The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller
JANUARY 17, 2011 6:50PM

How to Improve Just About Any Poem

. . . how every sunny Saturday afternoon,
Hey, diddle-diddle, the dish ran away with the spoon.

                              November, Late in the Day, Joh

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JANUARY 15, 2011 3:09PM

Why the Wild Turkey Rolls in the Dust

There is traffic on the streets today--

I’ll be stuck at the stoplight,

so I take a right

onto the road

that goes through the woods.



I pass as I must the vegetable plot

Where this summer, riding my bike,

I saw a thing atop

spindly legs,

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REGGIO EMILIA, Italy.  This industrial town in the north of Italy is getting a sprucing up in anticipation of a visit by Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the canonization of St. Luciana, a young girl who will be named the patron saint of bathroom breaks.

Luciana: "No, I don't have to

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Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 14, 2011 8:07AM

Hip Hop Lit: New and Noteworthy

Rapper Curtis Jackson, a/k/a "50 Cent", will collaborate with a team of writers on a series of novels about life as a youth on the streets.  Variety

The Rapper in the Rye (Paperback)
by 50 Cent and J.D. Salinger
(63 customer reviews)   

List price:      $1/Read full post »

JANUARY 12, 2011 9:09PM

To the Sad-Eyed Girl in Aisle Five

You looked, as you stood before the canned soups,
   as if your goldfish had just died.

Exasperated at the end of a working day,
   preparing to make dinner for one,
   wondering whether tomorrow night would bring
   the same old poop,
   refried.… Read full post »

JANUARY 12, 2011 3:53PM

I Found Myself in Waters

I found myself in waters,
a lily-padded pond
that cooled us in July.
Unready for the world, we pawned


ourselves for a longer lease on youth.
I found myself in waters
later that summer in Wellfleet,
where we floated like otters


on our backs, sons and daughters,
innocent again, in

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          Pat Patriot, the mascot of the New England Patriots, has been arrested in a prostitution sting. 


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DETROIT.  Before he took the job as Detroit Pistons head coach in 2009 John Kuester says he received assurances from general manager Joe Dumars that the disciplinary problems that erupted into the NBA's biggest brawl ever with the Indiana Pacers six years ago had been resolved.&n

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           A man went on a rampage in a Cambridge, Mass. movie theatre, smashing everything on the concession counter over a projectionist's blurry image of "The Sound of Music." 

        &nbRead full post »

JANUARY 10, 2011 5:03PM

It's Academic

The world of academia can be a hostile and forbidding place, with English professors telling you to use "an" before "hostile" as soon as you get the bloody words out of your mouth.  Here are some of the issues that have been troubling our correspondents lately.

Student coffeehouse: 

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Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 10, 2011 9:02AM

How to Have a Date by Valentine's Day

It's coming: Valentine's Day--after New Year's Eve, the second most dreaded day on the calendar for singles, grade school Romeos and Juliets and philanderers.  Thankfully, Cosmopolitan magazine regularly publishes tips on how to have a boyfriend by the time significant holid

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Oh, do not worry, I careth not-o,
Not every reader plays the role
Of the literary aficionado--
You may have no poetry in your soul.


Thanks, said she, now I’m off the hook.
I’ve always liked poems ever since I was young,
And I really tried to read your book
But you have no poetry

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JANUARY 8, 2011 12:38PM

Twilight of the Trotters

Neither you nor I is old enough, of course,
  to remember that America’s most
  popular athlete once was a horse,

Dan Patch

but it’s true.  Back when Sherwood Anderson
  wrote “I’m a Fool,” Dan Patch, out
  of Zelica by Joe Patchen

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EAU CLAIRE, Michigan. In this homogenous town in southwest Michigan, where 91% of the residents are white, middle-school children lead a sheltered life as they are chauffered from home to school and soccer in oversize American-made sport utility vehicles. So when sixth-grade teacher Carol Oberg bega

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JANUARY 5, 2011 3:03PM

Estate Planning for Cats

The Massachusetts legislature has passed a bill allowing residents to write pets into their wills and leave trust funds behind for their care.                 

         &nRead full post »

SCHENECTADY, N.Y.  Floyd Curtin has been an air traffic controller at Mookie Wilson International Airport here for nearly twenty years, but he is more widely-known as “Rat Dog,” the “screen name” he uses for his blog “Politics, Sports & B.S.” which&nb… Read full post »

JANUARY 4, 2011 9:57AM

On a Son Turning Twenty-One

I have watched him, back from illness,

  skating at a hockey rink,

round and round the face-off circle,

  lost in himself, it made me think--



long after the others had left the ice

  and the Zamboni man had honked his horn--

there was within

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JANUARY 4, 2011 7:56AM

Your Dream Advisor

Your dreams are a window into your soul.  No wait–that’s your eyes.  Your dreams are the stain on your subconscious left by all the smegma you have to wade through during the day.  Puzzled by a dream’s meaning?  Ask Your Dream Advisor!

Dear Dream Advisor:… Read full post »

JANUARY 3, 2011 7:13PM

The Antic Monkey

The antic monkey in the zoo

Flings crap at me and crap at you—

Makes no distinction high or low

When he winds up his stuff to throw.



He is a small “d” democrat

When he rears back to hurl his scat

And so I have but one

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ATHENS, Greece.  The mood at most archaeological sites is contemplative and the pace deliberative until workers stumble upon the sort of discovery that can make careers and men’s fortunes.

“I think we’ve found the earliest secret decoder ring in human history!&rdqu

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JANUARY 2, 2011 5:54PM

I Won't Be Back

On my snowshoe walk today
  a man leaned out his window and
  yelled at me to go away.

His wife was upstairs,
  he said,
shampooing her hair--
  she could see me from there.

I didn't think I'd been offensive,
  walking lonely, downward looking,
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As you turn the page on 2010 and look ahead to the coming year, you may be asking yourself--what exactly do I get for all the taxes I'm going to owe come April 15th?  Where does my money go, except to pay for bailouts, interstate highways, aircraft carriers and assorted underassistant

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INDIANAPOLIS.  Indiana State Police say they have arrested two computers assigned to Bowl Championship Series details following a "sting" operation in which undercover agents offered to trade sex and additional memory for improved BCS rankings.

"Oh yes, that's it, right t

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DECEMBER 31, 2010 3:57PM

The Darker Waters Are Deeper

The deeper waters are darker,
The shallows a paler hue.
The sky is blackest at midnight,
White-tinged when evening is through.


You, as you drifted downwards,
Grew paler—perhaps from the cold.
The floor of the sea no light can reach,
By no heat were you consoled.

The darker wate

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DECEMBER 31, 2010 1:31PM

Eleven Hot Jobs for '11

Unemployment is stubbornly high, which means more competition for jobs in the want ads.  Here are some little-known professions that economists predict will experience high wage levels and robust growth next year.

          &nbsRead full post »