Sunday, September 10, 2023

The supersonic chewing power haiku

We are moths and can
infest everything! We then
lay a zillion eggs.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2023)

A grim reality report from the afflicted kitchen.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

John Prine - Hello In There (Live From Sessions at West 54th)

Me and Loretta, we don't talk much now
She sits and stares through the backdoor screen
And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream that we've both seen
(John Prine, from the lyrics of Hello In There)

This song has a story for me. I came to know it when I bought Diamonds & Rust by Joan Baez around 1975, the year it was released. Hello In There instantly struck me as one of the best songs on the album and made me aware of its composer, John Prine. As a result, I started listening to Prine and bought several of his albums.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

T. S. was wrong

Thomas Stearns

was wrong:

July is the cruellest month,
sandwiched between June
and August, which are
almost as cruel if measured
by the unbearable heat here
in the Roman stone desert
which comes immensely
close to a waste land
every day from nine to five

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2023)

A facetious shot at the beginning of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922). Otherwise razor edge reporting from the global warming front in Rome, Italy, on July 11, 2023.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Dream No. 181


Had a dream last night
in which, try as I might,
I could not remember
what George Harrison
looked like.

This greatly upset me
in the dream, him
being my favorite
Beatle and all. 10-foot 
pole taste of memory loss.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2023)

Photo: Ed Caraeff/Getty Images

Monday, June 5, 2023

How to do Europe in five days


Jackie and Jilly, who used to be friends and colleagues while both lived in L.A., are finally meeting again at a bar in Boise, Idaho, for the first time in years.
“I hear you went on a trip last year?”
“Yes, we did Europe in five days. It was great.”
“What do you mean by you did Europe?”
“Well, we looked up What to see in Europe on the Internet and planned accordingly.”
“I see.”
“It worked perfectly. We did France, Spain, Italy, Germany and England.”
“And saw them in five days?”
“Yes! And the beauty of it is we’ll never have to go back there.”
“Because you’ve seen all there is to see?”
“Everything worth seeing!”
“Good for you and your blessed little eyes!”
“Are you being sarcastic by any chance?”
“Never! Europe and the wisdom of the Internet would never recover!”

Top left: Paris, France; top right: Rome, Italy
Center right: Heidelberg, Germany
Bottom left: London, England; bottom right: Madrid, Spain

Saturday, June 3, 2023

A contemporary gesture haiku

Kiss your own palm 
ecstatically while LOL
and jumping up and down

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2023)

Gestural cloning is an essential part of (aspiring to) social media popularity. The above poem is based on one such gesture observed today. Do it, post it on tiktok (or wherever) immediately and get popularity!

For anyone unfamiliar with messaging abbreviations: LOL does not mean “lots of love” but “laughing out loud”. Seems to happen all the time in messages.

For purists: No, I did not quite follow the syllable count and don’t really GAFF.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Kate and Anna McGarrigle: Mother Mother (1990)

I've had this song in my head for days without knowing why. Usually there's some association that triggers the memory of a song. Nothing like it in this case. Didn't even wake up with it playing in my head as it sometimes happens.

I've been listening to Kate and Anna McGarrigle since 1977, when I picked up Dancer with Bruised Knees at the record store at the University of Regensburg in Germany on a whim because I loved the cover.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

A moocher haiku


A haiku and I
were having coffee at Star-
Bux. You pay! it said.

– Leonard Blumfeld

Painting by J. B. with a little help from Artifice. As can be clearly seen, the haiku is only present in spirit.

Balzac, Balzac

“Balzac, Balzac ... that rings a bell. Wait – wasn’t he the gasman? Or the notary? Not sure which.”

An English-language take on Léo Ferré’s lyrics from La vie moderne (click on the video above to hear the chanson).

From the original French lyrics:
Quant à Balzac il s’y demande si
C’est un gazier ou un notaire

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Seamstresses bent over sewing machines


AI art is a hot item in the crypto art collection scene and currently creates an enormous amount of hype. To investigate this hoopla a little bit myself, I went to one of the online generators that can be used to create such art.

You enter a text description, press the GENERATE button and wait for the piece of art to emerge on the screen in front of you.

The prompt I entered for the masterpiece above was “Portrait of a seamstress bent over a sewing machine”.

What I got from the machine was – lo and behold! – not only one but two seamstresses and two sewing machines.

While this idyll looks quite realistic in its 19th-century charm, you will notice some interesting anomalies when you take a closer look. Three of the hands, for example, are disfigured and/or have missing or superfluous fingers, and there are two fingers to the left of the front sewing machine that do not originate from any hand.

Did the artificial intelligence decide to play a trick on me because I did not pay for its services? 

We shall never know.

– Yours artificially, Leonardo Blumfeld