31 October 2009
Heels clip-clop up the sidewalk
...the sound of ghoulish feet.
Pale hands clutched together as, overhead, witches fly.
Dark skies and Colorado moon
...suffer a black cat’s cry.
Lone door bells chime and glowing jack o’lanterns gleam—
Rejoice! All who may dare—
...tonight is Halloween!
18 October 2009
Nevertheless, one has to actually WRITE in order to gain said benefits.
New leaf, I turn thee here and now. Seal? Thou art broken.
In the cause,
Dr. T Shandy
*I use the term "free time" loosely. I, like most of you, rarely have any time that does not cost me dearly.
**In the quest for absolute transparancy, I must admit that I found myself vacuuming this weekend in, I was delighted to discover, a ridiculous attempt to avoid writing! The excessive stress and never-ending pressure of numerous writing deadlines has forced me into wonderfully productive "old habits" (of both writing and cleaning, I am proud to report).
26 April 2009
MY ASS aches, and a hazy dumbness pains
My sense, as though Absinthe I had drunk,
And emptied some new shrimps to the drains
One minute past, and Canal-wards had sunk:
'Twas a celebration of our academic lot,
And being too reliev'd in our happiness,
That Thou! Light-winged Drink of ease!,
In some perfidious plot
Of Lafitte's mean, and Abitas numberless,
Screamed our success to the tops o'trees!
O for a moment of clarity! that hath been
Unaffected by barmaid of
Her lids darkly-lined above eyes of green.
Dance, and 80s songs, and stories of mirth!
And of bathtub full of ice - it had seen no mouth!
Yes, a bathroom -- the likes we’d never seen—
With pee of others lapping at the brim.
Of a liquor-pained South!
O! Night of drink,
And pole by pole, left
Hungover! the very word is like a knell:
Adieu, beignets! You who did treat us so well
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive blues fades
Back home! and now, stories buried deep;
But, next post, all in spades:
I’ll tell of visions, of a waking dream.
Our next memories? abroad! Stories cannot keep.
In the Cause!
Dr. T. Shandy
19 April 2009
HOW COULD I, dear P.R., be so inattentive to this blog? To you, dear Pretend Reader… have I really been so lackadaisical in posting my latest thoughts? It is unconscionable to have left you to your own devices! And here I sit – so much to write – so much to share! Oh! – for that time returned! Nevertheless, as I am not one to revisit the past without direct and irrefutable purpose, I hereby recognize my failures -- even as I pledge to move forward – ever looking to the next post and the next – not backwards to that which might have been, but, most regretfully, was not. Onward!
Indeed, in an effort to discourage this sort of irresponsible and reprehensible blogging behavior in my future, have imposed a penance upon this “lusty picaroon” who writes before you --- I do this, neither out of wantonness or cruelty, but from the best of motives; and therefore, I shall make myself no apology for it when I return, fingers weary from the tap, tap, tapping of the keys: -- yes!; damn the cost, I shall “catch” you “up,” dearest reader on all that has transpired since last we interfaced. Though it will, undoubtedly, take several posts (written in the coming days!), in a quest for clarity and transparency, I shall attempt to outline for you [should you find yourself desirous of skipping past those stories which hold no sway], -- in this fine post, those details and adventures I will share in diatribes to come. So, if we are agreed? -- let this entry serve, as it were, as a “taste” – a pleasant “peek” at what will follow. Guilt, 'tis true!, is a passably fine motivator, when one lacks for a better reason to write.
