notes on writing below

  • Notice of Copyright: all writing posted here by the writer using the web name “zombiedisco101” and the pen name “D.T. Hart,” unless otherwise attributed, is copyright by him on date of posting
  • format: a) “titles” in quotes are fiction, b) titles without quotes are nonfiction
  • music/film/tv links are stuff we listened to/watched before or while writing the posts
  • this wordpress journal was set up Nov. 16, 2016, w/posts dated earlier transferred here from an older journal on

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“bus talk”

… while exchanging condolences with the psychotic-in-chief

bus interior 02
(bus photo from

1) Lucille, please come back where you belong.

LADY JACKS: (40-something girl in fire engine red spandex jumpsuit, lime green hair and moo-goo-party pink sweatshirt with “Foley’s Jacks Will Jack Your World” on the front, sitting by the windows half-way back, bus-left) I think his name is Bo.

LUCILLE: (80-something girl sitting next to her, with a freshly-permed white Afro, looking like she could be Little Richard’s mother if Little Richard’s mother had lived to be 180, and been white) Are you sure? I was thinking Bootsie-Lee.

LADY JACKS: No. Bootsie-Lee was the guy who played double-bass while dancing around it like a dance partner, in bare feet with toenails painted in mural scenes of Rome in the 4th century ICE.

LUCILLE: (smiling) “ICE”? I thought it was just “CE” for Common Era.”

LADY JACKS: Yeah, it is. I added “In the” to push it forward. You know, as the kind of ironic, anti-dignifier that would apply to a God-forsaken planet, slowly burning to a crisp.

LUCILLE: Crisps. As a poor girl growing up in Cornwall we ate crisps most nights for dinner, and called them “pomme de flambé terre.

LADY JACKS: Another three hundred years and potatoes will likely come from the ground, already cooked. That would be a plus.

LUCILLE: Yes. So electricity, that would normally go towards cooking, could be —

LADY JACKS: — used for air-conditioning. Right. (smiles at her) You’re pretty cool.

LUCILLE: You mean for an old lady who looks like Little Richard with a snowball perm?

LADY JACKS: (breath laugh) Yeah. The perm is definitely selling the sanity of roots.

2) HandsomeFootsome, a boy with digits made of steal.

WHOLE FOODS: (teen-something girl with mid-back-length hair gathered in a tightly-braided horse tail) He does have nice hands. Don’t get me wrong. His fingers might be light, but there’s not a thing wrong with Abstell’s grooming.

PIERCE ARROW: (teen-something girl with more studs and rings tethered to her face than a pirate looking for a place to drop anchor) Yeah. I could eat off any part of that boy, and never feel like I was holding back.

WHOLE FOODS: Totally. Microbes cross the street when he walks toward them on the sidewalk.

PIERCE ARROW: I bet his boxers smell like laundry dried on a clothesline in the 1600s – back when the air in North America still smelled like a wilderness of virgins.

WHOLE FOODS: Yeah. I love that smell. It’s like the fresh, absence of odor.

PIERCE ARROW: Totally. Like Nuns smelled, back when religion was still hot.

3) Ezekiel, and other kick-back toys.

BOOK NOOK: (teen-something boy in the backseat, leaned against the window, deep into a paperback; looks up) Yo, Mo.

HAND-WASH GLOW: (teen-something boy skinnier than a push-broom handle waiting to grow bristles; sits) Abstell. How’s the mother?

BOOK NOOK: Fresh out. (looks back at book)


BOOK NOOK: As a Nun with money left in her allowance.

HAND-WASH GLOW: (mutters slowly) F-uh-hkk. (looks at him) Any suggestions?

BOOK NOOK: Dry fry’s buy-one-get-one, this week at Save A Lot. (looks at him) Or … you could try the choir.

HAND-WASH GLOW: (looks forward) Nah. My thoughts are way unclean.

(both are silent for a few blocks)

HAND-WASH GLOW: (looks at him) What’s the story about?

BOOK NOOK: (looks forward) A guy spends his life dreaming of riding the bus and writing down what he overhears people say.

HAND-WASH GLOW: (looks forward) So it’s a western?

BOOK NOOK: Good guess. He lives in L.A., like a monkey trapped inside the desert sound stage of his head, who never sees the light of day.

HAND-WASH GLOW: Yeah. I can see that movie, with music by a Swiss girl who digs her spaghetti and spinach. *

20171007 13:38 Sat (667 words)
“The Sweet Life” 2016, available on Netflix
▸ Sophie Hunger performing: -a) “Spaghetti mit Spinat” * from “Supermoon” 2015, -b) “LikeLikeLike”, -c) “Souldier” from “The Danger of Light” 2012
▸ Buffalo Springfield performing “For What It’s Worth” from “Buffalo Springfield” 1967
▸ Little Richard performing “Lucille” 1973, from a single 1957

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… and other things that float on seas of mysterious importance

leaderships 03
(not to scale photo montage of: a) Royal Caribbean’s “MS Harmony of the Seas” – launched 2016, 1,200′ long, 227,000 tons, 6,000 passengers, crew of 2,000; and b) a replica of Ferdinand Magellan‘s “Nao Victoria” [2] – 89′ long, 85 tons, crew of 43; the only ship of the original fleet of 5 to complete the 3-year-long, first circumnavigation of the world in 1522)

Sally Newburg-Rice With Fixings is waiting for the Elm Street Market bus, her ragged jeans butt-parked on a low brick wall as she reads page 97 of Lanford Struthers’ novel on elliptical projection, “Wilco’s Quest,” a second time.

“Wilco led with his chin in all things,” the page begins. “Which was not by chance but by direct result, the result of a brief growth spurt he’d gone through at age 15, after learning how to prime the pump and use the lever of his loins to bring his nocturnal, wet-dream dreamtime fun, into the elliptically-projected light of day.

“At least this was Wilco’s theory to explain the happy coincidence between a sudden growth spurt and the discovery of how to erotically prime the loin-lever pump. Which he tended to as enthusiastically as any student of engineering might, after discovering how well a humble lever can seriously move your world.

“Lately, the boy seems to be using a lot of toilet paper,” Glenda Dupree said to Grover, her husband of one decade plus.

