2024  RETROGRADES 





  Rx2024  S O L


 •❚-❚-❚ The celestial court revolves around the gravity-throne and the roman-solar god Sol, in the house of the Sun, on the corner of Orion and the Milky Way. Some in the court are descendants of the prototype-earth goddess Terra, and the infinite-sky god Uranus.



When the occulti-egypti bird flew down to perch on the arrow-throne, he came as an apollo asteroid. Now Bennu is the nexus between rein­car­nation and the Sun; spends eleven weeks phoning in sappy sympathy [4.23-7.13 rx:sa.sc]. If well-aspected, holds a sharp tongue; if not, insincerity for all to see.

Fecund polynesian divinity Makemake splashes about in the Kuiper belt; is short­sighted; immune to per­sua­sion [1.10-6.22 rx:li].

Antique two-faced moon Janus is sitting on a roller coaster, summer into soggy autumn, even as the roman “porter to heaven” comes up with excuses for his dried-in-the-Sun humor, and stone-faced demeanor [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

image of moon JANUS; image of demiplanet MAKEMAKE; image of asteroid BENNU; full-disk portrait of SOL, taken close to a solar minimum, showing a placid chromosphere disturbed by a single active region [2019 foto: alan friedman national maritime museum]
  Rx2024 V E N U S


 •❚-❚-❚ Roman-love goddess Venus has no retorgrade in 2024, continues to orbit naked, showing off a body of solid rock veined in inert argon, undergoing continuous exfoliation, losing precious nitrogen atoms, which float away across a carbon-dioxide atmosphere, each encased in a package of sulfuric acid.



One sumptuous serpent tail draped around the potency-throne, the compulsion-satellite Ananke is prepared for severe weather, dog-collared October to tradition-bound December [10.10-12.31 rx:vi.le].

marble bust of EROS 4th cen bce; image of VENUS; ADONIS as a heart-shaped meteor that fell in Siberia in 1947; painting of FREIA

It is a mixed blessing that Eros has no retrograde in 2024. The first god to step out of the Asteroid belt struts around as an irreg­u­lar­ly shaped asteroid, weighing twenty tons, wear­ing alum­inum speedos sewn with gold thread and fastened by platinum snaps. The god of desire’s skin is dented by rocks spewed out by several volcanic eruptions, one of which is from a billion years ago.

Beginning June, variegated-norse asteroid Freia, queen of the Valkyries, tries to stay two steps behind the front lines, but trying to kiss each fallen soldier on the battle­field is a ploy with no spine [6.7-9.28 rx:aq].

The “handsome one” came by in 1936 to set up the love-embassy. Adonis had insist­ed, even though astronomers say he’s a potentially hazard­ous asteroid, and his exes claim that he is an extinct comet and a source of meteor showers; prefers just holding hands [2.15-6.24 rx:sc.li].


     tartarus    neptune
  Rx2024 M E R C U R Y


The Olympia Academy has taken over the house of Mercury, which gives the “messenger of the gods” a reason to roam - see every one, meet every thing; the “patron god to the home” is seldom in residence.



Maiden-asteroid Hebe per­forms in-take for new stu­dents; prone to sug­ges­tions, loss of will [3.3-6.15 rx:sc.li].

Athenian-polymath asteroid Apollo is a complex creation, gifted with many talents, and easily duped for vanity’s sake [1.1-2.27 rx:cn].

Dactyl is an moonroid, schooled in shaping fire and crafting spells, who is to spend three fruitless months, unable to end a project [7.28-11.3 rx:pi].

ATHENE bowl 1st cen; shield of PALLAS; roman ring showing cameo head of MINERVA wearing a corinthian helmet

Two carbons of Mercury are teaching in the Gym­na­sium. Hellen­ic Hermes is to realize that words are not louder than action [7.1-10.22 rx:pi.aq][7.1-10.22 rx:pi.aq]. Gaul­ish-moon giant Erria­pus is realizing just the opposite [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Judo etc is handled by Poly­deuces, greco-carbon to binary bros Romulus and Remus; lets guard down, summer into sloppy autumn [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Complex, and complicated, is Pallas Athena: a greco-roman goddess whose three princi­pal forms began step­ping out of the Main belt, begin­ning in the nine­teenth century. Virginal-asteroid Pallas came first, spherical hence intact; is easily offended [3.30-7.10 rx:sa.sc]. Wise-asteroid Minerva came next; overconfident during Decem­ber [11.30-12.31 rx:le]. “Lovely-haired” asteroid Athene didn’t come until 1917; overextended hence careless, also in Decem­ber [11.20-12.31 rx:le].

image of MERCURY in front of the Sun; ancient wall painting of METIS; shell cameo of Hebe mounted on red gold 1865

Head librarian in the acad­emy is wis­dom-moon Metis, titan­ess of pru­dence, who slow-walks back to an uneasy con­sen­sus [10.10-12.31 rx:ge].

Ready to pronounce foreign words correctly is titaness of language Mnemosyne, who keeps choosing the wrong words, January through mid-spring [1.6-4.18 rx:vi].

 •❚-❚-❚ Mercury will undergo four misfiring retrogrades during 2024, when words meant in gratitude become instead bullets, and phras­ings combust. The first retro­grade is over with after the first four days, when equi­librium is regained [1.1-1.4 rx:sa]. The second turns into an April of amnesia [4.2-4.26 rx:ar]. The third is a convoluted August, chasing an ideal [8.6-8.29 rx3:vi.le]. The last retrograde consumes post-Thanksgiving: three weeks of tit-for-tat [11.27-12.16 rx4:sa].

There are those who conduct missions to search for miss­ing planets and forgot­ten deities, and it is headed by Hyperion, titan-moon of light, who cannot deliver what has been promised [6.30-11.16 rx:pi]. The “eld­est flame” still sits on the sun-throne, but as “patron god of astronomy”, Hyperion prefers it here at the acad­emy, shining his light on occult obscurities, and un­tan­gling conjugal conjectures.

Secondgen titan Atlas is an enthusiastic hunter of hidden goddesses and gods, able to pick up whole worlds to see what’s underneath, yet is inept in gauging distances [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Helping to sought through un­named planets is Jenny Blue, on assignment from the Inter­national Astro­nom­ical Union, where she is gazetteer of planetary nomen­clature; susceptible to whims and manages time poorly [8.14-11.10 rx:ar.pi].


     venus    hephaistos
  Rx2024 L U N A


Reckoning the retrograde lives of triple-mooon goddesses who are not called Luna is a fool’s errand.



Paying heed to Time and the zodiac, the crescent-crown is a duty that is passed down. Since 1905 it has rested on the brow of Selene, whom mortals caught a glimpse, when “the air unlit before glows”; she suffers a setback for unguarded innocence, gullible April to sober July [4.3-7.21 rx:sa.sc].

Faded majesty-moon Phoebe sits and fidgets on the full-throne, in defense of her superior ways, pompous summer into imperious autumn [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

image of moon PHOEBE; image of LUNA; head of ARTEMIS 2nd cen; image of HEKATE 6th cen bc

Hekate enters 2024 listless, ineffectual til mid-April. After­wards, the dark-side-of-the-moon goddess judiciously chooses pillows before set­tling down to busi­ness on the old-throne [1.1-4.16 rx:vi.le].

Greco-wilderness asteroid Artemis has the new-throne, yet the goddess of the hunt prefers to be out and about; preyed upon by a bait-and-switch [1.2-4.4 rv:vi.le].

An ideal deity came in 2024 to occupy the triple-throne, ascending to it on four legs. Tarvos has returned now as a bull-moon, and is, and ever was, the sole male-carbon to a triple-mooon-goddess; spends almost half of 2024 reliant on hoary luck [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Although Pan lives elsewhere, the asteroid-goat hybrid prefers to be here on the Moon; seen joylessly couch-surfing during the last ten weeks of the year [10.18-12.31 rx: cn.ge]. Otherwise, Pan is delirious with desire, surrounded by moonlets, dwarf-moons, moonmoons; where packs of ring-shepherds crowd shepherd-moons.

 •❚-❚-❚ Each sunset, Luna, who never retro­grades, rises from the silver-throne to don a mottled monochromatic bodysuit, glistening with crater rays. Before stepping onto the moon chariot, drawn by two winged horses, the “two-horned queen of stars” throws on wraps of billowy reflective scarves, crawling with dust devils perpetually shooting off dust.
  Rx2024 T E R R A


Backed by faulty science, fracking was driving mother Earth to distraction, the original goddess could bare it no more; she declared war.



 •❚-❚-❚ Claiming no parents, spherical and fully formed at the dawn of Time, Terra had swallowed rocks and im­pris­oned monsters, all for the sake of domestic peace with Uranus. Now the aborig­inal-earth goddess was running a high fever, so she coughed, ejecting bowel contents, flush­ing out bad blood; and instigated the latest geo­machia against mad­den­ing mortals.

image of moon CERES; image of moon DIONE; portrait of SIWA with a haircut; portrait of TERRA wearing a crown embellished with golden leaves and acorns Crimea 320-300 bc

Mortals mighty and meek who survived Terra’s last tantrum went about restoring first the important altars. Detecting acorn-dipped incense, eldest-oak moon Dione came back in 1684; half of 2024 gets lost because unproduc­tive [6.30-11.16 rx:pi]

From tart summer to acidic autumn, roman-seasons asteroid Ceres finds it pointless to toe the party-line [5.16-8.26 rx:cp]; forgets to number the days.

Slavic-cornucopia asteroid Šiwa finds herself thwarted, during end of year festivities, when the wrong people seek her company [11.12-12.31 rx:cn].

For slavic-soil demiplanet Dziewanna, there is pride before a fall; this takes place two weeks after valentine's day [2.29-8.4 rx:sc].

Hellenic-botanical moon Hegemone is perhaps too open-minded, divulging too much [10.10-12.31 rx:ge]

orinthian-asteroid flower Chloris is always busy during high-holy days, yet any mix-up during her 2024 retrograde can prove costly [7.30-10.30 rx:ar.pi]

Best known as a white-bearded tenor, wrapped in a white stole, facing blinding snow storms to sing arias to infants. Then dying only to be reborn as a giggling spring breeze, norse-wind moon Kari gives disjointed speeches, mosquito July to bitten November [6.30-11.16 rx:pi]

An act of selflessness by multi-nymphii moon Naiad, a rock irrigated by fresh­water spirits, comes across instead as an unfortunate act of sabotage [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].

Orchestrating rain clouds from her base in the Kuiper belt, zulu-sky demiplanet Mba­bam­wana­waresa has a gotcha moment, turns tongue-tied and awkward [2.20-7.20 rx:sc].

One can always find greek-grape asteroid Dionysus in the vineyard, bottling liquid-heat from the Sun; is cloudy with a chance of too-much face-time [10.28-12.31 rx:cn].



     sol    saturn
  Rx2024 M A R S


Before becoming a roman god, the red planet was known by ancient astronomers by other names, all using a variant of “red”.



 •❚-❚-❚ Roman-military planet Mars has good cause to take it easy, during a spent Decem­ber [12.7-12.31 rx:le]; til then he is a genius with a penis.
    A pair of spent moons shadow their dad’s every move. Deimos looks spiffy clad in smooth rock, but it’s to protect his porous frame, knowing one day he’ll go a.w.o.l. Phobos is slowly dying; wearing noth­ing but rubble held together by the thinnest of mantles.

foto of moon NYX; statue of winged BELLONA on her chariot; necklace of HARMONIA; image of MARS

With only two weeks left, roman-war asteroid Bellona steps on a symbolic nail, gives up the good fight [12.20-12.31 rx:le].

Daughter to Venus and Mars, divine-accord aste­roid Har­mo­nia expe­riences an impasse with some totali­tarian on testos­terone [6.8-9.3 rx:aq.cp].

Belligerents in the ancient Trojan War, Achilles throws a fit because no one knows how swift he can be. Hektor is bummed because he may be the only one who knows [1.1-3.18 for both rx:le.cn]. Returned now as a pair of assault asteroids in syn­chro­nized parallel orbits, ever­more within reach of offing each other again and again.

The patron-goddess of war is foundational-deity Night, ruler of a slice in Time, when the soul before battle is bared. She is the sole daughter to Chaos, her name given at birth was Nyx, and in 2024 sleepwalks and bumps into inconveniences [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp]. Although her “star-spangled mantle” can dazzle, it cannot hide the fact that something is very wrong: grabbed by gravity, Nyx keeps flinging backwards every 45 minutes, and is wrapped in bandages stained with yesterday’s red.
  Rx2024 A E T N A


Building his western forge under Mount Aetna was a stroke of genius for mystic-fire asteroid Hephaistos, who controlled fire in order to shape metal. On his days off, the Cyclopes have been known to drop by and fashion new thunderbolts for Jupiter, Zeus and Odin.



