Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Prufrock and Other Observations

8:11 PM 4 Comments

T.S. Eliot (1888–1965)
Prufrock and Other Observations 1917

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair--
(They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!")
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin--
(They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!")
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all--
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all--
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? ...

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet--and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"--
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor--
And this, and so much more?--
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous--
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


Text Provided by: Project Gutenberg Etext

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Ratiocination

8:40 PM 4 Comments
Being that the Political polls are a buzz, as many television shows are shrunk down into a small cube while developing results are plastered underneath or interrupted with current results, I am reminded of surrounding the death of Edgar Allan Poe:

“This is the theory given in the vast majority of Poe biographies, although it cannot be proven true. Coincidence or not, the day Poe was found on the street was election day in Baltimore and the place near where he was found, Ryan's Fourth Ward Polls, was both a bar and a place for voting. In those days, Baltimore elections were notorious for corruption and violence. Political gangs were willing to go to great extremes to ensure the success of their candidates. Election ballots were stolen, judges were bribed and potential voters for the opposition intimidated. Some gangs were known to kidnap innocent bystanders, holding them in a room, called the "coop." These poor souls were then forced to go in and out of poll after poll, voting over and over again. Their clothing might even be changed to allow for another round. To ensure compliance, their victims were plied with liquor and beaten. Poe's weak heart would never have withstood such abuse. This theory appears to have been first offered publicly by John R. Thompson in the early 1870s to explain Poe's condition and the fact that he was wearing someone else's clothing. A possible flaw in the theory is that Poe was reasonably well-known in Baltimore and likely to be recognized.”

Another Edgar Allan Poe coincidence has to do with a short story he wrote in 1838, , in which three shipwreck survivors in an open boat kill and eat the fourth, a man named Richard Parker. October 28, 1884The reported that in a life boat on the open sea, a cabin boy named Richard Parker had been cannibalized by the three surviving crew members of the wrecked yawl Mignonette.

Edgar Allan Poe in A Sequel to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue stated, “THERE ARE few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half-credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvelous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them.”

Poe, “Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities —that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.”

In the ever ending debate that art imitates life or is it that life imitates art; my proposed ponderance is this: was the yawl Mignonette merely a coincidence or a matter of cause and effect (causation, causality) perhaps resulting from the fact that Poe wrote considerably about the subject coincidences, thus such was inevitable to occur?

Is it coincidental that having said this:

"And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live." Martin Luther King Jr., Speech in Detroit, June 23, 1963

Than almost 5 years later, devastatingly having found numerous causes worth living and dying for, was sadly assassinated?

Special Thanks to eBooks@Adelaide for having Free Web Books, Online

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stress Stinks

8:55 PM 5 Comments
Talk about a stinking bad day; cow patties plunged down into the deep fiery depths below, can only begin to describe such wretchedness. Yesterday I arrived at work to see Security Guards surrounding someone who is stretched out on the cold ground of the parking lot. Nearing the scene I hear a familiar voice, as suddenly my throat drops to the pit of my stomach. The Person on the ground is my Friend who tells me in her usual joking voice, well I’ve done it again. The first thoughts that flew out as words in my mouth were, you went and had another heart attack? Fortunately not! Apparently she had tripped and fell. The darken early icy morning showed a thin blanket flapping in the wind while trying to keep her covered. She refused an ambulance saying she couldn’t afford the expense and insisted she was ok. Unable to ease her mind of the cost and possible need to at least have an ambulance medic check her injuries; I asked if she could be taken inside away from the cold, however; a Guard stated they couldn’t let her move yet. It must have been 20 minutes or longer of my Friend persisting she was ok before anyone could then help her enter the building under the agreement that her Daughter would come and take her home or to a Doctor if needed. Once inside, she was then given a cold ice pack to put on her injured knee. Talk about a cold way to handle matters, dang! My Friend was back to work today, still having refused to go see a Doctor – insisting she is ok except for hobbling around on an extremely bruised knee.

Yesterday continued with the new pressure in our Department of an increase from 700 to 900 per Person, production daily. I was down to the last hour and merely 30 more to go when anything that could go wrong went wrong. Paper ran out and had to be changed twice. Then on the final minutes, I was short exactly one and had to go plunder quickly for a remedy. All in all, I managed to achieve the newly set goal. Yet learned, never ask if things could get much worse:

After work, I walked out to my car to find a puddle of liquid green death yet to intoxicate the surrounding bare leaf trees. First the cold murdered my , then the cold tried to freeze my Friend, now perhaps karmatically the cold was trying to bust my engine block. Knowing the temperatures were to drop even lower that night, I slowly drove to my mechanic. Couldn’t be as simple as a thermostat, or upper or lower radiator hose; no – it had to be the worse case scenario, my water pump was gone. The only warning, the wee hours of morning before - my low coolant light came on. So I pulled over to the nearest well lit area without any water near by, forethought: I opted to pour straight antifreeze into the reservoir for fear of opening a hot radiator cap. Afterthought: maybe that wasn’t such a bright idea, perhaps the undiluted solution acted as acid on the water pump or seal.

Well, back to my not so cowriffic yesterday: a Friend and I decided to hang out at a restaurant where I could unwind from such a stressful day, while my car was being repaired. Only we couldn’t even begin to enjoy our drinks for the pollution of two Waitresses perfumes going down our throats! Look, clean air is an essential for me - I have to be able to breath while smoking because I have asthma/bronchitis. So we left that restaurant and went to another place.

All in all, my car was able to be fixed that night, my Friend is ok, and production is but a number. Still, what a day of cow patties plunged down into the deep fiery depths below! What a stinkin’ crappy day, ug!


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Friday, January 11, 2008

JUSTICE for Jennifer Skurow Prevails

6:10 AM 2 Comments
JUSTICE for Jennifer Skurow prevails and is quick!

According to The Post and Courier local newspaper in Charlesotn SC, an article by Schuyler Kropf states; Thursday, January 10, 2008 "Closing arguments are expected this morning... Another witness testified this week that Derricotte bragged to him after the killing that Skukrow deserved to die, the solicitor's office said…"

See Full Article Murder trial nears conclusion

Heather Olinger from CountOn2 News online, Thursday, Jan 10, 2008 - 09:32 PM states; “… man guilty of murder and armed robbery, and sentenced him to life in prison….”

See Full Article Derricotte gets life for murder

May the Family and many Friends of Jennifer Skurow be able to now find some closure in their lives. Knowing the World and blogosphere is a better place because Jen was here.



Tuesday, January 08, 2008

JUSTICE for Jennifer Skurow

7:16 PM 6 Comments
This is not just about another murder, it’s about JUSTICE for a 32 year old female who was more than a victim. Jennifer Skurow, loved and admired by her Family, Friends, Co-Workers, Blog Readers…:

SKUROW, Jennifer Online Obit

(Published in the Charleston Post & Courier on 10/12/2006)

Jennifer Jean Skurow, age 32, of Hanahan, SC, died on Saturday, October 7, 2006. Jennifer was born in Orlando, FL and moved to South Carolina at a very young age. She attended Men-Riv Elementary, Marrington Middle School and Goose Creek High School, Goose Creek, SC and graduated with honors. Jennifer was employed by Perkins Restaurant and Bakery. While in high school, Jennifer volunteered in the school library where she developed her love for literature and poetry. Jennifer's favorite poet was Robert Frost and she often inspired others with her gifts of poetry. She authored several poems and was honored in Washington D.C. for her writings. Jennifer also loved movies, music, dancing, hockey, the beach and hanging out with her friends. Jennifer is survived by her father David (Cathy) Skurow of Portland, TX; her mother Carol Foote Skurow of Orlando, FL; her sister Bonnie Skurow of Corpus Christi, TX; her stepsister Stephanie Miller of Portland, TX; her uncles Howard (Debbie) Skurow, Michael (Virginia) Skurow, Allen (Ann) Skurow, David Foote and Matt Foote all of Orlando. She is also survived by maternal grandfather, Roger Foote of Orlando, nephew Andrew and numerous friends. Jennifer is preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Joseph and Beatrice, and her maternal grandmother, Barbara and her uncle George Skurow. A memorial service for Jennifer will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, October 14, 2006 at All Faiths Funeral Home, 4901 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials may be made to the South Carolina Victims Assistance Network, 1900 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29210. The family would like to thank Jennifer's friends and co-workers at Perkins Restaurant & Bakery and the South Carolina Police Department for their support and assistance. " . . . Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost CAROLINA MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, IN ASSOCIATION WITH ALL FAITHS FUNERAL HOME, IS SERVING THE SKUROW FAMILY WITH FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS. Visit our guestbook at www.charleston.net/deaths.

Jennifer Skurow introduced me to the art of blogging and every since I started my blog site Binding Ink on July 2006 - Thanks to her, I have had a dedication to Jennifer at the end of my blog page.

15 months to the date of Jennifer Skurow’s murder, the alleged murderer is now going to trial. In search for a reliable News source, I found Jenny Fisher, Crime Reporter at Count on 2 News (WCBD-TV 2 NBC) here in Charleston, SC. Below is a copy of her online article covering this long awaited court case. Jenny Fisher acknowledges all aspects of this heart-wrenching tragedy, from the alleged murderer to the Family of Jennifer Skurow. Some details I could have done without knowing. However; if Jenny Fisher’s coverage is any indication of the court proceedings, I believe JUSTICE for Jennifer Skurow will be found.

Murder Trial
Perkins Restaurant Murder

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 - 02:30 PM Updated: 06:54 PM

By Jenny Fisher

The murder trial for a man accused of killing his boss inside a Perkins restaurant is now officially underway. Attorneys on both sides delivered opening arguments to a jury Monday afternoon. The solicitor says Dominic Derricotte intentionally executed his boss in front of the safe, with shots to the head and neck.

Derricotte's attorney says his client is innocent...and served in the army reserves. Yet, the attorneys agreed that the case focuses on what happened inside a Perkins restaurant. 15 months ago, the Perkins Restaurant on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston went from a place of family dining to terror during an armed robbery.

The store closed at one a.m. and an hour later, only one employee and the manager remained in the store. Police say that's when Derricotte broke through the restaurant's fire door. Employee Alvin Story called 911. News 2 aired a portion of the call in the following dialogue. Operator: "North Charleston 911 Operator 2." Story: "Yeah, we're being armed robbed. I'm at Perkins on Rivers Avenue. He's got a gun. He's shot 2 times already." Operator: "Is he still there?" Witness: "I don't know. I'm in the back hiding. Please hurry." Witness: "Please hurry. I think he's going to kill me. Please hurry." Operator: "Was he a white male or black male?" Witness: "I don't know. He's coming now. I got to go. Bye."

Police charged Dominic Derricotte of North Charleston with armed robbery and murder. He worked at Perkins as a dishwasher. Police say he broke into the restaurant and shot and killed his manager, 32 Year-Old Jennifer Skurow. Afterwards, police say Derricotte fled to Stafford County, Virginia where authorities arrested and extradited him to Charleston. When he returned, Derricotte told waiting News 2 reporters, "check it out, I'm innocent. Innocent."

Now, after more than a year of waiting, a jury will decide whether Derricotte is innocent or guilty of murdering his boss.

When Dericotte entered the courtroom, he gave a two fingered wave, then sat down quietly. Jennifer Skurow's family members were in the courtroom, but declined to comment. A family friend told News 2's Jenny Fisher that the past year has been difficult for the Skurow's, especially since Jennifer knew Derricotte since childhood and even gave him rides home from work.

You can count on 2 to keep you updated on this case and the jury's decision.

Permission to reprint article “Perkins Restaurant Murder” granted to BindingInk.org by Jenny Fisher and the Station, Count on 2 News (WCBD-TV 2 NBC).

Related Posts: Trial in killing, robbery begins By Schuyler Kropf at The Post and Courier; Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Shell of a Cold Murder

12:09 PM 6 Comments
Currently, my only pet resides in a simple basic starter aquarium. This has afforded me the luxury of conserving precious global energy while saving on my electric bill by turning off all household lights and the a/c heater unit before going to work daily. Noting, having any other pets one should never turn the ac heater unit completely off; instead set the unit thermostat at a low comfortable setting for the preservation of the pets essentially crucial wellbeing.

