Dr. Seuss meets Prufrock ~

Do I dare to eat a peach?
Why yes, I ate one on the beach!
(You know that beach, my little squirt:
The one where mermaids come to flirt.)

I liked that peach so much, I swear
I’d eat a peach most anywhere.
I’d eat one on a sawdust floor,
I’d eat one standing at your door.

I’d eat one in the golden glow
Of rooms where women come and go.
I’d eat one any chance I got,
I’d eat a peck—that’s quite a lot!

This Prufrock is a silly man
To wonder if he truly can.
He can, I know. I’m sure he could,
If he just told himself he would.

The best things come to those who dare—
Unless they choose to eat a pear.
For that, I make no guarantee.
A pear can’t match a peach, you see!

 

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Totem ~

This is a detail of the engine block at the interface with the exhaust. I call it “Totem” for, I think, obvious reasons. I did just a little teasing in Photoshop to brighten the washers (I suppose they are washers) around the bolts.

Speaking of teasing, I realized yesterday that I’d forgotten a crucial exchange in my recent post God’s name is George, so I felt compelled to rewrite the ending (for those of you who read the post and are interested). Like Dave Barry, I didn’t make it up.

God’s name is George ~

Readers of this blog may remember a post I made a few months ago called God in the checkout lane, in which I noted that God is working as a cashier at my local grocery store. I knew that because this man sounds more like God than Morgan Freeman does.

Tonight he was there again.

We said hello. I got up my courage and asked his name, and it’s George. I introduced myself.

I said, “You’re the man with the voice.” He answered, “And you’re the girl with the hair.”

That took me aback. So he was serious in our last encounter when he complimented my hair, which happened, as it so often does, to be dirty and disorderly. After I realized he wasn’t being snide, I’d thought perhaps he was just being charitable. After all, he’s a religious man; I remember he’d said that he sings in his church choir, ostensibly praising…well, God. (That seems appropriate. If the Bible is God’s Word for humankind, then any reasonable person must acknowledge that God thinks highly of himself.)

Anyway, I said, “Yeah, and it’s messed up again.” He said, “No, no, it looks good.”

Woo! God likes my hair. He approves of it. I have at least one redeeming quality.

We chatted some more as he scanned my items and my grocery bill grew to alarming heights. I told him I was hoping to start singing lessons again. He said, “You sing?” I said yes but that I wasn’t very good (you don’t lie to God, I figure). When he looked at the plastic sheaf of hydrangeas I’d placed on the checkout counter and said I had good taste, I didn’t know if he meant that in an aesthetic way or if it was a comment on the price. I quickly owned up that I buy flowers for myself, but that this bunch (seven bucks!) was a real splurge and that I usually go for the two-dollar carnations.

As I was loading the bags into my car, I realized there was something I wanted to know and I hadn’t asked.

Is God married?

If not, would God maybe want to get coffee sometime, or iced tea, or a beer, or whatever God drinks? Is that thought de facto blasphemous?

God is probably married. Or gay. Or too weary to get coffee with some crazy, dirty-haired white woman who, unbeknownst to him, writes about him and would perhaps like to be his friend. (I know God is supposed to be omniscient, but I don’t think he knows about this blog. Shhh!)

The very notion poses problems. For example, it would be helpful to know God’s last name. And can you just blurt out to God “Are you married?” And if I did, could I ever use his checkout lane again? If other people heard me, would God be embarrassed?

Does God have a last name?

Stay tuned.

I had to rewrite the ending of this post because I forgot, or perhaps repressed, the most critical thing. As I was wheeling my cart away from the checkout lane, God said, “Now you behave yourself.” And instead of saying “Yes sir,” I said, “You too.”

Imagine here a cartoon character clapping her hands over her mouth in horror. No one tells God to be good. No one in the Bible even suggests to God that he might be better, that a potential act is not worthy of his righteousness—except for Abraham, in one of the most remarkable passages in the Old Testament (Genesis 18:20-33).

When the next thunderstorm comes, I’m going to be especially wary of lightning strikes.

Please stand by ~

To Higher-Ups:

The Technical Team has noted serious technical difficulties with Blog entitled “Vapor and Flow,” with no forward (or backward) movement observed since mid-January. Blog is currently parked in the Driver’s front yard, where it seems to be accumulating trash. Driver has not yet had it put up on blocks, but Technical Team is on alert.

Team suspects a problem with the fuel injection system, though without hands-on investigation it is impossible to tell whether the gasoline tank might simply be empty. Team had noted some juddering of the steering wheel, accompanied by slightly erratic driving, in December and early January, indicating the need for immediate tire rotation and rebalancing. In addition, tires should be checked for wear. Driver has done none of this.

