Monday, February 28, 2011








No Way


Oh lala, I loooove bad boys :-)))

Originally uploaded by chrisbavaria

je me suis tant

je me suis tant
Originally uploaded by {E}mma
another great one from the One group.

Elvis Car

Elvis Car
Originally uploaded by Czlowiek Kamera

((( Paris ,,,

((( Paris ,,,
Originally uploaded by thierry tillier
i love a good tondo.

((( ,

((( ,
Originally uploaded by thierry tillier


Originally uploaded by kygp
love this. from the One group.

Mimi is speachless!CARL(a) got something precious from Huub!!!!

Love this.

The Three Faces Of...





I THOT                    I THAW          A THETAN, DAD!

That's Thientology!

Satan morphs into pseudo-scientific Thetans.

L. Ron Hubbard was such a jokester.

He had to seriously laugh himself to sleep at night.

Charlie Angel




Chemistry Teacher Kitteh


I don't know how




My Favorite Commercial Right Now

Bar none.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Fucked Up Eminem is Waaay Better than the Straight Eminem

I'm sorry but Relapse is such a better album than Recovery.

I can't get over the Christopher Reeves segment on "Medicine Ball."

Never been funnier or more evil.

The Fine Brothers

The Fine Brothers are evil.

The Fine Brothers are hilarious.

Don't blame me if you watch this clip.

Mr. Fred Kaplan Wrote Me

And I hope he won't mind me posting his genial communication here.

Since he follows up on his thoughts on the McStays (or McShadys, depending on your viewpoint).

Dear William (or whatever appellation you prefer at this moment):

First, thank you for your cogent and insightful responses to my post re the McStays. There is validity to almost everything you say and there is validity to almost everything everyone else says. Your ideas re red herrings are right-on and, in this case, they seem to have achieved everything for which they were intended, i.e., to make people suspicious of everything!

I am leaning less towards the they-were-agents theory because you are correct. A simple sentence to family members: “We have to leave the country, but we are fine,” would have sufficed. That the (allegedly) said nothing points to not only the fact they the family was in danger, but any mention of this might place their family members in danger (or dangle another red herring).

I had never considered that the McStay family site was a front, but it does make sense. I’ve done some checking and it seems almost de rigeur for a family to create a personal web site for a missing family. It is part of the process of feeling contributory and expressing grief and frustration. (A non-family web site, that is even more intense in readers’ responses than those to your or the McStays web site is, but there are less upscale, more po’ white trash folks and the disparity between income and status in SD vs. rural OK is enormous. Hence the omnipresent invocation of prayers and da lord. Arrgh! I guess even meth dealers deserve divine protection.)

But now I do believe that you are correct: the family is definitely in on this in knowing more than it says.

Second, I discovered Jason Mraz today because of you. I am a bit behind in things pop culture because I hate pop culture. But I visited his site and I don’t think he could be more genuine and I like his POV, music and everything about him.

Third, I did not choose to be anonymous. My google ID was not accepted to post on your page, so I chose Anonymous.

You are a sharp guy. I admit that I had to check for the definition of fabulist, which didn’t sound right for you in terms of “fabulousness,” but there I learned that there are two defs for the word: (1) a creator or writer of fables; (2) a once highly admired journalist whose reputation is now that of a disgraced fabulist. I surmise you are the former.

Thanks and best regards,
Fred Kaplan

And yes, Fred, I write fables (another blog) but I liked the iffiness of the definition; the secondary definition given you should have been broader than "disgraced journalist" since it's anyone who routinely spins tall tales, i.e. a liar, pathological or otherwise.

Since I often speak ironically (hallucinate ironically?) both defintions apply to me-(but not in that shady way it's used to describe disgraced journalists, like Michael Finkel* if memory serves correctly.

I am "Bill" to 95% of people.

And I'm glad I added a fan to Jason's base.


