Shem, the penman part III and the Art of anecdotal punnery.


Bodyguards and money market men: the dirtier the trade, the stricter the dress code.

Strange parallel between two women scientists who lack the recognition they deserve: Rosalie Franklin, co-discoverer of DNA, who, blithe about ex-rays, died of radiation poisoning and Helen Spurway, wife and collaborator of eminent biologist/geneticist J.B.S. Haldane, who died from the bite of a rabid bat she was studying.

Specious etymology: Bacano a. (Sp. colloq.): cool, awesome, great [Murui/Huitoto, bakano: penis]

Pharmacopeia evolution of the Colombian economy in rough chronological order: tobacco, quina bark, coffee, marijuana, cocaine. Will ayahuasca be next?

Poeta, la salsa sazona su sextina

The careless thrust of the carefree thrush


The inert pond speaks to the burdened palm

And here some “unlikely roles”

A) I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, composed by the Jewish Irving Berlin, born Israel Isidore Baline in Czarist Russia.

B) Eisenhower never saw combat.

C) Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell: a Catholic from Limerick, site of one of Cromwell’s most atrocious massacres of his coreligionists.

D) Humphrey Bogart: Arch-tough guy and Yalie.

E) Edward G. Robinson: snarling gangster and connoisseur and collector of fine art.

F) Kirk Douglas, all-American muscle man, born Issus Danielovich, first language Yiddish.

Tape recorder school, ruin of journalism, holding up mini-mike to catch every last word when a good reporter should be able to get the gist of and convey the content on one hearing. Fact-checkers, one little error and you’re out instead of focusing on the big picture. How can anyone think and write clearly with all these invisible censors?

Why is it more disgusting to see someone with as finger in nose, rather than ear or mouth?

I challenge science to explain how my bladder paints toilets in my dreams when my sleeping body feels the urge to pee.

Da-Da-Da DUM: Beethoven’s alleged remark that the opening motif of his Fifth is the sound of fate knocking on the door was an invention of his first biographer.

Never give your enemy a second chance – the rules of the corrida forbid a bull which is retired from being fought a second time, because he, the beast, is so intelligent that in a bare quarter hour he learns all the tricks of the torero and is likely to gore him to death in the rematch. Often broken in Spain in the olden days, with fatal results. Extend that to the action movie when the hero and villain engage in the climatic fight, one is apparently demolished, the other turns his back and is smashed by the former. Repeatedly, until good shall prevail.

If you want money, turn right; if you want pussy, turn left. One proof: following the frustration principle, Republican politicians tend to be disgraced by sexual scandals and Democratic pols by corruption ones.

Does doze a hummingbird: not that I’ve ever seen. These creatures, who are the epitome of living on the pure nectar of life (which makes them so like fairies) actually need a bit of meat to survive in the form of bugs. Did John the Baptist become holy because of the same diet: wild honey and locusts?

Sales vegetales de los salesianos 

When God created the world, everything was in black and white because He was color-blind and as the only creature in existence, He couldn´t compare his sight with that of others. Hence, the disgruntlement of Adam, who should have been enthralled by the beauty and abundance of the Garden of Eden, but couldn’t see the colors of the flowers or distinguish an apple from a stone and avoid, as happened, losing a tooth. God sensed his unhappiness, but when he tried to fathom the reason why, Adam only saw an apparition of blanks, shadows and outlines. Finally, Adam explained and God created three butterflies, each of the respective primary colors and when they beat their wings, whatever being, animate or inanimate, their wind wafted onto assumed that color and whenever the winds crossed, as frequently happened, they blended to form the whole prism of colors.

“Too many notes,” griped the Emperor Joseph: Mozart’s contemporaries thought his music was too difficult, while the 19th Century thought it was too light, too sugary, an opinion which still lingered when I was young. Now, decades later, enthralled by his operas, I realize that if anyone is passionate, thunderous and hair-raising, it is he, (without discounting  tendresse). Any doubts, listen to Netrebko singing “D’Oreste d’Aiace” (Idomeneo) on YouTube.

Reconcíliate con Dios (moving electronic signage on the downtown Décima): With all he suffering, injustice and cruelty in the world, it is God who should be reconciling Himself with me!

How is it that in the most lethal crisis in U.S. history, it’s stock market is soaring? Answer: pataletas de ahogado.

The Orange, so-called Creative Economy: an oxymoron (from “sharp/dull”) in Ancient Greek because of the plain contradiction between creating genuine art (not computer apps) and making money. In my case, it should be called the pink economy for all my rejection slips.

There is an argument for saying that, in strictly dynastic terms, William of Normandy didn’t “conquer” England but simply claimed his feudal right to its throne (as a distant cousin of Edward the Confessor, who moreover promised it to him). And likewise that William of Orange was a usurper, backed by an illegal rebellion against the legitimate monarch.


­They wheedle it out of you like so many worms of a poison apple.

Bite and your mentation goes.

Peer and the screen implodes into inane bits of foil

Are you any wider for the slurry shoved down your throat by a monochrome backhoe?


Freedom from want, wanting what?

An ersatz gong tolls in the tower of the beaded acropolis.

The eyes becomes pins in the dust

And all is fervent upheaval on the keyboards of the cortex.

Nothing settles this tempest,

Neither notes, nor bones, nor words.

Too free, Too free!, whisper the vultures

No longer bound by comical hops to the ground.

Waves of ten-wheelers reach the heavens

In a chorus of unearthly growls

But wise Nature, imparting sense,

has furnished one and all with plugs.


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