30 November 2008

jamie bestwick bmx vertical

newly fallen snow

gonna try this again....
cyclocross bike - snow
single speed - snow,snow
45 minutes around the lake of harriet - snow, snow ,snow
let it snow

november 30

new fallen snow
nasty old toe... fuck it i can't wright poetry any-more or any less

Schwinn letour ii will be working soon enough
only one shift at the gulag next week
oh, butt i knead to find a job
sling hash somewhere i 'spose
i kept thinking if i just sat down and wrote, a descent post wood be bjorn but no...

we are all of us in the gutter..

26 November 2008

the slow creep

if i don't get on my bicycle tonight i'm fucked..... may as well throw away the spring campaign. making thanksgiving dinner and housecleaning. how late is too late. 7am ride at minnehaha depot on turkey day beckons. maybe i can get swanson to autograph my helmet.

25 November 2008


from http://www.rusa.org/
Randonneuring is long-distance unsupported endurance cycling. This style of riding is non-competitive in nature, and self-sufficiency is paramount. When riders participate in randonneuring events, they are part of a long tradition that goes back to the beginning of the sport of cycling in France and Italy. Friendly camaraderie, not competition, is the hallmark of randonneuring.

the most famous randonnee` is paris-brest-paris which was First run in 1891, although this may be the goal of some randonneurs, i is not the only brevet available to individual wishing to 'compete'/complete longer rides. locally there are a few brevets that run out of the rochester area. look it up, there are rides scheduled for this spring and summer.

here's a couple of links i found on the RUSA site for randonneuring in MN



24 November 2008

1 week off

that's all and that's too much.... but the last two-three days are excused. saturday night i awoke and yacked my brains out. long story, no alcohol involved. whole family has been sick since last friday, i think the culprit is a norovirus, google it, it's what they used to call the 'stomach flu', and it's spread where people congregate, schools, nursing homes, shopping centers, the only cure is staying home and that's boring...

21 November 2008

too much time off the bike!

i'm getting that fucked up feeling. i raced saturday, took sunday off, rode monday and tuesday haven't been on a bike since tuesday night. so i guess i'm hooked again. i'll most likely be calling in sick tonight since the boy has diarrhea and i'm not feeling so hot either. should i go out riding once things get settled.... only time will tell when i can get my next fix.

20 November 2008

pj harvey

six day racing

my info is sketchy; this i know, it is totally European, the riders aren't truly cycling for that long, i have heard that the events last 6 hours each night, 2 riders per team. it's been around forever, i heard there were 6 day races at the old auditorium in Minneapolis. sounds like the atmosphere at the track is similar to keiren racing in japan. when i make a trip to belgium i'll fill you in on the details

here's some reference material


19 November 2008

bootleg cross racing

moonshine cyclocross: winter cyclocross racing

pj harvey-50 foot queenie

not so cold

out at 9:30 in at 10:30. too short, i know, intensive training starts november 27th. working my way back into road biking, fit may need some adjustment. overall a good ride

heavier mittens and water bottles next to the body. i get the feeling that dehydration in 'wintery' weather may be more of a factor, had bad cottonmouth by the end. little wind on a few sections, need to reconsider routes, into the wind going out and tailwind coming back in is the key to staying warm i think. all this will become second nature by december. do i re-post the countdown to event? probably not.

weather: 33 cloudy sse wind 10-15mph

18 November 2008

ms. Northrup's schwinn 3 speed

the day she bought she was out on a ride with friend. some shop out on hiawatha ave(i don't advertise for free), it starts with a C. nicely restored, all the parts work. more about the day she bought it, riding one bicycle and she buys another. when she gets home tells me,
'we're going out to pick-up my cruiser later, take a look at my new bike'

yellow is a nice color. i would like to build a set of alloy wheels to replace the steel wheels, the chrome is nice, but heavy. need a floor pump for schrader tubes and the shop would be complete.

snot rocket

it's cold out there, out at 9:30 back by 10:48. boring ride made exciting by the weather. the route, lakes harriet and calhoun, the bike, jamis with rack and pannier.

couple a things i forget about winter riding. halfway through the ride reached for my second water bottle and it was frozen, or at least frozen enough so i couldn't get any water out. shifter problems, ended up running as a three speed, rear derailleur/shifter acting up, luckily i was in a middle cog so i could use the front derailleur. never really got warm and lite gloves are not enough, the feet also were cold. and i was blowing snot like like it was really cold, the snot rocket was in full effect.

so, for tomorrow night: water bottles next to body, mittens and boots. and maybe check out the rear shifter.

weather: 22 degrees, cold and clear

17 November 2008

longer distances on the road past dark

if i'm going to put in a few 50 milers after dark i will need;
  • headlight, white (blinky or more)
  • food and water back-up
  • extra clothes
i guess i'll re-mount the rack and panniers, roadside repair could be tricky if i do anything other than fix a flat, even then i'll need to be well out the vehicle right of way and carry sufficient light for the repair

T.S. Eliot (1888–1965). The Waste Land. 1922.

