Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Is About Who Cares

clovers of four before your door Honestly, even though the idea for this post was the result of events late last night as I was coursing from blog to blog--specifically what was mentioned in comment 100 beneath Kasey Mohammad's Dale Smith . . . post at his Lime Tree, I am not certain why I'm doing this. Maybe I sense my continuance as a viable human will soon cease. Maybe I sense civilization as I have known it will soon cease. Maybe it is both. I do know/ the high-class intellectuals (some of them, anyway) whose blogs I visit do tend to misunderstand me and may consider me an interloper. Rarely are comments from me lengthy. Rarely are posts on my blogs lengthy. However, while I neither seek nor want sympathy and while most of what I will be sharing today is available in older posts, I've concluded that the major facts need to be in one place. So: Age: 68 Zodiac sign: metal dragon Health: moment-to-moment * My genes have seen to it that I would never know true health. Shortly after I was born I had to be returned to the hospital because I had impetigo. My body, not unlike my psyche, is too sensitive. Eczema, hay fever, asthma have been with me from the beginning. It has not been proven, but at an early age I may have contracted TB and somehow overcome it. Just the sort of knowledge that makes me want to believe in reincarnation when the megalomania balloon inflates. Epilepsy, both frontal lobe and generalized. May have had some form of it since childhood, but wasn't medicated for it until my 1999-11-01 adult onset grand mal seizure. For approximately five years it has been controlled by Keppra. Will be using a generic form of it. Voiding, which I thought was due to a non-cancerous en- larged prostate. Have had two TURP op's and am now no better than I was before. Turns out my bladder empties fine. This means my urethra is the problem. It is messed up and the last doctor I visited about it said that operating on it might make it worse. Ishkabibble & the double dribble. Osteoporosis, oh yeah. I am crumbling. Genetics again. I was once an amazing 5'6.5" tall. I am presently 4'11" or less. Shortly before my rup- tured appendix was removed in the spring of 1962 (another by seconds escape from death), I weighed 135. I now weigh less than 100. Of course, I have fractured 3 vertabrae. Metal dragons are risk- takers. Have been drinking those nasty nutrition drinks in order to bring my weight up. Can't eat the foods I once ate, yet I need the calories. This is a problem I am trying to rectify. As if this were not enough, I've also had to have my esophagus dilated, and the nutrition drinks are causing a buildup of mucous and who knows what else. So I remain what I call Earth-alive because someone greater than I wants me to be. I am certain I've escaped death at least three dozen times. Education: Mainly in Roman Catholic schools until the autumn of 1962. Then three years at Wisconsin State College–Oshkosh where I majored in English and minored in History and was editor of the student magazine for two years. In 1965 I entered the workshop at Iowa, graduating in 1967 with an English MFA (poetry) degree. I then took a summer Education course at Marian College in Fond du Lac. Around 1983, while residing in UF town (Gainesville), Florida, I took computer and accounting courses at Santa Fe Community College and began studying diligently for a GRE administered in June of 1984 at UF. My score on that exam (1370) was the high point of my intellectual life. Got accepted into the Fisher School of Accounting at UF, but had to drop out early in my first semester as I found it too difficult to bike to school after working all night at a Holiday Inn, and I realized accounting was not for me. Next I got accepted into the English PhD Program. There I completed one semester, but again I was too worn out to concentrate properly. Then there was the stock market where idiothead tried to be a trader in an environment that was better for investing. Through my own efforts and God's nudgings, had I seen the light and had I lived till now after choosing the wiser path--there is no way to know such. Though it doesn't detail everything, if you are interested in knowing more, read Intelligence Is Not Enough, the 19th post in Money Rho. Finances: Oh it could have been worse, but I played the American Dream game. I bought into the oil/auto/credit paradigm. Where then am I now? I am totally dependent on governments; and if the gloomiest analysts are right, one day I will no longer have that. When trust leaves the playing field, the only call that can be made is: Game over. That is the gist of my simplistic equation: capitalism = something to sell + someone to buy it For, indeed, without someone to buy it, that paradigm withers and dies. In some ways this is already happening. A new less aggressive paradigm is growing, and if it survives and takes over, greed will fade/ and all humans will be drawn closer to each other. Call it what you will, I call it the inexorable force of God, the Omega Point, the Singularity, the Nth of Love. But then, I am the ghost in the dumpster. * rho00317


William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Brian.

