Another resource hogging flash applet thingie...click the gray background to begin loading,

photo

then navigate with arrow keys. You'll need something other than Internet Explorer.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Vampire Hunter sips his coffee,


The Vampire Hunter, originally uploaded by use2blost.
waiting to clock in.

I'm having a few problems with low-light HDR imaging. I like the concept. The building isn't...ugly. The problem seems to be the photographer. I'm not pleased with the shadows on the statue and the ghosting on some of the foliage. Would have liked to keep the sky, but go darker on the grass. It's funny. This is a shot with faked HDR processing:

Riding into the sunset
Larger

looks better, huh? discouraging. :(

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm going to quit smoking.

baby nutmuncher BW



Again.

I have a proven method. Quitting, though extremely difficult, is really the easiest part. This I think is misunderstood by those lacking firsthand knowledge, and forgotten swiftly by those who sucessfully banish nicotine from their lifestyle for an extended period. I know a hiking trail in the Appalachians that makes an eleven mile circle over remote, rugged terrain (actually if you have a mapping GPS, and you're an overweight, out-of-shape smoker, you will show a covered distance of nearly seventeen miles. Evidently staggering from one side of the trail to another in exhaustion significantly adds to the trip.) If I don't want to have a heart attack, I take three days to walk this loop. It's friggin' torture. Also, for some reason, it is my idea of a good time.

Three days without cigarettes, gives me a significant investment, and then making four, is easier. And then making five is easier. And so on. It is the staying stopped that proves my undoing. My life is littered with smoking people that I love and with whom I interact. About nine or ten days into a stab at quitting, I'll smoke a cigarette. Go figure.

Now, if I haven't had a cigarette in 10 hours, and I smoke a Marlboro, I catch a pleasant euphoria. It is mild, and brief, but Ive been doing this since I was 12. My body recognizes this old friend, and the pleasant associations imprinted in my recall. After a day or two this euphoria is no longer mild. As my system withdraws from nicotine and my tolerance is diminished, this euphoric effect increases in intensity, becoming so over powering it borders on unpleasant... Definitely an acquired taste.

Did you know tobacco was sacred, to Lakota (and possibly other tribes...I wouldn't know.) Indians? It is that potent. An old Indian I know will use tobacco in ritual religious observances. It is a powerful herb. After even a brief abstinence, it is a sledghammer blow of altered consciousness. And I love that. I always have. In any form (It made for an interesting youth).

So cigarettes become vice, with buzz as it's object. (An insidious drug, nicotine. Addiction is not so much about getting high...a chronic smoker like myself smokes to stave off that feeling of need, of badness, of wordless discontent that lurks behind everything in my life. It's always there. Soon, it will make me go outside. In certain company, I will be ashamed. ), It seems I have almost gotten two addictions for the price of one.

I begin to have a cigarette every couple of days. They're AWESOME. Somewhere in between booty and ice cream. If you have one with some good coffee, it moves leftward on the BIC scale. I think about the cigarette I'm gonna have that evening, or whatever. With my 30 year history of smoking, plus the additional conditioning I give myself, with these little nicotine trysts, I am painting myself into a behavioral corner. My psych text calls this a powerful reinforcer, as opposed to the normal kind, which is most every other time it is used in the book.

Of course, a bad day is coming. isn't it? A shit hit the fan day. Life is good, but these days are sprinkled among them. The wisdom of the years is slow coming to the likes of me, but some things do sink in over time. I know these days are inevitable, and five or six cigarettes into one of those Days, and I'm well and goodly hooked all over again.

I am afraid that these things will kill me. I am going to try again, during the fall break. I have tried patches, pills, lozenges, dip, gum. Everything. Nothing has ever given me that three day head start I can get by going for a walk in the woods. And since I'll be alone, I won't have to kill somebody. Cause they breathed.