AITNE and her eight mountain sisters; portrait of SURTUR by Jack Kirby; crafted by HEPHAISTOS: Tibetan war mask, iron and gold paint, 14th-16th cen

One of nine foundational mountain spirits (the “ourea”), Aἴtnē lives on Aetna, where the forge of Hephaistos can be found. She is a death goddess, with a bubbling volcanic body molten to mortals; at a loss for snap­py come­backs during the season for a reason [10.10.12.31 rx:ge].

Norse-fire moon Surtur showed up one day, went down to browse the bookshelves in the forge, never left. Designer of the fire-sword, whose mighty swipe will end the Universe, he should not fight water with fire [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Lying dead under Mount Aetna, only good for fuel, is Mimas, giant son to Terra and Tartarus. His brother Enceladus lies next to him, not dead but badly injured; loud and both proud [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

 •❚-❚-❚ When Hephaistos fell to Earth a second time, in 1978, the fire-god came back as a misshapen asteroid; might spend autumn fuzzy-headed, should stay away from matches [9.13-12.31 rx:ge.ta].

The molten might of Aetna draws the solar-moon demigoddess Pasiphaë, who brews magick potions, to set up a lab by its cauldrons; unable to explain reasoning during the last ten weeks [10.10-12.31 rx:pi].


     jupiter    luna
  Rx2024 V E S T A


The Main belt has a neighbor­hood, the Infirmary (known by ancients as the house of Vesta), where the medicine pantheon have had a practise since at least 1849, and where the first patients who showed up were spent comets, flat­tened meteors, and mis­shapen asteroids.



 •❚-❚-❚ Vesta enters 2024 un­able to fend for herself [1.1-2.8 rx:ge]. Mother Earth is a restless deity, and by 1807 Vesta had had enough; First cupping “first flame”, the roman-hearth goddess slipped into sensible shoes and stepped of the face of Terra. Ending up in the Main belt, she was confronted with the bloody aftermath of bat­tling giant planets, jockeying to be closer to the sun-throne. Vesta cere­mo­nious­ly laid down her charge, kindled a new hearth, which attracted kitchen spirits; then began to offer basic care.

image of asteroid VESTA; image of asteroid HYGIEA; painting of PROMETHEUS by Otto Greiner  (1909)

Hellenic-health aste­roid Hygiea, and her latin comple­ment, were the first medicine god­desses. Join­ing up with Vesta, they began to offer triage. Hygiea is a sour­puss [8.28-12.14 rx:ta.ar]. Whereas for roman-remedy asteroid Pana­cea,what should have been a cakewalk is bedeviled by quality control [11.20-12.31 rx:cn].

Roman-medicine asteroid Aes­cu­la­pia retrogrades September until the last day of 2024[9.17-12.31 rx:ta]; not a good time for wounds that take a long time to heal.

Phäethon fell off his father’s sun-chariot in 1983 and has been a patient ever since. If his retrograde is well-aspect­ed, only three months of hesistancy; if not, a slapdash chase of wealth and waste [10.3-12.31 rx:ge.ta].

Prometheus oversees the morgue, where he is tinker­ing with earthling 2.0; acts overly sensitive, sudden summer to suntan autumn [4.10-7.17 rx:sa].

Assistant in the morgue is iced-moon giant Bergel­mir, thirdgen son to the “first-norse being”, with time-sensitive insights into the creation of life; becomes insistent and overbearing [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

The morgue is home to Proteus; for a spell is inclined to selfishness [7.3-12.8 rx:pi]. The helle-elemental god can be seen lying on a spare slab, donating his root matter for making parts, even though the shape-shifter has parch­ment skin, pockmarked with poly­hedron-shaped ices and pink­ish-red boils.


     neptune    sol
  Rx2024 J U P I T E R


Ancient astronomers, noticing the return of Jupiter to the same position every twelve years, used this span of Time to denote the zodiac, pin the constellations, and begin a map for a hypothetical heaven.



Nightsky-asteroid goddess Asteria wastes the first three months in a drama that began in 2023. If well aspected, the daughter to Coeüs, titan of intellect, is nobody’s fool [1.1-3.21 rx:le].

3D printed blue bust of JUNO; image of JUPITER; image of asteroid ITOKAWA; image of asteroidHYPERION

Winged-dawn aste­roid Eos spends late Feb­ru­ary to June wear­ing a frightwig, muttering all the while “did I not comb my hair before going out the door?” The sky goddess is undergoing a painful make­over [2.21-6.5 rx:li].

 •❚-❚-❚ Perhaps it was bad word choices, but social chitchat annoys the heck out of Jupiter, other­wise he is jovial, during end of year festivities [10.10-12.31 rx:ge].

From better-stay-in-your-lane January to no-left-turn April, roman-marriage aste­roid Juno just cannot seem to stop chit-chatting [1.14-4.22 rx:vi].

Once she thought of it as a sure thing, then greco-inspi­ration asteroid Urania turns doubtful about the whole idea [2.19-5.28 rx:li]. The muse of astron­omy had been request­ed by Jupiter to come away from the academy and recast his sky-court as the house of Urania, and also to bless the observatory.

Waterborn-cyclops moon Poly­phe­mus crafts lenses to capture Light in telescopes. The mirror master will waste half of 2024 stalled on a finishing touch [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].

Asian-aerospace asteroid Itokawa came to help set-up the Observatory in 1998, and now there is a mini- and nano-rocket launchpad near­by; bereft of a solution dur­ing an airless autumn [9.10-12.8 rx:ta.ar]. Named after Hideo Itokawa (b.1935) – the first asteroid to be the candidate of a sample return mission.
  Rx2024 S A T U R N


Growling and grumpy, sitting on the judgment-throne, host to 53 satellites and counting, the roman-recycle planet Saturn has a metallic body, and an iron-&-nickel heart beats. Sprouting from his shoulder blades are two large wings of icy helium and barbed featherlings of frozen hydrogen.



 •❚-❚-❚ Decked out with garlands of yesterdays is Saturn. The son to the primordial couple is puffed up, jaundiced July through November, issuing vertical verdicts [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

image of moon RHEA; statue of THEMIS; roman ring showing carved-gold TYCHE 1st-2nd cen; image of SATURN

Matriarch hellen­ic-aste­roid Rhea, betrays a trust and pays a price [1.17-5.3 rx:vi].

Righteous-anger” aste­roid Neme­sis tears into it with a worthy adver­sary, Jan­uary to jit­tery March, because some­thing some­thing nobler [1.1-3.10 rx:le.cn].

Greco-luck asteroid Tyche had thought little about the proposition at the time, back in 2023. After valentine day 2024, she will grasp the full consequence [1.1-2.9 rx:cn.ge].

The 99th asteroid goddess is Dike, daughter to the greek dawn, who coasts by on a wave of misplaced pride, angsty January to April [1.1-3.24 rx:le]. A period when the symbol of inno­cence pays no heed to Shake­speare: there are more in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Themis begins 2024 already in retro­grade, and com­pro­mised, but only for the first twelve days [1.1-1.12 rx:ta]. After that, the titaness of natural order resumes work on straight­en­ing out “the man who turned into a pretzle”.


     luna    terra
  Rx2024 U R A N U S


Lying on his back, wracked with pain, Uranus has vacated the sky-throne, ceding his domain back to Chaos, the original owner.



The twentieth century was dying when Chaos stepped out from behind Neptune’s shadow. A possible planet orbiting in deep space, the undifferentiated godhead at the dawn of Time shrinks down to domestic size during the first months [1.1-3.12 rx1:cn]. Then, from dusty October to December, this “vast, immeasurable abyss, outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild”, gets to clean house [10.6-12.31 rx2:cn].

CHAOS sits for his portrait, posing as the Veil nebula; image of URANUS; portrait of ODIN by Jack Kirby

 •❚-❚-❚ Uranus is set for two retrogrades in 2024. During a tenacious January, shed­ding a lived-in persona [1.1-1.28 rx:ta]. Again in September, when he is an all-round sour­puss for the holidays [9.2-12.31 rx:ta].
    Too close to avoid the fight for dom­i­nance be­tween Jupi­ter and Saturn, Uranus got nicked and in 1781 fell flat on his back. His mag­net­o­sphere began to mal­func­tion, making the primordial sky-god feverish, and now is bandaged up in iced-water sheets stained dark with organics, immobile while waging a war against a tribe of perpetual tornadoes tearing each other apart.

Into the breach left by the vacancy of Uranus, norse deities from the Aesir now have thrones in the sky-court. With two weeks left in 2024, Odin takes a gut punch and starts losing faith [12.18-12.31 rx:le]. From end of November onwards, Frigga, “first among norse goddesses”, demurs over a family secret [11.25-12.31 rx:cn].


     sol    jupiter
  Rx2024 N E P T U N E


A season on Neptune last 40 Earth years, time enough for diamonds to form on its surface. Attaining weight, each begins to sink downwards, through continents of clouds, to reach the planet’s pros­perous core.



Antidiluvian-sea satellite Tha­las­sa spends time at the sea shore, going through what the tide brings in, July to sudden November, looking out for empathy that had gone missing [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].

Roman-era wall painting of SALACIA; CETUS, an image from 'Urania's Mirror' (1824); image of moon TRITON; image of Neptune

Old man of the sea Nereus behaves irre­spon­sibly to spring and delu­sion­al towards summer [4.25-7.29 rx:cp.sa].

Marine deities Ceto and Phorcys are primeval parents to one-offs, and have expe­ri­ence spank­ing tyrant tykes with grotesque abilities. During her retro­grade, the “mother of monsters” ping­pongs between hunger and satiation [2.28-8.11 rx:sa.sc]. Her mate-moon has no recourse but to go along for the ride, fish-tailed, grey-haired, and wearing a cape of crab claws.

Roman-sea queen Salacia returned in 2004 and resem­bles a demiplanet; stuck in a lazy current with no wig­gle room, garden-hose July to the first of winter [7.13.012.22 rx:ar].

Mer-moon Triton is the royal sea-scout whose appearance announces the imminent arrival of the sea chariot; takes a 21-week detour, steered by the whim of the whip [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].

From suffragette summer to a spoonful of autumn, Nereid is plain devoid of destiny [7.3-12.8 rx:pi]. She glimmered into first view, during 1949, a drop only 210mi-338km wide – a frankenstein-moon, clad in an iced-silicate swimsuit, composed from parts of 50 sea-sisters born to eldest-sea god Oceanus.

Drowning once during the distant past notwithstanding, unrepentant Atlantis returned in 1931 and did it a second time. The island-city of sin believes it has good enough reasons to practise the seven crises, January to malibu March [1.1-4.2 rx:le].

 •❚-❚-❚ Premier roman-sea planet Neptune is half awake, coffee July to toffee August, a sword in one hand, a pen in the other [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].
     The liquid liege had chosen the date of his resur­fac­ing back into history by sending a dream, in 1846, to a sleeping astronomer. The woke mortal returned to the New Berlin Obser­vatory, entered new co­ordinates, and found Neptune sitting on his trident-throne.
  Rx2024 P L U T O

    
“So steered his downward car, he whom the fortune of a luckless lot named ruler of the ghosts, the world’s third heir, when, losing Heaven, he paled to look on Hell.”
     – Statius



Immersed in scandal up to her neck is titaness of allegiance Styx, from muddy May to mid-October she waits for you in the river of Oaths, the moat that surrounds the grecian Under­world [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp]

clay bust of PROSERPINA 4th-3rd cen bc; image of moon STYX; image of moon CHARON; PLUTO wearing his helmet of invisibility

The highway to hell begins first by a des­cent, then offer­ing a fare to infernal-oars­man moon Charon; mak­ing three stops only in 2024, mid-spring to start of autumn. The pier if visiting with Hydra; the jetty by the river of Oaths; or the landing in front of a gate, guarded by three-headed Kerberos [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp].

 •❚-❚-❚ The “god with no name” is resolute to being a contra­rian, flower-bed May to tram­pled Octo­ber; when Pluto presents as the “man with a thousand faces” [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp].

A simple life during holiday season becomes elusive for roman-agricultural asteroid Proserpina; the queen of the Underworld has to make black-or-white diet decisions [11.2-12.31 rx:cn.ge].


     uranus    luna
  Rx2024 T A R T A R U S


 •❚-❚-❚ Gods and monsters who undergo damnation are usually thrown down the bowels of mother Earth, in the pit ruled by god of the dark Tartarus: a primitive deity made of indestructible black bronze.



