Defying definition since 1999

The Best of The Week

When Edgar Allan Poe penned The Raven (1845) it was extremely popular in America, becoming a overnight sensation -- and incidentally giving Poe a massively swollen head. In the next few years various parodies of The Raven made the rounds, including The Pole-Cat, written by Marmaduke Mar-Rhyme (a pseudonym, possibly one of Andrew Johnson's pen names; regardless, there is no record of this author ever publishing again).

It is not a particularly interesting poem. The Pole-Cat is mostly remembered today -- if at all -- because of a passing anecdote containing a famous personage. Somehow Abraham Lincoln missed all the furor over The Raven, and reported having greatly enjoyed the The Pole-Cat, despite never haven read the original; as he put it, "It is true that I have never seen Poe's Raven; and I very well know that a parody is almost entirely dependent for its interest upon the reader's acquaintance with the original. Still there is enough in the…

When my grandmother died, all ten of my aunts and uncles started sleeping in my grandmother’s living room. It was large and had hard grey marbled floors; to sleep, they rolled in thin mattresses and lined them up together with no gaps in between. They didn’t just sleep there, they spent all day there, crying and praying. Some ate, others quit. When I imagine them in there, I always imagine them sat on their padded floors, swaying in unison like wheat in a field being blown gently by the wind, or…

With an ongoing pandemic, the local increase in cases due to the idiocy of returning University students, the west coast fires, the never-ending chaos that is life on earth, anyway, the current craziness at my place of work, and the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg1, I thought I would post a few recent moments that were pleasant, poetic, or at least entertaining.

1. No, really. When cleaning out and moving desks at work, I found things that had fallen beneath the one…

News for Noders

September 7: С днём рождения, Stasik!

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