Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Michael Lee Johnson writes

Cut Through Thickness (V2)

I angle at your youth and cross my eyes to see reality of time passed. 
I cut through thickness of your retina, thin splinters, raw oak from the North, 
Cypress trees, bending, rebel in Southern ways. 
My present and past tenses are confused with feelings. 
I cross the border of knowing you and forced to retreat. 
I am seasoning of salt, pepper, and sugar in your veins. 
I am daddy tenderness long time gone memories, graveyard, and suppressed images. 
I squeeze scars, raw pimples, Clearasil, alcohol masking, blend in hate cosmetics. 
Jesus is a forgiving halo symbol hanging over a cross. 
I hang alligator skins on the shells of Saturn and Apollo. 
I lift the Vertical Assembly Building over a trailer sky. 
I launch pad of love, a missile, old time arrow direct to hearts. 
Every time I feel like crying, Bob Dylan, ages, angels with a handful of tears.
 Apollo 11 Rollout
The Apollo 11 rocket rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center, 20 May 1969.


  1. The Vertical Assembly Building (now Vehicle Assembly Building) at Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center, halfway between Jacksonville and Miami, Florida (east of Orlando on Merritt Island) on the Atlantic coast of Florida was completed in 1966 for the vertical assembly of the Saturn V rocket for the Apollo program and future NASA projects. It is 526 ft (160.3 m) tall, 716 ft (218.2 m) long, and 518 ft (157.9 m) wide, covers 8 acres (3 ha), and encloses 129,428,000 cubic feet (3,665,000 cubic m) of space. The interior volume is so vast that it has its own weather, including rain clouds forming below the ceiling on very humid days," even though the building has at least 10,000 tons of air conditioning equipment, including 125 ventilators on the roof supported by 4 large air handlers to control moisture. Air in the building can be completely replaced every hour. To withstand hurricanes, its foundation has 30,000 cubic yards of concrete and 4,225 steel rods driven 160 feet into limestone bedrock. It is the tallest building in the United States outside an urban area and contains the world's largest doors: The 4 doorsare 456 feet (139.0 m) high, each with 7 vertical and 4 horizontal panels, and they take 45 minutes to completely open or close. The north entry that leads to the transfer aisle was widened by 40 feet (12.2 m) to allow entry of the shuttle orbiter. It houses 5 overhead bridge cranes, including two capable of lifting 325 tons, and 136 other lifting devices.

    Clearasil is a skin care and acne medication product containing benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, and resorcinol, triclosan, or salicylic acid invented in 1950 by Ivan Combe and chemist Kedzie Teller. It was the first dermatological brand created specially for younger skin to fight against pimples (acne). After getting a law degree in 1936, Combe became a salesman for Hydrox Ice Cream and the Wilbur Shoe Polish companies before working for the Young & Rubicam advertising agency and Pharmacraft, a drug manufacturer. In 1949, left his vice president's position to form Combe Inc., in White Plains, New York. In 1974 his head of a research and development Herbert Lapidus invented shoe insoles made of latex and activated carbon to reduce foot odor. Combe already marketed Johnson's Foot Soap, so it introduced the product under the Johnson's brand in 1974 before adopting the Odor-Eaters brand. In 1961 the Clearasil brand was bought by Richardson-Vick, which was was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 1985. In 2000 Clearasil moved to the Boots Group portfolio, and in 2006 Boots Healthcare International was purchased by Reckitt Benckiser. In 2011 Combe sold its foot care product line to Blistex Inc.

  2. Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman; Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham) won the Nobel prize for Literature in 2016. Before enrolling at University of Minnesota, he performed two dates (as pianist "Elston Gunnn") with pop star Bobby Vee, and at school he became involbed in the local folk music scene as "Bob Dylan." At first he had wanted to use the "Dillon" surname, after marshall Matt Dillon on the popular "Gunsmoke" TV series, but saw some poems by Dylan Thomas and used that spelling instead. He dropped out od school at the end of his freshman year, toured the western states in search of musical gigs, and then moved to New York in January 1961, where he began playing at clubs in the bohemian Greenwich Village area. In July he was one of the performers on a live 12-hour hootenany on WRVR and attracted his firt press notice. In Septmber he played harmonica on folk singer Carolyn Hester's third album, and the record's producer, John Hammond, signed him to Columbia Records. The "Bob Dylan" album, released in March 1962, consisted of covers of familiar folk, blues, and gospel with two original compositions, "Talkin' New York" and "Song to Woody" (dedicated to the folk singer Woody Guthrie). The album sold only 5,000 copies in its first year, just enough to break even, and earned Dylan the moniker "Hammond's Folly" but Hammond managed to kep him under contract (though he also recorded as "Blind Boy Grunt" for "Broadside," a folk mgazine/record label, and used various other pseudonyms as a backup musician.) His second album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" (1963) established him as a major singer and songwriter. The opening track, "Blowin' in the Wind," was widely recorded by other artists and became a big hit for Peter, Paul and Mary, while "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" blended a stream-of-consciousness, imagist lyrical attack with a traditional folk form. (In 1997, when Dylan performed at the World Eucharistic Conference in Bologna, Italia, pope John Paul II delivered a homily based on "Blowin' in the Wind.") Joyce Carol Oates recalled that "When we first heard this raw, very young, and seemingly untrained voice, frankly nasal, as if sandpaper could sing, the effect was dramatic and electrifying." The release of his third album, "The Times They Are a-Changin'," in 1964, his reputation for social commentary was firmly established. In 1965 his 6-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" revolutionized American pop music in much the same way as his earlier songs had changed folk music. Bruce Springsteen, in his speech for Dylan's 1988 inauguration into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said that on first hearing the single, "that snare shot sounded like somebody'd kicked open the door to your mind," and the rock magazine "Rolling Stone" named it the greatest song of all time. His 1966 album "Blonde on Blonde" had a similar impact on country music. In 1988 he joined with ex-Beatle George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty to form the Traveling Wilburys. But he continued to record as a solo act, in a variety of styles, with 38 albums to date, and has sold more than 100 million records. In addition to his Nobel, he has received 11 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award, a special Pulitzer Prize for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power," and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In a 2007 study of US legal opinions and briefs it was found that his lyrics were quoted by judges and lawyers 186 times (the runners up, the Baetles, were only cited 74 times.)


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