Monthly Archives: November 2008

scratch-pad report on ‘B’ and ‘L’, alive, and…well,

Bail is what our hero’s out on, a-
Ball is what he’s having…
Beale, that’s Howard, mad as hell, a
Bell, I hope I’m ringing?

Bile, the liver makes it, sends a
Bill, (forgot to pay it?)
Bowl of evil soup, boll weevils
Bowel into the cotton stem, yet
Boole is higly logical, a
Bull can be enraging. So
Bawl yer head off, pray to Ba’al, it
Boils the blood to say ‘that’s all, folks’…

…or is it?


‘I Have a Dream, Dear Friends’

   Well, I had a dream. Actually it was 2 nightmares. Oof, now what’s left of the title? ‘I’ and  ‘Dear Friends’, huh? Too late to change it; I always write the title first. Like calling “six-ball in the side pocket”, it keeps you honest.
Still, it could be worse. Take enough acid and the ‘I’ disappears too. (From what I’ve read.) You just hear a voice somewhere in the woods mutter “Somebody’s having a dream… bummer, man!”, you look all around and you can’t find him. Wait, maybe it was that tree over there?
    In the dream I was 21 again. Yeah, bummer. You had to be so hip in those days, but there was always someone hipper than you. So hip he couldn’t hardly walk. Anyway I was back driving a giant smoking mega-ton dump-truck. Up the Buck Hill. Seemed to go on forever. Rain, changing to snow, while I down-shift, gear after gear till I run out of gears. I’m in first, low register, full gas and the dumb thing just dies there, helpless. A line of thoughtless Israeli drivers behind me all lay on their horns. (How’d they get into the picture? This is Lancaster County PA.) And then the dialogue:
“I’m screwed.”
“Yeah, totally, guy. But what else is new?”
“Man, I can’t deal with this shit like I used to. I’m getting out.”
“What, and leave this behemoth blocking two lanes? That’d be irresponsible”.

“Maybe in real life, but this is a dream…I think.”
“You can’t prove that.”
“I know, man, but I’m gonna go for it. Bail out. Get up, drink a cup of coffee, forget this ever happened..”.

“And leave me here to do a valve and ring job in the middle of the road with a flashlight in my mouth?”
“You ain’t real either, holmes. See ya in Hell.”

    And guess what? I was right! It was just a dream. Of course now there’s a massive traffic jam somewhere in Dreamland as we speak, and it’s all my fault, but sue me, Thought Police.
   So yeah, I made a cup of coffee and checked my site at 4:00 AM. Only robots, mining my words. Wishing I could splash hot solder on their mother-boards, I went back to sleep.
…And straight into Nightmare II: the Dog-photo Letter.
In it I wait the requisite half hour in line at the Post Office, reminding a couple over-zealous oinkers how a queue works in the meanwhile till I get to the counter, where my Registered Mail turns out to be from the Israeli Ministry of Canine Affairs: New Regulations, effective May 1, 1949. (!) it says on the envelope. My dog now needs a Photo-ID, or he will be painfully executed. The reverse side of the form shows the aceptable poses. Right Face, Left Face, and one where he holds a tag bearing his ‘Mispar Celev’. (Dog #). Ugly red ‘X’s smear the pictures of pooches whose photos have been sumarily rejected. No fair  holding the doggie, or touching him in any way during the shoot. Hell, I suppose this is the prevent someone from licensing a dead dog.. (in order to pay the 540 shekel registration fee?) Oh and 2 1/4 X 2 3/8 inches on an approved neutral background. “Warning, most backgrounds are NOT neutral!” they gleefully point out.
  Then it hits me: “Hey, I don’t even have a dog” Back in line, I tell the clerk and he just says “So buy one, Dirtball.”
“You can’t
make me buy a dog.”
I tell him. “Plus, I’m pretty sure I’m just dreaming this. What if I never wake up? Who’ll feed him? Ever think of that?”
That’s when I remember my dump-truck. Great, I’ll stay in the dream long enough to buy some mutt, fly back to the States and put him in the cab, leave the motor running, for the heater, you know. The cops will have to take good care of him, he’s innocent.
And that’s how I got out of two nightmares last night. Works great. One thing though: Only try this at home asleep.

Lily's Last photo

Help was on the way, but then it went away.

“I’m trying to learn how to write stuff that’s simple and devoid of references.”

(ed- cut the ‘right stuff’ One Wolfe was enough.)
“I’m trying to learn how to write posts which are simple and devoid of references”.

(ed- nobody knows what ‘devoid’ means anymore. The word kinda like fell into da void)
Sorry, ed
“I’m trying to learn how to write posts which are simple and do not contain references”. How’s that, Smarty-pants-Ed? And anyway, yeah, I got that about ‘One Wolfe is enough’. Cute. The guy needs a little dis-ambiguation. Oops, sorry. Ok, may I continue?

