Archive for May, 2012

Recent Poems (written in May 2012)

May 29, 2012

Poems written in May 2012
Comments welcome.
[poem notes in brackets like this]


1. [Strange but true. Remember this when naming your children]

Too many consonants at the front of a name
makes the person cold and hard hearted.
Too many vowels at the front of a name
makes the person vulnerable to harm.
When kites have a wind
of their own
and no longer need
wind or string …
A meteor is trying to keep up with us.
It follows behind in the orbit of Earth.
It never strays or over steps.
It’s a pet on a leash of gravity
that runs and runs but is stuck in place,
never closer or farther away.
Have you a bee
in your throat?
All your words
seem honey coated.
In some worlds
the shadows come first…


The deaf hear sweeter bells.

Art is life as we’d like it to be.

Here’s a puzzle, in my older photos I look younger!

The earlier you eat, the better you sleep.

On TV singing contest shows: People who have talent aren’t chosen by a committee.

Porcupines invented acupuncture.

When they say your mind can cure you, which mind do they mean?
(Enteric nervous system?)

Tom Hendricks
(editor of the 19 year old zine Musea)
See blogs and search poems for hundreds more.
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100 Best Novels of All Time ( a Musea selection)

May 24, 2012


A totally biased, 1 person, accounting of the best novels I have read.

* * * * *

I love books
I love the feel of books in my hands
I love trilling the pages under my thumb.
I love books
I love the print and the paper underneath
I love the covers and the illustrations inside

I love books
I love all the sizes and bindings
the title page, contents, and end papers
I love books!

* * * * *

European Classics

1. Don Quixote > Cervantes, 1605 (pt.1) 1615 (pt.2) (Sp.) Don quixote and sidekick Sancho Panza are ’tilting at windmills’ on his delusional (?) quest for long lost knighthood. Sprawling comic novel has some inserted stories that can be skipped without hurting the big picture.

2. The Princess De Cleves Madame de Lafayette (with help from the maxim master, La Rochefoucauld), 1678 (Fr.) A woman caught in a triangle in this historical romance – what an ending! Acclaimed the first great short novel in France.

3. Les Liaisons Dangereuses Laclos, 1782 (Fr.) “I resolved to write a book which would create some stir in the world and continue to do so after I had gone from it.” This novel, later banned, tells through letters, how a couple of ruthless aristocrats scheme to seduce and destroy a young girl for revenge. Diabolical!

4. A Journal of the Plague Years Daniel Defoe, 1722 (Brit.) He’s better known for that castaway Crusoe, but don’t miss this very very realistic ‘you-can-smell-the-stench-of-the-plague-of-1665’, based on fact, fiction.

5. Rameau’s Nephew Denis Diderot (the Fr. Encyclopedist), too hot to published until 1805 by Goethe! This is a short satirical fictional interview of the nere-do-well nephew of famed composer Rameau. What a wit! What a scamp!

6. The Provost John Galt, 1822 (Brit.) Short, little known novel of hilarious small town politics, set in 18th century Scotland.

7. The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker Tobias Smollett, 1771 (Brit.) Comic novel in letters is an all time favorite. Squire Bramble and company head for the healing waters of Bath.

8. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy Laurence Sterne, 1766 (Brit.) More fun and a lot more readable than the bizarre “Tristam Shandy”, this tells of a once in a lifetime road trip by Rev. Yorick.

9. Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift, 1726 (Brit.) The best part is Gulliver as a giant among the Lilliputians. But this being a book lovers list – also read his short piece ‘The Battle of the Books’ where the ancient classics fight the moderns in the library.

10. Hyperion Friedrich Holderlin, 1797,1799 (Ger.) Before insanity over came him, he wrote this – all is full pain or full joy – poetic novel of pure emotion. An incredible experience in reading!

11. La Comedie Humaine Honore De Balzac (Fr.) A serires of novels that attempted to capture all French life from the fall of Napoleon to 1848! Prolific, passionate, well plotted and written novels – and note the impact that money plays in almost all his works. Read any or all.

12. Crime and Punishment Fedor Dostoevski, 1866 (Rus.) The title is the plot in this my favorite of one of the world’s great novelists. Besides his usual incredible skills – psychological insight, tension, philosophy, scope, passion, well drawn characters – this is a page turner. But don’t stop at just one. He’s got a great body of work to choose from.

13. The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas, 1844 (Fr.) Pure adrenalin pumping adventure – except when he’s stuck in prison . Set in the Napoleonic era. 14. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert, 1857 (Fr.) The inventor of the ‘mote juste’, the exactly correct word, has a gem of a downfall novel, as smalltown Emma falls apart. And if this doesn’t touch every fiber in your heart – his short tale masterpiece “a Simple Heart” about Felicite the servant girl, surely will.

15. The Nabob Alphonse Daudet, 1877 (Fr.) The story of the rise and fall of the Nabob (Duc de Morny?) in his 6 months in Paris, has the same lighthearted touch as Dickens. Look for Sarah Bernhardt in a cameo appearance.

16. Mademoiselle De Maupin Theophile Gautier (the ‘art for art’s sake’ writer) 1835 (Fr.) Perhaps the most romantic of all novels, a young girl disguises as a man and still wins her love. Ah l’amour!

17. Oblomov Ivan Goncharov, 1859 (Rus.) In the first 100 pages the lead character gets out of bed! Oblomov is lazy but the novel is busy with a vast panorama of story, characters, romance, and insight that matches his contemporaries; Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Turgenev, in every way. A personal favorite.

18. The Hunchback of Notre Dame Victor Hugo, 1831 (Fr.) Paris, 15th century, and what romantic spirits are here – Esmeralda, the gypsy dancing girl, and her admirer the deaf hunchback bell ringer of the catherdral, Quasimodo!

19. Against Nature Joris Karl Huysmans, 1884 (Fr.) Gem of detailed decadence! And what a house he lived in.

20. Eugene Onegin Alexandre Pushkin, 1833 (Rus.) This novel in verse that began the golden age of Russian lit., tells of the loves and intrigues of the wealthy Onegin when he moves to his country estate. Best poetry novel.

