"Anne means 'full of prayer, mercy and grace' ~ I figure two out of three ain't bad."

Where to Buy Krokaner (Bridge Cookie) Pans in 2015


And you can quote me: "Whether you call them Krokaner or Kro Kaner cookies, Krokta, Bridge cookies, Saddle cookies, or even Horse Collar cookies, the odds are good that you ended up here because you are trying to find the Krokaner Pans (or Krokaner tins) and can't find them anywhere. Of course part of the problem is that they go by so many names, but the real problem is that they are impossible to find anywhere in the U.S. - unless you know where to look. "

Posted in Recipes and Food, December 8th, 2015


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Whether you call them Krokaner or Kro Kaner cookies, Krokta, Bridge cookies, Saddle cookies, or even Horse Collar cookies, the odds are good that you ended up here because you are trying to find the Krokaner Pans (or Krokaner tins) and can’t find them anywhere. Of course part of the problem is that they go by so many names, but the real problem is that they are impossible to find anywhere in the U.S. – unless you know where to look.

They used to be available through Maid of Scandinavia, which, along with Sweet Celebrations, was borged by KitchenKrafts. So, no more.

At that point, the only place that carried them was Ingebretsen’s in Minneapolis, but some time ago they too removed them from their website.

BUT THEY STILL CARRY THEM!!

That’s right, Ingebretsen’s in Minneapolis actually still carries Krokaner tins, and I have the picture to prove it, because mine just arrived today!

krokaner pans 2015

 

Aren’t they purty? :~)

So, here is what you need to do to get your very own Krokaner pans, Saddle cookie tins, or whatever you want to call them.

Call Ingebretsen’s at 800-279-9333. Ask to speak with Debbie, as she is the one who will know what the heck you are talking about.

They are $20 each, and shipping and handling for my two came to $8.50.

By the way, if you need a recipe for the Krokaner cookies, here are some good ones:

Recipe #1 for Krokaner cookies

Recipe #2 for what she calls Horse Collar cookies or Krokta (this site has the best pictures!)

Recipe #3 for Krokaner

Recipe #4 for Bridge cookies / Krokaner (with good pictures)

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"Anne means 'full of prayer, mercy and grace' ~ I figure two out of three ain't bad."

Tax Levy from California? It May be Because You Have a Professional License There


And you can quote me: "Did the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) levy your bank account even though you don't live in California? They may have levied your account and taken your money because you maintain an active professional license in California. Even if you haven't lived there in years, if you continue to keep your California professional license active - be it a license to practice law, a medical license, a hairdressing license, or some other license - then California assumes that you owe them income tax, and will take the "average amount that your profession owes in California" unless you take steps to let them know that you have not had any California earnings. Each and every year."

Posted in Rants, November 1st, 2015


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Did the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) levy your bank account even though you don’t live in California? They may have levied your account and taken your money because you maintain an active professional license in California. Even if you haven’t lived there in years, if you continue to keep your California professional license active – be it a license to practice law, a medical license, a hairdressing license, or some other license – then California assumes that you owe them income tax, and will take the “average amount that your profession owes in California” unless you take steps to let them know that you have not had any California earnings. Each and every year.

I know all this, because this happened to me just last month, October 2015. I am fortunate in that I happen to have an awesome relationship with my bank, so when I logged into my bank’s portal to check my account balance, and noticed that a bit over ten thousand dollars was suddenly unavailable to me, with no explanation or warning, I was able to call the bank, and someone there said “Well, the note says ‘FTB’ put a levy on your account.” Fortunately, I remembered that FTB stood for the California Franchise Tax Board, from back when I lived in California, and actually had to file income taxes with the FTB – more than 8 years ago.

That’s right, I have not lived in California at all, and have not earned any income in California, in more than eight years.

Clearly something was rotten in the state of California.

The person at my bank said that I would need to call the Franchise Tax Board, which I did.

The number for the California Franchise Tax Board Office of Collections, which is where you need to call, by the way, is 800-689-4776.

And after going through the automated voice menu, a recording told me that my anticipated hold time was more than 3 hours.

But what choice did I have? They had taken my money, with no warning, and if I wanted them to release it, I had to talk with them.

So I waited.

