Dada Koan #23: for the menacing teen in us all


Today’s dada koan was cobbled together in 2016.

Words for dada koans can be found in chocolate boxes but the catch is you must put them in there yourself. Snip good words and phrases from a variety of pulp and shiny paper sources. Allow months or years or even decades to pass– then pull randomly from your Whitman’s Sampler box and glue onto colorful stationery for your very own idiosyncratic thing. You might’ve chosen to watch the President’s little Pekingese mouth on TV– bottom teeth contorting all over the place– but instead you now have a dada koan!

Here’s the above sunny on amber surreal poem in B&W:

If you’re a menacing teen

eating a

lawnmower, sitting

AT a

cowboy bar

nicks in the good furniture

Is there a more



An appropriate one for the day after Mother’s Day. Regardless of age, we’re all menacing teens at heart.

Thanks very much for stopping by.


Unrelated Addendum #1: So Trump insists on two scoops of ice cream for every visiting dignitary’s lousy single. What next? More maraschino cherries? Whipped cream? More chocolate jimmies? It will end in tears. I can think of a few world leaders where this would generate ice cream wars.

Unrelated Addendum #2: Attia Hosain’s Sunlight on a Broken Column was enlightening. Family life in 1930’s India and there’s a love story mixed in with the political upheavals. However, if you own a deep green Virago Modern Classics paperback (mesmerizing c.1770, Lucknow cover art– “A Half-Length Portrait of a Lady at a Window”)– be aware you’ll have two page 97s but absolutely no page 98.

Extremely unrelated Addendum #3: Saturday, May 13th, red line: Young man with Dr. Zhivago-big eyes sat across from me, blathering away. He’s staring hard into my retinas but since he’s got his phone-wire plugs in, I’m unsure his words are directed at me. After a minute, clearly indeed yes they are– but it still all kept coming out too fast.

“I don’t understand,” I said. He leaned right into my face. I suppose I could’ve moved but that seems melodramatic for an el ride. He fired more words and I shook my head saying sorry.

Finally, he sighed.

“You’ve heard of Hillary Clinton? Bill Clinton’s wife?”

I nodded.

“How much do you think she’s worth?” He rubbed his thumb and fingers together to indicate big money.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“There’s people who say Trump is a scapegoat and the Clintons are in charge.”

“I hadn’t heard that,” I said.

“You’re hearing it now!” he exclaimed. “These people will blow your head straight off.” He pointed to my head, then made an explosive sound, fingers expressive. Maybe I looked worried because he said, “Hey, they’ll blow my head off too. I don’t want that either.”

How will I put up with this until Berwyn, I thought. But suddenly he said, “Well, this is my stop.” Giving me a last intent look, he said, “I don’t believe in small talk.”

Happy 2017, everyone!