Composed of fast-moving air sculpted into shape, this night­mare is Typhon, the “largest and deadliest mon­ster ever born,” now a prison­er in the pit; shouts pleas to his sire - now his jailer, and Tartarus has to baby­sit six months of un­bottled blasts [2.28-8.2 rx:sc].

Cameo head of MEDUSA by Benedetto Pistrucci red jasper 19th cen.; image of TITAN; pit of TARTARUS

The oldest in­mate here is a titan-of-calen­dar moon, who arrived in 1655; now is star-fat and nova-lazy. Titan is also a multiform-deity with prim­eval abil­i­ties, glued to­gether from a litter of twelve beastly brats born to Terra and Tartarus. Titan’s everyday slovenness vanishes when his secret name is uttered. Then the thing will sit upright, and resume its role as monster, third-class; thin­skinned during and post summer [06.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Multi-headed moon Hydra gets marooned on a spit, May to cross-eyed October, and every time he removes a pair of rose-tinted shades, two will take its place [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp]. The amalgamated beast made up of five or seven parts has gone mad, suffers from a chaotic flip every ten hours; hops on slither-claws – harms only itself.

Death-asteroid Medusa was thrown into the pit in 1875; spends first weeks in 2024 undergoing a novel-to-her horrorshow [1.1-1.24 rx:ge]. Her minder is dew-moon Herse, who siphons off the blood of the snake-haired gorgon, giving relief to a demiwoman who produces poison. Herse herself is a demiserpent; spending the last weeks tending to baloney bedside chitchat [10.10-12.31 rx:ge].












-|  July 2024  |-






  ROMANCE COMICS 


  EPILOGUE  

Looking back at the Golden Age (which took place on Earth-Two), it has come to light that the biog­ra­phy of Lois Lane, begin­ning in the early 1950s, has prop­er­ly be­longed to the Silver Age.


EARTH-2 LOIS

Cover showing Lois in all six personas.
[-1954-]   In a grand send-off to Earth-2 Lois, she gets to step into the shoes of oth­er wom­en and lead a different exis­tence, if on­ly for 12 pages. Flor­ence Nigh­tin­gale; Betsy Ross; Bar­bara Frit­chie; An­nie Oak­ley; Ma­dame Curie; Queen Isa­bella.


All along, readers had grown up w/ a golden-age Lois. There was a golden-age Clark; and Super­man too. It turns out there has been – and al­ways has been – some oth­er Lois, who lived on Earth-One, w/ anoth­er Clark and a dif­fer­ent Super­man.

In 1956, fan loyalty was rewarded when DC Comics put out the first issue of SUPERMAN’S GIRLFRIEND LOIS LANE. Once again, a newer Lois Lane sprang forth, and helped to usher in the Silver Age. This Lois again came fully formed – and a lived-in back­story spooled out. The first two tales, about a witch and a wig, looked for­ward to­wards the ex­pe­ri­men­tal 1960s -- when beauty was re­de­fined, and back­wards, w/ a ginned-up glance at the bat­tle of the sexes, when it was still in black-&-white.

What is left of the original Lois are some stories about the Man of Steel in which she fea­tures prom­i­nent­ly, where she proves her­self an intel­lectual equal of a super man. These historic events em­bark em­bryon­ic­ally from the heart­land of America dur­ing the on­set of World War II. They then roam globally, and extra-globally, only to dis­em­barked at the un­test­ed out­post of the Cold War.

Lois of Earth-Two became marooned until the DC uni­verse took on a re­im­ag­in­ing. By 1978, her story was re­thread­ed in­to the con­tin­uity. Lois mar­ried Clark in the late 1950s, dis­cov­ered his secret identity, went on to new adven­tures -- even after their son was born, pass­ing the mortal coil in 2005, in events occur­ring dur­ing Infinite Crisis. All of this hap­pened be­fore the 21st cen­tury woke up.


I Love Lois

Lois Lane

Working nine to five as a reporter for a city daily must not leave time to do much else. As a single female work­ing and liv­ing alone in Metrop­­lis, how do you find bal­ance in your life?

Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Super­man are the creations of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, two Cleve­land teen­agers nur­tur­ing keen tastes and quick psyches, who com­bined com­ple­men­tary skills to make mani­fest their dream of another world. Invent­ing a city of sky­scrapers where an other­world­ly creature lives and makes its living as a news­paper­man, while woo­ing a wonder­ful woman, and using as his secret iden­tity a coward’s persona. Over­night their comics become a best­seller, star­ring the Man of Tomor­row oppo­site Lois Lane.



FUNNIES FAN

Clark perusing the funny pages when Lois gets inquisitive.
Lois glances over to see what newspaper column Clark is engrossed in.
[-1942-]   “I didn’t realize you were a comic strip fan! ” ... “Avid is the word for it! Gosh, take this Detec­tive Craig strip, for exam­ple. I won’t be able to sleep to­night, wor­ry­ing wheth­er or not Craig or Machine-Gun Mike is the one who will die.”








The Golden Age 1938-1955 

Lois Lane is already there when Clark Kent arrives on his first day at the Daily Planet, she’s a lonely hearts advice columnist. Clark, a seasoned reporter, gets called in to the editor‘s office and is assigned a new beat. In a supreme act of irony, he’s to cover some­one who has been seen in Metrop­o­lis and word has it a cham­pion of the op­pressed. Proxim­ity to the vibra­tions of an un­known being not­with­standing, Lois soon slips into a vaude­villian vortex. Some­how a das­tard is sure to create chaos, usually a damsel-in-distress epi­sode plays out, acrobatic acts can follow before dis­plays of un­natural skills bring back the normal. This and a secret iden­tity plot to string it all to­gether and tie in­to a bow.


SURREAL LOIS

Trapped by the unreal villain Funnyface and transferred to the two-dimensional world.
Lois is about to be shrunk by the villain Funnyface.
[-1942-]   “Blast you, this is your fault! I’ll fix you for it!” ... “No! Let go!” ... “Ha-ha! My ray can also reverse the process! You’ll be punished by being transferred to a drawing on a piece of paper! Ha, ha, ha!”


Page after page, the reader gets to know more about a super-being living in Metrop­o­lis, while he him­self is get­ting to know more about Lois -- expos­ing her to the maw of may­hem by his dada duels w/ weird foes. Lois can’t see Clark for the super-simula­crum that he’s hiding be­hind; is drawn to Super­man instead. Clark smiles and winks at the fourth wall, at ease and worldly wise.

Lois and Clark start dating right away, in the first story they put on evening attire and go out on the town. The next week she flies off on assign­ment to a foreign land and, due to mis­adven­ture, ends up blind­folded and stand­ing in front of a firing squad. Back home again, Lois thinks little of drop­ping a sleep­ing pill into Clark’s cock­tail so as to chase a lead and beat him to a scoop. This brazen stunt back­fires when she lands in trouble and, for the very first time, falls out of a window.


LOONEY LOIS

On a movie date, Lois and Clark watch an animated feature based on Superman and Lois Lane.
Lois and Clark watch their animated selves at the cinema
[-1942-]   “That’s I!” ... “So it is! Evidently the movie’s writers sub­scribe to the Daily Planet and are ac­quain­ted w/ your exploits!”

• First Imaginary Tale


But first, she hones in on Clark’s beat by looking up the Man of Mys­tery herself, trying to score an exclusive. Go­ing to a travel­ing circus where he was perfor­ming for charity, an unexpected occur­rence ensures she will not get her scoop. Editor Perry White some­times sends both out together, espe­cially when murder has occurred. On these occa­sions, Lois often ends up solo because Clark can and will dis­appear at the first sign of trouble. One time this hap­pened, she was tied down next to a table saw w/ the on-switch deployed, too an­noyed though not sur­prised w/ Clark to bother about her imminent demise.

Chastened to live anoth­er day, Lois ex­pands her com­fort zone, find­ing it in her­self to bring joy to a thawed cave­man, out of time and grave­ly dis­ori­en­ted. Lois was as one reborn some other time when she ran around w/ a great ape. Through all this, Lois kept up her advice column, where once a grate­ful writer be­queathed a gold mine to her and which, sad­ly, she lost. She then plunged her­self into a murky episode about a fifth colum­nist move­ment in Metrop­o­lis, wad­ing into espio­nage, dis­infor­ma­tion, and sab­otage.


NOIR LOIS

Clark and Lois are plunged into inky black as they try to make sense of the silly super­natural tricks of Mr Mxyztplk, prob­lem pixie from a daf­fy dimen­sion. At high noon they’re in dark­est shadows.
Lois and Clark have lunch.
[-1944-]   “I’ve found a new place to go for lunch! You’ll like it!” ... “You’ve been wrong about every­thing else today, but I’ll take a chance!”


Around this time she meets Lex Luthor. Picking through the day’s press releases, Lois sees a tony and toothy one: Some­one has called a gather­ing of the million­aires of Metrop­o­lis. Intrigued, Lois finds a way into the man­sion and hides behind dra­pe­ries. Eight men enter, followed by their host; Lois pulls out her notepad. Al­to­ge­ther, these men con­trol rail­roads and air­lines, real estate and finan­cial firms. Each in­volved in pro­hi­bition-era rac­kets. One has a pub­lish­ing firm haw­king inspi­ra­tion­al books. Another runs a secret fascist cell. The last to speak turns out to be a com­mon man who had shown up dis­guised in order to give a rant on the wicked­ness of wealth. Lois is taking this all down, fill­ing one comic book page w/ nine long speech balloons. When sud­den­ly Luthor ap­pears w/ a wea­pon and knocks every­one -- in­clud­ing Lois -- out.


LINGERING LOIS

Clark escorts Lois through choppy times, sensitizing her to the expanding DC Universe and the truth of her origins.
Lois and Clark are off work and stroling arm in arm.
[-1958-]   “What a day, Clark! Please – let‘s go somewhere we can relax!” ... “Sure, Lois. I know just the place!”


By 1943, budding popularity for her charac­ter pro­pels Lois on­to the cover w/ Super­man, gasping as he goes head-to-head with crime’s comedy king, the Prank­ster. Lois is also on the splash page, be­cause she has in­ad­ver­tent­ly wan­dered too close to a giant jack-in-the-box … Then a year later lands her first series, LOIS LANE GIRL REPOR­TER, focus­ing on her exploits with­out Super­man or Clark, which had a thirteen issue run.




The Silver Age   1956-1970 


LOPSIDED LOIS

Soon after Bizarro was introduced, a new Bi­zar­ro Lois was cre­at­ed, ful­ly formed and prone also to pre­dic­a­ments.
Lois undergoes the transformation.
[-1959-]   “I know a perfect way to get rid of Superman’s im­per­fect dou­ble ... by us­ing the Du­pli­ca­tor Ma­chine again!


The winds of change began blowing in the mid-1950s, when DC Comics re­ha­bil­i­tat­ed a dor­mant charac­ter from the past and re- intro­duced Flash, giving him a new back­story and wear­ing a dif­fer­ent cos­tume. Grad­u­al­ly, this new uni­verse fold­ed out­wards and at first divi­ded into two.

In 1956, a seminal tale had taken place on Earth-One, where Barry Allen was work­ing late one stormy night, when a light­ning bolt comes crashing in, strik­ing chem­i­cal vials filled w/ stuff. Bar­ry is knocked out and falls to the floor. Ly­ing in a sus­pi­cious-look­ing soup of labor­a­to­ry juices the entire night, he under­goes a molecular sea change. What had lain on the lab floor that Octo­ber night was a police-lab scien­tist. What woke up the next morn­ing turned out to be an agile Adam – har­bin­ger to a new aeon.


LILTING LOIS

Comic book page ad for the musical.
[-1972-]   “It’s a Bird ... it’s a Plane ... it’s Superman” is a Broad­way musical, produced by Harold Prince in as­so­ci­a­tion w/ Ruth Mitchell. It starred Jack Cas­sidy, the music was by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, and based on a book by David New­man and Robert Denton.


This refashioned “human thun­der­bolt” draws a chalk line at the start­ing point, re­sets the timer to zero, jumps into his cos­tume and takes off. Soon enough he learns of the exis­tence of Earth-Two, and he visits w/ the orig­i­nal Flash, semi-retired but still con­tend­ing w/ super-foes. Overnight, the aggregate number of costumed beings doubled -- then grew, as readers couldn‘t get enough.