(ed- go on..)
“I just read some of my dense-as-depleted uranium back posts, and..”
(ed- “there you go again” (yeah, Reagan). Just say ‘dense’. What, you write for physicists?)
Actually, yes, but ok:

“I just read some of my dense back-posts, and..”
(ed- “You ‘just read’ , like, just now, or you ‘just read’, cause you have no life? It’s not the reader’s fault English is mucked-up. Clarify.)
Not my fault either, wise-guy, but here goes:
“I’ve been reading some of my dense back-posts lately, and to be frank, my head’s a mental dents-and-scratches store from the..”

(ed- Oy. Stop it already! Just say it made your head swim, or spin, or something akin to that there. Oh, and stop calling yourself Frank.)
Ok Ed, if that’s your real name
“I’ve been reading some of my dense back-posts lately, and my head is spinning from the effort. It’s as if I fantacize being paid by the rim-shot and penalized by-the-word
(ed- You lost me. What they hell does that mean?)
Sorry. A little levity. Guess I’m just a deep-seated sit-down stand-up artist…

(ed- save it, Solberg. Wasn’t this supposed to be an op-ed piece on the federal bail-outs?)
I’m getting to that. But first, a little mamba
(-ed. ‘Give me death, Chief… or at least the liberty to slide out of here un-noticed. That’s Patrick Henry, by the way. Oh and I quit.)
You what?
(-ed “I quit, You’re in-corrogated, guy. It’s hopeless. *leaves*
Whew. Who needs him anyway. Ok. Let’s get serious. Bail-out, Bawl-out, Bell-out, Bile-out, Bill-out, Bull-out. Hmm.. that oughta be enough ammo for the first paragraph or so.

Pro-Life?? This woman wants me dead..

“Solberg’s ‘Skid Row Verses’ weighed… and found wanting”Priscilla Hatchit-Job, Literary critic, Green Bay Press Gazette

“Yes, an abortion from conception to delivery, this silly embryo fairly begs the question: “Solberg, how dare you hand us this foetus?” Filled to the grille with homophonic gruel, it could charitably be called “food for thought” only by the truly ravenous or thoughtless or both.
Bottom line: Do not carry this book to term. In fact, carry it, if absolutely necessary, back to the poetic skid row where it was regretfully impregnated. The bums will find the pages flammable, perhaps their only saving grace.”

Why can’t I ever get the nice review I deserve?
Seems like the critics are having a field day with my latest book of poems, ‘Skid Row Verses’ (Narcisus & Sons, New York. 2008). This woman’s review got so many ‘talkbacks‘, all of ’em in the vein of “Your so clever!!” or “Go 4 it, Priss!”. Meanwhile my publisher asked me if I’d be willing to repaint the doors in the lunch room, to start paying back my advance. I’m thinking of cutting off my ear first, though. I’ll leave one intact, to put a pencil behind, if I ever get another dumb idea for a poem at work.

Update: An alert reader from Wisconsin just sent me a clipping: Seems as if Ms. Pricilla also panned my previous ouvrve, ‘Deconstructing the Pecan as an Icon of the Yukon’ (Little Rock Press, 1954), heading her article “Johnny of the Nut-Brown Verses” Bored of Education? This book’ll explain why.”, then babeling on about how I supposedly “..addresed the whole subject in simplistic black and white, and failed to integrate his thesis with .. Oh well, who cares? She just hates me, but I’m taking it as a challenge, for now. I just sent her a ‘Forward’ into the Wacky World of Wisconsin Cheeses’ Valu-Pak.® We shall see what that does to her critical eye…