“Let it go,” Grover Dupree answered, and continued marking up his “Daily Racing Form.” “Just be glad the boy is not plugged up.”

Sally’s own mother, Helen Newburg-Rice With Fixings, expressed a similar sentiment with regard to Sally’s younger brother Edgar, after he, too, discovered popular body mechanics. So Sally found she could relate to Struthers’ novelistic, elliptical projections, even if the dotted trail of the projected ellipses, in the light of day, often left some dreams unrequited.

Sally closed the paperback on her bus-transfer bookmark and looked across Forest Avenue, thinking about her brother, who’d left high school and moved to L.A. a year ago to be an actor. Much like her father, Randall Fixings, had done 10 plus years earlier, leaving a note for her mother underneath the kitchen table cookie jar.

“Babe – going to Hollywood to make my mark. I’ll send for you and the kids soon.” That being the last news Helen received from, or about, Randall Fixings. Which was okay with her, since a decade plus of marriage had settled in the long bilge of her life, like a dampness that she’d wished would really find another place to be.

20170926 09:51 (383 words)
▸ King Creosote performing “Something to Believe In”, “From Scotland with Love” 2014
▸ Birdy performing “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver, from “Birdy” 2011
▸ M. Ward performing “Hi-Fi” in studio 2014, from “Transistor Radio” 2005
▸ Milo Greene performing “Royal Blue” from “Control” 2015
▸ The Dodos performing “Jodi” live 2008, from “Visiter” 2008

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“anger management, 101”

… a survey of current events and other tribal social, regurgitated deformities from the dark and brutal, beastie night

evnt - charlottesville 20170813 b - bbc
(photo from BBC story Aug 13, 2017)

GUY WITH CLUB: A/*Q#N@ #O$P!M%$ SH(#&P$>W*Yr@! K//G^>FFF<!!!

MERRIAM WEBSTER'S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY TRANSLATION: ugh \often read as ˈəg or ˈəḵ or ˈə\ interj (1837) – used to indicate the sound of a cough or grunt or to express disgust or horror


ON-SCENE TV REPORTER: (to camera guy) Quick! Get the fuck out of here!

“FOX AND FRIENDS” GUEST COMMENTATOR WITH TWO RIGHT ARMS: (watching video) Obviously, to anyone who has actually seen the video of what ‘was’ a peaceful demonstration, organized by people with an appreciation for a view of Southern history that is not the revisionist history of the global “unity through finding commonality in diversity” Nazis – the peaceful expression of Southern heritage here, today, was turned into a violent confrontation when the political-correctness fascists attacked the demonstrators with the aggression of their words – words full of the insidious innuendo that has, so successfully in the past, been used to inflame the moment. As the pluralism-Nazis successfully turned these humble demonstrators into the raging lunatics they wanted them to be, in yet another example of social transference, as alt-left zealots – the bad people – turn good people into the bad people the bad people really are.”

“FOX AND FRIENDS” ANCHOR HANDSOME HANK: (reads stock response as intern Wendy kneels beneath the anchor desk and tidies up his zipper with her tongue) No one here can argue with that.

VIEWER IN WHITE HOUSE TV ROOM: (writing with his thumbs) “Alt-left = Bad #LoserPeople! BAD!!!”

20170817 13:51 (302 words)
▸ John Lennon performing “Imagine” live (1972), from “Imagine” 1971
▸ Bruce Cockburn performing “Pacing the Cage” in studio 1998, from “The Charity of Night” 1997
▸ Destroyer performing “Bangkok” in studio 2015, from “Poison Season” 2015
▸ Blaudzun performing “Revolver” from “Blaudzun” 2008
▸ Passenger performing “Rolling Stone” live (2013), from “Whispers” 2014, lyrics
▸ Mindy Gledhill performing “Winter Moon”, from “Winter Moon” 2011

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“penis colada”

… a favorite drink for infamous people

(penis colada photo from here and here

Ingredients and Special Tools

a) one very tiny, presidential penis

b) one industrial-grade strainer


a) Remove the penis from the owner with a dull, rusty knife – preferably a knife that’s been sitting in the back room of a junk store for at least fifty years, after being purchased at a police evidence auction where the dried blood of several political wiener amputees is still evident on the blade, after the removers were acquitted by not-very-well-hung juries twice, the second trial taking place in Zürich at the former Bank Nationale de Filthy Riché, and now a burned-out building serving as a court of injustice reversal.

b) Place the crudely severed penis in the industrial-grade strainer, with the special hydraulic macerator pressed down at the full 5,000 pounds per-square-inch of pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Then place a thimble, or other receptacle of appropriate size, underneath the strainer.

c) Place the former owner of the penis in a chair beside the macerator/strainer, for a good view of the proceedings.

d) Turn the macerator on. After all traces of the penis have disappeared from view, stop the macerator and remove the thimble, or other receptacle of appropriate size, and slowly decant the strained liquid into a special, crystal decanter, blown specially for the proceedings and bearing a strong resemblance to the lucky star of the show.

e) Seal the decanter and send it upstairs for display in a gallery of the Museum de Political Wiener Amputees. Send the other residual material, including the former owner of the penis, to the museum’s incinerator, after raising a hand perhaps as the trash cart is wheeled out through the doorway, as a sign of praise for the process of cutting off the “in” from “justice.”

2017-07-02 17:29:51 (342 words)

▸ The Ass Band performing “Hail to the Chief”

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“the smoking mouth”

trump 02e
(manipulated photo from “here” and here)

“This photo is the updated version of Nixon’s ‘smoking gun’ story,” Angel Suarez says, standing at the front of Helen Riley’s fifth-grade “Current Events” class. Behind her on the screen pulled down over the whiteboard, is the projected image of a slide she made of “Smokin’ Donald Trump.” It’s her assignment for “A Summary of this Week’s Current Events.”

“Who’s Nixman?” Billy Cosgrove asks from the back of class. Billy’s wearing the “Amalgamated Dog Meat Workers of the World” t-shirt he got six weeks ago from his older brother, “Wilco,” before Wilco left Wisconsin for the BeachBabeLands of Florida.

