Thursday, September 16, 2010

World Of Wonders: A Taxonomy For The Curious

Etch-A-Sketch. Invisible ink. Pig pile. Hangman. Pandemics. Poison pen. The quiet hours. Cannon fodder. Unsung heroes. Dead trees. Turn it up. You tell me and we'll both know. Prophets. Pariahs. Pardon me. Hold your horses.

The annotated desk. Doll house. Don't go changing. Land of the lost. Passport. Pro-Am. Pick your poison. The brier patch. Running water. Running scared. Running on empty. Convergences. Folk song. Final words. The natural world. Fifty states. Fragments.

The American Guide. Scenic byways. Miniatures. Discards. True or false. Phone Book Hitlers. Body image. Broken promises. Obituaries. Vandals. Mongrels. Strangers in the night. Missed flights. Bad science. Broken clock. Quaint notions (e.g. "cultural literacy"). Stray dogs. Scrapbooks. Keepsakes. Herdentrieb. Heavy metal. Redemption center. Wrecking ball. The foreign desk.

Fixed income. Underground. These colors don't run. Sad museum. Shadow puppets. String theory. Skinner's Box. The Repugnant Conclusion. The Tortoise and the Hare. One hand clapping. Art house. Vision air. Dancing bears. My space. Trick bag. Alchemy. Hermeticism. Hog wash. Vernacular. Zeitgeist. Sacred texts. Cartography. Libraries on fire.

Talking heads. Logos. Trademarks. Broken records. Bus stop. Cab fare. Brave new world. Brink's job. Class warfare. Class clowns. Populuxe. The price is right. Edge City. Street level. Private dancers. Fool for the city. Cat and mouse. Self service. Artifacts. Anachronisms. Archaeology. High times. Life of Riley. Anatomy of melancholy.

Founding fathers. Foundlings. Lost and found. Dead letter office. Destination unknown. Caste. Castaways. Talismans. Dream journal. Analyses. Crack in the sidewalk. Jackhammer. Wishing well. You don't miss your water. Divining rod. Dancing in the streets. Rent party. Ransom note. I don't hear a single. Death penalty. Poor, huddled masses. Parking spot. Three-legged sack race.

Shrines. Soul train. Entry level. Plumb Bob. Bootlegs. Bumper stickers. Celebrity roast. Earnest goes to camp. Profanity (inanity masquerading as profundity). Peep show. Penitents. Quixotes. Sisyphi. The Annals of _________. Analects. Analecta. Invisible world. Photo booth. Fact or fiction? Medicine chest. The new Bob Dylan. Bottle rockets. The Dark Ages.

It made Bud wiser. The Mendoza Line. Moral victory. Can this marriage be saved? The armpit fart. My boss is a Jewish carpenter. Pay the man. Somebody's daughter. The grindstone and the garden. Look, ma, no hands. Your guess is as good as mine. Redemption song. I love you this much. Abracadabra. Sticks and stones. Cosmetics. The bully pulpit. Last picture show. In my room. Close, but no cigar.

Flesh wounds. Moral combat. The Ballad of __________. Who's the boss? Night comes in. The Hegelian dialect. Horse feathers. You and whose army? Swag. Jet set. The secret drawer. The hidden door. Homeland. What's for dinner? Wherefore? Whither? Sick bay. Forensics. The Fountain of Youth. Guess again. The Donner Party. Knock, knock. Not in our house.

Elegies. Clue. Writ large. Silent screen. Exposition. Night stand. Night school. Black box. Trap door. Face book. Booby trap. Full-frontal. Foundations. Missed connections. Some enchanted evening. Icons. Per diem. Mixed messages. Monopoly. The varieties of religious experience. A word to the wise. Sideshow. Revival. Stitch in time. Ballroom. Blood sport.

Parlor games. Crazy Days. Etiquette. Predators. Step right up. This is only a test. Dissection. Dollar Store. Swap shop. Flea market. Gargantua. Colossi. Mores. Dispatches. Big deal. We can't wait. Rogue's gallery. Shrine of the immortals. Rackets. Greener pastures. Confidence men. A lonely business. Nice work. What's the big idea? Sweet dreams.

Wait, there's more.

You will not be sad in this world.

This is your life.



  1. I went here:

    "At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor, Here, gusts of heat; at my back, white clouds, I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this: To glorify things just because they are. "

    Czesław Miłosz from Blacksmith shop.

    Great work, Brad


  2. I love that, Mark. Thanks a million.

  3. I'm quite sure I could find a fair number of those things at the Pump N Munch, sir.

  4. Wonders indeed.

  5. Ramp it up. Not on my watch. No loitering. The great unwashed.

  6. I've come up with an impossible goal: to illustrate and annotate this list with resonant, or at least representative, quotes, photographs, media examples, scraps from advertisements, cocktail napkins, etc. If anyone is reading this and has any interest in contributing in any way --or if any of these categories (tough: that's what I'm calling them) ring any bells-- drop me a line. It would probably end up as yet another appendix to my (literally) long-running and wholly personal encyclopedia (more about that somewhere below), but also might make a moderately interesting stand-alone publication (on my Kinko's: 4 AM imprint).

  7. It should be made into a song!