2008 B-C

I’ll maybe be be-headed for heading this thusly. But hey, a writer’s got to give the odd wanna-be who wants a ‘be a be, no? So be it, I say.
   I take digit to keys here in an idiotic effort to clear up some idiocyncracies which lie unwashed in the Xanga sink. To wit: Post, Mortem, and Rigour, three latin words which need to be put in their place, singly and in combination.Without further adieu, (yeah, the Web-ster says ‘ado’, but who am I to trample Wm. Shakespeare’s intellectual property) here’s the bird’s-eye lowdown.
1) Post mortem post: A xanga entry tagged to appear the day after its author.. like.. kicks the bucket. In it he/she/xe ‘tells all’: thanks his friends and, more satisfyingly, shames his detractors for their lifelessness. The Protocols of the Elders of Xanga now allow this sort of retrospective fun, bless their hearts.
2) Postus rigor-us. This is an entry you worked days creating, incorporating into its heavenly body all the word-plays and verbal gems you’ve collected in a week of travails. You pay utmost attention to flow, pacing, surprise, recapitulation, and, in a bon mot to your classicly-trained readers, punctuation. Oh, and for your efforts, the post dies le petite mort. A little death, and decidedly unorgasmic at that. You never figure out why.
3) Rigger’s Mortice Post This is an old weathered chestnut fence-post up in the corner of the cornfield, where the rails, lovingly dove-tailed by craftsmen long dead have since fallen to the ground and rotted. You tie your sad Xanganist corpse to it, say a last prayer, and hope that the vultures have as keen a sense of smell as was described on Wiki. There are, you recall, tribes in Borneo who tie their dead to trees. Possible posthumous membership?
4) Rigour, post mortem: Noting that the on-line faux-community has received your suicide attempt with a silent thud, you skillfully cut the ropes with your handy exacto-knife, take a deep breath of the oxygen we have somehow been provided with on this blue ball, and jot down, for the next attempt at xanga-fame “Let Stacy see sea-weed; I for my part see the sea-shore, the gulls, “what thought giveth they for comments on their every utterance?”
I certainly hope I’ve cleared up any confusion on these terms. It’s the least I can do.

The debate you probably missed.

    I felt my face redden in a second. Odd, since at the same time any un-spilt blood still left in my body headed shoe-ward.
“That remark was un-called-for, Governor.” was all I could manage, as I stared into the forest of rented fresnels there in WITF-TV’s Studio A, hurriedly turned into the scene of tonight’s coast-to-coast slaughter. Even the moderator had a quick laugh at my expense, then wiped her mustache with the back of a sleeve, eyeing the on-the-air light on the nearest camera. The name-card on her podium read “Ms.Anna Toteberg, Moderator”. Just great, remind me to fire Larry, my trusted preparer. I was sure he’d said ‘Nina Totenberg’.    

But no time to quibble, the audience was already crying for more blood; “Grill, baby, grill!” they chanted in unison, drowning out my feeble:
“..unless of course if it wascalled-for’, in which case I’d call it.. callous, or callow, or…um..Calico? No that’s my cat…” With any luck they’d cut that out of the transcript, I hoped. My she-devil of an opponent wouldn’t let up:
“Senator, you’re the one who’s been comparin’ yourself to Tchaikovsky all night. Well, I knew Piotyr, he was a friend of mine…”
“…Yeah and you can see his house off your back porch, huh?”
I cut in, but to no avail.
“And frankly, Solberg, there’s a diference between Pathetique and pathetic.”
The audience loved that. Especially her planted minions. My people, on the other hand, just leaned into each other’s ears, whispering ‘What’s funny?”
Larry, just off-camera. gave me a little hand-chop signal. ‘Attack’, like a catcher signalling for a fastball. As if I had one… Oh wait,
“Governor, there’s a wide perception that you come with, let’s call it, ‘a gender agenda‘.” I tried to sound, you know, stately. “Is it true that..”
“What, and Tchaikovsky doesn’t?” She jabbed back. “Sir, this is not an appropriate forum for add homonym attacks.”   ‘Patton’, whatever her damn name was, was clearly out of her league rhetorically , but so was Bush; who cared anymore? Anna, the faux-Totenberg stepped in at that point to moderate, I suppose she called it in her imagination, addressing a question to me:
“Senator, you’ve described yourself as ‘a devout hat-erosexual’, perhaps you’d like to clarify that point?”
“Well perhaps I would. I was of course mis-quoted. Fox does that, you know. What I said was..”
“He can’t do it without the fez on, huh?
” Patton’s team had made sure she had that card near the top, and I noticed her big smirk of relief at turning over another game piece. It pissed me off to see the ugly little piggy so relish making mincemeat of a nice young pup like me.
“Lady, you can leave your hat on.. in fact, the whole get-up, the purple polyester jumpsuit… and those boots!”.
“Senator, I wouldn’t do you if you were the last moose on Mount McKinley!” she snorted, mainly for her lackeys in the front rows, who were in stitches by now. I was clearly up against a minor comedic talent, I thought, wishing I could truthfully add ‘not‘. I looked over at ‘Tot-berg’, whatever, expecting her to break the clinch, but she just bent into her mike and added “Me neither.” as she looked at her watch, then continued.
“We have less than five minutes remaining. Governor, perhaps you’d like to address this ‘Holy Grail’ we keep reading about?”
Oh no, I thought, just when journalistic ethics had hit bottom, we sink into a new Marianas Trench..
“Yes, it’s located at 221 North Main Street in scenic downtown Vasilica, and we offer a charming mix of American and foreign dishes, from countries like India and Africa. Viewers can call now for reservations, at the number you see at the bottom of your screen.”
She was running out the clock, going all fervent about their tasty ‘holy gruel’, and the next-door “Bar & Holy Grille” when I’d heard enough.
“Holy Growl, am I all alone here?” I shouted into my Mr. Microphone®. They’d spared no expense in the effort to make me both look and sound like a fool. Even my cardboard podium, I noticed for the first time during this sorry hour-in-hell, was coming apart already, Tab ‘B’ not having found its way into slot ‘C’. Anyway, I’d seen enough carnage. Larry was talking into his cell, not even listening anymore. I was hungry, I had to admit. Really starved. Not to the point of “Moose Guts at the Tundras” or whatever the hell her dumb restaurant was called, mind you, but hey, I might as well just wake up now and make a bowl of soup, I realized. Plus it’ll save me having to drive home, too. I probably woulda hit a deer on the highway anyway. Shit like that keeps happening in dreams like this.