“Richard Milhous Nixon,” Angel answers, “37th President of the United States, forced from office in 1973 by the threat of impeachment. What came to be known as the ‘smoking gun’ of the investigation into Nixon’s involvement in Watergate, was a tape-recorded conversation he’d made in the oval office with his chief of staff, as they talked about how to best obstruct the investigation of their possible involvement in obstructing the investigation of the burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, in the Watergate office complex in Washington.”

“So with Nixman, then, the smoking gun was a tape recording?” Billy asks.


“And with Trump, the smoking gun was his mouth?”

“Right,” Angel answers. “The man had shot his mouth off for years. But, being an extremely wealthy man of no real consequence, each time he shot his mouth off, what he hit was also stuff of no real consequence. Until, of course, he was sworn in as the president, where he was slow to realize how much a life of little consequence he’d actually lived.”

“So what he said as president …”

“Quickly showed how empty his self-importance really was, as what he said became like bumper-sticker proclamations of his unfitness for the job.”

2017-05-21 14:13:46 (323 words)
▸ Daughter performing “No Care”, from “Not to Disappear” 2016
▸ The Guggenheim Grotto performing “Told You So” live, from “Waltzing Alone” 2005
▸ Mumford & Sons performing “The Wolf” in studio, from “Wilder Mind” 2015
▸ My Brightest Diamond performing “Inside a Boy”, from “A Thousand Shark’s Teeth” 2008

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“north of montana, e2”

(dugout view from here)

Episode 2: “Welcome to L.A.”

(A single camera, urban/mountain situation-comedy set mostly in L.A., about people finding their own, individual direction as they attempt to navigate the social misdirection around them, and try to earn a living in “the business” – told in 22-minute episodes with a scene/character list in the attached spreadsheet.)


Opening titles and music begin – Canadian Rockies, a cold snow-covered February morning. Opening helicopter overheads of mountains, trees, snow, then a lone highway with WILL’s solitary, older, rusty green pickup driving down it. Camera overhead from behind the truck drops down to road level on a vehicle following for five beats, then the pickup signals, slows, and pulls into a roadside restaurant parking area.

… full script and scene/char list on .pdf links below
wr tlp – north of montana e002 d02 20170506
wr tlp – north of montana e002 notes 20170418

2017-05-06 09:39:17 (4246 words)
(/wr tlp – north of montana e002 d02 20170506.fadein)
▸ White Hinterland performing “Icarus” from “Dead Oceans” 2010
▸ Jono McCleery performing “This Idea of Us” from “Pagodes” 2015
▸ Blaudzen performing “Heavy Flowers” from “Heavy Flowers” 2012
▸ Amelia Curran performing “Tired Circle” from “Lullabies for Barflies” 2007
▸ Passenger performing “All the Little Lights” from “Young as the Morning Old as the Sea” 2013
▸ Shovels & Rope performing “Keeper” from “O’ Be Joyful” 2013
▸ Patrick Watson performing “Blackwind” from “Adventures in Your Own Backyard” 2012
▸ Hey Marseilles performing “Bright Stars Burning” from “Lines We Trace” 2013, and “West Coast” from “Hey Marseilles” 2016

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“north of montana, e1”

(photo from yellowstone insider)

Episode 1: “Get Your Bearings Here”

(A single camera, urban/mountain situation-comedy set mostly in L.A., about people finding their own, individual direction as they attempt to navigate the social misdirection around them, and try to earn a living in “the business” – told in 22-minute episodes with a scene/character list in the attached spreadsheet.)


Opening titles and music begins – L.A., a warm February day. Opening helicopter overheads and street-level shots of a beach-side L.A. neighborhood.

Opening titles and music continues.
On a street near the beach, The Ice House is a small ice cream stand that sells cones from a take-out window. From across the street, WILL opens the driver’s door of an older, rusty pickup. He gets out and crosses the street, walking toward the take-out window, wearing old running shoes, jeans, a t-shirt, jacket, a faded Red Sox baseball cap, and carrying a folded-over, marked-up newspaper employment want-ad section in his hand, tucking it underneath an arm as he crosses the street.
Behind the window HECTOR is sitting on a stool and reading a newspaper. On the wall behind him is a hand-painted menu. HECTOR looks up as WILL approaches.

… full script and scene/char list on pdf links below
wr tlp – north of montana e001 d02 20170415
wr tlp – north of montana e001 notes 20170409

2017-04-16 15:31:01 (4622 words)
(/wr tlp – north of montana e001 d02 20170415.fadein)
▸ The Weepies performing “Sunflower” and “No Trouble” from “Sirens” 2015
▸ The Magnetic North performing “Signs” from “Prospect of Skelmersdale” 2016
▸ Fossil Collective performing “The Magpie”, “Wolves”, and “Boy With Blackbird Kite” from “Tell Where I Lie” 2013
▸ Beirut performing “Perth”, “No No No” and “Gibraltar from “No No No” 2015
▸ Feist performing live at Le Trabendo, Paris, Dec. 2005

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“abraham bicycle”

lincoln bike 01
(manipulated photo from pinterest and diversified antiques)

“Okay, class,” Doc. Armbruiser says, “regarding this week’s writing prompt – ‘Three to six hundred words on how America, today, might regard the country’s 16th President, if, instead of a Lincoln, he’d been a Bicycle.’ Are there volunteers?”

It’s a Friday in early April, 6th period, “Senior English as a Creative Field of Dreams” at Oliver Wendell Holmes High in West Ft. Totten, Illinois. Charles “Chuck” “Chuckles” “Chuck-it” “D.A.” “Doc. Armbruiser” – aka “Charles Armbruster,” a self-proclaimed “uncertifiable doctor of nothing, with an interest in philology” – has been a fill-in teacher since last Thanksgiving break, when Clarice Frances Whitherall’s head fell face forward into the mashed potatoes at her granddaughter’s house in Topeka.

Emily Clark raises her hand.

“I see a hand,” D.A. says, now, leaned against the front edge of his desk and wearing his standard costume of an ancient polo shirt tucked into a pair of faded jeans, above undyed wool sweat socks and ratty loafers. He moves his right hand up, covering his eyes. “I’m guessing it belongs to … I can’t … see it … clearly. What head might claim, this lofty mitt?”

