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"Song of the Skunk Cabbage" as translated by Chad "Straight from the Spathe" Coles

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Song of the Skunk Cabbage

Man says I smell fetid
Although I am wedded
To the things
He calls "Spring" before
Winged robins flock back to new beginnings ...

I sing, to the flies and the bees!
I keep it warm in the freeze;
Man thinks not much of me:
Then again, my vegetable G-d
Thinks of Man as quite odd.

O' I sing to the marsh 
When times are harsh! 
If you think that I stink:
Best to rethink and thank us
For the melt around ponds
A'fore fern lifts her fronds ... 
We give life to the dark enigma
Of night -- we make light!

I was here before your 
Neurotic tripe cast a stigma 
On our manifold leaves ... 
We are sweet to the bee
And kind to the fly
Without either of these
Oh, boo-hoo -- you die! 
Bow low, homo sapiens
You know not your own origins. 
Kiss my leaf and then go –- 
You reek a bit too, you know.

-- From "Song of the Skunk Cabbage," translated by Chad Coles, AdQ and erotic muse of @tinytowntimes.com ... Straight from the spathe ...

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 April 2014 12:05
 

Tiny Town Times illustrator's latest wood block prints will make you forget Polar Vortex IV

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Tiny Town, USA – Tiny Town artist Belinda Cho, a.k.a., Rigel Stuhmiller, is determined to destroy the soul withering effects of Polar Vortex I through IV with a lovely offering of block prints fresh from her neighboring environs of Berkeley, Calif.

The block print flowers are 8" x 10" art reproductions originally created from hand-carved blocks.  They're based on flowers Stuhmiller observes and absorbs "around my neighborhood and in walks at the local regional parks, so each one has some kind of meaning for me."

 

She is now doing a promotion where lucky beat-testers of her work can get one each of all 12 reproductions for less than $100 –  that includes free shipping.

She also offers all 12 cards in a box for $26.

Both are a great deal. To find out more, visit tinytowntimes.com's erstwhile illustrator at her sweet little Etsy shop. Contact info right here:

The link to the print deal: https://www.etsy.com/listing/180919095/bulk-deal-set-of-12-art-prints-block

The link to the card deal:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/181105370/block-print-flowers-12-assorted-greeting

Support a worthy artist who often donates huge amounts of proceeds to worthy causes like relief for people devastated by the Fukashima tsunami, among other good works.

– C. Penbroke Handy, back from the dead

Keep up with tinytowntimes.com on our Facebook Page where daily postings outpace the stuff we have time to run on the blog ... And keep coming back! We're about to have another growth spurt. With your help, that is. Thank you!

Last Updated on Sunday, 02 March 2014 00:28
 

It's Wednesday so that means It's Tuesday Poetry Night

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REMEMBERING THE SUIT

... you know, that suit I got that time?
I was thinking about it,
about how I had that good job and
there I was looking for another, better job?
It was like being rich or something. 

I got that suit on sale at that place–
I can't even afford a single sock at that place now
(not that they sell socks one-at-a-time) ...

How I wore that suit and it was boxy, remember? 
But that was the style, the tailor said so.
(tho' it was not a style, he was just being nice).

It was astylistic, as a suit, something you understood.

Didn't I make that thing look good for a while?
Weren't you surprised when they called me back?
Remember how I ironed the crease all wrong?

Of course I turned it down–that job ... it was showing off. 
I already had a job! 
(anyhow, like I was going to fly myself back Out. There?) ...

That suit was nothing. It wasn't nothing at all.
It was me 
And it was you. 
It wasn't the suit. 
Still got it, you know? Only wear the pants. 
The pants don't fit right. 
The jacket–who dreamt up those shoulders? 

I'm at that age where it's better to not wear nothing anyway. 

Can you believe I bought a suit, even once, ever?
Yeh, and given how it all turned out so there isn't any kind of job now ... Funny. 
No job: No beautiful you: No need to explain.
Stupid goddamned suit.

J. Mandible Currie

 

Cloud Chamber Orchestra performs at Sage, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014

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cloud chamber orchestra
performs with the ground-breaking 1920 documentary silent film
GRASS: A NATION'S BATTLE FOR LIFE

Tuesday January 28
7:30pm
in the fabulous Sage Chapel
Cornell University
admission free
event sponsored by Cornell Cinema

cloud chamber orchestra jan. 27, 2014

Genre Busters: Cloud Chamber Orchestra members from the left–Robbie Aceto, Chris White and Peter Dodge. The three will perform an improvisatory accompaniment to the silent film "Grass" at Sage Chapel Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Free. Image provided.

Tiny Town, USA – They did it once before in 2008. Now they're gonna do it again. But don't expect a repeat performance with this group. "We never really know what the music will be like until it happens," says Robbie Aceto.

Cloud Chamber was Formed in 2008 to create live improvised music scores for silent film, the group has forged a well-earned reputation for creating inventive, deeply textural and often startling musical accompaniments.The trio draws from a wealth of musical sensibilities and fearlessly incorporate diverse conceptual strategies with an ever-shifting complement of instruments that include:Acoustic & amplified cello, trumpet, baritone horn, electric/prepared guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, piano, hand percussion, voice, toy instruments, circuit-blending, electronica, atmospheric looping and tape effects ... Even iOS devises find their place in Cloud Chamber's live works.

Samples of this group's previous work available at:

soundcloud.com/robby-aceto
soundcloud.com/cloud-chamber-orchestra
vimeo.com/robbyaceto

from previously printed materials

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 21:56
 

Intrepid local bitten by the writing bug, assails the Sci-Fi genre with Origami Man

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Photo: Eliza Van Cort

They're out there: Newly self-minted writer Benjamin Mumford-Zisk takes aim at selling his first book.

