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Lance Mannion
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More mining from the notebooks, Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Posted Wednesday morning, July 17, 2019. Tuesday. 1:39 p.m. At 7Eleven. Started out from home at 10 with the windows open on the car all the way to the Thruway. 70 degrees at the outset. To the Thruway by way of Stewarts (for milk) by way of home (to drop of the milk) by way of Hannaford (groceries for the guys’ dinner) by way of home again (grocery drop off) by way of Plains Road and 52, through Orange Lake, and down 300. 83 degrees now. Low humidity, at least in... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Posted Wednesday morning, July 17, 2019. Detail from “Christ Healing the Man Born Blind” by El Greco. Circa 1570. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. As he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day;... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Monday night, July 15, 2019. Posted Tuesday afternoon, July 16. Trump among the conventionally wise: Then candidate Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the spin room after the Republican debate on Dec. 15, 2015, at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Photo by Riccardo Savi/AP via Slate. There is such a thing as a conventional wisdom that drives journalism and shapes stories and colors thinking, and journalists are biased in favor of it. Most reporters admit it. But most of the ones who do will insist they aren’t among the conventionally wise themselves. Those other saps fall... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, July 15, 2019. U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. Copyrighted photo by Karen Kuehn, courtesy of Blue Flower Arts, via the Poetry Foundation. Our new poet laureate Joy Harjo got her MFA from the University of Iowa. She finished up at the Workshop a few years before I arrived. I've never crossed paths with her but it's a near certainty that people I crossed paths with at the Workshop crossed paths with her back when. So there’s one degree of separation between us every which way. But that’s not why I feel a personal connection with her or... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, July 14, 2019. Trees lining Walden Pond, Concord, Massachusetts. Uncredited photo via Boston Discovery Guide. The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance a palace or temple on earth, and at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them. Trees commonly have two growths in the year, a spring and a fall growth, the latter sometimes equalling the former, and you can see where the first was checked whether by cold or drouth, and wonder what there was in the summer to produce this check, this blight.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted late Saturday night, July 13, 2019. Crab Nebula. NASA photo. Carl Sagan was unhesitatingly on the side of light: Here are two images of the universe [the Crab Nebula and the Eagle Nebula]. For obvious reason they concentrate not on the spaces in which there is nothing but on the locales in which there is something. It soul be very dull if I simply showed you image after image of darkness. But I stress that universe is mainly made of nothing, that something is the exception. Nothing is the rule. That darkness is a commonplace; it is light that... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, July 13, 2019. The late poet James Tate at his home in Pelham, Massachusetts in 2011. Photo courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor, via the Guardian. The poet James Tate died four years ago this month.James Tate died four years ago this month. He just published his final book of poems. “The Government Lake”. Well, his publisher published it for him. Here is the last poem in the book. The last poem he wrote. It was found in is typewriter after he died. It’s a funny poem, and a happy poem. I think it’s the perfect goodbye... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Wednesday afternoon, July 10, 2019. Posted Thursday afternoon, July 11. Kingston, New York. Yesterday afternoon, July 10, 2019. Thing that bugs me about guys like this is the satisfaction they take in bugging guys like me. “TRUMP WON GET OVER IT”? I should get over it? This from some old grump who can't get over the whole second half of the 20th Century? And how are we supposed to show we're over it? By letting him "win" a second term by unanimous acclamation? By the way, this truck was parked in the lot of the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Monday, June 24, 2019. Posted Tuesday afternoon, July 10. “The last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat.”: Ace reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) and editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) try to bluff their way through a confrontation with the city’s crooked mayor (Clarence Kolb) and nitwit sheriff (Gene Lockhart) while a nitwit errand runner for the offscreen governor whose crookedness and nitwittery are questionable (Billy Gilbert, center) looks confusedly on in a scene from the best movie about journalism “His Girl Friday” which was based... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday evening, July 8, 2019. The farmhouse at la Colonia de Víznar near the Andalusian village of Alfacar where the poet Federico Garcia Lorca was held prisoner the night before he was executed by a fascist firing squad in August 1936. His body was buried by the side of the nearby road in an unmarked grave that hasn’t been found yet although the search has been on for decades. Photo via Barbarous Nights. On the dark field adjacent to the road, the soldiers told the prisoners to stop. The five men weren’t professional executioners. They had taken a side... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday afternoon, July 8, 2019. Detail from “Bathing Woman” by Joan Miro. 1925. Courtesy Georges Pompidou Center, Paris, via WikiArt. Following up on the previous post, “There was, famously, no moon…” Moon came to the forge in her petticoat of nard The boy looks and looks the boy looks at the Moon In the turbulent air Moon lifts up her arms showing — pure and sexy — her beaten-tin breasts Run Moon run Moon Moon If the gypsies came white rings and white necklaces they would beat from your heart Boy will you let me dance — when the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Monday morning, July 8, 2019. “A small daub of beauty added onto a story that is at heart nothing more than proof of human brutality”: Andulsian countryside at night similar to the spot where the poet Federico García Lorca was executed by a fascist firing squad as Aaron Shulman describes it in “The Age of Disenchantments”. The countryside is similar. The sky is not. There was, famously, no moon the night Lorca died. Uncredited photo via GoSpain. There are many books about Lorca, and nearly all of them mention the fact that the moon wasn’t visible on the night he... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, July 8, 2019. “His pain fueled poems of melancholy longing and stage tragedies of disastrously failed love…: Scene from James Madison University’s student production of “Blood Wedding” by Federico García Lorca, Spring 2009. Set design and photo copyright Richard Finkelstein. Born in 1898 to a well-off family in a village near Grenada, Lorca had grown up to be a gifted musician, pathbreaking poet, theater-filling dramatist, and unparalled party guest. His personality was so contagious that when a young Salvador Dali first met Lorca in college, the painter would literally run away from him to battle in private... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, July 8, 2019. Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. The photo, via El Espanol, is uncredited and undated, but it looks to me that it was taken when Lorca was in his mid- to late thirties, which would mean it was taken not long before he was executed by a fascist firing squad near the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in the summer of 1936. Started “The Age of Disenchantments: The Epic Story of Spain’s Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War” by Aaron Shulman the other night. Stayed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, July 6, 2019. Yesterday morning we Mannions made a pilgrimage to Barnes & Noble where I built this stack of books on our table in the cafe. I had no plans to buy any of them---as our poet pal Steve Kuusisto is wont to call it, B&N serves to its corporate dismay as a loitering library for too many of its customers, including me, most of the times. I’ve been known to buy more than a coffee on occasion. I was only looking through them to see which I wanted to put on reserve at the library.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed and posted Friday morning, July 5, 2019. American Goldfinch: Breeding male perched among apple blossoms. Uncredited photo via Wild Birds Unlimited. Friday. 7:36 a.m. 61 degrees. High light gray sky. No wind. Weather app says 96% humidity. Can that be right? Not yet uncomfortable out on the porch but can feel the heat building. High of 87 predicted. Goldfinch just made an attempt to land in our bushes. He couldn't get a good purchase and flew off. Closest one has come to the house in a long time which means it's the closest I've been... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed and posted Thursday morning, July 4, 2019. Beautiful day, beautiful flag: Old Glory flying over the Mannionville Ranch this morning, July 4th, 2019. I subtweeted certain straight white liberals on Twitter this morning. I asked them to please stop scaring themselves with nightmares about Amerika. Might as well do the blog equivalent here in case any of them are still reading blogs. So, like I said over at Twitter, please stop scaring yourselves with nightmares. The tanks aren't rolling. Two outdated tanks are being trucked in as party decorations. They're there to make the cowardly... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Friday, June 28. Posted Wednesday morning, July 3, 2019. Looking ahead but pointing back?: Bernie Sanders in 2017. AP Photo Charlie Neibergall, via the Nation. You got to admire the belligerent way Bernie expresses views that virtually every liberal under 60 has as a matter of course... I make no apologies for opposing the war in Vietnam. I make no apologies for opposing the war in Iraq. I make no apologies for opposing the war in Yemen. And I make no apologies for now trying to prevent a war with Iran. That’s Bernie Sanders on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Sunday, June 30, 2019. Posted Tuesday morning, July 2. Crisis of faith: Detail from “Dawn: Luther at Erfurt” by Joseph Noel Paton. 1861. Scottish National Galleries via Wikimedia Commons. Following up from yesterday: If only he’d followed his own logic to its conclusion… But Luther’s critique of the Roman Church was even now quickly diverging from a a broadly supported list of reforms to church practices and becoming a vision that stood to raze the traditional understanding of what the Church was. In essence, this was a vision of the incommensurateness of man and God. A... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Updated, Wednesday morning, July 3, 2019, because we're still a little short. New posts below but before scrolling down, please read... Mrs M at the Barnes & Noble near Old Mother Blonde's when we were visiting back at the end of May. Thank you to you kind folks who have donated. You're very kind and have been a big help. And you got us halfway to our goal. Unfortunately... You saw that unfortunately coming, didn't you? Once again money we were counting on to pay bills is late and our insurance bill is due. It's $190 which I'm going to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Sunday, June 30, 2019. “Luther Publishes the 95 Theses” by Julius Hübner. 1878. Lutherhaus via Wikimedia Commons. Luther’s harangue against the corruption of the Roman Curia was part of a long history of protest against clerical abuses, and his charge sheet of ninety-five theses, published in Wittenberg in 1517, included familiar complaints about the indulgences issued to cover the eye-watering costs of building St. Peter’s...the Saxon monk’s critiques of indulgences followed a logic strangely reminiscent of monetary inflation: if Leo [Pope Leo X] could simply print indulgences (documents forgiving sins) to raise money for his building projects, why shouldn’t he... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, June 29, 2019. “As far as they were concerned, their wealth was the product of hard work, and they were proud of it…”: “The Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild, known as the ‘Sampling Officials’” by Rembrandt. Commissioned by the Clothmakers guild, 1662. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands, via Wikipedia. In most of Europe, the newly rich imitated the taste and style of the aristocracy. The Netherlands, once again, was the exception; here, a bourgeois aesthetic began to assert itself as early as the seventeenth century. Successful Dutch merchants and professionals did not want to hold any kind of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, June 28, 2019. Up with the birds again and out on the porch having my coffee with them for company. I'm in the mood to sit here and write all morning. But all I want to write is poetry. Thing is I'm not a poet. If I was all my poems would be about birds... And coffee. Coffee and birds. Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, June 27, 2019. “A careless God who refuses to let you eat from the Tree of Knowledge can lead to books and eventually to us…”---Robert Bly: “The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man”, Adam and Eve by Rubens, animals by Bruegel the Elder, circa 1615. Via Wikimedia Commons. Maybe we do… A man told me once that all the bad people Were needed. Maybe not all, but your fingernails You need; they are really claws, and we know Claws. The sharks--what about them? They make other fish swim faster. The hard-faced men In black coats... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Sunday, June 23, 2019. Posted Wednesday morning, June 26. Republicans letting us know what they truly believe: “President Donald Trump concludes a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. It was one of his first events for his reelection campaign, which he formally kicked off Tuesday in Florida.” CQ Roll Call file photo by Tom Williams. I don't care what they say they believe. We aren’t defined by our opinions. Opinions don’t matter. Actions define us and not the words we use to hide the truth of our behavior from... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2019 at Lance Mannion