Monday, June 20, 2016


This hat belonged to my older brother, David, who passed away in 1990. Anybody who knew David knew his obsessions with Cleveland sports. A native of Cleveland, like me, he followed the Browns, the Indians, and the Cavaliers. He bet on them (to win) and suffered (both emotionally and financially!) when they inevitably faltered. David witnessed some crucial near misses, such as the Browns losing in agonizing fashion to the Raiders during the 1980-81 NFL playoffs, not to mention numerous failures versus the Broncos in ensuing years. He didn’t live to witness the Indians dropping a ninth inning lead versus the Marlins in Game Seven of the 1997 World Series, losing the game (and the Series) in the bottom of the 11th inning. Basketball fans, of course, know the LeBron James saga. LeBron carried the Cavs to the 2007 NBA Finals, only to suffer a sweep at the hands of the Spurs, and then, seeking a ring, “took his talents to South Beach”, where he won two rings in four trips to the Finals with the Heat. When he returned to Cleveland, but lost in the NBA Finals to the free-shooting Warriors last year, it seemed as if Cleveland sports might continue to feature some genuinely great players without actually achieving the greatness last demonstrated by Jim Brown and the rest of his Cleveland teammates in 1964, when the Browns upended the heavily favored Colts to clinch the NFL Championship. With the Cavaliers down three games to one in the 2016 Finals, before completing a shock series comeback, still another Cleveland team appeared to have squandered another chance at a title. Yet, with the score tied 89-89 late in the fourth quarter of Game Seven, the Cavs played spectacular team defense, punctuated by LeBron’s muscular, athletic block of a sure Andre Iguodala layup, and produced four points—the final cushion—via Kyrie Irving’s three point shot and one-of-two free throw shooting from LeBron, who’d been injured before going to the line. James’s performance in the series, especially on the road at Golden State for Game Seven, should go down as one of the great performances throughout the history of all North American sports, perhaps Top 10 or Top 5. For Cleveland fans, it was probably The Greatest Performance of All Time, and today, I enjoyed wearing my brother’s hat during walks through Baltimore and Washington. It’s too bad David didn’t live to witness the end of the ‘championship drought’, but it gave me great comfort to remember my brother’s devotion to Cleveland teams, by wearing the only possession of his that I retained. Today, I realized why I’d kept it after all these years.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Manuel Alvarez Bravo, La Buena fama durmiendo, 1939.

By saying “I’m sleeping with someone”, the fellow means he’s sleeping with the fragrance of her hair at repose, the forward jut of her hip-bones, the restlessness of her feet kicking the tympanic surface of the mattress. He’s sleeping with the contours of her embryonic familiarity.

The thundering noise from above is, in fact, thunder, if we define thunder with the generous elasticity that thunder generates, sequentially. A hawk lingers on an arterial wire, it was built in a rainstorm, the hawk’s plumage is rainfall, its mid-air colors and runoff.

A glancing moment, as when a boxer must claw the danger, given his struggle for viability within the emergency of his own footing. His opposite smites the blundering footage underneath his wobbly mentality, an idea that implies the spark of a knuckle upon the recalcitrant chin.

Your child years, your work years, your aged years. What a catastrophe—to need—to take action, the way bells and horns regulate the sluggish ambulation of conveyances bound for a hub, a destination-hub, the afternoon never able to clear or clarify its ambiguities.

Everything perishes: the belly of a mural tagged by tagger, afternoon darkening, downhill acceleration, even perishing perishes. What might happen—experts should theorize—when all perishing perishes: abrupt stop? but what of “stop”, seeing as it represents a perishable state?

this post is part of a double issue. also see: Critter 



Director’s note: This little critter hopped onto my sandal and gazed pacifically into my eyes. (I wish I’d had the camera recording when that happened!) In response, I followed the critter—probably a small rat, but maybe a big, blue mouse—for a few seconds as it led me down the sidewalk. It was a kindly little soul, seemingly unfazed by a person, or perhaps not yet schooled in the predatory ways of the big city. Whatever the case, I continued onward in a charmed way, after this brief encounter. (22 seconds, Rated C for depiction of Critter.)

