Edible Too

So, this happened…



Doe and nubby buck fawn. At about 7:30 this a.m. Opening day.

(Extra special heaps of thanks to Bro-in-Lo Canisius for field dressing (two in less than 15 minutes) and helping (OK, mostly by himself) lugging deer out of bottom valley!)

And so, a poem is in order, no?

The Last Hunt

The new snow’s whiteness
Blanks the prayerful bend of the bare-branched trees
Giving them a cold but muscular look.
We cannot see the deer for all the snow.
It was bully-blowing all night, yet meekly lacking,
Clinging to embraced bareness. No warmth
For the trees, and no warmth for us either.

And something gets in behind the grey skies
As if to blow down on us all the souls
Ever risen from the dead. Something old which
Comes back every winter, a habit of wind,
Late day, a shadow’s vows. But soon we see,
In the clean snow, something else. A gunshot
Reports through the valley.

Then, as we walk
Up valley, we suddenly come to a sign
Which our father and uncles may have known,
Learned first through cold tears and piss-cold pants –
Another sign snow cannot hide – and red scarves
Of blood leave tracks which better prepare us
For our own last dash across an open field.


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    With that little rifle? Good shooting. What caliber?

  2. Lansing Priest says

    Did Mary lose her head in a shower of bullets too?

    • I think that was Inland Hurricane Ingrid who committed that particular blasphemy. But I’m not sure. I might be libeling the poor girl…


  3. I posted comments on your blog in the past because somebody sent me the link, indirectly, in that I found the link as a result of something I was sent, and because later I found that a novel written here ended with the same words as that somebody I had met in New York a couple of months before I was sent the link said his story ended with. I do remember some very good poems, some not so good, and a few creepy things, too. However, if you are referring to the end of your own worlds, as opposed to what might be happening to the sun, to the earth, etc, then I will post something later that might convince you that most diseases are politically motivated myths and that what is dangerous is the treatment, the diet, and the belief that one has a serious disease.

    • Churchill!

      I can’t believe it. I am so glad to hear from you again! Please let us know how you are and whether you’ll be sticking around for a while.

      Really. We missed you.


  4. That’s an unpleasant photo, but let me know if you’re interested in reading what I have to say about cancer and HIV/AIDS. I’m ok, thanks.

    • Sorry for all the unpleasantness. It kinda goes with the territory. Out here in the colonies, we have more need to shoot and eat our own game. Also, so many children and all that – this will supplement their regular intake of protein nicely…

      Lets hear about your HIV/AIDs theory by all means. What’s on your mind?


  5. Cancer

    The medical literature I have read is not consistent as to whether cancer is diagnosed as a result of cell pathology or invasion of local tissue. In terms of cell pathology, I don’t see how ‘cells’ can be viewed, since, as I understand it, microscopes enlarge rather than see ‘below’ to any underlying structure (where, as I understand it, the various parts of the cell lie, whether or not the cell is opaque). If there are irregularities, I don’t see, therefore, that these correspond to changes in ‘cell’ structure, and therefore, necessarily, between malignancy and non-threatening changes in tissue associated with, say, ageing. Some terms used to denote pathology, such as ‘stroma’ and ‘cribriform’ are difficult to pin down in terms of why they are dangerous or by what mechanism. I understand that necrosis, associated with malignancy, refers to exaggerated cell death (as opposed to apoptosis) and is an indicator of uncontrolled proliferation, I assume because in an area where you have more cells, or tissue, you are also likely to have more cell or tissue death. I assume necrosis is not visible on the cell itself, since it refers to cell death. But increased cell death would either suggest a check on unnatural proliferation or would, in any case, also be associated with benign tumours or, if not, suggest that benign tumours are more likely to be invasive, in the sense of growing sufficiently to invade surrounding tissue, than malignant ones.

    If cancer is not diagnosed according to particular features of the cell (nor with uncontrolled cell growth, which is also a feature of benign tumours), but by invasion of surrounding tissue, this would seem to imply producing changes in surrounding cells or tissue, since otherwise a benign tumour could also press on surrounding tissue. It is not clear, however, by what mechanism one cell could ‘invade’ another, or – I would assume, according to biopsy slides – that it does. If surrounding tissue also changes, it is likely to be as a result of the same factor(s) that caused the initial ‘cell’ to change, rather than that the initial cell invaded the other. If it had invaded the other, would the cells merge? And would this happen to the next cell, and so on? If not, in what sense is it invading? If one cell causes a change in the other, it is presumably through some sort of copying or mirroring, but not by one cell invading another.

