About Me

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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Canopic Fair

Spike to Spica:
The elder photons of constellations unassigned signal bovine reptiles

The Fisher King is dead, a vendor of smoky sausages said to us, the odor of Neanderthal sinus, brush on a distant plain.

Pig eyes are closest to human of any livestock,
roller pigeons shrug and cluck, turkey stomps and spins, rabbit haunch somnambulistic.

Mist and manure blur wyrd and Rosicrucian,
Roof vent combs the zephyrs of dusk.

JF 8-22-2011

The cynosure of the photo is President Bill Clinton, whose head you can just see to the right of the Matrix guy. June 1995, Portland State University campus.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Orphan Blogs

When I first look at an unfamiliar blog, one of the first things I notice is the date of the most recent entry. I am bemused when the date of the final entry is from months, or years earlier, indicating that the author, or authors, stopped writing, posting, updating. Sometimes one just may not feel like continuing the blog, losing interest. One may be ill, dead, incapacitated, busy; Or one may have gone on to loftier summits (or moved operations to Daguerreotypebook or other websites).

There are innumerable examples, but here's one. This outstanding website: www.gustavhasford.com announces the start of a new blog devoted to author Gustav Hasford, posted by Hasford's cousin, Jason Aaron: www.gustavhasford.blogspot.com. The idea must have sounded good at the time, but the blog ends on July 18, 2008 (nine days before I began this one), fading off in a way nothing at all like Franz Schubert's Symphony 8 or Anton Bruckner's curse of the ninth. While the blog may not have endured, there is a lot of fantastic stuff on Jason's site, including the complete texts of The Short-Timers and The Phantom Blooper.

So one can study, for example, how a sequence about Mr. Payback torching rats in The Short-Timers, with a sardonic chorus from the Mickey Mouse Club Song, was translated into the symphony of flame that is the final scene of Full Metal Jacket. And I immediately have respect for someone (Hasford) who uses quotes from William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Walt Whitman, and Henry David Thoreau as epigraphs in a Vietnam War novel.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oneonta Gorge

Oneonta Gorge, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. Photograph by Cross and Dimmitt. The overexposure produces a feel of the fugitive overlaying the stony certainties of the narrow gap. One wonders about cards that were never sent -- possibly someone intended to use this card and didn't, or just kept it as a souvenir.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some kind of a loosey goosey, Atlantean singing crystals startup

Selenite Fog

"The colour is of all the sunsets and sunrises of the earth combined"
Parallel to the sky runs a band of mist, unexpectedly,
The eclipse might be terminating up there now, totality, the earth projecting its tombs and precipices, dovetailed to the mare,
Can't see it like Gyeongju, didn't get the opportunity,
the places one has been are more important than the books one hasn't read.
Goose passage, wings of embers, honk in cloud road, what lies before and behind migratory pace,
I've seen a few eclipses panoramic before
One solar divers lunar in shaded blood
not a particularly cosmic glyptodon
My watchful feet shuffle around the building,

dawn and twilight pave the uncertain atmosphere.

JF 11 December, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls, Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Another ectoplasmic time lapse postcard out of the camera of Cross and Dimmitt. Undated, probably from the 1920s.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Sorceror's Ship

In the not long ago I read The Sorceror's Ship by Hannes Bok (1914-64), a gift. I was previously familiar with Bok as an artist and illustrator, known for his fantastic and grotesque horror, science fiction, and fantasy drawings and paintings (here's one good selection of the many online: http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2011/08/hannes-bok.html) . Such images as his iconically expressive stippled illustration for a reprint of H.P. Lovecraft's story Pickman's Model come readily to mind when thinking of Bok. In fact, until quite recently I was unaware that "Hannes Bok" (which is a shortened, alternate spelling of "Johannes Bach") was merely the nom de plume for one Wayne Francis Woodard, a fact which can be rapidly gathered when looking up Bok on the internets. Anyhoo, Bok is worthy of attention for his writing as well as his art.

The foreword by Lin Carter contains some charming reminiscences of Bok, describing him holding forth in his apartment in New York City (although he sounds as if he might have been a bit irritating to have been around). Curiously Carter describes a plot element of the novel as involving "a demigod as a passenger and a weird magic jewel for cargo." The back of the edition I have (Ballantine Books: 1969 -- I guess the one and only edition) contains the following quote from John W. Campbell: "....with a demigod as a passenger, and an enchanted jewel as cargo!" A basic rule for plagiarists: Don't borrow from another author whose words are printed on the same volume as yours. I'm assuming Campbell wrote his description first. The fantasy was first published in Campbell's magazine Unknown in December, 1942, according to Wikipedia.