21. The Golovlyov Family Shchedrin, 1872-76 (Rus.) Powerful gloom ridden story of the decline and end of a mother, 3 sons, and 2 grandchildren. Realistic, dramatic, riveting. Another unknown Russian novel of great scope and power.

22,23,24. The Ressurection Leo Tolstoy, 1899-1900 (Rus.) Yes of course, read War and Peace (#22) with it’s incredible bigness, then the 2 couple tragedy of Anna Karenina (#23) – the ‘greatest novel’ followed by the ‘most powerful novel’. Then read Ressurection (#24), a prince wants to redeem his sin of leading an innocent girl into prostitution and prison. The author yearned for art “which would awaken higher and better feelings” He does that with incredible skills at all levels of novel (and short story) writing.

25. First Love Ivan Turgenev, 1860 (Rus.) A Russian novelist with a French accent. All his novels are favorites but I really got swept up into the intensity and passion of this story of a boy’s first love – and what a finale!

26. Germinal Emile Zola (leader of ‘naturalism’ – an often harsh and very realistic form of writing.) 1885 (Fr.) Extremely detailed story of poor French miners on strike. A vivid and depressing realistic story that is not for the faint of heart – or the claustrophobic!

27. The Good Soldier Schweik Jaroslav Hasek, 1923 (Czech) simple-minded (?) soldier follows the book in this war-is-insane-hell satire.

28 Platero and I Juan Ramon Jimenez, 1917 (Sp.) episodic children’s book for all ages; about a poet, his small donkey Platero, and their adventures together. A real charmer of a novel.

29 Amerika (or The Trial, or The Castle) Franz Kafka, 1927 (Czech) Agitated, anxious, neurotic characters in a detailed listless nighmare world. No one wirtes like Kafka (Kafkaesque). In this one Karl comes to Amerika. Read one if you want but read them all I order you!

30 Two About Prisons: Darkness at Noon Arthur Koestler, 1941 (Hun.) A loyal party official is jailed in a purge. Why him? What went wrong?

The Plague Albert Camus, 1948 (Fr.) Bubonic plague in Oran forces the good and evil in people to surface.

31. The Magic Mountain Thomas Mann, 1924 (Ger.) One of the 3 greatest 20th century novels. Hans goes to a Switzerland sanatorium/resort to visit his cousin. He likes it there, develops a mild case of the disease and stays for 7 years until he comes down the mountain. The novel is slow and difficult to read, but rich in ideas and multi meanings. A major work.

32. Oh the Horror!
Frankenstein Mary Shelley (wife of the poet), 1818 (Brit.) Electrically charged monster attacks!

Dracula Bram Stoker, (Brit.) A bite to drink?

The Phantom of the Opera Gaston Leroux, 1911 (Fr.) Dark doings under the Opera house.

33. Remembrance of Things Past Marcel Proust, 1913-28 (Fr.) 7 novel series. 2nd of the 3 greatest novels of the century. A bit of cake dipped in tea recalls an episode – and the reader is off for 7 volumes of intense, intricate, emotional, detailed, delicate, mannered, sometimes mean, and what seems like unlimited memories of things and times past. A one-of-a-kind achievement.

34. All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque, 1929 (Ger.) The best of the WWI novels.

35. We Eugene Zamiatin, 1924 (Rus.) In a future state, there are no ‘I’s’ only ‘we’ – only ‘he workers’ or ‘she workers’- with every action monitored. ‘We’ was the inspiration for ‘1984’ but exceeds it in many ways – highly poetic, other worldly, sci-fi-ish, and way too little appreciated masterpiece.

36. Effi Briest Theodore Fontane, 1895 (Ger.) No evil characters here, just fated, flawed, and enduring ones like Effi in this subtle, brilliantly insightful novel. A favorite.

Stricly British
37. Northanger Abbey Jane Austen, 1803 Story of Catherine in 2 parts. First part is a delight of social fun, 2nd part sad. “I write about love and money, what else is there to write about?”

38,39 The Brontes (both 1847)
Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte. What is Mr. Rochester’s secret? A gothic Favorite.

Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte. Two generational love story with Cathy and Heathcliff.

40. Cranford Mrs Gaskell, 1853. A charming book of the ‘ladies’ goings on, in the little hamlet of Cranford.

41 Alice In Wonderland/ Through The Looking Glass Lewis Carroll, 1865,1872. Classic logical nonsense of Alice down the rabbit hole, and Alice through the mirror.

42. Lorna Doone R.D. Blackmore, 1869. Two lovers fighting for a girl who’s somehow tied to a robbers clan. Note his great knowledge of nature.

43. The Moonstone Wilkie Collins, 1868. The first English detective novel. The Moonstone has a curse!

44. End of the Tether Joseph Conrad, 1902. Polish born, but writes in English. My favorite of his many novels, tells of Captain Whalley, a proud sea captain’s last voyage and final tragedy.

45. Two by Dickens:
Great Expectations 1861. Pip gets a fortune, but from who?

A Christmas Carol 1843. Skinflint Scrooge finds redemption in one miraculous Christmas Eve.

46. Silas Marner George Eliot (female), 1861. Silas, a linen weaver and miser, finds true wealth in a stray child, Eppie. A perfect little novel, and her best.

47. The Mayor of Castorbridge Thomas Hardy, 1886. A page turner of a Mayor with a secret. It races to its end.

48. Esther Waters George Moore, 1894. An English servant girl has a child out of wedlock – a shocker for its time.

49. A chapter if you can of Finnegans Wake 1939 James Joyce. And that is punishment enough for any reader – just think of the proof reader!!! Neophytes may want to first read the comprehensible The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,(1916) or some of his short stories, and then work yourself up to the ‘what the…?” Ulysses (1922) the banned stream-of-consciousnous novel, the 3rd – greatest novel of the 20th century.

50. 1984 George Orwell, 1949. Big Brother controls all! Also note his innovative essay on ‘newspeak’.

51. Right Ho Jeeves 1934 (or any of his comic novels) P. G. Wodehouse. How can anyone dislike Berties hapless misadventures or Jeeves the Butler’s ability to rescue him from them. The story is always the same, misunderstandings, mixups, and close calls written in an oh so British lingo. Righ ho fun!

