Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Muse

By Barbara Millar
Posted and loved by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

You may hide before she sees you
But she will find you. She will
Call your name. You’ll hear
Her mad, bewitching moan, and,
You, a shipwrecked sailor, drown
In the undulating waves of her devotion
As she rides the tides of your emotion;
And when she’s gone,
She’ll haunt you
As the day is long,
And you will mourn.

She will wrap you in her long, blonde tresses
The way your ligaments coil round
Your bones and tendons,
Taut, yet yielding,
Moving where you move.

You must shed your skin
So she can feel the bare, attenuated sinew
And where the nerves begin and end.

Her laughter falls like tiny drops of mist
Upon your face and hands;
She hears the sound that pleasure makes
When pleasure aches
As only pleasure can.

You’ll wish your face were wet with kisses,
Her lips upon your lips and lashes
When dawn unties her golden tresses
And dresses her in morning mists.

And when the night softly undresses
Veil by veil her silk and laces,
The moon will smile her silver smile, her body
More lovely than her face is.

She’ll kneel before you on the ground
And ask the stars to wear her crown.
You lay her on a bed of down.

Her golden hair your hands caress
And you, your love, to her confess
With every wave of tenderness
That heaves from one who has been blessed.

And when you lay in deepest sleep
She’ll quietly retreat into the corners of your dreams.
She is more than what she seems.
Neither lover nor wife, she is the dawn that comes
In the middle of your life.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Wish I Were an Echo

By Gabriela Anaya Valdepeña

Once, my wishes were selfless;
But I stopped wasting them on the world.

I only wish now to be an echo.

If I could give my words anything,
it would be fingers.

I can’t explain to you why
I prefer midwives to physicians.

But if I ever give birth again,
it will be upright,
holding on to the limb of a lotus.

The best prisons are those
in which a prisoner is given freedom,
for in confusion lies enslavement.

May I be your fiancé again?
Being a wife has turned my eyes gray.

I am in love with circles,
suspicious of corners, because
they are the first place
someone looks for you when you hide.

I am in love with clocks,
especially on towers,
I trust what they say.

I cannot trust mirrors or pictures.

It is difficult to gauge my own face.

For every bad thing I hear,
I must tell myself two good things.

If I were an echo,
I would become what I speak.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely head
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

I like to listen to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and think of the moon’s reflection on a lake... dreaming... thinking of life and its possibilities... it is a feeling of beauty and wonderment at the majesty of it all...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dining with Homeless

Lemon Grass Beef w/chili Bo Xao Xa Ot by Doug


2-3 pounds beef (or chicken)
4 cloves garlic
1 large yellow or white onion
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced lemon grass
1 teaspoon ground chilies (to taste)
4 tablespoon fish sauce (Nuoc Mam)
2-3 spring (green) onion stalks
2-3 tablespoons coarsely ground peanuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoons honey


Cut beef into small pieces (either "nuggets" or small strips).
Peel garlic and slice finely.
Cut onion into 1/2 inch strips.
Peel off the hard outer layers of lemon grass stalk and discard.
Peel off the medium layers of lemon grass stalk for stewing purposes
Mince the soft inner layers of the stalk.
Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat.
Add salt, garlic and onion.
Fry over medium heat until onion is opaque.
Add lemon grass and chili.
Fry 1 - 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add beef and cook until lightly browned.
Mix in fish sauce, sugar and honey.
Cook until beef is the way you like it.
Stir occasionally and add water if necessary.
Remove the medium layers of lemon grass stalk before serving

Serving Instructions

Serve over white rice. Garnish with peanuts and thin slices of spring onion stalk. I like mine [the author of the recipe – not moi] with a Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce (Tuong Ot Toi Viet Nam: it's the best hot sauce EVER- I sometimes use it in the recipe instead of the garlic and pepper). (The above notes are provided by the recipe author)

Recipe by Doug [Didn't write down his last name]

Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name's version of the above recipe

Pop a frozen pizza into microwave oven, heat for 5 minutes on high, remove pizza from the microwave and begin eating

This post and the last paragraph by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Real Struggle

By Gabriela Anaya Valdepeña
Copied, cut, pasted and loved by Ol' Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

They say, when one is beheaded,
the brain, for a few seconds,
can perceive its loss.
The mind thinks, untroubled by its limbs.
Not like dreaming, when
you run, you skip, you fly, you lie
in your coffin and stare at yourself,
then wake, limbs innocent but fatigued.