*Investigation Discovery runs a documentary dealing with a criminal on the lam who impersonated Michael Finkel. And Finkel later became this killer's good friend after he was apprehended, writing to him in prison and talking with him on the phone and forging a close bond with him. Was it all to get a good story? Probably. But it's a strangely disturbing story.


I just got an email notifying me I made the homepage on the Cheezburger site again!


It's the History page.

Thanks, Cheez Gods!

We are now officially engaged.

But we are "holding off" getting married until old ladies can marry their cats.

Because we are Hollywood like dat.


Goldfrapp's Latest

Goldfrapp's latest album brings back all the glory and excess of seventies pop!

Here's a single.

The lyrics even seem to contain some titles and partial titles of seventies songs.

This song almost sounds like something out of Xanadu in places.

And that makes sense with the Olivia Newton John look Allyson is having so much fun with here.

Goldfrapp has never been embarrassed by pop excess.

They can go from the most sublime artpop (Felt Mountain) to total club dance tunes, pure pop.



Johnny Depp

You probably couldn't tell but this          is Johnny Depp. He's THAT EFFIN GOOD!

The Suicide is Alive!

I've been pumping Lee for information on the woman (whom I don't know at all).

She was even in my dream last night.

But the first sign she was alive was that her credit card was used in Maryland.

That could have been a criminal using it, right?

But no. She called later from South Carolina, wouldn't say where she was, but that she wasn't coming home.

There was some "you don't treat me right" vibe in that directed at her family, I think.

So now Lee has more gaps to cover but we're both grateful she wasn't found lying in U-STOR-IT! with lividity turning the bottom half of her body into a Rothko painting.

Spite is as good as any other reason to stay alive, I suppose.

You go, girl.

I Enjoyed This

Kendra Grant Malone discusses five books which have inspired her for a London website.

I like her list a lot.

I thought it was cool that she chose Nan Goldin's book, since the kind of hardcore honesty that's found in those photographs is found in her poems.

List here.

Thanks, Mazilla!

No, actually I don't know this band at all.

I like this and I found the history of the band fascinating.

I think it's beautiful that it all happened the way it did.

That the album didn't do anything commercially and slowly swelled to massive through "word of ear."

So many of their songs on YouTube have nearly half a million hits, which is more consisent with pop celebrities who are shoving themselves down our throats every chance they get.

And yet this band is totally reticent.

Now some are saying "one of the greatest albums ever" about the one album.

And how Magnum says he probably won't write any more albums without really giving any reason why.

That will help a mystique along a lot of miles. ;-)

The McStay Family Disappearance

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON MCSTAYS CASE: PATRICK ROBERT MCSTAY SOUGHT BY LOUISIANA LAW ENFORCMENT: WARRANT ISSUED. This might be the key to solving the mystery of the McStays' disappearance. Or it may prove to be unrelated. But it's important this individual is found.

Someone anonymously just left this comment on my post on the McStay family disappearance.

Hi Anonymous.

Since you ask some good questions I am going to repost them here and try to answer the few that I can with my extremely limited knowledge on this troubling disappearance.

It really seems to have touched a nerve with the culture, probably because it involves the disappearance of a whole family instead of an individual, and because--as in all good mysteries--there is so much that is enigmatic.

When the facts war back and forth, as the facts in this case definitely do, the mind doesn't want to let it go.

We become infected with the idea that we can solve this.

Sometimes that infection leads to discovery and the infection clears.

Sometimes it never gets solved (hello Marie Celeste! hello Jack the Ripper!) and it just lingers on forever, a toothache of the intellect.

But I'll give it a go and follow your thoughts here, my anonymous friend.