To begin, I will share with you, in its rich and full-bodied detail, my latest journey: a trip I began with my long-time writing partner, a charming man by the name of Mr. Gilbert Blythe [one, you may recall, I spoke of, fondly, in a previous post] attended a large academic conference in, of all lusty places for a picaroon to find herself! --- that den of iniquity, that nexus of evil, that soulless pit of degradation and moral turpitude, that glorious locale of drinking and dining and pleasures of the flesh!:
Forgive me while I pause to rebuke a vicious taste -- one that has crept into thousands besides myself, -- that for reading straight forward -- as though reading were a mere skill!, reading more in quest of the facts, rather than for a deep erudition or knowledge with which an adventure of this sort will be cast. After all, our stories are "books," of sorts, are they not? Might we all agree that if one “reads” well, reads people and our stories over as it should always be, we would infallibly impart to our “readers” something that is more valuable than a trove of Blackbeard’s riches? It is in storytelling [and the listening!], I have concluded, that we retain our humanity. ---- But, lest we forget, it is equally true that the mind should be accustomed to make wise reflections, and draw curious conclusions as it goes along; the habitude of which made Pliny (the younger) affirm, “That he never read a book so bad, but he drew some profit from it.” But, I digress.
In addition to a story or two that emerged from our week of debauchery and academic prowess in NOLA, I will, also, take one of these "future moments" to tell you, yes, forthwith!, about my latest “editing” project. Though it, naturally, speaks little to my own artistic pursuits, I have recently been credited with some small degree of “responsibility” (dare I say “credit”?) for its creation. I’ve been told I am the catalyst, and while that may surely credit me, in my own mind, with far more involvement than I deserve, I accept this smallest and most limited position -- that of part “muse” [part “editor” – part “sponsor” – part “fan”] with, one can but hope!, a measure of grace and dignity. Yes, this latest task has been handed to me by my writerly soul mate, my life-long friend, B.F., my own “Mr. Freret” – he of that worldly and infamous Internet sensation, “The Adventures of B. Freret.”
------ But look here, my fair P.R.! Have you yet read over and again this blog’s previous posts, as I desired you? -- You have not? Oh, but I rely on your diligence, dear reader!: upon your second reading of previous musings, you will find yourself up-to-date on my state of mind; you will recall the personage of whom I speak herein: you will observe the passages, upon a second reading, which admits the inferences regarding B.F., Mr. Blythe, and more ---- we will bridge the gap that exists betwixt us, -- but this will require your dedication to the cause as well, dearest P.R.; for, I proudly admit, not a passage exists upon these pages that loves or lives or breathes without purpose!
A suggestion: when you are finished with this day's blog-reading, be pleased, and ponder well [again] the last line of this post, where I will admit that, "It was necessary I should read before I write.'' So, I urge you! – nay, I beseech you: – read! – muse! – think! And, then when you return “home” to these pages, look closely to that most recent post; it will be that one which illuminates the soul and discloses much of my "true" nature (at least as much as it conceals my true person). Until we meet again, dear P. R…. I remain...
In the Cause!
Dr. T. Shandy
05 April 2009
04 April 2009
ON GOOGLE did our Dr. Shandy
A lusty pleasure-blog decree:
Where Words, like sacred rivers, ran,
Through revelations [man measuring man]—
Twittered down for all to see.
Yes, twice three posts on risky ground
Were memories and facts muddled round:
And the Objects -- rich with old school rills,
Blossomed into an opera the world would see;
Our hometown? [Backwards as the hills!],
Unfolding intersections, most colorful tapestry.
But, oh! that mean professional chasm which planted,
‘Round her ivory tower, a tainted theorist’s cover!
A savage place! as evilly enchanted
As e'er beneath that mountainside was haunted
By woman wailing for log ago dissertation-advisor!
And from this chasm, with senseless academic seething,
As if this campus in entitled patriarchy were breathing,
A mighty creativity potently was forced:
Amid whose online half-Internet’d burst
Huge ideas vaulted like reclaimed mail,
Or like a Floridian’s ‘flock o’seagulls’ flail:
And 'mid these frantic emails, at once and ever,
It flung up [humbly] some sacred words.
Rhetoric meandering with a lazy motion;
Through mountains and swamps the sacred ideas ran,
Then reached their blogs -- those measured man by man,
And soon left in anonymity – lost inside a lifeless Web:
Then, 'mid this tumult, Shandy had an epiphany:
Intersecting voices? A private polyphony!
The value of the blog of pleasure?
Creativity as it flowed from fountains!