Here goes...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Boots


Boots, originally uploaded by use2blost. Larger

Are still wet. They've been wet since Thursday night. I to had wear sneakers to work today. I have the ankles of a six year old girl, so I don't like this much.

Now, The bench was on the side of the road. When I found it it was weathered to the point of complete exposure to the elements. The wood was black and the back and two sides were unattached. The slats were loose in a jumble on top of the three pieces. I'm not plugging my refinishing job... I'm just a little impressed with myself because the junk only sat in my back yard for two or three weeks. That's moving like the wind compared to some of my other projects. I like old weathered wood exposed, and raw (Oh, boy! now a lot of pornseeker hits are in store for this post! Yeah! It's all about the traffic, baby.) and black with mildew. It excites me.
Anyway, I sand away the mildew, but I stop short of taking her down (I know, I'm shameless) to virgin substrate. I try to straddle the plane of demarcation between the aged and unblemished. When I get the look I want, then I slap on about 4 coats of high gloss exterior polyurethane with a progressively lighter hand sanding between each one. Before the final coat I lovingly caress my project with some extra fine wore out sandpaper, then rub her down using a soft lint-free cloth lightly dampened with mineral spirits. What I shoot for is a build up deep enough to fill every last dimple of grain leveling the surface, with a finish smoother than baby booties.

Wow, I really got sidetracked. My point was, my boots have been wet since Thursday. We have gotten an enormous amount of rain. Check out the puddle In the front yard of my jobsite. I got a big kick out of the Sumrall's front forty looking like a bass lake.

The Puddle

I wanted to experiment with the texture of leather and wood with a pronounced grain. The Puddle of Enchantmentwas a happy accident.

Interestingly enough, This Client has had me paint several times. The last time, fifteen months ago, my Father died. So this was little weird. When he passed away, They made me Aunt Judy's guardian. My first day on the job this time, Aunt Judy's doc called. Wanted to know where I stood on the resuscitation issue, cause she wasn't doing so hot. That was a wild phone call. (Auntie got out of the hospital Monday)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Corncob Graveyard


Corncob Graveyard, originally uploaded by use2blost.

I don't do much B&W. Possibly I suck at it.
However, as I apply for nursing programs, it will help if I've been able to publish in the school literary magazine. Which is printed in black and white.
Since a lot of literary analysis is crap...

Large On Black

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Eggs of a Scorned Woman. AKA Seven Pepper Quiche

The Money Shot
Well, the financial aid has not arrived, and it is time to begin studying for finals...but as a change of pace I thought I might try posting a Food Tutorial before swearing off flickr, the blog, and the internet in general for a couple weeks. I have a little work going on, and cheese was on sale. OMG. I love cheese, and hadn't bought any in a month. I'm talkin' pepper jack, sharp cheddar, all kinds of cheese, 8 oz packages 4 for 5 bucks. I mighta overdid it.
So I came home, stocked my many packets of cheese in the fridge, grabbed a colander, and strolled through the back yard, and came up with this.
time to make a quiche
I managed to get a couple zuchinnis, squash, and cucumbers before some type of fungus wreaked havoc in my garden, but lately the only thing I seem to be harvesting are cherry tomatoes and assorted peppers. I'm still learning about the whole gardening thing, but cherry tomato plants are amazing. With a little work I am sure we could engineer biological weapons from them. One tiny green leaf hanging out of a dixie cup, halfway nurtured will grow to cover 35-65 sq ft. The peppers in general are also doing very well, and I've got one habenero TREE. It must be some kinda mutant. If you saw it you would think Chris and the Habenero Stalk.

So this colander situation happens a couple times a week, and seems to be picking up speed. As well as drying, freezing, and giving stuff away, Ive been making a lot of quiches. At least that's what I call them. If you research quiches on the web, it seems the egg mixture isn't just eggs, but eggs and other stuff and they call the mixture "custard". So don't be thinking this is a legitimate recipe or that this is a blog to be taken seriously. This is good stuff though, and it will put hair on your chest.