There is a McStay family site and, on 01/14/11, I posted the following. I still stand by it. I want to add that the huge number of aliases that Summer had and, even more, the differences in them indicate a high level of shadiness (as mentioned). Up-and-up people do not have this many aliases. Perhaps the focus needs to be on Summer and not Joseph. How interesting that we assume that the husband is the criminal. What an interesting cultural bias:

I saw the Disappeared show and it left me (like many) w/more questions than answers. I would like to pose my questions here because I have to conclude that they have been answered, just not covered in the broadcast:

(1) Re the food left on the table at the home: Doesn’t that signify that they left in a big, big hurry? That someone was gunning for them? As if they recd a phone call that said, “Get out of the house NOW!” This also applies to leaving the dogs (esp. the older one), which would never have been done except in an emergency situation;

Yes, this does SEEM to indicate that. But these could all be red herrings. If the family is WILLFULLY disappearing, they would want to give exactly this impression. Certainly there was no signs of a struggle, so unless they were held under gunpoint with the gunman in the van with them, they left of their own volition and not under duress. And if they left at the hour they did, don't you find it suspicious that the food was put out in a way that would be more consistent with them leaving at dinnertime or earlier in the day? That's another inconsistency, since they left in the middle of the night. Possibly more red herrings left for the police. I suspect they knew the dogs would be found and taken care of and they certainly couldn't take them into Mexico. And I stand by my original assertion: even if they left under duress, they would have had time to call loved ones (before or after) to let them know they were leaving the country. I believe the McStay family site is a front. That they are helping cover for their loved ones. This also explains why several family members would say they didn't believe the people seen on the videotape crossing over into Mexico are actually their relations. Again, I believe they are covering. Misdirecting.

(2) Re the neighbor’s video that caught them leaving in the SUV. Were there any OTHER vehicles that parked there or OTHER individuals that entered or left the house? That was not discussed. If there were no other people entering the house, that supports a phone call as mentioned above;

The show did answer this one. They said no other vehicles were seen leaving with them or following. Unless a gunman holding them hostage was in the van with them. But I find that unlikely. If this was a paid hit, the hitman would not have them walk into Mexico and then assassinate them there. That's just way too implausible. They would have been dead and disposed of in America if a hitman was in that house/van. But I don't believe any hitman was. You might be right about the exigency of their circumstances changing, if say that one shady business partner with the scary prison record or another criminal type had been "gunning for them." But when innocent people are threatened they call the police. Even if you have to flee first, you let the law know why you fled and who is threatening. Dirty, complicit people can't do this.

(3) Re Joseph’s involvement in some undercover operation. Why would other family members know anything about that if it were secret?;

This I always wonder about too? But I still find it hard to believe that if this were the case, the McStays could have just said to loved ones, "We have to disappear for a while, but I can't tell you anything more." Don't you think? He would have to really hate his entire family not to do so.

(4) If it is the family on the border crossing video, it was mentioned that they do not appear anxious. If they were instructed to meet a US gov’t agent in Mexico who would give them money and bring the to a safe place (perhaps somewhere else in the US or another country), wouldn’t that explain their calm and their bank funds and credit cards not being used? Is it still true that there is no activity on their financial accts? That does not bode well if that is not them on the videotape;

"Didn't you see the video clip? They don't look anxious at all. Their body language is like "we're going on a vacation." No activity as of the time of the documentary on that account. But they know that money's safe. No one can touch it." If one or both them is into drug trafficking, that 100K might be peanuts to them.

(5) People who have custom-made water products are usually wealthy individuals, no? Living so near Mexico, isn’t it possible that Joseph’s clients were wealthy Mexican criminals and that the US Feds recruited him for information?;

This is a smart hypothesis, but I don't think it's borne out by the facts. Unless the docu was wrong, they said Joseph hadn't been in Mexico in years. But you could be right. For all we know, Joe McStay might have been a federal agent for years.Or his wife could be. Or both of them. And all the shadiness could be government intellgience shade.But did she get into realty as part of undercover operations? Or are they both just schemers who want big money. If it's true what I heard was said on some message boards, that Joe's business seemed to do very little business, then that does point strongly in one of two directions 1) criminal enterprise like drug trafficking or 2) government agent.

