The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.


JUNE 16, 2014 8:56PM

Freelance Your Way to Poverty

JUNE 16, 2014 9:57AM

At the James Joyce Piggly Wiggly

VERSAILLES, Mo. Lemoyne Green’s family has been in the grocery business in this town in south central Missouri, pronounced “ver-SALES,” going back four generations. “I guess you could say food is in our blood,” Lemoyne says with a barely-detectible trace of irony. &ldquo… Read full post »

JUNE 15, 2014 8:20PM

Sonny Rollins at Paul's Mall

When he is announced he is heard (but unseen)
not from the stage but the back of the room;
he enters from the entrance, unaccompanied
for the first number, his notes tilting like
a gyroscope, whirring and yet in control.
Every now and then he plays with one hand free
in a sort of look-ma-no-hands daring.
So… Read full post »

High school graduation time is here, which means that over-achieving young women across America are preparing for the next phase of their lives–matriculation (which is not as painful as it sounds) at an expensive four-year liberal arts college. One of them happens to live in our town.

Read full post »

JUNE 13, 2014 12:50PM

Flavor of Law

I was sitting in my hot tub, flipping through the latest issue of The Source, The Bible of Hip-Hop Music, Fashion and Jurisprudence, when my personal assistant Fai’sha said there was a Supreme Court Justice on the line for me.

“Which one?” I asked. I ain’t gonna interr… Read full post »

The kids are into baseball now, a development that warms this old good field-no hit third baseman’s heart, so we were watching the Red Sox beat Cleveland last night after bath time.

Jon Lester

“Lester’s really mowing ‘em down,” said Scooter, the older of the two b… Read full post »

It took my dad eight years to pay off the note he signed
to buy the little store, grandiosely sub-titled
“Mid-Missouri’s Finest Specialty Shop.”
To celebrate, he took the family on a real vacation,
to the Bahamas; white beaches, conch shells,
calypso music and all that, three guys playin… Read full post »

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. This quaint town on the outermost point of Cape Cod has historically been known for its location on the extreme end of another measure; the liberality of its residents’ views on matters sexual. “The first settlers ran the Puritans out of town when they came up from… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 9:22PM

In the Basement With Tiny Grimes

He’d been everywhere but he ended up in
the basement of a hotel in Boston,
a forlorn jazz club on its last legs,
and so the man who’d played with
divinities—Art Tatum, Charlie Parker,
Billie Holiday–found himself on
a little stage with two sidemen playing
to a sparse crowd in a crowd… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 12:57PM

Kiss Me, You Fool!

She enters the room in a cloud of perfume,
Her bracelets jangling an irksome tune.
Her hair swirls round her rougéd face
A strand here and there is out of place.

She knows what she wants, what she wants is a man;
To achieve this end she’s conceived a plan.
Her plot is well-laid, her… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 8:36AM

Managing Your Cats

Business experts say sound personnel management is the key to surviving tough times. These are the same business experts whose current advice on “best practices” is “Your business sucks–if you switched to making kids wooden arrows you could get a government handout.”

%IMRead full post »

JUNE 10, 2014 1:57PM

Ask the Wedding Lady!

Your wedding–or at least your first wedding–should be the most glorious day of your life. Summer wedding season has arrived, and the Wedding Lady is here to help you master the many minute details that make for a perfect nuptial . . . or is it nuptials? . . . ceremony.… Read full post »

Linebacker Ray Lewis, who was accused of murder and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the deaths of two men, has given inspirational speeches to groups including a Florida youth swim club.

The Wall Street Journal

It’s the first day of soccer camp for my daughter’s team and as alw… Read full post »

JUNE 9, 2014 9:02PM

Tal Farlow at Howard Johnson's

He ambles to the stage, self-effacing;
when he speaks it’s with a Southern drawl,
putting all the Yankees in
the room, in a Ho-Jo’s with a view of
Kenmore Square grandiosely re-born as
“The Starlight Lounge,” on notice of the contrast
between themselves, wired
for achievement, and hi… Read full post »

JUNE 9, 2014 8:12AM

My Bossa Nova Years

It is no coincidence that the bossa nova craze coincided with the years in which I achieved my greatest romantic success–first through sixth grades. No music is better suited to inspire thoughts of love than that associated with the Portugese term translated roughly as “the new thing or t… Read full post »

JUNE 8, 2014 12:48PM

A Thai Junta Party Girl's Diary

In an effort to make citizens happy about the latest coup, Thailand’s military junta is using young women in risque camouflage outfits who host street parties with free food and music.

The Wall Street Journal


Dear Diary–

Sometimes I think I have the most wonderful job in the world!… Read full post »

JUNE 8, 2014 10:35AM

Hip Hop Lit: New and Noteworthy

Rapper Curtis Jackson, a/k/a “50 Cent,” will collaborate with a team of writers on a series of novels about life as a youth on the streets.


The Rapper in the Rye (Paperback)
by 50 Cent and J.D. Salinger
(63 customer reviews)

List price: $12.95
Price: $10.75
You Save: $2.20 (… Read full post »

JUNE 7, 2014 9:15AM

A Puppet of the Mob

          A Cleveland TV station is covering the corruption trial of an Italian-American politician using puppets due to restrictions on cameras in the courtroom.… Read full post »
A Russian bomb squad was summoned to defuse a package containing a vibrator that had been turned on by accident.

The Telegraph

Ready to roll!

Another day, another round of potentially deadly sex toys to defuse for me–Fedor Sergeyevich Mikhailovich–and my trusty sidekick Lev Vladim… Read full post »

NATICK, Mass. St. Rocco’s Parish here is a survivor in an area of the state where Catholic churches have been closing or consolidating, and it is attention to “congregant service” that makes the difference, says its pastor, Father Greg Zwibeck. “We try to have something for… Read full post »

JUNE 5, 2014 8:08PM

The Human Car Wash of Self-Esteem

It was one of those dinner parties where everyone had had a little too much to drink, and the conversation around the table had grown more . . . shall we say, spirited. Changes were being rung on the usual male-female antinomies–shopping, burping, etc.–when one of the wives went a little… Read full post »

MAYNARD, Mass. It’s Wednesday night at the Sitting Duck Pub, a biker bar in this Massachusetts town of 10,000. A reporter asks Darlene Rivers, a thirty-something woman in a tube top, whether anyone is sitting on the empty bar stool next to her. “Not right now,” she says after blowin… Read full post »

JUNE 4, 2014 10:14AM

Sidney Bechet's Lost Ballet

In the annals of jazz there is no more strongly polarized musician than Sidney Bechet. A Creole–that is, a descendant of mixed European and African heritage–he came from a class that considered itself superior to pure descendants of African slaves, and yet despite his superior education a… Read full post »

JUNE 4, 2014 7:53AM

She's Plucked Her Eyebrows

When I was a lad of twenty or so
Hanging around the house, detached,
My mother would ask me why I didn’t go
Out with nice girls in town, unattached.

“Like who?” I asked with a skeptical note
and a voice that resembled a bark;
“Someone you know,” she said and I quote:
&… Read full post »

CHICAGO. It was, Alicia Fahrquahr now admits, a cringe-inducing moment. “I picked up a ‘Daddy’s Little Lawyer’ onesie for Mikey without even thinking about it,” she says with a look of embarrassment on her face as she cradles her six-month old son in her arms. “Whe… Read full post »