Other Animal Shorts You Might Enjoy:

this post is part of a double issue. also see: By Saying I'm Sleeping with Someone

Friday, May 20, 2016


Seen from another angle as when an area—station, square, market—seen on a Sunday. Little made from heavy (stone) slab anymore. Cream-colored stone: whole cities. A child’s fascination with a pigeon. As for excess—what the wind can’t carry into underbrush and embankments will perish in half-lives. What other kinds of lives does excess (excessive material) lead? What kind of half-lives do we lead? The love more protest than recognition. Uncorrected, the expression will calcify. Uncorrected, the expression will calcify into a demonstration of thistle-thorn dismay. The amount of material aloft. Being first or being best? “I want to imagine your face when you think of me but I can’t.” By “imagine your face” I mean in shadow, in the shadow of your shiny hair, your expression itself a shadow. “The emporium of youth” versus “the emporium of adulthood.” I mean, nature ramifies in order to survive. Never mind the number of birds, the number of raptors, the northern goshawk. In one corner of a cemetery, the headstones under water. The difference between “idling” and “waiting”. Meanwhile, “il y a du monde dans la village.” To get cosmopolitan (to get global) get irresponsible. Wave hands in a fluttering, dilly manner. What cold seeks to occupy as opposed to what seeks to occupy cold. Why forage alone if one must forage. (That way, in a pair, two people could forage a bond.) The paucity of arrivals, the paucity of slack arrivals, the inner paucity, the slack. Imagine lightning—staying around—like trees. All the lightning on the hillside, all the trees on the hillside. The arboreal properties of lightning, the lightning full of sap, quite flammable. Remember: the symmetrical nature of most pain. If Person A will ail at Point X then Person B will ail at Point Y.
Loneliness aggrandizes. The cycle of isolation, governed by a spray of tall buildings, or the sliding scale of sunlight, or the balloting of voices in airshafts and alleys. “Who is bright” and “Who is warm.” The units of earth that the elements rearrange—rust, rusty coloring, what gnaws into the animal, our porticos of vulnerable awareness.

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
Tuesday: The Swans Survive
Thursday: Nearly Forgotten Songs: Irish Rock and The Splib, Part 1
Friday: Subsidiary Needs within a System

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Cultural Affairs Week 2016 continues with nearly forgotten “The Splib, Part 1”, a grinding honker by J.C. Davis. Also posted today, check out Frank De Rosa’s nearly forgotten shaker, “Irish Rock.”

Date of release: 1961 (Chicago, Argo). A side: “The Splib, Part 1” / B side: “The Splib, Part 2.”

Likely personnel: J.C. Davis (leader, tenor sax), Alvin “Fats” Gonder or Bobby Byrd (piano), Les Buie (guitar), Hubert Lee Perry (bass), Nat Kendrick (drums), Roscoe Patrick (trumpet), and Alfred Corley (alto sax).

Genre: Early R&B.

Biographical information on leader: J.C. Davis came to some renown as a soloist in, and musical director of the James Brown Band round about the late 1950s and early 1960s. He recorded a smattering of songs as leader roughly during the same time period with “The Splib, Part 1” (b/w “The Splib, Part 2”) being one of his first committed to vinyl. He may have drifted out of music by the 1970s, but not before he toured with the likes of Etta James, Jackie Wilson, and Little Willie John. Some photographic evidence available online suggests that J.C. Davis attended James Brown’s funeral in 2006. Davis tears the building down with “The Splib, Part 1”, which concludes with a voice (Davis himself?) encouraging the listener to flip the record for further splib, oh yeah!

25 word review: Screaming as applied to uninhibited gyration, it celebrates the moments before pinnacle, the clinching argument, one imagines whole halls in motion, the walls themselves dancing.

Sources of information: 45cat entry for J.C. Davis, Discogs entry for J.C. Davis, Goldmine Magazine article on The Last of the Famous Flames, Book The James Brown Reader: Fifty Years of Writing about the Godfather of Soul (Plume 2008), Book The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Avery 2012), Google group thread on J.C. Davis.

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
Tuesday: The Swans Survive
Thursday: Irish Rock and The Splib, Part 1
Friday: Subsidiary Needs within a System


Cultural Affairs Week 2016
 continues with the nearly forgotten, “Irish Rock”, an infectious shaker by Frank De Rosa and His D Men. Also posted today, check out J.C. Davis’ nearly forgotten honker, “The Splib, Part 1.”

Date of release: 1958 (Dot, Hollywood, Calif.) Previously recorded in 1957 (Ken Records, Rochester, N.Y.) A side: “Big Guitar” / B side: “Irish Rock”

Likely personnel: Frank De Rosa (leader, tenor sax), Bobby Geno (guitar), Sonny Geno (instrument unknown). Others and their instruments, if any, unknown.

Genre: Early rock.

Biographical information on leader: We know very little about Frank De Rosa, who seems to have recorded just these two songs. “Big Guitar” achieved some local notoriety, prompting Dot to pick up the record for national distribution. De Rosa’s version (of “Big Guitar”) failed to achieve widespread success, but a cover by the Owen Bradley Quartet fared much better. While De Rosa may have played with other musicians, including Ella Fitzgerald, scant information exists for this wailing saxophone player, who really hits the bell on “Irish Rock.”