The Lois of Earth-One lived a com­pli­cat­ed exis­tence, be­ing rou­tine­ly sub­ject­ed to Imag­i­nary Tales of what-ifs that bedevil story­lines, con­found­ing known facts w/ famil­iar fan­tasy. This Lois had her own title, which ran for 137 issues, end­ing just in time to usher in the Bronze Age, and are known chief­ly as hav­ing im­part­ed a level of light-heart­ed­ness to her life.


LASCIVIOUS LOIS

Lana Lang is wantonly shamed by Lois as she shares a wall w/ a pos­ter of Super­man which reads “Give to Super­man Fresh Air Fund.”
Lois being kissed by Green Arrow while Lana Lang looks on.
[-1961-]     “Hurry up, Green Arrow! It’s our turn to kiss Lois now!” “What has Lois Lane got that I haven’t got? Not only does she always beat me out w/ Super­man, but now she’s got the Justice League mem­bers mad about her!”


In between, Lois left her clas­sic looks be­hind and is shown on a 1968 cover tear­ing down part of her own mast­head con­tain­ing the words "GIRL FRIEND", and throw­ing it to the ground. This was just one step less shock­ing than her get-up: knee-high go-go boots and a rock­ing aqua­net hairdo, declar­ing that she was over the Man of Might. This fit of fem­i­nist zeal sub­si­ded, though, and the des­ig­na­tion re­ap­peared on the next cover. Lois Lane, born on Earth, had up until then led an un­earthly exis­tence, all because she chose to be near the one she loves, and do bat­tle w/ battalions of babes intent on becom­ing the one to make children w/ the alien Adonis.




▶ Champion of the Oppressed
Action Comics №1 - 1938


CHAMPION CLARK

Where Clark stashes his suit is a constant guessing game for the reader.
Left panel shows Clark changing back into civilian attire. Right panel shows up and Lois.
[-1942-] “ It might be a good idea if I were seen hereabouts in my identity as Clark Kent so the ques­tion won’t arise as to how I got my facts…” ... “Clark! So here you are!” ... “Been look­ing for me, Lois?”

Lois Lane sprang into life fully formed, along­side the genesis story of Superman. On his first day at the Daily Planet, Clark Kent is smit­ten and begins to court Lois.

When Clark is then assigned to cover a mys­tery man show­ing remark­able poten­tial, Lois is intrigued and goes on a first date to find out more. Twirling about the dance floor, he asks pointedly, “Why is it you always avoid me at the office?”

“Please Clark-! I’ve been scribbling sob stories all day long. Don’t ask me to dish out another.” Bored and star­ing away, her eyes hap­pen to lock on­to Butch, who’s been star­ing at her for quite some time.

See­ing his move Butch cuts in, then things turn ugly, and Lois gets an ink­ling that Clark may not be a man’s man.



CURIOUS CLARK

Clark took his studies se­ri­ous­ly, and went out of his way to do ex­tra read­ing. In a later tale that was in­struc­tive for young Clark, he had an op­por­tu­nity to learn how a re­por­ter at the Small­ville Her­ald gets break­ing news on Super­boy’s ex­ploits, even be­fore he him­self is out of costume.
At home, Clark is comfortable in his reading chair with an open book.
[-1956-]   “Hmm... history records are sometimes in­com­plete! It’s not known, for in­stance, if the city of Metrop­o­lis was found­ed in 1702 or 1707!”

When Butch facepalms her date she storms out and calls Clark, for the very first time, “… a spineless, un­bear­able coward!”. Catching up w/ the car that has just abducted her, Superman up­turns the vehicle and catches Lois, for the very first time, as she spills out of the back­seat win­dow. What he does next is famously depicted on the iconic front cover - lifting the car above his head. ... turning his attention back to Lois, she backs away in mild terror until he says, “You needn’t be afraid of me. I won’t harm you.”

Transfixed, she lets the strapping stranger scoop her up into his arms and, leaping high, carry her away. This winning formula provided years of creative chaos as the three main characters circled each other round and round.

This ends the first tale of Lois Lane’s life, and the beginning of her startling adventures to document the existence of this mental marvel and physical wonder, devoted to daring deeds she knows will reshape the destiny of a world.







▶ How Lois Got Her Job
Lois Lane №17 - 1960


INTREPID LOIS

Lois is sent out on a triple assignment, to see if she has what it takes to land a desk at a major metropolitan daily.
Lois has a flat tire in the middle of the desert.
[-1960-] “ Drat! A flat tire! And the spare is flat, too! Well, I can hike to Pro­fes­sor Thorne’s dig­gings from here! I must have the third scoop this third day to win my job w/ Perry White!”

(An Untold Story) (Demand Classic)

Every year on the anniversary of her first day to work for him, Perry White has thrown an office party to celebrate. One time he turned sentimental -- opened up: “... When Lois first asked me for a job, I told her I would hire her if she brought me three scoops in three days! She did it ... w/out Superman’s help!

Picking up the cue, Lois blows out the candles and hands the first slice to Perry. While his mouth is full, she gives her side of the story. On the first day at work Perry had given her a choice of several assignments, she chose the easiest one: securing evidence on a team of safe-crackers.



CURIOUS CLARK

Graduating Smallville High and finishing college, Clark went to Metrop­o­lis U and earned a degree in jour­nal­ism. Then he bounced around and worked various jobs, driv­ing a cab, try­ing his hand at logging, even wear­ing a police­man’s uni­form. Even­tual­ly though, he landed an inter­view w/ Perry White, wind­ing up in the pro­fes­sion he liked the best.
Clark in lumberjack outfit is having a crisis trying to find balance on a river log.
[-1963-]   “Oops! C-can’t keep my balance!”


Dressed as a clean­ing lady, Lois walked into their lair w/ a vacuum clean­er, plugged it in, turned it on. This dis­guise turned up pure gold when a torn-up note was re­trieved, then taped back to­geth­er. Impli­ca­tions were de­duced; arrest war­rants even­tual­ly issued. More cake was passed around.

Her next assign­ment was to secure the first-ever photo­graph of a reclu­sive royal, prone to strong­arm tac­tics to en­sure his pri­vacy -- she comes back w/ the photo. Clark and Jim­my ask for an­oth­er slice -- at the same time.

The guest of honor takes this oppor­tunity to sit down, staring into the cavern now develop­ing in the cake. Her car had un­ex­pec­ted­ly broken down on the third assign­ment, and she ended up walking miles out to now­here in order to inter­view an ar­chae­o­lo­gist who was claiming a new dis­covery. She gets her story, and it’s a doozy but, w/ no easy access back, Lois devises the most inge­nious meth­od known to cor­re­spon­dents worldwide – en­ab­ling her post to reach Perry. It is front page news, and Lois lands her dream job.







▶ Man or Superman?
Superman №17 - 1942


CAUTIOUS CLARK

Clark had put his secret identity in jeopardy and is reading the latest newspaper.
[-1938-] “Good! I’m not mentioned!”
Clark at his news desk, scribbling w/ his right hand and holding a phone with his left.
[-1944-] “So they finally caught Lefty Bragg for that bank robbery, eh?”
Clark is changing back to newsman attire.
[-1959-] “If someone finds those glasses and realizes they were hid­den in my secret pouch, he may sus­pect that I’m Super­man! Mean­while, I’ll have to wear a spare pair of ordi­nary glasses.”

Lois and Clark once teamed up to track down the Talon, titular head to a gang of thieves. She later returned to her desk, think­ing she was go­ing to write up a scoop, only to learn that Clark got there first. Exas­pe­ra­ted, she then asked and he then gave a reason so lame that it was enough to make her wonder if Clark might be Super­man. (There have been many ver­sions of this story since.) Clark is the arche­typal nerd, wear­ing glasses be­cause he really has to -- it’s his secret iden­tity. But how his phys­i­og­no­my didn’t give him away as son of Kryp­ton is one for the books. This instance of will­ful ignor­ance appar­ently is im­pos­sible. Because mental snapshots. In one telling, while at the office a com­mo­tion on the street below draws them to the win­dow -- a neck­lace rob­bery was in pro­gress. She sud­den­ly got a feel­ing she knew what Clark would do next, which was to give a flim­sy ex­cuse and dis­ap­pear, then a min­ute will pass and Super­man should (and will) fly past the win­dow. This quiz­zi­cal look does not go un­noticed by eagle-eyed Clark as he stages a retreat. Chang­ing into his cos­tume he thinks back to the very first time Lois ever did all of her won­der­ing. It had hap­pened one morn­ing when he had flown over the Daily Planet, and she had caught a quick glimpse. Lois was round­ing a corner and be­came aware of his land­ing on the roof of her office build­ing. “… and now he’s dropped out of sight! Good gra­cious! Maybe he works on the Planet staff, under a secret iden­tity!”







▶ Miss Lonelyhearts
Lois Lane №3 - 1958


LONELY LOIS

Emotions can run high when one is given a 350-word limit to im­part lived advice.
Lois is crying at work; Clark notices.
[-1958-]   “I... I have my (sob) s-scoop!” ...“Poor Lois, her curios­i­ty got her a story but lost what she want­ed most! I wish I could help but even Super­man can’t mend a bro­ken love or a bro­ken heart!”

Lois once went above and beyond her duties as the advice columnist. She had shown up at the eighth floor landing window of the Belvue Apartments, where a despondent man was threatening to jump. Lois climbs out, telling him she too wants to jump, “Er-(gulp!) Do you think you’re the only person in the world w/ a broken heart?” Prompt­ly los­ing her foot­ing, Lois goes over the edge.



CULTURED CLARK

Clark had a sober dis­po­si­tion to per­form­ing his job, so when a new pub­lisher re­quest­ed that he go to the public gar­dens and cover the opening of a bloom, he com­plied. As a jour­nal­ist Clark was al­ways scru­pu­lous as to the facts, al­though he has kept cer­tain con­tin­uances close to heart.
Clark muses on his professional life.
[-1959-]   “Well, I didn’t lie to Bates! Everything happened just as I de­scribed except for one small detail ...”


Man­ages to catch the cor­ner of a elec­tion ban­ner hang­ing be­low. Be­fore it can tear off she has swung into po­si­tion to plum­met through a num­ber of wind­ow awn­ings. Cushioning her fall un­til a fire­man’s net catches her. This viv­id dem­on­stra­tion of fall­ing in love cures the man’s sick heart, so he climbs back in and goes to where Lois is being treat­ed. You’re won­der­ful, Miss Lane! The next time I com­mit sui­cide, it’s go­ing to be over you!







▶ School for Scoops
Lois Lane №29 - 1961


LECTURER LOIS

Lois shares her years of work experience with a class she is teaching.
Lois has the floor and is lecturing.
[-1961-]   “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the press! I warn you, though! Be pre­pared for some un­usual teach­ing meth­ods! I’ve pre­pared the re-enact­ments of some of my great­est ex­pe­ri­ences right here on stage!”

Through pluck and per­ser­ve­rance Lois becomes the number one female reporter in the United States! The Uni­ver­sity of Metrop­olis asks her to give a lecture course. Hearing this news, racketeer Nick Roker sends two gun­men to the campus. Because.

Lois proves a preco­cious professor and, w/ the help of Jimmy Olsen, stages re-creations of actual cases. Jimmy walks the class through the first scenario. Drugged by a gang she’s been after, Lois gains conscious­ness to find that she is bound, gagged, inside a tiny base­ment. Some­one behind is about to put a blind­fold on her. At this critical moment, Lois locates the base­ment’s electric meter and mem­orizes its serial number.



CORRESPONDENT CLARK

Clark is following the news on the teletype machine at work.
[-1938-]   “Maybe Super­man should have a look for … Oh, oh! No time to wor­ry about the mys­te­rious shock now! A heavy fog moved in over the air­port and there’s a plane in trouble!”


Clark reads the teletype at work.
[-1952-]   “Oh-oh! the FBI has just an­nounced that a man in a cos­tume, who looks like Super­man, photo­graphed a secret new type of space ship the oth­er day, then es­caped! I’d bet­ter change to my secret iden­tity of Super­man and in­ves­ti­gate!!”


This bit of infor­ma­tion helps break the case and gets her a scoop. Before dismiss­ing the class, she hands out wri­ting assign­ments.

The next day students are greeted by a grue­some set piece: Hav­ing once crossed the line w/ racket­eer “Duke” Benson, he has en­ticed her over to his office and there ties her to a chair, plac­ing a bomb beneath the chair before his exit. Ignor­ing the lit fuse, she leans for­ward and nudges the phone off its cradle, picks up a pencil w/ her mouth, and dials 9-1-1, ... in the time it takes for her to grade this sec­ond assign­ment, Lois has deduced that two are not written by journal­ism students.

