Dada Koan #20: not remembering my pale yellow sandwich

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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!

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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.”

 

 

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Dada Koan #18: twin boys in ear canal

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Today’s dada koan tackles the tricky problem of poor hearing.

What is a dada koan? It’s a kind of Frankenstein monster pieced together from old newspapers. Tristan Tzara, the great dadaist, is credited for inventing the cut-up technique poem.

You know, the candidates for this very fine 2016 presidential election don’t do mud-slinging. They’ve clawed past that to reach the primordial ooze and now there’s a hole in the earth and we’re all falling through.

But I digress.

Here’s the above pink on yellow dada koan cut-up poem in B&W:

robust, 75-year-old:

I feel strange essentially

twin boys in ear canal

whooped and clowned around.

VIDEO

coloring books.

problem may just be wax.

Just little boys horsing around with their coloring books. What a relief!

Thanks very much for stopping by.

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Unrelated Addendum #1: We Speak Chicagoese, stories and poems by Chicago writers is edited by Bill Donlon and Dennis Foley. It’s hot off the presses and includes such abundance of local amazing as: “Brothers” by Sherwood Anderson, “My Brother’s Ass” by Carl Richards, “A Deal in Wheat” by Frank Norris, and “I Took the Santa Claus Job” by Beau O’Reilly.

Unrelated Addendum #2: Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet and Clarice Lispector’s Agua Viva feel more like philosophy than fiction. Reading these writers both at the same time makes me feel surreal, displaced, and uh… disquieted.

Addendum-related Addendum: Did Gregor Samsa have disquieting dreams?

 

Dada koan #15: we are pleased to offer…

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Here’s a nice dada koan poem.  It’s good to have choices.  Someone cut it oddly, though.  I guess that was me.  Glued onto weird-shaped paper.  Is it less aesthetic than if it was square?  Yes.  Looks like I just used up a scrap.  I wasn’t making deliberate artistic choices.

Choices, choices.  November is nearly here.  Speaking of.

Articles popping up on the internet saying it won’t be easy to move out of the country.  The United States will punish you and charge you double-taxes for being a traitorous ex-pat.

I don’t want to talk about the election.

This is a cut-up technique poem.  It borrows from Tristan Tzara’s method but I’ve added a few tweaks.  So.  Scissor up maybe a free travel magazine you’re getting because the person who lived in your apartment before didn’t update her subscriptions when she moved.  Then you stick words and phrases in a box.  Pull ten slips.  Push them around until there’s a poem.  Dab on the Elmer’s glue and press it to bright paper.  Yes, yes the apartment’s a pigsty and the exterminator’s due in a week.  But hey, you’ve got a poem!

Here’s the above mermaid-blood blue and Easter-egg pink poem in B&W:

We are pleased to offer you a choice

shortness of breath

or develop a serious nervous disorder

would love to do nothing but watch

cement growing

help

Well, let’s all keep a good thought, shall we.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sort of related, light-hearted Addendum:  I didn’t know mermaids had blue blood.  But the shop owner of Enchanting Elixirs sells mermaid’s blood on Etsy.  It comes in a little vial.  It’s actually not as dark as the paper for the dada koan.  The blood is more robin’s egg blue.

Cryptic Addendum:  Please not the guy with the super-glued toupee and the small hands.

Dada koan #14: her feet lying across cutlery

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Ah, yes, it’s a cut-up technique poem.  We’re sailing here with these dada koans.  #14’s clipped a few phrases from newspaper advertisements.

This surreal poem’s pasted onto Edie-Sedgwick-’60s-color paper.  Here’s the above koan in B&W.

Kitchen novelty offer

announced by the state

DO YOU SUFFER

should be toasty

on his lap with her feet lying across CUTLERY SETS

Vaguely feminist?

Perhaps.

Thanks very much for stopping by.

Very Tangentially-Related Addendum #1:  Jean Stein’s Edie bio is fantastic!  Andy Warhol sounds like a child!

Unrelated Addendum #2:  Five facts from the Armond Fields bio Maude Adams, Idol of American Theater, 1872-1953:

  1.  An over-worked Maude had nervous breakdowns.
  2.  Young Maudie, playing the role of Adele, appeared with her mother in Jane Eyre.  A critic wrote her mom performed Mrs. Reed “with quiet but very mean cruelty.”
  3. In the New York Herald, 1901, Sarah Bernhardt announced she’d “play Romeo for one hundred nights in America to Maude Adams’ Juliet.”  Not to be.
  4.  John Alexander designed Maude’s costume with its world’s first “Peter Pan collar”.  Peter Pan opened at the Empire Theater, New York City, November 6, 1905.
  5. Advice to Maude from top theater impresario Charles Frohman:  “You are not to be interviewed.  You are not to be quoted.  People will wonder at you, yearn for details of your private life.  Let them.  It will only spur their interest and their desire for you.”  The internet disagrees.