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Monday, May 22, 2017

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize








I came across a very interesting article re: Bob Dylan & Nobel Prize. Below is a small excerpt from a long and insightful article in Boulevard.


Excerpt from: Symposium: Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in literature
By Adrian Matejka   –   Boulevard  Vol 32



The Nobel committee did the right thing at the right time, reminding us of what is greatest about our poetic tradition and also making the point that our bests days are behind us, just at the moment when we are saddled with the worst fascism that has ever inflicted our land. The committee posed the urgent question of whether literature is restricted to the page, to solitary consumptions, to the academy, and to the establishment, or if it is something more diffuse, blending disturbing art forms and methods of expression, stemming from the energies of the people in a voice that can hardly be captured before it escapes. The conditions of prophecy in which Dylan came into being ceased to exist in the 1960s, as the full impact of the Kennedy assassination, the American government turning upon its own people to carry forward empire’s logic, began becoming manifest, as Dylan well recognized, and as his many retreats (which we also affirmations) of the second half of the 1960s, and really all the decades since then, have amply testified to. There will be no more Dylans: he ended his prophecy by way of the famous motorcycle accident in 1966, leaving us in the lurch, as he should have.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Oligarchy Tango


The Oligarchy Tango






First you hire your wife and then
Your daughter and her manly friend
Your uncle Joe and then his brother
Find a nice job for your mother.

Friends that you once went to school with
Others not so safe to fool with
Younger siblings wait in line
To make sure future will be fine
For them – but not so much for us
We are the people on bus.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Zipper


Taken from Writer’s Almanac:



Today in 1913, a Swedish engineer named Gideon Sundback was living in Hoboken, New Jersey, when he patented the modern zipper under the name, “Hookless No. 2.” The public, however, was far from sold. Preachers initially called the device “the Devil’s fingers” because it eased the process of removing clothing. Other early zipper models were patented under names like “C-curity Fastener” and “The Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.” It didn’t take off until a boot company adopted the technology for their “Zipper Boot,” launching both the method and the word into fame.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Excerpt from Chapter 12: “Lost In Seattle”







CHAPTER 12–THANKSGIVING

*       *       *
Wednesday morning ‘End The War’ protesters hold up traffic on my way to work, but I was here on time. It’s just a little after ten now and the day is crawling, slowed by eagerness for the Thanksgiving holiday.

I see the Jackal coming toward us. Now what? Has the pisser struck again?

“Tomorrow is a holiday,” he tells us. “We are going to be behind when you come back on Friday.”

“Friday? I thought we had Friday off,” I protest.

“We cannot afford that luxury at Arcot.” Phon continues. “We are still behind our quota. Arcot needs 130 power packs from you today.” He looks at Hēin.

“We can do it,” Hēin answers.

If the Jackal asked for 7,000, he’d agree and do his best to fill the order. Ko gun lin, are the first Vietnamese words that Hēin taught me—Make an effort.

“Good.” The Jackal leaves us and our little group falls silent. Hēin has run out of questions for the moment, so I put my earphones on and tune in the Robert Roberts Show. Another listener has called in.

“What have we here?” asks Roberts.

“A Tibetan Monk,” the show’s phone operator tells him. “It’s from Lompoc, California.”
Silence. . . .

“Are you there?” asks Roberts.

“I am here, at Lompoc, but not born in Lompoc. I am from Shigatze, Tibet.”

“I see,” says Roberts, “but you speak good English, Mr . . .”

“Tahsi Gyaltsan Lama. Thank you.”

“Like the Dalai Lama?” “Hello Dolly” plays as background music.

“Yes, we are both Lamas,” comes the answer, “but he is the greatest teacher, most revered. I am, perhaps, the least significant.”

“I see. So what is it that brought you here?” Bob asks.

“We Lamas like to travel and a few of us are teaching in America.”

“Aha. Well tell me, Tashi, what’s impressed you most about the States? What is it that stands out about our culture?”

“I have noticed there is always talk of fighting: in Iraq, Afghanistan, of course, but also there is war on poverty, fight cancer, war on crime, drug wars—now the war on terror. It seems combat is the first response to solving problems. This is natural, of course, to fight an enemy, but in America—”

“Easy to tell this call’s from California,” Bob advises listeners. “Time to take a station break, but thanks for sharing with us, Tashi.” Robert’s voice drifts off into a long commercial and I take the earphones off to start another batch of castings that’s come down the line.
My fingers ache from threading bolts into their holes.

“How do you say ‘good-bye’ in Vietnam?” I ask.



“Tom bē-ah.” Hēin says it slowly, then again, “tom bēah. Is for every day. Vinh biêt is for a long time, if you are go away forever. I hope you are not plan to leave us.”
Hēin’s smiling, unaware that he has read my mind. “Are you unhappy with your work?”

“Just tired. I thought that we’d be getting Friday off. I need the rest.”
He nods with understanding. “I get up four-thirty every morning, take my wife to work, then sleep in car until the lunchroom opens.”

There’s no sign of anger in his voice . . . complete acceptance of his fate

*       *       *




Friday, April 7, 2017

Published in mgv_88 'Swan Song' today.





mgv2_88 | swan song| 04_17
Departure Implicit
by Bruce Dodson


Loretta lives across the street
has cancer
both of us are long of tooth
it happens
but at least I don’t have cancer . . . yet
all of us carry the malicious cells within
waiting for weakness
less immune than yesterday
but she’s a tough old bird
from North Dakota
and offended doctors by refusing treatment costing thousands
hair loss
nausea.
Takes pills for pain
brain tumor headaches
while she waits.
“I’m ready to go,” she says.
Worked thirty years
same job
same place
small office manager/receptionist
eleven months ago she finally gave it up.
Sometimes I think
retirement has killed more of us than cancer.

