The Conversion of the Iroquois

Montcalm and Wolfe is filled with references to the Iroquois. What happened to them? They were a mighty player in the French/British battles, with a capital city named Onondaga. And now they’ve just disappeared?

Self is suddenly consumed with curiosity.

An energetic French missionary named Fr. Piquet was particularly successful in converting them.

  • “The nature of the spiritual instruction bestowed by Piquet and his fellow-priests may be partly inferred from the words of a proselyte warrior, who declared with enthusiasm that he had learned from the Sulpitian missionary that the King of France was the eldest son of the wife of Jesus Christ.”

Since the Iroquois seem to have vanished, self has to assume that their conversion was simply a prelude to their — er, complete loss of agency, and eventual disappearance from the historical record.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

2nd Post for the New Year, 1 January 2017: “There For Six Months” (A Re-Post, Because Still Relevant)

A student, Kevin ______, wrote this years ago. The class was Composition & Rhetoric. The assignment was for students to write an autobiographical essay. But self didn’t have the heart to grade the student down for thinking outside the box, especially after he told her it was the first poem he ever wrote.

He was 20. Never wrote another thing.

There For Six Months

Underneath Pink Floyd’s alluring rhapsody
the phone was ringing,
Hey you, out there on your own,
sitting naked by the phone, would you touch me
and my older brother is telling me that
come January, he’ll be in Iraq,
serving his time of duty for six months
in the war
see also: abuse of power, see also: corpses

Meanwhile, people all around are nestled away in their cozy,
unobtrusive shells: human anti-socialism,
one thousand and one bloody bodies, our own an afterthought.
Warming cups of soup, chicken-noodle flavor,
and stacks of crackers on a folded napkin, for dipping.

Hey you, don’t help them to bury the light,
don’t give in without a fight
And my brother is telling me that if he makes it back
there’s a good chance he’ll be based in the west coast,
see also: home, see also: happiness
There’s shake and shiver undertones in his voice
when he keeps saying, Don’t worry,
they trained me how to live, but all I can wonder is
if they trained him how to die.

That last part is so perfect, with the words of Pink Floyd cutting in and out and the “shake and shiver undertones” in the brother’s voice. Self has no words.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

IN COLD BLOOD, p. 150

Self is full speed ahead on this book.

The excerpt below is about Alvin Dewey, lead detective on the Clutter murders.

He’s stepped into a coffee shop and gets heckled:

“I got a houseful of women who won’t go to the bathroom alone.”

Dewey had become accustomed to this brand of abuse; it was a routine part of his existence. He swallowed the second cup of coffee, smiled.

“Hell, I’m not cracking jokes. I mean it. Why don’t you arrest somebody? That’s what you ‘re paid for.”

“Hush your meanness,” said Mrs. Hartman. “We’re all in the same boat. Alvin’s doing as good as he can.”

The ranch hand waited until his quarry had reached the door, then fired a farewell volley: “If you ever run for sheriff again, just forget my vote, because you ain’t gonna get it.”

Self teaches memoir writing. The trickiest part of it is that remembered dialogue is far from accurate.

But, in this case, the “remembered dialogue” is by a third party who wasn’t even there.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Everlark: Once, in a Cabin Deep in a Forest . . .

. . . there lived a widowed coal miner with 12 children. And these twelve children were:

  • Gloss
  • Darius
  • Finnick
  • Thom
  • Marvel
  • Cato
  • Johanna
  • Glimmer
  • Delly
  • Madge
  • Primrose
  • Katniss

Gloss, Cato, Glimmer, Delly, Madge and Primrose were “fair-haired with cerulean eyes and porcelain, milk-colored skin . . .  Darius and Finnick were the handsome gingers” and Thom, Marvel, Johanna and Katniss were “dark-haired” and “olive-toned.”

One day, the miner is informed that his in-laws have bequeathed him an apothecary but he must travel in person to District Four to claim it.

So the miner took leave of his 12 children and promised to bring them back gifts from Four, and the children asked for:

  • jewels
  • shoes
  • dresses
  • fancy shields

But Katniss asked only for a single white rose.