(6) Witness protection is something totally different than DEA or Homeland Security efforts. Has the family attempted to involve any Senators or Congressional reps to try and glean secret gov’t information that is not being revealed to them?;

Again, I would think agents would be allowed to just say 'I can't tell you, but we have to disappear. And don't follow up on this...we will be safe and contact you when we can.'

(7) Why was no mention of phone records made in the broadcast? Either cell or landline. What calls did the family receive and/or make prior to their disappearance?;

These were doubtless followed up on and led nowhere. It's so easy to just keep using untraceable phones (and now there's spoof technologies) and pitching them. Drug dealers do this all the time.

(8) Could the toys be explained as the family killing time while waiting for the arranged time to make the border crossing?;

Yeah. Or more red herrings. Remember, there were four days unaccounted for BEFORE they cross over into Mexico (if that is indeed the McStays on the tap...I think it is). So maybe these were purchased to amuse the kids while they were stuck in some boring motel or hotel. Before the final arrangements for the crossing could be made. That four day gap could also indicate liaisons going on with criminal conspirators. Preparations, etc. Or it could have been "nerve delay." Before they took a BIG step.

(9) While Ross stores says it can’t place where the items were purchased, why can’t police review their security tapes at ALL their locations to see who purchased the items (unless they don’t have video and I will tell my criminal friends to shoplift at Ross’)? Were stores tapes (if available) reviewed at all?;

This is the sort of information that would probably not be released to the public. Ongoing investigations are not open books and don't fall under the Sunshine Act or anything like that. Police and feds keep their hand close. This might have been done. It depends on things like budget and priority. And once you wait a certain amount of time those tapes are usually recorded over. Probably they had been recorded over by the time the investigation got into full swing. Some stores keep tape archives but others just tape over old tape. It would depend on Ross's policies with regard to store surveillance.

(10) What about fingerprints on the toy boxes? There have to be some. Were any not of the family?

I'm sure that vehicle was totally dusted after it was impounded. Again, this information would not be released unless they had someone they wanted apprehended and needed the public's help.

I could probably go on and on. There is so much more here going on than we saw or either the relatives are permitted to divulge here or publicly. The holes in the the story are enough to drive a truck through. A little more truth or less denial would help in making this all more plausible and perhaps getting people to recall what they don’t think is relevant or material.

Hope this helps. The only thing that I wanted to say to you is you might want to be careful what you post on the official McStay family site. Because our speculations might be injurious to family members. We could all be wrong and they might not be the McShady family after all. And it's possible that some family members are "in" on whatever is going on or went on, and others are not. So there might be some genuine pain. I personally would never post anything there unless I had what I thought was helpful information. And I don't have any of that. Other than someone in Uruguay has read all my McStay posts, which I find odd. Because I wouldn't think the story penetrated that country's media. I haven't got searches for them from any other South American countries, so it is indeed strange. It could be an American abroad following up on the story, however. Or there could be other explanations. But if I were only given one guess where they are, I would have to go with Montevideo lol. Based on that.

Oh, one postscript: As to the "federal agent" theory, the fact that someone in the household searched "passport requirements" for Mexico would seem to indicate that this wasn't the case. Unless that was a seriously smart red herring left for us by the McStays following some government protocol for disappearance. Because everyone knows that today any hardrive is going to get completely scrutinized and archived, every keystroke logged from the moment you turned that baby on, the day you brought it home from the 'sto is going to be printed out and analyzed. Nothing is ever gone from a harddrive. Delete all you want. That harddrive is probably the key to the solution of who they really are, anyway. Because your trash and your harddrive are the key to your personality in this day and age.

Rebuke for the Makers

Do you think Poe was bipolar? I'm fairly certain he was, judging by the understanding of both mania and depression exhibited in his writing. I mean in both his poetry and fiction. And the substance abuse makes perfect sense. He was too high-functioning to have been schizophrenic, as some used to speculate (mostly in the past).