Think­ing to instruct her class by treat­ing this develop­ment as a case study, she outs them on­ly to real­ize too late they were sent to off her. Lois’s quick think­ing dis­tracts them long enough for Jim­my’s signal-watch to sum­mon Super­man, who makes a brief cameo at the very end.







▶ Lois’s College Scoops
Lois Lane №55 - 1965


LEGACY LOIS

Lois auditioning for work on the college newspaper.
Lois is arguing with her student newspaper editor.
[-1965-]   “You want me to write a story on ‘How I Made the Fencing Team’? That’s impossible! Raleigh only has a men’s fencing squad.” ... “That’s tough! Either get the story or you’re through!”

(An Untold Tale)

One time, Lois took Jimmy Olsen and Super­man to her college re­union. There she grew nostalgic and, picking up a school scrap­book, leafed through to find a clip­ping of her first scoop for the Raleigh Review. It was an im­possible first assign­ment: to join an all-male only fenc­ing team and write about the expe­rience. The fenc­ing captain, who was a good sport and will­ing to go along, gives Lois a week to practise before they were to meet in a bout.



CAMPUS CLARK

(An Untold Tale)
Clark is studying in his dorm when the door opens.
[-1958-]   “You know what, Clark? Super­boy’s been seen around cam­pus so much, there’s a rumor he’s a stu­dent at Metrop­o­lis U! Wouldn’t that be won­der­ful!” ... “Yes, just swell.”


Through diligence and sheer love-of-report­ing, she out­fences the cap­tain, land­ing Lois her very first scoop.

Then she puts down her cup of punch and begins to leaf through a second scrap­book, lo­cat­ing a clip­ping of her first-hand ac­count of dis­cov­er­ing a new comet – by fluke, dur­ing a night at the Small­ville ob­ser­va­tory, where she was using the tele­scope to write a paper for astronomy class.

The last page held a tat­tered clip­ping of her strang­est scoop. Tak­ing a solo field trip for biol­ogy class, Lois had stum­bled across – and captured on film – a live pter­an­don and a liv­ing sabre-tooth. Her biolo­gy teac­her is wowed. Those pre­historic crea­tures van­ished with­out a trace, Lois! But thanks to the movies you took, we know exactly how they looked and acted!







▶ How Clark Kent First Met Lois Lane  (Bonus Tale)
Adventure Comics №128 - 1948


LOVING LOIS

Lois wins a bet with Clark.
 Lois and Clark at the ice cream counter.
[-1948-]   “How many scoops?” Lois: “Two!” Clark: “Scooped again!”

(An Exclusive Adventure of Superboy)

While still in high school, Clark receives a letter from the Daily Planet:  Clark Kent, 713 Main Street. Con­grat­u­la­tions! You are one of the two winners of our an­nual con­test to hon­or the best school news­paper re­por­ters. Your prize is a free-trip to Me­trop­o­lis, where you will be al­lowed to work as cub re­por­ter for one week. 

Overjoyed and full of bonhomie, Clark shows up and is introduced to Lois Lane, the other winner; he takes an instant shine to her. The editor tries to break this spell by assign­ing a competition to see who can bring in the best story of the day, with the winner getting a front page byline! Lois suggests a side bet to Clark, “The loser treats the winner to an ice cream sundae?”

I never bet … but I’ll make an excep­tion in your case!” After handshakes, Lois ventures out and, based on a hunch, stumbles into criminal activity, resulting in being tied up and about to meet her end – Superboy arrives and saves the day. After he has dispatched her attackers, this unknown being glides over and unties Lois. On an impulse she jumps into his arms and asks to be carried away from the scene, a request the Boy of Tomor­row was fated to grant. She later on wins the compe­tition (Clark has been busy else­where) and, after work, he takes her to a soda fountain and pays his bet. They spend the week chas­ing stories, then it’s time to wave good­bye to Lois from a train plat­form, wondering if he’ll ever cross paths with her again.



|  NOTES

[1] BASED ON reports from, among others, Tricia Annis, Tim Hanley, Steven Thompson, and Internet searches.
Comic book page ad.
OCCUPATION: Staff reporter for the Met­rop­o­lis Daily Planet. (But, to get a scoop, she’s worked as an actress, acrobat, cook, waitress and baby-sister!) AGE: 23 (But already she’s been around the world in 8 min­utes - thanks to Superman!) WEIGHT: 121 (But Super­man can carry her w/ one hand!) AM­BI­TION: To be­come Mrs Super­man (But the man of steel has other plans!)

Comic book page ad.
He He He! Like Eerie, Unearthly Tales? You’ll find them here! ... Do you go for Stunning Surprise Endings? We have those, too! ... Want to read about Ghosts, Witches and Dark Secrets! ... Eh ? What do I know about it? I’M LOIS LANE! And how I got this way is just one of the stories in this collection of shockers ... on sale June 29th!”

Comic book page ad.

[2] BACK COVER AD – The back cover ad for Action Comics №1 was bought by the Johnson Smith & Company in Detroit, Michigan. They were purveyors of, among other things: - pocket radios - midget radios - midget pocket radios - magic radios - crystal radios - radio & television books - experiment sets - wireless transmittals - telegraph sets - electric phones - electric baseballs - world mikes (a microphone) - deluxe microphones - big entertainers (an air mattress) - Stinson Reliant giant flying planes - all-metal model airplanes - wigs (blond only) - yacht caps - live chameleons - x-ray glasses - booklets on hypnotism, learning to dance, learning to tap dance, ventriloquism, and ju-jitsu - whoopee cushions - joy bussers - rings - luminous photos - luminous paints - movie projectors - telescopes - field glasses - world's smallest candid cameras - bull dog fish hooks - and Japanese rose bushes.

[3] BIBLIOGRAPHY
   Action Comics №1 (Jun 1938) Superman, Champion of the Oppressed  |  №2 (Jul 1938) Revolution in San Monte  |  №5 (Oct 1938) The Big Scoop  |  №6 (Nov 1938) The Man Who Sold Superman  |  №7 (Dec 1938) Superman Joins the Circus  |  №9 (Feb 1939) $5,000 Reward for Superman  |  №23 (Apr 1940) Empire at War (Part II)  |  №27 (Aug 1940) The Brentwood Rehabilitation Home  |  №31 (Dec 1940) The Hand of Morpheus  |  №32 (Jan 1941) The Preston Gambling Racket  |  №35 (Apr 1941) The Worthless Gold Mine  |  №36 (May 1941) Fifth Columnists  |  №37 (Jun 1941) Clark Kent, Police Commissioner  |  №38 (Jul 1941) Hypnosis by Radio  |  №41 (Oct 1941) The Sabotage Ring  |  №44 (Jan 1942) The Caveman Criminal  |  №47 (Apr 1942) Powerstone  |  №57 (Feb 1943) Crime’s Comedy King  |  №68 (Jan 1944) Superman Meets Susie  |  №80 (Jan 1945) Mr Mxyztplk Returns  |  №139 (Dec 1949) Clark Kent, Daredevil  |  №144 (May 1950) Clark Kent’s Career  |  №164 (Jan 1952) Hall of Trophies  |  №169 (May 1964) The Man Who Stole Superman’s Secret Life!  |  №189 (Mar 1954) Clark Kent’s New Mother and Father  |  №254 (Jul 1959) Battle with Bizarro    Adventure Comics №128 (May 1948) How Clark Kent Met Lois Lane    Justice League of America Comics №21 (Aug 1963) Crisis on Earth-One  |  №22 (Sep 1963) Crisis on Earth-Two    Showcase Comics  | 4 (Oct 1956) Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt    The Flash Comics №123 (Sep 1961) The Flash of Two Worlds    Superboy Comics №10 (Oct 1950) The Girl in Superboy’s Life  |  №31 (Mar 1954) Demon Reporter  |  №41 (Jun 1955) Junior Sleuths of Smallville  |  №47 (Mar 1956) Superboy Meets Superman    Superman Comics №4 (Mar 1940) Superman Versus Luthor  |  №6 (Sep 1940) Lois, Murder Suspect  |  №12 (Sep 1941) Peril on Pogo Island  |  №13 (Nov 1941) The Machinations of the Light  |  №17 (Jul 1942) Man or Superman  |  №19 (Nov 1942) Funny Paper Crimes  |  №19 (Nov 1942) Superman, Cartoon Hero  |  №28 (May 1944) Lois, Girl Reporter  |  №85 (Nov 1953) Clark, Gentleman Journalist  |  №125 (Nov 1958) Clark’s College Days  |  №135 (Feb 1960) When Lois First Suspected Clark Was Superman  |  №165 (Nov 1963) The Sweetheart that Superman Forgot!  |  № 169 (May 1964) The Man Who Stole Superman’s Secret Life!    Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Comics №34 (Jan 1959) The Most Fantastic Camera in the World    Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane Comics №1 (Mar 1958) Witch of Metropolis  |  №1 (Mar 1958) Bombshell of Metropolis  |  №3 (Jun 1958) The Man Who was Clark’s Double  |  №17 (May 1960) How Lois Got Her Job  |  №29 (Nov 1961) School for Scoops  |  №20 (Nov 1961) The Irresistible Lois Lane  |  №55 (Feb 1965) Lois’s College Scoops  |  №80 (Jan 1968) Splitsville for Lois and Superman    World’s Finest Comics №30 (Sep 1947) Sheriff Clark  | 



  WALT WHITMAN  Walt Whitman
The main shapes arise, shapes of democracy total, result of centuries, shapes ever projecting other shapes, shapes of tur­bu­lent manly cities, shapes of the friends and home-givers of the whole earth, shapes bracing the earth and braced with the whole earth.
In some unused lagoon, some nameless bay, on sluggish, lonesome waters, anchor’d near the shore, an old, dismasted, gray and batter’d ship, disabled, done. After free voyages to all the seas of earth, haul’d up at last and hawser’d tight, lies rusting, mouldering.


  SUPER CARS 


 Howard Stark  built Stark Industries in the early 20th century, demon­strates his levitating motorcar at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

the first avenger (2011)
screenshot from The First Avenger (2011)

chariot race run by motorcycles; armored knight riding a motorcycle Immortal DANE WHITMAN brought his time-tested skills as the  Black Knight  to the early days of filmmaking, creating a phantasmagorical chariot race for Fritz Lang’s 1929 silent scifi ‘Woman in the Moon.’ These days, he still does stunts for Hollywood in his motorcycle knight persona.


orange-painted van Although he owns a Legion flight ring from the 30th century, when in no hurry to get somewhere MICHAEL JON CARTER prefers to drive. Carter comes from the future, sheathed in a super-suit boasting futuristic tech, but the visceral feel of rubber on road gives  Booster Gold  a jolly jolt unlike any other.


neo-gotham black car Mysterious  Inque , liquid nemesis of Batman Beyond, can seep in and out of her liquid limo, which otherwise has no openings.
silver sports car Parking behind the world’s first eco-fire station, JIMON KWAN goes in to give a demon­stration – in her capacity as  Silver  of China Force – on her mutant ability to drain heat and convert it into light.


comic-book cover and foto of 1915 Ford Speedster
Before he went to war as the  Fighting American , NELSON FLAGG’s father gave him a 1915 Ford Speedster – it later crashed and burned. The original (below) fresh off the assembly line.



photoshopped double-wide truck It takes two of JAMIE MADROX, the  Multiple Man , to control this wide jeep because it’s sure-as-hell gonna be a bumpy ride.
foto of roller-skater strapped to a  fuel tank filling up at a gas station The grandfather, and great-grandfather, of JAMES JESSE, who tormented the Flash with weaponized toys, were from a family of vaudevillians who specialized in mechan­ized traps. In 1961, their grandson would continue these research in self-powered devices, and built a portable air-cooled engine, hooked up to an accelerator switch, engine cut-off sitch, and single horse-powered roller skates, to inaugurate a life of crime as the  Trickster .


photoshopped vintage truck An inside-out refrig­er­ated truck, driven by LEONARD SNART, who uses stolen science to commit crime as  Cap­tain Cold , wield­ing a strange raygun capable of shoot­ing absolute-zero particles that turns into solid ice, anything that is aimed at.

car with an atenna-like object attached
H.G. Wells jumped at the chance to take a spin in a new motor­car that his American friend and fellow futurist, the head of  Stark Industries , brought over to London. The author of The Invisible Man is photographed sitting in the back seat as the self-driving car crosses Tower Bridge.


