Monday, December 21, 2009

How To Do It

The first thing to do is unscrew the valve and roll up the bottom to squeeze out all the air inside it. Then, it's relatively easy to stuff the thing into the hole in the wall. Make sure you've driven the picture hooks into the wall deeply enough so as to be able to hang the concealing portrait securely over that hole. Next, you must paint the wall a lighter color than the adjacent walls, and move a chair or credenza under the portrait.

Taking a moment to rest on the floor, you can then start work on the medallion. Remove the retaining bolts which hold it to the ceiling and save them in a teacup. Carefully wrap the plaster medallion with wool blankets as you remove it from the ceiling. A quick dusting with diatomaceous earth will keep the fleas from propagating. Reach into the cavity and locate the gas cap. Twist the cap counter clockwise two turns. You are now ready to replace the medallion by reversing the previous steps.

The rugs on the floor are next. They often conceal the fact that the floor has not been varnished in the center of the room - 19th century floor technology was expensive. Roll back the northwestern corners of the rugs (the least affected by sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere). Seek floorboards that were obvious replacements. Often these boards are loose and can be easily pried up. Remove the boards carefully and strew pebbles beneath them before replacing them.

Remember: you cannot be too careful or proceed too slowly with renovations. Be sure to map out enough time for this process!

Monday, September 07, 2009

CENSORED: A Variety Cryptic Crossword puzzle

I really like variety cryptic crosswords.
I made this up more than 10 years ago: the date says Jan 20, 1999. I made it to run in my zine GLUM HOMEBODY. Rather than put numbers in the grid area, I use a kind of hex notation: add row and column to get the coordinate!

I might not post the solution unless I hear from YOU.


Thirteen of the clues have had their definitions censored!
And for good reason!

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C


| | | 00

+ + +---+---+---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+

| | | | | | | 10

+ + +---+---+---+ + + +---+ + + + +

| | | | | | 20

+ + + +---+ + + + +---+ + + + +

| | | 30

+ + + +---+ + + + + + + + + +

| | | | | | | | | | | 40

+---+ +---+---+---+ +---+ + + + +---+ +

| | | | | | | | 50

+ + +---+---+---+ +---+---+ +---+---+ + +

| | | 60

+ + +---+---+ +---+---+ +---+---+---+ + +

| | | | | | | | 70

+ +---+ + + + +---+ +---+---+---+ +---+

| | | | | | | | | | | 80

+ + + + + + + + +---+---+ + + +

| | | 90

+ + + + +---+ + + + +---+ + + +

| | | | | | A0

+ + + + +---+ + + +---+---+---+ + +

| | | | | | | B0

+---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+---+---+ + +

| | | C0


To save space, the spots are described with "HEX" style


00 As she keeps old without tail.(7)
07 Train in record return.(6)
10 Heard Frost.(5)
16 Confused endless Simon in soup.(4)
21 Swimmer enthralled in Amalfi shores.(4)
25 Special:"Closeups on cruise."(6)
30 Let us in desparately with knife.(7)
38 Inside mask: unknown critter.(5)
43 I and few are jumbled with woman.(4)
50 Led astray, rebuffed snappy dressers holding horror comic.(7)
60 Newark perversion?!(6)
66 Italian eight-person footstool.(7)
77 Red spy in Masschusetts.(7)
87 Fish with $1000 returns happiness.(4)
90 Facial aspect Small knot.(5)
95 California bean soldier: "Right! Left!"(8)
A2 Covering any cop dancing.(6)
A9 Rusian River, old English reed.(4)
B3 Calliope sounded cat whines.(4)
B8 Standard reversed with old idiot.(5)
C0 Victory again thwarted.(6)
C6 Uneven in Georgia, besides Minnesota.(7)

