Archive for the ‘Language and plants’ Category

St. Martin des Poires

March 29, 2020

(Nothing actually crude, but a lot of mostly high-falutin’ sextalk that might give some people the fantods.)

In yesterday’s mail, a postcard from Ryan Tamares (a Stanford friend who is now socially but not postally distant from me) with this crate label from the 1920s and 1930s, featuring a character I’ll call the Bartlett Pear Kid:


(#1) We’ve been here before, in my 2/14/12 posting “Suggestive”, where I wrote: “The newsboy is hustling pears, but to modern eyes the label suggests something more salacious.”

I pursued this example further in a 6/14/16 posting “Crate labels”, which I’ll take up in a little while. But first the literally fabulous history of the Bartlett Pear Kid, who eventually became St. Martin des Poires, B.P.I.

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Mexican dicks with super-spiny nipples

March 24, 2020

(The penises (and nipples) are all symbolic, but if that troubles you, the title should be a warning.)

Yes, the News for Penises is back in business, with a bulletin from our floral department, beginning with the truly stunning image of plants of what was described as the Mammillaria cactus species pilcayensis:


(#1) A collection of what are variously referred to as sock, finger, thumb, or penis cactuses — the last especially because of the color-marked analogue of the glans penis, complete with a purple analogue of the corona of the glans penis (alternatively, those could be finger tips, or toes)

(On the corona as bodypart, see my 3/6/20 posting “Tragedies of the pandemic”.)

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Timothy and Agrimony

February 25, 2020

(Plants, but also gay male life, with the latter focus leading to talk of mansex in street language (also with some deeply carnal (but fuzzed) photos of 69ing), so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

My morning names for 2/15: timothy and agrimony. A familiar crop grass (for grazing and hay) and a yellow-flowered bitter-tasting medicinal herb. Then these personified as two queer types: Timothy — called Timmy — the twink, a cute country boy, a hayseed, sometimes found with a stalk of grass between his teeth; and Agrimony — called Agro — the bitter old queen, jaded, sharp-tongued, largely disaffected with the queer community and feeling alienated from those in it.

The two men are of course unlikely to hook up, or even have anything to do with one another socially, but they share one bit of their sexual makeup: they both adore 69, find the exchange deeply satisfying. But characteristically, they prefer different positions for the act.

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Revisiting 43: the Socka Hitsch nominal on the rural Swiss roadside

February 15, 2020

In my “Socka Hitsch” posting yesterday, Christian Zwicky / Socka Hitsch described by the nominal

old eccentric rural Swiss roadside sock vendor ‘old, eccentric sock vendor on the roadside of rural Switzerland’, ‘seller of socks along the road in the countryside of Switzerland who is of advanced age and exhibits unconventional behavior’

An unusually long nominal — I was showing off some — but not one with unusual components, put together in unusual ways. In the middle of it, rural Swiss roadside, with the complex adjectival rural Swiss, modifying the compound noun roadside — a perfectly routine and unremarkable expression    (compare rural Dutch in the attested rural Dutch landscape, urban English in the attested urban English roadworks, etc.), but one of some interest to people who fret about how the form — the morphology and syntax — of expressions (like rural Swiss) links to their meaning — their semantics and pragmatics.

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Revisiting 41: roses for remembrance

January 31, 2020

A very sweet Twitter comment on my posting yesterday “Roses now, or roses later”, from London Sacred Harp (@LDNSacredHarp):

Read these beautiful reflections on singing from the #SacredHarp in the face of real and impending mortality, and Give. Him. The. Roses. We wish Arnold the most elegant and highly scented hybrid teas, blowsy cabbages, striped Bourbons, Titania’s sweet musk roses and eglantine…

(Clearly a message from a specific person, not from the London Sacred Harp singing group as an organization, but I don’t know whose actual voice this is.)

A lovely wish, understood figuratively — my little patio garden in Palo Alto is entirely unsuitable for roses (it’s mostly cymbidiums and geraniums, plus some succulents) — but it taps into two rose-related matters, one general (roses as remembrance gifts), one personal (two hybrid tea roses in memory of my man Jacques Transue, a red Mister Lincoln in Bucks Harbor ME (where his family has long had a summer place), a peach-pink Gemini in Columbus OH).

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A squirrel in the hand

January 21, 2020

A literally eventful time of the year, surrounding the Mournful Valley of my life, that rift of bereftness between Ann Daingerfield’s death day, 1/17, and Jacques Transue’s birthday, 1/22; see my 1/16 posting “At the rim of the Mournful Valley, singing”.

By accident, in this period fall two odd celebratory dates: 1/20, Penguin Awareness Day; and 1/21, today, Squirrel Appreciation Day. Plus, on a Monday in or near this period, MLK Day in the US (this year: yesterday, 1/20/20).

This year I’ve been terribly sick and deeply dispirited, but I was cheered by coming across a sweet photograph of a young Jacques and a squirrel he had, to some degree, tamed:

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It’s a tree! It’s a song!

January 4, 2020

(Flowers and music for diversion in difficult times.)

Ann Burlingham, towards the end of her recent visit to family in Australia, posted photos of a poinciana tree in gorgeous bloom. Among them:


(#1) Royal poinciana or flame tree, Delonix regia, in the pea / bean family (the legumes, or Fabaceae)

(Note: it’s been extraordinarily hot in Oz, and significant parts of the southeast are consumed in flames, but Ann  — and Jason and Henry — were far from the fire zone when she photographed the poinciana.)

An American friend of Ann’s commented, “I had never seen or heard of it before!” I responded, “Maybe you’d never heard about the flowering tree, but surely you’ve heard the jazz ballad.” But no. It seems that unless you’re into jazz or are really old — the heyday of “Poinciana” was apparently the 1940s through the 60s — you don’t know the song. (I’ve been asking around, and mostly just get blank stares.)

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Zwicky with a beat

January 2, 2020

Thanks to Google Alerts, I can report that the beat goes on in Zürich, with the electro / ambient / techno music of André Zwicky, notably a single released on 5/31/19, “The Storyteller”:


(#1) Cover artwork by Jasmin Mynt Art for the piece (6:39 long)

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Hung with care

December 24, 2019

Yes, cheap louche wordplay, and for Christmas. Manifested in the playful and deeply carnal CGI artwork of Vadim Temkin, in his alphabet of gay sex, where the letter shapes are formed by men’s bodies and body parts, many engaged in a variety of intense sexual acts.

This material, chock-full of sex talk in street language, is massively unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest, even without the images rife with male genitalia (which are in a posting on AZBlogX, 12/21/19, “Surprise! Vadim’s gay alphabet”).

Then, though the alphabet began merely as a set of 26 images, it came to me as worked into another genre: these images on the faces of surprise cubes, a set of 8 cubes which arrived a few days ago as Vadim’s New Year’s 2020 gift.

But first, the images, especially the one for the letter X, “eXcited Xmas eXhibitionist”, showing a well-hung Santa, with a Christmas wreath hung on his thick, solid erection (fuzzed over for WordPress, but inspectable on AZBlogX), while Santa himself hangs on a St. Andrew’s Cross, welcoming restraint, abuse, and pain. It’s a complex message.

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The images quilt

December 15, 2019

The last in a set of four; the linguistics quilt, from the 19th, is its predecessor. As before, a 12-panel composition (roughly 6 x 3 ft) made of old t-shirts of mine, assembled into a quilt by Janet Salsman, with the collaboration of Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky and Kim Darnell (and photos by Kim).  This time, t-shirts with images that have pleased or entertained me:

(#1)

Now the 12 panels individually, by row (R) and column (C).

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