Alive (on here, anyway) Again

I have been absent for months (again, as noted above), doing the nothings that I do, including employment again across the summery months (I and my fellow bug trappers were even designated, unnecessarily as it turned out, as “essential employees” during this disturbing and drastic pandemical year). My Beloved and I were restricted, thanks to notorious federal incompetence with the flourishing viral pestilence, to an autumnal vacation within the United States this year (let’s hope that changes with better administration next year, that and vaccines).

Regardless, what I want to do, rather than dwell in the sordid and seedy past today, is to look at a brighter trope. I sat to play with a “new” word-processor, Focused, at the computer and, seeking to write on another subject altogether, wound up, rather too quickly, with a new bit of verse:


I don’t much watch the birds I’ve allured
 to our back yard (nor the front, neither)
 with my half-dozen bird feeders 
 (and trinity of finch bags on that other side of the house)
 fraught with Walmart’s 
 cheapest grain,
 although they, the birds,
 in their plural legions —
 sunshine (like today), drizzle, downpour
 or snow
 (albeit most enthusiastically,
 multitudinously, when the skies,
 clear or gray,
 are dry).

 The squirrels, bastards,
 take interest, too,
 and for those arboreal vermin
 I have my steel-pellet-propelling
 with which, of course, I nearly always

 Even so, erratically, periodically,
 now and then and sometimes, too,
 I gaze
 from the upstairs, dining room,
 down on the flittering, fleeting,
 skittish hordes,
 whom the merest breeze can all disrupt,
 disturb and scatter 
 to the naked shrubs and bushes,
 where they hide,
 disguised like leaves,
 (or else somehow translate themselves
 through sunshine-shadow
 to alternative realities
 unperceived by these too-mortal eyes).

And dutifully, for such am I,
this old man plods with ice-cream buckets full
through every weather and shade of dark,
replenishing the birds’ near-magical bounty.
our back yard this afternoon; four of the feeders are visible, but the birds have flown
© 2020 Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd., S.A.

Song Parody

I posted the following on Facebook yesterday… (so you would have to check there to verify some of the next paragraph’s content).
I know I have been wildly overposting (and on a certain set of subjects, admittedly), but when a friend asked us to play a little game of what-popular-song-do-you-really-dislike (a good game for all of you to play, too), another high school friend suggested my least favorite song, the Lee Greenwood audiophobic turd from the well gone, unmissed Reagan era. Its trite melody is uncannily and execrably mnemonic, perhaps the master ear worm. So that makes it annoying. However, those awful lyrics are not just sappy but stupid, truly meaningless (and if anyone cares, I could go into an extended syntactico-logico-philosophico-historico-political critical analysis on its more or less utter lack of actual content). There may be worse poetry, but it usually isn’t associated with such an irritation of a tune or jingoistic hoopla.
So during a conversational lapse whilst The Lovely One and I took a noontime walk, as the demonic strain tormented my thoughtstream with those satanic lyrics, I began to compose my own contemporarily relevant parody.
There is still one very bad line* (not to mention the deliberately lifted entire verse from the original), and it’s definitely nothing but a work in progress, but my friend suggested I should give my little satire a wider exposure than as a sub-sub-sub comment/reply on his post.


“I’m Afraid I’ll Get the Virus”

Tomorrow everything could be gone
That we’ve wanted all our lives
We may have to start again
With just hand wipes by our side
So, washed up with soap and suds
Let’s keep living here today
Isolation makes for freedom
That the virus would take away

I’m afraid to get the virus
That COVID-dash-19
And so, you see, I’m staying home
That’s where we all should be
I’ll gladly keep away from you
And defend our lives this way
Without that distancing anyone could die
If the virus has its way

From the lakes of Minnesota
To the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas
From sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston
And New York to L.A.

There’s fear in every American heart
So it’s time to hide away

I’m afraid to get the virus
That COVID-dash-19
And so, you see, I’m staying home
That’s where we all should be
I’ll gladly keep away from you
And defend our lives this way
Scrub those hands, fbud, or anyone could die
If the virus has its way
I’m afraid to get the virus
That COVID-dash-19
And so, you see, I’m staying home
That’s where we all should be
I’ll gladly keep away from you
And defend our lives this way
No hands to face now, or anyone could die
If the virus has its way

(c) 2020 Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd., S.A.

A New Poem

I wrote this yesterday morning. The coffee arrived today.


Actual Quantum View result

UPS, Oops

I think it pleasant
That packages being delivered through
United Parcel Service and their
Dark brown vans
Around here
In the Midwest
Usually pass through
Earth City, MO,
As confirmed by clicking the link in your personalized email
To confirm the progress of your coffee,
Finally on its way west from Tennessee.

Although philosophically disconcerting
That the message is named “Quantum View,”
Suggesting the clarity of place in this process
Determines just the uncertainty on speed
One would prefer to remove.

