Friday, December 23, 2016

The Children's Christmas Eve

The stockings hang beside the hearth,
the holly on the door.
The children hope that they’ve been good --
but they’re not sure.

They think of sometimes thieving fingers,
sticky with cookie-guilt.
A tear creeps to their eye at the corners
as they think of the milk they’ve spilt.

And oh!  What of the times they tried,
but failed, to say their prayers?
Lo, woe!  their whole life seems to proceed
in the spotlight of grownups’ stares.

Untidiness, disobedience,
the list of sins grows long.
Like toddlers walking, they sway on the fence
dividing Right from Wrong.

The stockings hang like judgment
as the children search their souls.
Will sweetmeats by their portion --
or a lump of cold black coal?

Toys left lying, beds unmade,
the Sunday suit awry.
There was even a time, they know to their shame,
when they told -- O coal!  -- a lie!

The children crawl between the sheets
on the night before Christmas day.
The pillow against their cheek is wet.
Their lips begin to pray.

The stockings hang from the scaffold.
The dark tree stands by the stair.
Yet as they pray  they hear the toll
of sleighbells in the air.

Behold!  A chariot slices the sky,
the stars roll back in a tide.
Saint Nicholas stands upon the helm,
the Virgin by his side.

And all the angels  whirl like fire,
bearing the carriage along.
The heavens thunder  with the choir
of joyful Christmas song.

Sugarplums shower from the tree
where CHRIST was crucified.
Raised souls join in a jubilee
redeemed by Him who died.

The children stare at Santa Claus
as light streams from his face.
Their present’s the best  that ever there was --
the gift of Grace.

~     ~     ~

For a further story of miracles through grace,  
have a look at this:

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Salute the Solstice

The Brightening, though Frozen  Solstice

This time each year,  the sun doth wend,
signaling days-dying’s end.
Henceforth  throughout  the grateful lands
our daily dose of light  expands.

Thus do we, cheered  by this faint grace,
take heart for Winter’s chill embrace.
And though the brisk winds  scourge the earth,
look forward to  our Spring rebirth.

Christi dedico in nomine;
Gratias agimus, Domine.

[I post this poem,  three days before the event itself.
In the intervening hours, the still-encroaching darkness 
is like Triduum.]

Saturday, December 17, 2016

After a Night of Sleet

O no    the Icemonster   ate up all the squirrels !
Now the world is sad !!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Julian monostich

Constantius   wore the purple.

The robe fell stiffly
to his  crimson shoes.

[--Gore Vidal, Julian (1964), p. 174.
For more about the surprising shoes of a ruler, try this.]

Monday, December 12, 2016

Marxian monostich

Another philosopher  recently posed the question, “What is it Like to be a Thermostat?”
-- David Lodge, Thinks… (2001), p. 97

Thermostat, dissing the mere Thermometer:

“The question is not simply to measure the temperature; the point is to change it.”

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dinosaur hoax unmasked !

In these days of increased awareness of the perils posed by Fake News TM (proprietary mark registered by World of Dr Justice, Inc., all rights reserved, y compris en URSS), we must each of us be unceasingly vigilant.  And just the other day, an outright hoax was perpetrated on an unsuspecting public, by an otherwise respected news source:

The “dinosaur”, these gentlemen would have us believe, was covered in feathers from tail-tip to top!   Feathers, if you please!
Now, back in my day, we schoolchildren knew better than that:

     =>  Dinosaurs are reptiles, covered in scales.
     =>  Birds fly, and are covered in feathers.

So what, then, was this prehistoric fossile, which indisputably does exist?

Why, none other than a late specimen of Pinguinus ingens,  which you can read all about here.

~  The World of Dr Justice ~
~~  Science U Can Trust  ™ ~~

In fairness (and this blog is about nothing if not fairness -- well, okay, about hamsters too), we must acknowledge some skepticism in the scientific community about the very existence of penguins:

There.  Due diligence done.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Doctor J’s Winter Fund Drive

Normally, around this time of year, we’d be fishing for our checkbooks to contribute to NPR.   (In past years, I have made mine in the name of The Big Broadcast -- the only program on NPR that was specifically aimed at my demographic.  But now Ed Walker has moved on to that big radio up in the sky …)  
Now, however, that The Don is moving to Pennsylvania Avenue (or at least sending some of his kids and minions -- he might not wish personally to move downmarket from his own fabulous properties), some of you may be wondering whether that would be … as the senior George Bush used to put it …   prudent, to contribute to the most virulently Donophobic of the MSM.
Because The Don does not like you should defy The Don.   To do that, might be to seriously annoy him.   Wouldn’t be prudent.