Forget class and religion. The real struggle
is between those who dream and those
who would not be troubled by them;
between those who would go to the guillotine
before they would burn a book, and those
who love the smell of burning pages.

A dreamer’s bones grow brittle, like everyone else
but their minds never ossify.
Dreamers care for the sheep
Discarded after the sleepy count;
do those snoozers think
they vanish like unwanted pounds?
When someone thins,
the air grows fatter.
That is the law of things.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winter is Here

A snowflake has fallen
a fly dies
The leaves are brown
on forlorn trees
A child's mitten lays,
frozen and forgotten.

TV antennas on roofs
in buildings dilapitated.
my city is gray
the streets empty,
except for the elderly
who clean after their pets.

As I lay down,
the coffin closes,
my life is forgotten
my dreams gone.
Long did I labor,
only dogs bawl.

By: Can't remember who wrote this
Copied, cut, pasted and liked by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Clock of the Years

Every man
is his own clock
Tic toc

he may rise
by the sun
and go to sleep
with the stars
Tic toc

but if he
take stock
and come to knock
at fate’s door
he may find
that he himself
has sprung the lock
against himself.

to knock
now, the door
will not open—
save only
at the shock
of love,
to deliver him
from that block,
his heart and
set it beating again:

Tic toc
Tic toc
tic toc!

by William Carlos Williams
copied, pasted and loved by Homeless with a Laptop, That is My Name

Friday, November 5, 2010

An Alternative Theory on the Causes of the Russian Revolution

Before reading this posting, I ask you, the reader, to get a good bottle of Russian vodka, e. g., Stolichnaya, Staraya Moskva or any other brand. If you can’t find Russian vodka, go domestic. The important thing is to have a bottle of vodka with you before you read on.

Take a healthy slug of vodka to get you started. Now read on
This month marks the 96th Anniversary of the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution--which occurred in November 1917.

Take a healthy slug of vodka for the Revolution and read on

However, the October 25, 1917 Bolshevik Revolution occurred on November 7, 1917 as the Russians, true to fashion, used the Julian calendar which was 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar – which most other nations used. Confused? Read on

Take a healthy slug of vodka for the Julian calendar, then

Take a healthy slug of vodka for Gregorian calendar and read on

The common view of the causes of the Russian Revolution holds that it occurred as a result of the misery of World War 1, disaffection in the army, the corruption and incompetence of the Tsar and his government, Rasputin, Lenin and the Bolsheviks, etc.

Take another healthy slug of vodka for the Revolution, then

Take a healthy slug of vodka for Lenin and the Bolsheviks and read on

After much research, consultation of obscure Slavonic treatises and just plain pondering, I have concluded that this view is incorrect.

Take a healthy slug of vodka for obscure Slavonic treatises then

Take another healthy slug of vodka for the Revolution and read on

My theory is that the Russian Revolution did not occur from those causes at all. I have tested and re-tested this theory over many a glass of vodka and it always seem to make sense in the end.

Take another healthy slug of vodka for the Revolution and read on

Rather, I posit that the real cause of the Russian Revolution was the realization by the Russian peasants that the Tsar and the Czar were one in the same person.

Take another healthy slug of vodka for the Revolution.

Take another healthy slug of vodka for the Tsar

Take another healthy slug of vodka for the Czar

Take a healthy slug of vodka for the Russian peasants

Take a healthy slug of vodka for Titan

Take a healthy slug of vodka for this blog

Take a healthy slug of vodka for Donald Trump, the Tea Party and Woody Allen.

Take a healthy slug of vodka for ol' Homeless with a Laptop, That is my name

Take a healthy slug of vodka because you are almost finished with bottle of vodka

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Must I do?

Many years ago and far away, an aged teacher was strolling contemplatively in the corridor of the dormitory that housed the students of his academy. As he passed the doorway of an especially favored student, he noticed that the young man was preparing for a journey.

“Where are you going?” the teacher asked.

“Master, I have heard there is a vicious warlord in the region far from here who is oppressing the people, stealing their land, taxing them into poverty and enriching himself while they starve. I have prepared myself for mortal combat and I am going to this region, where I intend to force the warlord to cease his outrageous conduct.”