“Lazarus and his many-colored ‘to die for’ Subs”

Obviously, thanks from the bottom of my ventricles for the warm words under my last post. If I do quit smoking out of this, which looks likely, it will be with your support. Now onto foolishness:

    As I mentioned, I’ve been on Google and Wiki a lot lately, both to find out if I’m dying, and, as a backup, to improve my knowledge just in case, g-d forbid, I’m not. And it turns out that not only JFK (the president, not the airport) and O’bama (the country’s second Irish president) wrote books, even back in the Stone age, my first president, Harry ‘Truman’ Capote wrote some kind of a thriller, ‘In Cold Blood’ about this loser, got his-self trapped in the cooler-room at a blood transfusion center, managed to turn the refrigeration unit down to zero by mistake, froze 9000 liters of plasma, then cut the wires to warm back up only to find that the bags had all burst. Ugh. Makes you wonder how he managed to beat Dewey. Kennedy’s ‘Courageous Profiles’ makes interesting reading even today, especially with all those pictures of WW II era bloggers exposing themselves as if there’ll never be a web, search-engines,or Employers-of-the-Future idly typing with one hand.
     Anyway, now that you realize that my site contains nothing but the Gospel Truth, here’s the real dope.

     I feel kinda like Lazarus today, you know, the guy Jezie brought back to life, supposedly.

“Supposedly? It’s in there in black and white!” you say. Yeah, yeah, there’s a lot of stuff in there. I read the whole thing two nights ago, looking for loopholes. No problemos in that department. Reads like a pound of sliced Swiss, it does. In fact, in Paul’s First Epistle to the Parmesians, Chapter 6 verse 1 we read: “And Jesus rejoices in his choices of cheeses and juices, my brethren. So be of good cheer. Verily, this time.” Of course you need the background, which is that the Parmesians were still a bit sore in the butt from Jesus’s first attempt at water into wine, which resulted prune juice. Nobody was bold enough at the wedding to mention the fuck-up, and they all did as he bade them: ‘Drink heartily, my brethren’. (I think that’s even when Judas decided enough was enough and went out and hung his-self, if I have his latest version.)
    Now since the whole ‘Lazarus’ schmear-job was translated from Aramaic, which ain’t got no vowels, duh, even the guy’s name, Lazarus {sic?} is anyone’s guess.
And being anyone, I’d guess that.. well, here’s a list. Pick one, you might just be right.
1) Lazyrus  That’d make sense if he wasn’t really dead, just lazy as hell, like the office worker whose actual demise wasn’t noticed till Friday at quitting time.
2) Leisure-us The guy had plenty of free time, so he hung out with Jesus on their days off and rehearsed the whole scam, complete with the fakir no-pulse trick.
3) Lecher-us Jesus never wanted this guy running around without an ankle-collar, but the wanna-be’s insisted, so He did it against His Will, just to teach ’em a lesson.
4) Looser-us. Turns out he was the guy what drank more of the prune juice than anybody else at the infamous wedding fiasco. In the end there was nothing left inside him to rot when he died; All Jesus had to do was add water and stir.
5) Lizardus Yeah, lots of reptiles can feign death, especially when they’re cold. And for true believers to mistake a man for a sala-man-der isn’t really that much of a stretch, now that you think of it.
6) Lies-R-us Again, Jesus’ little joke. He kept telling ’em ‘Think for yourselves, ya seekers’ but they preferred to go with the old mazim: “Give the matchless a light and they will follow you anywhere.” Especially if it’s a single-frequency coherent wave…: yes!
7) LASER-us. Aha. Sear’s‘Best’  guess. The whole thing was done with smoke and mirrors, a holistic hologram, powered by what? By the damn 12 volt batteries in the Ark of the Covenant. I saw the movie.

Anyway, the paramedic-ette who raised me… I mean’ from the dead ‘ has my name recorded on her chart. I just hope it’s spelled right. Wait, Hebrew’s got no vowels either! Gevalt.