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.

FEBRUARY 1, 2015 11:03AM

Long Story Short

I write to make cruel but justified sport
of people who use the phrase “long story short.”
You can bet–if you happen to think that I’m wrong–
when those words are heard a tale’s gone on too long.

To say them, of course, only makes the thing longer
which makes m… Read full post »

JANUARY 31, 2015 1:47PM

With X Games Over, Y Games Up Next

SOMERVILLE, Mass. This densely-populated suburb of Boston, once known as the Rebuilt Engine Capital of America, has slowly transformed itself into a hipster mecca as people like Evan Grinstead have moved in. “It’s a pretty cool place except for my landlady,” he says as he turns th… Read full post »

JANUARY 31, 2015 10:14AM

When Glutens Run Free

Where do glutens go when they set them free?
This, of late, has been a mystery to me.
Is there a gluten preserve out in the Great Plains?
I’m being serious—can someone explain?

I imagine the looks on the glutens’ faces
When they let them out in the wide open spaces.
After living… Read full post »

"Having trouble getting married?  Maybe you aren’t doing enough pole dancing in your living room.”

Wall Street Journal, “In Japan, ‘Marriage Hunting’ May Require the Right Lair.”

Back in my bachelor days I sometimes despaired that I’d ever meet th… Read full post »

OTTUMWA, Iowa.  Facing a possible primary challenge from populist candidate Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton today downplayed her years at Wellesley College and Yale Law School, telling a cheering crowd of supporters in Iowa her advanced degrees were “worthless as tits on a boar… Read full post »

LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE, N.H.  Chastened by his 2012 loss to Barack Obama but prepared to learn from his mistakes, former Massachusetts Governor Willard “Mitt” Romney huddled last night with high-priced consultants as he considers a third run at the White House.

&ldqRead full post »

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey.  When Len Ullman’s mother needed brain surgery, he says the hardest part wasn’t dealing with the fear that the operation wouldn’t be a success, “it was the bill I was stuck with afterwards.”

The total came to over $200,000, not including item… Read full post »

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Firemen worked frantically against the clock in a desperate attempt to save the lives of shoppers at the Barnes & Noble bookstore here after a shelf gave way when “The Sacrifice,” the most recent work by prolific author Joyce Carol Oates, was added to her already bul… Read full post »

WAYLAND, Mass.  In this bucolic town west of Boston, the head of the Department of Public Works is the most important public official from December through February.  “People like to drive on pavement, not snow or ice,” says Ed Schlepper, a DPW employee with 22 years behind the… Read full post »

There are certain artists whose legacy is a product both of variety and extent; like Proteus, the Greek sea god whom Homer called The Old Man of the Sea, they present to us both an ever-changing aspect, and one too vast to be grasped at once.

Lead Belly, singing for children.Read full post »

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas. Just as his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination begins to gain traction, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is facing criticism from animal rights groups and death penalty opponents over his practice of cooking squirrels in a popcorn popper while a college s… 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.

“No fair–that’s an illegal tutu!&rd

Read full post »
JANUARY 26, 2015 8:07AM

Put the Magic Back in Your Marriage!

Sex is the glue that holds a marriage together, because it requires husband and wife to touch each other and it’s sticky. Unfortunately, over time, many spouses drift apart because they run out of this glue, with disastrous consequences.

Diane von Furstenberg: He got bored with this?

Whe… Read full post »

In a seminal article collected in “Jazzmen,” E. Simms Campbell pointed out that there was once (in 1939) as many styles of blues piano as there were American cities with black musicians and pianos in them; there was of course, New Orleans style, but native strains developed in Memphis, St… Read full post »

GLENDALE, Arizona. As the NFL considered fines against the New England Patriots and their head coach Bill Belichick for under-inflating footballs in last week’s AFC Championship Game, insiders say the league has ignored evidence of cheating by the three-time Super Bowl winner for years.

Read full post »

JANUARY 24, 2015 10:24AM

What's a Man For?

It’s an age-old question, that defies analysis,
and leads to a certain mental paralysis.
One I ask myself as I stare out the door:
“What, after all, I am here for?”
If the wife’s within earshot, she’ll promptly respond
With an answer that won’t strike most ears as fond:… Read full post »

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

                                  &nRead full post »

It’s happened to me twice lately.  I send someone a gift, in one case a book of my poems because a woman asked me for it, in the second a copy of A.J. Liebling’s The Sweet Science because a young man I’ve sponsored on a trip to South America told me… Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2015 7:38PM

The Greenfather

Italian authorities seized $1.9 billion in “green” investments made by La Cosa Nostra to launder money.


I’ve been recycling since a college roommate first introduced me to the activity that has become a secular religion for me. Whenever my wife throws away a plastic ketchup… Read full post »

Accountancy has a good claim to being the world’s oldest profession.  

Edward Chancellor, Wall Street Journal review of “Double Entry” by Jane Gleeson-White


We were hanging around, me and my buddies Ug and Nutz, trying to resist the inexorable tide of evolution.&nbs… Read full post »

Dolphins and elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror, an ability that has made them seem humanlike.

The Moral Arc, Michael Shermer

“Humans have feelings?  Scree!  That’s a good one!”


I was hanging around the pool, enjoying myself while I waited for the… Read full post »

NEW YORK.  The National Football League’s investigation into whether the New England Patriots improperly deflated footballs in their 45-7 AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts today hit a snag, literally and figuratively, when it was determined that D’Qwell Jackso… Read full post »

NATICK, Mass. Lines began to form outside The Gnarly Gamer, a store in this suburb west of Boston, at 4:30 this morning in anticipation of “Grand Theft Auto: Massachusetts”, the latest release of one of the most successful videogames in history. “It’s gonna be wicked awesome,&… Read full post »

Dance, according to Robin Collingwood, was the original art form, and are you really going to argue with a guy who has been referred to as “the best known neglected thinker of our time”?  I didn’t think so.

The Dance Class, by Edgar Degas


All things considered, if… Read full post »

JANUARY 18, 2015 4:22PM

Me and Jim the Wonder Dog

A trip back to my boyhood home in Missouri presents me with an opportunity to visit with Jim the Wonder Dog, the most famous native of my hometown with the possible exceptions of Dale Carnegie and Scott Joplin.

“C’mon Jim–let’s go conjugate some irregular French verbs.&Read full post »