Monday, January 25, 2010

Mephistopheles writes...

Dear PNo:

I have a friend (and I use that word in the most liberal sense) who insists on trying to exorcise me on a daily basis (and I don’t mean take me around the block for a walk). Aside from offering a snarky remark here and there and the occasional photo of a snot-nosed toddler or a college dude snorting beer, I don’t know what I have done to give her the impression that my soul needs release from some evil entity within. I don’t froth at the mouth or curse uncontrollably at priests, and I certainly have never had occasion to spew pea-green soup into anyone’s face. Your counsel on this matter is most appreciated!



Dear Mephy (or as I like to call you, Theresa):

You know, sometimes people are simply evil and they just don't know it. Somewhere, waaaay deep down inside you, lurks a seed that has been planted, and it's just growing, growing, growing away into the Sin Tree.

It's probably chromosomal and occurred at conception so you can't help it. Nonetheless, you are obviously a bad egg and your companion can see that, as people who are chosen to be saved can see the black aura that surrounds you. *shrug* Sucks.

While this may alarm many people, I suggest you not fight what has been preordained for you! Accept yourself and your imminent doom and celebrate it! Eat, spend, drink and be merry! Embrace it with open arms and you will be able to sleep peacefully at night.

Do not bother to thank me...I live to be of service!

The Poe Nose

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Look, the Poe Nose was BUSY, okay?

BALTIMORE -- Is this tradition "nevermore"?

A mysterious visitor who each year leaves roses and cognac at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe on the writer's birthday failed to show early Tuesday, breaking with a ritual that began more than 60 years ago.

"I'm confused, befuddled," said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum. "I don't know what's going on."

The tradition dates back to at least 1949, according to newspaper accounts from the era, Jerome said. Since then, an unidentified person has come every year on Jan. 19 to leave three roses and a half-bottle of cognac at Poe's grave in a church cemetery in downtown Baltimore.

The event has become a pilgrimage for die-hard Poe fans, some of whom travel hundreds of miles. About three dozen stood huddled in blankets during the overnight cold Tuesday, peering through the churchyard's iron gates hoping to catch a glimpse of the figure known only as the "Poe toaster."

At 5:30 a.m., Jerome emerged from inside the church, where he and a select group of Poe enthusiasts keep watch over the graveyard, and announced to the crowd that the visitor never arrived. He allowed an Associated Press reporter inside the gates to view both of Poe's grave sites, the original one and a newer site where the body was moved in 1875. There was no sign of roses or cognac at either tombstone.

"I'm very disappointed, to the point where I want to cry," said Cynthia Pelayo, 29, who had stood riveted to her prime viewing spot at the gate for about six hours. "I flew in from Chicago to see him. I'm just really sad. I hope that he's OK."

Pelayo and Poe fans from as far away as Texas and Massachusetts had passed the overnight hours reading aloud from Poe's works, including the poem "The Raven," with its haunting repetition of the word "nevermore." Soon they were speculating, along with Jerome, about what might have caused the visitor not to appear.

"You've got so many possibilities," said Jerome, who has attended the ritual every year since 1977. "The guy had the flu, accident, too many people."

Tuesday marked the 201st anniversary of Poe's birth, and Jerome speculated that perhaps the visitor considered last year's bicentennial an appropriate stopping point.

"People will be asking me, 'Why do you think he stopped?'" Jerome said. "Or did he stop? We don't know if he stopped. He just didn't come this year."

Jerome said he will continue the vigil for at least the next two or three years in case the visits resume.

"So for me it's not over with," he said.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Snapshots: Fine Art

Never let it be said that PNo didn't enjoy fine art.