Monday, May 21, 2018

Endless Tales . . .

Sun-Ae and I took another of our quasi-weekly walks and made a new friend:

He's rather reticent, so I'm calling him "Kaw-Lija!" Around thereabouts was also a place offering refreshments, so I drank a somewhat sour lemondae, as you can probably tell:

We then headed out on the rest of our walk, part of it along an abandoned railway line that led us to the restaurant where we had our evening meal . . . after which we returned home by taxi because we didn't know where we were and didn't want to try wandering home in the dark.

You might find this tale of the city boring, but the magpies found our wandering interesting enough to follow us around for part of our walk . . .


Sunday, May 20, 2018

When you care enough to send the very best . . .

. . . but have only half the money, try Halfmark!

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ozark Fun

Hillbilly Party: Cigars and Moonshine
"Where there's smoke, there's firewater!"


Friday, May 18, 2018

Publishing Made Easy! If Only . . .

Might Read: "Press Butt On Publishing."

Butt probably not . . .


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Teacher's Day: DIS, this time

Another Teachers' Day message today, these nice words courtesy of students in the Division of International Studies:
Hello Professor Hodges, 
We would like to express our gratitude to you for Teacher's Day. Thank you very much  for your lectures. Because you are here, we students are able to learn and grow every day. Please stay around for long so that we can thank you in the many years to come.
18th DIS Student Council
They can have me till I'm 65, four more years, then comes forced retirement, and I'm out of a job . . .


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Teacher's Day

Hot Avatar
Student  Name Withheld

A former student of mine sent me an email of praise:
Dear, Prof. Hodegs
Prof. "Hot Eggs"!?
Happy Teacher's Day!!
That came out right, as does what follows
This is one of your English class students, Hye Ji. I asked lots of questions during your English class 2016. Hope you could remember me.

I really loved your English class because I was able to learn "Real English" from you. You are the BEST ENGLISH TEACHER EVER!!!! And let me know if you publish another book. I really like how you write!

Theses days I'm trying to change my department to Korean Medicine to be a doctor. Hope I could meet you next year. Have a great day!
Thanks for the praise, which I clearly DO NOT deserve. There are far better teachers here at Ewha than I am.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Happy 14th: Yesterday, When I was Young(er)

The fourteenth was my birthday, so Sun-Ae and I took the afternoon off to head for the Itaewon area and celebrate, with my wife taking the photos since I'm no handyman . . .

Here I am eating BBQ and drinking a Slow IPA:

Both the meat and the drink were first class! After that meal, we headed uphill to a coffee shop near the Kenyan Embassy, if I'm not mistaken, and the view was marvelous:

Here, you see me ignoring the view, impatiently waiting for the buzzer to buzz and inform us that our coffees were ready. The coffee, when it came, was also good, well worth the wait. I drank an espresso, and Sun-Ae had an Americano.

Afterwards, we reluctantly made our way home because I had so much work to do for the next day's classes . . .

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Monday, May 14, 2018

I said:

Not Big BIG!


Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Big Irony!

A diamond is forever . . .

. . . but people aren't.


Saturday, May 12, 2018


But is it stronger than dirty dirt?


Friday, May 11, 2018

There is no substitute . . .

Spare parts are hard to come by, too!


Thursday, May 10, 2018

There ought to be a law . . .

for a

"No good deed goes unpublished!"

It's all self-praise these days!


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

An even-tempered man . . .

is the

. . . is ever the odd man out.


Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Joke's on You?

He who laughs last, laughs, best he not be thought a fool.


Monday, May 07, 2018

There is safety in numbers.

Righto! Seldom does one hear of mathematicians getting killed!

Okay, there was Archimedes, who ordered the Roman soldiers, "Nōlī turbāre circulōs meōs!"

He tried to protect his circles, but his circles couldn't protect him from the soldiers.

I don't know what happened to his circles thereafter . . .


Sunday, May 06, 2018

A man's reach should exceed his grasp.

I've heard said that a woman's always does . . . but is that not an insult?

Maybe, maybe not. The decision depends on one's re-reading:
1. A woman's reach exceeds her grasp.

2. A woman's reach exceeds his grasp.
Arguably, number one is insulting, but number two is not.

Arguably, both are insulting.

Arguably, neither is insulting.

Homework: Think!

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Saturday, May 05, 2018

"Never forget what you stand for."

Namely, a woman when she enters the room - if you're a man of traditional courtesy. As Gawain is, who also knows to stand up to the Green Knight, with traditional courtesy, of course.

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Friday, May 04, 2018

Follow the Maxim

Ad Vice
Strike while the irony's hot.

Or cool . . .


Thursday, May 03, 2018


"Always obey a Maxim - it's bigger than you are."


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Genius is one percent inspiration . . .

. . . and ninety-nine percent stinky, oily, rancid sweat.


Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Mr. Ferguson Had Another Saying, a Truism, I Suppose

Yeah! Truer words . . .

My eighth grade science teacher, Mr. Ferguson, liked to say this:
"Truer words were never spoken."
I once asked him after class about the saying:
"So when you say 'Truer words were never spoken,' you mean that every true statement is equally true, right?"
He smiled and replied:
"Truer words were never spoken."
I had to laugh.


Monday, April 30, 2018

A Saying on Cheating, by a Man Long Gone

My eighth-grade science teacher, Mr. Coy Ferguson, used to quote this adage:
"He who cheats, cheats he who."
Mr. Ferguson was one of my best teachers, and I still remember things he said. I used to go and see him in his little town of Oxford, Arkansas, about 10 miles south of my hometown of Salem.