“Fortenbra,” Emily answers in the low, husky voice of someone who has spent decades fighting pirates in the Caribbean. The class laughs.

D.A., smiling broadly, moves his hand back down to the desk. “Fortenbra? As in …?”

“As in a girl wearing a fortress of a bra, lined with parapets and gun emplacements.”

“And you’re going to read the whole story in this voice?”

“No,” she says, her voice cracking back to Emily, “I can’t do it longer than 10 seconds.”

“I see.”

“Hail, the mighty Fortenbra!” Andy Simms then shouts from the back row, his arm and fist raised high. Andy is the designated cheer driver each Friday for “read it and weep.”

D.A. then raises his arm, along with the rest of class, saying “For-ten-bra” in chorus.

It’s how things go on Fridays. Which is something everyone looks forward to, and a way of doing “school business” that the “Parsons of Our Better Judgment,” aka Principal Richard Hertel, and Vice-Principal Phyllis Dracula, have come to leave alone.

“So?” D.A. says to Emily.

“So,” Emily responds, leaning back and stretching out her legs beneath the desk, while resting the two-page printout against the desktop edge.

“Born in a log cabin near the Sinking Spring bike trail, just outside of Hodgenville, Kentucky, Alexander “Two-Door” Lincoln, and his bride Luella, raised their son, Abraham, in the customs of the day. Which meant that after finishing his homework, each evening by the fire, he was free to let his head play amongst the stories of the 19th century’s version of video games, also known as books. A few of Young Abe’s favorites being ‘Grand Theft Horse and Buggy,’ ‘Super Mario Bros. Buy a Farm,’ and ‘Call of Duty: Modern Musket Warfare.’

“He was a pretty normal kid, except for the fact that by age 14 he was 6-feet 9-inches tall, a power-forward born before his time, since the game of basketball would not be invented for another 70 years. If handling an ax had been an official NCAA sport, Young Abe, then living in Indiana, would certainly have received a scholarship to a big-ten school. But, in the dark years before Pell Grants, and without tuition money of his own, the boy was left to find his own way through the wilderness of 19th century, higher education.

“Which was cool, since it would pretty much form the genome of his character, along lines that were in-sync with the national customs of the time, producing a strong sense of individual accomplishment as people, doing their own thing, made their own way through the wilderness of an unsettled life upon this still, as yet definitely unAmerican continent.

“‘Dad,’ Young Abe would say one day, ‘I think I have the stuff to be the country’s President.’

“‘Uh-huh,’ Two-Door Lincoln answered. ‘Have you fed the hogs?’

“This short scene outside the family barn, turned out to be a defining moment for the boy. He realized that, in the spirit of the pioneers still swimming in his blood, in order to achieve the full potential of his promise he would need to leave his family life behind, and venture off into the wilderness of a future that only he could settle.

“Which, a few years later, would become the venture that he made, traveling further west into Illinois where, as a tribute to his early years in the log cabin near the Sinking Creek bike trail, he would change his last name from Lincoln to Bicycle. Which was certainly a forward-looking thing to do in the sparsely settled wilderness of 1830 North America. Though not really all that strange since, in point of fact, both then and now, we are all born ahead of our time, as our lives consist of what comes after the great and glorious, slip-and-slide of birth.”

Emily drops the pages back onto the desktop, and looks up. “That’s it, Doc.”

“Very cool,” D.A. says, then raises his arm, with the class following in a chorus of “For-ten-bra.”

2017-04-08 01:10:23 (886 words)
▸ Damien Rice performing “The Animals Were Gone” in studio (2007), from “9” 2006
▸ Daughter performing “Youth” 2013, from “If You Leave” 2013
▸ Dan Mangan performing “Road Regrets” 2010, from “Nice, Nice Very Nice” 2009
▸ Delta Spirit performing “People C’mon” from “Ode to Sunshine” 2008
▸ Beruit performing “Forks and Knives (La Fete)” live (2011) from “The Flying Club Cup” 2007
▸ Israel Nash performing “Rexanimarum” from “Israel Nash’s Rain Plans” 2013
▸ Turin Brakes performing “96” from “Lost Property” 2015

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“last gasp sally”

(photo from “The Daily Mail”)

Sally Franklin Jones — born April Fool’s Day, 1995 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the latest offspring of what would grow to become a family of 26,912 siblings, before the industrial revolution gave way to the debt revolution and the family’s bankruptcy, in 2002. Born mostly gender-neutral, Sally and her semi-sisters were given “certain female characteristics” at the Cedar Falls Resuscitation Practice Doll factory on Milk Street, three blocks from the river.

It was a sunny, early-April day, the city still mostly surrounded by the bare dirt and short-stubbled litter of last summer’s corn harvest. With one North Star “White Mule” heavy-cotton gloved hand beneath each armpit, Mary Orton lifted Sally from the conveyor rollers at the tail end of the assembly line.

She began working at “Doll Town” in January of ’93 at the age of 19, six months after graduating from Cedar Falls High and one month after dropping out of the University of Iowa as an at-sea freshman. Ten years of good-student citizenship for Sally had gone south in her junior year at CF High, when the previews of “Hormones, the Musical,” began playing in her head.


MARY: (speechless, blushing, looks down at her Chuck Taylor high-tops)

HBG: Wanna, you know — do something?

MARY: (looking at the scruffy grass behind the portables) Something, like … what?

HBG: Tongue hockey?

MARY: (glancing up at the 17-year-old tower of boy hormones with invisible hormone-smoke coming from his nostrils) Dunno. Maybe?

(Cue music: “Hockey Glottis” begins loud, as six boys, and six girls with pompoms, leap around the corner of the portable, in full cheerleader dress. Mary and Hot Boy Gregory, oblivious to the singing and dancing going on around them, begin making out like two thirsty travelers in the social desert, now happy to be guzzling at a wet and sloppy, hormone oasis.)

Which soon led to an extra-curricular education where bonework began to push homework off the subject stage.