All American
52. The Last Of The Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper, 1826. Frontier history or fiction? Whatever it was it was one of the most popular novels in the world in its time – and deservedly so.

53. A Modern Instance, A Hazard of New Fortunes, or The Rise of Silas Lapham William Dean Howells, 1882,1890,1885. I don’t like his characters. They’re priggish, provincial, puritanical, narrow minded, snobbish, and judgemental. But the novels about mostly nouveau riche Americans, are first rate.

54. The Europeans, What Maisie Knew Henry James, 1878, 1897. Two short personal favorites from this novelist of well crafted, highly refined, psychological novels. They are often based on some type of European, American culture clash that leads to some type of character awakening. A prolific novelist that took the form to new heights.

55. Moby Dick Herman Melville, 1851. We all know the best candidate for “Great American Novel’ – Moby Dick, the whale hunting, morality tale. But don’t pass up Bartleby The Scrivener tale of the anal law clerk that ‘prefers not to’. A mesmerizing tale of an implosion, a one of a kind story.

56. The Wheat Epic . Frank Norris. Only 2 of the 3 planned novels in this trilogy were finished before his death, but what we have is a massively broad portrait of a tough America fighting a civil war of rights versus profits. All extremely intense! The Octopus 1901. Railroad pushes enveryone, wheat farmers etc., around. The Pit 1903. The wheat market in Chicago. Also be sure to read his classic tragedy of early American realism, McTeague 1899 – and what a karmic ending!

57. The Adventures of Huckeberry Finn, Pudd’nhead Wilson Mark Twain, 1885,1894. The first is the river road trip of boy and runaway slave. The 2nd a detective story involving 2 boys, 1 black, 1 white, switched at birth.

58. The Jungle.  Upton Sinclair, 1906. Chicago stockyards’ workers as indentured servants. Note the sausage making scene. It brought on sanitary reforms in the meat industry.

59. Ethan Frome Edith Wharton, 1911. Set in New England a tale of a farmer, wife, servant girl, triangle and a sled ride to hell. (For a similar 3 character piece see the Sartre play No Exit)

60. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925. Jazz age millionaire throws parties to lure lost love Daisy. Well plotted and poetic tragedy. Also read the unfinished Hollywood based love story, The Last Tycoon.

61. The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway, 1952. Fisherman catches the big fish. Then battles the sharks to keep it. A tale of sheer determination told in his clipped straightforward prose.

62. In Cold Blood Truman Capote 1966. A true story that reads like a novel – should we include it. Why not? Tells the story of the death and robbery of a Kansas farm family – and for what? Chilling!

63. Catch 22 Joseph Heller, 1961. Zany characters run the war, with a tragic ‘cold’ ending. Also note the ‘catch’ phrase.

64. Dumb and Smarter duo:
A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole, 1980. It took a suicide by the author, and a devoted mother to get this published. A story of New Orleans eccentric, Ignatius J. Reilly, a comic masterpiece.

Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes, 1966. Experimental drug gives bell curve mentality to Charlie Gordon, retard.

If you don’t know the classic Chinese novels (that only the best Russian novels approach in scope) then you haven’t read the worlds great novels!

65. The Tale of Genji Lady Murasaki, 1000 A.D (?) (Japanese) Perhaps the first novel in the world, one of the greatest novelists, arguably the greatest female novelist, greatest Japanese novel – superlative superlative! An epic, poetic, and somewhat gloomy tale about the loves of Prince Genji, written by a lady from the Emperor’s Court.

66,67,68,69. 4 Novels of the Ming Dynasty 1368-1644.
Monkey, (Pilgrimage to the Western Region) Wu Ch’engen,C. 1580? A party searching for Buddhist Scrolls encounters all kinds of monsters, demons, and spirits, and Monkey comes to the rescue. Nothing like this comic fantasy novel in the west. 100 chapters.

The Story of the Water Margins , (Outlaws of the Marsh) Shi-Nai’an and Luo Guanzhong, 1500? Massive episodic story of 100+ bandits who join together to fight tyrants. Based on fact. Versions range from 70-124 chapters.

The Romance of the 3 Kingdoms Lo Kuan – Chung, late 14th century. The Wei, Shu, and Wu kingdoms (184-280A.D.) strugle for supremacy. The battle scenes show the strategies of all sides. Exhilirating tale. 120 chapters.

Ching Ping Mei Hsiao-hsiao-sheng, 1609. Another ‘greatest ever’ novel from China that tells the story of Hsi Men and his 6 wives – that seldom get along. Rich in detail, vast in scope, and huge.

70, 71. Two Novels of the Ming Dynasty:
The Scholars Wu Ching Tzu, 1750? An unofficial history of officialdom – satire on the literatti of the time.

Dream of the Red Chamber Tsao Hsueh-Chin, 1760’s. 80 Chapters. The greatest Chinese novel makes it a candidate for greatest novel of all. Tells of the decline and fall of 2 households of the same family. A cast of 100’s of characters and at the center of it all, the love story of a boy and his cousin.

The Children’s Hour
Children are readers too. And any lit. list that doesn’t note the favorite novels of children, discriminates against half the readers of the world – unthinkable!

72. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz L. Frank Baum, (Amer.). 14 novel series. Baum wrote about 60 books for kids. The 14 Oz books were reader favorites – and what a magical enchanting place Oz is (the name from a file cabinet marked, O-Z). My favorite series of all.

73. Pinocchio Carlo Collodi, 1892 (Ital.) More scary than you might think – still a great story of a nose growing puppet that turns into a boy.

74. The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1910 (Amer.). Mary and a beautiful hidden garden help heal Colin – an inspirational classic. One of her many great children’s stories and another one of my favorite books.

75. Winnie The Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner A.A. Milne, 1926,1928 (Brit.). The forest is alive with characters Winnie-the-Pooh (the honey loving bear), Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga & Little Roo, Tigger, and the little boy, Christopher Robin, who lives in another part of the woods. For young of all ages.

