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Friday, February 24, 2012

Your Crowning Glory



Saint Cecilia
by Leo


Ancient Egyptians:
Mix some honey, beer, boiled wheat, and goat dung. Apply to your scalp. Baldness is an affliction directed from the gods. The goat dung will fool the gods into believing you are a goat and you will be "overlooked".  If that doesn't work, mix  iron, red lead, onion, alabaster and honey and consume after an  invocation to the sun god. If that doesn't work, use the fat taken from lions, hippo's, crocodiles, ibex, serpents and geese. Rub into the scalp habitually and let soak for several days at a time.


)
 
The Celtic Druids:
Rub rosemary on the bald patch and then submerge your head 3 times in icy water. Go kill a red squirrel,  its long tail will act as the impetus for a flurry of hair growth.


 
Wiccan:
Light a candle the color of which you want your new hair to be. Drip the candle wax into a pot of boiling water bubbling over a fire. Mix some dirt into the mixture and chant. 



Ancient Chinese:
Catch a green grass snake and put it in a silk bag.  Pound the  reptile and mix with FoTi root. Boil  the mixture and put it under a full moon for 3 days. On the 4th day, smear the mix all over your scalp and leave it on for two nights and one day. This  will make your hair grow back, long, black and luxurious and you will never suffer from grayness.



Plains Indians:
Collect a batch of nettles, scorpions and millipedes.  Grind them all up, boil the resulting mixture and plaster your head with it.   Urine from a pregnant woman should be added for best results.



Other bizarre treatments:
Rub a mixture of curried vegetables into your scalp.
Take a stroll to the nearest farm and get a thorough licking from a cow!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lord Aaron


Happy Birthday
another year without you




Dedication from the first edition of Cosmic Consiousness
by Richard Maurice Buck, to his son Maurice

MAURICE ANDREWS BUCKE
22 November, 1868—8 December, 1899
8 December, 1900


Dear Maurice:—
A year ago to-day, in the prime of youth, of health and of strength, in an instant, by a terrible and fatal accident, you were removed forever from this world in which your mother and I still live. Of all young men I have known you were the most pure, the most noble, the most honourable, the most tender-hearted. In the business of life you were industrious, honest, faithful, intelligent and entirely trustworthy. How at the time we felt your loss—how we still feel it—I would not set down even if I could. I desire to speak here of my confident hope, not of my pain. I will say that through the experiences which underlie this volume I have been taught, that in spite of death and the grave, although you are beyond the range of our sight and hearing, notwithstanding that the universe of sense testifies to your absence, you are not dead and not really absent, but alive and well and not far from me this moment. If I have been permitted—no, not to enter, but—through the narrow aperture of a scarcely opened door, to glance one instant into that other divine world, it was surely that I might thereby be enabled to live through the receipt of those lightning-flashed words from Montana which time burns only deeper and deeper into my brain.

Only a little while now and we shall be again together and with us those other noble and well-beloved souls gone before. I am sure I shall meet you and them; that you and I shall talk of a thousand things and of that unforgettable day and of all that followed it; and that we shall clearly see that all were parts of an infinite plan which was wholly wise and good. Do you see and approve as I write these words? It may well be. Do you read from within what I am now thinking and feeling? If you do you know how dear to me you were while you yet lived and what we call life here and how much more dear you have become to me since.
Because of the indissoluble links of birth and death wrought by nature and fate between us; because of my love and because of my grief; above all because of the infinite and inextinguishable confidence there is in my heart,


I inscribe to you this book, which, full as it is of imperfections which render it unworthy of your acceptance, has nevertheless sprung from the divine assurance born of the deepest insight of the noblest members of your race.
So long! dear boy.

YOUR FATHER








Friday, February 17, 2012

Sister Leocadia Ruth, Order of Sophia

Me as a nun
Sketched by a street artist in Montreal


My husband went to Catholic school and it had a traumatic effect on him.  Scoldings and humiliation ad-infinitum.  He holds a long-standing grudge against nuns.  This grudge is half a century old and has worked it's way into the border country of strong dominant woman in general.  If only he could have known a few more sisters of the sweet and kind variety, things might have balanced themselves out instead of leaning relentlessly to one side.  Sister H-Bomb was the one who did the most damage to his psyche.  The memory of one so awful seems to have shoved the memory of one so sweet, Sister Anastasia, into near non-existence.  It was she who always had a little something sweet in her lunch for him, and under whose tutelage he won the 5th grade spelling bee. 