The Sorceror's Ship is a nice, ethereal story with a classic "cold open" with a disoriented main character trying to figure out where the hell he is and what is happening. Bok's prose has hints of Dunsany's and Clark Ashton Smith's (and others') styles. The necromantic horrors toward the end are particularly reminiscent of Klarkash-ton's work. No doubt the plot, involving, among other things, a conflict between two rival islands, Athens-like Nanich and Spartan Koph, has some echoes of the geopolitical situation of the early 1940s.

The copy of Ship I have has a lacuna, missing pages 147-178, and has a double printing of the last pages, 179-205. It's not impossible to deduce what happens in the absent section, though.

Hannes Bok name generator: "Wolfgang Amadaeus Mozart" = "Wolfam Moz"
"Johannes Brahms" = "Hannes Bram"
"Ludwig Van Beethoven" = "Wigvan Bat"

Cover art by Ray Cruz.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Billy Beer which Carter Quarters


Here are a couple of the Gargoyles which overlook the Notre Dame. It is a wonderful church. Leave Tuesday for a trip thru the battle fields and old Hindenburgs head quarters We sail for NY or America (?) 215.00 Thurs (?) 5/29 Best (no signature)

Addressed to Albert N Combs, RR1- Lake Road, Milwaukie, Oregon USA

The reference to the battlefields and old Hindenburg date the card to not too long after World War One, of course, although I can't quite make out what the year might be from the postmark or handwriting. 1925?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sphinx Decoration/Memorial Day 1912

May 30th 1912
Dear Judge
On this day of memory. I will issue you your 10% interest in property, the picture of which you will find on other side. John Mc L

Addressed to Judge W.R. Biddle
Ft. Scott Kans

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Back cover of Wood

While in the past I was a devoted reader of various comics, with special interest in undergrounds and horror comics such as the 70s DC titles Weird War, House of Mystery, and Swamp Thing, I haven't been as attuned to more recent developments in the field. Of late (outside of following the work of one or two people I know who are active artists, comics and otherwise) my main reading has been of the standard one to eight panels or so newspaper comics. Stephan Pastis' Pearls before Swine is a standout, as is Darby Conley's Get Fuzzy. Conley has his own weirdly intelligent type of references, as when he recently had a strip which assumes knowledge of Goya.
In another, one of the talking animals who doesn't quite get it (Satchel the dog, I think) confuses Eugene Onegin with the phone book for Eugene, Oregon.

Dilbert is always reassuringly and wickedly cynical. And Charles Schulz remains the Christopher Marlowe Earl of Oxford William Shakespeare of the funnies -- I say, keep running them.

Trudeau seems to be spinning his wheels to some extent with his seasoned strip Doonesbury. His serial tends to be reactive, responding to the events of the day. This can cause a slightly unsettling phase delay, due to the lag in publishing. Paul Sorvino croaking as Kissinger in Oliver Stone's Nixon: Ve are playing a totally reactive game here. The Iraqistan (actually, mostly Afghanistan now) stuff seems to strain a little too much to be relevant. The cartoonist appears to think that merely mentioning high tech stuff is making some sort of point in itself -- as if merely showing someone tweeting on a smartphone is good enough. Pastis, in contrast, if he references contemporary communications, has a reason for so doing, as when he self-deprecatingly presents himself being savaged by bloggers.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Child is father of the Man

Some students (and the teacher) from my first grade class at what was then known as Boring Grade School in Boring, Oregon (now known as Naas Elementary, after the principal of the same era -- he died shortly after he retired from the school). The class photo resurfaced recently -- in fact, I had no memory of it existing. To answer the obvious question: Sometimes the school was boring, sometimes exhilarating; And there is much about it I can't recall at all. Putting names beneath the class pictures was seemingly beyond the technology of the day. Who were these wild children? Myself in the large-striped shirt. I can link some faces to names, with some I recall the faces but not the handle, others leave no trace at all in my mind. Who's the sharp-looking dude in the checked sport coat? I ran across the obituary of the guy in the upper right corner in a local paper a year or two ago -- as H.P. Lovecraft put it in one of his letters (with reference to the then just-deceased President Warren G. Harding), he had the good luck to shuffle off this beastly planet. At least, that's one way to put it. One guy who appears here -- I have a vague dreamlike impression from when I was riding the bus home, of hearing some older kids discussing either him or his older brother having hanged himself (or maybe both of them committing suicide), as we passed his home set back in old trees. That event would have been a few years after this photo was taken. I apologize if I am misstating the facts or prematurely reporting someone's death -- the sequence seems like a wraith from interplanetary spaces. The Latino (or Native American?)- looking girl with the long dark hair-- I remember trying to impress her with the following story. When I was three or four, I inexplicably put my fingers in the open gap of a door by the hinges, and a relative unknowingly closed the door, catching the pinky, I think. Not recommended -- hurts like a sumbitch, although the bone wasn't broken, as far as I know. As if that story isn't good enough, I embellished it a little, claiming the bone had been extracted and replaced with an artificial bone after the accident (or something to that effect). Throw strangers together in a room and sequence them through decades, and all sorts of things may happen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Winter Brothers

