Saturday, May 6, 2017

Learnmore Edwin Zvada writes


You come to me on a winter morning, floating on the high seas like an empty bucket, to fill me up with your emptiness, till we start sharing empty talk like little kids who seek not much sense in vernacular chitchat we sit a head apart, with our feet buried in the sand a soulful tune issues from your pink radio, sea-waves shuttle between our shadows and the open sea, our eyes lock on to a mutual phantasm and they pair off to some cloud-cuckoo-land where mortals converse in gesticulations, soon I am to know you have found a friend in me and I am given to conclude that my smile is exuding a similar sentiment, for something to do we start fighting over a nonsensical this and that, our collegial scuffle spills down to our bellies and how we ought to fill them, we eventually settle on a sea bream like always you take on the head as I nibble at the fins appetites satiated, we belch out the contents of our souls onto the space between us, we bag the effluence and load it on a scale, but we dissent over the outcome, so we take the readings to the butcher who has seen much weighing in his day, he certifies you empty as an ocean wind, and I am full of it like a sack of rotten tomatoes, but we finally agree that we are too broken to live apart, hence we wed in the broken cold room and the butcher calls the carpenter, who makes us wooden rings, a passing marching band plays La Bamba, we dance awhile to the foxtrot, we empty ourselves to each other in song and it turns out we fit, like latex gloves but summer comes and you start slipping away from me, I begin to wither, like a starved chicken, I wanna tell you I still need you to fill me for all-time, but you insist on leaving so I wave you goodbye, as the high seas swallow you up the same manner in which you emerged to me I eventually realize I am too empty to carry on so I slip away in a night, never to be found, never to be buried  
Cloud Cuckoo Land -- David Hochbaum


  1. "La Bamba" is a Mexican folk song that exemplifies the Son Jarocho musical style which originated in the state of Veracruz, combining Spanish, Huastecan, and African musical elements. The name is derived from the Spanish "bambolear" (to shake or stomp) and was often played at weddings to display the newlyweds' unity through the performance of complicated, delicate steps in unison, as well as using only their feet to tie a listón, a long red ribbon, into a bow. The "arriba" ("up") part of the song suggests the nature of the dance, in which the "zapateado"(footwork) is done faster and faster as the music tempo accelerates. It may have been recorded as early as 1908,but the earliest certain recording was as "El Jarocho" by Alvaro Hernández Ortiz (ca. 1939). In 1945 American bandleader Everett Hoagland introduced it to urban audiences at Ciro's nightclub in Ciudad de Mexico and dancer Arthur Murray took it to New York's Stork Club, and Miguel Alemán Valdés used it effectively in his presidential campaign. But it became a global hit when Mexican-American rock singer recorded it in 1958.


  2. When Aristophanes' blatantly name-dropping comedy "Ornithes" (The Birds) premiered at the "City" Dionysia in Athens, the second-most important Greek festival after the Panathenaia, in 414 BCE, it won second prize (despiote warnings from the birds in the play that the judges would be defecated on if they did not give it first place). It opened with Pisthetaerus (Trustyfriend) and Euelpides (Goodhope) searching for the Thracian king Tereus, the son of Ares the god of war. After raping his wife's sister Philomela, Tereus had cut out her tongue and imprisoned her, but she managed to weave her story into a tapestry and sent it secretly to queen Procne. In revenge Procne killed their son Itys and served his corpse to Tereus. When Tereus found out, he tried to kill both sisters, but the gods changed Procne into a nightingale (who sings in mourning over the death of her son) and Philomela into a swallow (which has no song). Tereus became a hoopoe. When the two Athenians found the Hoopoe, Pisthetaerus suggested that the birds should stop their idiotic flying about and build a city in the sky, from where they would be able to rule mankind and block block communication between the gods and men. When a council of birds arrived, Pisthetaerus convinced them that they were the original gods, since through their father Eros the god of love they were the grandchildren of Nyx (Night) and her brother Erebus (Darkness), the chidren of primordial Chaos, and that they should regain their lost authority by allying with the Athenians against the gods. The Nightingale then addressed the audience (in the D. Barett / A. Sommerstein translation):
    Hear us, you who are no more than leaves always falling, you mortals benighted by nature,
    You enfeebled and powerless creatures of earth always haunting a world of mere shadows,
    Entities without wings, insubstantial as dreams, you ephemeral things, you human beings:
    Turn your minds to our words, our etherial words, for the words of the birds last forever!
    And the chorus invited the audience to join them, since birds easily do things men had qualms about, such as beating up their fathers and committing adultery. Pisthetaerus and Euelpides then named the proposed city Nubicuculia (cloud-cuckoo-land) and began laying out its plans. Poseidon, Herakles, and a god of the barbarian Triballians went to negotiate peace, and they agree to recognize Pisthetaerus as king. Though the city in the sky never materialized, "cloud cuckoo land" came to refer to an unrealistically perfect state, and people who "dwell" there are naive, unrealistic, or deranged in their optimism. This figurative sense was introduced in 1813 by Arthur Schopenhauer when he criticized other philosophers for only talking about Cloud-cuckoo-land ("Wolkenkuckucksheim"). In 1919 Austrian economist gave a lecture arguing against Otto Neurath's theories about the feasibility of central planning; the next year it was published as an essay ("Economic Calculation In The Socialist Commonwealth") with a foreword by Yurie N. Maltsev, who declared, "Today, the disastrous consequences of enforcing the utopia on the unfortunate pyopulations of the communist states are clear even to their leaders. As Mises predicted, despite the cloud-cuckoo lands of their fancy, roasted pigeons failed to fly into the mouths of the comrades."


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