Like How

Wrote to my sister and my niece about a culinary accomplishment (from a family friend from St. Pierre et Miquelon, Mme Amandine Lalande, who gave the recipe to my mother who made pâté maison at Christmas time and passed on the recipe and instructions to us)

At long last I attempted my first pâté maison. Attached is a picture of the creation and a scan of the index card with the recipe in Mom's handwriting.

I no longer have a meat grinder and had to finely dice the ham by hand. A nice meditative action.

Lesson for next time : don't under salt - it affects the taste.

As you can imagine a pound of veal, a pound of pork and a half a pound of ham makes a big loaf. We froze half.
My evidence and the recipe card I worked from

Elsewhere in a post called 1846 I muse about an other piece of handwritten ephemera from my mother and note "Never undervalue the impact of the hand written note." or in this day and age a personal message that reminds oneself and others not to forget to salt adequately.

And so for day 2042

How Like

A bundle and its medicines resembles a smartphone and its collection of apps.

The comparison points to revitalization of Indigenous cultures.

The bundle's homecoming and first ceremonial opening since 1942 is being witnessed by 200 people, Blackfoot from Alberta and Montana (who call themselves Blackfeet) and a significant minority of non-natives like myself.

Some have come for physical healing. Others have come for the healing of the soul.

"These are holy bundles given to us by the Creator to hold our people together," explains tribe member Patricia Deveraux, as she waits outside the teepee, craning her neck to see what is going on inside.

"They're the same as the relics from the Catholic Church," continues the pleasant, round-faced woman of 36, whose faith straddles Catholicism and Blackfoot spirituality with equal vigour. "They are a demonstration of the holy spirit. They can heal people."

Reprinted from the Edmonton Journal 2002 by Larry Johnsrude (
The comparison also points to the indigenization of the culture-at-large.

That smartphone connects people through a sort of spirit world. Remember William Gibson's Count Zero? The loa in cyberspace? Creolization is the old indigenization.

But they are not quite the same in a linguistic context:
The contact between languages in multilingual contexts can lead to language change and the formation of new varieties of language. The term indigenization is used to refer to the contact-induced linguistic changes that result in a new dialect, while creolization refers to the emergence of a new language. […] According to Mesthrie and Bhatt (2008 : 11), indigenization ‘refers to the acculturation of the [transplanted language] to localized phenomena, be they cultural, topographic or even linguistic (in terms of local grammatical, lexical and discourse norms).’ In other words, its use in a new environment brings about changes in the transplanted language. Unlike other kinds of linguistic change, however, these changes reflect the influence of the local languages and culture. They also reflect widespread second-language learning of the transplanted language by the local population.

Jeff Siegel. "Multilingualism, Indigenization, and Creolization" in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism: Second Edition edited by Tej K. Bhatia and William C. Ritchie.
"Linguistic indigenization occurs when a language is transplanted in a new location and learned and used by the local population." By analogy thinking of spiritual items such as medicine bundles in terms of digital technologies such as smartphones would be a form of acculturation covered by the notion of indigenization. Both have an element of ritual and appropriate use attached to them. Spirituality meets materiality. Holding people together.

And so for day 2041

Dialogue as Exclusion of the Third via Noise Introduction

Serres Hermes I

See Serres, Hermes 66-67: [doCtored with typographiC noise]

Following scientific tradition, let us Call noise the set of these phenomena of interferenCe that become obstaCles to CommuniCation. Thus, CaCography is the noise of graphiC form or, rather, the latter Comprises an essential form and a noise that is either essential or oCCasional. To write badly is to plunge the graphiC message into this noise which interferes with reading, which transforms the reader into an epigraphist. In other words, simply to write is to risk jumbling a form. In the same way, to CommuniCate orally is to risk losing meaning in noise. . . .[C]ommuniCation is a sort of game played by two interloCutors Considered as united against the phenomena of interferenCe and Confusion, or against individuals with some stake in interrupting [67] CommuniCation. These interloCutors . . . battle together against noise. The CaCographer and the epigraphist, the CaCophonous speaker and the auditor, exChange their reCiprocal roles in dialogue, where the sourCe becomes reCeption, and the reCeption sourCe (aCCording to a given rhythm). . . . To hold a dialogue is to suppose a third man and to seek to exClude him; a suCCessful CommuniCation is the exClusion of the third man. The most profound dialeCtical problem is not the problem of the Other, who is only a variety — or a variation — of the Same, it is the problem of the third man. We might Call this third man the demon, the prosopopoeia of noise.

And so for day 2040

Sound Twins

Robin Blaser sounds like Carl Sandburg.

Listen to any of the recordings of Blaser at PennSound.

Compare to Carl Sandburg reading from The Windy City [Chicago] from the Caedmon Poetry Collection: A Century of Poets Reading Their Work.