I finished not long ago Ivan Doig's Winter Brothers: A Season at the Edge of America, published in 1980. The work is an overview of, and thoughts about, the voluminous diaries of James G. Swan; who was a pioneer (among Euroamericans at least) in exploring and understanding the coastal areas of Washington State-- particularly the Olympic Peninsula: Port Townsend, and Neah Bay (as well as British Columbia and other places). I first cursorily read parts of the book (lent by a former friend) on a trip to the Olympic Peninsula many years back with a friend, which included a stop in Neah Bay and other places referenced in Doig's tome (along with a couple hours spend in Kurt Cobain-pre fame era Aberdeen, sauntering downtown, and visiting a thrift store). In fact, the trip was partly inspired by Winter Brothers, sort of following "on the trail of Swan." (I think of the volume sometimes as Swann's Way, simply because of the association with James G. Swan -- although it has nothing to do with Proust.)

It's an outstanding, but flawed, book. Consider the gripping tension of Swan's last adventure, to Haida Gwaii, the Queen Charlotte Islands (although the passage of the islands' West Coast is strangely understated, anticlimactic, not really delineated at all), and the sly, humorous, sometimes terrifying accounts of the frontiersman's life with the Makah and Haida, and other First Nation tribes. Much of this is in Swan's own words, but Doig's commentary helps link and explain the material. Against this, you also have the sometimes banal nature of Doig's thoughts: "I was surprised myself, far back along the highway when arriving to the cabin, how the lift of the mountain (Rainier) made itself felt even there, the road suddenly jerking into rising curves." Yeah, the ground does rise WHEN YOU APPROACH A MOUNTAIN.

Or: "(Even what I have been calling the Pacific Northwest is multiple. A basic division begins at the Columbia River; south of it, in Oregon, they have been the sounder citizens, we in Washington the sharper strivers. Transport fifty from each state as a colony on Mars and by nightfall the Oregonians will put up a school and a city hall, the Washingtonians will establish a bank and a union.)" Huh? That's just a tad condescending... Doig's whimsy on how a cat might end up getting smothered in bird poop is another idea that doesn't really fly.

The book overall is a good presentation of Swan's diaries, which could have benefited from tighter editing -- in fact, the whole framework of Doig's own commentary could have been either scrapped or seriously overhauled, with benefit. There are important themes covered in Brothers, such as the notion of traveling west, to "light out for the territory," until you can't go any further.
Doig's own writing only loosely (if at all) relates to Swan's journals and times.

Perhaps a biograpy, or selection of Swan's diaries, would be in order. And how I'd like to drop by Haida Gwaii.

I've also started processing Thomas "famously reclusive" Pynchon's V. -- so far, doesn't really grip me, but I will withhold judgement for now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011



by Jonathan Falk

Sanguinity on the short and railed floor, hawser, clear light of the river grass and front window.
Face of rock, o'er-run in grey water, gathering and mossily pulsing. Tin dipper, tapping the draught into which three stars fell. Rain, waves o'er rocks, the rise and receding of the lustred rim of the deep; blue return. Furrowed metempsychosis. Five limbs, the cast of maples, headless and unbacked dimension.
Spoiled and burnt rise, sloughed ridges, pumice shoars, apes, channels of broken ash. The vacant thrones and icy recesses of the gods. Glyphs lined on the coated walls; collapses, and chthonic dubiousness. Rattlesnakes, and the seal of a small foot. Stacked where the light becomes indistinct, sheets cut and drawn in from the cave, displaying in cross-section prehistoric forms of life, such as a tiger or snapping turtle with long neck and lambent mane, and delicate and flowing organs.
Lupine closure, banked snow. The seething of the mass and form, and ascent.

ca. 1990

Illustration: a small scale copy of Evening Landscape with Two Men, Caspar David Friedrich

Monday, September 19, 2011


Dad with flare pistols, ca. 1946. This was fairly late in the period when visual, rather than radio, communications were still widely used for air traffic signaling.