Imprecisely quite like how GPS
For photos and journal locations
Pinpoints not my home but
The antique green CenturyLink communications pillar
Diagonally across the street.

 — 2017/04/20

(C) 2017 Magickal Monkey Enerprises, Ltd., S.A. 


My official location, it seems.


Look Here

If you should, searching, ever leave me,

then you must run very quick away,

for without your presence I am not free,

and I would pursue you day on day,

fettered by your desertion, seeking we.

There is no gladness, never play

in your absence; all joys are transitory:

I must know you to hold the world at bay.

Because you slipped your blood beneath my mind,

where deformed childhood strangled life and eyes,

and lovingly unwove the knots, never be unkind,

for you alone negate, defy that universe of sighs.

If you should ever search to leave me,

remember, you will unspeak who makes me be.

from a revised typescript (edited in pencil and black ink)

2 October 1975 / 14 December 1975

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Grill (some construction required) 2015

Saturday in April, Afternoon

I built a grill today,
This afternoon for ninety minutes,
As clouds closed in out of the graying southwest
With thunder,
Utterly absorbed in the frustrations and eventual successes of the task
(Just how many hands do those technical artists,
For surely no writer was involved with those inimical instructions,
Think one consumer has? I needed three several times).
Old body, fat, barely able to elude gravity,
Elevating from knees and ass, knuckles grinding familiar pain,
Found new ways to get at what I had to do.

We grilled shrimp, be-pestoed, after leaving all three fires roaring full out
For fifteen minutes,
As instructed on the page of tiny print that followed
In the folio-huge Owner’s Manual booklet
The sixteen drawings of the constructive steps,
Which weren’t, let’s stress again, stages to madness
Today, at any rate. Infuriating only sometimes, too.

Eating, I came to wonder how many more grills I’ll put together.
Will this be the last? Pray not. Avert! Away!
(It spattered little droplets to quickly steam upon the black lid,
But no rain — thunder without storm. Again.)

I’ve done how many now? Five? Eight? A dozen surely not.
I never had a grill (well, there was a little charcoal thing way back
Even in the days of the Colonial house where the bathroom leaked
We rented back at the time my father died, alone,
Crushed under the van whose brakes he wished to warm
That year, just days before Christmas. Stephen phoned me
With the news while I was at work.
I took the call in the superintendent’s office, which was on the corner
That half flight down from my room then.) until we moved here.
But that was over thirty years ago. (We’ve really lived here that long
Now. The mortgage was paid off half a decade back.
You are retired now, longer than you’ve had to pay your own
Property taxes yourself, no escrow any more.)
With each new grill, it seems there’s more I need to do
And less the manufacturer has put together first —
This one without a propane tank.

Shall I finally take time and care to keep this one going,
Cleaning the grates, scraping out the greasy droppings
From the currently unencrusted bottom?
Make this one last?
Until the night has me for supper and the property,
Possessions — books, electronics, clothes and all whatevers —
Cease to matter.

Not too soon.

  — Sunday, 18/04/2015

The grill today, two years later. The interior is burnt-fat-encrusted, but the grates are clean.

Of Gas & Precipitation

Presented, to your dismay, sans contrition…

A Poem

He blew two sequent farts
of such obnoxious distinktion
that the effluviatic foetor
malingering in the domestic atmosphere
drove him out of doors.

Yea, verily, even into the rain
that, proverbial Bardolotriessence,
raineth quotidiantic,

— Tuesday, 29 April 2014


Cold Because Warm, plus Pathetic Denialism

I just read online that after forty hours below zero (Fahrenheit), temperatures in my region have at last risen to positive integers. Whoopee!

This event has only marginal significance, even for me. Weʼre supposed to exceed the freezing point finally on Saturday. That will mean something, as we may at last begin to melt some snow.

What stimulates me after some months to write on the blog again is a pathetic citation I noticed in my Facebook feed just now. You see, yesterday Scientific American instructed me via Twitter about the “polar vortex” that reporters in various media have been misconstruing. Supported by an interesting YouTube video, it reveals how climate change (“global warming”) has, by heating the arctic, caused us to suffer extreme “arctic” cold. No big deal, sure. Some basic climate science, really (just stuff I hadnʼt known before). But I posted the links on Facebook and tweeted the same. Another few seconds online, really. However, an old friend, of apparently dextreme opinion, felt it necessary to post a pathetic bit of deceptive rhetoric from the climate-science deniers at The Center for Research on Globalization (funded by whoever knows what excrement-load of Kochoildollars to deny deny deny at all costs whatsoever).

You should click on the link above to read the jumble of words presented as an argument now.