Sun-Dried Tomatas

This quiche has seven peppers:
bell, chili, poblano, jalepeno,bannana, habenero, and black pepper.
It also takes cheese, and of course eggs. About a dozen'll do ya.
There is one small eggplant (Everything is organically grown...you can walk in my back yard and lick plants. No harm will come to you.)
Some onion, garlic, broccoli... you can put in anything you want,even meat, but the whole point for me is to use up some of these tomatoes and peppers, so I left some room.

Gotta Have Cheese

first start with a couple no-stick pans. (Praise God for No-Stick Cookware.) sprinkle some grated cheese in the bottoms...you really can't overdo this, but a thin layer, that you can see the bottom of the pan through, is adequate. It'll be fine. This Cheese will melt into a thin, oiled crust.

Optional Step.
You can even be so extravagant as to line the sides of the pan with slices...but I'm on a budget.

Getting Started

Then you add your structural stuff, try to make a layer of slices of the firmer vegetables along the bottom (this is simple chris-quiche theory. I believe it makes it easier to get pieces out of the pan). I've actually never messed with eggplant. In my illustrious youth, I was the night chef at an Italian restaurant for a while. We served eggplant parmigiana, but it was already prepped. Often, I imagine, you get more hands-on cooking experience as the lunch chef. The eggplant color and texture tickled me to death :). They just feel funny.

So with this quiche, I started with my slices of eggplant, which I distributed as far as it would go, and filled in the bottom layer with some onions. Poblanos and bells are pretty big and firm, and I use those as well (If you take the trouble to grow stuff to eat, you really oughta save a little corner by your tomatoes to plant some basil, sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme.... that stuff practically grows itself, and hopping out the back door to snatch a few leaves off a plant and throw them in a pan always makes me grin.) Now is a good time to throw in your herbs, black pepper, and maybe a little chopped garlic. I skipped it this time, but a little finely chopped celery gives a great flavor, especially with some chicken chunks.

The Bottom Layer

Getting back on the subject, when you've got a good bottom layer going
You can fill it in with some broccoli, lots of tomatoes, and of course peppers.

hot stuff

Just a few chilis, with a couple jalapenos and a banana or to will be more than enough for a lot of people. Not everyone will want to add habeneros, but if you should, you'll wanna wash your hands thoroughly before you touch your face, or pee.

This Step isn't for Everybody.

I almost forgot... as your doing the fill in, sprinkle in plenty of cheese. Tomatoes have a lot of moisture, and the cheese really helps out with firmness, and tastes good, too. It is on sale.

Cheese is on sale

After I get all my goodies in, with lots of cheese, I throw a couple handfuls of sun-dried cherry tomatoes across the top. I know I got lotsa 'maters already, but SDT's have a different flavor. You can't get it any other way.

Just Prior to Baking

Just prior to baking, before I put my eggs in, it looks like this:

Now You're ready to beat your eggs

For beating the eggs, I use a Ryobi 18volt lithium-ion drill, with a paint mixer, kept aside in the kitchen. I have no blender, ( I lost it in the divorce, and haven't gotten around to replacing it) but I'm sure that would work better. These jokers need to be fluffy. Really. A big wad of yellow foam.

I lost the blender, in the Divorce.

After pouring up my eggs. I throw both pans in a preheated oven for about twenty minutes at 405-415. Then it's time to pull 'em out for a second and throw a layer of cheese slices on top. I used slices of pepper jack here, but anything will do. Sprinkling parmesan on top gives a little crispy, cheesey, brown crust, as the parmesan sinks/sticks to the underlying cheese slices and slowly starts changing color...

(I can"t believe I forgot to shoot a bracket for this picture. You'll just have to use your imagination.)

I put it back in the oven and keep an eye on it. Another Ten minutes or so makes it look like this.

