Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dee visits Waukesha farmers market today.
Buys Sweet Peas.

Erin 'Sweet Pea' Dix
Django Reinhardt:
if he could adjust to impairment
so well,
why cannot




Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A river runs through it

6:45 AM

Up early, rain on the skylights.

Dee, on her Wednesday sabbath, just returned from her ritual, getting a Steaming Cup coffee and a paper, reported running into attorney Kim Theobald also getting coffee ahead of an anticipated grueling day in court.

Yesterday was the opposite of today, with bright sun and cooler air, and led me on a constitutional walk around the mighty Fox, where I saw bears.

I traversed to Discount Liquor and bought a $1.39 single bottle of Pellegrino and toted that homeward, a liquor-shaped bottle wrapped in a narrow paper bag with the neck twisted, wino-style. I reposed gazing at the moving water on a bench along the river across from the bears, with the unopened sack at my side.

This morning, moments ago, I took the frosty glass I had placed overnight in the freezer, filled it with radium ice cubes, and had myself a cold glass of the treasured spring water, one of my residual pleasures here in Elba, my anonymous downtown-splendored 1882 limestone no-names-on-the -lobby-doorbell-rostered aerie. (Search SRN 'Putney'.)

Then I plumped down in my recliner with my elixir and Robert Ruark's SOMETHING OF VALUE, which I am rereading, a book from 1955 about the Mau-Mau uprising in Africa.

Ahead of opening the book to the bent-over page, I played the little wooden frog resting on the book in the rainy beginning of the day. Lighting flashed, torrents clattered on the overhead skylight.

An unfolding in the circumscribed and happy world of a not-for-profit diarist.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Grand idea

From Sunday New York Times 7-24-11 click to enlarge

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jolly times

Copied from our Boy Scout manual, 1944
click to enlarge


Boy Scouts Camping Out

by Norbert Krapf

We sat cross-legged peering into the fire
with a circle of tents at our back.

Flickering coals spotlighted the face
of the scout whose turn it was to talk.

Sucking on cigarettes, we voted on who
was the raunchiest girl in our class.

then swore on a rusty Swiss Army knife
that none of us would ever get hitched.

We wondered about our mothers and fathers
and swapped notes on our budding sisters.

By the time the sunlight began to trickle
through the treetops, we crawled back into

our tents coughing like cranes and fell
with swollen imaginations into heavy sleep.

"Boy Scouts Camping Out" by Norbert Krapf, from Somewhere in Southern Indiana: Poems of Midwestern Origins. © Time Being Books, 1993.


This poem from today's Writers Almanac reminds us of our brief affiliation with Troop 2 BSA that met at the Waukesha Methodist Church. We boys were miscreants, evidently. We were seen window peeping in the bush-hidden back windows of the old Town Hall, ahead of a scout meeting. The Town Hall used to be right next to our scout meeting site at the church, on Wisconsin Ave. We naughtily spied into the dressing room where a weekly girls' dance class donned their tutus.

Our scoutmaster had finally had it with our troop, and disbanded us. Thus we only made it 2nd Class Scout. It was probably our first brush with authority. We didn't smoke.....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Various shades

A heat wave persists across the mid-west. Dee is cooler when she gets her hair up. This demonstrates the many natural shades of color she possesses. Photo-worthy for us......

Monday, July 18, 2011


This article appeared in yesterday's New York Times.
We are in the throes of another heat wave in Wis, as is other areas of the US. I heard a few of raindrops falling on the skylight over our bedroom early this AM. They didn't last long. The rain was brief, not enough. As hot as it is outside, it was like throwing a splash of cold water on hot sauna rocks......the steaminess only augmented by those dearthy droplets.

click article to enlarge

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Stories, cont'd

selected shorts subject

The cold season in Wisconsin sets in once more,
and still I wear my tattered gray short pants

the house and surround where my home office is,
though I know sartorially no great credit to me these bare threads

The hems dangle down. You say time has made my abbreviated trousers
unpresentable; yes, by some standards I am poorly

Just this very day a squad car passed while I in my shorts
raked leaves into a mound. The cops spied my special drawers and

But I don't seem to give a darn or a big rodent's posterior anymore,
if ever I did, how my own unpublicized posterior is clad. Perhaps I shed or add
a pound

now and then, but my shredded fading sheath is a forgiving shroud;
the waist is elastic, a yet strongly expanding and contracting heart. So

me if you will, washing after ragging washing, I just cling to
these pants the more, and they to me; I know how couthless that may

There may be a Lack of Fashion Statement in such die-hard loin clothing
but I don't intend to make it:

I too am fraying, but my pants and I, together, will hold our dear

Friday, July 8, 2011

My stories and I'm stickin' to them

A gaudy butterfly laid me

On a milkweed leaf she laid me

with no great hope of my success,

for I was just one of a hundred eggs

she deposited,

flitting, pausing, flitting, pausing,

my mother's abdomen arching

each time and putting us down;

we pinheads were merely something

that made her feel good

or the result of an act that did;

or not even that;

I don't know and will never know.

I ate my full engorgement of clean furrows

in the white-juiced leaves until I grew

to a fat temptation for predators

that eat the likes of me,

but the numbers had it

that I was one of the few who survived,

never got picked off in the hard

mandibles of life.


my disappointment was different;

I spun my waxy cocoon

according to pattern

and then, alas, instead of the transformation,

the metanoia,

I had my beauty taken from me

and my capsule gradually

turned black,

and as I lay dying inside,

rotting into a fetid inkiness,

a monarch's striving nature

nonetheless living still,

my little strength merged to

poke a pinhole in the bottom

of my enbindment, and by dint

of waning force I dripped this

message onto the leaf below,

and that is how you come

to read a distillation of all

I was ever to become,

a quotation, nothing more, but by a higher power than I:

What we have to be

Is what we are - Thomas Merton

[David Dix 2000, meditation on hunting for Monarch crysalae in the milkweed patch one day....]

Thursday, July 7, 2011

News item:

The Waukesha Congregational Church UCC is going back to the in-storage glass communion cups. We salute the worship committee, Along with the pending huge undertaking of the roof replacement and the tuck-pointing already completed following a successful capital fund campaign, the return to the old real glass communion cups is yet another restoration of former greatness. A seemingly small thing, but meaningful to old us as this dated ode attests:

You Call That a Glass a Wine?

A hell of a way to run a railroad

While the Episcopalians swill real communion wine

From a common metal cup, the rim of which is

Merely swiped lightly with a cloth between hearty gulps

Of the blood of Christ,

A block away at the Congregational Church

They’ve gone from glass to plastic thimbles that are disposable

After each hummingbird half-filling of Juicy Juice; and why?

Because one can never be sure;

Were they washed well enough between once-a-month

Eucharists? Germs, oh nastiful nasties, fie upon them;

Although a good Christian willfully eats his allotted bucket of dirt

A year, and breathes noxious fumes all ‘round,

At the Congregational Church

He can control at least something, and it’s

The type of mini-vessel

From which he tiddles his teensy taste,

His weensy taste of sugary “blood”;

But I’ll tell you one thing;

Those plastic vials will never clink

The way real glass did in the communion racks!

You cannot slam down a plastic thimble

Nor can you cherish the feel of it in your fingers;

It just aint the same; and brother,

It’s not the way we used to do it.

It is just a good thing, probably,

The heavenly monitors, if they be,

Couldn’t care less what form

Our worship takes, as long as it’s sincere,

And resonant, if ecologically unsound.

[David Dix, 02-03-04]