Saturday, June 24, 2017

Organ of Love?


"All's fair in love and war." Actually, not in war. There are rules about warfare. Only in love is everything fair. Unless love is politics by another name, in which case the rules of warfare apply. In any case, "You gotta have heart!"


Friday, June 23, 2017

Carter Kaplan to Give a Talk on July 2 at the WAH

WAH Private Library

My friend Carter Kaplan has been invited by another friend of mine, Terrence Lindall, to present the following talk at the WAH Center:
"Illustrating the Visions: Alloys of Art, Poetry, Politics, and Philosophy"
The talk will take place on Sunday, July 2, 2017 from 2:00 till 3:00 for no admission fee (directions), but the luncheon from 12:30 to 1:30 will cost $25. Kaplan is a professor of literature and philosophy, an author of fiction and nonfiction, and a publisher of international writing through International Authors (IA), and one might therefore expect him to be an overly serious man, but consider the fact that he has suggested that a number of mannikans be invited to attend his talk.

But let's get serious!

On display before, during, and after the talk will be IA books and original illustrations by renowned artists. Kaplan has informed me that he will be discussing my books Radiant Snow and the Bottomless Bottle of Beer (BBB), among other things, and Lindall will have his copy of the initial BBB text (a hard copy that I didn't edit carefully enough) and his BBB illustrations as part of the items on display. Other publications and illustrations are in Emanations and in Tasso's Creation of the World. Bienvenido "Bones" Banez, Jr. will show illustrations for E6 and other illustrations he's done for Emanations, along with a Michael Moorcock drawing. Troy Frantz will provide an illustration that he made for E5.

As for International Authors, it is a consortium of writers, artists, architects, filmmakers, and critics, and it publishes works of outstanding literary merit. Dedicated to the advancement of an international culture in literature, primarily in English, the group seeks new members with an enthusiasm for creating unique artistic expressions. For instance, there is Emanations. This is an anthology series - and I'm borrowing most of Kaplan's terminology - featuring fiction, poetry, essays, manifestos, and reviews. The emphasis is on alternative narrative structures, new epistemologies, peculiar settings, esoteric themes, sharp breaks from reality, ecstatic revelations, and vivid and abundant hallucinations - preferably, those achieved through authentic, intensive meditation rather than the less authentic, drug-induced sort, but to echo Publius Terentius Afer, "Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto."

The IA editors are interested in recognizable genres - science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism, postmodernism - but the idea is to make something new, and along these lines the illusion of something new can be just as intriguing. If a story or poem makes someone say, "Yes, but what is it?" then it's right for Emanations. Essays should be exuberant, daring, and free of pedantry. Length is a consideration in making publication decisions, but in keeping with the spirit of the project, length is "open." Emanations is a continually shifting and evolving project, and contributors should see themselves as actively shaping our editorial vision and compass

The Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters is the program that has invited Kaplan to give this talk. This Circle - and I think I'm borrowing Lindall's words here, though perhaps as filtered through Kaplan - is a program of the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center (WAH Center). The Circle serves as a hub for discussion of new ideas about diverse subject matters. It is especially keen to point up intersections in areas of study that on first glance appear to be contradictory, especially in the areas of art and literature. Observations on the human experience in a receptive individual can sometimes evoke intuitive leaps of creativity, bringing forth new ideas in science, philosophy, literature, and the arts. We hope to encourage this.

The Williamsburg Circle believes that a strong education in the classical humanities is a fundamental prerequisite for good citizenship, not only in Western countries, but in every country in the world today. What is "Classical Humanities"? It is nothing less than the spiritual, ethical, and intellectual foundation for Western culture. The classics form the vibrant, interdisciplinary field lying at the heart of the liberal arts. It is the lack of a common heritage and common values that gives rise to basic conflicts among peoples. A broad education in the classical humanities can bring about a common understanding and a common set of values. Engagement with non-Western classics is also necessary, of course, and is therefore to be encouraged.

Our outstanding members serve as inspiration to young scholars whose concepts are forming and who are or will be developing projects important to our 21st century civilization.

Or so is such said . . .

UPDATE: The talk is on July 2 (not July 4).

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fool with a Tool?

Long-Handled Tool
A Rake's Progress

"A poor workman always blames his tool."

Yeah, I know the original proverb says "tools," but isn't a man who claims to have more than one tool exaggerating just a wee-wee bit?


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Advanced Placement

Angel in the House

A woman's place is in the home is where the heart is a lonely hunter.

As for the illustration, I'm as surprised as you are . . .

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Shroud for Laertes?

Odysseus and Penelope
Francesco Primaticcio (1563)

A woman's work is never done - as with Penelope's, it's undone!

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Knew App?


"Finder skeepers, loser sweepers" - or so I hear.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Declining Popularity


"All the world loves a lover" - till he starts hittin' on your gal.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Climate Ramblings

After a storm, comes a calm before the storm, after a storm comes . . . ad infinitum.

With British-style commas thrown in for free!

Offer invalid where parallel lines cross.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Merely a Mirror on the Wall?

Mere Mirror?

Some time back, I read Martin Seay's novel The Mirror Thief, which I delighted in, so I left a message of appreciation on Seay's website for his having written such a wonderful book, and I shared one of my own poems with him that I thought he might appreciate:
You look upon the world with antique eyes,
through intense lens, with more than innocence,
but only in this moment circumscribed
by shelves and shelves of other people's lives.
Let's peer into this mirror, you and I,
clear through the old and darkened glass. What past
perhaps reflects obscurely back on one
behind the silver-surfaced other side,
who gazes here with solemn, antique eyes?
He didn't respond to for a while, but he then finally did respond, quite graciously:
Hi Jeffrey --

My name is Martin Seay, and I wrote a book called THE MIRROR THIEF that you read . . . oh, probably a year ago.

I'm writing because my website -- which has been on the blink -- JUST NOW coughed up the message that you sent upon finishing the book.

Thanks very much for sharing "Souvenirs"! I enjoyed it, and look forward to following the link you sent shortly. It's got some of that incense-shrouded eeriness that one finds in Yeats and Coleridge and Mallarmé, and for which I'm a sucker.

Please accept my apologies for the much-delayed response, and my thanks for reading and for taking the time to write. I'm very gratified that you enjoyed the book!

Hope this finds you well,

Touched by his (entirely unnecessary) apology, I wrote back to thank him:
Dear Martin,

Thank you for writing back. I suspect your life is rather filled with all sorts of things, so I appreciate your email. I hope you're well and that your book is selling as it deserves.

Since "Souvenirs" was to your taste, you might also appreciate this little lyric:
Fine frost that laces window panes,
the icy-blooded vampire’s veins;
seductive, sensual spoor of death,
its frozen, freezing undead breath;
one cold, controlled, alluring art,
its solitary lover’s heart.
There's no mirror in this one, but vampires avoid mirrors anyway, so one of them had to go.



PS Note that my name is with "-ery." Everyone has trouble with it . . .
Good to see that some writers write back . . .


Thursday, June 15, 2017


Boys will be boys-terous!