Driver herself, rather than repairing the Blog or addressing various ethical quandaries in her life at the moment, has become obsessed with the dog urine stains in her carpeting and the possibility of replacing the carpeting with something that can simply be hosed down. She daily repeats a monologue that always begins the same way (“I can’t stand this! What am I going to DO?”) and ends the same way (“But how would they move the piano?”). Technical Team estimates that said piano, a tall, ancient upright, weighs slightly more than a Volkswagen Beetle, flower holder included. Unlike a Beetle, the piano would probably not float, although Team finds this an intriguing question and would very much like to be notified of the results of any experiments along these lines. LOL.

Excuse us, that was unprofessional on our part. To continue, Driver also appears obsessed with a new personal best in Scrabble: her highest-ever non-bingo word score (GAZEBO, 84 points). While interesting numerically, this is judged by Team to be a rather trivial achievement in the grand scheme of things and recommends that Driver should just Get Over It.

Excuse us, please ignore editorial comment. Finally, Technical Team notes that on multiple occasions recently Driver has stated that she “dodged a bullet” because the voice student portion of a recent music recital was cancelled. This comment has been flagged for further analysis, but Team can only assume that someone slated to attend said recital was prepared to use firearms in the event of Driver singing. Team has insufficient information to gauge (pun! LOL) the appropriateness of the posited firearm use.

Excuse us again; Technical Team is fatigued and too easily amused. Team judges that Driver is currently earning A’s in Reading and Scrabble (quantity only), D’s in Physical Therapy and Caregiving, and F’s in Voice Lessons (lack of practice), Problem Resolution (dithering), Diet Remediation (inaction), Photography (inaction), and Blog Repair (inaction and negligence). Given this poor functioning, Driver’s hair looks better than might be expected, although Team is not well trained in assessing such matters.

In conclusion, Technical Team advises continued close monitoring of Blog and Driver, with future updates as necessary.

—Submitted February 23, 2014, ungodly hour of the morning
(Technical Team wishes to note that it has worked overtime on this report and would like to be duly compensated. Thank you.)

Why write? ~

I’m beginning to wonder what I’m doing writing a blog. It seems I’m writing only for myself and for one other person, who actually reads and occasionally comments on this stuff (thanks, Dan). The blog brought me back to writing again, of a creative type I’d never done. I had no idea I would be so open about my life, but that’s how it’s turned out. For the first three months I felt good every time I published a long piece, especially if I was able to bring humor into the equation. I believed I was doing solid work. I had no particular expectations about gaining followers and no particular ambition in this regard. Everybody writes.

But I don’t seem to be connecting with anybody. Blogging may not be the best activity for a depressed person who’s chafing against isolation. The potential for feeling more alone is too high. So I’m going to rethink this. I have ideas for a couple more posts. If I can pull them off, maybe I’ll keep going. Maybe I’ve just hit a bad patch. But one thing is certain: if this becomes an exercise in bathos or just serves to keep me living in the past, I need to abandon it. If I don’t recognize it myself, I’m counting on someone, somewhere, to let me know that I’m being self-indulgent. I feel I’m getting dangerously close to that.

Doggerel ~

I’ve decided to delete my Doggerel page. Since it doesn’t allow posts, no one ever knows if I’ve added anything there. So I’ll just incorporate poems as posts on my Home page. Here are the three poems I had on the Doggerel page. I shouldn’t call it doggerel; it’s really light verse. Both share an emphasis on regular meter and rhyme schemes, but doggerel is clichéd and usually saccharine. Light verse, at its best, is exemplified by Lewis Carroll and Ogden Nash and Dorothy Parker, masters whom I could not begin to approach but whose cleverness I greatly admire.

––––– Aug. 28, 2013
I posted a link on Facebook to an article about pufferfish and the beautiful circular patterns they make in the sand. After a friend admitted having eaten fugu (pufferfish), I wrote this.

On Fugu

I understand the pufferfish
Will make a most delicious dish.
But if your chef is none too swell
And cuts that fish up none too well,
You’ll soon find that your lovely lunch
Will pack a fatal-istic punch.

––––– Aug. 28, 2013
This poem was written for a plant biology professor after his return from a research trip to Romania.

On Romania

Romania’s a lovely place
With Vlad so long deceased.
But Hollywood, with sex in mind,
Won’t let Drac rest in peace.
A vampire here, a vampire there,
And soon you’ve got a coven.
The things they do sure seem to be
Some bloody twisted lovin’.

––––– Aug. 28, 2013
I originally posted this poem to my Facebook page; hence the title and the jargon.

Facebook Fantasia

Some knight on a quest may encounter my wall.
He’ll scale to the top, though it be very tall.
He’ll sure-foot each solid and each wobbly brick,
Take note of each petroglyph, cranny, and nick.
Oh my, he may think, even at my ripe age
I must friend the woman who fosters this page.
We’ll happily share all our ones and our zeros
And pledge to be each other’s sweet cyber-heroes.
I’ll let my fantasies take me this far,
For love at its core is a binary star.