He died while I was pursuing an education off in the world somewhere, so I never got to see him after I went away to distant lands to study for my higher degrees.

Since he died in 1997, according to this gravestone that I've found, I reckon I was in Australia, halfway around the world.

RIP, Mr. Ferguson. I'm only twenty years late.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Big Hominid Underestimates Me!

In a blogpost Kevin Kim posted the other day about the Korean tendency to test and test and test even with a meaningless test, he wasn't content to limit his professional displeasure to incompetent Koreans. No, he just had to draw attention to my incompetence, too:
"[W]e need to keep in mind that there are plenty of incompetent foreigners teaching English in Korea as well."
See? See?! SEE?! You don't see? Let me then carefully expose the real message:
"We need to keep in mind that tHere are plenty of incOmpetent [neeDless] foreiGnErS teaching English in Korea as well."
So, Kevin, I see what you did! You leave me out of this! I'm only a little bit incompetent! (Watch now how he eats his own damn words!)
Damn. I didn't expect you to figure it out so quickly.
Well, Kevin, you got to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me. Have some breakfast.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

As the wise old adage has it . . .

Bad and Good
Attract or Attack?

. . . Opposites Attack!

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Friday, April 27, 2018

About Time?

Der Toad

Time squats in our present, devouring our future and excreting our past.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Family Values

Like father, like son . . . or dislike 'em both.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Archibald MacLeish: "The End of the World" - Revisited

I'm re-posting a blogpost from April 30, 2014 because the original got an interesting reception recently, as will be seen further below. But first, the original post:

Archibald MacLeish

I've long liked this poem by Archibald MacLeish, though only recently did I realize it's a sonnet:
"The End of the World"

Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb --
Quite unexpectedly the top blew off:

And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing -- nothing at all.
In fact, I noticed its sonnet form only as I was typing it here, so "recently" was yesterday (now that I'm posting it). I've never read any literary criticism on this poem, though I'm sure that reading some would be enlightening, but I think I previously failed to recognize the sonnet form because I was so taken by the poem's subject matter: the encounter with "nothingness."

Nothingness is difficult to conceive properly because our natural tendency is to ontologize it, i.e., to attribute "being" to it, when "nothingness" is in fact the absence of any and all being.

To get to that radical absence intellectually, one must subtract one thing after another from the world until all has been subtracted, whereupon one also subtracts "being" and finally oneself, the thinker thinking these subtractions.

The mind revolts . . . and fails to notice the sonnet form . . .

And so ends the original post. Now comes the recent, interesting comment, from a Mr. Kevin Lynch:
Mr. GS (i.e., Gypsy Scholar): I was perusing the 2018 Pulitzer prizes and noticed online an article that MacLeish wrote about The Pulitzers. This reminded me of the poem of his that I had been so struck by at about age 18 that I created a large magazine-cutouts collage (now long lost, alas) with the poem affixed in the center of the complex assemblage, though slightly above the center, kind of like a minister surrounded by his congregation. Of course, all the quirky, bizarre vitality of humanity that MacLeish encapsulates and explodes so deftly prompted me to create something which, in retrospect, is somewhat akin to the end of the film "Fail Safe" when the director unleashes a sequence of moments around the world which all skid to an existential dead stop. That film, with its very poetic ending, has haunted me since I first saw it in a way that seems akin to MacLeish's The End of the World, though far darker toned. What still strikes me is this poet's surreal sense of humor juxtaposed to the flash of the transcendent, or God, perhaps, in the "vast wings" and then the way he inductively brings the experience of The End upon us. Thank you for pointing out the sonnet form. I will have to read the poem aloud again and appreciate its musicality anew. I'm also now tempted to revisit The Doors' epic song "The End," which has more to say than its Oedipal scenario. Thanks for posting. Cheers, Kevin Lynch
This is a complex comment, lightly penned, but weighty with the biographical detail of a learnéd man's various interests. Anyway, upon this re-reading, I have come to wonder about these words:
"There with vast wings across the cancelled skies."
Could this line from MacLeish be echoing the following passage in John Milton's Paradise Lost:
And chiefly thou, O spirit, that dost prefer.
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st. Thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like sattest brooding on the vast abyss,
And madst it pregnant.
Mighty wings? Vast wings? Echo? Maybe. Maybe not. But notice the word "vast" in the expression "vast abyss."

Worth looking into . . .


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Law of Unintended Consequences . . .

. . . was never intended as an excuse for not anticipating consequences.


Monday, April 23, 2018

The 2018 Winners of the Pushcart Prize are in!

And I'm out . . .

But I want to thank Richard Kostelanetz for nominating the one-line poems I published in the Emanations anthology (2017). I am honored that a writer of his stature would consider my one-liners noteworthy.

Many thanks, Mr. Kostelanetz!


Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Tree of Life Church

Sun-Ae and I took a short walk today and discovered this interesting doorway:

Sun-Ae tells me that the Korean part says "The Tree of Life Church." As for the Hebrew, I think it says "Blessing of Yahweh." Here's the same message higher up:

But enough on religion for now! Let's eat:

Okay, back to religion. I Googled this church's name later, along with the word "Hebrew," and found this:

The tree images look similar. Must be the same non-denomination. More here.


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Psalm 24:1

"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it" . . . so get off His lawn!