Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chicks... or, a Poet w/ Poultry

I bought chicks today. Three Ameraucana and three Barred Rock. We set them up with a box in the living room where we can tend to them until they are hardy enough for outside life.

Mudslide, our shorthair border collie is hiding under my desk. In part we bought them for him, he needs a bit of socializing, and in part we bought them for our own spirit. I had thought about getting ducks, we have not had any ducks in a real long time, not since Perry City near to Podunk, but I ended up opting for the known duties of chicken tending.

On Saturday we are going to a Long Island farm a bit east of us for a Cornell Cooperative Extension class on chicken raising as a warmer course. We hope to socialize.

Years back we had chickens, and guinea fowl. The law is that as non-farmers we can have six chickens, no roosters. We can have as many guinea hens as we want... but they fly around and make a whole lot of noise and for now we want to get along with the neighbors. We have had a rooster or such but though they are a lot of fun they make noise early in the morning and inevitable result in the chicken police showing up at the front gate.

When we had the chickens before it started with a few and then word got around our semi-suburban working-class the neighborhood  that my wife kept chickens and suddenly lost chickens were being brought to us from all around. They were not always in the best of shape and my wife took to nursing them in the garage. This put the garage in limbo for anything other than bird poop.

Eventually all of the chickens and guinea fowl got taken out by the raccoons. Then the raccoons were taken out by distemper. We don’t see raccoons now but the garage was inhabited by feral cats overwintering.

While we had the chickens we did harvest the eggs. More than that there is a family that lived up the street of two women, a couple with a brood of two boys and a girl. These are not the most intelligent people on the planet, but it is for their ilk that we especially like where we live. The children used to come around and ask if they could search the yard for eggs. They were not doing this for an Easter hunt, they were hungry. We took to calling them the Egg Children.

We feel a bit blessed that I did not break down and buy a goat. I really like goats a whole lot but we do not quite have the yard for them. My wife wants a jackass.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Faux Fireplace, Wrapper 01

Spirit of Aviation Restored -- NOLA Lakefront Airport

frm my stonemason friend Michael Davidson

we hung the 11ft big guy last week at historic city of new orleans WPA ART DECO Lakefront Airport (historic photo of Spirit of Aviation) and the party still is going /Py

1930 original by Enrique Alfarez   carver and cast stone expert
removed and feared destroyed in 1960 retro fit
recarved and poured into cast stone molds by Mississippi Stone Guild
team jaques Murphee lead carver
James Molton  mold maker
Michael Davidson  owner and beard 

Flickr: Mississippi Stone Guild's Photostream (lots of pix of neat work projects)
Welcome to the Lakefront Airport

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Silver Spring to Phoenix

 “If there are more than four dimensions, as many theoretical physicists now suspect, it may be interesting to speculate: a hypercraft capable of topological inversion into our spacetime continuum could indeed be larger on the inside than on the outside." Jacques Valee
Silver Spring to Phoenix

Vibrations of a cavern a mile beneath silver willows.
At two in the morning beyond the Sheraton
a lumination of pollution intercedes realism.

Cardinals and doves develop their melody
progressively caught in beat/heart echoes,
as with spelunker canaries fluting noxious gas
a small negative sign to the weary traveler,
they claw from rhododendron to palm and maple.

Stalagmometer gifts of the Emperor of Novelty
their urethane birdsuits activated by cold pinks.
Then, as if handcut from antique postcards,
three blacklight cabbages bob over suburbia.

Butterfly brains of a minute Faraday compaction
their echoes of roundness animate tomahawk rooflines.
Tri-erratic whipsaws of whispered flight --
philateletic balloons inflated by dreamy mutations.
Alien eggplants, they deign epicycloid arcs aimlessly
spaced on a fragmented landscape of trap stone and tar,
terra cotta chimney caps and aluminum antennae.

With a razed interception of alpha
the scenario splits, inordinately ghosts --
prophylatic rattle of the dead closet,
looking for a lost summer's night;
a cyclumen cantelope descends from nearby cumulus,
to engulf all anxious eyes in further repose.

The hot evening cicada call
lingering in the ear, then gone:
a turn in the dim closet
bumps the head up against the hangers,
leaving no tablet to decipher
the call, but listen, separation;
spirit from ground ruins all of us.

Beneath ionic aviary, flight home
an electric railroad pulses
screaming through concrete
it phases into doppled distant repetition --
cardinals and doves develop their melody.

The poem is an expanded reference to waking up around two o'clock in the morning in Silver Spring, Maryland, and hearing the birds singing and seeing the sky lit up bright pink and never before having had just this sort of urban experience, short of certain post adolescent chemical experiments. In the country birds usually sing when the natural sun rises. Which reminds me, I once knew a woman from a Long Island suburb who kept asking who the gardener was that had planted all the trees in our local state park.

The awakening was compounded by the fact that I was sleeping in the woods without any digital alarm watch and was hoping to start a new job the next morning. Waking up early and by any natural means was personally important. Waking late at night to the urban effects of aural, luminous, and gaseous pollution was disconcerting.

At one time I drove across the United States for several days and nights without stopping, without eating very much either and eventually, again late at night and somewhere lost on a right-angle turn in Wisconsin, I came to the realization that I had not yet gone anywhere. In fact, I surmised that all my experiences, including my fleeting conversations with my hitchhiker companions, were groundless illusions. I imagined that I was still sitting at home and had simply walked into the closet and gotten lost.

The reference to Michael Faraday relates to his belief, or at least my belief that he believed, that if all accumulated universal mass were reduced to the most compact solid without any spaces or excuses, it would be the size of a chicken bullion cube.

I believe it was Baudelaire, or another of those dismal symbolist poets that wanted to be anywhere, anywhere but here.

An interesting human experience of geography is in the negative quality of forgetfulness, in short, forgetting where you are. Away traveling and awakened in a strange bed it is often easy to feel dislocated and momentarily in the dark anxious about even such simple modes of spatial reference as up and down. A quick grab of the bedclothes reassures that you are not plummeting through a terrestrial yet unknown space or zipping through a black hole where precedence of motion is chaotic in the least.

Once sleeping on a Greyhound, stuffed in the dark towards the rear, slowly approaching Lansing, Michigan, stuffed between a mass of sweat laden and snoring black Grandmother's clutching their various bags of quilting and potatoes, I forgot where I was. For a brief moment I imagined that I was bodily flying through the air, naked and alone, on a too quick descent into the brightly lit and chilly bowels of Detroit.

Though it seems easier to forget where we are than to forget our name, as once encouraged for enlightened auto therapy by Allen Ginsberg, fretting over a lapsed location may be a more demanding illusion of the self than personal identity. Forgetting where you are is more noticeable if a greater reliance is expended on grasping the particulars of a location than upon the specific identity of the item to be located.

Further Reading: Jacques Vallee, 1990, “Confrontations, A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact”, Ballantine Books: New York.

poem and narrative 1st published  by the American Geographical Society, the collage is also my work

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ellen Fullman TexasTravelTexture

this knocks my rocks off
thank you to Patrick Sparks

Thursday, March 11, 2010

For Three Days They Were Not Able to Identify a Body That Had No Arm

text published online at Everyday Genius, thnx to Laura Ellen Scott

While we were doing probes at the Robert Moses pool at McCarren Park in Brooklyn, North Williamsburg, I heard a news report about the body of a man found there with no arm. Familiarity with the area, and the pool site led to one thing and another to result in composition of this story.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Glass House, frm roof of Brick House


wild turkey scratches

Leland Torrence

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Faux Fireplace, Day 9

And here is what the original fireplace looked like.

and on the day when Jim Hicks visited