The Money Shot

These will cut up into 12-14 lunch-sized servings of quiche, that I'll individually wrap (after eating a couple), and freeze. I'll pull a piece out as needed and nuke it for 1-2 minutes, and eat it without guilt. I'm sure it's healthy, though I imagine it packs a pretty good cholesterol punch.

BTW, these are high dynamic range images, for those who care. High Dynamic Range technology was first developed and used to photograph Mushroom Clouds It lets you combine multiple exposures into one image, and tone map them. Each picture in this post is the result of combining Three to Five separate images. once I started I was kinda committed. Unfortunately, a couple of thee composites are substandard. I have never seen it done with food... remember you saw it here first. The software is a free download, and even with only one jpeg to work with you can fake it and transform a picture-

Blogpost

You can get a better look at the difference Large
Probably the most noteworthy aspect of these food shots is the lighting...under my kitchen cabinets over the breakfast bar, I've got a couple grow lights where I'll start seeds and cuttings. I tell myself that it helps early picked vegetables ripen... it also truly jacks up your reds, when you hdr.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jim


Gazing Away, originally uploaded by use2blost.



Jim called me last night for a ride. After posting about the cigarette thing, I talked to my IRL buddy, Scott. I also played around between my ears, thinking a little harder about Jim than I have been. I am almost positive he lies a little, and he has a couple of behavioral thingies that stand out. I have some questions about the disability/ physical address issue, and a lot of details in general are sorta foggy. I plan to start paying more strict attention (I mentioned Jim to a guy in my small group about a month ago, but my attendance is spotty when class is in session, and nothing has come of it). Over a few more run-ins, I may develop a little more clarity, about Jim’s life.

So, I drive out to meet Jim, and it’s dark. There is about a half a mile stretch of bad neighborhood that is one of three likely parts of town for Jim to request a rendezvous.

The last time I was here I had the chance to (there’s a whole post in here, but jeez, I’m wore out!) buy some crack. I think it was the eye contact (note to self… don’t be eyeballin’ the crack man!). I meant to speak to Jim about some other options. Evidently I dropped the ball. Jim is nowhere in sight. Damn. I turn around, and make another pass. I’m getting a little grumpy…don’t forget, I’ve been on steroids for a week and I don’t have my glasses.

OK, I wanna mention a few things:

  1. At this time, I am in a painter’s van, no question. I got paint-spattered ladders strapped to it, big “SPRAY TECH” sticker on the rear window.
  2. Umm…of all the construction trades, with the possible exception of roofers, none is better represented in the general crack-smoking population than painters. FYI most guys don’t get into house painting because they were a smashing success somewhere else.
  3. Appearances matter, at 10 pm as you fly through the local crackport waggling your wings for the third consecutive pass.

I can’t believe I didn’t get a chance to buy some crack, this time. I was plenty stressed when I finally spotted Jim through the gloom. I swung in, he threw his bike in the van, and we split. I was still riding the warm fuzzy feeling from Jim’s earlier generosity and I had gotten paid for a small job. I wanted to hook him up, so we Taco Belled and got some smokes, and I gave him a little cash. When I let him out, I may have still been a little agitated. I was agonizing about the whole shower thing and suddenly rediscovered my testicles. I decided to offer him a shower.

He told me he was nervous, no thank you

It was uncomfortable. He probably thinks I’m a homelessguyophile (that's sorta funny, to me...but I'm strange). I have decided regardless, to have greater intentionality trying to impact this guy’s life in a good way.

Oh, and I told him I blogged about him…that was bothering me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cadillacs...


