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love snuggles up

. Confessions of the Silk Easy Chair   I'm staying mum on how two sweet, firm round things A few hours past, Yielding, tempting Pressed lusciously against me, Or what a firm pair of arms Adorned mine as private armrests, Or how his lovely fingertips Sported on the front of my fore-quarters, drifting, Or what a pair of dear little limbs Dangled freely between my own two legs; And what an impressive head that was, With its sweet

AC Benus

AC Benus in verse


Notes for poem on why straights should not ‘play Gay’ – -      Annie with wishing she’d never written “Brokeback Mountain” because she’s pestered to death with Gay men telling her how much it meant to them and their lives; annoyed, she wishes she’d never written it -      Rupert playing Scudder – he wishes he’d never played that role because he hates all the people coming up to him and telling him how much “Maurice” and his role in it affected their lives; he wishes he’d never played i

AC Benus

AC Benus in verse


I sketched out the following moody Tanka several days ago. It sat on my desk, overwhelmed with thoughts of how to change it: alternate lines; different wordings; scrapping the whole damn thing. So this morning, I not only typed it -- keeping most of the poem as first scrawled -- but, as I completed it, suddenly felt an urge to translate it into Japanese. An interesting impulse, for the translation "finds the balance" missing in the original, and winds up beautifully optimistic. So, here the

AC Benus

AC Benus in verse

Three Tanka

Tanka:   It must be summer – The flies press against the frame, For just like stained glass, Their wings flutter to escape The very presence of light.       Tanka:   My thoughts are worn out By how temporal is our plane; The things that we have In the world are all soon tossed, One tear always bringing more.       Tanka:   All the crowds are gone,

AC Benus

AC Benus in verse

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Twenty-Four

Tony Rowe and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra preform William Henry Fry’s Santa Claus Symphony from 1853. From its premiere to the 1930s, Fry’s symphony was concertized all across America and was as integral a part of the holiday season as the Nutcracker is to us now. Ironically, it was the music of Tchaikovsky‘s ballet which replaced Fry’s incredibly charming tone poem.  The scenes are: Introduction and Christmas merrymaking; Juvenile song and dance (sounding straight out of Aaron C

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Twenty-Three

A poem for the day.   A tale begun in other days, When summer suns were glowing –- A simple chime, that served to time The rhythm of our rowing –- Whose echoes live in memory yet, Though envious years would say ‘forget’. Come, hearken then, ere voice of dread, With bitter tidings laden, Shall summon to unwelcome bed A melancholy maiden! We are but older children, dear, Who fret to find our bedtime near. Without, the frost, the blinding snow, The storm-wi

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Twenty-Two

It's a subject of inexhaustible interest to me, and it seems every time I turn around, I learn new, incredible things about the people who made up this incredible organization. Only today -- about an hour ago, in fact -- I learned that Famous-Barr was the first department store in the nation (the world, I guess!) to offer Black Santas in Santaland so families could choose inclusion in their kids' pictures with the Old Man. And this was in the 1960s. The 1960s!!! It's honestly enough to brin

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Twenty-One

“Shut out nothing,” or “Welcome, old aspirations, glittering creatures of an ardent fancy, to your shelter underneath the holly! We know you, and have not outlived you yet.”     Time was, with most of us, when Christmas Day encircled our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone around the Christmas fire; and made the little picture shining in our bright y

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Twenty

I suppose their use is waning these days, which is sad, but have you ever wondered about the origins of Christmas Seals? No, me neither, until I was wrapping presents last year and listening to some noble soul's compilation of old time radio holiday-themed shows. The following one relays the real-life struggle to establish and help fund the American Lung Association -- the parent company of the venerated seals -- in an effort to first combat tuberculosis (and afterwards, lung cancer). It is writ

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Nineteen

A great study of life, connections and death, Mon oncle Antoine (1971) is on my personal short-list of significant films. In it, young adolescent Benoît is an altar boy and general mercantile boy-of-all-work. Set during Christmas week, the young man sees funerals, a kid his own age die, his uncle's drinking problem and his aunt's infidelities. The makings of a great holiday film? You bet; one of the best because it reminds us what's really important in life, even in the midst of decay. Especiall

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Eighteen

The intrepid few of you brave enough to show you are follow these postings may not have encountered this story before. I humbly present it now as a worthy addition to any holiday reading list.   It was one of those laugh or cry situations. Here she was, trapped in a strange downtown on Christmas Eve, just letting the clock tick towards an unpleasant task on the twenty-sixth. It seemed no comfort at all that Washington Avenue was so beautiful. Colorless lights were everywhere: drap

