Book of the World Courant CLXXII





And when word of her upraised and abstaining hand reached him, The Donald wax’d wroth. “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” he Tweeted.



Some say Ms. Power wears the Bracelets of Submission (to Aphrodite) beneath her suit jacket. Some swear their outline is visible in the news photos of her upraised and abstaining hand.

Some say her bracelets can deflect ballistics, or break a fall from a skyscraper. Some say that when clanged together they’ll deafen the strongest man, yet not harm the hearing of women.

Some say they were forged from the aegis which shielded the infant Zeus, and others say that they are made of a mysterious metal, Feminum…


Think outside the phone



An old testacled tentacled profit


So, uh, why does Johnny need to read?


Every liar wants to change the world


Slightly further on in the same A section of the Times which features Wonder Powers’ upraised hand, and under the incongruous heading The 45th Presidency – Inauguration Planning; the Cabinet is an article titled “Rockettes Won’t Be Forced to Dance at Inauguration,” which deals with the potential lifting, or non-lifting of Legs at the White House, to wit:

Within hours of confirming plans to appear at the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the Radio City Rockettes were plunged into a maelstrom of social media outrage on Friday amid reports that the performers were contractually obligated to dance at the ceremony or lose their jobs.

But as the day wore on, both the Madison Square Garden Company, which manages the Rockettes, and the dancers’ union the American Guild of Variety Artists, said that any of the dancers could opt out of the Jan. 20 performance in Washington…

Not long after those reports, a statement relayed through Mikyl Cordova, a spokeswoman for the Madison Square Garden Company, said that dancers’ appearances are voluntary.

“For a Rockette to be considered for an event, they must voluntarily sign up and are never told they have to perform at a particular event, including the inaugural,” the statement read. “It is always their choice.”…

Despite these assurances, many of the women may feel under pressure to perform. Much of the fear and confusion could be traced to an email sent on Thursday night by the union to some of the dancers.

“If you are full time, you are obligated,” said the message… “Doing the best performance to reflect an American institution which has been here for over 90 years is your job. I hope this pulls into focus the bottom line on this work.”

[Katie Rogers and Gia Kourlas, New York Times, 12/24/16, A11:1]

The page is split vertically. On the right hand, a series of graphs and paragraphs explicate Trump and Rick Perry’s desires to get rid of the US departments of Education, Energy and Environmental Protection. “How Hard Is It to Get Rid of a Cabinet Department? Pretty Hard.”

But as Matthew sez, that which is first becomes last, wherefore, under the right circumstances, the hard turneth easy…


Cough Your Way to Rock-hard Abs!!!


The next next thing


Instauration, mon amour


It’s a hard reign’s a-gonna fall


Good thing you check your junk mail now and again, or you would have missed an important communiqué from Crepe Erase, offering, if not precisely the opportunity to lift your gam at the inauguration, then the chance to “improve the look of crepey, wrinkly skin” on your “décolléte, neck, arms & legs…”

The only caveat being that with every usage, each dab of unguent, a tiny patch of Brittany submerges into La Manche, a pitcher of cider vanishes off the wooden table, in short, somewhere, a circumflex ceâes to be…


Flex those circumstances


Pierfrancesco Alberti. Italian, 1584-1638. “Academy of Painters” (detail). Etching, c. 1600. Elisha Whittelsley Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.
Pierfrancesco Alberti. Italian, 1584-1638. “Academy of Painters” (detail). Etching, c. 1600. Elisha Whittelsley Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.


And now it’s time to play What’s Your Kinderszenen?

Drôle de guerre

So it was called by the French. Funny as in strange.

When the UK and France declared war on Germany in September, 1939 – immediately after its invasion of Poland – there followed an eight-month period in which no major military action occurred on the Western Front. Thus elapsed the odd long moment the Brits called the Phoney War (also the Sitzkrieg and, in Churchill’s term the Twilight War, whose abrupt end came with the German blitzkrieg of France and the Low Countries in early May, 1940.

In a sense, the drôle de guerre could be considered WWII’s “pregnancy.” During which, a particular brand of absurdity flourished, all seemingly based on a good deal of British and French confusion as to how they ought to respond to a radical change in the rules of the game. On a military level, the French tried invading Saarland, but without much enthusiasm. They could have overrun it, since the Germans were tied up in Poland, but they took a bite, didn’t like the taste of it and decided on a defensive strategy of forcing the Germans to come to them. But the Panzer did not need to be lured out of the mountain, it was simply biding its time.

Strange as in funny: Sabre rattlers in Britain were frustrated by the reluctance of the Government to “imitate the action of a tiger.” A certain Conservative politician named Leopold Amery strongly suggested to Kingsley Wood, Secretary of State for Air, that the Black Forest, where the Germans had secreted many ammunition dumps – be bombed with incendiaries. Wood responded before parliament that this could not be done since the forest was private property – neither, for that matter could weapons factories be targeted, because he feared the Germans might do the same.

In April 1940, three months before the Blitz commenced, a German bomber crashed at on the coast in Essex, killing its crew and several civilians on the ground. The German fliers were buried in the local cemetery under the supervision of the RAF – their coffins bearing wreaths and sympathetic messages in a public effusion of fellow-feeling.

Across La Manche, a diplomatic scuffle between allies broke out when British officers stationed in France imported packs of foxhounds and beagles but the French authorities refused to let them seed the countryside with foxes.

Drôle de guerre.

Between an “election” and an “instauration.” Inauguration, by comparison, implies good omens.

Funny as in strange.

[My thanks to Bill Hayward for inciting this mini-feuilleton.]


Truth, like falsehood, is overrated.




Instauratio magna


The highway roo came hopping –

Hopping – hopping –

The highway roo came hopping, up to the golf-club door…


The moon was a ghastly gullion…


An instauration comedy, funny as in strange


Sound the reTweet!®


Mood indigent


Compare Leontes’ madness: “I am a feather for each wind that blows,” [The Winters Tale, Act II, Scene 3] to the sense of being borne along on the tide of things.

After we are born, if we are lucky, we learn over the course of a lifetime, to be borne.


Talismanic repression


Holy Place of the Oak, Batman!


Pergamon altar: fundamental sado-masochism, avant les lettres


I was a dying Gaul for the FBI


The Greek “discovery” of the human body: how does it relate to the European “discovery” first of Africa, then of the Americas?

Go ask Caliban, when he’s ten feet tall.


I’d like the Negro coffee, please.


Could western culture be read as a protracted Greek freeze?


Phoney as in funny as in funky as in


In each work of the unified mind and spirit one can locate the discrete location, yet conjunction of a navel, an ass, and a head. That is, this “form,” this “work,” possesses a central point of origin and a residuum of connection with the mother’s body from which qi and physical structure are dispersed throughout the new organism.

Also necessary: a center of gravity, something to sit on made of bone, muscle and fat, sans the support of our legs, a zone below the base of the spine that can encounter the earth with a relative lack of trauma, and even a sense of humor, i.e. a Bottom.

Feet, of course.

And then, at their opposite end, and without even mentioning the wondrous hand-eye collaboration, we need a mountaintop, loftly but not abstracted out from its roots, a vantage from which much is visible, a coming toward heaven part of earth around and over which the wind of intellect blows with gentle, penetrating discernment.

If one can sense, then map that anatomy and the flows between, one can walk the earth while writing while sitting still, while being born(e).