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.


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

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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

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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:


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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 

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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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

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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

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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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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 »