Page 26

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Bitch From Borlänge – Chapter 13



The Bitch From Borlänge – Chapter 13


I’m minding my own business and sipping this god-awful Kat beer when I hear a “Woof!”  It sounds almost familiar. Who? Another hound here at the Fatal Feline? Kats all have their backs up now, expecting trouble—a possible pack attack. Things like that happen in Rosengård—critters get hurt.

A dogwater fog precedes the new arrival. “Ellie, babe—my love. You’re back—my gift from heaven.”

OMG. It’s Pug, the boxer. He was a contender and we used to run around when I was younger. He was semi-famous then, but after loosing a match with Jerry The Pit, he got into the dogwater. I was never really that interested, to tell you the truth, but he was crazy about me. He can be harder to get rid of than a Tasmanian flea, but whatever. Deal with it, I tell myself.

“Hej, Pug. What’s up? Do you hang out here? Want my Kat beer?”

“Nah. I don’t drink Kat. It turns your liver yellow. Ellie, I’m so glad to see you. Saint Bernard has brought us back together, after all this time.”

Pug’s Irish and a Katholic. “Beauty changes. I’m just passing through,” I tell him.
“No you’re not. You’re on somebody’s tail.”

“And how would you know that?”

“I get around.” He jumps up to my table—almost loses balance before sitting down across from me.  “Smooth knows you’re here,” he sez.

“I’m sure he does. We had a brief encounter.”

“He’s been running with Willie The Rat,” Pug snarls. “Police dogs have been after him, but he is hard to find. A master of disguises. and escape. A New York hip hop group, The Lab Rats, wrote a song about him.
Willie the rat
Was a slippery Kat
And escaped from the F.B.I.
With change in his pocket
And a golden locket
And a slice of apple pie.

“Thanks for sharing,” I yawn. “Anything else?”

There’s a big reward out for him. What can you get for catching Smoothy?”

“More than enough.” I turn to look outside, see nothing but a poodle who looks lost.

“Why don’t you let me help you get him, Ellie? There’s a couple things you need to know. Let’s get a real drink while we talk about it. There’s a place I like, ‘Dog Water Hole,’ they call it.” I was on my way there when I saw you in the window.”

“I already knew the things you’ve told me—other than the Lab Rats. And I know Smoothy knows I know he’s here.”

“But he doesn’t know you know what I know. If he knew you knew the things I know it could work against you if you didn’t know—which you don’t. . . .”

Conversations with Pug were always a bit confusing. “So then, tell me.”

“Need a drink first,” Pug says. Dogwater helps my memory.”

“Some other time. I’m waiting for a friend.”

“A lover I suppose. Are you in heat?”

“I am the heat,” I bark at him. “And working on a case—alone, like always.”

“Well, okay then.” Pug flops off the table. “I’ll on my way. But there are things you need to know—important things. I’ve never lied to you.”

That’s true. He isn’t smart enough to lie, or dumb enough. I take a quick glace out the window. Poodle’s gone. A light snow falling. No one to be seen on Pildamsparken where my rat hunt ended— Johanesgatan’s empty. Not a soul in sight, and Chief Johansson gave me Smoothy’s profile. ‘Moves in slow, and gets out fast.’ That’s his M.O. Guess I’ve got time.

“Okay. I’m good for just one drink to get your beer brain working, but it’s going to be a quick one,” I woof.

Okay. Ten minutes . . . all I’m asking.
*               *             *
The Dog Water Hole is crowded. Mutts are yowling at a well trimmed poodle dancing on a table. There’s bloodhound . . . Erickson from the Dalarna Crime Team. What’s he doing here? I’m thinking. He ignores me and I do him the same favor. Probably working on an unrelated case—I hope.

We find a place next to a pair of rough looking Main Coons who seem fascinated by a game of Kateract they’re showing on TV. I never understood the game myself—a lot of snack tossing and balloon popping.

Pug goes for drinks and comes back three times with a plate of ribs first, and then with two large bowls of dogwater. “I can’t drink all of this,” I tell him.

“Never mind. I’ll help you.”

“Great. Now tell me what you know that might be worth my time.”

“They know you’re here.”

“I know they know.” God, here we go again.

“Smooth said he’d pay for any information on your whereabouts. He’s keeping tabs on you. Hey, that’s almost a pun or something—get it? Tabs, like tabby.”

“Right. You’re almost half a wit,” I tell him. “So, who’s everybody?”

“I don’t know. I’d had a couple drinks at the Katacombs— a day and night club. It was crowded, lots of kats, a Bulldog they call Snot and, let me think. A couple possums, and some stray kats. Everybody heard the offer.”

“All he has to do to find me is to stand still. Is that it?”

“There’s more,” he sez. The Jackal’s in town.”

“The Jackal? Oj! I thought he was in Gotterdammen.”

“Not this week. He’s after a something. He knows Smooth is loaded—bank account in Kathmandu. Big bucks . . . and the rewards that have been offered by the cops.”

“It could be anything. Whatever. Look, I’ve got to run.

“No. Wait,” Pug whines.

I leap down off of the table with Brazilian grace, and out the door before he has another chance to protest. Spent more time than I had meant to. Maybe worth it. Good to know about the Jackal—bad dawg, bounty hunter. Off his leash in my opinion. What’s he up to?

Best Bitch - Stockholm Show March 2017