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Showing posts from July, 2011

On Finding a First Printing of All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

I recently found a first printing of All the King's Men (1946) at a local haunt for $1.29. I had to try not to act all insanely excited when I placed it on the counter by the cash register, irrational paranoia flushing my face and rushing through my veins whispering the cashier might know it's real value and snatch it away from me at the last second, demanding I pay up pronto, Pal, it's true value or ... or never be let inside the basement-bargain store again!

Thankfully, such a sickening scenario did not come to fruition.  But, unfortunately for me, the dust jacket (as you can see above) has seen better days -- nowhere remotely close to mint or near-mint condition -- and it's got those dratted library stickers that leave that godawful residue I can never completely eradicate no matter how persistently and thoroughly I try rubbing it off, and glued-on library checkout card inside also, both of which are automatic value-terminators (or value-termites!), munching a…

Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren

Perhaps it sounds mildly unseemly or misogynistic to admit, but I'll be darned if I haven't been interested in starting up my own harem for quite some time, since adolescence actually, but have lacked, unfortunately, the necessary (and pricey) prerequisites to turn such an, admittedly, crude boyhood fantasy into reality; namely, a Middle Eastern "sultanship" (if there is such a word) and political connections with Big Oil and its automatic entourage of boo-koo bucks and kidnapped babes.

Jillian Lauren's, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, gave me lots of great ideas, nevertheless, on how -- and more importantly, how not -- to begin (at least "begin" hypothetically speaking), my harem fantasy enterprise.  I'd recommend Some Girls as an excellent resource for any in-the-market, would-be harem owners out there, as it unwittingly itemizes the potential pitfalls and pains-in-the-neck awaiting the prospective harem owner about to embark on, let's face i…


Shopped postures positioned close
so poised, so present
that bright-eyed dimpled boy
I dust him every day
so he remains glossy, spotless
and wonder does anybody notice?
does anybody know? 

Polished pearls for my giggling girls
diamond necklace for the heiress
yes, that's me!
They said I looked arrogant
at first, sitting for the portrait
just relax, they intoned
try to smile
act natural

Golf's golden skin
engulfed their Daddy's grin
what glowing family faces
in the camera's closeup lens

some pictures are worth a thousand lies

Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite by Michael P. Ghiglieri and Charles R. Farabee, Jr.

Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite proves that some people are just too plain clueless (or perhaps unconsciously suicidal) to be allowed access to Yosemite.  Over 900 people have died of unnatural causes in Yosemite National Park since the early twentieth century, the majority of which were completely preventable fatalities had the victims heeded the DANGER and WARNING signs, or even the shouts of incredulous bystanders, typically fellow hikers, who would soon serve as eyewitnesses to horrific yes (and yet spectacular) accidents.

These doomed individuals waded into creeks as little as ten yards upstream of a 500 foot-plus waterfall, past the aforementioned signs and railings designed to save their lives, in order to cool off after a sweaty hike, or to get a better vantage for that perfect photograph to last a lifetime.  But then, in an instant, lost their step on slick rocks in the deceptively swift currents, and seconds later, got sent plummeting into eternity, ejected over the lips of …

Summary Introduction to the Indian Author, Raja Rao

Raja Rao (1909-2006)

A Selection of Rao's novels:

Kanthapura (1938)

E. M. Forsterconsidered it to be the best novel ever written in English by an Indian ... "Not the least of its merits is the picture it gives of life in one of the innumerable villages that are the repositories of India's ancient but living culture ... The novel is political on a superficial level in that it chronicles a revolt against an exploitative plantation manager and the police who support him. But more profoundly, it traces the origins of the revolt more to an awakening of the long-dormant Indian soul than to the activities of the Congress party. One of the young villagers ... undergoes a mystical conversion to Satyagraha, and returns to incite his fellow villagers to civil disobedience. He arouses in them not only a sense of social wrong but, more importantly, a religious fervor which proves to be the true source of their strength against the oppressors."
-- Perry D. Wes…

The Lucifer Gospel by Paul Christopher

(Part IX in my series on fictional works about the devil)

For Satan so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten son ... uh ... oops, wrong Gospel!

The Lucifer Gospel is so unmitigatedly bad, it makes even the worst novel ever, The Da Vinci Code -- the novel it shamelessly rips off royally trying to cash in on the Catholic/Illuminati secret society conspiracy craze -- good.  And that's a bad, diabolically bad thing for a book to do.

Reading Porius with Friends

Hungering for the nourishment of Holy Writ
sola Scriptura
sacred Literature
we comb
our instincts
our memories w/ rigor
in search of inspiration
sensing something sublime
a substance elemental
w/in the dreams unseen
beyond sleep's precipice
engaged as we are with friends 
wading the streams of Porius

we've embarked the dark corridors
of images fantastic
for the core of the very book!
Weighty tome of adventure
not at all dissimilar
from Jules Verne's famous journey
to the center of the earth
More Prometheus-minded however
the intrepid track we tramp upon

past sites covertly mined
if not granted de facto
by indifferent gods
that phantasmal mottled gold
reflected off the Dee
in the torchlit
Welsh Wilderness
of twilight
in the Year of our Lord 499 A.D.
where we've milled as epic readers
and rendered revelations
of poetry (or hallucinations?)
under the wise and watchful tutelage
of the…