Instead of being impressed, as the student had hoped, the teacher laughed derisively, “He will brush you away with the back of his hand. You will accomplish nothing but getting yourself killed.”

Perplexed, the student thought for a moment. “I know! I will use the power of reason, which I have learned from you, to convince the warlord that his violent ways can only result in an uprising of the people and the overthrow of his regime. Surely reason will prevail!”

Again the master laughed at his well-intentioned disciple. “Your reason will be as effective as reasoning with a river to reverse its course. You will drown!”

Frustrated but ever anxious to find the right answer, the student meditated.

Suddenly he smiled and returned to his master’s gaze. “I believe I see what you are saying, my esteemed teacher. I must invoke a force greater that my physical strength and my logic to make this wretched man mend his ways. I must invoke the power of God, showing the warlord that God despises the greedy and violent and will surely impose a punishment greater by a thousand times than the material rewards the warlord receives from his oppression.”

“Ha, ha, ha!” the old man nearly doubled over in laughter, “The thought of you invoking God, threatening to bring lightning bolts down upon this ruler! Your only hope is that the ridiculous nature of your posturing will move him to ignore you.”

Deflated as he had never been before, the student pondered once again, and then spoke. “I have it! I will forget force, forget reason, forget even God, and I will go in rags as a beggar. In the mirror of my humility, the warlord will see himself as he truly is and will decide on his own to change his violent ways.”

“He will swat you away as an irrelevant insect!” came the master’s response, again with derisive laughter.

The student was exasperated. Burning tears flowed down his cheeks and sputtered from his lips, as he cried, “Master, you yourself have said repeatedly that behavior like that of this warlord is wrong and cannot be countenanced. I have committed myself to putting an end to the injustice, to laying down my life if necessary. I have described the best plans I can devise, and you only belittle me and laugh at me. Tell me, please, Master, what must I do?

“You must fast.”

in Peter White, The Ecology of Being
Posted and thought about while fasting by Homeless with a Laptop that is my Name

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bill Gate's Utopia

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.
I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.
I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

By Richard Brautigan

Monday, July 26, 2010



Pundit One (Fill in your choice) Pundit Two (Fill in your choice)

Pundit Three (Fill in your choice) David Gergen (He’s always there)

Geraldo Rivera, Moderator Nine Judges

T.V. Commercials Choir of Congressmen and women


At Geraldo’s TV show, Pundit One (Fill in your choice), David Gergen (he’s always there), Pundit Three (Fill in your choice) are debating

Geraldo (on tv). Now Pundit One (Fill in your choice), don’t you agree that Pundit Two (Fill in your choice) has a point: Congress is correct in legislating that no one should think politically incorrect thoughts.

Pundit Three (Fill in your choice): I, full of chutzpah and self-admiration, vehemently, emphatically, forcefully, categorically and definitively agree…to a point.

Pundit Two (Fill in your choice): Now we must think about this. Let us ponder the fringes on my jacket. I wear it because I am cool. Because I am so cool, I don’t even wear underwear. Now that’s cool. And you too can be this cool if you buy the new video “How You Can Be As Cool As Gerry Spence For $59.95”

Pundit One (Fill in your choice: Gerry Spence is the coolest, all right; he’s been dead for a few years.

Pundit Three (Fill in your choice): Prejudice! Racism! Oppression! Lawsuit! Is there a lawyer in the house?

David Gergen. I know everything and have an opinion on everything. Just go ahead and ask me. Jesse Ventura will never be elected Governor. Al Gore will be our next President. Perez Hilton is not gay.

Geraldo. Sorry guys I have to take a commercial break.

Commercial. Are you suffering the agonies of hemorrhoids, lack of protection for underarm perspiration and need new toothpaste? Preparation Cresure Z has it all for you. A great smile, anal relief and sure dryness—all in one!!!

Viewer: Man, these commercials are really becoming integrated.

Second Viewer: You mean like the TV show?

Viewer: No, like Internet Explorer in Windows

Second Viewer: Wait. Geraldo is back… There are some politicians on the steps of the Capitol.

