Friday, October 27, 2006

The Seed Shop by Muriel Stuart

Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shriveled, scentless, dry -
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.
Dead that shall quicken at the call of Spring,
Sleepers to stir beneath June's magic kiss,
Though birds pass over, unremembering,
And no bee seek here roses that were his.
In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams,
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century's streams,
These lilies shall make summer on my dust.
Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.

A sigh of relief.

Riverbend is back and blogging as of October 18th.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sound and motion.

Hypnotic, beautiful, strange and remarkable.

"A musical realization of the motion graphics of John Whitney as described in his book Digital Harmony."

Forcast in Hell: A bit chilly.

I'm listening to the latest My Chemical Romance album, The Black Parade, and I am really liking it. I don't want to like it, but it's actually very good. I always fast forward through their videos because they all have this, "I hate my horrible, spoiled-brat life" quality about them, but the music here is not unlike The Killers, which I like, mixed with some Queen, which I also like.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happiness by Carl Sandburg

Happiness by Carl Sandburg

I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
me what is happiness.

And I went to famous executives who boss the work of
thousands of men.

They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though
I was trying to fool with them

And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along
the Desplaines river

And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with
their women and children and a keg of beer and an

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dirty Politics - the bros before hos edition

Text from an actual ad put out by the Black Republicans:
BLACK MAN #1: "If you make a little mistake with one of your 'hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked."

BLACK MAN #2: "That's too cold. I don't snuff my own seed."

BLACK MAN #1: "Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican."

That's right - they are so hurtin' for votes, that they are going after the pro-life pimp demographic. No, this isn't a Dave Chapelle skit - it's real. To listen to the actual ad, visit, click on "Listen to the ads" and then #17.

Thankfully I have yet to hear any of this nonsense in Kansas City... yet. As one friend put it, "It IS the fucking end times, man."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Riverbend hasn't posted since August 5th, and I'm getting a little worried about her safety. A couple weeks or a month between posts isn't unusual, but it's been over two months now and still nothing.

I hope all is well with her and her family. She is such a powerful and necessary voice to the western world about "real life" in a Iraq, that such a prolonged silence is sorely noted.

More discussion at The Daily Kos.

Random quotes.

"I wanted a perfect ending... Now I've learned the hard way tha some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity." - Glida Radner

"Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather become frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind." - Leonardo da Vinci

"In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism and skepticism and humbug and we shall want to live more musically." - Vincent van Gogh

"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Henry James

"People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"The church says that he Earth is flat, but I have seen the shadow of the moon and I have more faith in the shadow than in the church." - Ferdinand Magellan

"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead." - Oscar Wilde

Warning by Jenny Joseph

Before I get to the poem, some facts:

- I first heard this poem over 10 years ago in my high school psychology class. In that same class, I made a brain out of candy.

- I was in a Red Hat Society for a brief period. Before you ask, yes, people under 50 can join - we just wore pink hats instead.

- My pink hat was a fuzzy pink beret.

- Rather than partake of the usual Red Hat fare of bingo, buffets and Branson, our little group would dine at extravagant restaurants and drink until the management asked us to leave.

- Eventually, our Red Hat group drifted apart, but we still see each other every Christmas. Gifts + food + booze + funny hats = jovial glee.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Mouth music.

A group of musicians under the direction of animator David Firth, and calling themselves The Incredible Mouth Band, makes music by saying the names of various instruments, rather than playing them. The oddball masks make this more surreal than it has to be, but amazing concept, anyway.

Hitchin’ a ride.

Tomorrow sees the start of the Hitch 50 project, an attempt by two guys to hitchhike to all 50 state capitals in 50 days:
The map at the top of our home page shows our current location, with updates every few seconds. The map comes from the GPS chip in our cell phone, and links our location to this web site. If you zoom in you can see the exact building we're in, or the exact corner we just took on the's actually really creepy.

This should be fun to watch...

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Amp’d mobile is the worst cell phone company in the world.


  • It took 4 days to port our phone number.

  • Their "customer service department" is staffed by teenage boys.

  • Those 4 days consisted of us being told by 3 different "supervisors" that our phone would work "in 24 hours."

  • Our first bill, which was supposed to be for $49, and during which billing period we made 24 minutes worth of calls, was actually for $290.74. We were billed for 1,993 minutes worth of calls that were made over a 5-day period. WHO THE FUCK can talk on the phone for 1,993 minutes in 5 days?!

  • When we called to dispute this bill, we were told by "customer service" that they would have to send a request to the Billing department, who would get to the reuqest in 3-5 days, then take 24 hours to respond. Their response would be in the form of a text message sent to our phone, as the Billing department does not make outbound calls. Huh?

  • The reason given for the Billing department's slowed response time? "It's the holiday season and we're swamped." It's October! What holiday? Is Columbus Day suddenly the busiest time of year for cell phone companies?

  • I can't submit a dispute request to the Billing department because I, the account-holder's spouse, am not an "authorized signer" on the account. I can make major medical decisions for my husband, but can't ask a question about ridiculous cell phone charges for calls that were made before we even had an account.

  • I never, in the last 10 years of using cell phones, have had a dropped call within the KC city limits, no matter what the carrier. Really. That is, until I started using Amp'd. In the last week, I've had 3 dropped calls while using the phone in my house.

In short, I did not know what "buyer's remorse" was before this fiasco, but I do now. Thankfully, I am within the 30-day buyer's remorse period and can cancel service - err, I mean, Mr. Awesome can cancel service.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Two poems by Allen Heinrich

Cotton Candy
She will ask him one day,
when first
love whispered her name,
and for a moment's breath
he will think of ships
raising sail
by the painted thousand,
and the woman whose face
could draw them forth.
He will think how once
a glance
could fire a man's heart
and in so doing, torch
an entire city, and how still
the smallest dart can strike
the warmest embers.

No matter, then, that she laugh to
think he
remembers her first
in the whirl of candy
cotton-pink, a lightness
reminiscent of the girl -

Already he is building ships...

I'm fed up with poems
manufactured for astronauts -
the systematically
artificially flavored
pre-packaged powder
passed off as fruit -

Feed me
an earthier flesh,
a natural taste and texture:
peaches for the hands
to find sticky,
and the tongue, tart;
plums I can bite into
deeply, so that after,
I might lick from the corners
of a satisfied mouth,
the tang of ripening juices...

More about Allen Heinrich can be found in the October edition of Present Magazine, or in his literary mag, Carnelian.