moondog quote combined 2

The D train was my transport to other worlds and Moondog was part of my growing up as I began taking those subway rides into the Emerald City in my teens. He was one of the curiosities of the streets, always present and accepted, part of the cast of characters that regularly inhabited the eclectic neighborhood that was New York City. But it seems there was more to this story…

From the NY Times Archive:

From the late 1940s to the early ’70s Moondog was as recognizable in the New York City landscape as the Empire State Building, and nearly as striking. A tall blind man with long hair and beard, wearing a handmade Viking helmet and primitive cloak, he regularly stationed himself at Sixth Avenue and 54th Street, which cops and cabbies knew as Moondog’s Corner. Dispensing his poetry, politics, sheet music and recordings (some on boutique labels, some on majors), he was sought out over the years by beats, hippies and foreign tourists, but also by the media and celebrities, from Walter Winchell and “Today” to Marlon Brando, Muhammad Ali and Martin Scorsese.

…Moondog was so prolific and eclectic. Working in Braille, often composing under his cloak on the sidewalk, he wrote in an impressively wide range of styles: percussion-driven exotica (he made his own triangular drum-and-cymbal instrument, the trimba), avant-garde jazz, folkish madrigals, Bach-like neo-Baroque rounds and canons for chamber orchestra, symphonies for full orchestra, and a layered minimalism that influenced his young collaborators Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

He released more than a dozen recordings, and his music was used in films and television commercials. His songs were sung by Janis Joplin (on “Big Brother & the Holding Company”) and Julie Andrews (a children’s album); he once shared a bill in a Greenwich Village club with Tiny Tim and Lenny Bruce, and much later performed on a festival stage in London at the invitation of Elvis Costello.

More here

….it’s been that kind of week…so let’s crank it up a bit:

pearlsPearls Before Swine
by Richard Pastis

If you don’t get the joke behind the joke…there’s this…and I’m old…

batman dialogue

jane kenyon quote 2

There’s no magic here. Painting, photography, writing, sculpture – it’s work. Physical, frustrating, frightening, and often discouraging work. It’s ours – and hours – alone.

The creative act is also incredibly fragile. It’s a small spark – a word, a phrase, a bit of light, a small spot of color. It comes and goes quickly. It’s emotion. Something to be felt, seen, or smelled.

Then comes the sheer joy of movement.

Don’t get hung up on the instruction books, the special lenses, the right brushes and paint, the moleskin notebooks that guarantee an “experience.” The only way to start is to begin.

Give it time, give it space, give it opportunity. The words will out.

(Kenyon panel above inspired by The Writer’s Almanac…)

good thing about scienceFound at Sign of the Times in Nyack, NY

As the political and physical landscapes heat up, Noam Chomsky offers a prescient observation:

…there are some pretty stable elements of (Trump’s) ideology….One of them is: “Climate change is not taking place.” As he puts it: “Forget it.” And that’s almost a death knell for the species – not tomorrow, but the decisions we take now are going to affect things in a couple of decades, and in a couple of generations it could be catastrophic.

So goes politics…so goes the planet…

…fold, fold, fold, and papers up!

monday subwayRiders read their morning newspapers on New York’s subway en route to work, on April 1, 1963 after the end of the city’s 114-day newspaper strike.
AP Photo/Jacob Harris

[Back in the day for a kid from Brooklyn, there were two definite markers of success. One was riding the subway to your job in Manhattan, the other being able to fold the NY Times so you could read it standing up. Accomplished both…but still have trouble with the crossword…Sundays only of course…]

From Joseph T. Shipley’s The Origin of English Words: A Discursive Dictionary of Indo-European Roots:


Found at…pick up a copy here

MissingPiece_Grant SniderMore at at Incidental Comics

Let’s call this a soft return…:)

captured creatures

captured creatures2


Page excerpt from In the Land of Punctuation, by Christian Morgenstern, published by Tara Books. Images posted to 50 Books |50 Covers Competition over at Design Observer.

This is from Morgenstern’s 1905 poem originally titled “Im Reich der Interpunktionen,” illustrated by Indian graphic artist Rathna Ramanathan and translated into English by Sirish Rao.

harper leeHarper Lee
April 28, 1926 – February 19, 2016

[From “11 Harper Lee quotes that serve as timeless life lessons” via Library Journal…]

© Bill Israel

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