The Waste Land


APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering 5
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten, 10
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie, 15
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, 20
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock, 25
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust. 30
Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu.
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?
'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago; 35
'They called me the hyacinth girl.'
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, 40
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Od' und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe, 45
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations. 50
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water. 55
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

...the rest can be found at http://www.bartleby.com/201/1.html

bike build-up

for the sport-touring single speed;
  • one left crank arm,
  • chainring bolt spacers,
  • build rear wheel on 8 speed hub(to be re-dished when i decide to add gearing)


i entered the race with 1.5 hrs of sleep the night/morning before, practice lap was long, drank enough water had enough coffee pre-race... midway through first lap stopped to take a pee by the lake securing my position as dfl. rode in shorts and jersey according to UCI rules. 1st lap couldn't drink beer cause i thought i was going to vomit. 2nd lap dollar from the forester, poured beer in my pie hole still ready to yack. 3rd lap got a pair of sox. more about the 3rd lap.... wait for it.....received encouragement from several riders lapping me, several even knew my name.

passing by the announcer, s-r in full heckle mode, hollywood decides it would be fun to toss a water bottle at my front wheel, it connects, i dismount and lunge, like a true roadie he dodges the punch, i don't have enough legs to chase him... we examine my bike, re-adjust the brakes/bars and i trundle into the finish. i return to scene of the crime and make-up but i'm still not satisfied. more later

16 November 2008

preparation for ragnorak 105

time/speed (from last years results)
1st finisher at 3 hours 41 minutes ~28 mph
last finishers at 7 hours 9 minutes ~15 mph


15 November 2008

raced today

and i finished and i drank beer, sound good to me. don't believe the hype..

Rosenberg on his way to greatness

punishment day

It’s Punishment Day at
the Orphanage,
It’s Punishment Day today!
A score or more of the juvenile poor
Have been “booked” for breaking Orphanage law,
Each tick of the clock, as the hands creep round
Brings nearer the hour when trousers come down
When frocks will be raised, and petticoats too
(It’s rumoured her Ladyship’s coming to view)
Twenty-three doomed little waifs and strays
Enduring the shame of a Punishment Day.

a comprehensive collection of disciplinary poetry includes two of the most famous ever composed; The Rodiad, written in the late Victorian era, and the extremely lengthy; Squire Hardman. Both were attributed to George Coleman the Younger, but he was not the author of either, the latter having been written in the early 1950s and passed off as a much earlier work.

available at http://www.aks-books.co.uk/titles/punitivepoetry.htm

14 November 2008

the rest of the story

off to work at 9 pm until 6:30 am
race tomorrow at 11:45 am
maybe 2 hours of sleep between now and race time..... i napped this afternoon and i will be eating and hydrated in the morning, something i can't say about every other morning

max schreck as nosferatu

Marco Pantani (January 13, 1970–February 14, 2004)

kool stop eagle 2 brake pads

did i tell you how much i liked my new brake pads?

  • Extended pad length and off center post design provides even wear for longer life
  • Water groove is located below post for optimal water removal
  • Angled plow tip for rain and mud removal. This also provides correct toe-in

bella luna

out at 9:50 pm back at 10:40 pm. something nice about riding in a moonshine so bright that it casts a shadow. easy ride, last one before i see action at basset creek. new brake pads, kool-stop salmon, nice and silent. course will be good and weather should be dandy. over and out

weather: 40 degrees, clear, full moon
time: 40 minutes of peak performance

13 November 2008

state cx course

there will be sand
and blood
free riding friday afternoon, i'm getting a baby sitter


race preparation

gonna do a little cleaning before saturday and replace the brake pads. if the freewheel goes during the race, i'll just go fixed. and i need to find that sticky link in my chain.

i will neither confirm nor deny...

the existence of the 'hard man of harriet spring'. out at 9:15 back by 10:45 pm. same grocery run, you've read it before. tomorrow night is an easy ride. nothing strange to report about tonight. little cold in the toes but i felt fresh and the bike will hold up for competition saturday morning.

