Western Massachusetts — A small frog dressed in a golden crown has been sighted skipping through local landfills swinging a tiny paper lantern at the end of an old bamboo skewer. “Light belongs to everyone who sees it. Every single person owns the chance to see it” she explained. “That’s pretty much it.”
Easthampton — Cottage Street Art Zoo is open and displaying caged art works this weekend and next, to . . . well, anybody really. Art works range from friendly to ferocious but all are caged so no worries. Studio number 428 on the canal side is open Saturday and Sunday and will contain Theo Fadel; woodblock prints; some drawings, pastels and paintings; sculpture carved of wood; a few relief carvings; small wooden dolls or effigies as you please; a book The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz in a new edition by John Crowley illustrated by Theo Fadel; sketches and drawings from the aforementioned book; something else; and otherwhat.
One Cottage Street in Easthampton, Massachusetts: Saturday, December 3, 10AM to 5PM; Sunday December 4, Noon to 5PM; and again on Saturday December 10, 10AM to 5PM.
Tonite! At The Forgotten Brewery in Easthampton! 7pm!
Besides a reading by the marvelous Mr. John Crowley, there will be a few pencils and inks from the illustration work on display for your viewing pleasure.
Holyoke — A fancy ghost was attacked early this morning by a mob of miniature pumpkin gourd people. “I am completely unscathed” said Fancy Ghost “because I’m a hundred precent neutrinos. I wouldn’t have noticed they were hacking at me except you came over and told me. I was too busy fancy-dancing”.
It is unclear why the crowd became hostile. “Don’t like it!” howled one miniature-pumpkin-head. Another slowly swang a cocktail fork while glaring at the happy Ghost.
“These are gourd people, Gordians,” explained the popular Christmas ornament Redbird. “Fast footwork confuses and frightens them. They have only a thin layer of wax to protect against rot and fading and they rarely avoid the compost pile for more than one season. They live on what they can make at Halloween. No one hires them at Thanksgiving.”
“Showboat!” someone shouted, throwing a handful of wet seeds at, through the ghost.
“Fancy Ghosts have easy lives” continued Redbird, “They never rot and they get all the work they want from Halloween through Dicken’s Christmas.”
The ghost had resumed dancing. “I’m just trying to be seen!” it cheerfully said to the crowd, “That’s what ghosts do!”
“Would it kill it to look at someone else?” muttered Redbird, “It’s already a ghost.”
At press time the ghost was still dancing and the crowd still trying to punish it with toothpicks and pickle forks. Nothing is expected to change anytime soon.
Amherst, MA — Has Emily Dickinson been the victim of a grand literary negligence? A local hobbiest in Dickinsonian studies is claiming that poem #754 “My Life had stood — A Loaded Gun –” has been misquoted in the literary record for eighty-seven years due in part to a loss of freely available laudanum in pre-war London.
“Look at the poet’s original manuscript,” squealed 0.001% famous artist Theo Fadel through a megaphone outside the Emily Dickinson Museum while waving a facsimile of the poet’s original draft. “It’s My LIVE! Come on! Quit saying It’s My LIFE, which is a Bon Jovi song — Doesn’t anyone know the difference?” Ms. Fadel acknowledges that a real academic may have already noticed, somewhere, but being an amatuer herself, how should she know? She does know that no one has come around to fix her books.
The original manuscript actually does say “Live” and not “Life.” The word live was exchangeable with the word life, archaically. A docent edging his head from a museum shop window suggested to Ms. Fadel that the original editor of 1929 believed she had tweaked the poem into modern English. Throwing a handful of hemlock cones the amateur scholar snapped through her megaphone, “How do you people get these jobs? Emily Dickinson IS modern English. What’s to tweak?”
A yard squirrel spitting mary-gold petals from its mouth spun on its heel to add, “And live has everything to do with a loaded gun. Why would she NOT use a word that means explosive as well as life when describing the position of life force between the material mechanicals of this world and an ultimate reconciliation with eternity? Why not?”
“I suppose,” ventured the docent, “that the v of live enables a phonetic gesture towards the word love what with Loaded directly beneath supplying the ohhh sound and tons of her poems bind the measures of living life and love.”
A cyclist illegally speeding across the museum grounds hit an exposed oak root and shot over his handlebars onto a small pile of gravel and loose teeth. Raising a bloodied face he smiled, “Love, even Harold Bloom knows that when Emily uses the word Master she’s invoking a geometry of Romantic Love, in one or another reality.” The cyclist refers to lines 13 through 16:
“And when at Night — Our good Day done–/ I guard My Master’s Head–/ ‘Tis better than the Eider-Duck’s/ Deep Pillow– to have shared–”
“Enough!” shouted Ms. Fadel. “Okay, so some publishing people made a mistake in 1929, in Londonia. Between the banning of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and The House at Pooh Corner blowing minds people were fagged out. Many never recovered from the loss of unregulated laudanum. We can forgive them for their reckless disregard of one of the greatest poets of the English language, but for the love of God after 87 years of misprint after misprint could we just fix it?!”
Ms. Fadel is drafting a bill for the US Senate that would mandate the US Postal Service to print millions of adhesive backed v’s in a variety of fonts and ship them worldwide to all owners of print copies of poem #754. “I’m also asking for millions of O‘s,” she added, “because a yard squirrel who knew Monique Wittig has just pointed out a problem in line 10 where a capital O has been disfigured into a U.”
Read a transcription of “My Live had stood” here.
MicroGnomia — Not for Vulcans this region where violet stems are lumber and money grows in tiny magical chamber pots at the ends of garden sprinkler rainbows — until now. T’ikun-tok is the new and first ambassador from the planet Vulcan to MicroGnomia. She is crawling across the region on her hands and knees in a goodwill tour, passing out gourmet fungi while passing the Vulcan Peace. Villagers at first confused have quickly learned to “make the Vee thingy” in hope of a chanterelle tossed their way.
“She rolled me a white truffle the size of my head” exclaimed Seamus O’Sark whose last name means “honorable beetle” in Vulcan. “I can curl my tongue too! But she dinna give me anything for it.”
The Vulcans long ago gave up their elving ways and can neither mine nor manufacture humor and cuteness. “It’s impossible to create successful ad campaigns for useless kitchen appliances and unnecessary medications without something cute and maybe funny” explained Spockton Hulala, a Vulcan trader now based in Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania. Vulcan is one of the Milky Way’s largest manufacturers of single cup coffee makers and repositioned pharmaceuticals, neither of which can be sold to Humans without the use of hypnosis. Industry experts have long warned that without a reliable source of buffoonium the Vulcan economy will collapse.
Buffoonium is an inexplicable element used in hypnotic constructions. It saturates the ground in all of MicroGnomia. “Every citizen of MicroGnomia is a miniature buffoonium mine” quiped Ambassador T’ikun-tok, “We want to be friends.”
“Is this a sincere overture to law abiding trade, or is it the start o’ an invasion?” shouted a small figure in a fancy jacket atop a tall, swaying tower of twigs.
O’Sark lightly scraped a tooth across his truffle then paused. “She’s an awfully big boned lass” he ventured as the Vulcan ambassador moved along down the tiny highway, “but look how she’s got the ears of an angel.”
Thank you, you 1,327 lovely people who funded the kickstarter for fancy shoes and ribbons on John Crowley’s the Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencreutz , and for a very nice pie from the Florence Pie Bar. Small Beer Press will deliver the book this fall. There are go-go dancing robots, because it’s illustrated by Theo Fadel.