Choir of Congressmen and women. Tutti Frutti, WAAAAH, Tutti Frutti!
We, distinguished Gentlemen and Gentlewomen,
Must pass another law,
to give reason to our existence
And make laws for other people
So that they will have to obey
And keep us employed to overturn
The previous laws that we legislated
yesterday. So we will legislate a statute
guaranteed to keep as many lawyers
employed because it will make no sense
to anyone.

Judges. The court orders the decaudization of General McCrystal "to take place between the hours of sunrise and sunset, forthwith":

Lawyer (You fill in the blank. My choice: Alan Dershowitz): I maintain that all light proceeded from the sun; and that the statute, therefore could only mean that there should be no executions during eclipses, a period when the whole human race ought to be occupied in adoration of me. Forthwith, moreover, did not necessarily mean forthwith, for forthwith meant immediately; and "between sunrise and sunset" meant between sunrise and sunset; which might de immediately, or might not.

Nine Judges. We decide, firstly, that forthwith did not mean forthwith, secondly, that forthwith did mean forthwith; thirdly, that forthwith had two legal meanings; fourthly, that it was illegal to apply one of those legal meanings to a wrong legal purpose; fifthly, that the objections was to no avail, as respected the case of No.1, sea-water color. Ordered, therefore, that General McCrystal lose his tail forthwith.

By Ol' Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Any resemblance to the work of an ancient Greek playwright is not merely coincidental; it is intentional.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letter to Swiss Embassy in US re Roman Polanski

I wrote the following letter last night, July 12, 2010, 10:47 pm. PST, to the Swiss Embassy in Washington, DC.

Mr. Ambassador:

I'm writing to express my outrage at the Swiss government's decision to free Roman Polanski despite his conviction for child molestation and the US government's request to extradite him. The Swiss government's deplorable actions are an insult to this country and every child who has been molested. Is it now the policy of Switzerland to become a haven for degenerates wanted in other countries?

Moreover, any alleged "technical" deficiencies in the extradition request could have been remedied. As it stands now, the Swiss government has ignored the fact that "A 13-year-girl was drugged and raped by an adult -- this is not a matter of technicality."


Gonzalo I. Vergara, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.).
Lincoln Hills, California

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How to Respond to a Job Application

This is an actual job application that a 75 year old senior citizen submitted to Walmart in Arkansas. They hired him because he was so funny.

NAME: Kenneth Way (Grumpy Old Fart)

SEX: Not lately, but I am looking for the right woman

DESIRED POSITION : Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY : $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.


LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

PREVIOUS SALARY: A lot less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of s tolen pens and post-it notes.



PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?


DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"


I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, so they tell me.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job - no! On my breaks - yes!

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS ?: Living inthe Bah amas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde supermodel who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.



Enjoyed and posted by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Tale of Ten Books

Ten Opening Sentences in Ten Different Books: An Exercise in ... Possibilities

These do not include prefaces or acknowledgements--those speak for themselves...

None of the books in my father’s dusty old bookcase were forbidden. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. The continuity of the classical tradition has been, until the 20 th century, one of the most striking aspects of Western art. Darius and Parysatis had two sons. Alexey Fyodorovitch Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, a landowner well known in our district in his own day, and still remembered among us owing to his gloomy and tragic death, with happened thirteen years ago, and which I shall describe in its proper place. Law is one of the learned professions. On October 5, 1941, I received a message from General Headquarters: “Stalin wants to speak with Front Commander over direct line.” The Carolina coast was below me; white and gleaming in the afternoon sun. The Catholic Church has always claimed Jesus of Nazareth as its founder, and nearly everyone is familiar with the basic facts about this dynamic Jewish preacher and healer who was born around the turn of the first century A.D. (probably between 6 B.C. and A.D. 6) and was crucified by the Romans between A.D. 28 and 30. The discussion of the subject at hand would gain in clarity if I could ask the members of my invisible audience whether they can remember themselves far enough back in their childhood, when they were not able to count, that is when they could not recite the series of words one, two, three, four, and so on.

By: Homeless with a Laptop, that is my Name

Sunday, May 9, 2010

El Español Es Espíritu, El Ingles Es Material

English is matter, just matter—
Something that floats—
Invisible or visible, a tool—
Necessity of flesh and business,

A thought of clean tongues,
white language,
Teutonic speech.

Spanish is breath
and blood,
the face becoming the thought,
calling forth the hands
in particular tones.