The miner did not yet know that to get this rose, he would have to go to an “enchanted castle” where “a hijacked prince” held on to the rose for dear life.

How self loves Everlarkian fairy tales. This one’s by author PeetasandHerondales.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Christmas 2016

It’s getting closer, 2017. And we are all scared.

Before we get there, though, let’s hang on to NORMAL by savoring every last moment of 2016.

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Union Square, San Francisco, December 2016

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Union Square Again: The tree was lit the day after Thanksgiving.

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Macy’s, Union Square, December 2016

Last night, the homeless were still there — lying on sidewalks or curled up inside Stockton Tunnel. But so were loads of people: ice skating, shopping, listening to street musicians.

There were a number of Santa-clad people trying to score.  The Santa Con is like one big OK Cupid event: the women’s Santa outfits featured tiny little skirts, showing quite a bit of leg, most clad in fishnet. By evening, drunk Santas were falling over each other. San Francisco: The Number 1 Hook-Up City in America!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Tiny in San Francisco

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Tiny passageway

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Stunning

Art boxes by local artist Carlos Pillado on the Altar of Old Saint Mary’s in Chinatown:

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Old Saint Mary’s, Pine and California, San Francisco

Kitsch in San Francisco Pizzeria:

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Godzilla! Above the Pizza Oven in Uncle Vito’s, Bush and Powell St., San Francisco

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

LOCAL: 14 October 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge

. . . show us where your heart is.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Dragon Papa!

Order your own hot (delicious) candy fillings.

752 Grant Street, Chinatown, San Francisco

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Lillian’s son Tien is filling out college applications. To help him through the stress, self took him to Dragon Papa.

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They make the candy, hot and fresh, just for you!

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Only place in the San Francisco Bay Area where you can get your candy fresh! The original Dragon Papa is in Hong Kong.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

H2O: Self’s

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is H20:

  • . . . share a photo that features . . . the element of water. Water comes in many different states and guises. From a foggy morning to your favorite watercolor painting, how will you show H2O in a photograph?

— Lingnum Draco, The Daily Post

For this post, self will focus exclusively on fountains:

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Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

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Closer View of the Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse

Different Fountain: Russell Square, London

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Russell Square, London, June 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Sunday: Diane Kirsten Martin

The following appeared in Crab Orchard Review’s The West Coast & Beyond issue, Summer/Fall 2014:

Contiguous

— by Diane Kirsten Martin

Don’t you wonder about the panhandler
On Fremont and Market, sharing his day’s
proceeds with his pink-nosed pit? Or

Frank Chu, with his sign of 12 Galaxies?
What about the World-Famous Bushman,
hiding behind the branch he shakes

at passers-by, or the matching — from pumps
to pillbox hats — Marian and Vivian Brown.
Who are they and who are you, starting out

from the glass eyes of your apartment?
Do you wake in a sweat on an October
night with stars, the moon a fat orange

and the temperature pushing 90
and remember a silver filigree ring buried
under the azalea, the mute orphan who lived

with his uncle, your father who gave you
the back of his hand? Do you, like Frank,
dream of aliens? I’ll bet the man on Fremont

dreams about Thunderbird and wakes up
as if he drank a whole bottle of fortified wine.
Nights like this, with windows wide, you can

hear the rush of the freeway, like the sound
of whitewater Ronald Reagan had piped
into his bedroom for insomnia. Nights like this

we lie naked, contiguous in this warm
ocean that flows around our back and breasts
our arms our throats our lips, necks, thighs.

  • Diane Kirsten Martin won the Erskine J. Poetry Prize from Smartish Pace and was included in Best New Poets 205.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Basho, Still Summer

If nothing else,
I have this tree at least
To take shelter in –
A pasania in summer.

(A pasania — self wasn’t sure what that was, so she looked it up. It’s a type of beech. In the course of looking, she stumbled upon this interesting blog: Street Trees of Tokyo)

The thing with Basho —  feelz get her on every page. Every page.

Stay tuned.

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