weather: 36 and cloudy, no snow, soft turf/sand
time: does not matter

12 November 2008

swedish bikes i don't own

somehow i'll get one for my wife. the scandinavian style of riding does not involve spandex.
she's been there and done that, riding from mpls to chicago with the gay parade(aids ride'97) cured her of any desire to ride a road bicycle anymore. was it the 2nd degree sunburn or the dehydration or the cramping muscles, whatever it was road bikes make her shudder.

anyways here's the link: http://www.skeppshult.se/

last communique from OC to BSNYC

i can't embed the video due to The OC's quirks, intellectual property rules so here's the link


norwegian black metal

lord byron(1788-1824)

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think;
'Tis strange, the shortest letter which man uses
Instead of speech, may form a lasting link
Of ages; to what straits old Time reduces
Frail man, when paper - even a rag like this - ,
Survives himself, his tomb, and all that's his.
from Don Juan

just another day at the office

i go to work at 9:15 home by 10:15. a little wet and cold and snowy. warm-up portion went well, didn't crash and didn't feel cold. last chance to leave it all on the road/path/turf, went well. tried all the course challenges; stairs at penn with an uphill re-mount to a descent to a 180 degree turn, run up at beard's plaisance, and the rose garden hill run-up after 300 yards on turf. this is as ready as i'll ever be.
maybe i haven't done the group rides or the throw-away race but i believe i am prepared to....

weather: 32 degrees, snow, misty sleet
time: 1 hour full exertion

11 November 2008

portland is not the kingdom of singlespeed cyclocross

if a title where to be given it would be 'fabulous'....that's not a compliment

follow the story here, in 3 parts no less

frozen grass is like pavement

out at 9 back by 10pm. good ride,fast and hard. couple of run-ups to keep the blood flowing to my feet. i re-discovered that frozen ground is hard. perhaps my emphasis on pavement(by default) will not be detrimental, longer grass is little slower but not appreciably so. looking forward to seeing a large turn-out at the wednesday night ride, maybe i'll even see the 'orange crusher'.

weather: 28 degrees, clear and windless
time: 60 minutes in the saddle, 35 minutes peak performance

10 November 2008

next month or january

drive to rochester to check out almonzo course

no such thing as bad weather...

you know the rest...
long range forecast for saturday, 30 degrees and weather

sizing up the competition....

i have no competition
please support this assessment in the comments section

15 november, 2008
Minnesota state cyclocross championships
11:45 am

race 2
single speed

08 November 2008

where my head is ....

bike snob mpls: mental preparation

cyclocross as meditation

Meditation can be practiced while walking or doing simple repetitive tasks. Walking meditation helps to break down habitual automatic mental categories, "thus regaining the primary nature of perceptions and events, focusing attention on the process while disregarding its purpose or final outcome...... This type of active meditation is a type of vipassana meditation

references for the curious:





mental preparation

racing philosophy

'i am not a racist, racism is bad',... sov.
"something, something ...it's what in your heart...bullshit", ....sob story
'silly rabbit, trix are for kids'.....kids

07 November 2008

state cx champs


15 november, 2008
the brawl to settle it all

race 2
11:45 am
basset creek,
crystal, minnesota

excerpt from FLOATER (Too Much To Ask) Words and Music by Bob Dylan 2001 Special Rider Music

One of the boss' hangers-on
Comes to call at times you least expect
Try to bully ya - strong arm you - inspire you with fear
It has the opposite effect

is it even worth a reply?

i was messing with the commenters on bsnyc.com(look it up), this is what came my way...

leroy said...

Bloodline --

BSNYC bigoted?

Hmmm. I think the answer to that question is an obvious "no."

But a more interesting question is: If you think BSNYC is a bigot, why would you try to free ride on his notoriety by calling your blog "Bike Snob MPLS"?

In my experience, it's the folks who put a little too much stock into the importance of bloodlines whom you have to watch in the bigotry department.

November 6, 2008 5:23 PM

Emily Dickinson December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886

A little Snow was here and there
A little Snow was here and there
Disseminated in her Hair --
Since she and I had met and played
Decade had gathered to Decade --

But Time had added not obtained
Impregnable the Rose
For summer too indelible
Too obdurate for Snows --
and now a 2nd poem by emily dickinson

Snow flakes.

