parting words

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    afterword Paid Member

      GI Joe, the country’s first action hero doll, has been around since 1964. Created by the toy company Hasbro, GI Joe was their answer to the overwhelming success of the Barbie doll, who had debuted a few years earlier. Like Barbie, GI Joe came with all kinds of accessories. In 1971, in the special adventure package “The Search for the Stolen Idol,” he even came with a golden plastic buddha. In this photograph from Derryl DePriest’s book The Collectible GI Joe, we see the hero rescuing the “idol” as a deadly cobra looks on. More »
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    What Is The Sound Of Ice Melting? Paid Member

    “Respect simple, humble materials.” —Paul Kos What does ice sound like as it melts? It sounds absurd. But it’s not, as Paul Kos demonstrated in his 1970 installation “The Sound of Ice Melting,” based on the famous Zen koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It’s just that any attempt to hear it is inevitably carried to an absurd extreme. The installation consisted of two twenty-five-pound blocks of ice set side by side on the floor, tightly ringed by eleven state-of-the-art, highly sensitive boom microphones, which fed into a powerful amplifier. Positioned just inches from the melting ice, the microphones detected even the faintest sound emitted. More »
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    Loads On The Road Paid Member

    Stu's stubby head tough old yellow dump truckparked by his place            "For Sale"he's fine, but times and people change. Those loads of river-run and crushed blue mime rockin our roadbed            Stu and mestanding talking            engine idlingthose days gone now, days to come. From Danger on Peaks, © 2004 by Gary Snyder. Reprinted with permission of Shoemaker & Hoard. More »
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    FAQ Paid Member

    The wanderer vacchagotta once asked the Buddha what became of the Tathagata (the “Enlightened One”) after death. But no matter how Vacchagotta phrased the inquiry, the Buddha explained that his question did not apply. Finally, he asked Vacchagotta to imagine a fire. “Suppose someone where to ask you, Vaccha, 'This fire burning in front of you, on what does it depend for its burning?’” Vacchagotta answered, “I would reply that it is dependent upon the wood.” “And suppose that the fire were to go out. What would you answer the person who asked you, 'This fire that was burning in front of you—in which direction has it gone? East? West? North? South?’ How would you reply?” More »
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    The Madison Avenue Sutra Paid Member

    View the print version of this article in PDF format More »
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    What the Water Knows Paid Member

    What the mouth sings, the soul must learn to forgive.A rat’s as moral as a monk in the eyes of the real world.Still, the heart is a riverpouring from itself, a river that cannot be crossed. It opens on a bayand turns back upon itself as the tide comes in,it carries the cry of the loon and the saltsof the unutterably human. More »