Everyone holds grudges. Some are easier to let go of than others. I think anyone who says they never hold a grudge is not being honest with his or her self. A grudge I can't let go of is toward my father, a man I hold in very high esteem and love dearly.  But things tend to stick in your mind and the emotions connected with them will never leave till you let go of the grudge.  When you hold a grudge you begrudge yourself the peace and joy that could be yours if only you could throw it away.

When I was 14 years old my father asked me to cut him half a slice of bread. It seemed silly to me so I cut a whole slice and gave it to him. He threw it on the floor and said "I asked for half a slice! Can't you ever follow orders!" When I bent over to pick the bread up off the floor, he kicked me in the ass. He said I was incorrigible. I was an honor student. I took care of my younger sister and brothers and father when my mother went to work at night. I was very religious and wanted to be a nun.

My father was insanely jealous of my mother who was very beautiful. He couldn't stand the thought of her working at nights in a delicatessen and possibly getting the attention of other men. He would drink and go nuts. I didn't know what incorrigible meant. I had to look it up in the dictionary. He took all of his anger out on me because I was the "mother" when my mother was working. Soon after, I lost interest in school and was on the verge of becoming a juvenile delinquent. If I hadn't met my husband and married him at 16, I don't know what would have happened to me.  I've never been able to forgive my father for that incident and so, yes, I still hold that grudge. Still, I think my father is one of the best men I ever knew, so it all makes very little sense.

In 1998 I took my 14 year old daughter and her best friend on a thirty day North American rail trip.  The purpose of the trip was to remove them from a negative element that was creeping it's way into their lives, and to show them there was more to life than hanging out with the ne'er–do–wells .  Our first stop was Montreal with an overnight stay at Saint Joseph's Oratory, where among other activities, we attended a mass for the sick and dying and an organ concert.  The girls held up amazingly well through the mass and the concert, in spite of being terrifically bored, they were at the same time agog.  I chose this part of our itinerary to ask for the blessing of Saint Joseph, among whose many patronages is the protection of travelers.

In Montreal proper we stayed at a modest but lovely hotel; the girls enjoyed taking turns at the currency exchange and walking around town checking out shops and eateries.  On our 3rd and last day we roamed aimlessly through Old Montreal, it was early August and the weather was perfect.  It was there we came upon a young Asian portrait artist who had on display, among his many celebrity portraits, Sophia Loren as a nun in a white habit, the order of which is beyond me.  But Sophia was beautiful and I couldn't resist the urge to join her order.  I asked the artist if he could sketch me in the same habit, and gave him instructions not to flatter me, to sketch as honest a representation  as he could.  I also asked him to include my mother's ruby cross which I was wearing at the time.  My mother's name was Ruth which is another name for compassion. (And even though it doesn't fit well into the context of this paragraph, I can't leave out that my father's middle, or saint name, is Joseph.)  I wasn't expecting the portrait to come out looking like Sophia, of course.  I just wanted it to come out looking like me.  I was very pleased with the end result and tipped the artist well.

Since I couldn't drag the portrait around for the next 27 days of our trip, I decided to send it home in a posting tube.  And then I mischievously went one better.  I phoned my husband and told him I was sending him a gift in the mail.  I only wish I could have been there to see the expression on his face when he unrolled the portrait and saw his worst nightmare.  It's under glass now, and in a frame that we chose together, hanging on some obscure wall of our house so as not to dominate the atmosphere.  I think it's odd, that fate flung us together, a nun hater and a nun lover, each with our own peculiar grudge, drawing us together and driving us apart at the same time.  Love is a mighty strange equation.


Absurdism and the Poor

Self Portrait by Leo


The high falutin
rootin tootin
vendors of ignominy
scrape their knuckles
on the floor
on their way
to my door.
I try to put them on ignore
They glare
and blare their evil tune
"It's just not fair"
Boom bada boom bada boom.