I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town,
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down.
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig,
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!

race to place

out at 8:50 back by 10 pm. a few extra things tonight, old favorites i won't bore you with the details. good weather, good ride, first time this week i felt like i could turn it on. fartlek ride, enough said... no near misses, brakes a little squeaky, i'll get new pads and toe the calipers before next weekend.

weather: 44 degrees, wet but no rain cloudy
time: full hour in the saddle

06 November 2008

peugeot UX-10

not a px-10 but the same frame with downgraded parts. my brother in law gave it to me to fix up. all original parts and a little bit abused. the imitation brooks leather saddle was shot, it was nice once i bet. it had the 'sipped' chrome rims, indents so the brakes would work in the rain. i've got it broken down and i poached a few parts for other projects. most notable, the mafac 'racer' brakes are on my cyclocross bike. we'll get this restored sometime in the next 5 years.

near miss report

almost got t-boned last night. i saw my life flash b4 mine eyes. yellow light with left turning 'trans am at penn and 62nd...... i was going straight across in car lane due to construction zone. i normally am on the other side of the road.

homie fall fest 2008 video

Kenwood Racing Ink: ride to the dark side

restoration or re-fit

i have bicycles frames old enough to still use 27" wheels. i swore i would never build a 27 inch wheel again. i still like 36 holes in hubs, but i don't like the selection of tires available in 27" diameter. still the question remains, do i build 27 in. wheels or do i build 700 c wheels.
27" tires have an internal bead diameter of 630 mm while a 700C tire has an internal measurement of 622 mm.

the Schwinn le tour II may require a 27 in. rim with a short reach caliper brake and low profile tire. that is sport touring light and fast, but i like to think i'm a randonneur.

update: got the original specs from bikepedia
if this is a '95 then it gets 700c wheels,

will it be totally wrong to have a 27" on a chrome fork up front and a 700c in the rear?, there was a problem with the original fork and headset stack height, newer vs. older styles of headsets, and i have a nice 27" hand built wheel that i like.

timing is everything...

or nothing. out at 9:30 back at 10:30. didn't have much lung capacity, but i pushed it when i could. stairs, hills and a little grass. i'm sure i'm spending to much time on the pavement to really be ready for a wet course. theres always tomorrow night. too damn hot out for any real enjoyment, but a cold rolling rock is always appreciated.

weather: 64 and moist but not raining
time: 45 minutes in the saddle

05 November 2008

wednesday night

should be ideal cyclocross weather. we'll see how i feel , still coughing up chunks, but the worst is over.

The Riots-Charles Bukowski

the riots

I've watched this city burn twice
in my lifetime
and the most notable thing
was the arrival of the
politicians in the
proclaiming the wrongs of
the system
and demanding new
policies toward and for the

nothing was corrected last
nothing will be corrected this

the poor will remain poor.
the unemployed will remain
the homeless will remain

and the politicians,
fat upon the land, will live
very well.

04 November 2008

john greenleaf whittier(1852)

The proudest now is but my peer,
The highest not more high;
To-day, of all the weary year,
A king of men am I.
To-day alike are great and small,
The nameless and the known
My palace is the people’s hall,
The ballot-box my throne!

Who serves to-day upon the list
Beside the served shall stand;
Alike the brown and wrinkled fist,
The gloved and dainty hand!
The rich is level with the poor,
The weak is strong to-day;
And sleekest broadcloth counts no more
Than homespun frock of gray.

To-day let pomp and vain pretence
My stubborn right abide;
I set a plain man’s common sense
Against the pedant’s pride.
To-day shall simple manhood try
The strength of gold and land
The wide world has not wealth to buy
The power in my right hand!

While there’s a grief to seek redress,
Or balance to adjust,
Where weighs our living manhood less
Than Mammon’s vilest dust, --
While there’s a right to need my vote
A wrong to sweep away,
Up! clouted knee and ragged coat!
A man’s a man to-day!

why have fever when you can have fever and chills

went on a bike ride despite cold virus. nothing hard, but it wasn't easy. same route

weather: 69 degrees, windy, clear
time 45 minutes or an hour

03 November 2008

The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus by Ogden Nash(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971)

In Baltimore there lived a boy.
He wasn't anybody's joy.
Although his name was Jabez Dawes,
His character was full of flaws.

In school he never led his classes,
He hid old ladies' reading glasses,
His mouth was open when he chewed,
And elbows to the table glued.
He stole the milk of hungry kittens,
And walked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.
He said he acted thus because
There wasn't any Santa Claus.

Another trick that tickled Jabez
Was crying 'Boo' at little babies.
He brushed his teeth, they said in town,
Sideways instead of up and down.
Yet people pardoned every sin,
And viewed his antics with a grin,
Till they were told by Jabez Dawes,
'There isn't any Santa Claus!'