USSR Trabant This tasty USSR-era Trabant was on display in a Belgrade art gallery when  Harley Quinn , the ‘merry menace’, happened by, took one look, and took it home.


Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic This rarely seen Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic belongs to ARTHUR CURRY and is nick­named the Drop because, as  Aquaman , he almost never has need for it.


mad max-era car  Imperator Furiosa ’s go-to wheels when she’s off the clock.
comic-book panel Even super-heroes driv­ing sports cars have to stop and pay toll, as the Thing heckles  John­ny Storm ’s tossing chops. “Let’s get going, Torchy! Bank robbers ain’t exactly our speed! Hey! Ya missed the coin bucket!” “But I threw it okay! It wasn’t my fault! The bucket moved!”


1937 Ford; Corvette; 1960 Chevrolet After punching Hitler’s face in his debut, the city of Manhattan awarded  Steve Rogers  a spanking red 1937 Ford, which he drove cross-country to the Golden Gate. Then he made up for lost years with a Corvette. These days, Steve’s ride is a 1960 Chevrolet, always parked on the street; repeatedly stolen then returned because it was a badge of honor to leave the key in the ignition.
Minor Morris convertible Before he was imbued with Bahdnisian powers and took control of the ‘human thunderbolt’,  Johnny Thunder  had been schooled in Europe, having won a music scholarship while in high school. When he found out how little his room cost, Johnny promptly bought a Minor Morris convertible.


Francisco Mattos
Narrowly escaping the silver-age Human Torch, BENTLEY WITT­MAN is chaffeured to safety and to continue as the  Wizard . “Fire is a powerful weapon! But I possess the greatest weapon of all – the world’s greatest brain!”


car with a flattened design No way is the mys­te­rious  Dolphin  a landlubber, so when­ever adventures take her inland she always drives there in her 1962 Shark road­ster, featur­ing an aquarium pod and other acquatic doodads.


Retiring as sorcerer supreme sometime in 1950, Steven Strange’s teacher the  Ancient One  drove home to Kamar-Taj in Tibet, where he had to ford many rivers, and aided by local villagers, ever grateful for deliver­ance from the evil Kaluu.

Francisco Mattos

comic-book panel Suddenly, the hovering air-car is jolted by a fantastic wave of force … that is when  Nick Fury  sees an awesome figure who stands waiting to confront the dynamic director of SHIELD …” mystery in space #8 (jun-jul 1952) comic-book panel Another surreal episode for the  Knights of the Galaxy  is just getting underway, in ‘For King Arthur and Britain.’


rearranged car To have a bit of fun while Superman is recovering from their latest encounter,  Mr Mxyzptlk , the imp from elsewhere, uses fifth-dimension science, where he is from, to rearrange this car’s components and proceeds to demon­strate how to operate it.


camouflage-painted VW Beetle Becoming ephemeral by putting on a pseudo­derm mask, VIC SAGE blends in with his camouflage-painted car, during a period when, as the  Question , he joined Blue Beetle, Captain Atom and Night­shade in the original Sentinels of Justice.
1940s prototype from Citreon
When the  Queen Bee  returned for a rematch with the Justice League, she went first to the Citroen museum in Aulnay-sous-Bois near Paris, and stole an experimental 1940s light-weight hovercar which she turned into a beehive bed-chamber. Now damaged and abandoned, it still oscillates when touched, awaiting further instructions from ZAZZALA, insect queen from planet Korll.



two painted vans
After leaving Oliver Queen and life as Speedy, ROY HARPER turned nomadic and took to the road in an oft-vandalzied there­fore oft-camouflaged van. Tooling around England, the former battling bowman, now  Arsenal , let Banksy give the van a new skin.


OLIVER QUEEN and ROY HARPER chase down 1958 criminals. “Our last arrow! We’ll fire it to stop the getaway car – then end our careers as  Green Arrow  and Speedy!” “Yes, with our secret identities exposed, we’re uselss against criminals!”

world’s finest 98 dec 1958 comic-book panel

1939 Chevrolet Long after ALAN WELLING SCOTT, owner of the Gotham Broadcasting Co., was visited by the Green Flame of Life (‘Three times shall I flame green! First to bring death! Second to bring life! Third to bring power!’) and fought evildoers as the golden-age  Green Lantern , he would continue to drive his trusted 1939 Chevrolet.


comic-book panel Founder of school for mutants  Professor X  drops off his gifted students in his Rolls Royce. “Boy! It musta taken a heap of green stamps to buy a chariot like this!” “No joking, please! Concentrate on your mission! Review your powers! Our foe is certain to be highly dangerous!”


repurposed VW van While roaming the future, Adam Strange had time to drop by and bring a prototype gift to  Bouncing Boy . Able to teleport, based on a helmet design, armed with repel-rays, it became a battle-suit for CHUCK TAINE.


multi-hued car To recharge his pyro-suit, GARFIELD LYNNS simply simply hooks up to his Plymouth Barracuda’s enhanced batteries, and wait a bit. Then he will be ready, as the  Human Firefly , to unleash a color crimewave based on the rainbow.
postage stamp of an american sports car A U.S. postage stamp was issued to immortalize TED GRANT’s ride when he’s fighting crime as  Wildcat .


experimental bicycle with two handlebars facing away from each other, two seats, and three wheels Brainiac 5 had a phase where he only built bikes, and came up with this bi-directional one-speed for LUORNU DUR­GO TAINE, aka  Duo Damsel , so as to aug­ment her super-power.


1935 Bugatti Aerolithe Wealthy socialite WESLEY DODDS had a weakness for cars and a taste for danger. Good enough reasons to imperil a 1935 Bugatti Aerolithe by taking it out, as the  Sandman , to strike terror among wrongdoers: “There is no land beyond the law, where tyrants rule w/ unshakable power! It’s but a dream from which the evil wake to face their fate … their terrifying hour!”


prototype bicycle This two-wheeled wonder is a gift from Brainiac 5, an expe­ri­men­tal bike that will allow LANA LANG to apply 30th century technology to her 20th century life. Fiddling around with the tele­port-time feature will biking through country­side, Lana man­aged to trade bodies with all the bugs in a nearby field, and became the  Insect Queen .
detective comics #233 july 1956 Francisco Mattos Socialite KATHY KANE, in her first appearance as a masked crime­fighter, is ahead of the Bat­mobile on her Bat­bike. “Hurry, Batman – the  Bat­woman  is beat­ing us on this mission!”


slow-slung black and red car Keys for this experi­mental car, designed by Stark Industries, were give to blind MATT MURDOCK, adding comfort to his forays into existential evil as the  Daredevil .


modified sun-roof in a VW van SAMUEL JOSEPH SCUDDER drove this solar-lab on wheels, in his first apperance in The Flash #105 ‘The  Mirror Master ’.


two-toned camper-van When a lightning bolt struck but never left RORY REGAN, his only way to live was to wrap himself head to toe in mystical bandages, an unforgiving conse­quence has trapped the bolt and caused his trans­forma­tion in  Ragman , the tatter­demalion of justice, whose staging ground is this innocuous though-colorful van.
a 1958 Nucleon, a Norman Bel Geddes prototype, a 1949 Tabot Iago, and a 1959 Firebird Random page from the mid-century portfolio of billionaire industrialist  Tony Stark  shows a 1958 Nucleon, a Norman Bel Geddes prototype, a 1949 Tabot Iago, and a 1959 Firebird.


Hispano-Suiza Sue Richards went to fetch at the train station AGATHA HARKNESS, her son’s new governess, in this custom-built Hispano-Suiza, previously owned by an heir to the Dubonnet fortune. It was a regal ride befitting the  chief-witch  of New salem, who had brought, as a baby present, a mysterious rocking-seahorse. rocking-horse
parked car with an electrical cord plugged in to a charger on an extension cord An early electric car prototype from the morbid mind of OSWALD HUBERT LOOMIS, ake the  Prankster ..
green van When her mom asked, JENNIFER WALTERS sent this blurry pix of her unusual purchase, while taking college courses overseas. The car was ideal for camping, and that was when she got into an accident, and needed a blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce, which began a new chapter in her life as the ravishing rough  She-Hulk .


rooftop of 1923 Fiat Factory in Turin
In 1923, Tony Stark’s dad visited the Fiat Factory in Turin and admired their roof treatment. When what later became the  Avengers Mansion  was built, Stark senior also would set up a race-car track on the roof.


1959 Lincoln Besides lending his occult skills to combat evil,  Giovanni Zatara  performs as a stage magician, and is the reason he drives this 1959 Lincoln, with a sturdy trunk to fit all his stage props.


1954 Ford Tony Stark gave this vintage 1954 Ford to his executive assistant  Pepper Potts , in recognition for her aid in their first caper together, ‘The Mad Pharaoh.’
1957 Lincoln Premiere on a stamp KENT ALLARD’s elusive 1957 Lincoln Premiere, which he drove as the  Shadow , caught on a U.S. postage stamp.


1949 Hudson  Blackhawk ’s 1949 Hudson, later owned by Jack Kerouac when he was doing a lot of driving. Restored and no longer driven.


Phantom Corsair Museum director CARTER HALL was given the keys to a souped-up Phantom Corsair as a planet-warming present. In his secret identity, Hall is an extraterrestrial detective fighting crime on Earth in the guise of the silver-age  Hawkman .


image of an experimental boat An experimental floating fortress from the malevolent minds at  Advanced Idea Mechanics .


failed foto of a train The ghost of highway­man JAMES CRADOCK leads a cursed existence onboard a phantom train, speeding forever around the world with no direction home, break­ing the law as the  Gentle­man Ghost .

Francisco


When LANCELOT STRONG became the second  Shield , the crime-fighter drove a 1970 AMC Rebel for a short period, until its color motif gave him away to every bad actor from blocks around.

comic-book ad Aurora model kit for the ‘Black Beauty’, a modified 1965 Chrysler featuring a 413 engine. BRUCE LEE was often behind the wheels, taking BRITT REID, masked as the  Green Hornet , to fight crime as his sideman  Kato , ready to judo.


comic-book panel Sowing feline felony in Gotham City with her Cat Mobile, SELINA KYLE leads a lawless life as the  Catwoman .


foto of miniaturised Cadillac parked on the street Indignant townfolk surround and try to barricade the tiny-but-deadly Cadillac from obeying WINSLOW SCHOTT’s remote command to come pick him up, now dressed as the  Toyman , to go rumble with Doll Man and Doll Girl.
comic-book panel  Joker  has jumped into his seldom driven Joker Mobile and is rushing down a crowded street to track down a double-crossing mobster. “The whole job – the safe-cracking, the getaway - all bear the stamp of Dink Devers! The cops think he died – but he’s right here in town, at the Blake Hotel! Ha-HA-HA!” “Gosh, Joker – I bet you’re right!”


foto of the Ferrari 375 Plus A dedicated scientist learned that he has inherited a Ferrari 375 Plus, and paused his work on the nucleus in order to restore the car, one of only four built. By then, RAY PALMER already knew how to shrink and become the golde-age  Atom . So now he started to tinker with his car, so he can drive, next he goes down into the quantum realm.
comic-book panel Parked on a cloud, the  Ghost Patrol  are listless and bored ... “Ho Hum! Another quiet day. Nothing doing on our sector of earth lately.” “Strange! This is usually the most troublesome of the planets!” “What’s that ahead? Why – it’s a horse!”


black jeep parked on the street King T’CHALLA of Wakanda left his elusive jeep for twenty minutes, long enough to accomplish a secret mission as the  Black Panther  and drive off.



foto of the Futurliner, a train on wheels A “fire” truck, designed by Stark Industries to house JIM HAMMOND, an android spawned by Prof. Phineas T. Horton, who fought crime as the golden-age  Human Torch . Repurposed by G.M. after the war as a Futurliner, and restored to the original color scheme.


 2024  RETROGRADES 





  Rx2024  S O L

 •❚-❚-❚ The celestial court revolves around the gravity-throne and the roman-solar god Sol, in the house of the Sun, on the corner of Orion and the Milky Way. Some in the court are descendants of the prototype-earth goddess Terra, and the infinite-sky god Uranus.

When the occulti-egypti bird flew down to perch on the arrow-throne, he came as an apollo asteroid. Now Bennu is the nexus between rein­car­nation and the Sun; spends eleven weeks phoning in sappy sympathy [4.23-7.13 rx:sa.sc]. If well-aspected, holds a sharp tongue; if not, insincerity for all to see.

Fecund polynesian divinity Makemake splashes about in the Kuiper belt; is short­sighted; immune to per­sua­sion [1.10-6.22 rx:li].