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Seventeen

Robert Nathan’s 1928 novel may seem unfamiliar to you, but the holiday episode from the book (starting with Chapter 11) has been adapted for the Christmas big- and small screen about half a dozen times. His Bishop’s Wife was first presented to movie-going audiences in 1947 as The Preacher’s Wife.   Here is the original to read https://archive.org/details/bishopswife0000robe/page/106/mode/2up   And here are two clips of Whitney Houston performing the title role in 1996

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Sixteen

A while back I was chatting with a young man one evening, and he asked me what I was doing. I replied "Watching Creature Comforts." Long story short, he had no idea what that was. I suppose these episodes are creaking up to an authentic "vintage" category (as with automobiles, 25 years old or older), so for all you Christmastime spring chickens out there, here is Aardman Animation Studio's 2005 Creature Comfort's Xmas show. Gotta love the powerhouse singing, scarf-mufflered bird!   https://

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Fifteen

The author represented today is one I gained an appreciation of only in 2023. He wrote a surprising number of works touching upon same-sex love, and favorably reviewed the work of others dealing with Gay themes. The following period piece ranks in quality with the best produced by the better-known likes of Edith Wharton, Anton Chekhov, and others. Please enjoy   I MR. AND MRS. CLARENCE FOUNTAIN Mrs. Clarence Fountain, backing into the room, and closing the door noiseless

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Fourteen

On the evening of December 14th, 1949, Harold Peary read Why the Chimes Rang by Raymond McAlden (1906) to his radio audience, live. The premise of this episode has Peary’s character – The Great Gildersleeve – trying to out-Christmas his rival for the attentions of his nurse girlfriend. However, the tale of Pedro and his brother changes his intent entirely. Please listen, because this is magic.   First, Harold Peary’s recitation of the tale (December 14, 1949): https://youtu.be

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Thirteen

Leopold Mozart -- Wolfgang's father -- was known for his tone poems. His Peasants' Wedding was very popular, and his Toy Symphony was copied out in full score and performed all over Europe, usually attributed to Joseph Haydn. But today we'll enjoy another of most evocative works of winter and holiday good cheer: A Sleigh Ride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dwt6fQMjwFA&t=555s  

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Twelve

When society creates outcasts -- the weirdos, the queers, the nerds -- the rejected will oftentimes bring good into the world knowing few will ever praise it. The following is one such a tale, as two misunderstoods join forces.       High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt. He was very much admired indeed. “

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Eleven

Recorded live on the 8th of December 2013, Matthias Beckert leads the Thüringer Symphoniker Saalfeld Rudolstadt, the Montiverdi Chorus and soloists in Joseph Eybler’s Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio) from 1794.   Eybler, as conductor and composer, was admired by Mozart and one of three composers Constanze Mozart turned to to finish Wolfgang’s Requiem after his untimely death. Eybler’s Christmas Oratorio greatly inspired Joseph Haydn when he came to write his Seasons and Crea

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Ten

A "boy left behind for Christmas" turns into a "boy meets boy" story? Read and find out   Satherwaite, '02, threw his overcoat across the broad mahogany table, regardless of the silver and cut-glass furnishings, shook the melting snowflakes from his cap and tossed it atop the coat, half kicked, half shoved a big leathern armchair up to the wide fireplace, dropped himself into it, and stared moodily at the flames. Satherwaite was troubled. In fact, he assured himself, drawing his h

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Eight

Time to decorate the tree? A couple of years ago, we were on the way to the supermarket when a red light halted our progress for a bit. I glanced to my left, and there on the second floor of a condo building -- with floor-to ceiling glass walls at the corner of their living room -- stood a magnificent Pride tree. It was rainbow-hued, rising from purple branches on the bottom to red ones at the top, decked out in nothing but Pride ornaments, and spectacularly lit to be "visible" from the str

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Seven

Decorating traditions sure have changed. I remember being a kid and begging my mom to start hauling out the attic boxes of holiday cheer. When I was small, she always had the same reply: "Not until December 7th. Not until Saint Nicholas Day is over!" As the years went by, she relented and let me start decorating earlier in the month. Undoubtedly, when she was a child, the date was even later, and traditionally, decorating for Christmas only occurred on the twenty-fourth. But nowadays, it's

Twenty-Five Days of December -- Day Six

Happy Saint Nicholas Day! Thinking about cookies yet? An area of interest of mine is studying when certain food items were invented, and where. Devil's food cake, for example: Philadelphia, circa 1910. Angel food cake: Saint Louis, 1890s. How about toast? The ancient food writer Athenaeus tells us the cook's name and dates it to the 6th century B.C. So what about a more recent, but never-more-popular, treat? The chocolate chip cookie? Here we have one person's efforts at digging into i
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