Editor's Note: Benjamin Mumford-Zisk, a local chap, has written a book called The Origami Man. He describes it as "a wry pulp detective novel intruded upon by a sci-fi hero's journey ..."

He approached tinytowntimes.com with a request for a review and provided some sample chapters. It being a slow news year owing to an ice jam at the time, Chad Coles tossed the job over to C. Penbroke Handy. Mumford-Zisk, 28, attended Ithaca High School and earned a degree in education management at SUNY Buffalo. He's back in Tiny Town applying his college education as a teacher's assistant in the local school system.This is Mumford-Zisk's first novel and he hopes to sell it on Amazon.com. "The Origami Man" is a millenial's spin through familiar terrain that draws on Kafka's "Metamorphosis" and various sci-fi genres. Briefly, a young man (Gregory Samsom–a play on Kafka's Gregor Samsa) is invaded by an alien warship-killer that embeds itself on the protagonist's neck (no play on "How to Get Ahead in Business") ... The alien holds terse dialogue with its host as it morphs into various shapes. Having breezed through three early chapters, it is not clear exactly where this story is going, but our alert reviewer suspects the outer limits of believability, so hang in there, dear readers.

The following Q&A took place aboard a computer connected invisibly to another electronic device in a field known as cyberspace:

Q: So, what's up with this novel. Is it just an entertainment? Who is your audience?

A: I don't think I thought about an audience beyond myself when I sat down to write OM ... The book is meant as entertainment, because my goal is to sell the thing, but I managed to include many of my own odd philosophies, observations of death and maturation and other fun topics, so I can't call it pure pulp. There's a certain minimal intellectual weight to the piece ... say half a pound of smart tied up in fifty pounds of space battles.

Q: When did you start writing? What authors have inspired you, what genres are you most attracted to?

A: I say I started writing five years ago, although I've always told stories and written bits and pieces. I'm an utter nerd, I love sci-fi and comic books, but honestly I just read whatever I can get my hands on. As in, the last three books I've read have been "Cryptonomicon, 1Q84" and "Bloom's Shakespeare: the Invention of the Human." I'm all over the place. OM is probably an intersection between Robert Parker, Phillip Dick and Terry Pratchett, all of whom I love.

Q: Have you enlisted an editor, proof reader? Are you seeking an agent?

A: Short answer, I've tried to find an agent and I'm still looking. Editing and proofing I've handled on my own so far, although I've sent each of the five drafts to various sources for feedback. The publishing industry is still functional, I won't start spouting doom and gloom, but there IS less money to go around, which means it's hard to find someone willing to take a risk on an unknown writer. My motivation for going to Amazon is partially exposure: hopefully soon I can go to a prospective agent or publisher and say, "look how many people bought this book when it was just me running hype. Don't you want to represent me? Don't you think I'll make you some money?"

Q: Where are you living now?

A: Why, in Tiny Town, of course. I live up by Belle Sherman, tucked into a gorge like a true Ithacan-American.

Q: I'm assuming this is self-published. How? Through what means?

A: You know, Amazon makes it very easy to self publish. It's like falling off a cliff, all you do is hit 'publish' when you finish writing instead of 'print.' I'm waiting on a cover painting right now from a local painter, the lovely and talented Rose Gottlieb, a local painter. Once I have that, the book goes on sale.

Q: Day job?

A: I actually have a full-time TA position with Beverly J Martin elementary, which came out of a long term sub job last fall. So I'm in there every day at 7:30, out by 2 p.m. and free for the day. Perfect.

Q: Do you have a mentorsomeone who encourages you?

A: Not really. I get a lot of encouragement from friends and family, but the decision to start writing was my own. And, I mean, writing is terribly difficult and rewards a very antisocial kind of obsessive behavior, so I'm a little glad no one ever told the adult me, "you would make a good writer!" Better to find one's own insanity than have it pointed out.

Q: What's it like to grow up at a time when it appears the earth is on the brink of a cataclysmic breakdown?

A: Fucking terrifying. Can I say that? Utterly fucking terrifying. Wilco has this song where they say 'every generation thinks it's the end of the world,' which is an old idea, and a valid one, but Facebook? NSA craziness? Tornado storm fronts six months out of season? My Armageddon is bigger than yours, bro.

Q: (Handy chuffs into his shirtsleeve) ... Any other writing projects in the pipeline?

A: Tons. I don't think I can NOT tell stories. Two planned sequels to The Origami Man, a rewrite of a book called Nephilim I wrote in college, other little sci fi ideas. And I'm gaining distance on the Serious Things that have happened in my life, death, divorce, heartbreak blah blah blah, crap that could feed a piece of what people refuse to call anything but 'literary fiction.' But you can't write the Great American Novel when you're an inexperienced little snot, and, frankly, it's easier to do a good job with 'how do you respond to alien invasion' than it is to do a quality job on 'why doesn't love last forever?'

Q: What are the biggest changes in Ithaca you've observed having grown up here?

A: One of the biggest changes about growing up is noticing the world around you at all. So changes are hard to recognize because I wasn't paying attention to the 'before' part of the picture. But what I see, now? This is one of the best places on earth, but we rest on our laurels worse than Portland and San Francisco combined. We have major issues in this city with race and class, but to acknowledge them on any significant level would threaten our reputation as the 'Most Enlightened City in America.' This city has an ego the size of a Mac truck, and if we don't find some humility and confront our issues honestly, we're gonna turn into a joke. It's like Mensa: a bunch of smart people stuck in a room together can either invent cold fusion or get into a competitive circle-jerk. It's just a question of how hard they're willing to work. I also notice there're more artisan coffee shops around than when I was a kid. That's pretty cool.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 January 2014 22:28
 


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