Monday, February 28, 2005

The Lantern Fishworks 4.0

4.0 Back to Lakebed

This ocean is evaporating. The levels are lowering. The sky is lowery, the fish not so glowery. I put my faith in the clouds. But this period is ending with a period.

01. The invisible bats sucked all the honey out of our couch.
02. A weather vane for a funeral home that only points north and south.
03. Someday: Smelevision!
04. “Life is like Plinko.”
05. nectarature – (n.) a pure, perfect, intoxicating piece of writing.
06. “I think I’ll put my wallet away cuz I’M NOT BUYING IT.”
07. Book: I Drink For Mankind
08. A four-foot-tall Oreo takes a milk bath.
09. I used to think orange juice came from horses.
10. Pregnant teen beauty contest: The Miss Conception Pageant
11. An ice cube is a freezer’s idea.
12. “He’s two-faced. And they’re both ugly.”
13. The Death Channel broadcasts funerals.
14. Joshin’ the Fonz
15. Waxicles
16. Infertile gorillas are seedless apes.
17. Shame is our moral gravity.
18. Is there a Lake America?
19. Toss Across – even a dog could play it.
20. On a clone farm – scratching the ground like chickens are George Washington, Thomas Aquinas, Brendan Behan and George Burns.

I think I’ll bolt the door of the Davy Jones locker of my mind. That sounds real stupid. But any stupider than “waxicles?” Probably not. Anyway, I’m blowing out The Lantern Fish Works.

Gathered November 20, 2000

cp2005 The Lantern Fishworks

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

So Washington Says to Lincoln: Acts 1 & 2

A Play in Six Acts
M. R. O’Shaughnessy
Acts 1 & 2

Act 1.

WASHINGTON. Abe, someday you’ll make a fine President.
LINCOLN. You, too, George. You, too.
(Lincoln winks. Curtain closes.)

Act 2. Scene 1.

WASHINGTON. So, what are your names, girls?
MARTHA. I’m Martha and she’s Mary.
WASHINGTON. Well, I’m George and that tall drink of water is Abe.
MARY. Hi, Abe.
LINCOLN. (Turning from the bar) I love you…
(Lincoln falls on his hat. Music swells. Close the curtain.)

Act 2. Scene 2.

(Lincoln leans his head against a stone wall.)
LINCOLN. (Breathing purposefully) Oh, boy…I’m gonna lose it…Hey, Georgie…
WASHINGTON. You got the boozy belly, pal!
WASHINGTON. Hey, did you eat my mutton?
(Lincoln wipes drooling maw with closing curtain.)

To be continued...

cp2005 The Lantern Fishworks

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Lantern Fishworks 3.0

3.0 My Glow’s On the Sea

Waves of pages shush to the shore, lapping or crashing. Lustrous shells are churned up from the deep; cruddy rubbish is hocked onto the land. Doubtless they were all more beautiful in the brine.

01. Idea: A square toilet.
02. A year is a year’s work.
03. Say to Yakov Smirnov: “What a country” is right!
04. Aldo Nova fixes antique milk cans!
05. “I love Abraham Lincoln!”
06. When Southern folk try to dress dignified, they always blow it with the colors.
07. Coronas smell like backyard parties.
08. With the sound down, I can’t tell if Andy Rooney is angry or not.
09. A woman missing so many teeth she could eat a Twinkie grinning.
10. Degeniused: Well, you’re not that smart after all, are you?
11. Head Buckaroo of the Grammar Rodeo.
12. Capital Q looks funny to you/In script it’s a 2.
13. Hit in the chest with a dirt bomb.
14. Denim underwear.
15. He’s a two-shoulder-toucher.
16. If it were 15 years ago, Ian Ziering would be in Sword and Sorcery films.
17. I think there should be a TV Movie network.
18. I like that they say “the snow blanketed the earth.”
19. The Wonder Years tractor beam.
20. I hope time is biological, not mathematical, that the hands on the clock are my hands.

