Dada Koan #20: not remembering my pale yellow sandwich


We’ve arrived at the twentieth dada koan. It’s a melancholy one– see the rip mark on that shade of Edie Sedgwick green? Well, this has been such an exciting win-ful week in the Windy City I needed to inject some winsomeness into it. If you hadn’t heard, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in a fight to the finish with the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. The heart-stomping game ended just before midnight on November 2, 2016. Ten minutes later, to be droll, I texted a Chicago sports fan, “Did they win? I can’t tell.” He was droller, texting back, “Did who win?” The reason this was droll is because here in Chicago there was nonstop honking and screaming in the streets for three hours. Young people all sound similar when they scream so it was like the same cars kept circling my block. Oh, to be young and plastered with your head out the car window shrieking and singing and carrying on and just generally being a pain in the ass for the whole sleepy neighborhood. Must be nice.

It’s hard work to keep that level of enthusiasm going three hours. They stopped very abruptly at 3am.

A dada koan is a surreal cut up technique poem made from newspaper clippings. The phrases and words are chosen randomly from a hat. Or a milk chocolate-scented box. Here’s the above lime and hurt-your-eyes pink in B&W:

I’m just not remembering my

pale yellow sandwich

seriously considering

mattress promotion

dead ethically

make money

earn praise

I guess this poem might better be categorized as depressing than winsome.

Thanks for stopping by. I don’t usually like baseball and I don’t own a TV but that was a great game. Go Cubs!


Unrelated Addendum: Been on a Dawn Powell bender. Still consider A Time To Be Born the best so far. But recently read a Quality Paperback Book Club trilogy (from Brown Elephant thrift) of her novels:

The introduction is by Gore Vidal who’s credited with Dawn Powell’s literary resurgence.

Angels on Toast: This, the best-titled, was my favorite of the three. Infidelity and marriage.

The Wicked Pavilion: Young love and a takedown of New York’s phony art scene. Cynthia Earle is Peggy Guggenheim.

The Golden Spur: A Mamma Mia-ish “Who’s my real Dad” plot and a takedown of New York’s phony art scene. Cassie Bender is Peggy Guggenheim. Gore Vidal calls this “her last and perhaps most appealing novel.”




Some Chicago Encounters: a tiny blog


Chicago!  Home of the Chicago Cubs.  Chicago!  A city of diners, bookstores and bus stops.  Here are some Chicago encounters:

A man eating something barbecued out of a small greasy bag.  He licks and lip-smacks his fingers with elaborate precision.  He sits on the bench, half-turned toward me as he eats.  He’s young.  It’s a nice evening– the sky is a mysterious blue and I look at the church across the street.  “Come join us” the sign out front says.  The bus arrives– I see the headlights and stand.  The man has finished eating and is startled by my movement.  He notes the bus.  He says, “Well.  I’m disappointed.”

A man, not too old, sitting on the sidewalk.  His back to a storefront, he looks at me as I walk by and says, “Oh god you’re kidding” and laughs and laughs and laughs.

On cell phone at bus stop, a woman, 40’s: “I told her you need to get your own man, your own job, your own place…”

In diner, man, 40’s discoursing on a recent break-up from his boyfriend:  “I took the high road.  I mean, I called him an asshole but–”

Man of indeterminate age in bookstore.  He proffers the theory that the Billy Goat curse doesn’t exist– the Chicago Cubs have been bribed to lose every single year!  The bookstore owner is skeptical.  “Every year– the whole team?”  “You only got to bribe one guy!”


Thanks for stopping by.

Related Addendum:  Opinions printed here do not necessarily reflect those of the blog writer.