The Illuminated Egg

Humpty-Dumpty awakes to a fall…

Photo / graphic by Roman.

Oh, the egg came first: There being eggs long before there were chickens, long before there were indeed dinosaurs. Eggs! Gleaming with an intelligence that is beyond autistic in focus, a sociopathic revolutionary move-fast-and-break-things intensity, laden with life’s magic entropy. Eggs! We eat children, don’t we?

The tattoo’d egg was a marvel to behold, each illustration enthralling the eye until it writhed into life, telling a story– no, becoming a story: for a moment, for an hour, for days or maybe even a lifetime until it is over and naught but a second has passed…

It begins with breakfasting on eggs. Two fried eggs under melted cheese and salt and pepper and sage, fried yet still runny perched atop sourdough bread. That moment of anticipation just in front of that first fragrant bite: Let that be the sustained drone, that first harmony of the day’s opening bars, only a few beats, until it rests in the bitter satisfaction of coffee and cream.

It always begins with eggs…

— Yip


What have they in common,
Those who are dead and those who live,
But blood and shit and shit and blood?
Whether dead or live or live or dead…
It matters not; we’re leaking bags of it.

— Yip

Begging your pardon. This was inspired by some minor ongoing health problems that could be the subject of some geezer gossip… but I don’t know you well enough. However the circumstance brought to mind Aidan Hartley’s autobiography, The Zanzibar Chest, wherein he writes about his experiences as a war correspondent (a good and vivid read, as you might imagine). Out came this dismal bit of doggerel.

I think I’m in a bad mood.

You’re welcome.

September Bouquet with Lipstick

I understand the photographic fascination with flowers. They are so endlessly complex and colorful. And since we’re gazing at botanic genitals, flowers at the very least seem… hopeful. But flowers are not my first choice as a subject for photos. For one thing, I let my camera do most of the thinking, consequently there are so many other photographers who do so much better at photographing flowers than I. Granted, that hasn’t stopped me from pointing my camera at any number of other things. But I also know very little about botany, the life sciences (particularly taxonomy) never having been of much interest to me. If I have to give my camera partial credit for a photo, I’d like to pretend to some useful or interesting information about the subject of the photo.

In my mind, at least, flowers are associated with spring, but fall also blossoms. It’s not just leaves that color the season. So here, without much hope, is a September bouquet from around Rogers Park while the leaves are mostly still green.

Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.

Lipstick never really went away,
But it appears more popular today.
Why…? I do not know.
Maybe it’s just for show.

— Yip

Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.

Nobody Leaves This Song Alive

This last half of August, 2019, has been spent enlarging my repertoire of geezer behaviors. This latest addition to my elderly bag of tricks is a classic: hanging about in doctors’ offices, being poked and prodded, and taking fists full of pills that, as that old Jefferson Airplane song observes, “don’t do anything at all.”

Now I admit to a certain skepticism toward the medical industry. Some of that could very well be that stereotypical middle-European variety of machismo: What? Smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, tear down drywall, mine coal and remove asbestos for a hobby? No problem! I am invulnerable. I am Iron Man! My Dad was something like that, so if I won’t plead guilty to the charge, I’ll instead plead no contest.

In my pleading, let me address those well-meaning tobacco prohibitionists: at my worst in the 1970s, I smoked at most a pack and a half a day. Since then, it’s better measured in packs per year and most recently it’s been more like a pack and a fraction per decade. Nicotine can provide a nice buzz, but the immediate side effects are seriously irritating. And I should note that while I’ve torn down dry wall and worked in the presence of asbestos, only my ancestors back across the pond ever mined coal.

Friends and most acquaintances will probably be cheered that I’ve resumed diplomatic relations with the medical industry. It’s not clear, though, that my interests are perfectly aligned with it. As an old guy, I’m far more interested in diagnosis and prognosis. Treatment is secondary, contingent on cost, comfort and time. On the other hand, the medical industry’s default is to keep carcasses twitching just about as long as possible.

It’s a geezer challenge.

But as things change, they somehow remain the same:

One Cheer for Atorvastatin

Once I was young and reckless
And spent my money on drugs.
Now I’m old, a geezer.
I still spend my money on drugs.

— Yip

Photocopier art by Roman.

Yes, the title of this post is the title of a song (and album) by Jonah Koslen and his group Breathless. You can listen to it HERE since the copyright police won’t allow it to be embedded.

Let Go

The munchkin voice cries in outraged pride, “Oh Daddy! Let go! I can do it myself.”

But Daddy teaches, Daddy strong, Daddy protector, Daddy provider. And Daddy is not much beyond a child himself. His daughter, most dear, dear beyond life, totters on two wheels. The bicycle handlebars yip left then right in busy overcorrection. Daddy’s heart careens after, slamming a wall, skinning a knee, cracking a head, each swerve a secret panic.

“Oh Daddy! Let go! I can do it myself.” The dream evaporates to a lonely 3 AM awakening. The memory is decades old but the guilt is as fresh as the morning. Had he only let her fly on that day, on so many days, where would she be today?

Oh Daddy. Let go. Children do so much of it themselves.

— Yip