00 Terribly legal to be headless.(5)
01 Confusing Shah diet.(8)
05 Convict holds copper backwards.(7)
07 Number three seconds to surround England.(6)
09 Negative - Affirmative, that is. (6)
0B The Queen alone is crazy.(5)
16 Hybrid College in blown-over elm.(4)
1A Be American, empty to delight.(5)
1C Psychedelics advocate busted neck, man.(7)
24 Pressure: amount of mystic energy.(3)
38 F--- This!(4)
50 Swirling snows envelope an actress.(7)
5B Explode Bohr atom.(8)
64 Cleaver hidden by naked geisha.(4)
67 Cry at Holly madly.(5-2)
72 Second hair problem: too much oil!(5)
73 Alma is nuts for sandwich meat.(6)
75 Membranes are medium type of turn with Italian thing.(6)
81 Capital Zen chant? I get it!(5)
86 Lancelot Link - Yawn?(4)
8A Cloth, Sex goddess with me in the middle.(3)
8C Close, Senator.(5)

Friday, July 03, 2009

On Being Buried 18 Sept 1978

The earth doesn't kiss like a shy new conquest,
But suffocates you with the hug of a mighty aunt.
This is the great unreckoned thing:
the overall pressing of the soil.
Each breath, if not a struggle, is a puzzle:
one wonders why one breathes at all.
The wet sand tells you that your body ends,
But it seems to extend more widely beneath the soil.

The ground molds itself to you:
a hole forms into which you fit perfectly,
which soon becomes loose, collapses, and fits again.
Often beneath the surface you grasp handfuls of earth.
The earth holds you holding the earth.
It enters your ears and your eyes,
Your fingernails, your mouth.

There is a kind of pain in your prone stagnation.

On Farmas Flot: Dorian mode folksong in an invented Scandinavian language

On farmas flot min lufa stehet
Magre bene o tyn carn insammet
Teth så gertist o mymtisk desut
Ved basseten en thermet vealant noe tilkren
Not verbi veynmer utmot textra ventral
vestrans werolm peoplen temtor fentrost
et emmtrenge trowbt theng ecte e
dust imgovervigs td ventrent verts thotu
hemeds kurtt tyr trygget venathengte
mattensk matter

Parable poem (1977?)

On the great side
There are some who, like the cat
who triumphantly scaled a tree
have not the courage to descend.

Fragment: 1979?

He writes with the glee of a man who, having hidden himself in a convenient place, watches a boy write his name with a stick in wet cement, and he, a few minutes later, repeats the action, carefully looking about for fear of the authorities. For the act is an obsession, even if it is as harmless and transitory as a daydream, and his life is a succession of many such acts, driven by impulses and stimuli which which tease and pull, explode and whisper, beckon, hide, and vanish. In the dim semi-consciousness of his half-sleep, the walls of his room are like Jello, and then glass, and then air, weather affects him inside as it does the grass and trees; falling fruit invariably makes him fatter during the harvest; brittle grass makes him rue his awakening and prods his short temper; the thumb-deep mud and cumulous sky mollifies him and gives him hope; if the sand blows about his feet, supporting him in a peculiar way, he walks seaward onto packed ground and stretches in the sun. His towel served as his chair., his bed, his table, his clothing,his comfort, his protection, his shelter, and it was unsatisfactory in all these ways.

Amongst my papers: Summer 1979

Carolyn,Shirley, Suzanne, Phyllis, Dolores, Francis, and Harriet Smith.
Dorothy, Theresa, Michelle, Annette, Beverly, Rebecca, and Marlene Jones.

These were the names that I had to remember this summer as a memory experiment. They had to be in that order and in that way.

[experiment was at either Horace Mann or the Rockefeller Institute. each woman was the mother ot the next in the list, and there were questions like is Annette the grandmother of Marlene? Is Dolores a Smith or a Jones? etc. I "cheated" not by writing, which was of course forbidden, but by making mnemonic sentences for them (since forgotten). ]

Saturday, June 06, 2009

How it all works.

It's almost a religious narrative:

1) You are to be born into debt. You shall pay your ancestor's debts, long after their deaths, to satisfy the legal rights of those who lent them the money to buy their houses, pay their doctors, and educate their children.
2) You take your place in the line of debt.
3) You "work." That is, you trade time and thought for the right to pay "your" debts.
4) Meanwhile, the unspoken debt to the earth grows, as you borrow from the earth to service your ancestor's creditors legal demands.