    If invasion is by the tumour rather than by a single cell, setting aside by what process the tumour itself formed (ie: whether through invasion of one cell by another or through a spontaneous proliferation of malignant cells, in which case it would be difficult to distinguish between the formation of the tumour itself and invasion of adjacent tissue), again, does it occupy the adjacent tissue or cause it to change? If adjacent cells change – if they are in some sense ‘influenced’ by the tumour – why use the, term ‘invade’? (Surgery is also referred to as ‘invasive or non invasive.) And if the tumour only presses on adjacent tissue, again, this would also be a feature of benign tumours.

    I understand that metastasis is what causes a cancer that starts in an apparently non-‘vital’ organ to kill, by spreading to other parts of the body. It apparently occurs when a cell from the ‘primary’ tumour breaks loose, according to a cell biologist I spoke to because it loses its ability to stick to the initial tumour. It then travels along the blood stream or via the lymph system. In the distant organ, the cell would apparently regain its ability to stick and then begin to proliferate. It would then be referred to as a secondary tumour – eg: a thyroid tumour in the lung, apparently composed of thyroid cells rather than lung cells. But does that seem common sensical? That different parts of the body begin to develop tumours spontaneously, or even that one part of the body would copy another, would seem more plausible than that there are secondary tumours consisting of cells that have travelled from the initial tumour.

    How would they travel? An apparently infinitesimally small ‘cell’ would not be able to travel, would it, within the thicker blood or ‘lymph’, especially from a lower part of the body to a higher, and, even if it were able to travel in any spaces between blood or lymph ‘cells’, and upwards, how would it then enter ‘distant organs’, ie: penetrate, for example, the brain or lungs? And why never the heart? CT scans apparently show single cells that have travelled to another organ. Would, according to common sense, a microscope, or ‘scan’, really be able to show that? If, instead, a large number of cells broke away, what, in any case, is their motive (overcrowding? lack of nourishment?), but, also, what would propel them to a distant organ?

    What usually kills in the case of cancer is a recurrence, because a recurring cancer is said to be more aggressive, which I assume means it would either grow more quickly or show greater pathology, although in either case I am not sure by what mechanism a cancer kills. If the cells, or tissue, are malignant, and become more malignant as they ‘mutate’, in what sense is this true – other than that they consist of parts of cells that are said to indicate malignancy – if they do not contain toxins of any sort? If recurrence and mutation mean they are able to proliferate more quickly, aside from the fact that this again blurs the distinction between a malign and benign tumour, why and how? If one assumes agency of some sort, then why, after an attempt to eradicate it, would it seek to destroy its host or otherwise draw attention to itself? And if recurring cancers are more dangerous than the initial cancer, and often fatally so, then why do oncologists treat the less aggressive, ‘indolent’, cancers instead of monitoring them,when surgery and anaesthesia, and presumably ‘radiation’, are themselves dangerous; it also seems unlikely that drugs would be able to target parts of the body as precisely as we are told they can, and that they would all have some impact on both the stomach and the head.

    It would strike most people, I assume, as inconceivable that diseases such as cancer and HIV/Aids would have been invented, and so we haven’t thought about whether or not they are plausible according to observation, common sense or logic. Although not related only to cancer, I would think the Final Solution might have been a reference to the use of intravenous fluids.