25 word review: Stitches effortlessly between (and integrates) swing, R&B, rock. Undeniably punk. At heart optimistic, a bit naughty, a bit aggressive: it encourages our opposite(s) to capitulate.

Sources of information: 45cat entry for Frank De Rosa, Discogs entry for Frank De Rosa, WNYFM blog post on Big Guitar, Book Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz (Da Capo Press, 1995).

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
The Swans Survive
Thursday: Irish Rock and The Splib, Part 1
Friday: Subsidiary Needs within a System

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


The G.O.P. can bellyache all it wants about presumptive nominee Donald Drumpf, but in fielding 17 candidates at the onset of the presidential season—with many treading into the primaries—the party allowed a subset of voters (25%? 30%?) to establish the outsider, Drumpf, as the front-runner, while compelling the remainder of the candidates, most of them milquetoast insiders, to divvy-up the leftover ballots.

When the field narrowed to three—Drumpf, Cruz, Kasich—this blogger (a lifelong Democrat) cheered for John Kasich, who, although a bit bloated, nevertheless represented the nearly-extinct moderate wing of the Republican party, and although this blogger would prefer the eventual Democrat nominee to him, it might not be the end of rational civilization were he to assume the presidency, i.e. the Oaf of Orifice.

Drumpf vanquished his rivals, however, through his in-depth knowledge of “schlong” and “schlonging techniques”, which involve the provision of “schlong”, professional development of “schlong”, electoral “schlong”, and numerous pontifications on “the schlonged”—how “schlong in America”, if properly wielded, can topple an establishment, leading a voter to declaim on “sudden, irrevocable schlong.”

In an effort to gain expertise on bridge closures, i.e., ways of preventing Democrat commuters from traveling to the polls in November, Drumpf has installed the massive object, Chris Christie, as chairman of his Transition Team, and Christie, equally effective, viz. (1) Drumpf’s Call to Service, and (2) at The Buffet, ought to demonstrate expertise in showing the presumptive nominee just how to narrow lanes and pinch-off circulation.

Lately, Republican voters seem fond of presenting the country with “Captains of Industry” as their champions, including Willard “Mitt” Romney from the previous cycle, but just to be sure, we’re not talking about “Captains” who have built factories, railroads, automobiles, or power plants from scratch, no, we’re talking about those “Captains” who were handed vast wealth, and didn’t screw up at multiplication.

It says Drumpf on an airplane, it says Drumpf on a skyscraper, it says Drumpf on a helicopter, it says Drumpf on a casino, and it says Drumpf on TV, in fact, when you power-up your television set, it burps out Drumpf for reasons scientists are currently at a loss to explain, and often times, now, when a boxer or MMA fighter receives a Mexican liver punch, he or she also says Drumpf, before collapsing in agony.

Google Translate detects German when you enter Drumpf, and it translates Drumpf as flopper whopper, he who impersonates a publicist, incomplete suppression of epigastric crisis, corporate culture enthusiast, avant garde gerbil actions, selective memory failure, and “the epicenter of the fart”, but the thing is, that’s a single word, Drumpf, in German, and that’s what it means—all that jazz!

You’d think the climate would come up roses for us Democrats, but think again, with our second-chance presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, failing to quell the impressive insurgency from plain-talking Bernie Sanders, a candidate for whom this blogger voted, mostly because Bernie is saying the kinds of things that nobody else—not shrill Hillary and certainly not billionaire-class Drumpf—has the guts to say.  

It’s not just Hillary Clinton, LLC that opposes Drumpf, but formidable kababs of the Republican establishment who might challenge him as part of a third party effort to rescue their burglarized party, yet either way, Drumpf won’t be vanquished by reciting from a list of offenses, no, he’s far too crafty for something weak like that, plus many Drumpf supporters, the silent Drumpfistas, remain hidden from pollsters and don’t give a rat’s ass about Paul Ryan or “wee government.”

Hillary (and Bill, too) will be the targets of much muckraking as Drumpf attempts to wrest the reins of government, and this could mitigate Hillary’s effectiveness, but more importantly, Hillary will have to campaign in a way that she hasn’t campaigned before: she’ll have to inspire voters by presenting a clear, compelling vision of her presidency, yet even if she accomplishes this unlikely feat, unfortunately, the answer to “U.S.A. to Elect Donald Drumpf?” may still be, sadly, yes.

cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Monday: Blue Jay Z
Tuesday: The Swans Survive
Wednesday: USA to Elect Donald Drumpf?