It is a pilgrimage
Through all Latin countries
where lisps are beloved,
s’s, disavowed,
r’s, chameleons,
and everyone knows
how to roar.

In Spanish, kiss me
is one word. Sí
has a sea of meanings,
and you can feel heat
beating from the
o in sol.

And no one loves
Cars and houses—
only people,
their land and their God.

Composed by Federico Anaya Sánchez. Copied, posted and loved by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Life as a Debt Consultant

As all stories start: There I was, on a Monday morning, at our corporate offices in the basement of the Rickards building, sitting at my desk, speaking on the telephone, when my partner, Bill, rushes in, bellowing:

“Gonzo, you’re about to get a parking ticket. Move your car”

“What do you mean? It says I have an hour parking; and my name is Gonzalo”

“Today is Monday and parking is restricted in the morning for street cleaning.”

I dropped the telephone and a possible client, and I rushed out of our corporate offices in order to avoid an $18 parking ticket. Just in time. The unsympathetic motorized parking control officer had already written a parking ticket to the silver Chevy Caprice and I was next. I rushed to the car in the nick of time and managed to move to another place. I walked back to the office.

“Thanks Bill, you saved me.”

“No problem. Let’s have a cigarette.”

We go outside and our sanitation engineer, Shorty the wino, rushes up.

“Permission to address you sir.”

Shorty has delusions that he was in the Marine Corps; too much cheap vodka. That or he’s trying to garner sympathy. Every now and then he tells us that his name is Larry King.

“Request granted. Go ahead.”

“I don’t want to appear like a bum but could you guys spare me $3.60?”

“What do you want to do with it, Shorty?”

“Well, I ain’t going to lie about it. I’m going to get a bottle of vodka for me and the missus.”

“I’ll tell you what. Here is $5.00 but you have to sweep the corporate pathway for us.”

“Bless you. I will sweep it all up. MARINE CORPS… HOOH AHH.”

Puff, puff, puff… planning… puff, puff, puff… clients… puff, puff, puff

Bill: "But Dan is the one that grabbed me and I have not been goofing off…"

Bill, first turn on the power to the computer before you begin to work…

Bill’s idea of business: “Oh come on, we can’t charge this poor lady…”

“I want $100, Bill”

Later that afternoon, here we are, on Aisle 5 of the Office Depot…

“Bill we ain’t going in your trashy car”

“What’s wrong with my car?”

“It looks like someone dropped an atomic bomb inside of it; it’s nuked!”

Back at the office, as he stood up to greet our client, my partner’s pants fell down…

Our first client lost the winning ticket to a $25 million California Lottery. He told us the whole sad story. He bought the ticket at a small Mom and Pop store. Later when he saw that he had won, he went in to cash the ticket. They took the ticket from him but gave him a photocopy of it. Later, no one knew anything about the ticket. The California Lottery Commission attempted to have our client indicted for fraud. Luckily the client ran away …

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Green Magic / La Magia Verde

As I walked by numerous stalls in one of the Saturday-morning flea markets which are prevalent all over northern California, just browsing the same things over, I unexpectedly came upon a very different stall. This one had many charms and other amulets to welcome love and fortune, and ward off evil spirits.

As a bookish sort, I became interested in a collection of many small books in Spanish; particularly one which was titled ‘La Magia Verde’ (Green Magic). I don’t know what attracted me to this book in particular other than my attraction to green colored things in general; likely stemming from childhood stories in which green is the color of forests, hence mystery. My mother used to tell us kids children stories on Sunday afternoons by the chimney with a roaring fire. There, drinking Orange Crush or Fanta, magic woods and enchanted forests would come to life in the fires of the chimney and my mother’s voice.

Green magic – Mix the wing of bats and the mushrooms picked from a cemetery; good luck will follow you.

I haggled for the book; I wanted it for $3.00. The man and the woman wanted $5.00. Another customer said that green magic is not true or doesn’t work. I told him that it all depends on what you believe. For it seems to me that sometimes we want to control our lives immediately and while we may not truly know what is good for us, we want the control anyway. I’m exasperated by waiting for tomorrow; I want Green Magic to help me today. The Lady in Green who lives in the tree beckons me. Inside her tree lies a wonderful world, of childish innocence and natural harmony. I want to go back inside it. On that particular day, however, I only had $3.00 left.