Of course, he is recognized as the father of the mystery story/novel. Edgar awards are given out each year.

A keen understanding of human psychology and psychological abnormalities is pretty much a sine qua non for writers of crime fiction--or even writers of true crime books.

But psychology, per se, didn't exist in Poe's time. So Poe sort of half-invented that discipline as well.

You sometimes return to your first loves later in life.

I was reading Poe's poetry (large chunks of which I still have memorized) and was surprised to still find so much of it affecting.

One wouldn't necessarily expect this, because it's so versified (which is alien to us today) and it's often so outre.

As versification goes, Poe was a prosodic genius. I'm assuming his essay on the same is still added to syllabi? Maybe it's dropped off. If so, a shame, because it's sort of the locus classicus to gain a quick and habile understanding of the same.

But since Whitman was permanently changing the shape of American poetry, hammering the fetters of prosody to liberate American poetry metrically, Poe's accomplishments in this regard would soon seem somewhat benighted.

Of course Poe's love poems are mannered. And they speak to the conventions of another age which is completely alien to us. Poe's idealization of women matches up so closely with his search for his dead mother that even today we "worry about the boy." And many of those poems do indeed date from his boyhood.

But there are poems which are genuinely moving and sometimes this is because we are familiar with Poe's tragic circumstances. His invocation of Israfel is piteous and affecting. "A Dream within a Dream," written at the very end of his life is again colored by the tragic circumstances of his life.

Something J.D. McClatchy wrote about Elizabeth Bishop struck me like a lightning bolt. He simply reminded the reader that Bishop had only written (well, chosen to publish) ninety poems in her lifetime.

And look at the deserved esteem in which her writing is held.

Her poem on losing alone would have guaranteed that her name would never be forgotten.

And yet Poe beats out even Bishop for the Quality over Quantity prize.

While he was known to publish anonymously, it's generally conceded that he wrote just over seventy poems.

Here is a really great article at Wikipedia giving you the background on each poem individually: A Catalogue of Poe's Poetry.

I hadn't even known about his (rather pointless) Wall Street fillip poem. He was wise not to publish that under his own name. That was clearly hackwork and Poe recognized it as such. He probably got paid a nominal sum and that's why he did that. Poe biographies reveal he often did things like this, since he was often subsisting.

I want to find that one composer's work adapting three Poe poems. I'm hoping I can find some or all of it on YouTube.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Love Jason Mraz

There are only a handful of musicians who make me woozy with admiration.

Most of them are women (like Liz Fraser).

But Jason Mraz has that voice (and songwriting skills) that come along once in half a century.

Believe it or not I did not own his 2002 album before tonight.

I knew all the songs, but Lee kindly got a copy for me and I downloaded it to my Media Player and am enjoying it now.

Mr. Mraz's last name means "Frost" in Czech (his descent).

This is funny because my Mom called my last night to let me know that the wonderful poet Celestine Frost is trying to get in touch with me.

I pray all is well with her!

We are friends and corresponded for years and then as I moved and moved again and her family grew, we sort of drifted apart.

My mom called me in the middle of the night to give me her New York address, which I noticed had changed.

I'm right here, Celestine! xoxo

But she must not be online! She's usually painting or drawing or writing poetry and probably doesn't care a whit for the net.

But anyway, I was Googling Jason and reading about him.

Not only is he uber-talented as a songwriter-singer, but he also is constantly working for peace, unity and the betterment of all.

Check out his blog if you don't believe me. He's the exact oppposite of a planet fucker.

I linked to his blog some time back. His bursts of positive thinking are so contrary to everything one encounters in this culture.

And he recently became engaged (Congratulations Mr. Mraz!) but is holding off on getting married until gay marriage is legal for all.

Typical of his ethical stance on everything.

God, I love this album.

