Saturday, July 31, 2010

exhibit #L

'And what in your professional opinion caused these multiple scratches, Detective?'

'Over the course of many nights, possibly years, counselor, he either arrived home in dim light or staggered to the door drunk, hopelessly aiming the key off-target.'

'Is there any other way these marks could have been made?'

'I wouldn't think so, counselor. Unless he tried to bite the lock off the door. Or maybe his Poodle did. Or a magpie. They're a nuisance.'

'Your Honor, I object to the note of levity by the witness. This is, after all, a murder trial.'

'Your Honor, I object to the counselor's orange tie paired with a striped yellow shirt.

'Your Honor, the witness...'

'I'll have none of this in my courtroom. Both of you face contempt of court if you proceed out of order.'

'But, Your Honor, a yellow shirt?'

Sunday, July 25, 2010


A postscript of a letter sent to Groucho Marx from his son claims that while in Paris he has found a new suppository to cure his father’s insomnia. The joke: accidentally stepping on one has made his foot fall asleep. Like father, like son. There’s always comedy in tragedy.

I watch you sleep, My Beauty. I move the chair close for a front row viewing. That’s why there are those four permanent deep indentations in the carpet. In the dim hovering starlight your fragile white orbs steadily rise and fall as you dream, a solitary tear rolling upon your cheek. But it’s too much for a man, not daring to awaken you to describe the delicacy.

So, arising as quiet as possible I descend down into the library where the dog is asleep at the foot of the recliner. Do dogs suffer from sleeplessness ever? No, their lives are too perfect. Except for the tormenting, arrogant, cat across the street. She sighs deeply with one eye opening, lifts and drops her tail once, then drops her head.

I choose Hemingway at 3:30, rereading in direct lamplight a correspondence for Collier’s magazine from 1944 when he was embedded with French Resistance in his beloved Paris. Roads and hills that he once strolled and bicycled in better days, alas coming over the hill in a battered jeep, he blinks with Paris layed out before him like a mural in a waking dream, and cleaning his glasses he gets a lump in his throat.

It’s always a comfort to know Paris is free. I drift, and when I open my eyes again it is dawn.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hemingway on his birthday(1899)

excerpt from the short story, Soldier's Home, about a young man returning from war in 1919...

Now he would've liked a girl if she had come to him and not wanted to talk. But here at home it was all too complicated. He knew he could never get through it all again. It was not worth the trouble. That was the thing about French girls and German girls. There was not all this talking. You couldn't talk much and you did not need to talk. It was simple and you were friends. He thought about France and then he began to think about Germany. On the whole he had liked Germany better. He did not want to leave Germany. He did not want to come home. Still, he had come home.

Friday, July 16, 2010


You can't see it clearly in the photo, but the riveted metal label below in raised black letters exclaims:

Keep nozzle clear of obstructions and small animals. Do not remove pull ring with teeth. Contains Cool Whip© and milk under extreme pressure. Contents of vessel not edible. Do not use as dessert topping. Skin contact may cause irritation or weight gain. Do not inhale. Contents smell like a long car trip with the windows shut. Never yell fire! in a crowded theater unless the movie sucks. Refrain from letting neighbor borrow unit. Remember what happened when you loaned them your lawnmower? Empty gas tank. Righto. Never cared for your neighbor and can't understand why you don't move. They're loud and did you know they go through your mail?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

28 in blog years

That's 4 years in Earth years.

Scanning the headlines searching for dense blog advisories and such, keeping you informed, Dear Reader, and up to blog sledding speed, typing with one determined finger, on all the news before you head out the door every morning, so at that office water cooler or fancy social gathering you've been able to unhesitatingly look down your noses, and in a booming intelligent voice say, 'It IS true, Paco, I read it on the ever-reliable a vagabond's sketchbook!'
Convinced, you and other idle folk march outside into brilliant sunshine and begin to build a statute of me composed of discarded banana peels.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

50th anniversary of Mockingbird

I get it now. Didn't think of it until this morning: Harper Lee is Boo Radley.
What a complete waste of time hoping Lee would ever come out into the open. No sense of waiting for those who prefer to remain in the shadows to step out into the light to be hounded with interviews, or being prodded into explaining themselves.

Heck, that would be just like killing a mockingbird, wouldn't it, Atticus?

Friday, July 9, 2010

loaded tomato

Ripe juicy 'maters
created for one purpose:
hurl at stage folk's head

Saturday, July 3, 2010

whites of their eyes haiku

Global shots resound
Tolling hope to all oppressed
Bursting liberty
11,041 vagabonds plus:
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