trochee: (Default)
Higgledy piggledy:
Frederick Jelinek,
speech recognition
director of note's

reputation for cranky
is likely deserving
at least among linguists
by anecdote.


the audience for this is probably very very small.

ETA: (15 Sep 2010): Frederick Jelinek has passed away; his curmudgeonry will be missed in our community.

arhoticism

Jun. 27th, 2010 09:43 pm
trochee: (Default)
An /r/ at the right of the syllable
May not always in practice be trillable
  some rhyme Goebbels with gerbils
  (in orals and verbals):
the rhotics are frequently nillable.
trochee: (Default)
"Your return trip from Warsaw's awry,"
said the airclerk who saw the sum high, 
  "I'd hate it to waste
   but we can it fix post haste:
ten złoty is five two multiply."


Anybody want footnotes? Is this going to be a thing? It might be a thing.
trochee: (study)
In search of le bon mot or "zinger"
(the crushing conclusions that linger)
there's nothing as lexical
as that rude indexical:
salutation with one's middle finger.
trochee: (Default)
The Morlock is a round, pale white ghost
in aviator sunglasses
a black polo shirt
two beepers, a phone and black velcro pouches
hide his belt like lichen on a branch
and a purple carabiner dangles a hundred jewels
that open a thousand locks.

He could be a night janitor, pale from sleeping days
but for two details:
long thinning hair, a string of afterthought on his back,
and a porkpie hat, carefully level with his eyebrows.
These two details serve as tokens of office,
signs of allegiance, badges of honor in
the libertarian under-troll brotherhood of bits.

I smiled to myself, admiring how clearly I knew him.
"You think you're such a rebel," I said in my mind
to the Morlock. "You're just part of the machine."

But when the bus came around the corner,
the street was full of shouting, signs and a cloth dragon,
going the other way, desperate anger,
saying "No!" and "not in our name!".

They climb the hill behind us,
hoping to take the freeway
hoping to be noticed,
hoping their resistance can mean something,
just like the Morlock.

And I, I didn't join them, I didn't shout "no",
I let them pass,
I stayed on the bus,
I went to work,
just like the Morlock.

From notes taken Thursday morning, 10/5
trochee: (Default)
white hair, and beard, both ending
in a smooth circle around his shoulders
lost look, blue veins under
the delicate hairless skin of his arms

gray pants, too short for his dirty socks,
he seeks an empty seat
in silent helplessness, he pleads
with the black-clad messenger bag man
[ ostentatiously aloof
his ears blocked with digital plastic
his eyes with sarcasm ]

In his faded pink shirt, he settles
next to the young man, twitching
like a deer in the rain, restlessly seeking
a quiet seat of his own. From the
red sack in his lap, he draws ratty papers

a yellowing prescriptionists free pad, bearing the name
of a drug prominently printed at the top of each.
The pages are covered with careful, ancient
script -- his own, with a ball-point pen --

a line of Norwegian -- Finnish? -- a language
with loops and whorls over its vowels, twitchy
diacritics like the flickering of his eyes --
each line followed by its hasty translation

"Friday let us go to the movies"
"This boat is too small"
"Just a dog is having its day"

I get off at the university, but he stays on,
northbound.
trochee: (Default)
You put the thesis in
kick the antithesis out
pull the synthesis together
and you shake it all about

it's the Hegel dialectic
and you turn it all around;
that's what it's all a-bout!

Inspired by some discussion on [livejournal.com profile] evan's journal.
trochee: (silly)
I've never seen a bottom quark
a black hole or neutrino
though the doc insist
they must exist:
frankly, what does he know?

(further apologies to Gelett Burgess)
trochee: (silly)
So [livejournal.com profile] anthrochica said:
I am also making my way through a book of Paul Krugman's essays, which is very soothing, in a macabre apocalyptic way, but it's like self-medicating reading, an article before bed, you can't just rush thought that.
To which I responded:
There's a postmodern song in there somewhere. Aw hell, I'll write one:

Krugman and Whiskey
warning: doggerel )
thank you. thankyouverahmuch.
apologies extended to both Elvis and Johnny Cash.

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