Nothing So Mystical

“If there is a life force operating in Nature, still there is nothing so analogous in a bureaucracy. Nothing so mystical. It all comes down, as it must, to the desires of individual men.”
― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Reunion Tower, taken from inside the Dallas Streetcar. On my way to Bishop Arts for a discussion of Gravity’s Rainbow.

I Seen Her Beat the Hell Out Of A Tin Peddler With A Live Chicken

I seen her beat the hell out of a tin peddler with a live chicken one time ’cause he give her a argument. She had the chicken in one han’, an’ the ax in the other, about to cut its head off. She aimed to go for that peddler with the ax, but she forgot which hand was which, an’ she takes after him with the chicken. Couldn’ even eat that chicken when she got done. They wasn’t nothing but a pair of legs in her han’. Grampa throwed his hip outa joint laughin’.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Commemorative Air Force, Wings Over Dallas, Dallas, Texas

Paradoxical Phase

Paradoxical phase, when weak stimuli get strong responses…. When did it happen? A certain early stage of sleep: you had not heard the Mosquitoes and Lancasters tonight on route to Germany, their engines battering apart the sky, shaking and ripping it, for a full hour, a few puffs of winter cloud drifting below the steel-riveted underside of the night, vibrating with the constancy, the terror, of so many bombers outward bound. Your own form immobile, mouth-breathing, alone face-up on the narrow cot next to the wall so pictureless, chartless, mapless: so habitually Hank… .Your feet pointed toward a high slit window at the far end of the room. Starlight, the steady sound of the bombers’ departure, icy air seeping in. The table littered with broken-spined books, scribbled columns headed Time / Stimulus / Secretion (30 sec) / Remarks, teacups, saucers, pencils, pens. You slept, you dreamed: thousands of feet above your face the steel bombers passed, wave after wave.

—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Business End, B-24 Liberator, Commemorative Air Force, Dallas, Texas

They’d Ride

Says Red Molly, to James, “Well that’s a fine motorbike.
A girl could feel special on any such like.”
Says James, to Red Molly, “My hat’s off to you.
It’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952.

And I’ve seen you on the corners and cafes, it seems.
Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme.”
And he pulled her on behind,
And down to Boxhill,

They’d Ride.

—-Richard Thompson, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Cozumel, Mexico

The Dude Abides

“The Dude abides. I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that, knowin’ he’s out there. The Dude. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners.”

– The Stranger, The Big Lebowski

The Fabrication Yard, Dallas, Texas

They Built For Eternity

“They swore by concrete. They built for eternity.”
― Gunter Grass

Concrete slab, Fabrication Yard, Dallas, Texas

As I was walking around looking at the various walls full of graffiti at the Fabrication Yard, my eyes fell to my feet and I spotted this little metal thing embedded in the concrete. I’ve seen these before, but never really looked at them. Back home, it didn’t take much looking – it’s from the Jack Day Construction Company – which, of course, specializes in concrete work.