Tag Archives: Eric Robert Nolan

Throwback Thursday: this 1970’s Slinky commercial!

Slinkys are still sold today — but I’ll always remember it as a staple of the 1970’s, when I was a toddler.  It was one of my favorite toys.

I remember occasionally needing help from an older sibling to get it to “walk” down the stairs, as it was intended to do.  (Again, I was never the brightest bulb in the socket.)  I also frequently got it so tangled up that it looked like one of those razored traps from the modern “Saw” films — and an adult had to fix that.  But it was always fun while it lasted.

There’s a pretty cute story about the toy’s origin right here at The National Museum of Play.


“Contagion is a Despot Poet,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Contagion is a despot poet. It
releases fatal verses from its throne.
Its alabaster palm will lean to sow
what words will wind within their binding strictures

each arriving low, in permanent cursive,
at the many nadirs of pages — each
to immutable conclusion,
to shared, indelible metaphor:

dirges upon April mornings
eulogies at afternoon
rimes to loss at rayless night, as stars,
so slowly overflying a singing, dim landscape of endowed poetry,

are indistinct, indifferent.


(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2020



Photo credit: By Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland – darkness, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33782100


Here’s an idea.  Since none of us are getting haircuts, we should have a contest to see who can grow the coolest Wolverine hair.

Frankly I thought I’d be much farther along — I have a long reputation for having “big hair.”  Seriously.  It’s just always been thick.

I figured I’d let you guys off the hook and not suggest a six-pack abs contest.  I’d win that one too easily.




— from W. H. Auden’s “The Sea and the Mirror”

Evening, grave, immense, and clear,
Overlooks our ship whose wake
Lingers undistorted on
Sea and silence; I look back
For the last time as the sun
Sets behind that island where
All our loves were altered: yes,
My prediction came to pass,
Yet I am not justified,
And I weep but not with pride.
Not in me the credit for
Words I uttered long ago
Whose glad meaning I betrayed;
Truths to-day admitted, owe
Nothing to the councilor
In whose booming eloquence
Honesty became untrue.
Am I not Gonzalo who
By his self-reflection made
Consolation an offence?

There was nothing to explain:
Had I trusted the Absurd
And straightforward note by note
Sung exactly what I heard,
Such immediate delight
Would have taken there and then
Our common welkin by surprise,
All would have begun to dance
Jigs of self-deliverance.
It was I prevented this,
Jealous of my native ear,
Mine the art which made the song
Sound ridiculous and wrong,
I whose interference broke
The gallop into jog-trot prose
And by speculation froze
Vision into an idea,
Irony into a joke,
Till I stood convicted of
Doubt and insufficient love.

Farewell, dear island of our wreck:
All have been restored to health,
All have seen the Commonwealth,
There is nothing to forgive.
Since a storm’s decision gave
His subjective passion back
To a meditative man,
Even reminiscence can
Comfort ambient troubles like
Some ruined tower by the sea
Whence boyhoods growing and afraid
Learn a formula they need
In solving their mortality,
Even rusting flesh can be
A simple locus now, a bell
The Already There can lay
Hands on if at any time
It should feel inclined to say
To the lonely – “Here I am,”
To the anxious – “All is well.”


A study in contrast.

Anthony Fauci and Donald Trump together prove that a patient, modest, intelligent man is a better leader than a man filled with aggressive, grandiose, empty bluster.

Especially when dangers present us with a need for information instead of showmanship.

Seeing these guys together is like watching a morality play about the value of being a mature adult.



Throwback Thursday: this 1985 panther poster!

I had this hanging in my room in the 1980’s; I got it from good ol’ Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, Long Island.  I took two of those little glow-in-the-dark star stickers that people put on their ceilings and affixed them so that the cat’s eyes glowed when the light was turned off.   And it looked damned cool.


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