The more I give the more
they take for balance sake
say they, hey hey hey
They want to even the score
play a game of tit for tat
give me this I'll give you that
and while you're at it
why not add a cup of sugar
for the poor long lost Susies
who come in droves
followed by Pinocchio
and his long long nose.
(a thing I most abhor) 
A pimp of sorts he is
dressed in iridescent clothes
his wooden mouth reports
in vulgar braggadocio
lie after lie after lie.
He says that I must do or die.
O me
O my
O me
O

by Leo, February 17, 2012 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A New Member


Young Girl With A Swan
Completion Date: 1886

I decided to re-blog this because today (drum roll) I have a new member.   A beautiful and intelligent woman named Swan.  I originally posted this blog back in February 14, 2012, Valentines Day, on the occasion of my very first member, a talented fashion illustrator with a terrific resume and a wonderful blog of his own called, "Oscar de la Rip Off".  Dave had a wonderful sense of humor and told wonderful and personal stories about his personal life and his experiences in the world of fashion.  I don't know what happened to Dave.  One day he was just gone and so was his blog.  Dave, wherever you are I hope you are okay and nothing bad has happened to you.  

Back to Swan.  I hope if she sees this she will not be embarrassed that I am honoring her with this re-blog.  I can't find a way to comment on her blog site, "Divine Comedy of Autistic Spectrum Errors", which has a wealth of information and personal insights on Austism and its spectrum.  Just about anything you would like to know on the subject of Autism you can find there, or here   She is also a wonderful artist, so if you visit her site,  be sure to check out her artwork.  Swan, I am so happy to have you as a member.  A very warm welcome to you. 


"Hey Ma, did yuh hear the news?  Leo's got herself a bran' new member. 
Some feller goes by the name o' Dave, a genuine artiste from none other'n 
New York City.  Hear t' tell she's tickled pink 'bout it.   Least ways, that's
what ol' Birdie Hicks was sayin' over t' the Grange meetin' t'other night."

"Land sakes, Pa, you call that news?  I knowed that two days ago.  Now, unless
you's a fixin' t' whisper sweet nothin's in my ear,  or you got somethin' special
t' give me, oh, I dunno, like a purty valentine or a box o' chocolates, git yerself
out o'  my kitchen  an' start mendin' that chicken fence like you been promisin'
so's  I don't have t' waste my time wanderin' all over tarnation lookin' fer eggs."  


This is a Wonderful Day
I woke up this morning to find that I had a member.  It took me by surprise and made my day. All these months with not a soul in sight, and suddenly, on this Valentine's Day, I log in and notice there is someone sitting next to me in the member section of my blog.   I was resolved to being the only member into eternity or there about,  and now I have a follower.  I'm not going to feign sophistication and act blase  about this new development in my personal blogosphere; I'm thrilled.   Welcome, my friend.



Well, my heart's in the Highlands at the break of day
Over the hills and far away
There's a way to get there, and I'll figure it out somehow
But I'm already there in my mind
And that's good enough for now

Bob Dylan

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Outback


My former studio and refuge, now in total disrepair. I refer to it as "Outback" and it's where I wrote the poem of the same name many years ago. Come Spring, I'm going to commit myself (haha) to its full restoration.

Outback

Leftover piecemeal days
and bitter rutabaga luncheons
use my mouth to advertise their wantonness,
to take me up a down hill so that
I am just the same as always
wanting more than anything
to be alone
but not really.
The afternoons go lucky lightly
people drop in to say hello
I try to pay attention
but the apple mania Bridgeport
lady with the high whine
slops mayonnaise on the tablecloth
and asks too many questions.
When there's no more light
the artificial moon babies
go snicker snicker.
I slam the front door
and run outback
where the Hershey bars are waiting
and everything goes berserk
like an old man
with too many nickels.

by Leocadia

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hard Times Come Again No More - Stephen Foster


Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864), known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century. His songs — such as "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "Hard Times Come Again No More", "My Old Kentucky Home", "Old Black Joe", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", and "Beautiful Dreamer" — remain popular over 150 years after their composition.

1826
July 4: Stephen Collins Foster is born in the White Cottage on the 123 acre family homestead northeast of
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Later that same day, Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and Johns Adams die.

1864
January 13: Foster had become impoverished while living at the North American Hotel at 30 Bowery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. He was reportedly confined to his bed for days by a persistent fever; Foster tried to call a chambermaid, but collapsed, falling against the washbasin next to his bed and shattering it, which gouged his head. It took three hours to get him to Bellevue Hospital.  In an era before transfusions and antibiotics, he succumbed three days after his admittance, aged 37.  In his worn leather wallet, there was found a scrap of paper that simply said "Dear friends and gentle hearts" along with 38 cents in Civil War scrip and three pennies. Foster was buried in the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh. One of his most beloved works, "Beautiful Dreamer", was published shortly after his death

The Music of Stephen Collins Foster


Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.
 

"Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more."


While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.
 

There's a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more. 



Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

You Must Tell Me Baby ......


"Well, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Yes, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Well, you must tell me, baby
How your head feels under somethin' like that
Under your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat"
Bob Dylan, Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat


We were in Darby.   On the corner of Main Street and Chicken Hill.  I was wearing my brand new leopard skin pillbox hat that I just bought from the Moonies for two dollars and fifty cents.  A real bargain.  I was feelin’ good because I like bargains and was having an excellent hair day.  We were debating,  me and  Lautrec,  whether or not we should  walk up the hill to visit my Uncle Richard;  have a cup of Early Grey and a few tea biscuits,  the crispy ones with the chocolate filling that he keeps in a Currier & Ives tin.

 I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window of Bennett’s Men’s Wear and tilted my hat a little more to the side.  Woohoo!  Everything was just right.  I put on my cobalt glasses.  Lautrec  said, “Oh no.”  I asked him what he meant by that.  He said, “I don’t mind if you wear the hat, and I don’t mind if you wear the glasses, but please, baby please, don’t wear the hat and the glasses at the same time."  Can you imagine the nerve of that man?

Uncle Richard was feeling poorly.  It took him forever to open the door.  Me and Lautrec started singing.  “Open the dooooooooor Richard.  Open the dooooooooor Richard.  Open the dooooooooor Richard.  Open that door and let us in.”  He was glad to see us.  Nobody ever went to visit him. 

He had a bad case of Tourette’s with coprolalia and a lot of arm thrusting, neck wrenching, shoulder shrugging and kung fu kicking.  Come to find out, the reason Uncle Richard was feeling so poorly was because his girlfriend Minnie left him for another man, which in and of itself would be reason enough, but the other man was a “no-good mother effin (thrust thrust shrug thrust) pin head punk  from the ( wrench wrench thrust kick kick) side show.”  A human pin cushion who could stick knitting needles through his body parts with out even batting an eyelash.   Funny what some women are attracted to.

 And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, this no-good punk not only stole Uncle Richard's woman, but his black crocodile Gucci loafers that he bought from the Moonies, his stereo that he bought from the Moonies, and his entire Bob Dylan record collection that he bought from the Moonies.  “Can you (thrust shrug shrug) believe it?  Can (shrug wrench) you believe (kick kick) it?  That a (shrug shrug thrust) man would stoop (kick kick) so low?”

I put the tea kettle on and washed the dishes that were piled up in the sink.  Lautrec and Uncle Richard talked about deep sea fishing. Lautrec lived and breathed for fishing.  Uncle Richard loved it too, but his Tourette’s made it next to impossible for him to hold a rod steady.  Lautrec took Uncle Richard fishing with him once on one of those party boats out of Barnegat Light.  It turned out to be a disaster.  A fight broke out because Uncle Richard’s tics were disrupting the other fishermen and a couple of them thought he was kicking them on purpose. Then he started with the coprolalia and all hell broke loose.  Lautrec got his nose broken.  Uncle Richard got a big gash on his chin, a black eye and two busted ribs.

I checked out my reflection in the lid of the frying pan. The curved surface made me look distorted.  I moved my head to and fro and from side to side to get a truer image.  Lautrec said, “What the hell are you doing?” 

“Just checkin’ out my new hat,” I said.  “How do you like it, Uncle Richard?”

“It’s (wrench wrench wrench) effin (thrust shrug shrug) ridiculous.”

I poured the tea and asked Uncle Richard where he was hidin' the biscuits.

His face went pale.  “The (kick thrust thrust kick) Ho an’ (wrench wrench wrench) her lover (shrug shrug shrug shrug) boy (kick kick) took ‘em. (shrug wrench shrug).

“Ho Ho Ho,” said Lautrec. 

Out of nowhere I was suddenly seized by an intense loathing for Lautrec, and a lesser but still existent loathing for Uncle Richard.  I think it had something to do with the war between the sexes, collusion, subjugation, and the plain and obvious fact that they both had an extreme dislike for my new hat.

I put on my Cobalt glasses.



 
"I asked the doctor if I could see you
It's bad for your health, he said
Yes, I disobeyed his orders
I came to see you
But I found him there instead
You know, I don't mind him cheatin' on me
But I sure wish he'd take that off his head
Your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat"

Bob Dylan