But fortunately, despite the FTB Collections line telling me that the estimated hold time was going to be 3 hours, in fact it was only 21 minutes.

And I talked with a shockingly nice woman, who explained the following to me:

  1. All California licensing agencies provide a list of active professional licenses to the FTB, every year
  2. The FTB matches that list up with all of the income tax returns they have received for that year
  3. If you have an active professional license in California, and if you haven’t filed a California tax return, they will impute an amount of income to you equal to the average income that someone with your professional license has, and levy that amount
  4. EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN CALIFORNIA ANY MORE
  5. They claim to send out notices of intent to levy (as they are required to do), but I never got one
  6. Even if you do get the notice of intent to levy, you have to prove to them that you did not earn any money in California
  7. EACH AND EVERY YEAR

This means that for so long as you choose to keep your professional license active in California – while not living or earning money there – you will have to rebut the notice of intent to levy each and every year, and if you don’t get the notice, you could end up having a levy levied against your bank account, and then have to deal with that.

Each. and. Every. Year.

I actually ended up having to talk with two different people, because the first one had me fax my Colorado tax return to her (to prove I had filed elsewhere and didn’t owe California any money), and promised that she would have the levy lifted as soon as she got it – and then went out sick for the rest of the week. After a few days with the levy still in place (and don’t forget that after a set time, they completely remove the levied funds from your bank account, transferring them to California’s tax fund, so I was pretty motivated to get this taken care of before that happened), I called back, and got another very nice person who said “Oh, she’s out sick, let me help you.”

Both of these people confirmed that this will happen every single year, so long as I continue to keep my California license to practice law active.

And they also both confirmed that this is the case for any active California professional license.

My own plan to make sure that I never get caught up short like this again is to simply file a $0 California tax return every year. One of the FTB collections people said “Oh, you don’t have to do that, it will cost you extra money to your accountant. Just challenge the levy notice each year.”

Uh, thanks, but no thanks, I’d rather have the peace of mind, and give my accountant an extra $25.00, than risk bouncing checks (and the attendant fees) because California can’t figure out that the Colorado address to which they should have sent the notice of levy means that I probably am not on California.

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"Anne means 'full of prayer, mercy and grace' ~ I figure two out of three ain't bad."

How to Keep Lotion from Drying Out in the Pump


And you can quote me: "Here is how to stop lotion from developing that plug of dried lotion in the tip of a pump dispenser bottle. I mean, what's the point of the convenience of a pump bottle if the pump gets clogged with that plug of dried lotion, right?? Some day somebody is going to invent a clog-free pump, but until then, here is how to keep lotion from drying out and clogging up the pump with that annoying plug of lotion."

Posted in Good, Rants, October 23rd, 2015


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Here is how to stop lotion from developing that plug of dried lotion in the tip of a pump dispenser bottle. I mean, what’s the point of the convenience of a pump bottle if the pump gets clogged with that plug of dried lotion, right?? Some day somebody is going to invent a clog-free pump, but until then, here is how to keep lotion from drying out and clogging up the pump with that annoying plug of lotion.

The secret is to get a package of rubber chair tips (I use 3/4 inch tips) which you can pick up at any hardware store for a few dollars.

Rubber Chair Tips
rubber chair tips

 

You just slip one over the tip of the pump, and your lotion stays nice and..er.. lotiony. No more dried-up lotion plugs!

Rubber Chair Tips Keep Lotion from Drying Out in Pump
how to keep lotion from drying out in pumps

 

chair tip on lotion pump

 

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"Anne means 'full of prayer, mercy and grace' ~ I figure two out of three ain't bad."

This $3 Device Will Make Your Teeth Whiter


And you can quote me: "Yes, it's really true. I didn't believe it myself, but I figured what the heck, I can afford $3.00 to check it out. The device is a "LED Accelerator Professional Teeth Whitening Light", and it actually works to accelerate the whitening process when used with tooth whitening gels."

Posted in Things I Like, February 24th, 2015


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Yes, it’s really true. I didn’t believe it myself, but I figured what the heck, I can afford $3.00 to check it out. The device is a “LED Accelerator Professional Teeth Whitening Light”, and it actually works to accelerate the whitening process when used with tooth whitening gels.

Why does it work? I have no idea. According to the Journal of Dentistry, “the treatment with supplementary light showed significantly greater bleaching-dependent changes in color compared to treatment without light when assessed using instrumental methods.”

According to me, holy cow! This thing arrived – and remember, I paid only $3.00 for it (it arrived from China… I’m just sayin’), – and it really works. Using whitening gel in trays, and this light, I’ve seen a huge difference.

So now I’m sharing this information with you, my faithful readers. (By the way, be aware that there are two disc batteries in the light, and they have a piece of plastic in with them to keep the batteries from discharging during shipping – you need to remove that piece of plastic for the light to work.)

Check out the LED tooth whitening accelerator light on Amazon

P.S. This is the whitening gel that I use.

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"Anne means 'full of prayer, mercy and grace' ~ I figure two out of three ain't bad."

Finnish Rye Bread Recipe from My Youth


And you can quote me: "I have searched for this recipe for decades. This recipe was given to my father, when I was a child, by his dear friends, Richard "Dick" Merrifield, and Dick's wife, Lennie Merrifield. I have such fond memories of my father and I making it at our home in Putney, Vermont, him teaching me how to knead the dough. I had always thought that it was called 'democrate' (pronounced "democratie") but it turns out that it is "democradie". I know this, because a few years ago I found Dick and Lennie's daughters, Afton and Sienna, on Facebook, and Sienna had the recipe and gave it to me! (Thank you, Sienna!)"

Posted in Recipes and Food, February 16th, 2015


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I have searched for this recipe for decades. This recipe was given to my father, when I was a child, by his dear friends, Richard “Dick” Merrifield, and Dick’s wife, Lennie Merrifield. I have such fond memories of my father and I making it at our home in Putney, Vermont, him teaching me how to knead the dough. I had always thought that it was called ‘democrate’ (pronounced “democratie”) but it turns out that it is “democradie”. I know this, because a few years ago I found Dick and Lennie’s daughters, Afton and Sienna, on Facebook, and Sienna had the recipe and gave it to me! (Thank you, Sienna!)

So, at long last, I have the recipe for this toothsome, wonderful, fragrant pumpernickel-style rye bread, chock full of molasses and caraway seeds! The only thing that is better than the smell of this bread baking is the taste of a thick slice of it, hot from the oven, slathered with butter.

Democradie Pumpernickel Rye bread

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup molasses
2 Tablespoons caraway seeds
1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoons soft oleo margarine
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 cups rye meal
4 cups sifted unbleached white flour

Pour lukewarm water over caraway seeds, salt, oleo and yeast. Add rye meal and beat well.

Add enough of the flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn out on to a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Let rise for two hours in a warm location.

Prepare a cookie sheet by greasing well, and then sprinkling with cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 450 f.

Shape dough into ovals or circles, and place on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 450, and then reduce heat to 350 for another 20 to 35 minutes, until done.

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"Anne means 'full of prayer, mercy and grace' ~ I figure two out of three ain't bad."

Just What is Corset Waist Training? Let Me Explain


And you can quote me: "Today I came across the term "corset waist training", which of course led me to wonder "What is corset waist training??" If you, like me, are wondering just what is corset waist training (also known as "tightlacing"), well you're in luck, because I've figured (no pun intended) it out for you."

Posted in Observations, November 21st, 2014


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Today I came across the term “corset waist training”, which of course led me to wonder “What is corset waist training??” If you, like me, are wondering just what is corset waist training (also known as “tightlacing”), well you’re in luck, because I’ve figured (no pun intended) it out for you.

Corset waist training is pretty much exactly how it sounds: you “train” your waist, by wearing a corset.

Now at this point you may be thinking “train my waist to do what, exactly? To roll over? Shake? Speak?” (Actually my waist already does two out of three of those, with no training at all, thank you very much.)

Corset waist training is the practice of lacing (also known as “tightlacing”) yourself into a corset, on a regular basis, to ‘train’ your waist (your waistline) to become, well, smaller. And by ‘a regular basis’ what is meant is anywhere from 8 or more hours a day to 23 hours a day, all in name of trying to acheive an hourglass figure that your body, having been punished into, will retain for increasingly extended periods of time.

There are different methods of corset waist training out there, including the Cycle method of corset waist training (where you wear the corset as tightly as you can stand it for as much of the day as you can, then ‘listen to your body’ and let it out when you must), and the Roller Coaster method of corset waist training (different durations of corset wearing on alternating days).

According to some, one of the most important things in corset waist training is the material from which the corset is made. It turns out, I have learned in my research, that you can’t go for a cheap knock-off waist training corset, oh no. Those cheap knockoffs use plastic bones, and what you need to lace your waist into submission is a corset made with steel bones. (The cheap knockoffs sell for a fraction of the ‘real thing’, the latter of which can run from $400 to $1000, according to this article on corset waist training.)

Also, according to Lucy’s Corsetry there are several other factors, along with corset quality, that go into how effective your waist training will be. These include body type (including your internal organs and whether or not you’ve had a baby), and your lifestyle and exercise habits.

Apparently women are also squishing and reshaping their ribcage, as, for example, Lucy’s Corsetry advises that another factor is “Are your ribs flexible and are you able to accommodate corsets with a conical ribcage easily, or is your ribcage very inflexible and difficult to move? Those who are easily able to train their ribs are likely to see faster waist training results than those whose ribs are very rigid,” and “If you want to train your ribcage, you might need a corset with a conical ribcage, which gradually tapers down and increases the pressure on the lower ribcage.”

Recently Kardashian sisters Kim and Khloe have shared selfies of themselves wearing their waist training corsets.

Kim Kardashian (left) and Khloe Kardashian (right)
show off their waist training corsets

 

Personally, I don’t think it makes their waists look smaller as much as it makes their hips and backsides look a lot bigger. But seeing as that’s Kim’s signature big body part, I guess that’s not surprising.

If you are thinking that all of this sounds questionable when it comes to health and safety, well, you’re not alone.

Says nutritionist and fitness expert to the stars, J.J. Virgin, in an interview with Fox News, “People should know better. This is so ridiculous. You are blocking oxygen, reducing flow to your lungs, heart and other organs which in turn slows metabolism as your cells become deprived of oxygen.”

“Organ failure can also occur. In a word: don’t,” added Virgin.

Words to live by, quite literally.

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"Anne means 'full of prayer, mercy and grace' ~ I figure two out of three ain't bad."

How to Get Rid of Static in Your Hair in 3 Easy Steps


And you can quote me: "During the winter months, especially for those of us with very fine hair, getting rid of static electricity in our hair can be a real problem. Off comes the hat, and out come the flyaways - enough static in your hair to make it look like you've got your hand on an invisible Van De Graaff generator. Here's how to remedy staticy hair in 3 easy steps."

Posted in Observations, November 18th, 2014


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During the winter months, especially for those of us with very fine hair, getting rid of static electricity in our hair can be a real problem. Off comes the hat, and out come the flyaways – enough static in your hair to make it look like you’ve got your hand on an invisible Van De Graaff generator. Here’s how to remedy staticy hair in 3 easy steps.

how to get rid of static in hair

Step 1

Use a really decent amount of a good quality conditioner on your hair in the shower. Especially along the length of your hair and on the ends. I keep a wide-toothed comb in the shower and comb it through, to make sure that my hair is evenly coated. I also wash my hair first when in the shower, and pile my conditioner-saturated hair on top of my head with a wide-toothed hair clip, so that it really soaks in while I am in the shower.

Step 2

When you get out of the shower, if at all possible, don’t brush or comb your hair (which you shouldn’t do while it’s wet anyways – except of course when you are running conditioner through it in the shower). Instead, use your fingers as combs to detangle your hair and arrange it as you want it. Then let it air dry!

Step 3

Get rid of your plastic (usually nylon) bristled brushes and plastic toothed combs, at least for the winter. Instead, use metal (hair metal, it’s not just for glam bands any more!), preferably stainless steel.

But here’s the thing: stainless steel combs made for people are very expensive!

Don’t believe me? Check out this $39.00 stainless steel comb!

Now check out this stainless steel dog comb:

Now, if you want to spend $39.00 on a comb, that’s your business. But I’d rather have the dog comb (and I do!) and take myself to dinner and a movie with the $31.50 I saved. And really, who’s going to know it’s a dog comb?

Hair brushes with metal bristles (technically called “pins”) are more reasonably priced for people:

These three easy steps should help get you all the way there – or at least nearly all the way there (they have certainly helped me). For extra dry staticy days, spray a little leave-in conditioner on your hands (not your hair), or on your (metal!) brush, and then apply it with your hands or brush down the length of your hair. I use ACURE Organic Argan Oil leave-in conditioner, because I love it, and it makes my hair soft but not flat or weighed down, and it does take care of that last little bit of static.

I live in bone-dry, cold Colorado, and these steps have helped me immensely. I hope that they help you as much as they have helped me!

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How to Pack Padded, Fitted or Formed Bras for Travel in Your Luggage


And you can quote me: "Go to any high end department or lingerie store and you will get the same advice: don't fold your padded, formed, or fitted bras with the cups nesting in each other! By turning one cup inside-out, you will damage and ultimately break down that cup. So just how are you supposed to pack your padded or fitted bras in your luggage? Here's how I do it."

Posted in Observations, October 29th, 2014


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Go to any high end department or lingerie store and you will get the same advice: don’t fold your padded, formed, or fitted bras with the cups nesting in each other! By turning one cup inside-out, you will damage and ultimately break down that cup. So just how are you supposed to pack your padded or fitted bras in your luggage?

Well, you could buy one of these molded travel cases made for padded bras, but they are bulky, taking up way too much space in your suitcase, and adding too much weight.

So here’s what I do. For this you will need:

2 quart-size plastic food storage bowls
1 medium packing cube (I like this set)
Your padded bras

how to pack padded bras

 

Arrange the two bowls in your packing cube like this:

how to pack padded bras

 

Place your first padded bra cup-down into the bowls (one cup in each bowl):

how to pack padded bras

 

Nest your other padded bras, one at a time, on top:

how to pack padded bras

 

One at a time, starting with the top-most bra (the one you put in last) and working your way down to the bottom-most bra (the one you put in first), fold the straps into the cups:

how to pack padded bras

 

At this point you can either flip the whole thing over and zip up your packing cube, or just zip up your packing cube without flipping the bras and bowls over – whichever works best for you. Be sure that the rims of the bowls aren’t pinching your padding, and if you need to, put a rolled up pair of socks or something else inside the cups (depending on your bra cup size, the straps may not sufficiently fill the cups to give them the support that they need):

how to pack padded bras

 

how to pack padded bras

 

As you can see, this is way less bulky than a special case!

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If You Want to Change the World… Love a Man


And you can quote me: "This is the companion poem to "If you want to change the world...love a woman," by Lisa Citore."

Posted in Poetry, September 9th, 2014


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This is the companion poem to “If you want to change the world…love a woman,” by Lisa Citore.

If You Want to Change the World, Love a Man

If you want to change the world, love a man, really love him.
Find the one whose eyes are like blazing suns,
that make you look away the first time,
that pierce right through you,
blinding you to everything but the moment,
melting you into a puddle of soft pastel light,
even though you cringe at the color, pink.

The one who stops your thinking,
who sends your lashes fluttering
and all the blood rushing to your cheeks.
The slow-to-speak-one,
whose smile is like a flute,
who summons honey bee songs,
blossom songs and morning bird songs
with his listening.

The fallen-sky-one with the mark on his back,
where he lost his feathers from flying too close to a star.

The broken one in search of his wings,
who tells you the story of how to make fire.

If you want to change the world, love a man
beyond your fear of being burned.

Beyond unforgiveness and the walls you’ve built
to protect your sovereignity and anonymity.

Love him beyond old wounds and lies
you believed to be truth,
the hole in your heart from an absent father,
the scar on your sacred flower left by thieves.

Beyond past lives and the memory
you keep like a shrine to betrayal
when you fell to your knees in the ashes of your village,
and love became a field of bones.

Lift your darkened face to him who stands before you.
Take his hand and let him raise you to your feet.

Trust him to hold you as you tremble and weep in his arms for all that has been lost and found in this holy instant.

If you want to change the world, love a man
Beyond your faithlessness
and your secret hatred of humanity
Beyond all your judgment and self righteous projection.

The stone on your heart is as ancient
as the thought that you had to deny His existence
to know your power.

You are no less God than you ever were.
Man is no more guilty than Woman is innocent.

Love him for bearing the burden of desire in his sex
so your temple could remain whole unto itself-
for taking on the split aspect of mind
that seemed to abandon the oneness of heaven
so that you might know the joy of Its extension.

Love the ecstatic, primal root
castrated by religion as the root of all evil-
the channel of divine creative impulse-
that sparks the seeds of life, death and birth
from the womb of space and time.

Love the humble guardian and warrior
Man has been to Woman
even as he hunts her,
even in his drive towards self gratification,
which ultimately is the portal to soul union.

Love the violator who holds the mirror
to everything you have disowned within yourself-
so that all your desire, your creative impulse
may be freed
from the chains of separation, lack and guilt
and you can finally trust your Self.

If you want to change the world, love a man
in all his instinctual animal nature,
in all his hunger and devotion to beauty.

Love him beyond your vanity and pridefulness,
your gilded possessiveness and need to special-
beyond your well thought out conditions for safety
and all your concepts of how a man
should be in relationship.

Love him beyond your anger at not getting your way,
beyond your terror of not knowing or being in control.

Love him in his relentless pursuit
to penetrate the deepest sanctuaries within you,
that hold the chaos of your strongest emotions,
your carefully guarded secrets of separation
between light and dark, virgin and whore,
man and woman, spirit and form.

Love him for opening the door to sensuality,
to your primordial self that is beyond duality,
for binding you to pleasure
even as the air closes in around you,
even as you writhe with madness,
cursing your incarnation as the enemy-
even as you contract and claw,
crying out in despair, such joy it brings.

Love him for not yielding
to your resistance to surrender-
for standing in his masculine power
even as you threaten to destroy him.

If you want to change the world, love your man
for leaving you to live his purpose,
whether it’s for a day, a week, months or years.

Love him for breaking his own heart over and over-
for holding the tension and balance
of polarity and intimacy,
of distance and closeness.

Love his need for silence and solace-
for keeping some of his mystery to himself-
not that he has anything to hide,
but so you will always have surprises!

Love his evolutionary nature
that seeks new experiences,
that can never be satisfied-
for his boundless curiosity,
that if allowed to be free
might be your own liberation
from complacency.

Love him for shining independently
from the seat of his own majesty-
for not needing, yet choosing you
from a place of knowing his magnificence.

Love him for being your patient direction and destiny-
for returning to you
your own brightness through the dark night-
for helping you to remember
the one and only relationship you’ve ever had
and tried to forget-
for bringing you to that vulnerable, powerless
abiding place of surrender
you’ve been afraid of and waiting for all your life-
where you can finally be consumed by Love-
where you can finally be claimed by God.

Lisa Citore, 2013

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Back from the Word Processing Course I Say to My Old Typewriter


And you can quote me: "I have been searching for this poem for years and years. I first read it in an undergraduate poetry class, decades ago. I had it in a file on a computer many years ago, but lost the file. I was astonished that I couldn't find it online, only to realize tonight that I had been searching for "back from the word processor" and it is actually "back from the word processing course.""

Posted in Poetry, June 2nd, 2014


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I have been searching for this poem for years and years. I first read it in an undergraduate poetry class, decades ago. I had it in a file on a computer many years ago, but lost the file. I was astonished that I couldn’t find it online, only to realize tonight that I had been searching for “back from the word processor” and it is actually “back from the word processing course.”

In any event, I am so very happy to have found it again! Here it is:

Back from the Word Processing Course, I say to My Old Typewriter

Michael Blumenthal

Old friend, you
who were once in the avant-garde,
you of the thick cord
and battered plug,
the slow and deliberate characters
proportionally spaced, shall we
go on together as before?
Shall we remain married
out of the cold dittos of conviction
and habit? Or should we move on
to some new technology of ease
and embellishment–Should I run off
with her, so much like you when
you were young, my aged Puella
of the battered keys, so lovely
in that bleached light of the first morning?

Old horse,
what will it be like
when the next young filly
comes along? How will I love you,
crate of my practised strokes,
when she cries out: new new
and asks me to dance again?
Oh plow for now, old boat,
through these familiar waters,
make the tides come in
once more! Concubined love,
take me again into your easy arms,
make this page wild once more
like a lustful sheet! Be wet,
sweet toy, with your old ink;
vibrate those aging hips again
beneath these trembling hands.

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