Saturday, March 29, 2008


T.R. & Mediocre Gatsby, you guys are my base, my regulars. but I feel like I need to round up more readership. I guess I'm not sure why; something about performance, numbers, ego, accountability, results. yesterday I was over at Via Negativa where Dave talks about all of this in terms of phoebes, Leadbelly and how now, in Japan, people are reading novels on their cell phones. so what’s a carnival barker to do?

actually, there are a few tactics I’m weighing. for example, I know a guy who changes blogs like I change pants. this has worked really well for him, and his readership now spans the commonwealth. but I'm afraid I couldn't keep this up without neglecting things like flossing, washing the dishes, watering the plants, and changing my own actual pants on a regular basis.

here are some other things I have tried or could try. of course, I am also open to your suggestions here.
  • I’ve been trying the Reader’s Digest approach and I’m not sure it’s taking so well.
  • I could pay a high school kid to dress up like a fishstick, a wookie, or a statue of liberty and stand out on the boulevard holding a sign for me.
  • strive for "excellence"
  • promotional t-shirts. promotional bottled water. promotional tote bags and chap sticks.
  • “just be myself” :)
  • voodoo
also, I want to reach out to you (“dear reader”/“my friend”/“folks”) with what we’ll call this blog’s new sunshine policy. yes, that’s right. in a move for truth and reconciliation, I’m putting a moratorium on the keyword verification for anyone who wants to leave a comment on fish without faces. this includes everyone: “anonymous” comments, dealers of fen fen, ephedra, ephemera and viagra, the botox spambot, you tired, poor, huddled masses, this blog's for you. I am embracing you with pale, low-humming monitor light.

Friday, March 28, 2008

the bird and the machine

“…the most beautiful sight in the world might be the birds taking over New York after the last man has run away to the hills. I will never live to see it, of course, but I know just how it will sound because I’ve lived up high and I know the sort of watch birds keep on us. I’ve listened to sparrows tapping tentatively on the outside of air conditioners when they thought no one was listening, and I know how other birds test the vibrations that come up to them through the television aerials.
‘Is he gone?’ they ask, and the vibrations come up from below, ‘ Not yet, not yet.’”

-Loren Eiseley
The Immense Journey

Thursday, March 27, 2008

the judgment of the birds

“…I once saw this happen to a crow. This crow lives near my house, and…his world begins at about at the limit of my eyesight.
On the particular morning when this episode occurred, the whole countryside was buried in one of the thickest fogs in years. The ceiling was absolutely zero. All planes were grounded, and even a pedestrian could hardly see his outstretched hand before him.
I was groping across a field in the general direction of the railroad station, following a dimly outlined path. Suddenly out of the fog, at about the level of my eyes, and so closely that I flinched, there flashed a pair of immense black wings and a huge beak. The whole bird rushed over my head with a frantic cawing outcry of such hideous terror as I have never heard in a crow’s voice before, and never expect to hear again.
…All afternoon that great awkward cry rang in my head. Merely being lost in a fog seemed scarcely to account for it…The borders of our worlds had shifted. It was the fog that had done it…He had been lost all right, but it was more than that. He had thought he was high up, and when he encountered me looming gigantically through he fog, he had perceived a ghastly and, to the crow mind, unnatural sight. He had seen a man walking on air, desecrating the very heart of the crow kingdom, a harbinger of the most profound evil a crow could conceive of—air-walking man.”

-Loren Eiseley
The Immense Journey

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

the snout

“I have long been an admirer of the octopus. The cephalopods are very old, and they have slipped, protean, through many shapes. They are the wisest of the mollusks, and I have always felt it to be just as well for us that they never came ashore, but—there are other things that have…
“The world is fixed, we say: fish in the sea, birds in the air. But in the mangrove swamps by the Niger, fish climb trees and ogle uneasy naturalists who try unsuccessfully to chase them back to the water. There are things still coming ashore.”

-Loren Eiseley
The Immense Journey

Sunday, March 23, 2008


today Kelly & I went through our cabinets, cupboards and crisper drawers with an ostrich feather and a wooden spoon, clearing out all things sweetened. to give a little background, over the last year of too much hog knuckles and milk gravy I’ve gained at least 20 lbs.

to be more specific, my legs are making corduroy noises when I walk and, more and more, I feel my undershirt tuck and pleat between new skin folds. this is a problem. so tonight we say goodbye to sugar for a month, the final extravagance being some fancy little xocolates from this shop that will be closed and gone by the time we’re eating sugar again. I’ll leave out all the details of exactly what’s in and what’s out. it's not real scientific or even all that well thought out. but, like a wise guy said a few years back, "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want." junkies can't be choosers.

thanks TR for demonstrating such fortitude and, um, stick-to-itiveness. we’re following your lead on this. solidarity forever, right?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

the skylark

"the skylark was born before all beings and before the earth itself. its father died of illness when the earth did not yet exist. he remained unburied for five days, until the skylark, ingenious of necessity, buried its father in its own head."

the Birds

Friday, March 21, 2008

the yoga of the supreme person

"I enter into each planet, and by My energy these stay in orbit. I become the moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables. I am the fire of digestion in every living body, and I am the air of life, outgoing and incoming, by which I digest the four kinds of foods."
Bhagavad Gita

Thursday, March 20, 2008

the universal form

"O lotus-eyed one, I have heard from You in detail about the appearance and disappearance of every living entity, as realized within the nature of Your inexhaustible glories.

