Sound the Crumpets
Entry for 2017-09-20


Excerpted from Pyramids (filed under "Structurals")
If by some stroke of archaeological luck an ancient Greek home is unearthed with a loaf of bread still intact in the hearth, and if the loaf is roughly pyramidal in shape, it may settle the problem of where the word “pyramid” came from.
A papyrus scroll found in Egypt uses the term per-em-us to mean the vertical height of a pyramid―a possible source of the Greek word pyramis (plural, pyramides) from which the English language takes “pyramid.”
But there was already a purely Greek word pyramis of less doubtful origin. It means “wheat cake.” The first written reports of the pyramids come from Greek travelers who had discovered on the Plain of Giza objects unlike any buildings they had ever seen. If their shape suggested nothing so much as some then-familiar variant of the crumpet or cruller, then that might be the most descriptive term to use for the folks back home―in which case the pyramids were named in the same manner as the wedding cake buildings on Park Avenue.


Paradiddle
Entry for 2017-09-17


Coffee Coffee Coffee Coffee
Cream Cream Cream Cream
heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh
Hi Harry
Howza baby?
Fine Fine
Gotta run now
What? Sure
Great Great
See you later
Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you
sure sure sure sure
heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh
No I Well I Yes I Think I
Yessir? Yessir
Surely. Yessir
Who? When? Right Right
Hold a second
Absolutely Absolutely
Wait Wait Wait Wait
heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh
Cool it, Burt
Hold the taxi
Say I'm out of town 'til Tuesday
Shoot. What?
Good Good
Yello Yello Yello Yello
Yep Yep Yep Yep
heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh
Kill that flight
Take a letter
Maybe later
Keep a secret?
Tim? Sam
Wait. Beth?
heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh
Say I'm busy


The Logic of Flight
Entry for 2017-09-13


Pheasants idle at roadside,
one cock walking
among inattentive hens.
Something on the road
grows suddenly monstrous,
swelling with thunder. Panic.
Run---wherever there's room,
over the asphalt flats, run
in front of the car---Fly!
All it takes is motive.
One winter night a pheasant
darted across my headlights,
fell flat on his ass on ice.
Motive. It's hard to believe,
but a pheasant can take off
while sitting down


Holding the Record
Entry for 2017-09-11


When you finally gain entry into the Book
of World Records, your whole life changes.
You are eight feet, eleven inches tall.
You are the world's only surviving octuplet.
You weigh 1,069 pounds. Your moustache
is 102 inches long, your beard seventeen feet,
nine inches. Your shoes are size 37 triple-A.
In eight years you hiccup 160,000,000 times,
audible at a distance of 1.4 miles.
Your wife is a Dutch midget who at age 17
weighs 4.7 pounds. Her bed is a flower box.
While going without sleep for eleven days,
she recites 6,660 verses of the bible.
She is pregnant for 389 days, bears you a son,
24 pounds, four ounces, 13 fingers on each hand.
You jump eight feet, three and one half inches
off the ground, compulsively swallow 258 items
including three rosaries, 5.2 pounds of coins,
and a flatiron. Your fever reaches 111 degrees.
Your heart stops for three hours, 22 minutes.
Beginning on January 8, you sneeze continuously
until mid-April, losing 875 pounds and your hair.
At the end of the book is a prayer to St. Jude.
He tells you to shave. He grants an annulment.
The book is back on your shelf. You have become
a five foot, ten inch certified public accountant.
Under your dark suit, there are 4,320 tattoos.


Asses and Savants
Entry for 2017-09-09


Excerpted from Pyramids (filed under "Structurals")
Napoleon, a century after Newton, took an entourage of scholars along with his army in the awp_poststed conquest of Egypt. Naturally, the presence of these noncombatant, non-load-bearing academics and the rations they consumed were not much appreciated by the hard pressed French regulars. Attacked by Mameluke cavalrymen, the soldiers would form into squares and yell, “Asses and Savants to the center!”
Still, the savants carefully catalogued the pyramids and debated learnedly over their observations. Napoleon jotted down his own. On his rough sketch of the Giza pyramids, he noted the calculation that they contained enough stone to build a ten foot wall around France.