“How’s Mary doing at school?” Mrs. Robinson would ask her mother, six months later, in the canned soups-and-vegetables aisle at Wigwam.

“She seems distracted,” Heather Orton answered with concern, putting a can of Progresso Minestrone in her cart.

“It happens,” Linda Robinson replied, smiling. Linda worked in the sales office at Doll Town, having started on the assembly line soon after high school, herself.

As Mary lifts Sally off the line, now, she gives the lip-lock princess one final look-and-see, before laying her out in the corrugated, cardboard coffin that will send her off to spread the kiss-of-life across a waiting world.

2017-04-01 11:52 (449 words)
▸ Destroyer performing “Bangkok” and “Times Square” live 2015, from “Poison Season” 2015
▸ Megan Washington performing “Limitless” and “My Heart is a Wheel” from “There There” 2014
▸ Leftover Cuties performing “What’s the Matter?” from “The Spark & the Fire” 2013

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… a girl walks into a mess

(photo from

Marebeth is writing her five-minutes of fame for this year’s “Senior Talent Show.” Yesterday, she bought a “humor dress” from the thrift store on Commerce Street, to show she’s serious. “It’s a hippy quilt” she said on the phone to Suzanne, her best friend since fifth grade detention after both girls were caught sharing a “hefty blunt,” as Officer Wilber described it, behind the portables.

The blunt, in fact, was actually a “porker” Marebeth had rolled from Bugler cigarette tobacco, using a technique her Uncle Feldy taught her when they fished together from a small, blue rowboat each summer on Hayber Pond, near Fairbanks. Uncle Feldy was a native-born Alaskan, though his mother was born in Russia and his father came north from Calfornia to pan for gold during the depression.

“Why’d they call you ‘Marebeth’?” Suzanne asked behind the portables, passing her the porker. “Is it because your Mom dreamed of one day having her own horse?”

“Not sure about the horse,” Marebeth answered. “They told me it was from ‘la mare,’ French for ‘the sea.’ Apparently in the car on the way to the hospital, my Mom’s water broke. And the way she told the story later, when they reached the hospital and opened the passenger’s door to let her out, a waterfall gushed out of the car and into the ER lobby.

“No way,” Suzanne said.

“I’m just repeating the story as it was told to me. It seems there were a number of steelhead trout that ended up near the nurses’ station, that gave the security guards quite a fight.”

“Uh-huh. So how’s the monologue going for talent show?”

“Okay. Want to hear what I have so far?”

“Why do you think I asked?”

“Dunno. I thought maybe you were just being polite, and … wait, forget it. For a minute I forgot who you were.”

“Funny. So what’s it called?”

“‘A Girl Walks Into a Mess.'”

“What’s the mess?”

“Current life.”

“Cool. How’s it start?”

“‘Marebeth is writing her five minutes of fame for this year’s Senior Talent Show,'” Marebeth reads from her laptop screen.

“It sounds like a story someone might post online.”

“Yeah. It’s a story monologue, intended to sound like a story someone might post online, that’s about a girl preparing for her five minutes of fame at this year’s talent show.”

“Am I in it?”

“Of course. Who else would I be talking to about it? Just some imaginary person in my head? That’s crazy.”


“Yes, Suzanne?”

“I think it’s time you ran for President.”

“Really? Would I have to get new underwear?”

“Huh-uh. The balloons and dancing bears would fit right in.”

“Cool. Can I use that in the monologue, as an offhand comment on the current can’t-add-ministration mess?”

“Of course. What are ghost ghost writers for?”

“I was hoping you’d see right through this,” Marebeth said. “I need to hang up, now, and go pee on something in the toilet.”

2017-03-12 23:34:42 (516 words)
▸ UMass Dynamics performing “Landslide” by Dixie Chicks, from “Giraffes Out of Bed” 2013
▸ Blind Pilot performing live 2016: a) “Joik #3”; b) “Don’t Doubt” from “And Then Like Lions” 2016; and c) “Half Moon” from “We Are the Tide” 2011

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“recipes for”

… making sense of the current, totally baked political-economic nonsense

(photo, and recipe, of oatmeal-raisin cookies w/o shortening, butter, or sugar from

1) Nonsense Cookies

  •  1 fuck-ton of nonsense – (with a “fuck-ton” – as defined by the ghost of Debra Morgan in Spec-Script Season 37, Episode 1492 of “Dexter: The Bake-Off” – as being the result of a regular ton of nonsense shit that is allowed to fuck on its own without restraint for a period of time, in the privacy of its own nonsense shit room, or stable, or kitchen, or office cubicle, or White House, Tower or other enlavished tenement of dwelling – thereby naturally procreating into a fuck-ton of shitiness, much like a yeast infection that spreads and gives rise to loaves of economically exchanged, socially transmitted disease bread)
  •  a nonsense baker’s quantity of lard – (taken from your ass, or the ass of other mammals-of-accomplice, who are spending way more time than they should sitting and typing nonsense shit like this on computer keyboards, or smartphone touchpads, or other transmission capable, electron-pretty geegaws)
  •  unpurified water – (ideally, like the water that’s been sitting in a glass, or pitcher, near your desk for at least a year, its natural tendency toward evaporation stopped by the inch or two of dust floating on the surface that has now become its own evaporation birth-control diaphragm)
  •  heat – (as in an oven, or a furnace, or the Sun if you’re using a rocket you’ve constructed in the old barn behind Jepson’s Tractor Warehouse, from parts you scavenged at NASA’s Cape Canaveral rocket-science junkyard)
  •  cook until done – (with done, here, being “really, fucking done,” as in unfit for any purpose besides nonsense consumption)
  •  unjoy.

2) Shit On a Stick

  •  1 dried, idea turd
  •  1 big stick, shaken by a big idea turd cook
  •  1 bushel of base-emotion hunger for chowing down on dried, idea turds shaken by cooks with big sticks
  •  yumify.

3) Party Mice

  •  3 dozen genetically engineered idea mice from a lab in Maine
  •  1 reason to throw a party for genetically engineered idea mice from a lab in Maine
  •  1 reason for attending a party for genetically engineered idea mice
  •  1 disappointment greeting card sent to a lab in Maine for experiencing the need to throw a party for genetically engineered idea mice
  •  1 mailing address
  •  1 one-time use, forever contradiction stamp, to send your disappointment off into the postal night.

