The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 1, 2011 1:00PM

After Years of Experiments Subject is Hooked on Placebos

MADISON, Wis.  Gerry van Earle can remember the first time he agreed to be part of a medical experiment as if it were yesterday, even though it has now been twenty years since he first funded his Friday night beer run with the $25 he earned for his labors.  “It

Read full post »

LOS ANGELES.  Physicians for troubled "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen laid down the law today, saying they would sign off on his release from the hospital only if he observed a strict regimen of no more than four porn stars at one sitting.

"Aw, come on.  They're

Read full post »

BOSTON.  Amy Linehan thinks the legal profession is boring, and doesn't want to be a lawyer.  So what's she doing in the library at Bay State School of Law, studying for mid-term exams?

"I want to be a poet, and Wallace Stevens was a poet and a lawyer, so there

Read full post »

GREENSBORO, N.C.  As the U.S. Figure Skating Championships wound down last night with the identical twins pairs competition, officials breathed a sigh of relief that the proceedings had not been marred by a scoring controversy.

"The oversize teddy bear with the heart-shaped kiss marks is

Read full post »

MARLBORO, Mass.  It's Sunday night at the New England Skating Center, and Butchie Dorr is casting a longing glance at a Pee-Wee Hockey tournament final that's about to begin in one of this facility's eight ice rinks.

New England Skating Center, Marlboro, Mass.

"I may sneak over later to

Read full post »
JANUARY 29, 2011 5:28PM

Christmas Day, a Year Ago

I returned today to the woods where,

  on Christmas Day a year ago

  I hiked, seeking quiet.  I went there

  for peace among the firs and snow.



I thought then, when I was far from my car,

  that the scene made a lovely

Read full post »

WASHINGTON, D.C.  As Egypt inched closer to civil war, President Obama huddled with intelligence officials deep into the night surrounded by his inner circle of advisors--with one notable exception.

"There's a pyramid in 'Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.'  Bet you didn't know that."


Read full post »

BOONEVILLE, Mo.  Lloyd Yoder, a heavy-equipment operator for a construction company, is a big man with strong opinions.  "I love my family, huntin', fixin' up the house and Star Wars, and not necessarily in that order," he quips with a wink at this reporter. 

Read full post »
JANUARY 28, 2011 8:12AM

At the Viking Poetry Slam

          A mastery of poetry was a must for any young Viking.  A few Viking poems dwelt on love, but the heroes often undermined their happiness by chasing adventures that separated them from their beloveds. 


Read full post »
JANUARY 27, 2011 3:35PM

Your Neighborly Advisor

Our neighbors are often our best friends, although sometimes they can become a gigantic pain in our rear ends.  How do you walk the fine line between your adjacent lots?  Ask the Neighborly Advisor!

Dear Neighborly Advisor:

Recently my husband Ed and I went on vacation, and I

Read full post »
JANUARY 26, 2011 9:37PM


I’ve really had it up to here
  with people who say “awesome”
  of things that don’t inspire awe.
I don’t find this sort of thing winsome.
I wish periodically they’d round these folks up—
  there ought to be a law.


As bad as it is wit

Read full post »

Tonight, in a break from long-standing tradition, members of Congress will sit next to each other without regard to party affiliation as they listen to the President's State of the Union address.  It promises to be a historic occasion, like the lion lying down with the lamb in th

Read full post »
JANUARY 24, 2011 8:57AM

Your Winter Weather Questions

Wow--what a winter so far!  Already two "nor'easters" have hit New England, causing massive losses of fluffy white poodles in snow banks, and a third is on its way!  Nor'easter, that is, not poodles.  Here are answers to your Winter Weather Questions from Gerbil Weather Network:


Read full post »
JANUARY 22, 2011 10:16AM

That's Unethical!

Ethical questions arise every day, everywhere, in every walk of life.  Mr. Unethical untangled the following knotty problems of moral philosophy this week:

Dear Mr. Unethical:

            Recently we went away for the weekend 

Read full post »

It's a snowy Friday in Boston, a good chance to catch up on the paperwork that piles up on the desk of your average entertainment lawyer, and sometimes on the desk of below-average members of the guild like myself.

I attach binder clips to several mega-contracts, scan Variety for box

Read full post »

HANNIBAL, Mo.  It has been praised as the beginning of modern American literature by no less an authority than Ernest Hemingway, but it has also been criticized from its first publication by Pecksniffian librarians for its "tawdry subject matter," and more recently by blacks for its use of a ra

Read full post »
JANUARY 20, 2011 2:47PM

Epitaph for a Shopper

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let her lie.
Glad she lived, we now recall,
As she dropped off her bags with a wail.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here she lies where she longed to be;
Home is the shopper, home from the mall,
And the bargain-hunter home from t

Read full post »

LINCOLN, Nebraska. In this state capitol in America's heartland, the battle between religious traditionalists and those who want to remake the law in their own image is joined over a ballot question that would prohibit a men and women from marrying themselves.

Fine--have it your way.


Read full post »

BAGHDAD, Iraq.  Warring Muslim factions here are getting a helping hand in their effort to bridge the gap that has divided Shiites from Sunnis since Mohammed died in the seventh century; a new version of the Peace Corps that will use recreational metal detection to build trust and friendship be

Read full post »
JANUARY 19, 2011 8:15AM

My Wife, the Registry of Motor Vehicles

 Twenty years of romance makes a woman looks like a ruin; twenty years of marriage makes her look like a public building. 

                          &nRead full post »

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

Read full post »
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,

Read full post »
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

Read full post »