As poor argumentation, the page is worth deconstructing…

source — NASA

source — NASA

Faked “fact” 1 — Climate has always changed, and it always will. The assumption that prior to the industrial revolution the Earth had a “stable” climate is simply wrong. The only sensible thing to do about climate change is to prepare for it. Nonsense: no one, except delusional straw men, has ever claimed the climate never changed. What climate change science has shown is a stark rise in global temperature since the industrial revolution due to dramatically increased greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. exhaust from burring fossil fuels). I guess if you are a Koch stooge, unwilling ever to modify our energy sources, you may believe all one can do about what we have done to global climate is “prepare,” but thatʼs false, too. Deception technique = Straw man.

Faked “fact” 2 — Accurate temperature measurements made from weather balloons and satellites since the late 1950s show no atmospheric warming since 1958. In contrast, averaged ground-based thermometers record a warming of about 0.40 C over the same time period. Many scientists believe that the thermometer record is biased by the Urban Heat Island effect and other artefacts. Apples and oranges. But he is also merely reproducing a pseudofact about the weather-balloon data that I cannot find anywhere except from climate change deniers (and none of them present any source for the assertion, merely repeating in lockstep the same hot air). Is it merely a lie? I suspect so, and our “authority” proffers no evidence for us to think otherwise. His “many scientists” is just the old FoxNews “many believe” lie: who are these many? Nematodes? His “many other artefacts” is simply words without meaning — if there are “many artefacts,” name them. He doesnʼt; ergo, they donʼt exist.

Faked “fact” 3 — Despite the expenditure of more than US$50 billion dollars looking for it since 1990, no unambiguous anthropogenic (human) signal has been identified in the global temperature pattern. Invent your own terms (and moving goalposts). The denierʼs invented unfound”signal” goes undefined (and therefore unfindable, eh?) whereas science established decades ago a clear connection/parallel between human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and climate disorientation. The cost of research is irrelevant to the argument, no matter what (as it will be again later), even if his unsupported number is accurate, which we cannot tell because he offers absolutely no support to his statements ever, anywhere in the article, relying instead on the fallacy of authority (calling himself such).

Faked “fact” 4 — Without the greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature on Earth would be -180 C rather than the equable +150 C that has nurtured the development of life. Just another straw man — no one wishes there were no greenhouse effect ever on earth. The problem is how we have spiked its effects over the past 250 years (and morons who close their blind eyes and shout “No, no, no; I don’t want to hear” instead of working sensibly to do something about our greenhouse gas emissions, I suppose).

Faked “fact” 5 — On both annual (1 year) and geological (up to 100,000 year) time scales, changes in atmospheric temperature PRECEDE changes in CO2. Carbon dioxide therefore cannot be the primary forcing agent for temperature increase (though increasing CO2 does cause a diminishingly mild positive temperature feedback). Now I am getting bored, so letʼs just point out that there is no evidence presented for this assertion sequence — none whatsoever. And no one accepts what he says (well, 97% of scientists disagree).

Faked “fact” 6 — The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has acted as the main scaremonger for the global warming lobby that led to the Kyoto Protocol. Fatally, the IPCC is a political, not scientific, body. Hendrik Tennekes, a retired Director of Research at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, says that “the IPCC review process is fatally flawed” and that “the IPCC wilfully ignores the paradigm shift created by the foremost meteorologist of the twentieth century, Edward Lorenz“. Cherry-picking evidence: one climate denier has a single friend who may or may not agree with him (notice we have no link to the source of these clearly partial quotations, so we have no way of knowing what the old Dutch guy actually said in toto). So what? And that “main” before “scaremonger” (nothing but name calling there) is a weasel word — the real meaning is that there are plenty more sources promoting Kyoto or there could be no “main.” Of course, the UN panel isnʼt itself a scientific body (the UN is a political body); their political work, arranging treaties and protocols, relies on the science our denier ducks (the “scaremongers” this guy fears to address and so ignores).

Faked “fact” 7 — Having introduced his single variable, our densewit denier continues to run with it (and with further unsupported nonevidence). The Kyoto Protocol is easily attacked, being a result of compromise and therefore by definition imperfect in itself alone… The Kyoto Protocol will cost many trillions of dollars and exercises a significant impost those countries that signed it, but will deliver no significant cooling (less than .020 C by 2050, assuming that all commitments are met). The Russian Academy of Sciences says that Kyoto has no scientific basis; Andre Illarianov, senior advisor to Russian president Putin, calls Kyoto-ism “one of the most agressive, intrusive, destructive ideologies since the collapse of communism and fascism“. If Kyoto was a “first step” then it was in the same wrong direction as the later “Bali roadmap”. Once again, a single voice (who may or may not even be scientific himself) expressing merely an opinion — cherry picking and substituting opinions for facts. Likewise the false flag of the cost of Kyoto, quickly substituting that ball for the real payment issue — our hothouse future.