2017-03-04 22:49:53 (392 words)
“Nightingale” 2014, wtr/Frederick Mensch, dir/Elliott Lester
▸ Mia Doi Todd performing a) “Paraty” from “Cosmic Ocean Ship” 2011; b) “My Room is White” from “Manzanita” 2005
▸ Feist performing a) “Inside and Out” by Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb; and b) “One Evening” from “Let it Die” 2004

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“downward dogged”

(downward dog photo from

“It’s an exercise position in ‘U-ga’ – the new, personality work-out, derived from Yoga by some people at Ohio Presbyterian University,” Wendy says. “So it’s both a total, self-image stretch, and the expression of U-ga self-revelation.”

She’s on the phone with “The Momster,” also known as Joyce Frisbee, Mom, Mooter, Mommaries, or sometimes just “Mother.” The last one often said in an exasperated held-back shout, as in:

THE MOMSTER: He sounds nice, dear. But how does Crunch-Bang rate with regards to the Big 3 reqs: Has a job that has a future, is looking to get married, and have kids?

WENDY: (exasperated) Mother!

The Momster pauses for a moment on the phone, before responding. She’s standing in the kitchen of the 4-bedroom, 5-bath, 2,800 square-foot empty nest she shares with Wendy’s step-Dad twice-removed – as in the co-signatory of her mother’s second remarriage agreement, after leaving Wendy’s bio-Dad, Harry “Hayburner” Lindholm. Which became just another in a string of life’s disabilities that Hayburner Lindholm would encounter in his life, after playing outside linebacker for the Dolphins for seven seasons, until a blindside late block by Dallas Bengal of the Falcons left him walking on 1.43 legs for the balance of his non-career.

“Ohio Presbyterian University?” the Momster finally says, in the lead-in to an incisive comment that’s not too covertly dressed in question clothes. With “incisive”, in this happy time of ad hominem in ad nauseam, having more to do with slicing up another’s sense of self than sharpening the actual focus of ideas. “Oh, right. In higher education circles they call it ‘O, P-U’ – right?”

“Funny, Mrs. Frisbee,” Wendy says. “Your wit floats like an outdoor air-toy, looking to make a good impression on a passing set of canine teeth.”

The reference being to Harold Frisbee, The Momster’s husband no. 3, and someone who often sidesteps questions about his family lineage, just to leave some air of doubt floating in the conversation air as to his connection to a possible inventor. With Harold, in point of birth, having no immediate familial connection to the Frisbee whose light-bulb moment occurred after watching a flying dinner plate leave his hand, during an argument at the table with his wife about the proper way of cooking schnitzel.

The actual Mrs. Frisbee in the idea scene, ducking her head down low beside a bowl of buttered peas, as the Corelle “featherweight” plate sailed above her chair and through the doorway to the living room, before being plucked from the modern-American decor ether like a dinner bird come home to roost, by Roscoe, the family’s 4-year-old black Labrador retriever with a still-fetching sense of fun and games.

Enter the ghost of Julia Child, carrying a platter full of artfully-arranged sliced beets with toasted almonds, nestled beneath a cloud of Hollandaise sauce that’s a model of Left-Bank Puritan restraint. “Good boy, Roscoe,” she comments in a shaky ice-skate alto, before tossing a thick sauce-covered beet slice onto the tile floor beneath the tv. As Roscoe drops the dinner plate and leaps, downward dog, onto the bon appetite.

“Mom,” Wendy finally says, “just say you’re happy for me. So I can go have sex without the image of you scowling in my head.”

The phone connection is silent, save for the “Easy Listening 103.9” playing in the background on Joyce Frisbee’s kitchen radio.


No response.

“Really? And this silence is the sound of the easy-listening emptiness that is now your life?” Wendy says, smiling, before she disconnects.

2017-02-27 18:09:48 (625 words)
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” 2015, wtr/Jesse Andrews, dir/Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

▸ Passenger performing: a) “Golden Leaves” from “Whispers” 2014; and b) “Let Her Go” from “All the Little Lights” 2012
▸ OneRepublic performing: “Counting Stars” from “Native” 2013

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“alternate beauty facts”

… and why alt-right is the alt-wrong, baby-headed poli-phil of self-indulgent, fifty-something eight-year-olds – at this the ugly, bad-dream end of the cult of self

(Kellyanne Conway photo from Reporte Nive1uno* on 20170127 – after coining the phrase “alternate facts” to describe the crowds at Donald Trump’s inauguration, and before taking a week off in mid-February to resynchronize her political spin apparatus, after being out-of-spin-sync on the Michael Flynn resignation, and personally endorsing Ivanka Trump’s cosmetic line.)

1) Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, girls, stop working on your own eyes, and start working on the eyes of your beholders.

GUY GIRL-BEHOLDER: What are you doing?

GIRL: Putting makeup on your eyes.

GG-B: Why?

GIRL: To make America, and me, look great again.

2) Anti-anti-aging cream works best, when applied to others.

GG-B: But this cream you’re putting on my face, is actually making me look older.

GIRL: Yes. It’s really working. It’s anti-anti-aging cream.

GG-B: And this will …?

GIRL: Make America, and me, look great again.

3) If possible, apply anti-moisturizer on a windy day.

GG-B: Hey! This stuff is really drying out my skin.

GIRL: Yes. It works best when applied during windstorms.

GG-B: But my skin feels like …?

GIRL: A mask? That means it’s working.

GG-B: And wearing masks will …?

GIRL: Make America look great again.

GG-B: I’m sorry, but that’s just crazy.

GIRL: Exactly. Orange is the new black. Wrinkles that look like satellite views of the Grand Canyon, are the new smooth. Eyes that look like craters on the Moon are the new, windows of the cratered soul. Wrong is the new right. Bad the new good. And crazy is the new, flipping sane, that keeps on flipping. It’s all part of the alternate-beauty reality that is making the new, America the anti-beautiful, great again.

GG-B: Okay. But I’m not buying it. So how do I take all this anti-makeup off?