Jim's Good Side, originally uploaded by use2blost.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Homeless Jim bought me a pack of Cadillacs today. Caddies, refer to premium cigarettes... Newports, Camels, Marlboros and the like. He pitied me in my affluence. My financial circumstances are stressful by my standards, though Jim probably wouldn’t agree. He smelled bad. He called a little squatting spot a place of his own for a week or two, but somehow he lost it. Jim tells me that social security requires a physical address to send a check. A P.O. box is unacceptable. I think Jim’s progress at obtaining disability income runs into a stone wall, here. This hurdle confounds him. Jim needs a lump sum of 300-400 dollars to get his foot in the door and rent some slum property, but he has no slum to send the check to. Hmmm. Direct deposit comes to mind….
I first met Jim last summer, and he has survived the winter. He truly lives Hand to Mouth. I should mention that Jim is dying, I think. The Hole in his face was my first clue. The cancer distorts the whole side of his head, giving it a caved in appearance. One eye twists askew, peering downward and to the outside, oozing pus perpetually. It’s not pretty, and coupled with the smell, it really cuts down on Jim’s attractiveness as an employee. He employs himself, tackling odd jobs, and sometimes gets ripped off. I’m afraid to let Jim know where I live, and this shames me, a little.

Of course Jim panhandles, which I find strange. Here in Warner Robins, my roots go back over thirty years. Growing up as an Air Force Brat on the Base, I never saw panhandling, and I’m pretty sure I never saw it in town. Twenty years ago I saw panhandlers in Little Five Points, when I ran away to Atlanta after flunking out of college. So, I am not shocked (much), but this takes place 5 blocks from my House. Going out for a stroll can bring me across the trail of a homeless guy before I finish a small Hemmingway. It’s kind of new to me.
Anyway, I am favorable disposed toward panhandlers. God is good, and today a home of my own awaits my evening return, but this was not always the case. I remember leaner times, and usually will contribute a buck or two for the Cause when approached. The first night I met Jim I got an inner nudge, a wordless articulation of compassion for this stranger.
I have this little light inside me, you see. It swirls and it twirls. It flits about, focusing on one thing or another. Sometimes it locks in on something like a pit bull, and explodes with brilliance. It terrified me this night. I think it wanted me to take Jim to my house and let him shower, wash his clothes. Spend the night. Have ten hours as a normal American.

Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s what it wanted. Instead, I emptied my change into his hands. I had probably broken a hundred for some gasoline, and a carton of smokes. Some Marlboros.

Cadillacs.

Jim probably cleared 15 bucks, plus my last open pack of cigarettes, and a brand new pack from the fresh carton. Oh, Glory. I lavished these gifts casually with a secret shame at my fear, but this windfall made Jim cry. We both went on our way, after a few words on…theology, and economics. I had a hard time thinking of Jim for a day or two, but I got over it. It seems I can do that for a little while.

So Jim and I have engaged in this dance. I am suspicious and freaked out, and I try to catch him in a lie. He is destitute for the most part, and tries to catch me with a few bucks in my pocket. Jim succeeds more often than I do. He has my phone number, and sometimes calls and asks for a ride, or a little money (I have called my buddy Scott and kept him on the phone while dropping money off to Jim… just in case he cut my throat, or popped a cap in my ass.) The hole in his face has to be stopped up with a paste in order for him to swallow properly, and he can’t enjoy anything like coffee or ice cream. Everything must be lukewarm. I guess it’s very painful otherwise.
I will cough up nine bucks and change for his paste prescription or other medication and occasionally get him something to eat. I will also speak to Jim with irritation, if he calls when studies press upon me, or my wallet is empty. The little light inside me can be eclipsed…by a selfish prick, it seems... but I digress.

Today, Jim and I made eye contact across Watson Boulevard. I made a left, waved and then saw Jim turn in my direction. Damn. Looking in the rearview, I became worried that Jim might be able to triangulate my neighborhood location if I continued, so I made a U- turn and waited. I have no money. My financial aid is a month late, I missed my house payment, the water will be shut off Thursday, and my power on the 14th. I’m holding, though. I got one cigarette, my last one.

