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Dear Visitor:

From his Deathbed this past spring in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, the late poet Demod Smith suffered the Breach of his final haiku by a fictional character who had been drinking epic amounts of fictional beer.

The drunk, a down-and-out hay farmer named Arnie, had staggered into the poem’s bit about a shimmering meadow and was about to stomp all over perfectly rendered Wildflowers.  Forcing the dying poet to put down his Pen.

He slammed it down. Haikus interruptus!  Demod Smith was furious.

Dr. Miguel Starkweather

Dr. Miguel Starkweather

Tonight, I’ve turned off the cabin’s lights–all two of them–to better see my first Ozark snowfall.

It’s beautiful and eerily quiet. Living up to my expectations.

But please don’t expect me to go all Robert Frost on you here at The Hayfield Forever and wax poetic over the snowy evening and a hayfield that’s filling up with snow. I don’t have a poetic or lyric bone in my body. Moreover, I’m occcupied. I’ve got one eye on the snowflakes’ slow floating descent and the other for Cathy, who soon should come striding through this wintry night from the farmhouse to help me drink an amazingly strong & smooth rye whiskey I found in cupboards.

THE SHANNON COUNTY BEE

NEWS SECTION

The Jennings of Eminence Welcome Back Their California Girl

Paul and Myrtle Jennings of Eminence had a special guest from California at their farmhouse this past weekend. Their granddaughter Mattie Jennings returned to her hometown while on break from her work as a court stenographer in Los Angeles. The weather cooperated with just one brief snow flurry confined to Friday evening, and the Jennings family was able to have a “wonderful time” with their visitor.

The life coach from Horns & Halo nodded toward the PowerPoint screen and its photograph of a man in his mid-forties.

“This man calls himself Dr. Edgar Scattergood and he’s in some hot water,” began Katy Brown.  ”First of all, he’s in a losing battle with the District Attorney’s office. I say “losing” because he outright defrauded people. We like to talk about goals at Horns & Halo and Scattergood’s goal is to outright defraud people and their families after they die. After they die. Clever to try to scam this particularly defenseless group, but the fact that he does it through websites is not so awfully clever.”

Dr. Miguel Starkweather

Dr. Miguel Starkweather

“Clearly, we went too far on this one. We need Mary Shelley to best describe the odd yellow gleam in Thomas’s eyes.” –Dr. Catherine Shockley

In her very recent post, Professor Shockley suggests that Karen and Thomas’s use of Doppler principles to learn more about a character was an experiment that unfolded in the illest, most Frankenstein way.

But the text itself emits Doppler. This is the pinche deconstruction of a poem (along with a little reconstruction) and Doppler’s an apt device. Wallace Stegner showed us this in one of my favorite books, Angle of Repose. Angle says that Doppler is a physical and metaphysical law. What we hear and see coming right at us can be bigger than life. What we hear after can be distorted, lower in volume, buried.

Hotaru Miyake

Hotaru Miyake

Forget all that solstice jazz. That’s for the people who see stars in the sky. But I think that’s boring and plays hell with your neck!

Out here, I know it’s summer when I can see stars hovering just above the ground and hayfield, a blanket of constellations spread over the land. And unlike that inflexible old universe, these stars move! Constellations shift and merge and collapse right before your eyes. No need to wait billions of years! I’m pretty sure I couldn’t wait that long, even if I was able.

The best part? In this land-slung universe, every single one of those stars is out there burning…burning to get laid. And it’s life or death. No sex, no stars. What passion! What drama! Can’t say that about super-heated balls of gas, can you? When was the last time our sun ever tried to get down with Alpha Centauri? (Although, that would make for a pretty kinky three-way.)

And so, I give you the true start of summer, a terrestrial cosmos populated entirely by desperate, horny…fireflies.

Enjoy!

Dr. Catherine Shockley

Dr. Catherine Shockley

There is no legal limit in Missouri to a fictional character’s soaring Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). So long as it soars on one’s own make-believe property. And if L.C. Knights tried to ask us in his 1933 brilliant and mocking essay, “How Many Children Had Lady MacBeth?”, who really cares what’s happening beyond the text, I wonder how exasperated he would become at our speculation over what’s happening within a character’s bloodstream.

Legal Briefs (from the Daily Legal Record)

Governor Jerry Brown did not waste much time in offering Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Asa Hornscar a seat on the California Supreme Court. Yesterday, and in his second month in office, the Governor called Judge Hornscar at her chambers in Santa Monica to say he wanted to nominate her to the state’s highest bench.

Part III

He had staggered into the hayfield
lonely as that rain-cloud
he did begrudge,
and though beer and ink

now bring him sleep,
he’ll wake to a day stained
with a hangover, ruined hay, and
what he calls his “agonization”

over the women he’s known.
What can the poet do?
With his final few lines?
Salvage part of a crop, perhaps.

I mow the hay with irony;
dry it with sardonic breezes
(they have that electric feel);
leave wide margins with a rake; and
twine the bales into eight stanzas.

Dr. Miguel Starkweather

Dr. Miguel Starkweather

Ink and night fell together moons ago with tattoos I kept getting after bars as a young man.

Some of those tats were later removed by virtue of a strongly worded gift certificate from my first wife.  But among the tattoos that survived her stern largesse–those not emblazoned with the names of pre-marital lovers or lovely muses–there is one unique work of art still gracing my body for which I thank another woman, Alessandra Portinari, an Italian beauty I met during grad school in her tattoo shop in Venice.

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