November 20th, 2003

Coraline

Kublawocky, a poem

KUBLAWOCKY

by Evil Jim

(with sincerest apologies and respect to Msrs. Carroll, Coleridge & Poe)

'Twas brillig loo in Xanadu
When Kubla Khan wished made
A pleasure dome where borogoves
And mome raths could outgrabe.

So fertile ground was girdled 'round
Of two by five square miles,
With towered walls surrounding all
Of gardens, walks and isles.

The tulgey wood, with incense could
Inspire uffish dreams.
A savage place! enchanting space
And darkly moonlit scenes.

Its river ran where caves no man
Had plumbed their depth or breadth,
Where an ocean froze in motion
Promised only icy death.

But lo!

O! but could the darkest doom have settled on this earth so soon,
And summoned from its timeless tomb some ancient curse of lore?
A split across the hills in twain! a vicious thumbling and again
The earth let loose a scorching rain, uncleansing in its pour.
It forced a fiercesome fountain flood to rival those of yore.
Peace, alas, was found no more.

A movement stirred the shadowed depths, disturbing long at last what kept
The silent, sacred, secret sea from flowing past its shore.
The lance of Sigh had now been broken, and the nightmare never spoken
Of by man nor beast awokened in a burning, burbling glore!
A ruby gleamed -- or so it seemed -- the darkness lived once more,
A feast of fury, fierce and raw.

But Kubla, sitting lonely in his pleasure dome thought only
Of the caverns -- and where the river through those caverns did outpour.
Nothing further he divined whilst divan-bound he reclined,
And for an answer there he pined with the sunset gleaming o'er
The crilliance of the dome reflecting flame upon the floor.
He sit and sat and said no more.

In deepest thought stayed he and now
The air beyond began to howl
From out the caves, from out the ice
A whiffling warning, once . . . thrice.

A krack.
Attack, Attack!
Get back!
Its claws, the jaws, a roar!
One, two! Three, Four!
Flashed the vorpal scimitar,
And stained with what was now no more.

Thus slain by he, the Jabberwock,
And stayed his thirst for sword.
Left it breathless, headless dead
And spake he not a word.

With echoes of the Jabber-
Wocking onward thro' the dim,
Heed my word and ever now
Remember this of him:

Beware!

Beware of Kubla Khan, my son;
His flashing eyes, his floating hair.
Beware the pleasure dome and shun
The icy caverns there.

Completed VII-XIII-MMIII
©2002-03 Evil Jim
Coraline

The Second Post!

Ah yes, I'm well underway in this journal with my second post. Or are they called "entries"? I'm not sure. I know enough web terminology to fill a thimble. A rather large, cumbersome and relatively useless thimble but a thimble nonetheless. I don't think I've ever seen a thimble that size, let alone someone who could use it. Well, there *was* this one guy who...

Ok, I think I'm going to start a new paragraph before that last one goes places where one ought not to go at this time of night. I think I originally started this one to comment on the first post/entry... Postry?? What the heck is that? Sounds like something you might munch on while mailing out letters. "I'll take one glazed, one chocolate, and one with that horrid pseudo-mint flavoured glue that someone invented as a sick practical joke." Really, who came up with that stuff? As if envelope glue didn't taste bad enough already. Licking paper is enough to make anyone gag as it is wi...

Ahh, the clean break of text as it goes from one paragraph to another in search of fresh and new topics without the cluttered droppings of a sleep-deprived mind. I was going to talk about "Kublawocky," wasn't I? Yes, that was it. The idea first came to me more than a year and a half ago. I recently had a lengthy conversation with my good friend Shimatta about the poem "Kubla Khan."* I had just read it in full for the first time and we were sorting out the story and images therein. The original was written on the fringes of an opium-induced dream and is quite complex in style and imagery. It was a great experience and in the following days I read it again and again, each time finding something new to love about it.

Sometime later I was attempting to bring forth memorable lines from "Kubla Khan" to entertain myself and study them further without much success. In deepest thought stayed I and then the lines came up and back again. They mixed and melded in my brain and what arose was not the same. While trying to remember this poem, lines from another, committed to memory long ago**, found their way in and what I came up with was the first stanza to "Kublawocky," almost as it appears in the final version.

I found this very amusing, and naturally went to work composing another stanza or two along the same lines where they quickly sifted to the back of my clipboard to be forgotten behind the ideas for the other story that was taking priority at the time.

I came back to "Kublawocky" now and then, each time finding it as enjoyable as the first and always trying to add something new to it, be it a single rhyme or several lines, before letting it be again. I never could just leave it to the slush pile of ideas started and never used.

Come the end of aught two ('02 for those not familiar with analogue expressions) I finished the story that had taken up much of my efforts until then and I was able to relax for a time. I turned again to "Kubla Khan" and memorized it as it had quickly become one of my absolute favourite poems along side of "Jabberwocky" and "The Raven." My own melding of the first two (with style-theft from the third) was soon to come.

