The Newtown Pentacle

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Something is fishy.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A short break, wherein offerings at this, your Newtown Pentacle, will consist of lighter fare than that normally served is underway. Obligation and a series of deadlines have dominated all attention, and accordingly – for the next few days, singular images with a pithy yet abbreviated description will be supplied. One must render unto Caesar, after all.

There are now four public Newtown Creek walking tours coming up, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn and two that walk the currently undefended border of the two boroughs.

Plank Road, with Newtown Creek Alliance, on April 19th. This one is free, click here to get on the list.

Poison Cauldron, with Atlas Obscura, on April 26th. Click here for more info and ticketing.

DUPBO, with Newtown Creek Alliance and MAS Janeswalk, on May 3rd. Click here for more info and ticketing.

Modern Corridor, with Brooklyn Brainery, on May 18th. Click here for more info and ticketing.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

edge away

with 2 comments

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Play time is almost over now. The Honeymooners Marathon is coming on New Years, which signals that only a few days are left before the blistering reality check of a January morning. With the holidays and Mayan Apocalypse out of the way, it’s nearly time to knuckle down and get “back in session”. For today’s post though, musing contemplations and foolish wondering rule the hour.

The shot above, incidentally, is from a place called Oia on a island called Thira which is the likely inspiration for the legend of the lost city of Atlantis.

from Azathoth By H. P. Lovecraft, courtesy hplovecraft.com

When age fell upon the world, and wonder went out of the minds of men; when grey cities reared to smoky skies tall towers grim and ugly, in whose shadow none might dream of the sun or of spring’s flowering meads; when learning stripped earth of her mantle of beauty, and poets sang no more save of twisted phantoms seen with bleared and inward-looking eyes; when these things had come to pass, and childish hopes had gone away forever, there was a man who travelled out of life on a quest into the spaces whither the world’s dreams had fled.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Too much time spent in contemplation and peaceful idyll is not a good thing, in fact it’s the proverbial “devils playground”. Wasteful thought processes play out, which are unproductive and annoying to those around me. One wonders how much longer these unfortunates will subject themselves to a creature like myself.

The shot above, by the way, is from a different island. One which hosts a 16th century castle built and lost by Venetians and later held first by Ottoman and then Greek. It once served as the headquarters of a confederacy of pirates whose fleet menaced Egyptian, British, and French shipping during the early 19th century.

from H. P. Lovecraft Letter to Farnsworth Wrigth (July 27, 1927), in Selected Letters 1925-1929 (Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1968), p.150., courtesy wikipedia

Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form—and the local human passions and conditions and standards—are depicted as native to other worlds or other universes. To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

During these dark days of winter, a humble narrator dreams of sunshine and warmth and the sweetness of fresh bread dipped in honey consumed with the blackest of coffees. Such pleasures, however, are neither deserved nor imminent. The time is come, finally, to stare into any and all available abysses- and return to my lonely path. It is once again the hour of the wolf, here in the Newtown Pentacle. Of course, we’ve got that Honeymooners Marathon, as George the Atheist reminds. (Mr. GTA did a post documenting the moving of the Civic Virtue statue at his own blog, btw, check it out here)

Also, the shot above illustrates the shoreline of yet another island, one where European Civilization is considered to have been born roughly 5,000 years ago.

from “The Doom That Came to Sarnath” by H. P. Lovecraft, courtesy wikisource.org

There is in the land of Mnar a vast still lake that is fed by no stream, and out of which no stream flows. Ten thousand years ago there stood by its shore the mighty city of Sarnath, but Sarnath stands there no more.

It is told that in the immemorial years when the world was young, before ever the men of Sarnath came to the land of Mnar, another city stood beside the lake; the gray stone city of Ib, which was old as the lake itself, and peopled with beings not pleasing to behold. Very odd and ugly were these beings, as indeed are most beings of a world yet inchoate and rudely fashioned. It is written on the brick cylinders of Kadatheron that the beings of Ib were in hue as green as the lake and the mists that rise above it; that they had bulging eyes, pouting, flabby lips, and curious ears, and were without voice. It is also written that they descended one night from the moon in a mist; they and the vast still lake and gray stone city Ib. However this may be, it is certain that they worshipped a sea-green stone idol chiseled in the likeness of Bokrug, the great water-lizard; before which they danced horribly when the moon was gibbous.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 27, 2012 at 2:42 am

old bugs

with 2 comments

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Definitely on the mend, for my mind returns to thoughts of vengeance and contemplations upon the lamentations of my enemies. Still not quite at 100 percent, but the pernicious microorganisms which have infected my flesh seem to have realized their mistake in entering me.

Why not check out some lesser known Lovecraft stories while ill, I always ask- hence- check out the ineluctable pleasures contained at hplovecraft.com

From “Old Bugs” by HP Lovecraft

Sheehan’s Pool Room, which adorns one of the lesser alleys in the heart of Chicago’s stockyard district, is not a nice place. Its air, freighted with a thousand odours such as Coleridge may have found at Cologne, too seldom knows the purifying rays of the sun; but fights for space with the acrid fumes of unnumbered cheap cigars and cigarettes which dangle from the coarse lips of unnumbered human animals that haunt the place day and night. But the popularity of Sheehan’s remains unimpaired; and for this there is a reason—a reason obvious to anyone who will take the trouble to analyse the mixed stenches prevailing there. Over and above the fumes and sickening closeness rises an aroma once familiar throughout the land, but now happily banished to the back streets of life by the edict of a benevolent government—the aroma of strong, wicked whiskey—a precious kind of forbidden fruit indeed in this year of grace 1950.

Sheehan’s is the acknowledged centre to Chicago’s subterranean traffic in liquor and narcotics, and as such has a certain dignity which extends even to the unkempt attachés of the place; but there was until lately one who lay outside the pale of that dignity—one who shared the squalor and filth, but not the importance, of Sheehan’s. He was called “Old Bugs”, and was the most disreputable object in a disreputable environment. What he had once been, many tried to guess; for his language and mode of utterance when intoxicated to a certain degree were such as to excite wonderment; but what he was, presented less difficulty—for “Old Bugs”, in superlative degree, epitomised the pathetic species known as the “bum” or the “down-and-outer”. Whence he had come, no one could tell. One night he had burst wildly into Sheehan’s, foaming at the mouth and screaming for whiskey and hasheesh; and having been supplied in exchange for a promise to perform odd jobs, had hung about ever since, mopping floors, cleaning cuspidors and glasses, and attending to an hundred similar menial duties in exchange for the drink and drugs which were necessary to keep him alive and sane.

Read the rest at hplovecraft.com

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Posted in animals, insects

Tagged with , , , ,

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