76. The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Graham, 1908 (Brit.) Fantasy of the all too bold, Toad and his friends Mole, Water Rat, and Badger. Also note his 2 collections of essays of childhood, The Golden Age 1895, and Dream Days 1898.

77. The Rose and Ring or The History of Prince Giglio and Prince Bulbo – A fireside pantomime for great and small children. W.M. Thackeray, 1855 (Brit.) The “Vanity Fair” author is at his best here. A fairy tale with vivid, realistic charcters – pure entertainment .

78. Boys Adventure:
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883 (Brit.) Pirates and lost treasure! Call of the Wild Jack London, 1903 (Amer.). Alaskan dog as main character. Two Years Before The Mast R.H. Dana Jr., 1840 (Amer.). Young boy goes to sea. Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates Mary Mapes Dodge, 1865 (Amer.) Dutch boy and skating championship.

Wild Animals I Have Known Ernest Thompson Seton, 1898 (Amer.) The mother and baby fox story is one of the most heart breaking tragedies in print.

79. Girls Adventure.
Note almost all of these are extraordinary series of books whose literary merit is equal to any ‘adult’ books, and grouping them together does not minimize their importance.
Little Women Louisa May Alcott, 1868.
What Katy Did,  Susan Woolsey, 1872.
Heidi,  Johanna Spyri 1880 (Swiss) .
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,  Kate Douglas Wiggin, 1903.
Anne of Green Gables,  L.M. Montgomery, 1908 (Can) .
Daddy Long Legs, Jean Webster, 1912.
Pollyanna,  Eleanor H. Porter, 1913.
Pippi Longstocking,  Astrid Lindgren, 1950 (Swe.)

80,81,82. 3 Fantasy Worlds: .
Peter Pan J. M. Barrie, 1911 (Brit.) All about the plucky kid from Never Never Land, that refused to grow up.

The Story of Doctor Doolittle Hugh Lofting,1920 (Brit.) (series). The Doctor’s ability to talk to animals leads to all kinds of droll possibilities.

The Borrowers May Norton, 1952 (series) (Brit) Wee families that must avoid being seen by the giant humans.

83. Twenty Thousasnd Leagues Under The Sea Jules Verne, 1869 (Fr.) captain Nemo and crew of the Nautilus try to rule the world from under the sea. Also see all his others including Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1864

84. 2 Lost World novels by sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
The Lost World 1912. Time frozen plateau in the middle of the jungle

The Maracot Deep Atlantis thrives at the bottom of the sea. Both great fantasy adventures by the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

85. Tarzan Edgar Rice Burroughs. Read not only the Ape Man series but also note his Mars, Venus, Pallucidar (Earth’s Core), and Caprona(lost lands in the jungle) series by the most popular novelist of his day.

86. 4 Strangers in a Strange Land:
Dune Frank Herbert, 1966. Desert, giant worms, and SPICE!

Foundation Trilogy Isaac Asimov. Psycho-hstorians and the mutant Mule

Ringworld Larry Niven. Two humans and two aliens voyage to a hoola hoop world.

Rendezvous With Rama Arthur C. Clarke. A world just passing through.

Farenheit 451 Ray Bradbury, 1953. The temperature at which books burn!

87. Pulp Fiction: 2 favorites in the genre:

For adults:

Doc Savage series. Superhero with brains to match his brawn and a great crew of misfit helpers.

For kids:

Horatio Alger Jr. books for boys – Tattered Tom, Ragged Dick, Luck and Pluck, series and more. Honest moral kids with pluck, overcome obstacles and often rich meanies that stand in their way.

Well this is a fix. I’m done with favorites and still no 100. Let’s add short stories:

Short Shorts:

88. Edgar Allen Poe (Amer.) Detective and horror stories in a top lofty language by a pioneer in almost everything he did in his short life. Read all.

89. Guy De Maupassant (Fr.) Intense, well crafed, bittersweet stories of French life with ironic twists. 300 written in a decade before his insanity. Debatably the best at this art form. Read all.

90. O Henry (Amer.) Not only are there surprise endings, but often a spiritual revelation comes with it. A personal favorite. Read all.

91. Saki (Brit.) Tricks and shocks for the English rich set – satirical, humorous, and occassionaly with a touch of horror. Read all.

92. The Sketch Book Washington Irving, 1820 (Amer.) There’s Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow , with Ichabod Crane, plus for book lovers, The Mutability of Literature where a tome speaks, and The Art of Bookmaking where portraits of authors come out of their frames to get revenge on playgiarists!

93. Franz Kafka (Czech) A universe of ill at ease fantasy and horror. Read all.

94. Anton Chekhov (Rus.) The other contender for best of this literary form, writes subtle, understated masterpiece after masterpiece on every aspect of Russian life. Read all.

95. Heinrich Von Kleist (Ger.) He wrote 8 short story masterpieces ( plus a lot else) before his untimely death. It’s hard to describe the impact of reading these realistic horror stories with their incredible, intensity, drama, and suspense. Read all.

96. Nikolai Gogol (Rus.) Read his short novel Dead Souls 1842, about making profits on deceased serfs, then read his short stories such as The Overcoat. Great sense of humor and compassion in all his works. Another of the leading lights of the Russian golden age.

97. Arabian Nights Present form by 1450, mostly from the 10th century. 264 tales of resourcefulness in the face of danger. Please read the unexpurged versions NOT the ones sanitized for kids. Then you’ll see some of the best story telling for adults of all time, with Shaharazad, Ali Baba, Alladin (and lamp), Simbad the Sailor, and more.

98. Crime, and Capture: Detective short story sleuths is a genre filled with many more classic crimesolvers than just Sherlock Holmes:

Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Brit.)

Dr. Thorndyke R. Austin Freeman (Brit.)

The Thinking Machine Jacque Futrelle (Amer.)

Uncle Abner Melville Davisson Post (Amer.)

Still not enough for 100. Well then , I think I’ll add my novel:
99. Portraits Tom Hendricks, 1990 (Amer.) Artists form a co-op, and the secret lover of one inspires the group to higher heights. A short novel for art lovers.

Need one more? That’s an open space for the future. Perhaps you’re writing it now!