He recorded this when he was 24 or 25. And it's just perfect.

Jason Mraz is one of that handful of people who make it very easy for depressed people to want to stay on this planet.

It's worth hanging around to hear that voice.

The pics I just found online.

I had never looked for any "sexy Mraz pics" but I did just now.

Love how he looks so much like Rupert E. in the one lol.

He amazes me.

Right now I'm listening to "Absolutely Zero" and am blown away.

Why did it take so long for him to get his Grammys.

This first album should have garnered him a slew right out of the gate.

One of My Favorite Groups

I have a LOT of favorite groups on Flickr.

This one is pretty amazing.

The concept for the group is so clean (unlike most group concepts on Flickr) that the artwork has a gestalt that most other groups tend not to be able to realize.

The theme is ONE.

Usually this means one object (often in a monochromatic background but not necessarily).

I just know this aesthetic speaks to leads to CLEAN work with a visual pungency.

Often this tends towards the zen.

But again not always.

Check this out and see if you don't find some amazing photographs: One of my favorite Flickr Groups.

still life

still life





Lay on, Goggie..

Lay on, Goggie,  And damn'd                       be him  that first cries, "Hold, enough!"



i'm your biggest fan



octo blue



i'm a gonna

I'm gonna meet those Jehovah's Witnesses right at the door and stop this nonsense once and for all!

When the salt's gone  I'll start on the flesh...


Karoo Ashevak (1940-1974)

Karoo Ashevak is my favorite Inuit artist.

He is sometimes cavalierly called "The Picasso of the North."

I think it's so sad that he doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry!

Other Ashevaks do.

I was put in mind of him when I was looking at that extracted tooth the one artist scanned that I posted last night.

It was so Ashevak, who like all great sculptors knew when to leave nature's work untouched.

Among the most famous members of the canon, probably only Noguchi shares that gift with Ashevak.

His works seem to be easy prey to private collectors and then they disappear.

Which is a real shame.

Because some of the best pieces I've seen are nowhere to be found on Google.

And with his "affordable" prices (under 100K) there is no dearth of private collectors who will gobble these pieces up and just hoard them.

Which is sad.

Two Surprises

Maryland approved gay marriage on the same day Lady Gaga arrived to perform!

And San Francisco had its first snow since 1976.

Two lovely facts to imagine!

Scanner Art

I was going to create a group for Scanner Art on Flickr because I didn't think there was one.

But I found a handful of great ones last night, so I just joined them instead.

Because I want to do more scannerography.

Scanner art is not technically photography, but it produces images all the same so...

I love the shallow depth of field actually, because it makes you think differently.

I like the way many artists end up moving into tenebrist mode on there.

Both the darkness and the light end up having to be used differently.

But for now I'm into the monochrome and the singular.

And the monochrome and conjunctions.



This is horrible.

I had a really great day yesterday and then I guess I stayed up too late because it suddenly "came upon me" all at once and I was instantly messed up.

So I knew to medicate (I have over the counter drugs that work well with my one prescribed drug) and then I called Lee.

And then he told me something horrible.

A woman he works with had disappeared (yesterday) after leaving a note stating she was going to kill herself and that her body would be found in a local storage facility.

She didn't state which storage facility, and there must be twenty or thirty of those things around here. Some are quite large.

She's middle-age and has had several strokes recently, so I'm guessing she's had a hard time of it.

And then having to work. That might have been too much. She should have been getting help!

Lee said she's done this before (attempts anyway).

The police stopped in at Lee's office and asked if anyone had heard anything.

I hope they went to every single local storage facility and checked who had signed in or accessed a unit in the time frame under question.

She gets her medication at the same WAL-MART pharmacy I do, and one of Lee's other employees saw her coming out with her medication into the parking lot as he was entering it.

If he had only known! And could have talked to her!

He had not yet been told of what was going on.

I did pray for her.

Lee said nothing was known as of the morning and she had not been found.