It seems the excessively analytical and intellectual among us either feel threatened by simplicity, or that it is beneath them.

Personally, I do not feel that everything needs to be nailed down. Change is inevitable in any case, and I welcome that change, and am glad for the misty unknowns.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

"I had not a dispute but a disquisition with Dilke, on various subjects; several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason."

John Keats

baj salchert said...

Both William Michaelian and
Gary B. Fitzgerald have it right,
and I am thankful for what they
share here.

Since I cannot know for sure what will happen beyond the now, "the misty unknowns" are always that/ within which and into which I am moving, and the lightning enlightenment John Keats named and defined is how I/ should move through/ each now.

Ignatius of Loyola, who was injured in a battle and later founded the Society of Jesus, wrote: "Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all created things, as far as we are allowed free choice and are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life. The same holds for all other things." --from The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as translated by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. --

Me? I do get irritated. I do want to be what I cannot be. Happily, I do have a sense of humor, even if it is a cornball one.


William Michaelian said...

It might be that being what you cannot be is what you are.

Thanks, Gary, for the note by Keats.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...


"It seems the excessively analytical and intellectual among us either feel threatened by simplicity, or that it is beneath them."

- William Michaelian

I agree with this.

And so...a poem.

The Poems Speak

Simple, plain and simple, we,
for life is plain and simple.
Picture an ocean, for example, wild and deep,
filled with millions, even billions more
of shapes that thrive and grow beneath.
Fish and squid and spreading fans,
algae and anemone pressed tight in the liquid
static of time with the sharks and whales
and starfish; the pantheon of phylogeny.

But stand on a beach one day and see
the always roll and constant blue
on the surface of the sea,
the uneventful ever same
of pure simplicity.

We just clear and modest are
and brief, because life is brief.
Imagine a forest, rich and full, branch and leaf,
the countless, colored forms that live and climb
and crawl within. Birds and beasts and butterflies,
snakes and snails and many-legged things,
compressed in the dynamic
solid of time with tigers and bears
and men; the evolutionary mystery.

But stand and look someday at trees,
a canopy old but always new,
the surface of a sea of green,
the spreading constant always plain
of still simplicity.

That complicated seems so often simple
and that simple so complex.
Find the purpose in the fluid rhyme
of what we do not see.

Copyright 2008 - SOFTWOOD-Seventy-eight poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

baj salchert said...

I also agree with William's thought.

Your poem has a gentle luxuriance because of the music abiding in it.

If you have been searching for an audience, you have found one.

Although I am not open to all ways of poem-making, the range of my openness may be more expansive.

It is nearing midnight here, and I am excessively tired.

Thank you, Gary.

William Michaelian said...

Indeed, a lovely poem. Much like a lullaby.

Would either of you be interested in exchanging books? My supply is low at the moment, but I do have two copies on hand of Winter Poems and Another Song I Know.

My email address is at the bottom of my blog.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...



I never read poetry; can’t stand the stuff
and who could blame me?
The bad ones make me gnash my teeth
and the good ones only shame me.

Copyright 2008 - HARDWOOD-77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

Just kidding! I'd love to exchange books. Sounds like fun. I'll contact you.


William Michaelian said...

Great! Looking forward to it. It’s so wild it just might catch on.

Meanwhile, Brian, I forgot to mention — it’s been a long while since I’ve heard someone use the term Ish Kabibble. My father used to bring it up now and then in connection with a comic strip called Abie the Agent. And of course there was Ish Kabibble the comedian and cornet player.

I still say “Ish Kabibble” around the house, and plan on teaching my grandson how to say it when he starts talking.


baj salchert said...


Oh! That just popped into my head and seemed appropriate to use along with my old cornball addition to it. Only recall having heard it, so thanks for the information links.

I have a wee booklet of 12 of my 1976 sonnets and a chapbook of the original January sonnets from 1976, but I wouldn't expect a book in return for them.

At some point I'm hoping to make some free downloadable PDF books,
as Bill Knott has done.

William Michaelian said...

When Ish Kabibble pops up as a word verification, then I know we will have accomplished something.

I think you have my email address; I’d love to exchange a book for your wee booklet and chapbook; take your pick and I’ll send it right along,