O greatest of all beings, O supreme form, though I see here before me Your actual position, I yet wish to see how You have entered into this cosmic manifestation. I wish to see that form of Yours.

If You think that I am able to see Your cosmic form, O my Lord, O master of all mystic power, then kindly show me that universal self.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, O son of Prthā, see now My opulences—hundreds of thousands of varied divine forms, multicolored like the sea.

Whatever you want to see can be seen in this body all at once. This universal form can show you all that you now desire, as well as whatever you may want in the future. Everything is here completely.

But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore I give you divine eyes, so that you can behold My mystic opulence….

Arjuna said: My dear Lord, Krsna, I see in Your body all the demigods and different kinds of living entities, assembled together. I see Brahmā sitting on the lotus flower, as well as Lord Śiva and many sages and divine snakes.

O Lord of the universe, I see in Your universal body many, many forms—arms, bellies, mouths, eyes—expanded without limit. There is no end, there is no beginning, and there is no middle to all this.

Your form, adorned with various crowns, clubs and discs, is very hard to see on account of its glowing effulgence, which is fiery and immeasurable like the sun.

You are the supreme primal objective. You are the best in all the universes; You are inexhaustible, and You are the oldest.…

You have numberless arms, and the sun and moon are among Your great, unlimited eyes. By your own radiance you are heating the entire universe.

…O great one, as I see this terrible form, all the planetary systems are perplexed. All the demigods surrender unto You, entering into You. Very much afraid, with folded hands, they are praying the Vedic hymns….

O mighty-armed one, all the planets with their demigods are perturbed at seeing Your many faces, eyes, arms, bellies and legs and Your terrible teeth. And as they are perturbed, so am I.

O all-pervading Visnu, I am unable to keep the equilibrium of my mind! Seeing your radiant color filling the skies and seeing Your mouths and eyes, I am afraid.

O Lord of lords, O refuge of the worlds, please be gracious toward me. I cannot keep my balance seeing thus Your blazing, deathlike faces and awful teeth. I am bewildered in all directions.

All the sons of Dhrtarāstra, along with their allied kings, and Bhīsma, Drona and Karna and all our soldiers are rushing into Your mouths, their heads smashed by Your fearful teeth. And some I see being crushed between Your teeth as well.

As the river flow down to the ocean, so all the great warriors enter into Your blazing mouths and perish.

I see all people rushing with full speed into Your mouths, as moths hurry into a blazing fire.…

I offer respects from the front, from behind and from all sides! O unbounded power, You are the master of limitless might! You are all-pervading, and thus You are everything!

…The supreme Personality of the Godhead, Krsna, while speaking thus to Arjuna, displayed His real four-handed form, and at last He showed His two-handed form, thus encouraging the fearful Arjuna."
Bhagavad Gita

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the opulence of the absolute

“O Krsna, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the gods nor demons, O Lord, know Thy personality….

The Blessed Lord said: Yes, I shall tell you of My splendorous manifestations, but only of those which are prominent, O Arjuna, for My opulence is limitless.

I am the Self, O conqueror of sleep, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.

Of the Ādityas I am Visnu, of the lights I am the radiant sun, I am Marīci of the Maruts, and among the stars I am the moon….

Of the great sages I am Bhrgu; of vibrations I am the transcendental om. Of sacrifices I am the chanting of holy names [japa], and of immovable things I am the Himalayas.

Of the trees I am the holy fig tree…Of horses know Me to be Uccaihsravā, who rose out of the ocean, born of the elixir of immortality; of lordly elephants I am Airāvata, and among men I am the monarch.

Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am the Surabhi, givers of abundant milk. Of procreators I am Kandarpa, the god of love, and of serpents I am Vāsuki, the chief.

Of the celestial Nāga snakes I am Ananta; of the aquatic deities I am Varuna. Of departed ancestors I am Aryamā, and among the dispensers of law I am Yama, lord of death.

Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlāda, among subduers I am time, among the beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuda, the feathered carrier of Visnu.

Of purifiers I am the wind, of the wielders of weapons I am Rāma, of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.

Of all creations I am the beginning and the end, and also the middle, O Arjuna…and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.

Of letters I am the A, and among compounds I am the dual word. I am also inexhaustible time, and of creators I am Brahmā, whose manifold faces turn everywhere.

I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, faithfulness and patience.”
Bhagavad Gita

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

transcendental knowledge

“And when you have thus learned the truth, you will know that all living beings are but part of Me—and that they are in Me, and are Mine.

Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge, you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.

As the blazing fire turns wood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities…

Therefore, the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O Baharata, stand and fight!”
Bhagavad Gita

Monday, March 17, 2008

observing the armies on the battlefield of kuruksetra

“Thereafter, Lord Krsna blew His transcendental conchshell, named Pāñcajanya, Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta, and Bhīma, the voracious eater and performer of Herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell, named Paundra.

Prince Yudhisthira, Kuntī’s son, blew his conchshell, named Anantavijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew theirs, named Sughosa and Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of Kāsī, the great fighter Śikhandī, Dhrstadyumna, Virāta and the unconquerable Sātyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadī, and others, O King, such as the mighty-armed son of Subhadrā, all blew their respective conchshells.

The blowing of all these different conchshells became uproarious, and, vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarāstra.”
Bhagavad Gita

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chris Jordan
(thanks Joe, for the tip on this one.)