GIRL: That’s the best part. Golden showers are the only thing that really works.

GG-B: Because …?

GIRL: They’re totally anti-hygienic.

2017-02-23 22:04:08 (387 words)
▸ Bruce Cockburn performing “Pacing the Cage”, in studio 1998, from “The Charity of Night” 1997
▸ Daughter performing “Shallows” and “Youth” live, from “If You Leave” 2013

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“from the story box”

… the big election and the coffee pot cafe

(manipulated photo from etsystatic)

(a stage play with scenes and no acts)



The Coffee Pot Cafe, with a row of windows that overlook the sidewalk that runs along stage front.

(WILLIAM enters – stage left, walking down sidewalk to cafe door, which he opens and closes, entering cafe and sitting at table by windows.

MARY enters – stage right, from cafe kitchen, and walks to William’s table.)


William. Haven’t seen you since the big election. I heard you’d moved to Canada.


I did. But they threw me out.


“Threw” you out? You mean … ?


Yes. Actually “threw” me out. Four “Relo’s” – Mounties from the RCMP’s new “Bureau of American Relocation” – came to my hotel room. It was just after 3:00 in the morning. They knocked on my door. I staggered to the door and asked “Who’s there?” The lead guy said “Room service.” So I opened the door and they stormed in.

… scene continues at pdf link – wr-stp-from-the-story-box-the-big-election-20170130

2017-01-30 18:03:10 (653 words)
/wr stp – from the story box: the big election 20170130.fadein
▸ Fink performing: a) “Trouble’s What You’re In”; and b) “Blueberry Pancakes” – both live 2011, from “Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet” 2012

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act 4


 (Paul Newman – b. Jan. 26, 1925, Shaker Heights OH, d. Sept. 26, 2008 (83), Westport CT; photo from el bosquejo)

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“ranger bill – smokey in the city”

(photo manipulation of Smokey Bear who debued in 1944, the first poster illustrated by Albert Staehle, the bear named after “Smokey” Joe Martin, a heroic 1920s New York City fire fighter)


Episode 1: “Welcome to the Forest”

(A single camera, urban-forest dramedy with good guys, bad guys, and dancing bears, in 22-minute episodes; character/scene list in attached spreadsheet.)

Portland OR, early spring – forest bird sounds: jay, crow, hawk, woodpecker.

Shot of tiny clearing in small area of old-growth forest on ridge above downtown, a small cabin with mossy roof, smoke coming from chimney pipe, clearing lined with blooming rhododendrons. Camera pans forward to rustic outhouse behind cabin, pauses on outhouse door which opens as Ranger Bill (RB) in uniform and Smokey hat steps out w/magazine folded under arm, adjusting belt.

He walks to back door of cabin, past bank of solar panels and 2 small wind generators, stopping under cabin roof eave below small satellite dish, where water pipe w/spigot and attached soap dish comes up from ground. RB washes hands and dries them on hand towel hung on nail on cabin wall, then takes ancient, silver mountain bike off back porch, puts magazine in knapsack bungee-corded to bike rack, Smokey hat on top of knapsack tying hat strap through bungees, puts on bike helmet and jacket.

He walks bike around side to front of cabin, past rusty silver Ranger pickup with “Park Service” on door, gets on bike and coasts down dirt drive through trees.

… [full script, and character/scene list in pdf file links below]



20170103 11:18 (4575 words)


▸ Bear’s Den performing a) “Above the Clouds of Pompeii” from “Islands” 2014, b) “Dew on the Vine” from “Red Earth & Pouring Rain” 2016
▸ Roo Panes performing a) “The Original”, and b) “Stay With Me” — from “Paperweights” 2016
▸ Beirut performing “Fener” from “No, No, No” 2016
▸ Breathe Owl Breathe performing “Explorer” from “Passage of Pegasus” 2013
▸ Andrew Bird performing “Roma Fade” from “Are You Serious” 2016
▸ Ingrid Michaelson performing “Ribbons” from “Human Again” 2012

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“weight-loss cruises”

(photo montage from here and here)

(scene 27 – on-board Weight-Loss Cruise Lines’ “M.V. Diarrhea”)

MC: (at stage mike) Now, fellow cruisers, you’re in for a special treat. So, please, put your anal sphincters together for — Pri-vate Head!!!

(a low wave of muted, arthritic applause trickles out from the dozen people sitting on the folding metal chairs of “The Small Room” between Chef Bill’s “Pasta Supreme Buffet” and kitchen no. 2, as “Private Head,” a.k.a. 80-something Clive Ritchie, enters stage right dressed in World War II army fatigues with boots, gaiters, a “piss-cutter” cap and a well-used, circa WWII toilet seat hanging around his neck)

PRIVATE HEAD: (stops at mike, stares at audience for several beats like he has suddenly found the answer to an eighth-grade algebra problem he’s been working on for 70 years, then returns to the living moment) Thanks for stopping by, tonight. I know you could all be going somewhere else.

OLDSTER LADY IN ROW 3: (turns to Guy next to her, shouting) What’d he say?

OLDSTER GUY IN ROW 3: (shouting) No idea.

OLIR3: Why’s he wearing a toilet seat?

OGIR3: No idea. Maybe it’s a souvenir, from the cruise.

OLIR3: What?

OGIR3: A sou-ven-ir! You know, like taking an ashtray or a hand towel.

PH: It’s been a moving week. Frankly, I had my doubts about a 10-day “weight-loss cruise” that guaranteed “you’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 days, or your money back.”

OLIR3: Is he making a diarrhea joke?

OGIR3: He’s leading up to it.

OLIR3: Why come onto a diarrhea boat, and talk shit?

OGIR3: No idea.

OLIR3: What a shithead.

OGIR3: Yes. It seems to be going around.