Antique two-faced moon Janus is sitting on a roller coaster, summer into soggy autumn, even as the roman “porter to heaven” comes up with excuses for his dried-in-the-Sun humor, and stone-faced demeanor [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

image of moon JANUS; image of demiplanet MAKEMAKE; image of asteroid BENNU; full-disk portrait of SOL, taken close to a solar minimum, showing a placid chromosphere disturbed by a single active region [2019 foto: alan friedman national maritime museum]
  Rx2024 V E N U S

 •❚-❚-❚ Roman-love goddess Venus has no retorgrade in 2024, continues to orbit naked, showing off a body of solid rock veined in inert argon, undergoing continuous exfoliation, losing precious nitrogen atoms, which float away across a carbon-dioxide atmosphere, each encased in a package of sulfuric acid.

One sumptuous serpent tail draped around the potency-throne, the compulsion-satellite Ananke is prepared for severe weather, dog-collared October to tradition-bound December [10.10-12.31 rx:vi.le].

marble bust of EROS 4th cen bce; image of VENUS; ADONIS as a heart-shaped meteor that fell in Siberia in 1947; painting of FREIA

It is a mixed blessing that Eros has no retrograde in 2024. The first god to step out of the Asteroid belt struts around as an irreg­u­lar­ly shaped asteroid, weighing twenty tons, wear­ing alum­inum speedos sewn with gold thread and fastened by platinum snaps. The god of desire’s skin is dented by rocks spewed out by several volcanic eruptions, one of which is from a billion years ago.

Beginning June, variegated-norse asteroid Freia, queen of the Valkyries, tries to stay two steps behind the front lines, but trying to kiss each fallen soldier on the battle­field is a ploy with no spine [6.7-9.28 rx:aq].

The “handsome one” came by in 1936 to set up the love-embassy. Adonis had insist­ed, even though astronomers say he’s a potentially hazard­ous asteroid, and his exes claim that he is an extinct comet and a source of meteor showers; prefers just holding hands [2.15-6.24 rx:sc.li].


     tartarus    neptune
  Rx2024 M E R C U R Y

The Olympia Academy has taken over the house of Mercury, which gives the “messenger of the gods” a reason to roam - see every one, meet every thing; the “patron god to the home” is seldom in residence.

Maiden-asteroid Hebe per­forms in-take for new stu­dents; prone to sug­ges­tions, loss of will [3.3-6.15 rx:sc.li].

Athenian-polymath asteroid Apollo is a complex creation, gifted with many talents, and easily duped for vanity’s sake [1.1-2.27 rx:cn].

Dactyl is an moonroid, schooled in shaping fire and crafting spells, who is to spend three fruitless months, unable to end a project [7.28-11.3 rx:pi].

ATHENE bowl 1st cen; shield of PALLAS; roman ring showing cameo head of MINERVA wearing a corinthian helmet

Two carbons of Mercury are teaching in the Gym­na­sium. Hellen­ic Hermes is to realize that words are not louder than action [7.1-10.22 rx:pi.aq][7.1-10.22 rx:pi.aq]. Gaul­ish-moon giant Erria­pus is realizing just the opposite [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Judo etc is handled by Poly­deuces, greco-carbon to binary bros Romulus and Remus; lets guard down, summer into sloppy autumn [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Complex, and complicated, is Pallas Athena: a greco-roman goddess whose three princi­pal forms began step­ping out of the Main belt, begin­ning in the nine­teenth century. Virginal-asteroid Pallas came first, spherical hence intact; is easily offended [3.30-7.10 rx:sa.sc]. Wise-asteroid Minerva came next; overconfident during Decem­ber [11.30-12.31 rx:le]. “Lovely-haired” asteroid Athene didn’t come until 1917; overextended hence careless, also in Decem­ber [11.20-12.31 rx:le].

image of MERCURY in front of the Sun; ancient wall painting of METIS; shell cameo of Hebe mounted on red gold 1865

Head librarian in the acad­emy is wis­dom-moon Metis, titan­ess of pru­dence, who slow-walks back to an uneasy con­sen­sus [10.10-12.31 rx:ge].

Ready to pronounce foreign words correctly is titaness of language Mnemosyne, who keeps choosing the wrong words, January through mid-spring [1.6-4.18 rx:vi].

 •❚-❚-❚ Mercury will undergo four misfiring retrogrades during 2024, when words meant in gratitude become instead bullets, and phras­ings combust . The first retro­grade is over with after the first four days, when equi­librium is regained [1.1-1.4 rx:sa]. The second turns into an April of amnesia [4.2-4.26 rx:ar]. The third is a convoluted August, chasing an ideal [8.6-8.29 rx3:vi.le]. The last retrograde consumes post-Thanksgiving: three weeks of tit-for-tat [11.27-12.16 rx4:sa].

There are those who conduct missions to search for miss­ing planets and forgot­ten deities, and it is headed by Hyperion, titan-moon of light, who cannot deliver what has been promised [6.30-11.16 rx:pi]. The “eld­est flame” still sits on the sun-throne, but as “patron god of astronomy”, Hyperion prefers it here at the acad­emy, lending his light with occult obscurities, and un­tan­gling conjugal conjectures.

Secondgen titan Atlas is an enthusiastic hunter of hidden goddesses and gods, able to pick up whole worlds to see what’s underneath, yet is inept in gauging distances [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Helping to sought through un­named planets is Jenny Blue, on assignment from the Inter­national Astro­nom­ical Union, where she is gazetteer of planetary nomen­clature; susceptible to whims and manages time poorly [8.14-11.10 rx:ar.pi].


     venus    hephaistos
  Rx2024 L U N A

Reckoning the retrograde lives of triple-mooon goddesses who are not called Luna is a fool’s errand.

Paying heed to Time and the zodiac, the crescent-crown is a duty that is passed down. Since 1905 it has rested on the brow of Selene, whom mortals caught a glimpse, when “the air unlit before glows”; she suffers a setback for unguarded innocence, gullible April to sober July [4.3-7.21 rx:sa.sc].

Faded majesty-moon Phoebe sits and fidgets on the full-throne, in defense of her superior ways, pompous summer into imperious autumn [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

image of moon PHOEBE; image of LUNA; head of ARTEMIS 2nd cen; image of HEKATE 6th cen bc

Hekate enters 2024 listless, ineffectual til mid-April. Afterwards, the dark-side-of-the-moon goddess judiciously chooses pillows before settling down to business on the old-throne [1.1-4.16 rx:vi.le].

Greco-wilderness asteroid Artemis has the new-throne, yet the goddess of the hunt prefers to be out and about; preyed upon by a bait-and-switch [1.2-4.4 rv:vi.le].

An ideal deity came in 2024 to occupy the triple-throne, ascending to it on four legs. Tarvos has returned now as a bull-moon, and is, and ever was, the sole male-carbon to a triple-mooon-goddess; spends almost half of 2024 reliant on hoary luck [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Although Pan lives elsewhere, the asteroid-goat hybrid prefers to be here on the Moon; seen joylessly couch-surfing during the last ten weeks of the year [10.18-12.31 rx: cn.ge]. Otherwise, Pan is delirious with desire, surrounded by moonlets, dwarf-moons, moonmoons; where packs of ring-shepherds crowd shepherd-moons.

 •❚-❚-❚ Each sunset, Luna, who never retrogrades, rises from the silver-throne to don a mottled monochromatic bodysuit, glistening with crater rays. Before stepping onto the moon chariot, drawn by two winged horses, the “two-horned queen of stars” throws on wraps of billowy reflective scarves, crawling with dust devils perpetually shooting off dust.
  Rx2024 T E R R A

Backed by faulty science, fracking was driving mother Earth to distraction, the original goddess could bare it no more; she declared war.

 •❚-❚-❚ Claiming no parents, spherical and fully formed at the dawn of Time, Terra had swallowed rocks and im­pris­oned monsters, all for the sake of domestic peace with Uranus. Now the aborig­inal-earth goddess was running a high fever, so she coughed, ejecting bowel contents, flush­ing out bad blood; and instigated the latest geo­machia against mad­den­ing mortals.

image of moon CERES; image of moon DIONE; portrait of SIWA with a haircut; portrait of TERRA wearing a crown embellished with golden leaves and acorns Crimea 320-300 bc

Mortals mighty and meek who survived Terra’s last tantrum went about restoring first the important altars. Detecting acorn-dipped incense, eldest-oak moon Dione came back in 1684; half of 2024 gets lost because unproductive [6.30-11.16 rx:pi]

From tart summer to acidic autumn, roman-seasons asteroid Ceres finds it pointless to toe the party-line [5.16-8.26 rx:cp]; forgets to number the days.

Slavic-cornucopia asteroid Šiwa finds herself thwarted, during end of year festivities, when the wrong people seek her company [11.12-12.31 rx:cn].

For slavic-soil demiplanet Dziewanna, there is pride before a fall; this takes place two weeks after valentine's day [2.29-8.4 rx:sc].

Hellenic-botanical moon Hegemone is perhaps too open-minded, divulging too much [10.10-12.31 rx:ge]

orinthian-asteroid flower Chloris is always busy during high-holy days, yet any mix-up during her 2024 retrograde can prove costly [7.30-10.30 rx:ar.pi]

Best known as a white-bearded tenor, wrapped in a white stole, facing blinding snow storms to sing arias to infants. Then dying only to be reborn as a giggling spring breeze, norse-wind moon Kari gives disjointed speeches, mosquito July to bitten November [6.30-11.16 rx:pi]

An act of selflessness by multi-nymphii moon Naiad, a rock irrigated by fresh­water spirits, comes across instead as an unfortunate act of sabotage [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].

Orchestrating rain clouds from her base in the Kuiper belt, zulu-sky demiplanet Mba­bam­wana­waresa has a gotcha moment, turns tongue-tied and awkward [2.20-7.20 rx:sc].

One can always find greek-grape asteroid Dionysus in the vineyard, bottling liquid-heat from the Sun; is cloudy with a chance of too-much face-time [10.28-12.31 rx:cn].


     sol    saturn
  Rx2024 M A R S

Before becoming a roman god, the red planet was known by ancient astronomers by other names, all using a variant of “red”.

 •❚-❚-❚ Roman-military planet Mars has good cause to take it easy, during a spent Decem­ber [12.7-12.31 rx:le]; til then he is a genius with a penis.
    A pair of spent moons shadow their dad’s every move. Deimos looks spiffy clad in smooth rock, but it’s to protect his porous frame, knowing one day he’ll go a.w.o.l. Phobos is slowly dying; wearing noth­ing but rubble held together by the thinnest of mantles.

foto of moon NYX; statue of winged BELLONA on her chariot; necklace of HARMONIA; image of MARS

With only two weeks left, roman-war asteroid Bellona steps on a symbolic nail, gives up the good fight [12.20-12.31 rx:le].

Daughter to Venus and Mars, divine-accord aste­roid Har­mo­nia expe­riences an impasse with some totalitarian on testosterone [6.8-9.3 rx:aq.cp].

Belligerents in the ancient Trojan War, Achilles throws a fit because no one knows how swift he can be. Hektor is bummed because he may be the only one who knows [1.1-3.18 for both rx:le.cn]. Returned now as a pair of assault asteroids in syn­chro­nized parallel orbits, ever­more within reach of offing each other again and again.

The patron-goddess of war is foundational-deity Night, ruler of a slice in Time, when the soul before battle is bared. She is the sole daughter to Chaos, her name given at birth was Nyx, and in 2024 sleepwalks and bumps into inconveniences [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp]. Although her “star-spangled mantle” can dazzle, it cannot hide the fact that something is very wrong: grabbed by gravity, Nyx keeps flinging backwards every 45 minutes, and is wrapped in bandages stained with yesterday’s red.
  Rx2024 A E T N A

Building his western forge under Mount Aetna was a stroke of genius for mystic-fire asteroid Hephaistos, who controlled fire in order to shape metal. On his days off, the Cyclopes have been known to drop by and fashion new thunderbolts for Jupiter, Zeus and Odin.

AITNE and her eight mountain sisters; portrait of SURTUR by Jack Kirby; crafted by HEPHAISTOS: Tibetan war mask, iron and gold paint, 14th-16th cen

One of nine foun­da­tion­al mountain spirits (the “ourea”), Aἴtnē lives on Aetna, where the forge of Hephaistos can be found. She is a death goddess, with a bubbling volcanic body molten to mortals; at a loss for snap­py come­backs during the season for a reason [10.10.12.31 rx:ge].