Recently I adopted a snail to keep my single beta fish company and help clean his vicinity. The name of my fish is Art. An ongoing joke between us and my Friends who are humored by the fact that all I need to do is say, ‘Art, where art thou’ and the fish will indeed come to the front of the aquarium. Then if I proceed to say ‘Art Arty Art-Art’, my fish will happily perform a flip flapping aquatic dance. Anyone who knows me or has followed some of my writings, will admit that I have an unusual close pet relationship with any of my aqua Friends. In-fact, I confessed in my 7 Weird or Random Facts Meme that “I once tried to save my pet aquatic frog by giving him CPR via administrating him air from a tube attached to the aquarium pump. Sadly he could not be resuscitated.”

I first became aware of my odd attachment when my ‘once upon a time’ pet cat, Sir Socrates brought me his most prized catch. That day, I thought nothing of having heard some minor clattering in the other room. At least not until later when I looked down at Sir Socrates. There he had rolled in from two other rooms and proudly laid at my feet, my pet fish! Needless to say, I was devastated and unable to revive the poor little finner. Sir Socrates on the other hand, well he lived to old age. And he was not punished for his natural instincts, instead I merely built a better aquarium lid.

Many a fish, frog, snail, and aquariums have come into my life since than and gone. The most fun is picking a name. My Mother is often kind to remind me of the time I brought two tree frogs inside for the night. Something I sometimes did for harmless entertainment. I would place tree frogs in a aired waterless goldfish bowl, add food, decorate with tree limbs and leaves. Observe their behavior and listen to their ribbits, then set them free the next morning, outdoors in a natural wooded arena. The two my Mom remembers most is Mr. Limpet (from the 1964 movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet starring Don Knotts) and Mrs. Tax a Daisy (because it was tax time). Par to tradition, now was the time to name my new snail.

So happen the night prior I had a dream, an unusual event for myself as a persistent lack of R.E.M. sleep remains a semi-medical mystery to my physicians. My rare dream began with brown and black horses lined in front of a smooth wired fence. Next, someone was parking my car beside these horses. I was briefly upset that anyone would be driving my car when suddenly the driver side door opened to reveal the now hopping out driver to be a brown Dachshund Weiner dog. Perhaps a pun on the Datsun Nissan auto, however; my car is an Oldsmobile. Nonetheless, in my dream I was to proceed with a delivery of herbs to a Lady whom lived in a nearby village. Legend had it, that there existed an elephant with feet of a three-toed sleuth and whom ever saw this elephant would go crazy. No, not a three toed sloth, definitely sleuth. So happened this Lady not only saw the elephant, she became its’ primary caregiver. However; to stop her insanity, she had to take a daily supply of certain herbs that a local root doctor concocted. My dream basically ended there. Needless to say; when I got my snail, I appropriately named it Sleuth.

Sleuth wasted no time inspecting the new surroundings and vacuuming. A week later in normal environmental conservation fashion, I turned off the ac heater unit. The temperature outside was below 20, so as an additional precautionary measure, I wrapped a towel around the small aquarium and left for work. When I arrived home to unwrap the towel, I found Art cuddled atop of Sleuth. Motherly thinking, how sweet they are keeping each other warm. Then guiltily wondering if the temperature inside my residence had become to cold for them. And just as quickly, panicked that perhaps they weren’t cuddling nor freezing. What if Sleuth accidently clamped down on one of Arts’ fins and the fish was trapped! Instantaneously, I reached my arm into the icy water and with my hand brushed the two apart. Fortunately, Art wasn’t ensnared. Unfortunately, Sleuth may have passed away by means of a cold murder. However; I’m still investigating as snails do have the tendency to hibernate inwardly for awhile. So for now, I have Sleuth in a temperature controlled liquid bowl, awaiting hopefully a resurrection. If not, I may in any case be thankful that in addition to escargot, I could have also had a frozen fish stick. Not that I would literally eat either one, just admittedly the guilt is starting to eat away at me.

Environmental lesson learned: to help save the planet, perhaps start with one aquatic pet at a time, assuring first and foremost that at least a heater is installed in even the smallest of fish bowls.


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