Fred, I am on a train outside Buffalo, returning from my triumphant tour of Toronto. In a small junk yard, 32 broken cars face the same way. (West.) Before, in Niagara Falls, Canada, we passed the Barely Legal Niteclub. Travel is so unsettling—like being robbed at knifepoint. But also,
it is enjoyable.
Like being robbed at knifepoint by a nun.
What a beautiful flat brown river!
The woman in the seat in front of me reads “Hillary Swank’s Do’s And Don’t’s” (an article in some magazine). From now on, I will only follow Hillary Swank’s Do’s And Don’t’s—not the antiquated 10 Commandments (if I can just find the article, somehow)!
Bad Luck Charms
Only one in 900 people prefers bad luck to good luck. Such people collect bad luck charms. These charms are usually metal, often painted white. They come in many shapes: chairs, spears, broken clocks. “Miniature weathervanes bring the worst luck,” says Peter Kravet, a bad luck charm dealer. “Personally, I handle them with gloves.”
Warsaw saw war.
There were numerous cowboy acrobats, who could ride a horse cross-legged. By the campfire, they would
somersault and backward-hop.
Some could play the guitar with one hand and one foot.
P O E M
O E M P
E M P O
M P O E
How many actuaries die each year?
Last night, in my dream, I was in a deli in Inwood (the neighborhood I grew up in), searching for a snack. High on a shelf, I found a bag of.... At first I couldn’t identify it, then I realized it was potato chips mixed with pretzels.
I woke up wondering, did such a snack ever exist?
I am always homeless in my dreams.
Now in a Chinese restaurant downtown in Brooklyn,
I thought a woman said: “That’s eternity hats!”
“It is only the wisest and the stupidest who can’t change.” —Confucius
The first footprint on the moon is 13 inches long.
Pick three wild roses.
Cover them with:
1 quart water
1 tsp mustard seed
1/4 tsp cumin seed
3 cactus thorns
Leave for six weeks.
Poem Number 42
“Not A Contest” Report II
Devoted readers of Quarter To Three (this column) know that I recently requested submissions to “a nonexistent contest.” Our entries continue! Hugh Thomas created a “three words that connect logically” contest, and won with:
And Mike Topp crafted an “inedible recipe” contest, and triumphed with:
Break off a piece of plutonium and place it on a graham cracker and then put a marshmallow on top. Pop into the microwave, nuke ‘em for a few seconds.
I am starting a new magazine, Auditory Life. It is a journal for people who enjoy listening. Do you have a story of a great sound: a creaking chair, or a car with a funny muffler problem? Send it to: Auditory Life c/o Quarter To Three, Chronogram, Post Office Box 459, New Paltz, NY 12561, or e-mail email@example.com.
“Religion is politics in its purest form.”
—Alexis de Tocqueville*
[*Actually, I fabricated this quote. —Sparrow]