You would have to be a lifelong smoker to completely understand. As addictions go, smoking is unique. Cigarettes are legal, and the addictive behavior happens in public, it’s easy to forget the strength it has over you. Until you’re broke. (Imagine trying to kick a cocaine habit if you saw crack every time you stopped for a cup of coffee, or walked by a public building, or picked your kids up from school.) I had been starving the monkey on my back for two days. At this point the occasional cigarette I came across simply whetted my appetite; I existed in a state of constant deprivation, and an underlying feeling of piss-off from the steroids they put me on Saturday.
Jim asked me for a cigarette. I declined, and it hurt. I got frustrated. I was embarrassed. I had never denied Jim a cigarette, so he knew something was up. He reluctantly asked for a ride, I agreed, and we headed up town. Jim listened to me bitch, and took the other half of the cigarette. When we arrived at Jim’s destination, his job had been given to a nephew. Too bad, so sad.

We rode back down Watson Boulevard and Jim directed me into a parking lot. He produced a handful of singles, went inside the store, and bought cigarettes. He bought himself some cheap, shitty cigarettes, and he bought me what I smoke. They cost nearly twice as much. He bought me some Caddies.

He bought me some Marlboros.

Jim is homeless. He and I live in totally different economies. Four dollars and eighty-five cents, for me is merely a more pleasant evening, with my legal drug. I can write my paper, study my psychology, be warm and civil to people I bump up against. I’ll spend the whole night without losing my temper. For Jim, four dollars and eighty-five cents is 6 Checker Burgers on Sunday special. Jim gave up a day of eatin’, and I’m afraid to let him come take a shower....


BTW... Check out Mama's writer's workshop.


mamakat...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Early Morning light


Early Morning light, originally uploaded by use2blost.

Gosh, I have a lot to do today. Furthermore, I have been on steroids since Saturday afternoon, so I am hungry, and deep in the background of my psyche, someone is really pissed off and just looking for an excuse to leap to the forefront and take over. I've got a few excuses...Hopefully a good solid day in a sitting position won't be impossible, cuz I got about 7 hours of paper to write. The structured writing requirements of my Comp II class leave me devoid of any desire to write for myself. The OCD formatting, and active voice requirements leave me drained. Like a man who spends large amounts of time satisfying a kinky mistress, and has no energy at home. My last paper was a contrast/literary criticism of We Wear the Mask, and I Wanted to Share My Father's World. The first poem is by Paul Dunbar, and the second by....President Jimmy Carter. I dislike reading poetry. In my mind, it has the palatability of sex in jail: undesirable, especially if it is someone else's idea.
Anyhow, I gotta ninety-seven.


