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Three Very Short Poems about Authors Who Wrote about the Sea

Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
After years at sea, he adapted a nom
de plume
for English language readers,
still recognized as a Polish phenom,
among the very best of modern writers.

Had He Caught Moby Dick
Ahab would have had to buy a pan
to fry up all that leviathan.

The Man Who Swallowed an Ocean
The flesh eaten right off Santiago’s skeleton
became the villager’s favorite feuilleton,
but who knows what monsters from the deep
swam back to reappear in Papa’s sleep.

John Barleycorn in Rags

john barleycorn

He is John, man in ragged overcoat
Long to withered knees
Manbeard made of clipped leaves and twigs

Man with face of rough bark
John who walks Saturday-night stupor
Through sibilant rings

Of maple, elm and linden leaves,
Swiftly satyr-dancing
Into crackling flower of fire

In peripatetic permutations, cough
Of dry staccato vespers, leaf to stone,
Each skeletal ballet whispers

He who is barrowed by mottled stile,
Stilled and waked in copper kettle,
Kegged and bunged for cooling cellar

In hoarse tones violent riots of autumn
Become seasonal rites trans-
Corporeal, quiet in slow burn

He is John of the demijohn
Bottle god of good folk,
Fanatic familiar of flagon, flask and firkin

His limber limbs are all consumed,
Sap-drunk as wasp and hornet
Dry and empty as cracked bobbin,

His spirit tumbles leaves down empty lanes
And empty well; he is spirit in wind,
He makes spirits from color, heat and motion

He is tall shoots and thick roots,
A shock of fruited stalks between
Breaks from his loamy scalp.

His anatomy taps boot heels,
Claps coarse palms. He, mate of dance,
Husband of hilarity, spouse of song.

Brittle brown leaves, fallen angels
Dancing down cold swift winds
Hymns that scrape, swirl and click

And always he must come along,
Always feed fire’s fermenting flower –
He empties nectar from his eye

He is John, and John must die.

Three Very Short Poems about the Competitive Spirit

Lois Loses With Long Odds
She began to drum her fingers and furrow
her brow—then laid down a Yarborough.

The San Patricio Rattlesnake Races
The snake able to most quickly slither, wins—
as long as it doesn’t start withershins.

At a Competitive Eating Contest
A dozen hot dogs isn’t just skosh
or a losing total, but très gauche.

One mild evening in early fall somewhere in the middle of God’s country…

colloquium 1

I made a drink


and a diverse group of Catholic gentlemen talked a little Plato.

colloquium 3

We talked and talked and drank and drank and talked and drank …. until the horse came home.

Two Short Poems about German History

Industrial Strength Jadra
For access to the Baltic Sea,
Germany had to transfigure
Gdansk into Danzig. Schwer:
Poles inhabit the entire city.

Shifting Borders Among German Speaking Peoples from Archaic Times to the Present
Hops the men grew for beer the men pissed
were reason enough for any irredentist.

Two Short Poems about the Barbeque Pit


The Barbeque Pit’s Sweet, Sweet Style
With awe, she regarded my bib—awe, pity
and even distress at my swelling gibbosity.

Not So Sweet Aftermath
To me, as she licked her thumb,
“It’s hard to disambiguate
between the pig you’ve become
and this damn pig you ate.”

Nine Minutes and Twenty-Five Seconds of Being with Two Sisters Eating Sushi

Women think in [Douglas] Sirk’s films. Something which has never struck me with other directors. None of them. Usually women are always reacting, doing what women are supposed to do, but in Sirk they think. It’s something that has to be seen. It’s great to see women think. It gives one hope. Honestly. Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Almost Two Minutes of Being at High Tea

Every scene should be able to answer three questions: “Who wants what from whom? What happens if they don’t get it? Why now? David Mamet, Bambi vs. Godzilla

Super Green Quinoa Salad with Fresh Basil and Pistachios


What more can you ask from me than the recipes for one of my favorite Quinoa salads?

This takes just 15 minutes to put together and will serve 2 very hungry people.


3 large leaves of lacinato kale, ribs removed + shredded thinly
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 avocado, cubed
1 packed cup spring greens or sprouts {I used miner’s lettuce}
1/4 cup shelled + lightly chopped pistachios
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
generous pinch of black pepper
In a large bowl toss together the shredded kale, basil, olive oil, lemon juice and salt + pepper. Massage together for about 3-5 minutes.

Then add in the cooked quinoa, avocado, greens and pistachios; toss together gently and serve.

(Adapted from Sainsbury’s Magazine)

The Last Crawdad, Man!

Since the Kollektiv isn’t traveling south this year, Korrektiv Kollektiv: Soldiers Grove Unit decided to bring Nawlins up to Cheeseland for an evening in honor of Third Oldest Daughter’s birthday… That’s her in the middle with her sisters posing as Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos…

Spin, measure, cut...spin, measure, cut.... spin, measure, cut. OK. Got it.

Spin, measure, cut…spin, measure, cut…. spin, measure, cut. OK. Got it.

Just a taste of what we’ll be missing this October – but, we hope, not next year…


All mine…?


Dad’s crawdads….

Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!


Crawdads and uncles…

Still life with escrevisse and cousins

Still life with escrevisse and cousins and beer can.

Mudbugs in the milieu...

Mudbugs in the milieu…

Hand and claw...

Hand and claw…

Bernadette's Feast

Bernadette’s Feast

One fine evening in southwest Wisconsin...

One fine evening in southwest Wisconsin…

Don't forget the pie (One apple and one berry).

Don’t forget the pie (One apple and one berry).