  6. HIV/Aids
    It may be well known by now that HIV/AIDS (and, I believe, cancer) are invented illnesses. One can speculate as to the motives, and there have been hints.
    What kills in the case of apparently fatal illnesses such as AIDS, I believe, are the medicines, the diet, the stress, including the belief that one has a fatal illness, the environment (eg temperature), and a cumulative weakening. I understand, for instance, that in the case of HIV/AIDS survival rights are higher among the very poor and the rich, the poor perhaps still being unable to access certain medicines and the rich immune from some of the care arrangements or the more toxic medicines.
    First, the route and method of transmission in the case of HIV/AIDS seems unlikely. Why would the virus ‘cells’ enter a part of the body where they will have more difficulty clinging on? If they can do so because of the nature of the fluids, then why not in nasal mucous? And, if they require thicker fluids, rather than, say, saliva, then how do they get to other parts of the body when, for example, from observation, a flea, larger than an apparently invisibly small ‘virus cell’, cannot fly out of a fairly thin cheese once it has got into it? And, if ‘flu germs’ can apparently be killed by antiseptic liquids, can virus cells necessarily survive and thrive in the temperature and digestive and other substances of the body, including in rotting nutrients (from which certain cleaning materials perhaps also derive)? Also, would virus cells not find better nutrients if they entered higher up, such as via the mouth, either directly because nutrients would not yet have been absorbed by the body or indirectly because the higher parts of the body receive better nutrients?
    Second, how would they survive? If you swallowed a flea, or pair of fleas, can you imagine them surviving and proliferating to the point where they apparently turned on you and were able to kill you? One can’t imagine them surviving a few seconds, or, even if they could do so, thriving in the relative instability of the environment, in terms of, for example, temperature and hydration, but also motion. .
    Third, assuming the HIV/AIDS virus is not killed by, say, chewing of food or by sex and is able to eat and thrive in the temperature of the body (which could even afford it some protection), how does it hurt or kill? Does it survive long enough that it becomes the agent of illness, or is the agent its descendant? In either case, if it has thrived, why would it then attack its host?. If it is because the agent’s descendant is weaker, or because the host later offers a less attractive environment, how would the descendant cells, or the original virus cells, have the ability to cause diverse illnesses and ultimately kill?
    How would something as small as a virus cell be able to hurt its host, no matter how large a number of them? Can a room full of fleas, for example, hurt one in the same way as an animal the size of a room? Whether or not the mechanism is physical force or any other, such as toxicity, how can something apparently invisibly small – which, common sense would suggest implies means nothing – harm one if it is multiplied?
    There have been hints that HIV/AIDS was invented. For example, I remember it being announced in 1985 as affecting mainly Haitians, Homosexuals and Heroin users. I also understand that there is no home test, but that there is pre-test questioning.

  7. Churchill,

    Part of what you say makes a heck of a lot of sense in relation to a question raised by Pascal during his experiments – the distinction between precision and accuracy.

    For instance, on a basic level, we have greater precision in our knowledge of the nature of the soul (or body for that matter) than we do of our own human measurements of it – which are only accurate but rather imprecise – cf. Freud, Marx, etc. Thus, when we seek knowledge through secondary means – say a yardstick or an electron microscope – we only get as far as the tool’s accuracy itself can take us. But the intermediary does nothing to achieve precision. Our knowledge in other words is only as precise as our tools are accurate, which is not necessarily very much.

    Thanks. I will ponder your comments some more.


  8. I did think the other day about why in philosophy they talk about the metre rule (from France) as though it is important. I’ll look it up.

    I don’t quite know what you mean by secondary means, and I wouldn’t necessarily put measurement and, apparently, seeing into the structure of something in the same category. I agree that measuring tools will vary as will the way people read them, but that doesn’t seem all that important unless you’re building something. No comment re electron microscopes.

    • Again, I’m not speaking to your main thesis, only to the fact that the further away from our five senses we get the less certain our knowledge of the physical world is.

      Thought experiment: Would you be more certain of a given Euclidean proposition if you were able to demonstrate it to yourself using a yardstick, a protractor, a slide rule, etc., than you would be if you simply used your reason?

      While the five elements distinguished by Aristotle may not be the last word on the physical make up of the world, I think we are more certain that it is made up of fire, air, water, earth, as confirmed by your senses, than we are of what we find on the Periodic table through tools and instruments that detects evidence not immediately detectable by our senses (although still depends on observation or experience of our five senses.) Ditto when it comes to carbon dating. Ditto evolutionary biology. Ditto nuclear physics. etc.

      Who says, “Dabbing litmus paper with a base or an acid is believing”? Yet we all say, “Seeing is believing.”

      It’s the conundrum of modern philosophy, of course, starting with Descartes, who realized the jig would be up if he hadn’t begun by denying his senses….


  9. I think you’re saying you knew already, but I’ve had so much shrouded sort of talk.

  10. I have started to amend what I wrote on HIV/Aids – what I wrote about the mechanism of transmission was poor and I also need to elaborate. However, I think what I wrote on cancer was ok. But I’m not sure anybody – from the site – will read these comments. But I don’t know whose site it is.

  11. Churchill,

    Rest assured that we – the Korrektiv Kollektiv – always read your comments!

    Keep ’em coming!


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