I hope you learned something from these two decades of drivel. “The critics call it powerful…astonishing.” Yeah, I love the sound of my own verse.

Gathered November 19, 2000

cp2005 The Lantern Fishworks

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Brownie Like Me

Years ago I got bamboozled into volunteering for the Girl Scouts. I can’t remember the details, but it involved my parish’s playhouse group. One of the key grips whom I assisted (I suppose I was ‘Best Boy’ or something) was a Girl Scout volunteer. I was just out of high school and, typical of my philosophical type, a loser outside of my small circle of associates. And so I hung out with “play people” outside of the realm of rehearsals. I preferred to be in my basement and to this day would rather be under ground than above it. (I often find myself being followed by morticians in the same manner fisherman attract cats.)

And so I found myself one day in a rec center in Hicksville rolling eggs with my nose and balancing water in a spoon as I dashed from folding chair to folding chair.

Everybody won; some more than others. There were ribbons and certificates, and speeches about things only girl scouts pretend to care about. I received an official Girl Scouts Volunteer badge. I was an Honorary Girl Scout that day. Maybe I still am. Like being an altar boy. Or a catholic.

But here’s the real kick in the groin. No friggin cookies! No Thin Mints, nor Tagalongs. Not even a pathetic spinsterish Shortbread!

What the fuck?

It was bullshit. And to this day I won’t buy a box of cookies. I just snoop around some poor saps desk and say something like, “Oh, hey, Girl Scout cookies…” And usually walk away with three or four in my greedy bitter paws.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003, 12:00:02 AM

cp2005 The Lantern Fishworks

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


(I don't remember writing this, or what inspired this -- I think maybe 'inspired' is not the right word -- but I was probably trying to come up with yet another article format. Alas, searching through my "archives," I have not discovered an IMPROV 2.0. I think the gist of the column was I'd put on an album, start writing (I don't know if the "5 Mystery Words" was going to be a running theme), and stop writing when the album ended. Judging from the length of this, I probably got through one song.)

Soundtrack: Mingus Dynasty by Charles Mingus and his Jazz Groups
Quote: “Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.” – Elie Wiesel

5 Mystery Words to Work With:
Phlegm is our friend, but not at karaoke. Have you eaten seafood perhaps? I wonder. Were you boxing the impostor? I call my shadow “The Impostor.” He says the same about me to your shadow, and the shadows of trees, clouds, Volkswagens and lampposts. Where are the impostors? In the karaoke bars they are rice paper thin and do not catch the light; they are neglected by it. It’s very strange. They sing well, but are obtuse to my frequency: nor will I eat haggis no matter how well prepared the meal.
The 5 Mystery Words to Work With were: phlegm, karaoke, seafood, wonder, boxing.
Thanks to Irene and Mandy of Oregon, USA for today’s Mystery Words!

What a Day for a Daydream:
How deep is a daydream? (Put away your ruler, knucklehead. Where’d you get that anyway? It’s got my name on it!) Sorry. Managers. I daydream in two types of situations: one occurs when in any meeting of any length of time surpassing two minutes (almost always following the opening of the donut box and/or bagel bag). I’m a regular Rumpelstiltskin. No, that’s not right. You know the guy who sleeps. There was a movie…who was in it? It was Rip Taylor, Van Johnson or Henry Winkler. No, Winkle! Winnie Winkle! Or Wee Willy Winkle. Just saying his name makes me have to use the bathroom. That’s better than a cup of hot tea. Wow. Be right back… Rip Van Winkle! That’s the fella! Great. Now what? Lemme just go back over my notes…cup of tea…Winnie Winkle….who was in the movie…blah, blah, blah…oh, yeah…The other time I daydream is when I’m in a daybed. Y’ever see one of those? It’s a little tiny bed, just the right size for that little fella Rip Van Winkle. No, that’s not right. It’s a funny name: Snuffelufagus or Stanley Elkin or something. I’ve got it! Rumplemintz!

Typed April 11, 2002

cp2005 The Lantern Fishworks