Alas… Thus I lost the book on La Magia Verde. However, I feel now that I need it even more today, if nothing else to remind me of the wonder that was once my childhood. Yet in fact, Green Magic is within us for it is nothing more than manipulating forces that are around us but whose influence we don’t perceive. The important thing though is that they’re there.

Two bullfrog skins mixed with the blood of a young lizard will yield a potion of power over another person.

Powders exist to lure a desired love or to ward off evil spirits; lotions and elixirs to make oneself irresistible to another person. That’s how to affect the environment rather than waiting for heavenly intervention or fate to step in; though it’s well worth remembering that one often meets one’s fate by attempting to avert it [Oedipus Rex]. So if this is true, we are not averting our own end but perhaps only the means.

Obviously, the lesson here is that for Green Magic to be truly effective, you must know what it is that you seek. Or is this unnecessary? For Green Magic may also protect you from unwanted interference rather than merely changing your fate. There’s a definite advantage in this, because you are warding off evil influences. Who needs evil influences in their life? Thus Green Magic can greatly help you to command the forces around you and achieve a feng-shui like arrangement with all the forces that surround you—of love, life and fortune. Nice!

By Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Monday, April 26, 2010

Selected Notes on Anton Chekhov

"It is not quite exact to say that Chekhov dealt in charming and ineffectual people. It is a little more true to say that his men and women are charming because they are ineffectual…. Chekhov’s intellectual was a man who combined the deepest human decency of which man is capable with an almost ridiculous inability to put his ideals and principle into action; a man devoted to moral beauty, the welfare of his people, the welfare of the universe, but unable in his private life to do anything useful; frittering away his provincial existence in a haze of utopian dreams; knowing exactly what is good, what is worth while live for, but at the same time sinking lower and lower in the mud of a humdrum existence, unhappy in love, hopelessly inefficient in everything—a good man who cannot make good."

"What we see is a continuous stumble through all Chekhov’s stories, but it is the stumble of a man who stumbles because he is staring at the stars. He is unhappy, that man, and he makes others unhappy; he loves not his brethren, not those nearest to him, but the remotest. The plight of a negro in a distant land, of a Chinese coolie, of a workman in the remote Urals, affects him with a keener pang of moral pain that the misfortunes of his neighbor or the troubles of his wife. Chekhov took a special artistic pleasure in fixing all the delicate varieties of that pre-war [World War One], pre-revoluition type of Russian intellectual. Those men could dream; they could not rule. They broke their own lives and the lives of others, they were silly, weak, futile, hysterical; but Chekhov suggests, blessed by the country that could produce that particular type of man. They missed opportunities, they shunned action, they spent sleepless nights in planning worlds they could not build; but the mere fact of such men, full of such fervor, fire of abnegation, pureness of spirit, moral elevation, this mere fact of such men having lived and probably still living somewhere somehow in the ruthless and sordid Russia of to-day is a promise of better things to come for the world at large—for perhaps the most admirable among the admirable laws of Nature is the survival of the weakest."

Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Russian Literature (NY: Harvest/HBJ, 1981), pp. 253-254

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moving to Titan

There comes a time in everyone's life when you have to take a stand on something. What that something may be is irrelevant; the point is to take a stand. NOTE: Standing on one foot does not equate to taking a stand. Anyway, I have at various times, called the mayor "Fats", gave up eating chives on Wednesdays in protest against something or other, smoked pot for the revolution, wore a black beret and called myself "Che", stopped wearing underwear, and other such revolutionary activities -- typical of a petit-bourgeois at heart.

However, I have now decided to make take the ultimate stand -- I am moving to Saturn’s moon, Titan, soon. I am not sure what I am taking a stand against -- but it's all good. It must be a worthwhile cause, hence this is a proactive stance in anticipation of a just cause, however unknown.

In fact, I have written a song about it. Sing along with me (use a Rap beat):
I might be moving to Titan soon, to become a dental floss tycoon. BOOM BOOM BAPA BOOM BOOM (Heavy bass lines) Will sit in my methane cocoon, BOOM BOOM BAPA BOOM BOOM, thinking what a fool they are BOOM BOOM BAPA BOOM BOOM staying there on the earth below, BOOM BOOM BAPA BOOM BOOM , no orange Titan methane skies BOOM BOOM BAPA BOOM BOOM Titan is ma home alone two.

