Wednesday, June 29, 2016


You can’t imagine the inherent challenges in the new video game, World of Wharf Rat. First, there’s Henry Winkler, who promises you great wealth, but ends up thieving your life savings as part of a Fonzie Scheme. You think back in time, as avatar wharf rat, to a love affair in a British territory, when your partner Left You at the Gibraltar, a figurative Brexit. Penniless (ahem) and loveless (ahem) and needing a tailor (a hem) you slumber on the docks with your best friend, Steve E. Dore, who also joins you in scrapping for meals. The two of you once found some pretty good Maxi Pad Thai, but you don’t limit yourselves to incontinental cuisine. “Mein krampf,” you think, “in mein rumpf, mein trampf stampf of mein Donald Drumpf.” Now you can send emails from the very gasser of your dyspeptic condition—sent from my iBS, reads the automated message.

Day by day in World of Wharf Rat you encounter such shallow, insincere people—you wish each would undergo a glib-otomy. You decide to emulate William Faulkner’s first published short story, and in your version, “Afros for Emily”, a bunch of bushy-haircut dudes reflect upon a southern spinster. Another story comes to mind, “Arose for Homily”, a morality tale about attending church. In your stories, the characters amass lavish lifestyles, and as a generous writer who properly endows your peeps with great wealth, you also oversee the transmission of prickly amorous diseases: these folks are living in The Clap of Luxury. Walking up and down the wharves, you discover a single literary agency—Bald Egalitarian & Assoc.—but its window (boarded) and its signage (toi let) resigns you to pondering your fate afresh. Henry Winkler avatar beckons, Steve E. Dore avatar beckons, Emily avatar of “Afros for Emily” beckons.

“El El,” says a Spanish-speaking avatar, referring to the above-ground subway gusting into place. You may guide the avatar wharf rat in whichever direction you please, pilgrim—El El, barquentines, foodstuffs, Fonzie Schemes, Brexit—but in reality, you’re guiding avatar every last one of us, and the next joystick maneuver matters.

also see: duck rescue


Seven baby Drakes and Hens. . . . as themselves
Voices of Baltimore. . . . as themselves

Running Time:
25 seconds

Director’s Note:
Thanks to my colleagues for bonding together as Team Duck. Seven baby mallidz (whose mother is thought to have perished) were transported to a nature preserve where they will develop oil glands and become the best drakes and hens they can be. We were proud to give back to the duck community!

Critical Reception
“This film inherits plenty from Duck Soup. . . . and squanders it all!” —Lucy Goosie
“Two wings up! Mallard valor!” —Fowl Bawl
“Three mallidz in the Tupperware! As they say.” —Pole Tree

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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.)

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