Saturday, July 25, 2015

Five Points vagaries; Turtle; Bret; Wings at roadside; Hand in paw; Keillor retires

At the Five Points 

This morning from the Odd Fellows window:

a Goldfinch sits at the topmost branch of the Honey Locust tree
at the Clarke corner
looking east into the rising sun; and,

moralists displayed their religious signs
last evening at 'Friday Night Live' -
their downtown hub site being only 25 yards or so from
where todays morning Finch
surveyed the downtown.


by Kay Ryan

Who would be a turtle who could help it?
A barely mobile hard roll, a four-oared helmet,
she can ill afford the chances she must take
in rowing toward the grasses that she eats.
Her track is graceless, like dragging
a packing-case places, and almost any slope
defeats her modest hopes. Even being practical,
she’s often stuck up to the axle on her way
to something edible. With everything optimal
she skirts the ditch which would convert
her shell into a serving dish. She lives
below luck-level, never imagining some lottery
will change her load of pottery to wings.
Her only levity is patience,
the sport of truly chastened things.

"Turtle" by Kay Ryan from Flamingo Watching. © Copper Beech Press, 1994

from old Childcraft book Vol. 1
-set 12 vols 1940s
still used



from the Arcadian Ave bughouse


Let it run for Mike Holgren's tribute following the Lambeau appearance

Looking at Bret now with his dents and scars
reminds us of Sean Connery donning his
dented armor for one more battle





DEE brought this painting home
the oher day

It was the possession of one of her clients
who on occasion has given Dee wrinkled potatoes
and other food past its shelf life

that 'waste-not-want-not' Dee does sometimes accept,
given Dee's culinary skills
 and we at the Odd Fellows are the fortunate beneficiaries.

This friendly client had not the use of the painting
she planned to put it to afterall;
the boyiend had hung it for her
with a couple of nails driven through it

A temporary trial apparently

but this item Dee could not accept
 - she did like it -
without offering to pay for it.

The kindly lady said she'd bought
it at a roadside rummage sale for ten dollars.

The front yard seller
87years old
had been advised by his children
to pare down his trove of things

(He took up painting in his retirement)

Dee's client didn't want anything for it
but Dee gave her the ten dollars
- insisted -

I love Dee's purchase
the painting is seen here now
as above

it will be framed and enjoyed!


Another retirement looms, says

... our sourcc for good poems at the Raccoon!
(The Writers Almanac, Keillor's)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Game fish; The Stubcaster; Yay boo yay boo; Backwards in the sun; Missa Gaia

Only the Game Fish
Swims Upstream...

museum piece

The Rev.

A rerun for Rev Leroy, fisherman, from a 2008 SRN:

David, John fishing on Pewaukee lake

Getting the short end.
Long before there was even a dream of a Sewer Raccoon News, the future editor
was constrained to fish with a Stubcaster(registered trade name). He begged and begged for a regular length fishing rod, but there was something out then that supposedly offered the action of full-length rod, but which was break-downable into just two short and highly transportable parts. It was deemed to fill the bill for the diminutive boy who was brand new at fishing.
Other fishermen would row past sometimes and utter belittling words at the boy with The Stubcaster(Reg). There was tittering by little girls behind shoreline shrubbery. "Look at HIM, "he's got a S-T-U-B-C-A-S-T-E-R!!!!!!
Soon he became KNOWN as Stubcaster (reg).
It was, unbeknowst to him at the time, a nick-name that would stick to him until adolescence. He stayed short for years, all because of that unresolved equippage.
But then a change came over him.

In the boys locker room they calld him the STUDcaster.

Ed. Note:

Frank Bruni put our feeling on the presidential race
of Gov. Walker
so well in last Sunday's NYT Opinion piece
that we merely provide the following link:

Adoring front-seated fans at the Walker Expo Center announcement stage
(image taken from the Waukesha Freeman photo the day after.
Kleig lights we're told were everywhere!)

"Blinded by The LIGHT !"


Backwards In the Sun

A man loathe to give up the manual typewriter
To bow to the age of computers
Who liked push reel lawn mowers
Wringer washers
And treadle sewing machines

  Announces that
Something good happened there to mitigate
His reluctant accessions adopting the new over the old
While sitting as a machinist
 Marveling at what his word processor
And color printer could do;

He likes to correspond with fountain pen
And then hang the letter backwards in a sunny window
For a while before sending
To study the line without the ability to read text
As though the right or wrong  will show
And save him from mistake or unmeant innuendo

Hand script, even supposedly horrible hand script
Sometimes dangerous from the front side
Takes on a loveliness when viewed backwards
And thus it is when one thinks
Of evaluations involving all angles and facets
Rather than merely the most obvious surface
(Permit him to say YIBAWE)

How often has he sent letters or Emails not so carefully inspected

The thinner the paper for this sunlit viewing
The better:
He remembered a box of old onion skin typing paper
He had from when thinner meant more copies
Yielded by typewriters and carbon paper
Before clicks and double clicks and infinite production

He got this dusty box down and opened the lid
To find a nearly full box of crispy thin sheets
Audibly-crinkling onion skin paper
Talking paper very loud to the touch
After all that time being cooped up

Like a presumed useless ugly duckling
Or love-starved oldster getting dryer
It leaps to respond to the slightest tactility
And you cannot buy it anymore
(Who needs it?)