I will admit that living in -192 degree temperatures sounds a little cold -- but I will light a fire and ignite all of the methane in the atmosphere. That will light the sky and make a statement for the unknown cause I support.

An ode to a cause unknown:

Oh cause unknown, had I known you, I know I would have followed your call, however unknown, cause unknown... (here you get on one knee and touch your heart with your right hand and your forehead with your left hand) Yet I dearly wept for not knowing you, but I did not know that I did not know you... but I realized that I did not know you because you were unknown, you know?

A Known Cause

Rest undisturbed and alas, teach Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name. He has a most intelligent nature. Even when quite little he amused himself at home with making houses, carving boats, constructing little chariots of leather, and understood wonderfully how to make frogs out of pomegranate rinds. Teach Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name both methods of reasoning, the strong and also the weak, which by false arguments triumphs over the strong; if not the two, at least the false, and that in every possible way.

An Unknown Cause

The Just and Unjust Discourse themselves shall instruct him. I shall leave you.

Come here! Shameless as you may be, will you dare to show your face to the bloggers?

Take me where you will. I seek a throng, so that I may the better annihilate you.

Annihilate me! Do you forget who you are?

I am Reasoning.

Yes, the weaker Reasoning."

But I triumph over you, who claim to be the stronger.

By what cunning shifts, pray?

By the invention of new maxims.

.... which are received with favour by these fools.
He points to the readers of this page.

Say rather, by these wise men.

I am going to destroy you mercilessly.

How pray? Let us see you do it.

By saying what is true.

I shall retort and shall very soon have the better of you. First, maintain that justice has no existence.

Has no existence?

No existence! Why, where is it?

With the gods.

How then, if justice exists, was Zeus not put to death for having put his father in chains?

Bah! this is enough to turn my stomach! A basin, quick!

You are an old driveller and stupid withal.

And you a degenerate and shameless fellow.

Hah! What sweet expressions!

An impious buffoon.

You crown me with roses and with lilies.

A parricide.

Why, you shower gold upon me.

Formerly it was a hailstorm of blows.

I deck myself with your abuse.

What impudence!

What tomfoolery!

It is because of you that the youth no longer attends the schools. The readers of this blog [if any] will soon recognize what lessons you teach those who are fools enough to believe you.

You are overwhelmed with wretchedness.

And you, you prosper. Yet you were poor when you said, "I am the knower of all things," and used to stuff your wallet with maxims of Kim Kardashian and Charlie Sheen to nibble at.

Oh! the beautiful wisdom, of which you are now boasting!

Madman! But yet madder the city that keeps you, you, the corrupter of its youth!

It is not you who will teach Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name; you are as old and out of date as Larry King.

Nay, it will certainly be I, if he does not wish to be lost and to practice verbosity only.

Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name is as confused as Glen. Wait... Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name is Glen, and Glen is Gonzalo according to the fax machine...

Oh well, back to planning my trip to Titan... Yep, I will ride the rainbow on my magic carpet. By the way, you cannot throw cigarette butts out of my magic carpet ride.

Good night, y'all. Come back now, hear?