100. ___________________________

* * * * *

The pages of a book
flick under my thumb,
The back and forth fan
a cool puff of wind.

© Tom Hendricks 2001

Musea Art Contest for 5/22/12 – Good luck players!

May 22, 2012

The answer to, and winner (if any) for, our last contest question of:
In 1996 this person started an archive for the entire internet. This person is also trying to save one copy of every book made! Name that visionary librarian!
Brewster Kahle. Some of these internet pioneers are doing groundbreaking work for all!
I had no correct eligible answers. Seems the answer was checked out of your library!
I don’t dumb down/so please wise up.

Now on to a new Q.: Win a copy of my NEW cd CALLED ‘30′! – (first anti-band CD) or my NEWER cd CALLED ‘NEXT”(‘06) or my NEWEST cd CALLED ‘THIRDS” (May ‘07) or my MORE NEWEST cd Called “FOUR-TH” (‘08) or my MOST NEWEST cd CALLED ‘5-TH (Nov.’09) or my MORE NEWEST NEWEST cd CALLED ‘6-TH’(Feb ’12)( one of the 6 CD set). (has them all plus videos and more) if you are the first to E-MAIL ME AT THIS ADDRESS: tom-hendricks @ blanks of course) with the correct answer to this art question.
DEDICATION: These contests are dedicated to my sister, Peggy, who answered more of the questions correctly than anyone else.

FINE PRINT: The CD prize is only available to those with mailing addresses in the US. Foreign winners will have to settle for the miniscule fame alone, and the satisfaction of a job well done. But don’t forget you can listen to all the music on the website, whether you won or lost – and I’d be glad if you did!

These clothes designers all designed for this mystery model: Yves St. Laurent, Christian Dior, Versace, John Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Bill Blass, Oscar del la Renta, Vera Wang, Caroline Herrera, Bob Mackie, Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Todd Oldham, and Givenchy. Name that model! Good luck!

Readers, IF you like these puzzles and would like to resend them to friends, post them on any newsgroup, or any website, please do so. The more the merrier! For tons of past quizzes go to, the musea website at or the Musea blog at And don’t forget the music/videos at Friends welcome) (all my videos)

Tom Hendricks (editor of the 17 year old zine Musea) ZINE, Named one of the best ZINES by UTNE magazine. Featured on ROCKETBOOM) MUSIC, 5 full CD’s of free Post-Bands Music) BLOG for Musea, Art Contests, Weekly E-mail Messages)

Musea Issue #184 Dictionary of Small Ideas, Now out

May 18, 2012

Dear Readers,

Some of you have already gotten the hard copies of it, carried at the stores of the usual suspects. If you have not, Webmaster Matthew has posted it on the Musea Website at

Musea contents page

Click on the #184 May/June/July Musea Issue*

The Issue may be a one of a kind one. I don’t know of anyone who has suggested so many new ideas in so many fields. Here’s a sample – the letter “D”. See what you think.

DALLAS, ART CENTER TO THE WORLD Could this relatively new city in Texas, become the center of the art world? It’s got the perfect southern US location, it’s a city that is old and big enough to handle it; yet, new enough to be flexible to that future; and, Musea is here and working toward that goal!
DOT’S PLAYHOUSE Toy-filled Victorian Mansion, that’s part playhouse, part museum, and open to ALL kids. Filled with lots of special rooms full of toys for girls and boys.
DRUG WARS America, buy all the cocaine and heroin crops directly from the farmers at their lowest price. Then you control the entire crop and reduce illegal drug traffic dramatically.

Check out all the letters, or any back issue of Musea for that matter, and let me know what you think.

Best wishes, Tom
*It is also at the usual places in town including The Inwood Theater, Lucky Dog Books (Paperbacks Plus), Half Price Books.
Tom Hendricks
(editor of the 19 year old zine Musea)

ZINE, Named one of the best ZINES by UTNE magazine. Featured on ROCKETBOOM)
MUSIC, 5 full CD’s of free Post-Bands Music)
BLOG for Musea, Art Contests, Weekly E-mail Messages)

YOUTUBE CHANNEL, features all my 60 videos)
BIG MUSIC LIST (200 Song – First Worldwide Best Music List)

Catabolic and Anabolic evolved, but they did not blend.

Cogitology, The Art of Thinking

May 16, 2012

I wrote an essay on thinking. When I showed it to Musea columnist Gregory K.H. Bryant (see this section) he wrote back – great idea and here are some more tips to add to the list. Then I added some, and he added more, etc. We even came up with a name for this science of ‘mental hygiene, (nothing serious MIND you) that we call “COGITOLOGY”. Here then is our growing list of suggestions for you to improve your processes of thinking beginning with the essay “ON THINKING”. (Those with ‘th’ at the end are by Tom Hendricks. Those with “GKHB’ at the end are by Gregory K.H. Bryant.)

Start with the phrase, ‘wish I’d thought of that first’. To me that’s like saying – (go back in time with me. We’re at the parlor of the French composer Ravel. He’s just put the final notes on his composition, Le Tombeau De Couperin, – which by the way is one of my favorite piano pieces, and who can argue with that! I can just hear the sprightly notes flowing like a rush of crystal clear, icey cold mountain water falling in countless mini falls – but I digress – He, Ravel, for you and me, plays his new composition from start to finish. We’re astounded by it’s ravishing beauty. But then you rashly blurt out) ‘Wish I’d composed that first!’) Ravel and I, both know you’ve never played the piano in your life and we’re taken back by what you said. And rightly so because – unlike you, dear reader, are thinking now – great thinking requires the same skills as great composing/piano playing. And that is: some natural talent, plus a lot of practice and training.

