18. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, Heather,
Scott, Brett, Brandon, Brian, and Shaun can't sing the Blues,
no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

19. "Make your own Blues Name" Starter Kit:

a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)

b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Apple, etc.)

c. last name of a President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Pegleg Lemon Johnson,
Cripple Apple Fillmore, etc.

20. No matter how sad your life is,
if you got a computer you can't sing the blues.

In our zeal

to post our recent item on beating sawblades into swords, we mis-attributed the biblical passage to Amos. Several clerical friends have been quick to set us right. It was indeed Micah 4. We should have gotten out our old demo-pin as a reference. "Times change and with them our recollections." From the Chinese.

Weet er wite er wrie?

Right behind the turning green car on the far side of the street is Dave's Cafe, written about below in 2002. The photo was taken earier this month out the window of the new headquarters of the Waukesha Sewer Raccoon District, 308 South Street 311, Waukesha WI 53186. After Apr. 15th. In the historic downtown Putney building we will be holding forth in a loft, only one block from the central subterranean meeting hall of the Waukesha sewer raccoons. When the raccoons go into the sewer grate at Colton and Arcadian, most likely they are headed down here to their central chamber underneath the Old Post Office. Running errands for the blind old king raccoon seated in his royal throne, by torch light that HE cannot see.

Wite er wheet er wrie?

Is one of the few questions put to you
When you order breakfast at Dave’s Café
In downtown Waukesha

The harried waitress
Is cordial but hurried
Taking care of the usual crowd,
The hungry needs of her flock,
The downtown denizens and the poor pensioners
In for a breakfast at a buck ninety-nine
Two eggs, American fries,
Choice of toast:
Wite er weet er wrie?

The halt and the lame and the unlamented
Personae non grata of the real estate
And business prospectors
Dipping pans they wish were unclogged
By these customers of Dave’s

Panning the newly returned two-way
And ungazebo-ed stream
Of “unfettered” traffic;
No more park benches there for the dirt-bags
As they were called
By a Five Point entrepreneur
Anxious to be rid of them

And there’s not such a great need now
With the gazebo moved down by the bank
For the cops to stake out that central intersection
Where the fake springhouse water bubbled

And the bags hung out spitting their backy juice
Or drooling uncontrollable saliva down their chins;
Not the ambience wanted if ever there will be
Businesses in the old commercial sector
Besides incense stands, tattoo parlors

And joke shops offering fake pools of vomit
Or shit; Swank! SWANK is what is dreamed of;

But Dave’s Café, folks,
Get in on a little secret:
Go on in there anyway,
Because for the money or higher,
The food is the best breakfast in town,

And because those clients of Dave’s
Are more real
Than the names showing up in Upper Case,
Tuxedo-ed on Lorayne Ritt’s society page,

And another good thing:
They aren’t going to be relocated. No;
That controversial sector is their home,
With or without a gazebo to loiter in,
And Dave’s will always
- or for a long time, one hopes -
serve them their
Wite er weet er wrie.

“With the poor people of the world I want to share my fate.
The stream of the mountain pleases me more than the sea.”

[David Dix 12-16-2002]

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not per Amos, beating sawblades into swords

The self-same instrument as it hangs on the wall, 3-27-10
(click to enlarge images)

Friday, March 26, 2010

A taxicab writing:

reprinted from LANDMARK historical quarterly Winter 2003

Uncovered in our excavation prior to our move:

click on images to enlarge

Some of our happiest days were spent piloting a Yellow Cab for 4 years in the 1970s. The chairman of the Art Department of Carroll College, Wis Guthrie, used to wear his bricklayer union pin on his academic robe at Carroll commencements.
We often wear this pin currently, and keep it shiny.......
Ferrymen all.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On getting light

I saw a golden cat as the barely rising sun
Still behind the West Virginia mountains
Made the sky slightly pink and not as blackened
As it was when my walk across the river
An hour ago had just begun

The cat lay on top of a garbage can
In kind of a no-man’s land
Off an alley I was walking
On Wheeling Island hawking
For queer things to expose my film at, and

It was soon after I’d passed an Hibiscus hedge
Following a tenuous crossing
From Wheeling to the island
On a pre-Civil War suspension bridge

An isolated community I so much annually enjoy
I quiver looking down from such a high ledge
Through the swaying gratewalk at the water
Far below

The cat had likely been out all night
A satisfied smile showed just a trace
As maybe full of mice it looked benignly
Upon my out of town face

And we spoke in wow wows kindly
Then he graciously said signly
Take my picture Mr. Man, it’s quite alright

That’s how I read him all the same
So I raised my camera squinting through it taking aim
Got him centered for quick shooting because
He was sitting on his paws so nice and tame

His face turned to glowing phosphorus
I could see it through my finder
I could have not made him blinder
In incandescence he was one loud screeching puss

The mood of our acquaintance turned dreary
And he ricocheted round so bleary
And I knew in an instant I should have used
Available light

Would the cat have sat still for that though
Was something I did not know so
The flash went off and temporarily
So went his pussycat sight

Next year when I go back there
I hope to see his cat hair
Resettled and him once again
At his curmudgeonly ease

I shall pet his golden coif so
He will be ready when I show him the photo
And to his eyes and heart
I might hold the kitty cat keys

I’ll pledge to him in the sternest of stricture
Should I ever again capture his picture
There’ll be no flash in his face
When he says cheese


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cecil Cox, bellman extraordinaire

Cecil remembered

Once again, today at the First Congregational UCC Church, 100 E Broadway, Waukesha, Cecil will be memorialized when the church unleashes its annual pancake supper named after him. Cecil was a hard-to-extinguish worker for his church, climbing the steeple regularly, years after years, to oil the huge bell held aloft by ancient timbers; tending to tasks large and small, from the highly responsible to the seemingly menial.