Where she wrote their mingled measure,
From the swamps to the mountains.
‘Twas was a miracle of rare device,
A witty pleasure-blog: ‘twould suffice!
A lawyer with a blog
In a vision once I saw:
It was an complex experiment:
A wayward career he’d supplement --
Writing from the Life he'd Lived.
Would that it would renew within me,
[A world left far away and oh, so long!],
To such a deep delight 'twould win me?
That technology offered a lost song,
But, could I create a blog from air?
Those witty words! A new rhetorical device!
That all who heard should read it there,
And all would cry, “Bravo! Bravo!
Her brilliant stance, her willingness to dare!”
I’ll weave my tapestry 'round you thrice,
You’ll close your eyes -- no longer dread,
On Shandy's life blood now be fed
And, I hope, enjoy my corner of Paradise.
-- Dr. T. Shandy (In the Cause!)
*Originally composed while visiting Xanadu; Coleridge's -- not Olivia Newton John's.
01 April 2009
IN THE TOWN where my father and my mother dwelt, dwelt also a tall, upright, intelligent, wryly notable, good body of a young man, who, with the help of a little plain good sense, and some years full employment in the business of academic success (in which he had all along trusted little to his own efforts, and a great deal to those of fate’s fickle finger -- pray, the pointing digit, not that of his bastard middle brother), -- he had acquired, in his way, no small degree of reputation among his peers in the convoluted world of high school; -- by which with the word world, need I inform you, kind reader, that I mean no more of it than a small circle described upon the circle of the great world, of four East Texas miles diameter, or there- abouts, of which the high school, where the good young man lived, is supposed to be the centre.
In addition to his scholarly pursuits, this young man (we will, henceforth, call him BF – for wont of a more respectable “pseudonym”) had been gifted, it seems, with a modicum of talent for music-making, and so with four of his peers, BF sought out a career in the industry – and, despite the localized limitations of musical success, girls did swoon at his skillful stroking of the bass, though a few others did perhaps see young BF in a different light – not as an object of adoration, but as a fellow scholar, a witty young man with promise, potential, and it should not be ignored, a fairly passable backside (“she” was but sixteen, I should remind you; and as such, her passions were often purely aesthetic -- as changeable and unpredictable as the Red River itself).
Despite my flighty passions of 'lo those many years ago (and more recent tendency to speak of myself in the third person), I am, dear reader, this same "she." To be clear, I was at that time a person of decent carriage, -- serious scholarly deportment, ---- yet a woman fond of words, a thespian, a word-smithing pugilist, if you will; oh! I was a writer. And, even at sixteen, I found, in some small degree, a kindred spirit in young BF: he was a lover of music – yes, a performer in all things -- if even, more often than not, of the more reluctant sort.
Years did pass; lives were made, and new lives were forged, as we sped from decade to decade; and though my friendly high school acquaintanceship with BF lasted no longer than t’would take the ink on our diplomas to dry, I must admit that I did not forget that young man – my young BF! -- so full of youthful promise! – what potential for future greatness! Nor he I. Yet each of us had said “fare-the-well” and moved on to adulthood in the most expected tradition of college-bound teens…
These last words, you must know, fall quite short of summarizing the complicated, transitional years that would pass before our next introduction; – to be sure, nearly two decades would come and go before I would hear what became of my ‘ole friend, BF. But then – in a single and most unexpected coincidence [though I am, admittedly, uncomfortable with the assigning of such random credit to corners unknown] BF was placed squarely back into my life – both of us immediately aware that the other was older, wiser -- older. In the interim, it was clear – without a single word passing betwixt us – that neither of our lives had run according to the old form from which such middle-class licenses, faculties, and powers-that-be usually mandated.