So -- what to do with those extra dollars, rattling around in your piggy bank, which otherwise would have been wasted on a bunch of liberal low-lifes? -- Perfect solution:  Donate big-time to The World of Doctor Justice  -- your one-stop shopping for monostichs, truthitude, penguin lore, and Trinitarian Minimalism!  All the best people are doing that this year!

Give generously --  Give often !

Unfortunately, unlike contributions to NPR or other barely-worthy causes, through some administrative glitch, cash envelopes to this site are not yet tax deductible.  But that hardly matters, since once The Don takes things in hand, there should be no more taxes anyway.   Anyway not for Winner people like you & me.

Direct all tithings to this site  care of

Gold bullion and Schweizer Franken only, please;  no bitcoins, dollars, or second-party food-stamps.

*     *     *
~ Commercial break ~
For a thrilling mini-movie, try this:
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

*     *     *

In the temporary interests of total financial disclosure (such measures will become obsolete as of January 20, but in the meantime), here is an accounting for the proceeds of last’s year’s WDJ fund-drive.

Contributions from people who wanted favors: $78,996.
Joke contribution from some cheapskate:  $1.
Total:  $78,997.

Booze: $4,176.
Broads: $10,888.
Smokes: $400.
Unaccounted-for:  (Whatever’s left over.  You do the math.  What am I an accountant??)

For further musings from this pen,
check here:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Diego Rivera monostich (resartus)

Two    great             elongated  ellipses

crosseEd AC otHher

in the center of the wall

[--Bertram Wolfe,  A Life in Two Centuries (1981), p. 600.
Describing the mural “Man at the Crossroads”, painted 1934 in the foyer of the RCA building, then destroyed by order of Nelson Rockefeller.]

Note:  Rocky is invariably cast as the bad-guy here;  but as with most of the leftie causes-célèbres of the period (Sacco & Vanzetti; the Rosenbergs; Alger Hiss), their perspective is blinkered.   Wolfe himself -- Rivera’s primary supporter and biographer -- gently admonished the Mexican painter, who had been content to take Rockefeller gold, then was indignant when his patron objected at Rivera’s sneaking in Lenin at the last minute, as the centerpiece of the whole mural, at the intersection of those two ellipses.  “Have I not the right, as painters have always done, to paint into my mural  people I know?  To use any model which seems suitable?”
Wolfe observed:  “Yes, Diego, but the great painters of the Renaissance painted either the patron or somebody related to him… Do you think that if Pope Alexander VI or Lorenzo di Medici had commissioned a painting, he would expect the central figure to be Girolamo Savonarola?”

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jailbreak monostich

(Opening page;  fugitives  hiding  in the tall grass):

the jew’s-harp twanging
of the grasshoppers    in the broomweeds

(A page later, the author  revises  the imagery.):

Crickets in the roadside grass
sounded like wind   in loose telephone wires.

[ -- Edward Anderson, Thieves Like Us (1937)]

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Crossing the Pyrenees during the Spanish Civil War

a road that ran

          up                                        up
first        ,   then                   then           again

as all foothill roads do.

[ -- Bertram Wolfe,  A Life in Two Centuries (1981), p. 661]

~  Posthumous Endorsement ~
"If I were alive today, and in the mood for a mystery,
this is what I'd be reading: "
(My name is Bert Wolfe,
and I approved this message.)
~         ~

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Dillinger sighting!

… hiding in the Ozark Mountains  with Pretty Boy Floyd …

[ --Bryan Burrough, Public Enemies (2004), p. 380.
 The sighting proved  a false alarm.]

~  Posthumous Endorsement ~
"If I were alive today, and in the mood for a mystery,
this is what I'd be reading: "
(My name's John Dillinger,
and I approved this message.)
~         ~

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Día de los Muertos, ca. 1934

   When twilight comes,
   they take their leave of the deceased,
   dragging sleepy children after them.

[ -- Bertram Wolfe,  A Life in Two Centuries (1981), p. 633]

Friday, November 25, 2016

Cosmetic-Surgery monostich

The man who was to lay his scalpel
on Dillinger’s face

was a




[ -- Bryan Burrough, Public Enemies (2004), p. 365]

~  Posthumous Endorsement ~
"If I were alive today, and in the mood for a mystery,
this is what I'd be reading: "
(My name is John Dillinger,
and I approved this message.)
~         ~

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Diego Rivera monostich

Two    great             e-lon-gated  ellipses
crosseEd AC otHher
in the center of the wall

[-- Bertram Wolfe,  A Life in Two Centuries (1981), p. 600.
Describing the mural “Man at the Crossroads”, painted 1934 in the foyer of the RCA building, then destroyed by order of Nelson Rockefeller]

Chicago -- South Side

The   July  night          leaked   heat.

[--James Farrell,  Young Lonigan (1932)]

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mandolinist monostich, 1935

her eyes glittering,  she bent
over the mandolin,    and flashed
the shiny black pick
back    and forth
across the tight steel strings.

[--Alfred Kazin, Starting Out in the Thirties (1965), p. 42]

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Indiana monostich, 1934

Dillinger had parked his Hudson
in a barn out back …

[--Bryan Burrough, Public Enemies (2004), p. 282]

~  Posthumous Endorsement ~
"If I were alive today, and in the mood for a mystery,
this is what I'd be reading: "
(My name's Johnny Dillinger,
and I approved this message.)
~         ~

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dysphemism of the Day: Khmers Verts

During the years that I was living impecuniously in Berkeley, unable to afford an automobile, I rode a bicicyle -- or, after that was stolen, walked or took the bus.   So it was with a certain detachment that I beheld the maneuvers of that People’s Republic to make life unpleasant for the drivers of cars -- as, laying down a slalom of road barriers, which bikes could zip around easily, but cars must slow to a crawl.  Part of this was motivated by legitimate concerns about environment and quality of life, but -- Berkeley being Berkeley -- there was an ideological edge to it, and an odor of self-righteousness.

Now the “Socialist” mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo (really more of a socialo-bobo, rather than anything to do with the historical struggle of the working class) has stirred up controversy by closing off the Seine-side roads to vehicular traffic, predictably resulting in snarls elsewhere, and possibly actually raising the amount of automobile polution as drivers spend more time in jams and thus more time traversing the same trajectory -- spewing pollutants all the while. 

Let Le Figaro tell it:

Révélé par Le Figaro, le rapport commandé par Valérie Pécresse, présidente de la région Île-de-France, sur les effets de la fermeture des voies sur berge est accablant pour la Mairie de Paris.

C'est désormais la grande pagaille dans la capitale mais aussi en banlieue. La piétonnisation des voies sur berge rive droite, qui a indiscutablement aggravé la circulation dans Paris, provoque, en effet, de sérieux ralentissements bien au-delà de ses murs. Le trafic est désormais plus dense sur un périphérique déjà saturé et les temps de parcours se sont aggravés sur la rocade plus éloignée de l'A86.

Thus it was with a pleasure of recognition that I encountered the following Reader’s Comment:

Et la pollution due aux embouteillages ! ... ça ne gêne pas Mme Hidalgo et ses Khmers Verts ?? 
Ils vivent dans l'air conditionné de leurs jolis bureaux et font changer souvent les filtres mais les enfants sur les trottoirs ... on s'étonnera qu'ils aient toujours plus d'asthme !
Quant aux habitants de banlieue qui viennent à Paris juste pour travailler... pas pour voter pour elle... ils peuvent bien étouffer ! ...

Khmers Verts.  But exactly!

A selection of some further linguistically-interesting comments from Le Figaro’s sharp-nibbed readers:

un petit dessin avec les bobogochos enfumés par les voiture bloquées sur le chemin du travail tout autour de son nid .
Vivement le roller en famille sur l A86
Madame Hidalgo et son aréopage de noctambules désoeuvrés considèrent Paris comme une ville dédiée à l'amusement.
Sa politique de circulation n'est jamais que la traduction de la vision de quelqu'un qui n'a jamais travaillé et a toujours vécu de cocktail en cocktail de voiture avec chauffeur à voiture avec escorte et qui n'a comme vision de l'action publique que d'arriver au fare niente institutionnalisé.
le socialisme, l'art du bien vivre sans travailler. Les gens qui bossent  polluent, c'est bien connu.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Suddenly-tufted monostich

All around it           palm trees

grew up,   fifty, sixty       feet tall,

suddenly     t u f t e d

at the top.

[-- Horace McCoy, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They (1935) ]

~  Posthumous Endorsement ~
"If I was alive today, and hankering for a noir,
this is what I'd be reading: "
(My name is McCoy,
and I approved this message.)
~         ~

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Endstation Affen

Re Stalin-era Soviet science in Suchumi (on the Black Sea):

Man machte sowohl Befruchtungsversuche mit menschlichem Samen an Affenweibchen, als auch umgekehrt.  Zu diesem Zweck hatte man in einer sowjetischen wissenschaftlichen Zeitung  aufgefordert, es sollten sich Frauen zu solchen Experimenten zur Verfügung stellen.  Offensichtlich  hatten viele diesen Aufruf mißverstanden  und nicht begriffen, daß es sich  bei den Versuchen  um künstliche Befruchtung handeln sollte.  Die Suchumer Affenstation wurde mit Briefen überschüttet, in denen sich die weiblichen Absender bereit erklärten, im Dienste der sowjetischen Wissenschaft  sich von Affenmännchen begatten zu lassen.

-- Margarete Buber-Neumann, Von Potsdam nach Moskau (1957), p. 314

Weiteres zum Thema:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Green blinds monostich

Durch die Schlitze    der grünen Fensterläden

griffen    die     Finger

des Sommertags

nach uns

[ -- Ernst Fischer, Erinnerungen und Reflexionen (1969), p. 198]

For more  green monostichs, try:

Sunday, October 30, 2016


One is bemused, hearing hoarse throats howling about a … server, and following with, “Lock Her Up!”  This time last year, few of them could even have told a server from a servomechanism, or a serviette;   but now the word is waved like a bloody shirt.   Why such uproar?

To answer the question, the meta-research division of the World of Dr Justice (headquarters:  Geneva) swung into action, using our unique Spatio-Temporal TravelerTM (Patent pending) to check out the data in parallel universes (a key precaution this year, since much of the electorate now inhabits an alternate universe year-round).  And it turns out -- the mob was right!  Heinous Hillary is guilty of horrendous crimes, in every single universe we examined !!

Here are our findings.

(1)  Alternate Universe #3794008

In this universe, instead of having a law degree, Mrs Clinton earned a Master’s degree in English, before eventually running for the highest office in the land.   Her campaign seemed to be going well, until one evening  a policeman making the rounds in Rock Creek Park, came across a dangling participle, lying beside a stream as though it had been strangled.  Forensics identified the sentence it had come from, and traced it back to one of Mrs Clinton’s secret speeches to Goldman Sachs. 
Armed with this evidence, the Bureau was granted a warrant to seize all of the candidate’s communications dating back to college;  investigators were literally figuratively  struck dumb at the masses of split infinitives,  it’s instead of its,  “contact” used as a verb, and many other infractions against the basic decencies of English grammar.

Editorialists fulminate;  Republicans demand a special prosecutor.  And an angry mob gathers outside her Park Avenue hotel, calling for her blood.  Suddenly she steps forth upon the balcony of her suite, glares down at them, and snaps:

“This is something  up with which  I will not put!”

Shall not -- shall not!”  retorts the furious crowd.

Mrs Clinton, in an alternate universe -- Still guilty as charged !

(2) Alternate Universe #497-668-5571

In this universe, Mrs Clinton is in her first term as President, when a bombshell breaks into the headlines.  Back when she was five years old, she borrowed a book, My Cuddly Bunny, from the kindergarten library… and did not return it on time.  Nor indeed did she return it later that year … or the next year … or the next … or indeed, ever!
Impeachment proceedings began immediately, under the slogan:

Thirty years of political experience --
Sixty-five years of crime !

A sampling of planets on which Hillary is guilty as sin

(3) Alt-alternate Universe  “Betelgeuse Bleu”

In this universe,  Hillary Rodman professionalized as a mathematician before meeting her future husband, one William Clinton, a vicar.    Dr Rodman is nearing the end of her seventh term as President, preparing to take over as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, when a careful examination of the “long form” of the dissertation that earned her a math Ph. D.  reveals that she once asserted the integral of the limit to equal the limit of the integrals, without first assuring uniform convergence!  An assault upon the most sacred principles of Real Analysis.

Thunder in the pulpits; the Security Council is convened.  A bloodthirsty mob floods the streets of Washington  and performs a series of outrages --   taking derivatives at singularities , dividing by zero, and using a Banach-Tarski maneuvre to disassemble Mrs Clinton and re-assemble her at half her former size.

[Update, Halloween 2016]  Our colleagues at the Pyesetz Institute for Cosmic Research  have explored this issue in some even more elaborate universes:

Thus, the results of our own research division  have been independently replicated.

[Upshot]  And so we have our theorem:

Thm.  Any transcosmic functor that leaves Hillary fixed, fixes guilt.