miðvikudagur, apríl 23, 2008


She keeps her heart between the pages of an etymological dictionary.

laugardagur, apríl 19, 2008


"Two at seven. And what's the name?"



"Exactly. Let's try the last name: Paradisæa."

"Did you say 'Paramecium'?"

(laughs) "No, actually, but let's just say that: Paramecium."

"Paramecium. I'm sorry. I'm hard of hearing."

"That's all right."

"Actually, I'm still drunk from last night."

. . .

fimmtudagur, apríl 17, 2008

Spring came while I was away visiting a place with no seasons. Now everything is flowers and hot noondays. One blink and stifling summer will be upon us.

sunnudagur, apríl 13, 2008

lest, forget

Trains. I’ve been on this one before. There had been obstruction on the track—for an hour at a time we were unable to go forward and forbidden to go back. The grinding, halting progress became painful. I recall buying a deck of cards in the club car, and that had helped a little. Rules and turns shaped the time. No stakes, no cheats.

Farmland. Jackrabbit hurrying over stubbly pasture full of oblivious goats. Tract housing like an invasive species of lichen grown up on the bareness. On the other side, fruit trees. Now cactus, now fields flashing with standing water between the rows. Ditches. Trailers. Brittle trees. Angus. Did I see any of this back then? I can’t remember. Now folded chaparral hills still hazy in the cool.

This time, no delays, and I will meet myself at the station.

föstudagur, apríl 04, 2008


It is blowy out there.
  • vindeygður - "wind-eyed," i.e., teary and squinting from looking into the wind. How foolish for any language to lack a synonym for this word.
  • vindóttur - "silver," a technical equine color term. Silver is a dilute factor ... there is a lot of fascinating genetics behind this, but leave that aside for a moment. Adjectives in -óttur are a closed class. Something göldróttur is magical, from galdur, an old chanting word that has come to mean "magic." Something vindóttur must be windical. (Windy and winded already mean other things.) A vindóttur horse has lighter vindhár, "wind hairs," a lovely name for the water-shedding, top layer of the coat and the mane and tail. "Guard hairs" seems a bit defensive. Then again, Icelandic horses are barons of the fields and have little to guard against. The wind, however, can be fierce and blow their manes straight over their heads.
  • Vindólfr - "wind-wolf," the name of a dwarf. Are we meant to understand a connection to Ragnarök? The end of the world is after all heralded by skeggöld, skálmöld, vindöld, vargöld -- axe-age, sword-age, wind-age, wolf-age. It is a famous stanza. I always confuse rök, doom or fate, with rok, a stiff wind, or maybe it is the other way around. Ragnarok would be a holy wind, and maybe it would blow in that final, catastrophic wind-age.
  • Vindljón - "wind-lion," an entirely different animal. Vindljón is (in Gylfaginning) the father of Winter. I wonder if you could get the name past the Mannanafnanefnd these days and give it to a child. I wonder if anyone has tried.

Meanwhile, here, the March wind-lion blows, famously, for spring.
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