I asked Lee what the temperature was and he said 32 degrees last night (not the best, but not the worst).

I'm praying she changed her mind and went to a local e.r. I asked if they had been calling hospitals (she could have been found unconscious and brought in as a "jane doe"). He said he assumed.

She has grown children who are of course out of their minds with panic right now.

I'm wondering if she wanted to be rescued. Because she did say where she was going. Sort of. But made it maddening.

I'm trying to figure out psychologically why she would choose a storage unit for suicide.

Is she trying to degrade herself by saying she's superfluous "belongings."

Killers often place bodies in those facilities.

If I were a detective, I would take cadaver dogs routinely to facilities and do a complete walk around past every unit.

I don't think you'd even need a search warrant, since you aren't entering the units or compromising them in any way.

But I have a friend who crosses herself any time we drive past one of those places, because she says she knows bodies are in there.

She's probably right.

I know suicides often choose motel or hotel rooms to commit the act.

Because they don't want their loved ones finding them and it's a reasonably comfortable private place.

But a storage unit?

Is it because she figures it will take longer for people to find her?

Maybe it's all a red herring. Maybe she lied to throw people off where she would really be.

But people don't usually lie in suicide notes.

Except for like murderers who want to exonerate themselves for either selfish or unselfish reasons whent they know conviction is probable.

But this poor soul.

I'm seriously praying this will turn out alright.

If she's in such a state she should not be working.

That probably just added huge stress to her life.

The Lost Lunar Baedeker

I returned to Mina Loy yesterday morning and was rereading some favorite poems.

And I read her brief essay "Modern Poetry."

I liked this: "This composite language is a very living language, it grows as you speak. For the true American appears to be ashamed to say anything in the way it has been said before. Every moment he ingeniously coins new words for old ideas, to keep good humor warm. And on the baser avenues of Manhattan every voice swings to the triple rhythm of its race, its citizenship and its personality."

And: "You may think it impossible to conjure up the relationship of expression between the high browest modern poets and an adolescent Slav who has speculated in a wholesale job-lot of mandarines and is trying to sell them in a retail market on First Avenue. But it lies simply in this: both have had to become adapted to a country where the mind has to put on its verbal clothes at terrific speed if it would speak in time; where no one will listen if you attack him twice with the same missile of argument. And, that the ear that has listened to the greatest number of sounds will have the most to choose from when it comes to self-expression, each has been liberally educated in the flexibility of phrases.

"So in the American poet wherever he may wander, however he may engage himself with an older culture, there has occurred no Europeanization of his fundamental advantage, the actuer shock of the New World consciousness upon life. His is still poetry that has proceeded out of America."

That's pure Mina Loy.

You get such a sense of her character, her anti-snobbism, from the diction itself.

The humorous and solecistic "high browest" shows her lovely spirit and her embrace of the original phrase.

As I reread her, I wonder how much she influenced Barbara Guest (another favorite of mine).

Because inasmuch as Guest probably had the best and fullest understanding of the poet who was the subject of her landmark biography, H.D., Guest is so much closer in her own poetry to the poetics of Loy.

H.D. was a poet who grew in power with each passing decade.

Hers wasn't an early flowering, followed by recapitulation or descent into silence.

Like Yeats, H.D. wrote some of her most powerful poems very late in life.

She began in Imagism, but soon found she had a gift for hunting out the archetypal image.

Her embrace of the occult and mystical tendencies meshed with her ability to intuit the archetypal in the particular, and eventually led her to a place where she could engage history as it was coming to be, and write poems as large as the events (for example, the second World War) which occupied the world stage in her lifetime.

But her poetic diction is nowhere near as forgetive as Loy's. Or Barbara Guest's.

This is probably because both Loy and Guest had a much more active engagement with the abstract art being produced in their respective lifetimes, and cultivated strong friendships with the artists who produced these works.