On the word processor so novel to him
He can practically put cardboard through
And obtain glorious-looking pages
But they don't talk when 
he handles them
They are dead except for the images on them
Not so with onion skin
It says something

You must be of an age to appreciate V Mail
From World War II when loved ones communicated
Across seas on government-mandated crackling tissue paper
To keep the weight of transport down
And to reduce bulk
 It was a practical and beautiful medium

He inspected his father's letters then on the flip side to the light
After he had digested all from the most obvious facade
He knew there must be more from him than that
Which showed on just one surface;
 He was only six years old

He searched side-ways both sides and between the lines
 He became familiar with the look, feel and sound of onion skin
His one contact with Dad and so much  preferred
To the dreaded telegram on dead yellow paper;
That bad paper never wanted never came here
And to find a whole box of  lively paper seventy years after
Those haunting hungry scrutinies was a blessing

He had it among his high basement cobwebs
Must have known it had value
It had escaped years of throwing out
In silent peace like a covered bird
 Intact a perfectly good box of crispy paper

Backwards fountain-penned sheets in sunny windows
Will vibrate while this irreplaceable and
Obsolete box of thin paper lasts

It will last long this new lost art
Because there are so many dry leaves fitted in the old box
Like memories they are so very thin
But strong
Tearing such gossamer  is  not as easy as you'd suppose
In his cyberspacial kingdom there are many color images
In his computer's memory favorite old snapshots
And vivid drawings he's committed to that realm
And his fountain pen will not quit till he does

A way is pointed to a blending
Validating procedures and leanings in the doing,
Printing computer-generated transparencies
On talking paper - with penned script -
 And  backlighting these marriages not on an electric monitor
But in the window backwards in the sun

(D. Zep Dix)

Backwards in the sun

Lee, here from NYC last week
works the Times crossword collaboratively

Pluto 7-15

Lee's pizza dough where he lives in Harlem

He punches it down



Missa Gaia
Paul Winters Earth Mass

Sun sets at Odd Fellows 7-14-15

Seattle's letter to the American President


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Feliz (for lease) Downtown; The Americans - photos by Robert Frank; Rowboat; Tilt, etc.; Raccoon RIP at last













Pictures are:

a.  Regular Farmers Market mascot
b.  Bearback rider
c.  Guthrie guitar
d.  Walker recall office
e.  Rotunda under which the sewer raccoons
have their principle meeting place,
f.   Crow on Odd Fellows skylight
g.  Waukesha special forces serve search warrant
on early morning five points site with shields, rifles,
flash grenade, vests, ear plugs etc. - 7/14
h.  Ibid, made one arrest
i. Farmers Market morels
j.  'Birdhouse' roof finials across the five points street
k.  Mourning dove feeds in the rain
l.  Jesus Saves Friday Night Live 7/15



The Prairieville Luxury Apartments (Berg) agency
began showing their brand new, just constructed
upper units for lease this week - right on schedule.

Across the street
reposes the former McCoy's department store.
We remember that excellent store from our childhood.
We used to purchase our Official Boy Scout
uniforms there and other Official BSA paraphernalia.
(Hatchets, compasses, nesting cooking kits, Official manuals....)

The clerks would send the money to the secured 2nd floor office
via pneumatic tubes which were placed around the store
at the cash registers.
We could see the cannisters get vacuumed up 
the transparent tunnels over our heads.

Robberies were tough there.

That property, also owned by Berg Management Co.,
has been  'For Lease For Years'.

So there is a new apartment building looking for upscale
tenantry riding the crest of a wave
yet to break fully on South Street.

Let's hope occupants are found for these buildings
by Xmas 2015.

My bet is on Berg to pull the rabbit out of the McCoys chapeau!


Frank, Robert THE AMERICANS 1958

First published in France in 1958, then in the United States in 1959, Robert Frank's The Americans changed the course of twentieth-century photography. In 83 photographs, Frank looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a people plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians and rendered numb by a rapidly expanding culture of consumption. Yet he also found novel areas of beauty in simple, overlooked corners of American life. And it was not just his subject matter--cars, jukeboxes and even the road itself--that redefined the icons of America; it was also his seemingly intuitive, immediate, off-kilter style, as well as his method of brilliantly linking his photographs together thematically, conceptually, formally and linguistically, that madeThe Americans so innovative. More of an ode or a poem than a literal document, the book is as powerful and provocative today as it was 50 years ago.
Published to accompany a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans" celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of this prescient book. Drawing on newly examined archival sources, it provides a fascinating in-depth examination of the making of the photographs and the book's construction, using vintage contact sheets, work prints and letters that literally chart Frank's journey around the country on a Guggenheim grant in 1955-1956. Curator and editor Sarah Greenough and her colleagues also explore the roots of The Americans in Frank's earlier books, which are abundantly illustrated here, and in books by photographers Walker Evans, Bill Brandt and others. The 83 original photographs from The Americans are presented in sequence in as near vintage prints as possible. The catalogue concludes with an examination of Frank's later reinterpretations and deconstructions of The Americans, bringing full circle the history of this resounding entry in the annals of photography.
This richly illustrated paperback edition of Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans" contains several engaging essays by curator Sarah Greenough that explore the roots of this seminal book, Frank's travels on a Guggenheim fellowship, the sequencing of The Americans and the book's impact on his later career. In addition, essays by Anne Wilkes Tucker, Stuart Alexander, Martin Gasser, Jeff L. Rosenheim, Michel Frizot and Luc Sante offer focused analyses of Frank's relationship with Louis Faurer, Edward Steichen, Gotthard Schuh, Walker Evans, Robert Delpire and Jack Kerouac, while Philip Brookman writes about his work with Frank on several exhibitions in the last 30 years. This paperback edition also reproduces many of Frank's earlier photographic sequences, as well as all of the photographs in The Americans and selected later works


Ed note:

Let us not forget
in Delafield WI
the American Legionaires
have an annual community
 Raccoon Feed.

It garners much press.
We said this: