Monday, March 10, 2008

New Skin For The Old Ceremony

5:09 PM 10 Comments
Perhaps this was serendipity. A serendipitous moment whence unseen, unbeknownst forces in the Universe interrelate events to coincide for a purpose. Or maybe simply the subconscious regurgitating; liken the time I named my Daughter Violet, only later to learn that was my adopted Aunts’ middle name. Many of us have close relationships with those whom the Family has adopted as kin. Could I had known her middle name prior and just forgotten such over the many years? On the other hand; expect for giving emphasis to the possibility of preconceived inklings, neither has anything to do with the current unfolding events. This happenstance begins with a song. By chance, Tuesday night I was one of the many millions of People watching sing his rendition of the song on . I probably would not have thought any more of the song if not for a post by entitled Revolution, and Hallelujah, at her site Wonderland or Not. She states:

“In the meantime I admit to learning something from American idol last night. I learned that I need to listen to the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah”, a song I hadn’t listened to in years, ( No I never watched the OC though I was made aware last night that it was used for that nighttime soap opera) more often. So see, it was worth it.

I, along with at least a million others, was on line last night, thanks to the guy who sang it on Idol, looking for every version of that song we could find. The Buckley version is better than the Rufus Wainwright version, but I am fond of the A cappella Imogen Heap cover. And who knew I actually would see Leonard Cohen himself doing that song, thanks to you tube – actually it is pretty awesome, If not for Idol it never would have happened.”

There it was serendipitously , the name Leonard Cohen. Two events simultaneously coincided; yet had I read Coopers’ post first, thus his name inadvertently stuck in my subconscious as I rented movies that day or did I first rent the movie about him prior to reading her post? Unsure; one fact was emerging, the Universe seemed to be working in the direction of introducing me to an interesting Poet - I admittedly never heard of.

: "Leonard Norman Cohen, CC (born September 21, 1934 in Westmount, Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963.

Cohen's songs and poetry have influenced many other singer-songwriters, and more than a thousand renditions of his work have been recorded."

The movie I rented was, (a film written and directed by ). A documentary mostly featuring Leonard Cohen’s poetic songs with performances by U2, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Antony, Beth Orton, and Leonard Cohen himself. “1 The bulk of the performances here were captured at Cohen tribute concerts staged by industry vet Hal Willner in Brighton, England in May 2004 and Sydney in January 2005… U2's collaboration with Cohen, "Tower of Song," was recorded separately at the tiny club the Slipper Room on New York's Lower East Side.”

As for the movie itself; was I educated – Yes, as for liking the film – regretfully I’d have to say no, though I can understand the Director’s idea to present the documentary in such a manner. Perhaps fashioned from Leonard Cohen’s Montreal poetic critiques with a close net of Poets including , , . Notwithstanding; I am deeply enthralled by Leonard Cohen’s poetic work.

Ironically, Cooper also writes about Democracy in her post Revolution, and Hallelujah, quoting a few lyrics from the Beatles Song - Revolution. I say ironically because one of Leonard Cohen’s poetic songs is about ().

Several of Leonard Cohen’s lyrics can raise more than a once Catholic school gal’s eyebrows. In the movie he speaks about Janis Joplin and the song . Stating, “I had written about Janis Joplin.” One is then left to assume or misinterpret that the song is about her:

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
Ah but you got away, didn't you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don't need you,
I need you, I don't need you
and all of that jiving around.

His lyrics about sums up what some of us might have wished we had said:

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture

My opinion of what describes Leonard Cohen the best is the preface he wrote in the Chinese translation of his book Beautiful Losers. Here Leonard Cohen reveals himself as the usual modest Poet with a dry sense of humor who values his listeners and readers.

2Penned in February, 2000, and titled, "A Note to the Reader," the preface provides Cohen's latest thoughts on a novel he calls an "odd collection of jazz riffs, pop-art jokes, refigured kitsch and muffled prayer." The essay explains how he wrote the novel on the sunlit patio of his home in Greece, never once wearing a hat, which makes the work, in his words, "more of a sunstroke than a book." ”

Transcribed from his book Beautiful Losers, also found at :


Dear Reader,

Thank you for coming to this book. It is an honor, and a surprise, to have the frenzied thoughts of my youth expressed in Chinese characters. I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the translator and the publishers in bringing this curious work to your attention. I hope you will find it useful or amusing.

When I was young, my friends and I read and admired the old Chinese poets. Our ideas of love and friendship, of wine and distance, of poetry itself, were much affected by those ancient songs. Much later, during the years when I practiced as a Zen monk under the guidance of my teacher Kyozan Joshu Roshi, the thrilling sermons of Lin Chi (Rinzai) were studied every day. So you can understand, Dear Reader, how privileged I feel to be able to graze, even for a moment, and with such meager credentials, on the outskirts of your tradition.

This is a difficult book, even in English, if it is taken too seriously. May I suggest that you skip over the parts you don't like? Dip into it here and there. Perhaps there will be a passage, or even a page, that resonates with your curiosity. After a while, if you are sufficiently bored or unemployed, you may want to read it from cover to cover. In any case, I thank you for your interest in this odd collection of jazz riffs, pop-art jokes, religious kitsch and muffled prayer æ an interest which indicates, to my thinking, a rather reckless, though very touching, generosity on your part.

Beautiful Losers was written outside, on a table set among the rocks, weeds and daisies, behind my house on Hydra, an island in the Aegean Sea. I lived there many years ago. It was a blazing hot summer. I never covered my head. What you have in your hands is more of a sunstroke than a book.

Dear Reader, please forgive me if I have wasted your time.

Los Angeles, February 27, 2000

Leonard Cohen

As I continue my serendipitous journey, perhaps to have only learnt about this remarkably talented Poet, I end my post with one of my favorite poetic lyrics by Leonard Cohen thus far:


The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.



Permission to reprint excerpts from Wonderland or Not granted to Binding Ink.

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Post title from Leonard Cohen's fourth studio album: NEW SKIN FOR THE OLD CEREMONY, August 1974 - A remastered CD was released in 1995.

Update: Found, a related serendipitous posts: Leonard Cohen, The Chelsea Hotel, and Ceremonial Crap by By Agent Bedhead, "Tonight, the 2008 inductees will be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 23rd annual induction ceremony in New York City. Stepping into these generally well-worn, vodka-stained shoes are Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, The Dave Clark Five, The Ventures, and, in a hurl-worthy display of the power of donation money chuztpah, Madonna..." read more

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


11:53 PM 2 Comments

March is Women's History Month, (also celebrated in October in Canada "declaring that women were to be considered persons under the law. While women being persons seems pretty obvious today, it was not so in the past. Included in these resources: the 2004 , including posters, articles, and more." )

: "March Women's History is an annual declared month in the United States. The event traces its beginnings to the first International Women's Day in 1911. In 1978 in California, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women began a "Women's History Week" celebration. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8. Congress legally expanded the focus to a whole month in 1987."

From the : "To honor the originality, beauty, imagination, and multiple dimensions of women’s lives, we have chosen Women’s Art: Women’s Vision as the 2008 theme for National Women’s History Month.

The history of women and art is quintessential women’s history. It is the story of amazing women’s accomplishments acclaimed at the time but written out of history. Join us in ensuring that their accomplishments are never forgotten.

This year’s theme provides a special opportunity to discover and celebrate women’s visual arts in a variety of forms and mediums that help expand our perceptions of ourselves and each other."

On a personal note; Binding Ink somehow missed President Bush's acknowledgment about March being Women's History Month. However; I did read:

: "NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2008 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by celebrating the contributions of Irish Americans to our Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.


Nonetheless; with February ending this years' Black History Month, let us not forget: slavery no more, let freedom of equality forever soar, as we proceed on to celebrate Women and Irish-American Heritage. And so in keeping with this years' Women's History Month theme, may all remember the artful poetic truthful, heartfelt words of Mary Birkett Card, as we journey toward achieving Peace in a World United humanely in Humanity:

: "The role of women in the campaign is remarkable because this was a section of the population still disenfranchised, yet they played an important role in one of the key social reforms in history. Women abolitionists who were active in the 1820s and 1830s, such as Elizabeth Heyrick (1769-1831), Anne Knight (1786-1862) and Elizabeth Pease (1807-1897) are well-known. But there were many Quaker women in the 1780s and 1790s who gave their support and campaigned, including Mary Birkett Card (1774-1817), Amelia Opie (1769-1853), Mary Morris Knowles (1773-1807). When the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was set up in 1787 it was an exclusively male organisation, yet its lists of subscribers included several women.

Women brought a distinctive female approach to the campaign, such as writing and circulating imaginative literature and poetry on slavery, such as A Poem on the African Slave Trade. Addressed to her own sex written in 1792 by Mary Birkett Card...

Women wore the medallion designed by Josiah Wedgwood as jewellery to show their support, and later adapted it to show a kneeling female with the words "Am I not a Woman and a Sister?". As the main purchasers of sugar they came to play an important role in the sugar boycott."

: "In 1792, Mary Birkett, a Dublin Quaker, published A Poem on the African Slave Trade. Addressed to her own Sex. in two parts. The poem is noteworthy for the way in which it urges other women to boycott slave produced goods (sugar and rum) in protest against slavery.

Mary’s poem was written at a particular juncture in the abolition campaign. Publication of Parts I and II may have coincided with the passage of the 1792 Abolition Bill through the House of Commons in April and the Lords in May/June – Part II contains an address to members of the House of Lords. At this point, George Harrison published an Address to the Right Reverend the Prelates of England and Wales on the Subject of the Slave Trade. Furthermore, by 1792 abstention had really come into its own as an abolitionist tactic. In 1791, William Fox, a Baptist, had published An Address to the People of Great Britain on the Propriety of Abstaining from West Indian Sugar and Rum. Other pamphlets advocating abstention were published or reprinted in Dublin in 1792. Thousands gave up sugar in their tea and boycotted other slave-produced goods, including people Mary knew in Ireland. One original contribution of her poem is the way she appeals to women’s sense of solidarity as ‘sisters’, utilising the contemporary construction of ‘woman’ as the tender sex to argue that this sensibility, far from excusing inaction, entails greater responsibility. Women are not innocent or powerless - they have an 'important share’ in causing slaves’ suffering through their own consumption, and power to effect change by refusing slave-produced goods and influencing their menfolk to do the same."

( 4 )

To our first parents when th'Almighty Cause
Reveal'd his holy will - his hallow'd laws;
When from his lips the wondrous accents broke,
And mortals listen'd while the Godhead spoke;
In that mysterious moment did he say? -
" Man shall his fellow ravage, sell, and slay;
" And one unhappy race shall always be
" Slave to another’s pamper'd luxury."

There are, I know, who think and more who say,
That not so injur’d - so opprest are they;
That under master’s just they earn their bread,
And plenty crowns the board at which they're fed.
Ah, sophist, vain thy subtle reas'ning’s aim!
Look at the Negro’s sun-burnt, grief-worn frame!
Examine well each limb, each nerve, each bone,
Each artery - and then observe thy own

The beating pulse, the heart that throbs within,
All, (save the sable tincture of his skin,)
Say, Christians, do they not resemble you?
If so, their feelings and sensations too:
One moment now with you his burthen rest,
Then tell me, is he happy - is he blest?

Mary Birkett Card (1774-1817)

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W.P.L.I. (Women's History Month, Peace, Love, Irish)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Just Another Day?

1:52 PM 2 Comments
Today is March 1. To some People this is just another day, however; for the moment lets allow a little bit of history to speak for itself:

March 1

1872 - is established as the world's first national park.

1932 - The son of , Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, is kidnapped.

1936 - The is completed.

1961 - President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the .

2008 - Current News:

by the

Perhaps not only on this day but always, the mission of the Peace Corps needs to be spoken the loudest:

"Promote World Peace and Friendship"

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Saturday, February 16, 2008


10:19 AM 6 Comments
Multiculturalism is different cultures or cultural identities within a Society that includes African-American, Asian American, European American, Jewish American, Latino/Chicano/Hispanic American, Native Americans, etc. This February is dedicated to the origins of African-American multiculturalism and the Founder of the professional non-profit organization (The Association for the Study of African American Life and History), .

Woodson whom is known as the Father of Black History, pioneered an intellectual movement to educate Americans about cultural diversity and democracy. My opinion is that a large part of African American history includes literature in publication throughout educational institutions and made readily available to the public.

U.S. Society & Values: “The actual study of multicultural literature has come about gradually during the past three decades. A student in a representative university in the late 1960s might have come upon one or two writers, at most, in his American literature survey course. This was linked, as always, to the publishing industry, to what publishers in the United States were issuing, less than to racism and elitism. The first challenge within the academic community was to successfully argue the case for ethnic literature in the curriculum. The second was to convince publishers of the merits of this body of work. Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple and many other books, has recalled reading a photocopy version of Hurston's landmark novel in graduate school, and wondering why she had never heard of it, and moreover, why it wasn't available anywhere in print.” ()

: “African American literature is the body of literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. The genre traces its origins to the works of such late 18th century writers as Phillis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano, reaching early high points with slave narratives and the Harlem Renaissance, and continuing today with authors such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Walter Mosley being ranked among the top writers in the United States. Among the themes and issues explored in African American literature are the role of African Americans within the larger American society, African-American culture, racism, slavery, and equality. African American writing has also tended to incorporate within itself oral forms such as spirituals, sermons, gospel music, blues and rap.

As African Americans' place in American society has changed over the centuries, so, too, have the foci of African American literature. Before the American Civil War, African American literature primarily focused on the issue of slavery, as indicated by the subgenre of slave narratives. At the turn of the 20th century, books by authors such as W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington debated whether to confront or appease racist attitudes in the United States. During the American Civil Rights movement, authors such as Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks wrote about issues of racial segregation and black nationalism. Today, African American literature has become accepted as an integral part of American literature, with books such as Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and Beloved by Toni Morrison achieving both best-selling and award-winning status.”

This month Binding Ink is pleased to have presented a three part series to include the first three African-American Poets in the U.S.: Lucy Terry, Jupiter Hammon, and Phillis Wheatley. However; “1There are, it seems, some differences of opinion even among scholars about where the study of black written poetry begins. Some, like Hughes and Bontemps in The Poetry of the Negro, begin with Lucy Terry, but The Negro Caravan, by Brown, Davis and Lee omits her altogether and opens with Phillis Wheatley. William H. Robinson acknowledges Terry in Early Black.”

Notably, historians also “disagree as to when the Harlem Renaissance began and ended”:

: “The Harlem Renaissance (also known as the Black Literary Renaissance and The New Negro Movement) refers to the flowering of African American cultural and intellectual life during the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the anthology The New Negro, edited by Alain Locke in 1925. Centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, the movement impacted urban centers throughout the United States. Across the cultural spectrum (literature, drama, music, visual art, dance) and also in the realm of social thought (sociology, historiography, philosophy), artists and intellectuals found new ways to explore the historical experiences of black America and the contemporary experiences of black life in the urban North.”

I found an excellent and highly recommended web site called that covers African American Literature during the Twentieth Century, including the Harlem Renaissance and is geared to such knowledge being available especially in the educational system. The site includes: “75 novels, poems, autobiographies, and essays along with summaries of the selected literature. Also, we have provided you with some significant events of each decade and the literary themes that African American authors were writing about during that decade.”The array includes:

: “The start of the Harlem Renaissance, a period of creativity among Black artists, writers, musicians, and entertainers…”

: “With the slowing of African American writing during the Great Depression, African Americans confronted many new challenges and obstacles. During the 1930s, the United States voted for a new president and the government made promises to the African American community that they could not keep. Blacks were fighting for equal pay, educational facilities and equal protection under the law. Black authors voiced their rage and frustrations in their work. They still possessed the same intensities as they did during the Harlem Renaissance but the motivation and themes addressed changed. African American authors tackled themes such as racism, poverty,self-assertion,and race relations. “

: “A very transitional period for the United States and for African Americans. The Forties was marked by more African American enlisting in all branches of the military and the start of World War II. During this time period, African Americans were fighting for the right to enlist in combat roles in the armed forces. At this time, Blacks were primarily segregated and assigned only in noncombat roles. Whites responded to Black demands with lynchings, town burnings, and other forms of violence. The authors during this period continued the tradition of race and socially conscious writing. Literature with black themes of struggle, oppression, and daily life were often found in the works of the African American authors.”

: “A very politically unstable time for African Americans. Their rights were constantly under attack. All the efforts made during the Forties to integrate the Armed Forces were abolished during the Korean War. A new era of racist assassinations began to occur and African Americans started to take a stand against blatant racism. The NAACP argued cases in Southern states against the discriminatory practices in public schools. In May of 1954, the Brown vs. Board of Education occurred. This case ruled racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. The African American non-violent movement began taking the form of boycotts, sit-ins, and peaceful protests. The African American authors during this decade were writing about love, discrimination, the prison system, protest, black sexuality, and black life in Harlem.”

: “considered by many to be the Second Black Renaissance. It was African- American's most significant decade in terms of self-consciousness, goals, and achievements. In contrast, the Harlem Renaissance was in part fostered by white patrons and declined when white's financial support declined after the Crash of 1929. But the 1960s was self-generating, self- determining, and self-sustaining. Many significant events occurred during the 1960s such as the March on Washington, countless civil right demonstrations. The Sixties also saw the assassination of two Black America's greatest leaders: Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. New cries of black nationalism, black separatism, and violent resistance were often heard in African-American communities. The authors during this time addressed such themes as black pride, self- actualization, black sexuality, justice, and race relations.”

: “a time when African culture was adopted by African-Americans. The U.S government began to monitor Black organizations. Vietnam War ended and many African Americans soldiers faced many disappointments. Many Black Soldiers found that their lives were not improved by fighting in a war that was not theirs. Shirley Chisolm became the first black woman to run for the U.S. presidency. The Seventies saw the emergence of an open and ongoing discussion among Black men and women on the quality, forms and future of their relationships. African American authors still voiced their frustrations and desires in their writings, but many authors wrote about the same literary themes as in the Sixties.”

: “a time in history when Reganomics had expanded the gap in the economy to the point that poverty among blacks was at an all time high. Crack had hit the African American community harder than any other drug in the past. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday was established as a national holiday and Jesse Jackson ran for president. The Eighties was a time when female authors burst onto the scene. Publishing companies witnessed the enhancement of established talent among African American female writers. These writers became apart of America's pop culture and started to float in society's mainstream. African American authors discussed themes such as black female-male relationships, self-identity, and more authors had female main characters depicted in their works.”

: “has been categorized as the "Attack on the Black Male." The number of black males being put in prisons and killed on the streets increased tremendously in the nineties. Black on Black crime has risen at an astronomical rate. The nineties saw the Freeing of South Africa, Million Man March, the L.A. Riots, O.J. Simpson trial, increases in police brutality, and the murder of Tupac Shakur. Racial tension has increased dramatically over the decades with church burnings, recorded police beatings, hate crimes, and an attack on affirmative action. Black literature during the Nineties includes themes such as Black female-male relationships, urban life, self-awareness, economic power and black unity.”

In conclusion, Binding Ink would like to ask your support in helping to keep African-American multiculturalism literature alive; merely read, become knowledgeable, enjoy, and most of all - regardless of ethnicity, don’t be afraid to pick up a pen and write. Be a part of and add to future generations of history.


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Sunday, February 10, 2008

1st Poem Composed by an African American Woman

6:41 PM 8 Comments
: "Much in the achievements of Jupiter Hammon of Long Island and Lucy Terry Prince of Massachusetts and Vermont offers food for comparison. The pioneer black poet and poetess share race and literary priority as well as social status as chattel property in 18th-century America. Hammon has already received a measure of recognition as the first published African-American poet, with his broadside An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ With Penetential Cries, in 1761. Hammon's fame, nevertheless, rests on but seven poems and four prose pieces discovered eightyseven years ago.

Lucy Terry Prince, on the other hand, is credited with but a single poem, composed fourteen years before Hammon, although not until recently recognized as the first poetry by any black American. Both Hammon and Prince, however, have been overshadowed by Phillis Wheatley, whose precocity attracted attention in her own time and won for her contemporary literary recognition here and abroad.

There are, it seems, some differences of opinion even among scholars about where the study of black written poetry begins. Some, like Hughes and Bontemps in The Poetry of the Negro, begin with Lucy Terry, but The Negro Caravan, by Brown, Davis and Lee omits her altogether and opens with Phillis Wheatley. William H. Robinson acknowledges Terry in Early Black."

: Lucy Terry was kidnapped in West Africa as an infant and sold into slavery. She was owned by Ebenezer Wells of Deerfield, Massachusetts, who allowed her to be baptized into the Christian faith at about five years of age during the Great Awakening.

: Although best known as the author of the first poem composed by an African American woman, Lucy Terry Prince was a remarkable woman whose many accomplishments included arguing a case before the Supreme Court.

In 1756, Lucy Terry married Abijah Prince, a prosperous free black man who purchased her freedom.

: When a Colonel Eli Bronson attempted to steal land owned by the Princes, as a persuasive orator; Terry successfully negotiated a land case before the Supreme Court of Vermont in the 1790s. She argued against two of the leading lawyers in the state, (one of who later became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont) and won her case against the false land claims of Colonel Eli Bronson. Samuel Chase, the presiding justice of the Court, said that her argument was better than he'd heard from any Vermont lawyer.

: Although Lucy Terry was a poet, only one of her poems, a ballad called "Bars Fight" has survived, about an attack upon two white families by Native Americans on August 25, 1746. The attack occurred in , in an area called "The Bars," which was a colonial term for a meadow.

: Lucy Terry's " Bars Fight ", was first published in 1855 in Josiah Holland's History of Western Massachusetts.

Lucy Terry died in 1821, at the age of 97.


Samuel Allen like a hero fout
And though he was so brave and bold
His face no more shall we behold.
Eleazer Hawks was killed outright
Before he had time to fight
Before he did the Indians see
Was shot and killed immediately.
Oliver Amsden he was slain
Which caused his friends much grief and pain
Samuel Amsden they found dead
Not many rods off from his head.
Adonijah Gillet we do hear

Did lose his life which was so dear.
John Saddler fled across the water
And so escaped the dreadful slaughter.
Eunice Allen see the Indians coming
And hoped to save herself by running
And had not her petticoats stopt her

The awful creatures had not cotched her
And tommyhawked her on the head
And left her on the ground for dead.
Young Samuel Allen, Oh! lack a-day
Was taken and carried to Canada.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

America's 1st Published African-American Writer

8:45 PM 4 Comments
: Jupiter Hammon’s first published work, an 88-line broadside, came out in Hartford, Connecticut in 1760 -- when Phillis Wheatley was only seven years old and ten years prior to her first broadside publication, entitled “Elegy on the death of Whitefield.”

: Hammon was a slave his whole life, owned by several generations of the Lloyd family on Long Island, New York. However, he was allowed to attend school, and thus (unlike many slaves) was able to read and write.

The Address to the Negroes of the State of New York, or the Hammon Address, was a speech by Jupiter Hammon,...Hammon delivered the speech, in which he expressed his opinions on slavery, before the African Society on 24 September 1786.

Jupiter Hammon wrote the speech at age seventy-six after a lifetime of slavery in Long Island, New York. In the speech, Hammon gives his famous quote, "If we should ever get to Heaven, we shall find nobody to reproach us for being black, or for being slaves."

Perspectives in American Literature: Hammon was also a preacher for his fellow brethren on the Lloyd Manor Estate.

: The American Revolution, which interrupted the comfort and stability of the poet-preacher's life, was the central political event of Hammon's experience. By the time of the struggle, the Lloyd family had split into Loyalist and Whig factions. When the British occupied Long Island in 1776, the sixty-five-year-old Jupiter Hammon went to Connecticut with two Lloyd Whigs, his second master, Joseph Lloyd (Henry's son) and John Lloyd II, Joseph's nephew. They lived first in Stamford and later in Hartford. Joseph Lloyd committed suicide mistakenly believing that the British had captured Charleston, South Carolina and were about to win the war.

Unfortunately, 1“The actual death date of Jupiter Hammon is not known because no one can find a death certificate or the exact spot of his burial”, it is estimated between 1790 and 1806.

Hammon first work:

An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penetential Cries by Jupiter Hammon:

Salvation comes by Christ alone,
The only Son of God;
Redemption now to every one,
That love his holy Word.

Dear Jesus, we would fly to Thee,
And leave off every Sin,
Thy tender Mercy well agree;
Salvation from our King.

Salvation comes now from the Lord,
Our victorious King.
His holy Name be well ador'd,
Salvation surely bring.

Dear Jesus, give thy Spirit now,
Thy Grace to every Nation,
That han't the Lord to whom we bow,
The Author of Salvation.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we cry,
Give us the Preparation;
Turn not away thy tender Eye;
We seek thy true Salvation.

Salvation comes from God we know,
The true and only One;
It's well agreed and certain true,
He gave his only Son.

Lord, hear our penetential Cry:
Salvation from above;
It is the Lord that doth supply,
With his Redeeming Love.

Dear Jesus, by thy precious Blood,
The World Redemption have:
Salvation now comes from the Lord,
He being thy captive slave.

Dear Jesus, let the Nations cry,
And all the People say,
Salvation comes from Christ on high,
Haste on Tribunal Day.

We cry as Sinners to the Lord,
Salvation to obtain;
It is firmly fixed, his holy Word,
Ye shall not cry in vain.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we cry,
And make our Lamentation:
O let our Prayers ascend on high;
We felt thy Salvation.

Lord, turn our dark benighted Souls;
Give us a true Motion,
And let the Hearts of all the World,
Make Christ their Salvation.

Ten Thousand Angels cry to Thee,
Yea, louder than the Ocean.
Thou art the Lord, we plainly see;
Thou art the true Salvation.

Now is the Day, excepted Time;
The Day of the Salvation;
Increase your Faith, do not repine:
Awake ye, every Nation.

Lord, unto whom now shall we go,
Or seek a safe abode?
Thou has the Word Salvation Too,
The only Son of God.

Ho! every one that hunger hath,
Or pineth after me,
Salvation be thy leading Staff,
To set the Sinner free.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we fly;
Depart, depart from Sin,
Salvation doth at length supply,
The Glory of our King.

Come, ye Blessed of the Lord,
Salvation greatly given;
O turn your Hearts, accept the Word,
Your Souls are fit for Heaven.

Dear Jesus, we now turn to Thee,
Salvation to obtain;
Our Hearts and Souls do meet again,
To magnify thy Name.

Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove,
The Object of our Care;
Salvation doth increase our Love;
Our Hearts hath felt they fear.

Now Glory be to God on High,
Salvation high and low;
And thus the Soul on Christ rely,
To Heaven surely go.

Come, Blessed Jesus, Heavenly Dove,
Accept Repentance here;
Salvation give, with tender Love;
Let us with Angels share.

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1.PAL: Perspectives in American Literature

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Phillis Wheatley 1st Published African American Poet

7:54 PM 4 Comments
Wikipedia: Phillis Wheatley, as illustrated by Scipio Moorhead in the Frontispiece to her book Poems on Various Subjects.Phillis Wheatley (1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first published African American poet whose writings helped create the genre of African American literature. She was born in Gambia, Africa, and became a slave at age seven. She was purchased by the Boston Wheatley family, who taught her to read and write, and helped encouraged her poetry.

The 1773 publication of Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, brought her fame, with dignitaries such as George Washington praising her work. Wheatley also toured England and was praised in a poem by fellow African American poet Jupiter Hammon. Wheatley was emancipated by her owners after her poetic success, but stayed with the Wheatley family until the death of her former master and the breakup of his family. She then married a free black man, who soon left her. She died in poverty in 1784 while working on a second book of poetry, which has now been lost.

Renascence Editions:
The following is a Copy of a LETTER sent
by the Author's Master to the Publisher.

PHILLIS was brought from Africa to America, in the Year 1761, between seven and eight Years of Age. Without any Assistance from School Education, and by only what she was taught in the Family, she, in sixteen Months Time from her Arrival, attained the English language, to which she was an utter Stranger before, to such a degree, as to read any, the most difficult Parts of the Sacred Writings, to the great Astonishment of all who heard her.
As to her WRITING, her own Curiosity led her to it; and this she learnt in so short a Time, that in the Year 1765, she wrote a Letter to the Rev. Mr. OCCOM, the Indian Minister, while in England.

She has a great Inclination to learn the Latin Tongue, and has made some Progress in it. This Relation is given by her Master who bought her, and with whom she now lives.


Boston, Nov. 14, 1772.

e-text Renascence Editions Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by
Phillis Wheatley

  • To the Publick
  • To Mæcenas
  • On Virtue
  • To the University of Cambridge, in New England
  • To the King's Most Excellent Majesty
  • On being brought from Africa
  • On the Rev. Dr. Sewell
  • On the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield
  • On the Death of a young Lady of five Years of Age
  • On the Death of a young Gentleman
  • To a Lady on the Death of her Husband
  • Goliath of Gath
  • Thoughts on the Works of Providence
  • To a Lady on the Death of three Relations
  • To a Clergyman on the Death of his Lady
  • An Hymn to the Morning
  • An Hymn to the Evening
  • On Isaiah lxiii. 1------8
  • On Recollection
  • On Imagination
  • A Funeral Poem on the Death of an Infant aged twelve Months
  • To Captain H. D. of the 65th Regiment
  • To the Right Hon. William, Earl of Dartmouth
  • Ode to Neptune
  • To a Lady on her coming to North America with her Son, for the Recovery of her Health
  • To a Lady on her remarkable Preservation in a Hurricane in North Carolina
  • To a Lady and her Children, on the Death of her Son and their Brother.
  • To a Gentleman and Lady on the Death of the Lady's Brother and Sister, and a
    Child of the Name of Avis, aged one Year.
  • On the Death of Dr. Samuel Marshall
  • To a Gentleman on his Voyage to Great-Britain, for the Recovery of his Health
  • To the Rev. Dr. Thomas Amory on reading his Sermons on Daily Devotion, in which that Duty is recommended and assisted
  • On the Death of J. C. an Infant
  • An Hymn to Humanity
  • To the Hon. T. H. Esq; on the Death of his Daughter
  • Niobe in Distress for her Children slain by Apollo, from Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book VI, and from a View of the Painting of Mr. Richard Wilson
  • To S. M. a young African Painter, on seeing his Works
  • To his Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, on the Death of his Lady
  • A Farewel to America
  • A Rebus by I. B.
  • An Answer to ditto, by Phillis Wheatley

  • George Wallace stated: “Phillis Wheatley accomplishments aside, and they are impressive, she is not considered the first published African-American poet in America. That title goes to Jupiter Hammon.”

    So to be Politically correct Binding Ink states: Phillis Wheatley 1st Published Female African American Poet

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    Monday, February 04, 2008

    Mike Carey (Black History Month)

    8:03 PM 0 Comments
    GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03: Referee Mike Carey points upwards during warmups before Super Bowl XLII between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

    Mike Carey headed the officiating crew for Sunday's Super Bowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots on Sunday, the first black referee at a Super Bowl.

    (ESPN: Carey will head the crew, which also includes two other black officials, line judge Carl Johnson and field judge Boris Cheek.

    The rest of the crew: umpire Tony Michalek; head linesman Gary Slaughter; side judge Larry Rose and back judge Scott Helverson. Ken Baker will be the replay assistant.)

    Michael "Mike" Carey is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1990 NFL season. He began officiating football in 1972 working Pop Warner football games in the San Diego, California area. Later in 1985, he joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Carey was hired by the NFL in 1990 as a side judge before being promoted to referee for the start of the 1995 NFL season. He was the second African-American official to become a referee after Johnny Grier in 1988. Mike served as an alternate referee for Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. Of all the active referees in the NFL, Carey has ejected the most players. On the field, he wears the uniform number 94.

    On October 3, 2005, Mike and his brother, Don, an NFL official as well (back judge), became the first brothers to officiate an NFL game together when they were assigned on the same officiating crew for the game between the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers.

    Outside of football, Carey is also a co-owner of Seirus Innovation, a privately held company that manufactures ski and snowboarding gloves, face protection, and other cold-weather accessories. He is an inventor who owns or shares eight ski apparel patents, including "Cat Tracks," a protective device which he created at age 30 to slip over the sole of a ski boot, preventing damage away from the ski run. Mike's wife, Wendy, is the Chief Financial Officer of Seirus.

    Mike and Wendy have two daughters, Drisana and Danica, and currently reside in San Diego, California.

    The above emailed edited article was received Thanks to our 'Black History Committee 2008' at my place of employment.

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    Saturday, February 02, 2008

    Musicians Inspired by William Blake

    7:53 PM 10 Comments
    As well the name of a heavy metal band, Human Abstract is a poem by William Blake:

    Pity would be no more,
    If we did not make somebody Poor;
    And Mercy no more could be,
    If all were as happy as we;

    And mutual fear brings peace,
    Till the selfish loves increase;
    Then Cruelty knits a snare,
    And spreads his baits with care.

    He sits down with holy fears,
    And waters the ground with tears;
    Then Humility takes its root
    Underneath his foot.

    Soon spreads the dismal shade
    Of Mystery over his head;
    And the Caterpillar and Fly
    Feed on the Mystery.

    And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
    Ruddy and sweet to eat;
    And the Raven his nest has made
    In its thickest shade.

    The Gods of the earth and sea,
    Sought through Nature to find this Tree,
    But their search was all in vain;
    There grows one in the Human Brain.

    Perhaps ironically, the human brain of William Blake continues to be dissected as his works are psychoanalyzed and theorized throughout generations. Nonetheless, along with being an English poet, painter, engraver, etc.; William Blake has been a musical inspiration. Individual poems, widely those from his two books of poetry Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, have been set to music by many such as John Tavener, Jah Wobble, Tangerine Dream:

    Tangerine Dream - Tyger

    THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience) by William Blake

    Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
    In the forests of the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

    In what distant deeps or skies
    Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
    On what wings dare he aspire?
    What the hand dare sieze the fire?

    And what shoulder, & what art.
    Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
    And when thy heart began to beat,
    What dread hand? & what dread feet?

    What the hammer? what the chain?
    In what furnace was thy brain?
    What the anvil? what dread grasp
    Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

    When the stars threw down their spears,
    And watered heaven with their tears,
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

    Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
    In the forests of the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

    The question about 'the Lamb' continues in "And did those feet in ancient time", a short poem by William Blake from the preface to his epic Milton. A Poem which became the lyrics for the hymn "Jerusalem."

    Great Britain Hymn Jerusalem Patriotic Military Welsh Choir

    And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time by William Blake

    And did those feet in ancient time
    walk upon England’s mountains green?
    And was the holy Lamb of God
    on England’s pleasant pastures seen?
    And did the countenance divine
    shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here
    among these dark Satanic Mills?

    Bring me my bow of burning gold!
    Bring me my arrows of desire!
    Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
    Bring me my chariot of fire!
    I will not cease from mental fight,
    nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
    till we have built Jerusalem
    In England’s green and pleasant Land.

