Teeth and Gravity

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, under , ,

Today K. and I come to a conclusion that dental floss is an amazing invention. She made this excellent Chinese soup with veggies and scallop, the latter of which has shredded itself during the cooking process, and many of the said shreds eventually found new home between my teeth. K. asks who invented dental floss. How the heck should I know? So I google it of course.

Did you know that first dental floss goes as far back as early 19th century? In 1815 a dentist from New Orleans recommended his patients should clean teeth with silk floss. It took some 60 years for it to be patented. We’ve come a long way from silk floss, haven’t we.

Q: Which character in Ulysses used the dental floss?
A: Not clear. It’s a toss between the editor and Myles Crawford.

“He took a reel of dental floss from his waistcoat pocket and, breaking off a piece, twanged it smartly between two and two of his resonant unwashed teeth.” (p. 107)

Must stop singing arias in the loo while brushing teeth. This evening my bass shook up the windows upstairs, apparently ('His voice is so deep it provided the lining for his shoes' - Matthew Caley) . Upstairs, K. couldn’t hear the TV. No big deal, with the Sex & the City banalities on. She could have sex in this city instead I told her. If only she wanted to.

Nighty-night all… and don’t forget to floss!

A wee bedtime poem for your healthy teeth.

Zero Gravity

Zero gravity. Rice floats on the way in
to a cavity. Floss won’t do. Still, a safe touchdown
with twenty seconds of fuel to spare. Armstrong
does the right thing by doing the wrong thing,
picks up a few odd rocks, off-camera.

Decades later some long-sufferer
puts two and two stones together.
The world finally gets it, for what it’s worth:
the less lucky Moon had once been Earth. 

A view of Earth from the Lunar Orbiter, 1966

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The Annular Eclipse P.S.

Posted on Monday, May 28, 2012, under ,

The annular eclipse weighed
in a microwave (730 Watts)
is a little metal disc
with your dog’s name on it.

No, that would blow up —
is Big Dan Teague’s eye-patch
suspended over an egg
cooked sunny side up.

The last time the sun yawned
its slow eclipse yawn, right to left,
was many many years ago which
the sun forgot like yesterday.

The last time I saw my son was
at a karate dojo. His neck stretched
right to left, and back, toes splayed out
like a baby bat’s wing.

That was Saturday. This is Monday.
I have a headache. I find it hard
to follow a cursor hopping right to left.
This morning I watched the sun yawn.

I must have watched too long.
My eyes clank like a shut blind.
I can see now a dusty-white kimono
dancing, fading in the sun.

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The Annular Eclipse

Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2012, under ,

is just around the corner. It is a sort of eclipse whereby the moon completely blocks out the sun save for the outer ring of light. In Japan it is scheduled for the morning hours of May 21st, Eastern Time (detailed info with huge maps here). Folks, do make an effort and get off your bums, draw those bedroom curtains and let the sunshine in. The last such event apparently occurred 173 years ago!

Despite the gloomy weather forecast which predicts massive clouds, I am readying myself for the event. As you can gather from fig.1, I procured me the requisite equipment, which consists of a dark plastic (?) eye-patch supposedly designed to protect the retina. This was no mean feat since Japan has been in a grip of eclipse-mania for the past week and goggles, or whatever they are, are exceptionally hard to come by (got mine at a local 7-Eleven of all places).

The contraption has been tested in my kitchen. It has an effect of a blindfold except that once you face a direct source of light – say a 60 watt light bulb – you suddenly notice a tiny shimmery dot in the corner of your eye, like a sole Pole star in the black firmament.

NB: Since the ‘thing’ would not sit on my nose by itself, I had to improvise with a piece of string. Now I am all set for my first eclipse ever – and most likely the last. 

                                                                                  Fig. 1

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Eurotrip p.2

Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012, under

A Naked Document

Remember Pisa? Of course you do.
I slipped into Museo dell’Opera Duomo
while you sipped your espresso
like a heedful antelope at a waterhole,
glanced once at a sanguine Tuscan
who’d chat you up to god’s eternity had he
not learned of your absent companion.
Remember that tiny photograph
I had shown you the previous night,
of a creature cast in bronze
half eagle half dog, we thought,
of an unknown breed?

Today, I learnt that the hippogriff
had been made hollow
to amuse the pre-Islamic courtiers
with its beak’s jingle-jangle
although less plausible theories place it
in some city’s water fountain. Anyway,
I am telling you all this not because
you’ll latch on to much
all curled up, foetus like,
or because griffins are more important
than your splitting headache.

I do like it though when your head nods
against my rigid, rounded chest. I like it
when your trying to pay attention
is a make-believe I am not talking
to the walls exclusively.
Correct me if I am wrong
but now I think, as I thought then
as we sauntered back to the car
past the pastel house fronts,
that going separate ways
in those couple of Pisan hours
did us both a big-time favour.

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Eurotrip p.1

Posted on Monday, May 07, 2012, under ,

My First Massage Outside of Asia: Lake Palić, March 2012

Normally I’d sigh and grunt like a sow once a deft hand finds the right spot – of which there must be thousands from the frontal bone to my big toe. This time round there is none of it.
Instead I have to concentrate on the small talk, both of us intent on squeezing out a firsthand info from the other. Me, I ask about the life of ordinary folks in the northernmost part of Serbia as he probes into a life of an expat earning his breadcrumbs in the Far East.
I learn electricity bills are the local top vexation, so much so that even a pair of wealthy returnees living in a pretentious villa near Palić, keep only one room heated in winter. I learn my masseur juggles two other jobs, a nighttime watchman and a security guard in a primary school. I learn how one of his clients was a Japanese man light as a feather, who was to marry a local Hungarian girl the following day; how a certain German prick asked him to work on his left foot for an entire hour and left him no tip; how he massaged some famous people none of whom talked much. I tell him that Serbs in Japan are as rare as hen’s teeth, that I’d sometimes kill for a hearty Pannonian dish, that I miss the hugs and the open bitterness and how I wish I could chew the cud with my Chinese masseuse sometimes, who charges me five times he does. Which in itself calls for a hearty tip.

                                                                The sun sets at lake Palic

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Sorry Sorry Sorry

Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2012, under

Dear Reader,
Many many apologies for not updating the blog for, what, it must be two months now!? My excuses? Well, I travelled in Europe in March for about a month, and as soon as I got back to Kyoto I had two days to prepare and get ready for moving to a new flat. Jet-lagged and exhausted by a hectic trip, the removal sapped what energy was left in me. All in all it took 3 -4 days and involved some heavy lifting, lots of scrubbing, cleaning, packing, unpacking. Had absolutely no idea how much stuff I have accumulated over the years - it is mind-boggling. Already decided to get rid of half of my clothes and the few sacks that I filled weeks ago are still lingering in the closet waiting for a dispatch hopefully to a local charity shop (I am still trying to locate one). The removal days were to be followed by my succumbing to the flu which at first I foolishly ignored (i.e. not consulting a doctor) allowing it to develop into something more sinister and harder to shake off (April is the cruellest month). Thankfully I am all right now.
I shall put up some new posts soon. I envisage my next few to be reminiscences of the European trip - be they straightforward, allegorical, associatory. I already have some ideas and am looking forward to coming back to blogging. Thanks all for your patience. As always comments are very welcome.

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