Carl Sandburg's Hog
Entry for 2017-03-28


Excerpted from Mutual Madness (filed under "The Skeptical Investor")
I used to puzzle over the status of Carl Sandburg's hog, riding the one-way rails to destiny in Chicago, which is not only hog butcher to the world but also the trading pit for pork belly futures. So the hog might board the train in Omaha, having just changed owners for the first time, and pull into the stockyards a day later having gone through six more owners at six different prices on the Commodities Exchange. But no trader there could lay claim to this particular pig and then, in a fit of decency, take him home as a pet. All they owned was a certain quantity of undifferentiated pork. And now, owners of a publicly-traded company are becoming harder to trace than those of the publicly-traded pigs.


I Have To Call My Liar
Entry for 2017-03-25


I have to call my liar.
I have to find out where I stand,
whom to sue for two hundred grand
or whether to start out higher,
to go into court with brimming eyes
and, later, compromise

Before I get much older,
some tortious taunt flung up at me
from the jowling jaws who prowl my tree
will fill a manila folder
with all of the proofs that I require.
I have to call my liar.
Vlad the Impaler


Proposition X
Entry for 2017-03-22

I've always thought "X" should come after "Y" in the alphabet, at least in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Texas (and Hawaii if they ever learn to spell it correctly). Don't you agree? This being a democracy (or, for republicans, a republic), the issue should be decided by popular vote. Proposition X will be on the ballot in May if I can get enough signatures. So far I have one, possibly two. If you're in favor, talk it up.

Goths
Entry for 2017-03-20


I wish I knew more goths:
visible goths, prosperous goths,
high goths and low,
goths to talk to and be seen with,
goths to sing, goths to sit around,
tell gothic tales, goths to ring
bells of gothic cathedrals,
strenuous goths to climb
trees, trample barberry,
waving their arms, yelling,
ferocious goths to run
half naked through the woods,
goths to worry the huns


The Great Chain of Being
Entry for 2017-03-18


Father Cog
taught me everything I know;
for example, the Creator,
quintessentially a peach,
would insist
on inventing every being
that could possibly exist
on the hierarchic chain:
     devil, dog,
lobster, angel, saint and sot,
there were purposes for each
though not all of them were caught
by Father Cog,
who, no matter how he tried,
learned at half the speed he taught,
so he soon ran out of reasons
     and he died

There's a great chain of being
in the sod.

When a spirit is released
and the earth accepts its prize,
down the strata of existence
from bacterium to grub
comes the feast:
breeding humus, feeding roots,
every lichen gets its shrub,
every chub that nibbles shoots
     comes to dinner.

Seedlings sprout and saplings rise,
bumblebees are jamboreeing,
creatures every shape and size
through the great chain of being:
true salvation for the sinner.

Decomposing, man ascends,
     resurrecting from the bog,
and his destiny unlimbers
as he lumbers up the timbers.
In the branches, birds are singing,
"Father Cog!"