Chris Rauch
Mrs. Wilcox
ENG 102
30 August 2009

Subtle Confessions

The fundamental defense mechanism of nondisclosure in the face of perceived vulnerability strikes a familiar chord within the reader as he views the common threads of concealed anguished that weave through the lyric, rhymed poems “We wear the Mask” and “I Wanted to Share My Father’s World”. The scent of private pain in literary waters plucks a heart string common to people with even the most elementary skills of personal interaction. “We wear the Mask” and “I Wanted to Share My Father’s World” speak of specific phenomena, while describing patterns of action or inaction familiar to readers male or female and from multiple cultural backgrounds. In both works, the speakers confide inner dissatisfaction to the audience, and the reader seizes upon it instinctively.
The earliest childhood awareness of self as an entity separate from others spawns a gap between souls, the distance hopefully spanned by a bridge of goodwill. The narrowness and flimsy construction of this connection between people gives rise to feelings of isolation, and vulnerability. Both Mr. Carter and Mr. Dunbar tap this visceral knowledge of human nature, giving an illusion of novelty as they reveal their true feelings to the audience. Both poems appeal to a facet of our nature present at the dawn of humanity. President Jimmy Carter, white, educated, and raised in affluence, writes a lamentation of relational pain. His lyric poem, “I Wanted to Share My Father’s World” surveys the memory of a man as his perspective moves from that of a son to that of a father.
The unnamed narrator takes an introspective look at his paternal relationship. He announces at the outset that these things seldom see the light of exposure, and explains his bittersweet grief by reminding the reader that familial connection, and the bonds of descent and ancestry endure the passage of time, not easily severed by resentment and pride. Acceptance between a father and a son lacks a casual or neutral regard. Relationships among males of close family relation require at least a small dose of esteem for one another to grow and flourish. Mr. Carter articulates the universal son’s longing for paternal respect and fondness, a description of an interior deficit, a wound treatable only by the weight of Daddy’s callused hands upon his shoulders. (lines 3-6).
Mr. Carter’s narrator catalogs the arrogance and willful blindness of a child paradoxically chafing under parental authority. He goes on to describe that strange masculine pride that stills tongues, scornful of a blessing that fulfills a petition, deeming it inferior to those that arrive unsolicited. The narrator confesses his tardiness in relinquishing this bitterness. Mr. Carter precedes his final stanza by acknowledging the exceptions to this legacy, those occasions characterized by joy, and rarity that stamp a benchmark in the narrator’s memory, producing a fruit of rueful maturity, thereby allowing him the clarity to see the gender-specific estrangement of fathers and sons, hopefully in time to break the cycle. (lines 7-10, 11-14, 18,19)
” We Wear the Mask” holds the greater literary value of the pair. Paul Dunbar writes his poem in first person plural iambic tetrameter (Roberts 845). Mr. Dunbar’s crafts his poem superbly, with an economy of two rhyme sounds, perhaps in part inspired by frustration. Though a respectable contributor to American literature, authoring x books and x poems, Mr. Dunbar achieved widest recognition for his dialectic poems, a relatively narrow slice of his collected works. Readers in the audience identify on one level with the narrator of “We Wear the Mask”. Nonetheless he speaks for a collective, almost unanimously acknowledged as post reconstruction black Americans, though the terms “racial” or “prejudice” remain conspicuously absent in Mr. Dunbar’s poem (Carrol).
The metaphorical mask symbolizes the servile, good-natured impression put forth to lighten the hand of the oppressors, lest they lean too heavily on the Marmeduke of the national household. The complexity of deception Mr. Dunbar describes contrasts sharply with Mr. Carter’s simpler concealment, driven by pride and vulnerability. Mr. Dunbar’s collective dons the mask for more practical reasons, tangible fears of a material nature. The mask conceals the sadness and fatigue of “tortured souls”. The audience notes an unbroken spirit as well, one that “mouth(s) with myriad subtleties”. Mr. Dunbar’s prose draws the reader to wonder if he means subtle double entendres, quietly railing against injustice, myriad mockeries of the status quo that slip unnoticed by the buffoonery of white arrogance, or that narrator simply affirms the powers of black intellect, long discounted by post reconstruction white America.
The Narrator of “We Wear the Mask” asks his confidante “Why should the world be over-wise, in counting all our tears and sighs?” In other words, why reveal vulnerability or true emotion to an enemy? The political climate of 1896 America discouraged vocal protest in no uncertain terms, Mr. Dunbar chose writing as a vocation in spite of this. “We Wear the Mask” begins in earnest transparency, a confession. In the second stanza, the narrator wrestles verbally with his confidante.
“Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
In the third stanza, The Narrator calls out to his listener by name, and Mr. Dunbar reveals the opponent, who comes as no surprise. After all, The Christian wrestles with God more than any other. At the closing of Mr. Dunbar’s poem we see an appeal to his ultimate authority. In spite of the differences in perspective generated by race, culture, socio-economic status, and nearly one hundred years less social progress, Mr Dunbar and Mr. Carter both weave threads of concealed anguish through their respective poems.




Works Cited
Carrol, William. Essay: “We Wear the Mask.” Galileo. 30 Aug. 2009 < vid="2&hid=" sid="26480cbc-1c20-4745-9b51-9c540cb75075%40sessionmgr111&bdata=" db="lfh&AN=">.
Roberts, Edgar. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. New York: Longman, 2009.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The occasional visitor from REALLY far away is surprisingly satisfying.