It was Cecil and people like him this editor had in mind when penning the following ode, reprinted from LANDMARK, the quarterly publication of the Waukesha Historical Society:

(click to enlarge)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Missing Zepata instalment IV

Please note:

This episode was misplaced from the classic Zepata saga and was never included. Do not forget to click on the images to enlarge for reading. To catch the other episodes simply search 'Zepata' in the search window, upper left. This is an ongoing story and is not finished yet, any more than we are..............


Friday, March 19, 2010

Glory glory hallelujah!

The Spring Equinox is this Saturday, March 20th at 1:32 p.m., eastern daylight time.

Spring Peepers are out in Dousman WI, we are advised.

Mighty oaks from acorns grow

Lee Dix
when he was young and short
(we worried a little)

and after attaining great height of 6'2"
with his mother's nurturing help
(photo taken in Madison WI, Feb. 2010)

Lost file

On Wheeling Island

If you ever drive east and want a good place
To stay and rest overnight at the base of the Alleghenies
Before ascending possibly the oldest mountain range
In the world

Stop in Wheeling, West Virginia
I can recommend the Best Western Motor Lodge
On the east bank of the Ohio River
Where the oldest suspension bridge in the US is

In fact the eastern vertical of this suspended marvel
Is almost touchable from the veranda of the lodge
Gigantic cables run from the support and are
Buried deep in tons of concrete beneath the street in front

Built 150 years ago, pre-Civil War, this bridge
Is not the main artery across the Ohio anymore
Interstate Route 70 runs across a newer bridge
About 200 yards north

But the old bridge is a difference of night and day
As the way to cross the big river to Wheeling Island
And I like to walk over it at dawn
From my room in the Best Western

It has been repaired and repainted in 1999
And was disappointingly closed my last trip east
So I took my morning walk across to Wheeling Island
On the newer bridge, a sterile experience

The new bridge, even with the pounding of
Many cars coming down from the mountains
Or going up into them
Is motionless under the weight

Whereas the old one, even with one car
Coming across while you're walking on it
Sways slightly, flexing on its ancient cables
And gives you to understand the tenuousness

A span that fell once when Union soldiers
Marched across in a heavy cadence
Too martial for the peacable lazy structure
It's something to feel in your groin
And think about on the way across


Wheeling Island is loaded with pre-turn-of-the-century
Mansions and a panoply of lesser-degreed dwellings
All in a state of ill-repair except for scattered
Restorations going on, and I'm sure,more are to come

An economic page is yet to be turned there
But I love the crumbling age of it all
The brick sidewalks disheveled by tree roots
And the high porches and built-up homes to beat

Ohio River flooding that has washed over the island
Devastatingly from time to time
One commercial building has a gradient of high water marks
Recorded like a thermometer on its front façade

I have made the acquaintance of a few hunting cats
In those early morning hours
One golden one that I've seen there in an alley
Three years now in a row

I have taken my late father to Wheeling Island
And my fellow revolutionary Juan as well
And I would like to take you there to see all this
Quiet decaying charm

And one simple frame house is a highlight
Only an awninged window graces the front
The door is on the side
And it's all on top of a 5-foot flood foundation

A tiny and unprepossessing dwelling
Out of scale with the larger former-day homes
In its vicinity, but one thing arrests the eye
In passing on my walk

I see a small oval hand-painted sign
Hanging beneath the one front window on a rope
Tied to the window sill at a slight angle
Rakishly but proclaiming lovingly:

"An old fisher-man
lives here
with the catch of his life."
That is so touching to me I shudder
……Like the bridge

[DZD 2-14-00]

He sees animals in trees

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pastor's business card: A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote Revelations 3:20 on the back of it and stuck it in the door.

When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, Genesis 3:10. Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.' Genesis 3:10 reads, 'I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.'

'Eat slowly and quietly....'

In Ruth's day.......
(Click on images to enlarge)
Home Economics text of 1923
Miss Ruth Elies, Tolken Creek WI
Mother of SRN editor

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's

Sentient being, alone,
stands in gourd patch
breathing greens' air

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A local curiosity

In our rummaging through boxes of kitchen utensils of late whilst packing to move closer to the hub of sewer raccoonage, we found that we still have a Usinger's sausage knife. We looked feverishly for it after reading the Milw. Journal-Sentinel's recent article about these highly desirable collectible knives. Written by food editor Nancy Stohs, it elicited several write-ins from readers with Usinger knife stories.
You have to be either from Milwaukee or hipped, regardless of your location, to the world famous Usinger's Milw. sausage company on Old World 3rd St. to know about these blades that come with delectable sausages.
Our knife is in the vaunted and lusted-after rare avocado colour. This is indeed one very special knife, a handy tool that will go with us when we move.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Writer in the window

A posting from one of the best blogs out there
Make a note; save it in 'my favorites'


upon a time.......

Abstract Expressionist postage, new....... just out

Mr. Postman...........

Play this for old time's sake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8BPcNUQy-0

The US Postal has just brought out a new sheet of 44c stamps, as illustrated below. So Mr. Postman, when you come to deliver and pick up mail here, you will find these gorgeous stamps placed on our out-going letters.

And much as we use Email nowadays, we much prefer to send and receive handwritten letters. Hang the cost. We want to help the US gov'munt.

Mail your comments to us at 517 Arcadian Ave, Waukesha WI 53186

The SRN is happy to present:

click to enlarge

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It was going to be the thing

Reprinted from Environmental Action
1346 Connecticut Ave, NW, Wash. DC 20036
July 29, 1978

Click on pages to enlarge