Spinning

It is the witching hour
All must go back to the beginning
of time
time when the cogs & wheels,
nuts & bolts, the true & false
of your existence
drips long magenta sludge
to the bottom of the
holy vortex

You stop to cry out
words form, are heard,
then disappear
Quick like a bunny
down through the hole

It is the desperate hour
your nature unravels
flaxen-haired onto
the resting place
of some unknown head

Who is that man?
What do I owe now?
Bring on the enforcers
fear is so subjective

Death creeps near the doorway
unannounced as shrill-voiced women
accuse, try to define things they
do not understand
Here you go boys, here’s a hand
women against women, now that’s
a barb to the side of the altar
mixed messages, socio-economic differences
Rubber burns in the background
fire in their eyes, singed hair,
a flip flop by the road

Will you ask no questions, have no care
for understanding past histories?
You cannot begin to understand
the hunt for present circumstances
without a compass, without a map
Can you not see?
We shirk all internal combustion
to arrive at an answer we do not heed;
to move in a circle we cannot engage
War is made of such things as sirens sing
off color & tone to the deaf of the world
Who can be given a jest such as this
surviving on vagrant morsels
Kolkata whispers in your ear?

You have come to this place
in the middle of bad returns
Heal me, once again, heal me
If there ever was a need so strong
it has come to these shores at this hour
Feel the weight of vaporization
It is heavier than you think
Light fingers spread fairy dust
birthing another portion of yourself
feather-like, filigreed, feminine
spit out the goddess within
undetermined, unpegged, not a
pigeon hole in sight

You were born in a tin pot
on a back burner
So what of it?
Golden dreams dance

Paper, Paper Everywhere

Rag paper making at Jim Croft's Old Ways workshop.

Rag paper making at Jim Croft’s Old Ways workshop.

It’s generally at your fingertips even in this electronic world often under your nose but is as invisible as a tree in a forest. In fact, it can be made from one. The answer to the implied riddle is Paper. In the hands of Nicholas Basbanes, the wonderfully ubiquitous item has a diverse history that is compelling when connecting points of common and not so common knowledge. Within the pages of On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History is many surprises of information making this long and well-documented tale a pleasure to read. Basbanes has the ability to spin a yarn with recorded facts of time and place, along with impressive access–even the CIA at one point. It is an adventure worth pursuing. The volume is for the general reader as well as the scholar. The bibliography is filled with tributaries large and small. Within the text there are also references of people, places and other books to be explored.

Some have found the inclusion of so many aspects of paper jump parts of the story in an unnecessary way. http://bit.ly/1kw9Py1 If you’re a person who is also fascinated with everything, you won’t be disappointed. You will learn the names and narratives of the important to the pedestrian, forgers to sensitive document purveyors, ending with a 9/11 postscript. This was not a distraction for me but an extraordinary case in point about the incredible journey a piece of paper can have in its ability to charge or change history.

Check out his website at http://www.nicholasbasbanes.com/. To hear him speak at length follow this link (50 minute interview on NPR) http://bit.ly/1iRn4f6
Find a library near you to get a copy on loan: http://www.worldcat.org/