Both women showed a marked critical acumen. Guest worked as a professional art critic for decades, and authored monographs on several artists. She often produced livres d'artiste with beloved painters. Guest did create some visual art herself. Loy created art that sometimes looked more like fashion, and fashion that sometimes looked more like art--if one is going to worry the unnecessary distinction with quibbles or cavils.

It is not accidental that the concrete praxis of each poet tended towards catachresis.

Catachresis is one of the more painterly rhetorical devices; it is strongly analogous to the less representational modes of painting--both the expressionistic and the abstract.

Catachresis is often the literary equivalent of liberated paint.

Loy and Guest shared this embrace of catachresis with Hart Crane.

Hart Crane took this device to the extreme. He was a virtual "catachresis queen."

So many poems by Loy seem to be speaking across decades to poems by Guest.

A poem like "Marble" by Loy reads like a total pre-figurement of Guest, say the latter circa Fair Realism.

Both poets wrote stunning ekphrastic poems.

Think of Loy describing Brancusi's "Bird in Space" or Guest describing that Balla painting in a memorable poem.

Both poets were marginalized in their lifetime.

It's true Guest did come to a much fuller appreciation towards the end of her life--and so did Loy to a somewhat lesser degree.

Loy's true acclaim was to be largely posthumous.

In this essay, "Modern Poetry," Loy praises two men at length.

Of course she was one of the many poets mentored by Pound, so she gives him his due.

But it's interesting that she seems to show much more passion when discussing Cummings.

It's not hard to intuit that she respects Pound's overarching intellect and critical mind.

But it's also not hard to intuit that she likes Cummings better as a poet.

Because Cummings was as imaginative as Loy was.

Loy doesn't delude herself. She understands how rare "perfect poems" are. She tells a number of contemporary poets how many perfect poems they have written, and this number is often "one" or "two."

This is very funny because it's so rare to find such honesty.

Sure, it's bumptious. In a sense. But it shows how seriously she took the art and how carefully she read her contemporaries.

She has the good sense not to speak the complete truth to Pound, or about Pound, but one can read between the lines.

Loy knows how hard Cummings worked his muse and she sees his many indulgences and failures. But she has a great eye for where his successes lie, and she has a great empathy with the poet because they are both equally demanding when it comes to exploiting the full plasticity of the English language.

And that's something Guest is known for.

Another thing in Loy's little essay: poets have been bitching in the same way forever! Here's Loy lamenting the unfairness in America's simultaneous embrace of jazz and rejection of experimental poetry: "And why has the collective spirit of the modern world, of which both are the reflection, recognized itself unanimously in the new music of unprecedented instruments, and so rarely in the new poetry of unprecedented verse?"

Poets today still bitch like this. If you think Radiohead is cool, why don't you like my poetry? Tell the poetry instructor the truth! "'re not Radiohead. You don't make my balls flutter. You don't give me flutter balls."

It's amusing to see Loy also give acclaim to some contemporaries who are no longer even remembered as poets.

Some people are meant for their own time, and are wonderful in it. Others are for the ages.

She closes the essay with an appreciation of Williams which demonstrates she understood exactly what he was doing (early in his career) poetically, even when his poetics was diametrically opposed to hers.

"The doctor wishes you to know just how uncompromisingly itself that fact is."

Obviously she was speaking there to the "red wheel barrow" sort of poem, which had set off such fiery arguments. "Is it even poetry?" echoed everywhere.

And now it seems so funny.

The fact that everyone instantly memorizes the refrigerator note poem should have tipped people off.

Loy remains defiantly herself and her poems still wear their resplendent armor.

I rarely remember any blurb. Who does? But the one Thom Gunn gave for this edition of The Lost Lunar Baedeker is one of the few blurbs I've ever read where I haven't felt a subsidization going on (if not complete parasitology!)

He wrote, many years after Loy's death: "Mina Loy has finally been admitted into 'the company of poets,' the canon.

As if she cared."