And so for day 2039

The Song Still With You

Dane Swan in A Mingus Lullaby displays a piercing humanity.

gess dey scuuured. Cawl de men in da white suites,/tayk me to da pinkhouse on de hill, da funny fawm,/giv' me a room wit pillows on da wallz, takeway/mi turntable, hav da priest pray ova me, tell mi repent!/I do no such ting! 'least ma mine iz free. 'least deez songs/still wit me.
This is the concluding stanza to "Lullaby" which narrates the tale of a music lover that skips church on Sundays and comes to this unhappy end. Swan captures voice well. And not always to achieve pathos.
If it wasn't for decorum
(and laws) my Hell-o'-Weens
would be a play on irony.
Assaulting Black-faced White people,
While wearing Blackface,
screaming, "Black on Black crime!"

Or eschew irony, wear a white hood
and call them nigger right before I attack.
Watch the glint of innocence
in their eyes fade —
reliving my acts of tyranny on tear-filled pillows

I know I am, but what are you?
This from "Fear — a work in two voices".

And so for day 2038

Just Staring Just Writing

Ephemera from the Royal Alexandra show opens up to a reprinted interview and old chestnut.

From the programme to Lily Tomlin in The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe written by Jane Wagner, this bit on the nature of writing work…
I know I lack discipline. But I also think that being at the typewriter is not absolutely the most important thing about writing. I find it hard to get Lily to understand that I'm writing even when I'm just staring out the window.
Excerpt from an interview with Lily and Jane by Stephen Saban appearing in May 1986 issue of Details. Reminds one of the James Thurber self-reported anecdote:
I never quite know when I’m not writing. Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says, ‘Dammit, Thurber, stop writing.’ She usually catches me in the middle of a paragraph. Or my daughter will look up from the dinner table and ask, ‘Is he sick?’ ‘No,’ my wife says, ‘he’s writing something.’
James Thurber, The Art of Fiction No. 10 interviewed by George Plimpton & Max Steele, Fall 1955.

And so for day 2037

Of Taste and Origins

Originally appearing in the journal Petits Propos Culinaires

The name of the confection in its various forms — French massepain, Italian marzapana, Spanish mazapana — has been a puzzle. "Pain" or "pana," it is thought, means bread. But what about "maza" or "masse"? I would suggest that it arose from the experience of the Franks and other Westerners in Outremer. They encountered Saracen food and also Saracen alchemy, and may have been aware of the echoes of he alchemical elixir of life in the dietary of the Arabs. The Saracen name for the art was alkhimia. But the Franks called it by a Greek word, maza (Latinised as massa), which had earlier been a term for the bronze used in some of the experiments. For the Franks, the delicious golden pastes of sugar, ground almonds and saffron may well have seemed magical creations, brought into being by the alchemy of the Saracen cooks, and thus earning the name of maza pana — alchemical bread.
C. Anne Wilson. "The Saracen Connection: Arab Cuisine and the Mediaeval West" reprinted in The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy: 20 Years of the Best Food Writing from the Journal Petits Propos Culinaires.

And so for day 2036

A Particular and Peculiar Pair

Neil Hennessy has produced a gif(t) set worthy of displaying on the same page.



They have popped up in a number of places (in the past in the Coach House Books archive) persisting at deluxe rubber chicken #2 from 1999. Preserved by the kind folks at the Electronic Poetry Center at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

And so for day 2036

Distracting Disorders

Phoebe Wang has a hilarious piece in BookThug's The Unpublished City curated by Dionne Brand.

It's the tale of an invigilator and the student conditions requiring special accommodation: ASUD - Attention Surplus Underactivity Disorder; the student with a light-sensitive condition who only took classes in winter months; and the Syntactical Dyslexic.

A hint of envy creeps in and quickly creeps out.
Lily almost envied their specialness, their impairments, disorders and fixations that exempted them from the ordinary masses. If she'd had the choice, which of — but this was no way to think. If she wanted to emerge from today with all her faculties intact.
Through the humour shines the evident delight in diversity.

And so for day 2035

Impact of the Cumulative

It may be difficult for the colour-blind to spot the red…

What jumps out is the message that hate does not need much to grow.

The goal of IWitness is to motivate students, through the use of testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive to act responsibly and ultimately to help them uphold important values. These include justice, equality, diversity, tolerance and how best to counter attitudes and acts of hatred. And we’ve seen through our evaluation efforts that the power of first person audiovisual resources does have tremendous impact on students. In this current political climate, it’s so important to remember that hate, unlike other feelings or dispositions, does not need much to grow; something that we are learning too well in every locale we are working.

Ignorance, fear and opportunity provide marvelous conditions for it to take root and spread. In the 30s in Germany, the Communists and the Socialists were so busy fighting each other that they missed the real threat that the rise of the Nazis posed. One might suggest that a similar dynamic is taking shape as our political leaders vie for power, oblivious to—or even exploitive of—the growing resentment between groups of people on the ground. In both cases, the result was and is a proliferation of fear, hate and a loss of democracy and decency. We are in danger of falling into the same trap when we set up a dynamic of “us” and “them.”

Interview with Kori Street
Vigilance: the action or state of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.
Cumulative: increasing or increased in quantity, degree, or force by successive additions.

And so for day 2034