"Here's how... I know how." Shemp Howard

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Would Like

I would like
to be born
in every country,
have a passport
for them all
to throw
all foreign offices
into panic,
be every fish
in every ocean
and every dog
in the streets of the world.
I don’t want to bow down
before any idols
or play at being
a Russian Orthodox church hippie,
but I would like to plunge
deep into Lake Baikal
and surface snorting
why not in the Mississippi?
In my damned beloved universe
I would like
to be a lonely weed,
but not a delicate Narcissus
kissing his own mug
in the mirror.
I would like to be
any of God’s creatures
right down to the last mangy hyena--
but never a tyrant
or even the cat of a tyrant.
I would like to be
reincarnated as a man
in any image:
a victim of prison tortures,
a homeless child in the slums of Hong Kong,
a living skeleton in Bangladesh,
a holy beggar in Tibet,
a black in Cape Town,
but never
in the image of Rambo.
The only people whom I hate
are the hypocrites--
pickled hyenas
in heavy syrup.
I would like to lie
under the knives of all the surgeons in the world,
be hunchbacked, blind,
suffer all kinds of diseases,
wounds and scars,
be a victim of war,
or a sweeper of cigarette butts,
just so a filthy microbe of superiority
doesn’t creep inside.
I would not like to be in the elite,
nor, of course,
in the cowardly herd,
nor be a guard dog of that herd,
nor a shepherd,
sheltered by that herd.
And I would like happiness,
but not at the expense of the unhappy,
and I would like freedom,
but not at the expense of the unfree.
I would like to love
all the women in the world,
and I would like to be a woman, too--
just once...
Men have been diminished
by Mother Nature.
Why couldn’t we give motherhood
to men?
If an innocent child
below his heart,
man would probably
not be so cruel.
I would like to be man’s daily bread--
a cup of rice
for a Vietnamese woman in mourning,
cheap wine
in a Neapolitan workers’ trattoria,
or a tiny tube of cheese
in orbit round the moon.
Let them eat me,
let them drink me,
only let my death
be of some use.
I would like to belong to all times,
shock all history so much
that it would be amazed
what a smart aleck I was.
I would like to bring Nefertiti
to Pushkin in a troika.
I would like to increase
the space of a moment
a hundredfold,
so that in the same moment
I could drink vodka with fishermen in Siberia
and sit together with Homer,
and Tolstoy,
drinking anything,
except, of course,
--dance to the tom-toms in the Congo,
--strike at Renault,
--chase a ball with Brazilian boys
at Copacabana Beach.
I would like to know every language,
like the secret waters under the earth,
and do all kinds of work at once.
I would make sure
that one Yevtushenko was merely a poet,
the second--an underground fighter
I couldn’t say where
for security reasons,
the third--a student at Berkeley,
the fourth--a jolly Georgian drinker,
and the fifth--
maybe a teacher of Eskimo children in Alaska,
the sixth--
a young president,
somewhere, say, modestly speaking, in Sierra Leone,
the seventh--
would still be shaking a rattle in his stroller,
and the tenth...
the hundredth...
the millionth...
For me it’s not enough to be myself,
let me be everyone!
Every creature
usually has a double,
but God was stingy
with the carbon paper,
and in his Paradise Publishing Corporation
made a unique copy of me.
But I shall muddle up
all God’s cards--
I shall confound God!
I shall be in a thousand copies to the end of my days,
so that the earth buzzes with me,
and computers go berserk
in the world census of me.
I would like to fight on all your barricades,
dying each night
like an exhausted moon,
and resurrecting each morning
like a newborn sun,
with an immortal soft spot--fontanel--
on my head.
And when I die,
a smart-aleck Siberian Francois Villon,
do not lay me in the earth
of France
or Italy,
but in our Russian, Siberian earth,
on a still-green hill,
where I first felt
that I was

Composed and translated from the original Russian by Yevgenny Yevtushenko. Always loved and copied by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

My Name

I guess you are kind of curious as to who I am, but I am one of those who do not have a regular name. My name depends on you. Just call me whatever is in your mind.

If you are thinking about something that happened a long time ago: Somebody asked you a question and you did not know the answer.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was raining very hard.
That is my name.
Or somebody wanted you to do something. You did it. Then they told you what you did was wrong—“Sorry for the mistake,””—and you had to do something else.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was a game that you played when you were a child or something that came idly into your mind when you were old and sitting in a chair near the window.
That is my name.
Or you walked someplace. There were flowers all around.
That is my name.
Perhaps you stared into a river. There was somebody near you who loved you. They were about to touch you. You could feel this before it happened. Then it happened.
That is my name.
Or you heard someone calling from a great distance. Their voice was almost an echo.
That is my name.
Perhaps you were lying in bed, almost ready to go to sleep and you laughed at something, a joke unto yourself, a good way to end the day.
That is my name.
Or you were eating something good and for a second forgot what you were eating, but still went on, knowing it was good.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was around midnight and the fire tolled like a bell inside the stove/
That is my name.
Or you fled bad when she said that thing to you. She could have told it to someone else: Somebody who was more familiar with her problems.
That is my name.
Perhaps the trout swam in the pool but the rive was only eight inches wide and te moon shone on IDEATH and the watermelon fields glowed out of proportion, dark and the moon seemed to rise from every plant.
That is my name.
And I wish Margaret would leave me alone.

Composed by Richard Brautigan; posted by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my name.