Sunday, June 20, 2010


It is crisp and clear outside and the tables inside the Alley Cat are flooded with sunlight. She sits there, rail thin and not quite recovered from her arrival, hugging her over-sized mug of tea, a tempest tossed survivor clinging to the wreckage of a greater hearth and home. Casually well dressed in splashes of americana, pleats and creases saw-whet sharp and hinting at the tightly wrapped rubber bands that hum beneath her pale skin.

Her life is laid out before her with clockwork precision. Tea just so. Un-needed accoutrements clustered at the table’s edge at two o’clock. Notebook and fine line pen within reach and ready to bolster her already unassailable view of life. The center of the table, the seconds, minutes and hours of that clock are thwarted in their escape by a large, gilt-edged and well thumbed bible; an anchor given by family or friend to stay the drifting of her tiny dory on the active seas of curiosity. Her place is marked by a photo of her young man in his Sunday best, beaming at her in earnest, unaware, perhaps, that he is holding court deep within the book of Revelations.

Left hand skimming across the pages while her right takes copious notes, her face wears the serenity of one who knows their destination and what awaits them at journey’s end. Placid. Dispassionate. Youthful. A wrecking ball without tether. A toddler clutching a chrome plated revolver with its hammer resting on a chambered round.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Using the logic below, and carrying it to the extreme, since each of those words had previously been used, both separately and conjoined, in any number of instances in the last dozens of decades, can we truly call even Ms. Stein's original and original?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Math Meets Gertrude Stein, et al

We all know jokes about 1,000 monkeys and 1,000 typewriters. I don't think they could match the Bard, because there's something going on there besides permutations of available vocabulary. Shakespeare is especially impressive when you realize his vocabulary was probably smaller than today's average high school graduate. But, boy, could he use those words! Now, as for the phrase of last week, there are 10 words. That means there are 10! (ten factorial) possible arrangements. That's 3,628,800. Could any of them besides the original be considered creative? Just wondering.