IT’S A WIDESPREAD MISCONCEPTION THAT GREAT THOUGHTS AND IDEAS JUST POP INTO RANDOM PEOPLE’S HEADS! But nothing could be farther from the truth. Thinking is like muscle building, you must train and train and train, 40 hours a week or more! So, brain builders, here’s a regimen for you:
1. CONSTANT INPUT: You must continuously gather information – read everything – listen to everyone – ask questions, etc. Look around you and pick up everything.
2. REFLECT: Take time to think without any distractions. This is probably the most neglected excercise, but also the most important. Take a walk, or go into a room with no stimuli (radio and TV off and no people) and just think, reflect, meditate. An hour a day is the MINIMUM. Days on end are better, and I’m serious. You must THINK, THINK, THINK, without any distractions for hours and hours, days and days.
3. EXPERIMENT: Try some ideas. See if they work. Correct or discard what’s wrong & try again. Rinse and repeat! I often say ‘I never make a mistake, I make ADJUSTMENTS.
4. GET ADVICE AND RESEARCH: Take what you’ve thought up and get other opinions on it. Listen well, and think about what others are saying. (Sometimes I think just about every problem has already been solved by someone. Our job is to find that answer and put our spin on it to further it along.)

Also important is the WAY we think:
1. DON’T LEARN INFORMATION, LEARN THE PROCESS OF GETTING INFORMATION: Example: I have 2 hours. I can either learn 5 new vocabulary words or I can learn how to use a dictionary and know the meaning of every word in the English language.
2. PRACTICE: Let’s pretend you’re president of a unified world. What’s your agenda? In other words, you’ve now got the power, solve the world’s problems. What specific things would you do to solve the world’s problems? I’m serious now. Give serious answers to ending major problems. Then get some other’s perspective on your solutions and make those adjustments and try again and again.
3. LEARN HOW TO USE MACHINES: At this point in time, the big split in the world is not so much between rich and poor, or left and right, but between machinists (people who are trained in using technology) and non-machinists (people who are not). Great thinking in this day and age HAS to contend with the technology explosion. you must know how to work machines – everything from car doors, to computers.
4. LEARN PROBLEM SOLVING: Our most revered thinkers are those who solve real problems. (which, strangely enough, is a skill hardly any public school addresses AT ALL) Relationship problems, money problems, health problems, etc.
5. ON THE OTHER HAND, RANDOM KNOWLEDGE: what is seemingly meaningless now, can be the last piece of the puzzle (or the jab that puts the last piece into place). Learn everything in every field. Never limit your scope to a specific field. If you do, you’ll lock out the answers!
6. LET THE NEURONS MISFIRE A LITTLE: When someone asks me to say what first pops into my head when I hear the word shoe, I say blue. Here’s why. I see a shoe in my mind. Actually its a pair of work boots painted by Van Gogh. They’re in a field of a brilliant blue. My neurons are not going in the ‘proper’ order (whatever that may be) but what I end up with is still logical in a very creative (instead of linear) way. Let your mind out of a 2 + 2 must be 4 logic system. (In a 3 instead of a 9 number system 2 + 2 = 10!) When I was trying (very trying) to unscramble math equations, the trig teacher would say, ‘start from the back and work forward.’ When you’re faced with a problem, start from the solution and work back or start from the middle and work out, or the upper left quadrant, or…

Well that’s enough exercise. (It’s time for the rest and reflect mode). And… as you can see, reader – THINKING IS TOUGHER THAN YOU MAY HAVE THOUGHT!

One final note: If your parents and/or your school teachers destroyed your love of learning, none of the above will work. I pity the cruel twist of fate in your life. It was all so senseless and stupid.

Cogitology Part Two

FLOWS OF THOUGHT: Pay attention to (your) flow of thought – impulses, half-formed ideas, not-quite-yet thoughts, are all running though our brains with every instant. Most of us who have been socialized into living a community have learned or taught ourselves to ignore the passage of this flow of thought, and to deny many of the unacceptable thoughts that flow through our brains. That is why James Joyce met so much resistance to his work – people were so conditioned to the conventional telling of stories that the flow-of-consciousness writing that Joyce pioneered (and which is much truer to ‘reality’ than the contrivances of fiction) that they simply couldn’t make sense out of what they were reading, thought they were doing precisely the same thing every day and were more intimately familiar with the flow if consciousness style of word-making than any other. (GKHB)

WALK IN NATURE: For some inexplicable reason, a simple long walk in a quiet woods does wonders for creative thought. And it’s not only the great poetry of a Wordsworth, there’s Beethoven figuring out a symphony passage, Newton getting the point when an apple falls on his head, and Robert Bruce earning a lesson in courage from the 7th attempt of a spider to build its web. (th)

ASK A CHILD OR AN IDIOT: By posing your dilemma to somebody totally uninformed about any aspect of the problem, you’ll get a totally fresh opinion that may, just may spark the answer you’ve been looking for. (th)

LEARN HOW TO RID THE MIND OF WORDS: Most of us have a voice talking talking talking in our heads ceaselessly. Most people assume that it is impossible to turn this voice off, and that is only because they have never really tried. In fact, it is not that hard to do at all, though it does require some practice. Being able to remain in a wordless state for extended periods produces a wondrously cleansing and liberating effect. Everybody should practice wordlessness at least once a day. GKHB)

The 30’s GATE: no matter how precocious you are, the undeniable fact is that the serious, earth-shaking, thinking almost always comes in your later years. And there’s something about that age from 28-30 that is a gate or hurdle to profound thought. If you are over that age, you’ll note that that was a passage of serious growing up when (for who knows what reason) we are tested with tough enough times, that those experiences knock out what is false and start us on a lean path to real knowledge. Check out your favorite famous person and see if their notable achievements didn’t really start forming till those groundbreaking years 28-30. (th)

SEE IT: Visuals stick in the memory quicker than just about any other form of learning. (th).