Faked “fact” 8 — Climate change is a non-linear (chaotic) process, some parts of which are only dimly or not at all understood. No deterministic computer model will ever be able to make an accurate prediction of climate 100 years into the future. The argument avoids acknowleging the utility of statistical projections (such as those meteorologists made to warn us of the current cold snap, duh). And crystal-ball-gazing (our denierʼs flatfooted prediction of future events) is as illogical as it comes, boys and girls. I bet heʼd have claimed weather people would never predict weather patterns with any accuracy whatsoever if heʼd been writing in the 1930s. Straightforwardly, Mr. Denier doesnʼt know the future and doesnʼt even have the guidance of computer models (unlike climate science, which does have models doing just what he says they donʼt).

Faked “fact” 9 — Not surprisingly, therefore, experts in computer modelling agree also that no current (or likely near-future) climate model is able to make accurate predictions of regional climate change. This is actually just number 8 repeated, sadly, and the “experts” go unidentified and therefore unreal. The lie is substituting regional climate for the actual topic; heʼs a wonderful three-card monte sleaze artist.

Faked “fact” 10 — The biggest untruth about human global warming is the assertion that nearly all scientists agree that it is occurring, and at a dangerous rate. Actually that statement is simply false. Nearly all scientists do so agree (just less than a hundred percent).

And now having faced down his weakest (but weirdly last) pseudo-facts, my boredom limit is achieved. The guy had nothing there, just subintellectual legerdemain, and clumsy sleight-of-hand at that. Our denier also later presents some”myths,” too, and I will address those if anyone insists or is interested (almost all are simply more straw men he erects himself to wobble with his own hot air).

Oh, yeah, I am mad (at such stupid deception and those who apparently fall for it), so thus my stylistic choices above — none of which invalidate my points but merely express my limitations as a human.

©2014 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,300 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Done (not really)!


Yes! I made 52000-plus words. Iʼm done (not really). The reason there hasnʼt been a post for months is in the past now.

NaNoWriMo 2013 — won.

Morte Saison isnʼt half finished at this point — really just a lot of (nearly random) scenes and sections, not even tied together, and certainly not complete. Thereʼs a ton of work ahead. But this year (even more than last, which topped the utter crap I churned out in 2011), I feel like I have gotten quite a lot accomplished. I am even looking forward to more writing and lots of editing and revising ahead.

Right now, it feels wonderful not to worry about getting in hours of writing time for a day or two (and definitely catch up on unfinished and unwritten letters and blog posts — hey, I still have an entire vacation to write about).

Anyway, year four complete. Iʼll add the little winner icon to the sidebar soon…

(Even better, we have our Christmas tree up and decorated — and all the lights have lit!)

©2013 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

The Tourist Imprisoned

Recently, The Lovely One and I returned from vacationing overseas. The transatlantic experience spawned the latest installment of The Tourist’s mayhem…


Lies, ladies and gentlemen, all lies

Every time I have to do it, I hate flying more than I had before. The airlines seem locked in a death struggle to determine which brand can devise the final sadistic imposition on passengers that will at last prevent anyone from ever flying steerage again. Or simply never flying.

That imminent day resounds with sadness, but corporate profiteering edges the dire knell of the skyfaring businesses nearer with each deliberately overcrowded, crammed and undernourished flight.

Recently, domestically, I furtively smuggled a seamstress’s cloth measuring tape in my pocket — dutifully removed to pass microwave fullbody scansion, along with keys, change, watch, personal detritus and pocket lint — and used a minute portion of its length to measure my allotted confinement space: 21 inches from backseat ahead to head rest (less by nearly six when the careless cad ahead dismally and pointlessly reclined his so-called “backrest” eight minutes into our heavenly ascent), almost 9 inches from seatback ahead to front edge of my euphemistic seat “cushion” (less with egophilic jerk’s reclination, but only by an inch — sufficient to make the safety drill’s assurance of a flotation device beneath my economy seat merely a taunt, at best a contortionist’s impossible dream; from armrest to armrest a minuscule 16 and 3/4, possibly of suitable proportions when I was in my (early) roaring twenties but no longer (and my own somewhat bulging belly added its own girth to that measurement), and my corpulent seatmate oozed her bulk intrusively well into my euphemistic “space” and sweating flesh throughout, the decisively lowered armrest proving no barrier to unwanted intimacy whatsoever. Although officially in sitting position, my space, especially once the overhead lighting quenched to keep us docile, put me in mind of tyrants’ notorious “standing cells,” my movements restricted nearly to nil.

Therefore, I devised the demise of the purser who refused my request for any available liberation, who even declined to disturb the selfimportant fore-ass’s pseudoreclining position as it was after all, “resting period.” Well, I put a period to that. And while we were straightjacketed in the air as well.

That’s the start of that. More on the trip (the actual vacation) ahead, friends and family…

©2013 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.