20161126 18:31 (293 words)
▸ case/lang/veirs performing “Song For Judee” from “case/lang/veirs” (Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs) 2016
▸ The Weather Station performing “At Full Height” from “Loyalty” 2015
▸ Monsters of Folk performing “The Sandman, the Brakeman, and Me” live in studio 2009, from “Monsters of Folk” 2009
▸ River City Extension performing “Adrienne” from “The Unmistakable Man” 2010
▸ Daughter performing “Candles” in studio 2012, from “His Young Heart” 2011

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from comments left elsewhere

… on “The Grand Tour” vs “The Detectorists,” with London tv producer in the making Lucy Smith

(photo of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy from

… meanwhile yesterday, as you are posting your thoughts from London on Amazon’s “The Grand Tour,” I am watching series 2, episodes 5-6/6 of “The Detectorists” on Netflix, here, in the current “wilderness of excess” that is Donald Trump’s America, where:

– a) I begin to see, after Andy and Becky (and thank you, Diana Rigg, for giving the world the original Emma Peel, and the original Rachel Stirling; and, also, I haven’t seen a couple (Crook and Stirling) this homely-beautiful since Julia Roberts briefly married Lyle Lovett) — anyway, after they name the kid “Stanley,” I realize that Mackenzie Crook’s inspiration for the story may in fact have been an updated version of the adventures of Laurel and Hardy; and

– b) I later (thank you, wikipedia) discover the story behind the “bad gold coin” in episode 5, as being the actual Nazi economic, foreign cash-reserves problem that began in the late ’30s, and was at least one reason for their need to invade other nation states, so they could melt down the gold taken from central banks and other places, using it to buy the natural resources they increasingly needed to feed the growing economic monster created by their war machine; as

– c) I see yet more historical evidence of the good that comes from feeding monsters; as

– d) I prepare for a day of historical gluttony served with turkey, dressing (dried bread cubes with onions browned in butter and spices, cooked in the fat-weeping cavity of the oven-roasted bird), mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, peas — all heaped upon a plate and covered with lakes of turkey gravy — which turns out to be mostly just a story of gluttony without the actual history; so

– e) I’m doing that “writing as a means of recording us in time” thing, here; so

– f) thanks Lucy, and Happy Thanksgiving.

LUCY SMITH: (reading, mutters to self) Where have all these turkeys in America, come from? … (light goes on) … Oh — the answer must be that it’s true, you do become what you eat.

20161124 15:15 (347 words)
▸ Johnny Flynn performing
– the theme song from “The Detectorists” live 2014
– with Laura Marling “The Water” live 2010, and
– with Lillie Flynn “Amazon Love” live 2014, both from “Been Listening” 2010
– with Mumford and Sons “Réveille Mon Âme” (Awake My Soul) live 2010, song by Mumford and Sons (Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall) from “Sigh No More” 2009

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“sketch sketchy”

(photo of the Hetch Hetchy Valley, early 1900s, from a Sierra Club Bulletin 1908)

With a deep valley of similarity between Sanford William “Hilltop” Englethwart’s ego, and the Sierra Nevada water system that supplied water to the golden real-estated hills of San Francisco and its environs, it may seem only natural, or possibly even neurally-artesian, that his 1,500 page, gold-leaf covered memoir published in 1987 at the age of 41, would be called “Sketch Sketchy — The Art of Making a Big Deal Out of Nothing.”

“Man, this is one sketchy dude,” Willard Wingman said in an interview that year in the weekly “Around and Underneath the Bay.” “Really. It was like his parents drew him freehand, in short, strong bursts of creative gisum glossed with the sheen that only fertile egg yolk gives.”

Wingman had known The Hilltop since eighth-grade progressive algebra when, together, they discovered it was possible to control the naturally associative properties of math by simply hanging the parentheses in different ways and places on the page, then adding stuff up how you wanted. That Wingman would later become an enormously successful “conceptual algebra” artist was “written in the cards,” Englethwart, an enormously wealthy fantasy-real estate developer, often said, referring to the card game they played in their frequent study session breaks, called “Texas Hold ‘Em, Stroke ‘Em, and Shoot ‘Em.”

That algebra could be a beauty of dysfunction was a fashion that nearly caught on in the “acid days” of San Francisco, before the city’s Public Utilities Commission began stopping people from throwing tabs of “window pane” into the aqueduct at various places along its 170 mile run to town.

“So I’m, like, standing on a corner at Powell and Geary. Just watching life go by,” The Hilltop says in chapter 4. “Then — ‘Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding’ — a cable car rumble-steel’s its way by. The carman’s gloves are heavy leather, with gauntlets that stop halfway up his lower arms. He’s pulling on the levers of the car that control how hard they grip the cables running underneath the street. And I realize that, at this moment, I’m living in a working museum.

“Then suddenly I’m six years old, again, and standing on this same corner with my Noobie June, my mother’s mother. Her fingers are wrapped Granny-tight around my hand, as we wait to cross the street and buy a cone at Swenson’s.

“‘Fragile,’ Noobie says, her head turned and tilted toward my ear, ‘remember this: A cat has legs and is a cat because it uses them.’

“I had no idea what she meant. The lady hated animals almost as much as she hated people. The only thing she really liked was ice cream, which is why, when she died at 93, they had to haul her body down the stairs of the Starboard House on Grant, on a door made from three-inch thick white oak.

“But I can feel her fingers, still, trying to squeeze the orange juice from my hand. She was such a nasty woman.”

Which we found, in following the links involved with our own rereading-and-rewriting story of today, may have been the one accomplishment The Hilltop never thought he’d leave behind — as Donald Trump would read that line in the summer of his own long, twisted run to a Poli-Sci-Fi town, in a book he found left tent-open on a bench in Central Park.

“Such a nasty woman,” Trump would mutter to himself as he read the words, then look across the path at the fairy-tale life grandeur of his Tower. “It’s a sign. The Gods are saying: ‘Donald, you’re our boy.'”

Or, possibly, it’s just a sign of an older free-association problem, that confuses the beholding of a species’ individual ideas of youth and value, with the dead-meat social hugging of a tribal immaturity, while vanitizing everything around and in the parentheticals.

20161029 17:19 (666 words)
▸ Bruce Cockburn performing:
“Pacing the Cage”, in studio 1998, from “The Charity of Night” 1997
“Open” and
“Put it in Your Heart” from “You’ve Never Seen Anything” 2003
“Listen for the Laugh” from “Dart to the Heart” 1994
“Call it Democracy” from “World of Wonders” 1986

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