ADVICE OF THE WHITE QUEEN: A good principle is the advice of the White Queen who undertook to believe a dozen impossible things, every day before breakfast. Whatever the exact wording was. Our dogmatic rejection of things on the grounds that they are ‘impossible’ does much to stifle the development of thought. Ever hear somebody respond to an idea ‘it can’t be done’? This is a universal response to creative ideas and it is almost universally wrong. Edison heard it, Tesla heard it, Ford heard it – but not one of them believed it, meaning they chose to believe in the impossible. (GKHB)

REPEAT AND REPEAT AGAIN: When it comes to teaching our subconscious mind (the mind that works the body) nothing works better than repeat, repeat, and repeat again. habit and repetition can make virtually any tough task stick. Ask that concert pianist why he’s repeating and repeating and repeating again. And as a a bit of serendipity, the endless repeats bring about tiny refinements that over time turn a rand amateur painter into a master. (th)

HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR: After all, humor is a mental activity, and every joke and witticism carries a seed of Zen, and we laugh at a joke as our response to sudden enlightenment. (GKHB)

DON’T LOOK JUST WHERE THE LIGHT’S BETTER: A guy is looking for his lost keys under a lamp post. Another asks ‘where did you lose them?’ The 1st guy points to a dark area along the sidewalk. “Well why are you looking here?’ The 1st guy replies ‘The light is better’. Right now, for example, almost all mainstream medical research is in the area of drug therapy for curing diseases. that’s where the light is, but is the next great innovation in health going to be in that research line? The light is better but the keys aren’t there. (th).

DON’T IDENTIFY SO STRONGLY WITH YOUR THOUGHTS: Thinking is hard for many of us because we identify so strongly with our thoughts. Many people believe that salvation or damnation depends upon what we think (I think there may be some truth to that, but it is not so rigid a truth as we believe). We have too much at stake, for our sense of who we are depends so much on what and how we think. Why do we treat intelligence as if it were a virtue? It isn’t. It’s a capacity like running, or swimming – some of us are naturally good at it, some of us are practiced at it, but whether we are good swimmers or good thinkers, both these matters are completely irrelevant to whether we are good or decent people. When we remove the phony moral elements from it, thinking becomes fun. Thinking is FUN! (GKHB)

USE FACTS AS A STEPPING STONE: Case in point. In Art Surfing, I reported that the Personal Library Series has put 1,896 classic works on CD-Rom. Using that as a stepping stone, I envision a website on the internet with ALL LITERARY CLASSICS on it that can be sent and downloaded via the internet to ANY university, school, business, or home, thus making the library of humankind available to all. (th).

LET YOUR KIDS GET BORED: Perhaps nothing, I repeat NOTHING is as important to mental development as boredom! Let me explain. Have you seen those poor kids that are dragged from music lessons, to scouts, to school, to soccer, to church activities, much like a deer caught in the headlights. When we allow our children to 1st catch up to all that’s swirling around them, and then allow them to be so caught up with the stimulation overload to be BORED, then what do they do? They begin creating their own diversions, and stimulating themselves in just those areas that interest them. Their learning skyrockets as their own creativity builds. Nothing insures brilliance better! (th)
Here is Musea’s 3rd installment of its growing list of suggestions for you to improve your processes of thinking. Those with ‘th’ at the end are by Tom Hendricks, those with ‘GKHB’ at the end are by Gregory K.H. Bryant.

WORK ON THESE STEPS AHEAD LIKE CHESS PLAYERS. Get into the habit of thinking of an action, then the reaction, and you’re re-reaction. Pus the boundaries forward of how far ahead you can imagine. Don’t stop at thinking at the first action. See your hand through the board like they do in Karate. th.

GET HEALTHY. Don’t project your psychoses on the world and call it scientific fact or indisputable philosophy. Resolve your own inner conflicts and don’t let them muddy your perceptions. th.

FACT AND OPINION. I think very important for clear thinking is making the distinction between ‘fact’ and opinion. It is in doing this that science is so powerful. Of course, the fundamental distinction between the two is endlessly controversial, and in some senses, there is no real difference- by my personal definition, a ‘fact’ is simply an opinion that you can get most people to agree to. But all this is very much by the way – whatever conventional criteria we use to distinguish between the two of them is not so important as the fact of making the distinction and applying it consistently. GKHB.

LOOK FOR THE THEORY THAT MAKES ALL THE PIECES FIT. Darwin’s theory on Evolution worked everywhere in every situation. in trying to solve life’s mysteries, look for the solution that makes ALL THE PIECES FIT. If your theory needs countless exceptions, addenda, and endless smudging, go back to the drawing board. th.

VIRTUE OF REPETITIVE AND MINDLESS TASKS. These mindless tasks: washing dishes, scrubbing toilets, planting potatoes, and so on, keep our bodies active, and simultaneously free the mind to think. Washing dishes is very Zen, and enlightenment can easily be found in a sink full of dirty water. Enlightenment will be found wherever it is we happen to look. If we cannot find wisdom mopping floors, we don’t have it in us to find it anywhere. GKHB.

WISDOM AND ENLIGHTENMENT ARE NOT STRICTLY PURITAN CONCEPTS. We can find wisdom (as Bukowski did) at the bottom of a beer bottle, or as Burroughs did, withdrawing from heroin. We can find wisdom in an orgasm, in a life devoted to alcoholism, even in a life devoted to crime– Jesse James and Al Capone both had little kernels of wisdom to offer up. There is no single road to wisdom. all roads lead there, if only we follow them where they all inevitably lead. If we have failed to find it upon the course we have taken, it means that we haven’t yet got there. We still have further to go. GKHB.

WORK YOUR BRAIN LIKE A MUSCLE. You wouldn’t exercise 16 hours a day. Same with heavy duty thinking. A couple of hours of hard work, then rest, switch to some light repetitive simple work. What seems to work best for most is a total 4 hours a day max. Another case of less is more– much more gets done, solved, realized. th.

WISDOM THROUGH LIES AND PHONY TEACHINGS. The fact that a teaching happens to be false does not mean it has no wisdom to offer. It only means we have to take care in extracting its fruit. We learn much wisdom from Aesop, though animals don’t really talk. His biology is false, but Aesop’s ethical teachings are profound. And so it is with everything we study. The idea for us is to learn the wisdom behind the statements, not dogmatically or pendantically, but conditionally. GKHB.

DON’T STUMBLE OVER THE OBVIOUS WHEN THE LIGHT IS ON. Look back over the great discoveries of the past. To us don’t they seem so… obvious. Yet to all the contemporaries of those geniuses, the obvious was not obvious at all. Don’t over-think to the point that you miss the obvious. th.
Here is Musea’s 4th installment of its growing list of suggestions to fine tune your processes of thinking. Those with ‘GKHB’ at the end are by Musea Columnist, Gregory K.H. Bryant. Those with ‘th’ at the end are by editor Art (Tom Hendricks).