Recently I read an old copy of the Destruction of Dresden by David Irving, which details with mesmeric and elegiac detail the march to doom of the city. He also explains with great precision some of the targeting, radio, and early radar systems used by the RAF and U.S. Army Air Force. The Wikipedia entry on Irving's work doesn't do it justice, making it seem as if the book is nothing but an inaccurate rendering of the death count after the triple blow attack in February 1945. While in later years Irving has (with justification) become a widely reviled and controversial individual, Dresden is a well-researched and informative popular history, not necessarily favoring one side or the other.

The system of writing in general is not exterior to the system of language in general, unless it is granted that the division between exterior and interior passes through the interior of the interior or the exterior of the exterior, to the point where the immanence of language is essentially exposed to the intervention of forces that are apparently alien to its system. For the same reason, writing in general is not “image” or “figuration” of language in general, except if the nature, the logic, and the functioning of the image within the system from which one wishes to exclude it be reconsidered. Writing is not a sign of a sign, except if one says it of all signs, which would be more profoundly true. If every sign refers to a sign, and if “sign of a sign” signifies writing, certain conclusions — which I shall consider at the appropriate moment will become inevitable. -- Derrida

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Twilight of the Aldis


Location unknown

ca. 1946

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back Cover, Oddities 2, 1982

The shriek of the porcine... This collage by Roman has echoes of both Siqueiros and Munch for me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

more Poetry for All, Oddities 2, 1982

More material from Impasto Artaud, Doug Gilford, Duane Hall, Larry Keim, and undisclosed sources from the shadows. In an eruption of Jungian synchronicity, I read Artaud's poem about muzak, and saw an official Muzak van in a parking lot, both today.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Poetry for All, Oddities 2, 1982

Poetry of Foster Omar Anderson, Larry Keim, Paul S. Colvin, Duane Hall, and Doug Gilford, who has since done such projects as the Mad Cover Site: madcoversite.com (as well as having worked on the partly made-in-Portland, overlooked little Alan Parker gem, Come see the Paradise).

The comment, "Rock Musicians limit themselves to jackhammers," was something I felt compelled to add at some point.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Page 3, Oddities 2, 1982

I'd like to refudiate "undoubtably."
Moammar, Moammar, we hardly knew ye. I remember a clip on the short-lived Fridays show, well before even the "Mad Dog of the the Middle East" Reagan bombing era, with somebody singing "The Qadafi Look" and an actor in some kind of white suit and sunglasses
posing, with the line "Drink your coffee with Qadafi." This bit is not on Youtube --at least, I couldn't find it.

A while back saw a bumper sticker on a large glossy pickup, reading, "A village in Kenya is missing its idiot," along with one involving an obscene suggestion regarding Obama and the camel he rode in on. Curious to see who would display such lighthearted thoughts, I looked up and saw a grey-haired white man about 60, a look of distant blankness on his face.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oddities 2, The Art Page

Works by Roman Scott, Evan Chalmers, Impasto Artaud, and Frank Horter.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

This Man

is selling a jailbroke electronic reader on Hiramslist... and only rarely posts on Daguerreotypebook.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Swabian the Trieste

Back cover of Vagubund: Collage by Marc Myers, with forged signature. I think I'd had the work around for a few years even before I used it, as with most of the other pieces. The collage appears to represent Houdini conjuring the bulk of Curly, surrounded by friends.

Sunday, July 17, 2011



Recently re-watched the Outer Limits episode Demon with a Glass Hand -- perhaps the best Harlan Ellison-written, Robert Culp with a speaking, robotic, finger -seeking, ultimately omniscient, Gilgamesh-inspired, Arlene Martel -featuring, eschatological, noir science fiction show of its type. The Demon really has an accurately oneiric feel, camera angles reeling up stairways, shadowy characters on catwalks.

Started to re-read Winter Brothers by Ivan Doig -- a tremendous effort. I like among other things the way in which he evokes the physicality of the diaries left by 19th c. man James G. Swan.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Toonies & Washrooms, Richmond

Pages 5 & 6 of Vagubund. The dream transcriptions were taken from letters by the respective authors (without asking their permission first!).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sun standing still

Farmer's Tan

I've been here before -- loping, potsherds, a pilgrimage of time,

I have a mosquito's puncture, regarding a waterfall in Oregon, eyelash thinking of fallen companions -- The Indian guy and his wife, the porchlight blaring on a vacancy of oracular lichen. Ghost town, timbers, portals to interstices Hyperborean, the Pleiades rising up the sleepy horizon. Wo kommst du,
lungs seething, out of shape potentia flaming from ferns millions of years back, miners strolled the earth,

What is the sound of the river?

Like a spigot mortar a clay ornamental pot outside my window lobs roman candles, the Paiute still planted there at his homestead, sun and snow on remotest summits, it's easier going up than coming down.


June 17 2011