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    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


    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

    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 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.

    Also posted at Blue Ribbon Bloggers

    Sunday, December 30, 2007

    2008 Spark 4 Peace On The Dot

    7:11 PM 2 Comments

    Carl Sagan about the pale blue dot that is our world:

    "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."


    "That's all we've got"

    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    Christmas Camel Carving

    7:31 AM 0 Comments
    Every year a spectacular magic fills the air. It starts about October with carving the Pumpkin. Then in November, the Turkey. Than by December a piece of our heart has already begun to be carved out and gifted to others as kind deeds increase and shine more predominately. Any indifferences with Family and Friends are all but forgotten. Smiles are given to Strangers we chance to see here and there. Suddenly we don’t mind the heavy traffic, circling parking lots for a space, or standing in long lines. We can even climb the highest tree to place an ornament atop. Wobbly ladders press against homes with legs in the snow or on thin ice - we clamber the rungs to dangle lights while our lives hang in the balance. Throw caution to the wind and step onto the decorated tile nailed roofs. We are invincible! And so it was for my Sister. Having never used a jigsaw before except to assemble a picture, she takes the awkward tool in hand and with nothing more than the power of sheer determination – she begins! My two young Nephews, perhaps for fear of life and limbs - pretend to busy themselves else where with what ever it is young Teenagers do. Then when all is saw and done, they gather near their Mom. Mentally I’m sure they were counting digits and when they reached 10, noting all her fingers and toes intact – they delight in the joy of Camels amid the still dusty mist! And so in the Spirit of this magical Season; I share the lawn awaited results!

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Seek His Face Continually

    8:26 PM 2 Comments

    Look at the lines the artist used to draw this picture of Christ. There are scenes from Christ's life.

    Do you see the Nativity, Jesus on the Cross, Jesus healing the sick, the Angel blowing the trumpet, the shepherd? What else do you see? Have you ever seen anything like this?

    In the Circle of God's love, God's waiting to use your full potential.

    May God Always Bless You and Yours!

    Found on the WWW somewhere, e-mailed to me from a Friend

    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    The Anonymity of Wiki Fever! R U Listed?

    1:28 PM 6 Comments
    It’s helpful sometimes to search your blog title and/or your name in various search engines for various reasons such as verifying you are listed, what is listed about you and your site, etc. Today I did just that, searched my blog title; simply bindingink. I was delightedly surprised to find that Someone was kind enough to include my main domain site at About Us. And whom ever was so anonymously thoughtful to do this, did an excellent piece of work, representing my Organization and cause professionally and reputably. I would like to Thank the Person for doing this considerate deed. Thank You!

    If you don’t know About Us, should you learn, edit your info, get listed? About Us is a Wiki, a Community, “Together we make About Us, a growing resource for people, organizations and their communities”.

    About Us offers:

    Search: “Search over 10 million, editable pages on AboutUs to find what interests you.”

    Edit: “Help build this global resource by editing these pages!”

    1-800: “To better help our customers, we've acquired the toll free number… making us the only major wiki to our knowledge to provide toll-free support.”

    Once listed at About Us, your site Title, Description, Languages, Additional Information, and an excellent array of Related Domains are included. I’m not sure how the Related Domains are selected and/or if each are manually added in, however; the Related Domains are extremely relevant to my sites contents. Including:

    Each Related Domain name links to an About Us Info about Your Site, like mine. See if you are listed on About Us and start Editing your site Info to expand, update your contents. Let us help those People who are helping our sites get listed and noticed! Lets do the Wiki the About Us way!

    And a big huge Appreciative Thank You to those whom have already listed our sites at About Us! For Behind Every Pen, There is a Person.

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Oh But so Funny

    5:22 PM 0 Comments
    A Co-Worker turned the big 50 the other day! Many of us couldn’t help rather to discuss how she does not look nearly 50. Then she began telling us about her Husband. In fact, later this week they will have been married for 10 years! She continued with how her Husband can be a Crab Apple in the mornings. To avoid this, she usually awakens before him so as to ready herself for work. The day of her Birthday was no different. She towel dried from her shower and proceeded to brush her teeth. Suddenly her Husband comes rushing into the bathroom. Startled, she asked him what he was doing. In a Frisky manner he replied, “ I just wanted to see what a sexy 50 year old butt looks like.” Needless to say, this made her day.

    Is that like the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard!

    There’s a quote on the WWW that goes:

    “Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree.
    most men don't want to reach for the good ones
    because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt.
    Instead, they sometimes take apples from the ground that are not as good, but easy.
    The apples at the top think something is wrong
    with them, when in reality they are amazing.
    They just have to wait for the right person
    to come along, the one who is brave enough
    to climb all the way to the top of the tree.”

    Crab Apple or not, surely my Co-Worker found the right Person brave enough to climb to the top, her Husband – the Apple of her eye.

    Permission from Co-Worker to write this story granted to

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    The Smile of God

    6:40 PM 8 Comments

    Found on the WWW somewhere, e-mailed to me from a Friend

    Three birds a flight caught in such delight! And though this photo could be an edit using a computer program, I like to believe that it is God, Smiling down on us All!