BE LUCKY: In the sci-fi classic Ringworld, one crew member is chosen because in the evolutionary process she has the trait of GOOD LUCK. Just think what Da Vinci could have done with an electric motor, but he was born too soon so most of his brilliant ideas were parlor tricks to his contemporaries. It took some 400 years to bring them to fruition. th.

WHY AM I BORED? Boredom almost always comes about because whatever it is we are doing at the moment, we would prefer to be doing something else. Which means that our minds are not here and now our minds are elsewhere, but our bodies trapped here. this disconnect between body and mind is a painful thing, and we often seek to avoid it reflexively, without giving any thought to what our state of boredom indicates about ourselves. Boredom gives us a chance to learn about ourselves. If we study our own sense of boredom, we will learn many useful things. If we avoid it, we learn nothing. GKHB

LESSER SENSES: Don’t forget the lesser senses. Expand your wisdom with not only experiencing sights and sounds but with tastes, smells and touch. Widen your thoughts and feelings on the world around you by noting all the smells, tastes, and textures etc. Each is another full world in itself! th.

BIBLE RISING: When you feel the bile rising in your throat, when you feel that irresistible impulse to interrupt the other speaker with loud shouting and name-calling, stop it and ask yourself honestly, ‘Why am I getting so angry?’ Nine times out of ten, you’ll find that the anger arises either because you take disagreement as an assault on your own sense of self-worth, or because the disagreement causes you to feel fear. If your beliefs are so delicately poised that a single doubt may bring them to ruin, then you ought to seriously reconsider those beliefs. If you argue to yourself that the different point of view is dangerous, (or that it may seduce other, not-so-sophisticated people into evil, and should be suppressed), then you are admitting your own fear. Stifling expression of thought because we fear it is intellectual cowardice. GKHB.

STRESS-TEST YOUR THINKING: We build a new technology, and find that it works. But that is not sufficient. Before we market our new technology, we subject it to stress-testing, to find our when, and under which conditions it will break down. We also want to find out specifically the kinds of break-downs that will occur. We ought to do this with our own thinking. My present beliefs work for me now, and under these present conditions. Now let me find out whether these beliefs will stand up to other conditions, and let me actively seek out the conditions under which my beliefs are untenable. GKHB.

THINK PATTERNS: Recognize that everybody has different think patterns. A child’s is different from a teen, or someone in their 20’s, 30’s,…80’s, etc. Men are different from women, Asians are different from Africans, and our thinking now is different from 500 years ago and 500 years into the future. To understand anything or anybody, recognize that they will probably NOT be sharing your think patterns, (i.e. the way you thoughts and feelings) th.

THE UGLY TRUTH: The ugliest truth is always better than the prettiest lie. But it is a temptation to fill our heads with pretty lies rather than face these ugly truths. Resist this temptation. We so often try to drown out the voice of truth in our own heads because it is telling us things we don’t want to hear. GKHB.

DESTROY ALL RATIONAL THOUGHT: This is the call to arms given us by William S. Burroughs. The point here is that a narrow insistence upon rationality ignores 99.9% of human existence, and the nature of reality. It is nonsense for us to expect that all our experience should conform to the limited applications of rationality. Give up all fear or the non-rational and the irrational. GKHB.

READ: 15 minutes a day for 4-6 years is a college education, and if you choose a little bit of everything from economics to Chinese poetry, it’s a very GOOD college you went to. th.

DON’T PUSH IT: If it’s not working today, go fishing– give up– take a walk. There are days when it just rolls oh so well, and others when everything you try is blocked. There’s a weather to everything, included thinking. th.

WHAT A THING IS AND WHAT I THINK OF IT ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS: As a rhetorical device we often deny that a thing is what it is because of some quality we do not approve of – “He is not a man!”, “No self-respecting individual would do a thing like that,” Thinking gets confused when we promiscuously throw fact and opinion together into a single vat- it is also a technique of the sophists (read politicians) to confuse the difference, treating opinions as if they were facts, and facts as if they were nothing but opinions. All we do when we make these meaningless assertions is to confuse our own thinking. GKHB.>

GAZE AT THE MOON: Builds up ‘reflective’ thought. th.


1. CREATIVITY HELPED: Creativity is sometimes HELPED not hindered by these 3 things: structure (must fit the format), competition (pushes you to excel), and stress to complete on time (forced to be brilliant). So consider: sonnet forms, art contests, and deadlines, as all sometime-pluses.

2. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT: If you love what you’re learning, you’ll learn it – absorb it like a sponge and go for more. If you hate it you, like the horse, won’t drink the water!

3. PUT IT TO THE TEST: Put your ideas to the test. That’s the philosophy of science and it’s made an incredible impact on human knowledge. You can ponder all day, but sooner or later you have to look/see!

4. DON’T JUMP – SLIIIIIIDE! Move from one layer of the onion to the next until you get to the core of the problem you’re trying to figure out. No major discovery was ever jumped to. They all required little steps; but, amazingly the little steps keep moving you forward until you reach marvelous and incredible endings.

5. DISCUSS WITH EVERYONE: Problems are often already solved or led to solution by something someone else says. Listen and learn.

6. NEVER OVERLOOK THE EXCEPTIONS The rules should cover the entire waterfront. Exceptions are the key to why a rule isn’t the final answer. Pay special attention to exceptions, they often lead to amazing discoveries in human thought.

7. DON’T LOCK INTO A PREDITION: Go into any problem open-minded. Let the facts show you the truth instead of you trying to force the facts to suit any predisposed ideas.

8. MUSE FACTOR Pray for inspiration. STOP LEARNING. When you graduated from high school, you thought the junior high kids were morons. When you graduated from college 4 years later, you thought the high school grads were morons. Now imagine what someone who continues learning every day after college for the next 30 years thinks of those who never cracked a book after graduation day – moron squared! Moral being – keep learning.

10. DO WHAT’S RIGHT If you’re searching for wisdom to do the right thing then the entire universe is behind you. If you’re searching for wisdom for wickedness the entire universe is against you. Go with good.

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