Deploring how he did behave,
His parents swiftly sought their grave.
They hurried through the portals pearly,
And Jabez left the funeral early.

Like whooping cough, from child to child,
He sped to spread the rumor wild:
'Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes
There isn't any Santa Claus!'
Slunk like a weasel of a marten
Through nursery and kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot,
'There isn't any, no there's not!'

The children wept all Christmas eve
And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
No infant dared hang up his stocking
For fear of Jabez' ribald mocking.

He sprawled on his untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in his head,
When presently with scalp-a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant jingling;
He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.
What good to rise and bar the door?
A shower of soot was on the floor.

What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon his knees
With cries of 'Don't,' and 'Pretty Please.'
He howled, 'I don't know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!'
'Jabez' replied the angry saint,
'It isn't I, it's you that ain't.
Although there is a Santa Claus,
There isn't any Jabez Dawes!'

Said Jabez then with impudent vim,
'Oh, yes there is, and I am him!
Your magic don't scare me, it doesn't'
And suddenly he found he wasn't!
From grimy feet to grimy locks,
Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
An ugly toy with springs unsprung,
Forever sticking out his tongue.

The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
They searched for him, but not with zeal.
No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,
Which led to thunderous applause,
And people drank a loving cup
And went and hung their stockings up.

All you who sneer at Santa Claus,
Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who mocked the saint.
Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint.

Go buy a lime green bike

I've been riding my Rollo to work quite a bit lately. My Rollo is a 7 speed internal. The single speeds with the bigger gears are hard on my knee. Mark at Hiawatha Cyclery gave me a set of Kenda mountain bike tires that still have a lot of life left in them. This baby is a commuting monster.

02 November 2008

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


i understand the reasoning behind 'brifters' or brake lever shifter integration. but, was there really anything wrong with downtube shifting? if one would prefer to keep hands on the bars there are always 'bar-cons' or some other bar shifters.

now back to our regularly scheduled programming....

head to head

in a death match who would win?

sting vs iggy pop

we already know who is the toughest and rocks harder but who wins the thunderdome challenge.

45 + begins now...

thought i had another year before i started breaking age group records.... oh, well no time like the present. what is the USACX standard for 45+ men on a single speed bicycle?

bicycling been belly, belly good to me.....

my pursuit of flexibility remains intact and i am not riding a 'comfort bike'. i haven't been riding flat out on a mountain bike in a while, but when i do it will be un-suspended. not even gonna ride a mountain bike, i'll be building up the bridgestone xo-2 soon.

but back to bike fit and flexibility. the most indicative observation is lever position on drop bars. i've always set up my levers a little low, basically put a straight edge on the lower flat position and even the bottom of the brake lever w/ that. a colleague of mine suggests that raising the levers is warranted. of course nothing is really wrong with that, if you are old and inflexible. if you are young at heart and ready to break some records use a lower position for the levers.

to be continued.....

update: 2 pm local time;
after further consultation with an expert mechanic, i have been informed that the 'brifter' combinanation may require a higher brake lever position, due to it 'unique design'

01 November 2008

The Men That Don't Fit In by: Robert Service

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his
chance; He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

PORTRAIT D'UNE FEMME by: Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

      OUR mind and you are our Sargasso Sea,
      London has swept about you this score years
      And bright ships left you this or that in fee:
      Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things,
      Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price.
      Great minds have sought you--lacking someone else.
      You have been second always. Tragical?
      No. You preferred it to the usual thing:
      One dull man, dulling and uxorious,
      One average mind--with one thought less, each year.
      Oh, you are patient, I have seen you sit
      Hours, where something might have floated up.
      And now you pay one. Yes, you richly pay.
      You are a person of some interest, one comes to you
      And takes strange gain away:
      Trophies fished up; some curious suggestion;
      Fact that leads nowhere; and a tale for two,
      Pregnant with mandrakes, or with something else
      That might prove useful and yet never proves,
      That never fits a corner or shows use,
      Or finds its hour upon the loom of days:
      The tarnished, gaudy, wonderful old work;
      Idols and ambergris and rare inlays,
      These are your riches, your great store; and yet
      For all this sea-hoard of deciduous things,
      Strange woods half sodden, and new brighter stuff:
      In the slow float of differing light and deep,
      No! there is nothing! In the whole and all,
      Nothing that's quite your own.
      Yet this is you.
"Portrait d'une Femme" is reprinted from Ripostes of Ezra Pound. Ezra Pound. London: Elkin Mathews, 1915.