Sunday, October 29, 2017

Are you privy?

Among the rights an American will assert is the right to privacy. We don’t cotton to police putting LoJacks on our or others' car undercarriages - at least not without a warrant. You can't come in my apartment or house without my invitation or a warrant. You can't film me in my boudoir unbeknownst, and so on. It's not exactly spelled in the Constitution, but the right to privacy is somewhere enfolded in the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But digital technology and the Web as a channel has upturned the cart. To Be Cont. - Jack Vaughan

Friday, October 27, 2017

Some small poems

Lone bird
It's blues

As summer
Gets hotter - 
The conversation
Is more

And big jets
Of endless commerce
Scarf up what's left
of the sky.


I'm a bygone day
cant go to the hardware
and  keep from crying


I hear her on the air
in the rustling leaves
in the communiqu├ęs of birds in the trees

She’s the antidote for
peculiar and preponderating facts
that connect this tragic age

Ida mae

Ida mae


Invisible Friend - After Champion Jack's TB Blues
when i was just a little boy
i was about the age of five
when i was just a little boy
i was about the age of five
i dint have to pretend
cause I had an invisible friend

He lived under the kitchen table
the best friend i ever found
on old augusta street
the best friend i ever found
nobody else could see Mel
but i liked him anyhow.

when i grew up
i became a drinking man.
I'd stop by the bar with a paper
and my friend would understand
we'd talk about assassinations
anything that came to hand

now my friend is gone
I'm not going to see him again
got Arthur-itus
n I may not drink again
but how i wish that i could see-
see my old invisible friend.

When the half-and-half is half full
there’s a guy in the house that fills it

he fills it back with milk
He calls it half and half and half

Don’t ask If it’s half full or half empty
Because he’ll fill it either way


skunk in the garden
known for its spray
wakes me at night
and tells me to turn
each fan on exhaust

i saw its other side
skunk rooting
low and prehistoric
tending to the earth
slow moving
like a sloth

i have never
such patience
would like to be so calm and cool

for now i
tend to
the sky.


(After Apollinaire's "Pretty Red Head" )

Pale, fragile
ruddy red haired girl

and dark nomad-eyed
friend girl

in black

they stand close by 
the big box
of silver needles
at the 

held by a magnetism 
i am thinking
mysticism too. 

- Asa Wentoff-Juan Mourning, 2009


Swimming lessons

The farmboys would send
their dogs on me -
as I rode my Schwinn on
the road -
where the cabbage
were humming.
(Pua Sadinia)

I came upon a waterfall
on the beautiful island
Light flowed through the greenery
on a flower like a diamond.

John the Revelator, great advocator
Get's 'em on the battle of Zion
Lord, tellin' the story, risin' in glory
Cried, "Lord, don't you love some I"
Well Moses to Moses, watchin' the flock[13]
Saw the bush where they had to stop[14]
God told Moses, "Pull off your shoes"[15]
Out of the flock, well you I choose[16]


Bottle man on sneaker feet with
Shopping cart bumps down the street
Sunday morning in sleepy universe


Morn blues

I just remembered | 
that it's election day | 
So I bop on down behind the church | 
n vote for Tito Jackson

From the train I saw | 
radio tower disappear | 
it's top in cloudy mist - 
Next stop Waban  


On leaving my Aunt Gert's burying

Gert's car - a gold Buick -
My dad had her sign over 
On just about her death bed
To me.

It was really small fare
for the care he gave her
on her way out the turnstile.

And - tho not as hip
as her previous SS like Skylark -
it was choice.

almost literally 
only been used to go
to church. There
in Harwichport.

Gert's car - refused to start
on the sunny day that 
I was leaving her burying.

Did my cousin  or me
jump the starter 
with a screwdriver?

I don’t know - but 
t'was a chuckle and a back shiver
as the old gold Buick started
and we held wonderment 
at ghostly electricity

the graveyard 


Why get hung up and brung down?
The Bees found the Assumption flowers, bud!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Quantum computing conundrum roll

A recent Wall Street Journal article doesn’t hold back on the hype, at least in its headline. Quantum computing, it promises, will change the world as we know it. Courtesy of Google. The story that follows is a bit more measured. The obstacles to successful quantum computing are discussed, the murkiness of the applications is considered. There is a discussion of activity of some players - Dwave, IBM, and especially Google. Also noted- The NSA is building a quantum computer too. The conjecture is put forward that the nearest closest biggest opportunity for quantum computing relates to machine learning - guess because probability is involved and the computation problems could grow unmanageable eventually. We will see. 

The most obvious expectation is that the NSA is anticipating the possibility of a point where quantum computers could break important codes. And thus disrupt the present status of Internet commerce. Is that as big a threat as Hitler? I ask that because there are parts of the quest for quantum computing that bring to mind the atomic bomb program of the 20th Century.

More -

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Take it to the Bardo, Bridget

Lincoln in the Bardo, the first novel by noted short-story writer George Saunders, is set in a graveyard. It is at the time of the Civil War. Night, the first night of internment for little Willie Lincoln, the departed son of Pres. Abraham Lincoln. Willie was the most wonderful of children, and Great Emancipator Lincoln, completely disconsolate, goes to the graveyard to embrace his son's lifeless form, stacked in a crypt, ahead of an eventual journey to Illinois. Told in episodic bursts, the story reads like a play. That is due to its construction, which has various, graveyard characters delivering a stream of seeming recitations, or statements, many of which do not make immediate sense. Willie, like many of the other souls in the old graveyard, is in a twilight world between death and life - in, as Tibetan Buddhists might have it, a Bardo. We find him there persevering, observing, lamenting. The mood of melancholy is very deep. But broken from time to time by the humorous rim shot, albeit from an old snare from a not-too-far-off battlefield. Saunders' is a mix of low- and high-brow. 'Bardo' is in turns like a Romance novella, a Zombie comedy (or Marvel comic), a Buster Keaton movie but faintly macabre, an rejected outtake from Poe's Ulame era notebooks. It sets one to thinking of Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance (unto death), Wiscons Death Trip, Jose Feliciano singing the National Anthem. Characters come and go in Lincoln in the Bardo, as if in an Elliot play. Or, Our Town. But, a little funnier. The book holds interest, mostly because of its commanding mood. It has some --not a lot -- of the flair we find at times with Thomas Pynchon, who, on the dust jacket appears, heralding Sanders as "an astoundingly tuned voice -- graceful, dark authentic and funny." That seems like strong praise, although it may be for another book. Warning : If a you or a loved one are nearing the old cemetery ridge, beyond the vale, gonesville, I can't think it would be a bag of fun to cuddle up with Lincoln in the Bardo. But there is no telling what may fasten one's attention, especially at this moment in history. Bits of it are a bit like Doctorow's best in a way. Something like a French Symbolist prose poem too. While the episodic structure helps, it was finally a slow page turner and something of a dread fest for me. You might like it - but you should be ready for some sleeplessness, some graveyard walking, and some head scratching, I'd adjudge. Keep an ear out for audio version. Elmo is Willie and Alvin Dark plays Lincoln. -Jack Vaughan


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