July of aught three saw a working version, and with minor adjustments due to a couple of trusted friends' critiques, finally saw completion. I'm very pleased with the outcome. There's only one line that I may change in future, but the reader won't suffer what they don't know and for now, I'm happy.

I'm also tired. It's been a busy nite learning about this live journal thingie and talking with a friend about the Victoria's Secret special on CBS tonite... and looking at the website... and checking out pics of the models... Mmmmmm.

Uh, anyway! One last thing about "Kublawocky" is that it was written without the aid of mind-altering drugs of any kind(which could be why it took so long.) Just a lot of reading and occasional confusion as to which reality is which.

* The original "Kubla Khan" text: http://www.bartleby.com/101/550.html

** The original "Jabberwocky" text: http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/jabber/jabberwocky.html
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Coraline

Early Food Day

So I just now returned from work and... Yes, I know I'm home early. I used some vacation time and left early because I'm never productive after Thanksgiving dinner anyway. So I... Yes, I know Thanksgiving isn't until next week. Let me finish.

My company had their annual Thanksgiving dinner today, this time back in the samples area where normally all the flyers and documentation and catalogs for the products are stored. Most of that area was cleared out and cleaned up to make room for tables and chairs and the like. There was the typical T-day fare including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberrys, etc. etc. You know the drill. This year I actually brought something other than my appetite; a fresh homemade batch of hot dog soup.

Yes, that's right. I won't make you go back and reread it. Hot dog soup. For most people this seems like quite a peculiar idea, but it works and works well. I'm sad to say I ended up taking much of it home, even tho' I'm not surprised. I don't think it's a common item on any grandmother's holliday cooking agenda. A couple people tried and said it was pretty good, and if there's a pot luck in future I'll likely bring it again (not the leftovers, I mean. A new batch) and present it with more flair. It's good stuff. No, really.

I did have my fill there tonite. Most people hung around for an hour before returning to their jobs. I stayed the whole time since I was hungry and wouldn't have time to do anything useful anyway since the dinner started an hour before I was to leave. I sampled and enjoyed everything. Now I won't need to eat again for three days which is convenient because that's when my next Thanksgiving dinner is, this time at Grandma's.

My mother's mother, I should point out, is the best cook in the world. Shut up, she is. She's been cooking home cooked meals from scratch for sixty years and it shows. That's right, *sixty.* Emeril can kiss my frying pan. Anyway, my family is visiting her on the weekend this year so she can have more help in the kitchen. Otherwise, she'd do it all herself and that's a little tiring these days. I'd help if I knew anything about cooking, but I can at least wash the dishes and play gopher... Provided I can still walk by then.

It's definitely one of my favourite holidays, right there next to Halloween and my own birthday. No mass-merchandising tie-ins, no sucking up to imaginary beings, nothing requiring you waste money on relatives that don't deserve gifts and no depression for being the only person without a girlfriend. Just show up, eat, pass out and be thankful you have the next day off to recover. MMMMmmmmm. If I could stand up again I might go dip into the leftover soup cooling on the counter.

Ah yes, the soup again. I'll post the recipe for the benefit of my listeners (whether you exist or not.) Try it. It's better than it sounds. And next Thursday, be sure to hug Grandma on your way to the couch. She deserves it.

------------------------------ 'Ot Dog Soup ------------------------------
You will need:

4 Medium carrots cut into 1/2" slices

3 Medium potatoes, peeled if you wish and cubed whether you like it or not.

1 Medium onion, chopped

1/4 Cup of butter or Margarine

2 Tablespoons of Flour

1 Pound of hot dogs cut into 1/2" slices (or however thin you feel like slicing them. I don't care; I don't have to eat your mistake.)

1 12 Ounce can of evaporated milk

1 Can of cream of mushroom soup

1 Cup of water (Note: blood will not work, it's too thick. You can add it later as a garnish before serving)

1 Teaspoon of dried basil (whatever that is)

1/2 Teaspoon of pepper

How to do it:

In a soup kettle, large saucepan or extra large skull of foe, melt the margarine and saute carrots, potatoes and little onion bits (you did chop them, right?) for five minutes or so on high heat. Then stir in the flour until it's blended. Add the rest of the ingredients a single piece at a time, uttering the appropriate magic word with each one. Then stir SLOWLY three times clockwise and three times... oh wait! That's for Gummyberry Juice. I'm sorry, where was I? Um... After the flour is blended, dump the rest of the ingredients into the skull and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When you're sick of stirring, reduce the heat to medium and cover. No, the soup, silly. Get up off the floor. Simmer for 25 to 30 (or so) minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the skull. Makes 2 quarts. Eat. Enjoy.
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