It was the 10th day of the month – Oh! And how I will remember that day from here after with such fondness! – while enjoying frittering away my day, on the newest virtual gadget of social-networking – Facebook, lo and behold! What message should appear but a simple “I know you”? And, my dear reader, as you no doubt realize, though his hair was shorter --- requisite mullet now a thing of his glorious past! --- and his temples colored by wisps of grey only men sport with such quiet dignity, I “knew” him too. It was BF – just a notable, and perhaps only twice as wry as he had been in his glory days, but the exact BF (in familiar confident spirit if not teenage body) nonetheless. In less than two hours, he and I had established a mutual love of writing, our definitive passion for learning, and the need we both felt to find a “reader” (indeed a “friend”) outside the hallowed halls in which we now found ourselves age’d and imprisoned: I in a world of patriarchal and passionless academia, and he in the soul-sucking world of a barrister.
What we learned was that each had taken a circuitous route to professional success, and yet neither of us had encountered that oft dream’d of font of complete creative nourishment. By week two of continual email, chatting, and Facebooking, we had laid bare our souls, shared secret and sacred writing, and each had found in the other a writerly soul-mate. An old friendship – one that had failed, two decades before, to evolve past that of a one-act-play -- suddenly found itself blossoming into a multi-dimensional opera… it seems that age and time had left us both ready for something more fulfilling – something rich and increasingly robust with creative potential.
We have each become, if only in this virtual world we have created [a modern world where photos replace afternoon meetings and a single email has more power than a dozen phone calls ever could] equal parts sounding board, sponsor, and spiritual guide for the other. The smallest snippet of dialogue continues to reveal intersections that stun us both. Music, humor, books – we found common ground in each subsequent detail we share with the other. Today we have forged a friendship based on intellectual inquiry and mutual admiration… How unique! How refreshing! To find a kindred spirit at such a point in my life...
But, you may ask, what of the future? Admittedly, ours remains a fragile bond. But, unlike those transient friendships of adulthood [which so rarely have the time to broach the difficult subjects: the stories of childhood, the angst of awkward adolescence, and the tragedies of growing older], ours is a bond that is based on an inexplicable common awareness of how far the other really has come in this complex and fucked up world. We are both eons away from that small
Mayhap it is coincidence, or, better yet -- do we look to fate or karma? No matter! ---- if any of these be the case, ---- pray, Sir, my BF, what have either you or I to do with it? Dare we question (if even in quiet appreciation!) what the gods have laid out before us? Friends, especially those possessing even an ounce of self-deprecating humor and wry intelligence, are few and far between. I cherish this one and wait -- breathless. What creative trails might we blaze together?
In the Cause!
Dr. T. Shandy
29 March 2009
I have undertaken, you see, to write not only my life in this blog, but to test my opinions also; hoping that your slow and gentle knowledge of my character, and of what kind of a mortal I am (vis-à-vis these pages), each by the other, would give you a better understanding of the first: as you read further about me and my often faulty and illogical opinions, I expect that the slight public acquaintance, which is now blooming betwixt us, will grow into familiarity (and, we dare to hope, might be lacking all contempt!); and that, unless one of us is in fault (see post, 28 March, for examples one should avoid), will terminate in friendship. ---- O, diem præ-clarum! ---- then, I know that you, and you alone, will find nothing which has touched my life trifling in its nature, or tedious in its telling. When else does a young academic find herself with such a willing and captive audience? Oh, to finally be able to reveal myself in the very manner I always knew would show its truth in the most realistic light! Would that I had discovered blogging long ago…
Therefore, my dear friend, and newly claimed virtual companion, if you think me somewhat thrifty with my personal narrative during our initial contacts, -- bear with me, -- and let me go on and tell my story my own way: ---- or, if I digress now and then from this blog’s stated purpose, ---- or should sometimes put on a dunce’s cap (yes, complete with bell upon it!) for a moment or two as we pass along, -- please, do not leave me reader-less -- but rather, courteously know that I possess but slightly more wisdom than what appears on these humble pages; -- and as we press on, either laugh with me, or at me, or in short, do anything, react in whatever way feels most authentic to you ---- only keep your temper; and, if possible, enjoy this journey by my side.
In the Cause,
T. Shandy, Ph.D.
28 March 2009
27 March 2009
Make your home next door.
yet breeze warns winter lingers;