This Blog is Stolen Property

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

1001 Penis Tales

So, perhaps as an antidote to all the Viagra spam I've been getting lately and all the penis enlargement offers* (along with some breast enlargement offers), today I get a spam email with this subject heading:

Now get soft for half the price!!

Really, this is the very worst product ever. And being half-off doesn't help one bit. Can they make it smaller, too? 'Cause that's sure to sell like lukewarm-cakes.

It's like some guys in the lab accidentally came up with this drug to, ahem, slacken the old wedding tackle (maybe they'd never heard of the miracle of whiskey-dick, although perhaps this new product is faster acting and has fewer side-effects) and just thought: "What the hell? I bet those boys in marketing can convince someone that they need this."

It turns out the email just wanted to sell me some knock-off software. Which is much less funny.

*A friend forward me an email the other day for a patch--a patch-to enlarge one's equipment. Ok, is it just me, or does ripping that thing off sound deeply unpleasant? But the ad copy was hilarious:

Your tiny penis looks like from the Disney World. With Penis Enlarge Patch it will look like from the Giant Planet.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day

I had a long pro-union post planned for today. But you can probably guess the jist of it. It would likely have begun with a quote from "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill" (best union song ever) and ended by calling every politician to the right of Karl Marx a corporate tool. Yawn, right?

So instead I thought I would post a poem. Because a poem is a kind of work. And also kind of not.

Work is the thing that transforms the world, remakes it. It also remakes the worker. In this capacity for remaking lies the both dignity and the danger of labor.

A poem doesn't remake the world in quite the same way. But it tries.

I went to a lecture once given by the great poet, Allen Grossman. He made the truest and most melancholy observation: there is very little happy poetry.

Take love poetry, for instance--about 79% of it is about wanting someone you can't have. About 20% of it is about having had someone. Maybe 1% is about having. The moment of sufficiency or satisfaction just isn't productive of poetry.

A poem is both a compensation for, but also a marker of absence.

Here is a beautiful poem about how language tries - and fails (though not completely) - to make the absent present.

My Grandmother's Love Letters

by Hart Crane

There are no stars tonight
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.

There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother's mother,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.

Over the greatness of such space
Steps must be gentle.
It is all hung by an invisible white hair.
It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air.

And I ask myself:

"Are your fingers long enough to play
Old keys that are but echoes:
Is the silence strong enough
To carry back the music to its source
And back to you again
As though to her?"

Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand
Through much of what she would not understand;
And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof
With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.