Monday, July 27, 2015

33 very short poems

By Jack Brummet


You think one thing,
Say another,
And do a third.

The host and tenant lock
In benign equilibrium.

Each valley followed by a slope.
Every going followed by a return.

There is no relief without an ache,
 And no virus without a host.

Bricks tumble into the moat.
The king's body hangs naked from the flagpole.

For a fleeting moment
The condition for change exists.

A roiling thunderstorm clears the air
Like Wyatt Earp's peacekeeper

A bad beginning can be overcome
But a good end lasts forever

When you strip away the stage flats, makeup, and costumes,
It’s all one story starring our private heroes and dreams.


He was ready to live again
Even if living just meant running
To keep ahead of the ghosts.

It’s so still and calm
In the mosque,
You could hear a fly expire.

The Marriage

Two tattered mannequins
Prop each other up
In the Salvation Army Store window

Gone Fishing

As the forests swamps and bones turn slowly to coal
The last pterodactyl
Soars overhead, calling for a friend.

It's so quiet you hear
dust motes six feet up
bump in shafts of sunlight.

Take the worst that could happen
And add two zeros.

High fidelity clouds gather over
The tattered stage flats of a world on fire.

It's Getting Crowded

We cover the earth with Venn Diagrams
As our steps bisect old steps.

The glass is not half-full

I saw our dreams disappear
Like a white pony
Over a low grassy hill.

The Golden Rule

Listen to the songbirds trill
But keep an eye
On the buzzard section.

An orchard of salt pillars
Circles Gomorrah's ashes:
Lot's Wife had no name.

If I don’t write it down
The words race away
Like a hit and run driver

Your Wooden Leg

Run if you still can.
Drag that wooden leg behind you,
But keep up, jogging after your pipe-dream.

Weather Report

Life is a raindrop
Sizzling as it skitters
Across the universal griddle.

"And after all, what is a lie? ’Tis but the truth in masquerade"
The truth exists; the lie must be created.


There is no tomorrow
until we get through
the day after yesterday


In your chest beats the heart of a Good Samaritan
Who never quite got off the starting blocks

Torches & Pitchforks

The whole
Is far less than the sum
Of its parts:

Mission Statement

The Army has two duties
To break things, and kill people;
Everything else is just fluff and overhead.


We weave around and through
Unseen hazards and shoals,

Always feeling less safe
Than we actually are.

The Odds
Simple probability and statistics
Tell us ineluctably that the more times
You stick your head In the lion's mouth,
The more likely it is that one day he will close it.

The Man In The Mirror

There's a civil war in his head:
Lobe against lobe.

Falling per se is not a bad thing.
The problems arise when falling
Becomes not falling, or, the uncontrolled landing problem.

The Return Of The Kings

We never picture the aliens
Coming in peace
Because we never came in peace.

OSHA requires goggles in pornographic films?

A new rule proposed by California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards agency in May requires actors in pornographic movies to wear goggles for eye protection. (Washington Post, May 29, 2015)



By Jack Brummet

An Economist/YouGov poll last Friday showed that Donald Trump is now 28% of registered Republican voters 1st choice, up from 15% in early July.


a) Novelty. Remember Herman Cain soared in the polls early on too, mostly for also shooting his mouth off. 
b) The GOP rank and file is an aging, and slightly/largely deranged demographic. 
c) They are fed up with lame candidates like McCain and Romney (although this is hardly the solution to that). 
d) Sending a message to the others.
e) People love rich guys. Sure, most of the other candidates are multimillionaires, but Donald TrumpEts it. 
f) They want their own, as Sarah Palin would say, "mavericky" candidate like Bernie Sanders.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cookin' with Jack: Fried Rice

By Jack Brummet

4 tbs peanut or other oil (Note: I think Canola has a nasty taste, but feel free)
6 Chinese sausages, sliced about 1/4" thick (or 1/2 lb. ham, or Chinese BBQ pork)
1 white onion diced (yellow or onion OK)
Salt and pepper
3 fat cloves garlic, finely minced
3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
5 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias, white and green separated
1 cup fresh (in the summer) or frozen peas
Half cup finely diced carrots
2-4 celery stalks sliced thin
A cup or cup and a half of peeled shrimp (raw, or use peeled tiny fresh cooked Oregon shrimp).
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups cold cooked long-grain rice (cooled overnight and grains separated by hand or with a utensil). About one cup per person.  Jasmine or Basmati works well too.
sesame oil to taste (2-3 teaspoons)
soy (tamari for GF) sauce - to taste, 2-4 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons of Mirin (optional but good)

Once you make it you'll have a sense of how to make it your own next time.  

Heat a wok or large heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet or wok to low heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the beaten eggs. Cook until  just firm enough to lift out of the wok to cool.  You can do them like a pancake or like scrambled eggs with large curds,  Put it on a cutting board and chop it into small pieces.

Crank up the flame all the way.  After a couple of minutes, add a teaspoon or two of oil and stir fry the sausage for a couple of minutes on high heat.   Put in a bowl on the counter.

Add a little oil and the onions and celery to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until onion is just sweated, stirring all the time.  Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites and stir 30 seconds. Add peas and carrots . Cook until just defrosted (if frozen) but  leave them crisp.  Empty it all into the bowl of sausage.

Return the pan to the heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil. When the wok is smoking, add the rice to the pan and use a wooden spoon to break up any clumps. Season with pepper and stir-fry the rice to coat evenly with oil. Stop stirring, and let the wok go for 30 second increments between tossing and stirring.  Add the mirin if using. Stir the rice again, breaking up any new clumps. Add the sesame oil to taste (at least two teaspoons-1 Tbs. I like a little more).

Add the shrimp, if using.  Stir for a minute.  Add soy sauce--about 4 TBS but taste it after 2, you may like it just like that).  Add in the chopped up eggs and contents of the bowl with sausage, herbs, vegies).  Stir and toss.  Add the scallion greens.  Add salt and pepper if it needs a touch more (the salt should be fine).  


Drawing: Faces #1186 - Tower

By Jack Brummet

[Pencil, pen and ink and Sharpie on wooden (knick-knack?) tower; 27" x 7" x 7"]

click images to download or enlarge





Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Warnings and disclaimers

Compiled by Jack Brummet over the years

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Dr. Benway (From Wm. Burroughs' Naked lunch), with two Burroughs photos

 Dr. Benway. . .looks around and picks up one of those rubber vacuum cups at the end of a stick they use to unstop toilets.  He advances on the patient. . ."Make an incision Doctor Limpf," he says to his appalled assistant. . ."I'm going to massage the heart."
 Dr. Limpf shrugs and begins the incision. . .Dr. Benway washes the suction cup by swishing it around in the toilet bowl. . .
 Nurse: "Shouldn't it be sterilized, doctor?"
 Dr. Benway: "Very likely, but there's no time. . .Did I ever tell you about the time I performed an appendectomy with a rusty sardine can?"
 Dr. Limpf: "The incision is ready, doctor."
 Dr. Benway forces the cup into the incision and works it up and down.  Blood spurts all over the doctors, the nurse and the wall. . .the cup makes a horrible sucking sound.
 Nurse: "I think she's gone, doctor."
 Dr. Benway: "Well, it's all in a day's work."


Drawings: Faces #1180 and 1181 - iPad sketches

By Jack Brummet