The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.

OCTOBER 9, 2010 11:22AM

A Cormorant on Fort Point Channel

I walk past the Postal Annex and
hit the bridge across Fort Point Channel. 
There I see a swimming bird
‘tween land and sea
a cormorant.


I see him, he sees not me.  Indifferent
to the walkers above, he rests,
floating, his body beneath
the surface of the water, his
long neck an

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OCTOBER 8, 2010 9:12AM

Stimulating the Dead

Stimulus checks totalling $18 million were sent to 72,000 dead people.  The Social Security Administration congratulated itself, saying it was a "major accomplishment" the number was so low.

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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 7, 2010 7:41AM

Where's My Phreakin' Nobel Prize in Physics?

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded the other day, and for the 40th consecutive year since I first took a course in the subject, I didn't win.  Excuse me if sound a tad bitter this morning.

Nobel Prize:  Why can't I have one?

This year's winners were Andre Geim

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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida.  Mel Spinogle started working at Tropicana Field here when it was known as the ThunderDome and before that the Florida Suncoast Dome, but this week brought a new set of challenges to the 57-year-old facilities manager.  “What are we going to do with

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MIAMI, Florida.  The American Bar Association, the legal profession's largest membership organization, is considering an updated code of conduct for judges under which lap-dancing would be considered improper under certain circumstances.

ABA panel:  "This crap's boring--can't w

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden.  Peyton Manning today accepted the first Nobel Prize in Football, given to him by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for his contributions to the distinctly American game that Scandinavians have grown to accept, if not completely understand.

Manning:  "Pretty c

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden.  Three American housewives will share this year’s Nobel Prize in Home Economics in recognition of innovations they contributed to traditional recipes.

Hageboom:  "I was Darrell would get that dang vibrator fixed!"

Pamela Hageboom of St. Clair, Idaho, was hon

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OCTOBER 3, 2010 4:58PM

The Prince of Beers

Don, the boss's son, went to college, though he didn't

study much.  He knew the business would be his when

he was through, no matter what he did or didn't do.

He played basketball when he was in high school

but he wasn't much good.  He had his mother's body,Read full post »

OCTOBER 2, 2010 11:12AM

Trumping the Ground Zero Mosque

Donald Trump offered 25% more than Hisham Elzanaty paid for the proposed site of a mosque near the former World Trade Center even though, in Trump’s words, the location was not “a spectacular one.” 

MODERATOR:  Good afternoon and welcome to the Trump Entrepreneur IRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 8:43AM

Boehner: Obama "Worst Black President Ever"

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Representative John Boehner, who is likely to become Speaker if Republicans re-take the House this fall, ramped up his attacks on the President today, saying Obama is "the worst black president America has ever had."

Left to right:  Orange, white, black.

"We d

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 8:00AM

The Corrections Department

Because of the wide range of topics covered by Gerbil News Network, and deadline pressures that limit average research time per story to thirty seconds surfing the internet, errors of fact or emphasis are sometimes made.  Note the passive voice--it's not like we made th/

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 9:39PM

Two Children, South Station, End of Summer

A young girl, clapping her hands under
      each upraised knee in succession,
      as she lopes down the concrete
     towards the bus station.


She’s on vacation; her parents

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 9:07PM

The People Who Won't Get Back to Me

Literary agents, also editors,
But most assuredly not my numerous creditors,
Someday they won’t mean jack to me—
The people who won’t get back to me.


Old girlfriends I find on the web—
One’s named Robin, the other’s a Deb.
I wonder whatever attracted me&m

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WASHINGTON, D.C.  A new Pew Research Center survey revealing only 60% of Americans can correctly name the Vice President hit this city--whose residents overwhelmingly work for the federal government--like an earthquake today.  But the aftershock was even stronger when it was lear

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WORCESTER, Mass.  This gritty central Massachusetts city is known to some as the Industrial Abrasives Capital of the World, and to others for its numerous railroad car diners.  What it is not known for, to the dismay of many, is its educational and cultural attractions.


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WASHINGTON, D.C.  With mid-term elections little more than a month away, new polls showing historically high levels of unhappiness among clams has Democratic Party leaders concerned their losses may exceed even the gloomiest forecasts by political prognosticators.

In happier times.

"I wo

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NEWTON LOWER HILLS, Mass.  This quiet village just west of Boston looks much like any other suburb on a rainy Monday morning; well-tended lawns sprinkled with a few early-fallen leaves that are sent swirling by a gust of wind.  There’s one striking difference howe

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SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 11:09AM

When Will the Poetic Violence End?

Some corners of the world seem to be consigned to an eternal hell of never-ending strife.  The Middle East; Northern Ireland; the faculty lounge at Oxford University.

"You call that bloody crap a sestina, do you?"

What's that you say--one of those three seems out of place?  Well you

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SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 8:08AM

Dental Group Votes to Ban D-Cup Hygienists

CHICAGO. The American Dental Association yesterday issued the results of a ten-year study indicating that patients whose teeth are cleaned by women with large breasts receive less information about proper dental care than those who are treated by small-breasted women. The professional organization vo… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 8:04AM

U.S. Navy Honors Coltrane With Birthday Concert

HONOLULU, Hawaii.  On the surface, there couldn’t be two more improbable musical bedfellows than the U.S. Navy Band and John Coltrane, the fiery tenor saxophonist who changed the course of jazz with his 1960 album “Giant Steps.”  But current Navy Commanding Officer/Leader

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SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 10:03AM

Ask Mr. Fix-It

Got a home repair question?  Ask Mr. Fix-It!  He usually knows the answer, and if not, your problem isn't worth fixing.  Here are some questions received from do-it-yourselfers this week.

"Hmm--the hammer has no effect on the water level."

Dear Mr. Fix-It:

Our roof leaks a… Read full post »

BOONVILLE, Mo.  To a casual observer, Norm Visbeck is a well-adjusted, mature adult with a steady job at the Missouri Department of Fish and Game.  "I count catfish," he says with obvious pride.  "It's my dream job."

"This here makes one."

But probe ever so gently beneath

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2010 3:47PM

It Happens to the Best of 'em

I heard B.B. King flub a note—
Miles Davis too, plenty of 'em.
If it happens to the best of ‘em;
what hope is there for
mere mortals like me?


I saw Dwight Evans misjudge a line drive—
sailed right over his head, all the way to the wall
in right at Fenway Park. You won’Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 18, 2010 1:48PM

Love to the Music of an Unknown Composer

We finished, and there we lay

throbbing to Enescu,

or something like that,

according to the DJ.


There was frost on the crazed

window that would be there

when we woke, barely

warmed by the light of the morning.


It was a piano piece—

delicate, precise. I thought

youRead full post »

It's hard out there--to coin a phrase--for a guy who'd like to quit his day job and write.  You look for any advantage you can get.  A few weeks ago I read about a guy two towns over from me whose first collection of short stories received a glowing, full-page

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