Norse-fire moon Surtur showed up one day, went down to browse the bookshelves in the forge, never left. Designer of the fire-sword, whose mighty swipe will end the Universe, he should not fight water with fire [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Lying dead under Mount Aetna, only good for fuel, is Mimas, giant son to Terra and Tartarus. His brother Enceladus lies next to him, not dead but badly injured; loud and both proud [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

 •❚-❚-❚ When Hephaistos fell to Earth a second time, in 1978, the fire-god came back as a misshapen asteroid; might spend autumn fuzzy-headed, should stay away from matches [9.13-12.31 rx:ge.ta].

The molten might of Aetna draws the solar-moon demigoddess Pasiphaë, who brews magick potions, to set up a lab by its cauldrons; unable to explain reasoning during the last ten weeks [10.10-12.31 rx:pi].


     jupiter    luna
  Rx2024 V E S T A

The Main belt has a neighbor­hood, the Infirmary (known by ancients as the house of Vesta), where the medicine pantheon have had a practise since at least 1849, and where the first patients who showed up were spent comets, flat­tened meteors, and mis­shapen asteroids.

 •❚-❚-❚ Vesta enters 2024 un­able to fend for herself [1.1-2.8 rx:ge]. Mother Earth is a restless deity, and by 1807 Vesta had had enough; First cupping “first flame”, the roman-hearth goddess slipped into sensible shoes and stepped of the face of Terra. Ending up in the Main belt, she was confronted with the bloody after­math of bat­tling giant planets, jockeying to be closer to the sun-throne. Vesta cere­mo­nious­ly laid down her charge, kindled a new hearth, which attracted kitchen spirits; then began to offer basic care.

image of asteroid VESTA; image of asteroid HYGIEA; painting of PROMETHEUS by Otto Greiner  (1909)

Hellenic-health aste­roid Hygiea, and her latin com­ple­ment, were the first medicine god­desses. Join­ing up with Vesta, they began to offer triage. Hygiea is a sour­puss [8.28-12.14 rx:ta.ar]. Whereas for roman-remedy asteroid Pana­cea,what should have been a cakewalk is bedeviled by quality control [11.20-12.31 rx:cn].

Roman-medicine aste­roid Aes­cu­la­pia retro­grades September until the last day of 2024 [9.17-12.31 rx:ta]; not a good time for wounds that take a long time to heal.

Phäethon fell off his father’s sun-chariot in 1983 and has been a patient ever since. If his retrograde is well-aspect­ed, only three months of hesistancy; if not, a slapdash chase of wealth and waste [10.3-12.31 rx:ge.ta].

Prometheus oversees the morgue, where he is tinker­ing with earthling 2.0; acts overly sensi­tive, sudden summer to suntan autumn [4.10-7.17 rx:sa].

Assistant in the morgue is iced-moon giant Bergel­mir, thirdgen son to the “first-norse being”, with time-sensitive insights into the creation of life; becomes insistent and overbearing [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

The morgue is home to Proteus; for a spell is inclined to selfishness [7.3-12.8 rx:pi]. The helle-elemental god can be seen lying on a spare slab, donating his root matter for making parts, even though the shape-shifter has parch­ment skin, pockmarked with poly­hedron-shaped ices and pink­ish-red boils.


     neptune    sol
 Rx2024 J U P I T E R

Ancient astronomers, noticing the return of Jupiter to the same position every twelve years, used this span of Time to denote the zodiac, pin the con­stel­la­tions, and begin a map for a hypothetical heaven.

Nightsky-asteroid goddess Asteria wastes the first three months in a drama that began in 2023. If well aspected, the daughter to Coeüs, titan of intellect, is nobody’s fool [1.1-3.21 rx:le].

3D printed blue bust of JUNO; image of JUPITER; image of asteroid ITOKAWA; image of asteroidHYPERION

Winged-dawn aste­roid Eos spends late Feb­ru­ary to June wear­ing a frightwig, muttering all the while “did I not comb my hair before going out the door?” The sky goddess is undergoing a painful make­over [2.21-6.5 rx:li].

 •❚-❚-❚ Perhaps it was bad word choices, but social chitchat annoys the heck out of Jupiter, otherwise he is jovial, during end of year festivities [10.10-12.31 rx:ge].

From better-stay-in-your-lane January to no-left-turn April, roman-marriage aste­roid Juno just cannot seem to stop chit-chatting [1.14-4.22 rx:vi].

Once she thought of it as a sure thing, then greco-inspi­ration asteroid Urania turns doubtful about the whole idea[2.19-5.28 rx:li]. The muse of astron­omy had been request­ed by Jupiter to come away from the academy and recast his sky-court as the house of Urania, and also to bless the observatory.

Waterborn-cyclops moon Poly­phe­mus crafts lenses to capture Light in telescopes. The mirror master will waste half of 2024 stalled on a finishing touch [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].

Asian-aerospace asteroid Itokawa came to help set-up the Observatory in 1998, and now there is a mini- and nano-rocket launchpad near­by; bereft of a solution dur­ing an airless autumn [9.10-12.8 rx:ta.ar]. Named after Hideo Itokawa (b.1935) – the first asteroid to be the candidate of a sample return mission.
  Rx2024 S A T U R N

Growling and grumpy, sitting on the judgment-throne, host to 53 satellites and counting, the roman-recycle planet Saturn has a metallic body, and an iron-&-nickel heart beats. Sprouting from his shoulder blades are two large wings of icy helium and barbed featherlings of frozen hydrogen.

 •❚-❚-❚ Decked out with garlands of yesterdays is Saturn. The son to the primordial couple is puffed up, jaundiced July through November, issuing vertical verdicts [6.30-11.16 rx:pi].

image of moon RHEA; statue of THEMIS; roman ring showing carved-gold TYCHE 1st-2nd cen; image of SATURN

Matriarch hellen­ic-aste­roid Rhea, betrays a trust and pays a price [1.17-5.3 rx:vi].

Righteous-anger” aste­roid Neme­sis tears into it with a worthy adver­sary, Jan­uary to jit­tery March, because some­thing some­thing nobler [1.1-3.10 rx:le.cn].

Greco-luck asteroid Tyche had thought little about the proposition at the time, back in 2023. After valentine day 2024, she will grasp the full consequence [1.1-2.9 rx:cn.ge].

The 99th asteroid goddess is Dike, daughter to the greek dawn, who coasts by on a wave of misplaced pride, angsty January to April [1.1-3.24 rx:le]. A period when the symbol of inno­cence pays no heed to Shake­speare: there are more in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Themis begins 2024 already in retrograde, and com­pro­mised, but only for the first twelve days [1.1-1.12 rx:ta]. After that, the titaness of natural order resumes work on straight­en­ing out “the man who turned into a pretzle”.


     luna    terra
  Rx2024 U R A N U S

Lying on his back, wracked with pain, Uranus has vacated the sky-throne, ceding his domain back to the original owner.

The twentieth century was dying when Chaos stepped out from behind Neptune’s shadow. A possible planet orbiting in deep space, the undifferentiated godhead at the dawn of Time shrinks down to domestic size during the first months [1.1-3.12 rx1:cn]. Then, from dusty October to December, this “vast, immeasurable abyss, outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild”, gets to clean house [10.6-12.31 rx2:cn].

CHAOS sits for his portrait, posing as the Veil nebula; image of URANUS; portrait of ODIN by Jack Kirby

 •❚-❚-❚ Uranus is set for two retrogrades in 2024. During a tenacious January, shed­ding a lived-in persona [1.1-1.28 rx:ta]. Again in September, when he is an all-round sour­puss for the holidays [9.2-12.31 rx:ta].
    Too close to avoid the fight for dom­i­nance be­tween Jupi­ter and Saturn, Uranus got nicked and in 1781 fell flat on his back. His mag­net­o­sphere began to mal­func­tion, making the primordial sky-god feverish, and now is bandaged up in iced-water sheets stained dark with organics, immobile while waging a war against a tribe of perpetual tornadoes tearing each other apart.

Into the breach left by the vacancy of Uranus, norse deities from the Aesir now have thrones in the sky-court. With two weeks left in 2024, Odin takes a gut punch and starts losing faith [12.18-12.31 rx:le]. From end of November onwards, Frigga, “first among norse goddesses”, demurs over a family secret [11.25-12.31 rx:cn].


     sol    jupiter
  Rx2024 N E P T U N E

A season on Neptune last 40 Earth years, time enough for diamonds to form on its surface. Attaining weight, each begins to sink downwards, through continents of clouds, to reach the planet’s pros­perous core.

Antidiluvian-sea satellite Tha­las­sa spends time at the sea shore, going through what the tide brings in, July to sudden November, looking out for empathy that had gone missing [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].

Roman-era wall painting of SALACIA; CETUS, an image from 'Urania's Mirror' (1824); image of moon TRITON; image of Neptune

Old man of the sea Nereus behaves irre­spon­sibly to spring and delusional towards summer [4.25-7.29 rx:cp.sa].

Marine deities Ceto and Phorcys are primeval parents to one-offs, and have expe­ri­ence spank­ing tyrant tykes with grotesque abilities. During her retrograde, the “mother of monsters” pingpongs between hunger and satiation [2.28-8.11 rx:sa.sc]. Her mate-moon has no recourse but to go along for the ride, fish-tailed, grey-haired, and wearing a cape of crab claws.

Roman-sea queen Salacia returned in 2004 and resem­bles a demiplanet; stuck in a lazy current with no wig­gle room, garden-hose July to the first of winter [7.13.012.22 rx:ar].

Mer-moon Triton is the royal sea-scout whose appearance announces the imminent arrival of the sea chariot; takes a 21-week detour, steered by the whim of the whip [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].

From suffragette summer to a spoonful of autumn, Nereid is plain devoid of destiny [7.3-12.8 rx:pi]. She glimmered into first view, during 1949, a drop only 210mi-338km wide – a frankenstein-moon, clad in an iced-silicate swimsuit, composed from parts of 50 sea-sisters born to eldest-sea god Oceanus.

Drowning once during the distant past notwithstanding, unrepentant Atlantis returned in 1931 and did it a second time. The island-city of sin believes it has good enough reasons to practise the seven crises, January to malibu March [1.1-4.2 rx:le].

 •❚-❚-❚ Premier roman-sea planet Neptune is half awake, coffee July to toffee August, a sword in one hand, a pen in the other [7.3-12.8 rx:pi].
     The liquid liege had chosen the date of his resur­fac­ing back into history by sending a dream, in 1846, to a sleeping astronomer. The woke mortal returned to the New Berlin Obser­vatory, entered new co­ordinates, and found Neptune sitting on his trident-throne.
  Rx2024 P L U T O

    
“So steered his downward car, he whom the fortune of a luckless lot named ruler of the ghosts, the world’s third heir, when, losing Heaven, he paled to look on Hell.”
     – Statius


Immersed in scandal up to her neck is titaness of allegiance Styx, from muddy May to mid-October she waits for you in the river of Oaths, the moat that surrounds the grecian Under­world [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp]

clay bust of PROSERPINA 4th-3rd cen bc; image of moon STYX; image of moon CHARON; PLUTO wearing his helmet of invisibility

The highway to hell begins first by a des­cent, then offer­ing a fare to infernal-oars­man moon Charon; mak­ing three stops only in 2024, mid-spring to start of autumn. The pier if visiting with Hydra; the jetty by the river of Oaths; or the landing in front of a gate, guarded by three-headed Kerberos [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp].

 •❚-❚-❚ The “god with no name” is resolute to being a contra­rian, flower-bed May to tram­pled October; when Pluto presents as the “man with a thousand faces” [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp].

A simple life during holiday season becomes elusive for roman-agricultural asteroid Proserpina; the queen of the Underworld has to make black-or-white diet decisions [11.2-12.31 rx:cn.ge].


     uranus    luna
Rx2024 T A R T A R U S

 •❚-❚-❚ Gods and monsters who undergo damnation are usually thrown down the bowels of mother Earth, in the pit ruled by god of the dark Tartarus: a primitive deity made of indestructible black bronze.

Composed of fast-moving air sculpted into shape, this night­mare is Typhon, the “largest and deadliest mon­ster ever born,” now a prison­er in the pit; shouts pleas to his sire - now his jailer, and Tartarus has to baby­sit six months of un­bottled blasts [2.28-8.2 rx:sc].

Cameo head of MEDUSA by Benedetto Pistrucci red jasper 19th cen.; image of TITAN; pit of TARTARUS

The oldest in­mate here is a titan-of-calen­dar moon, who arrived in 1655; now is star-fat and nova-lazy. Titan is also a multiform-deity with prim­eval abil­i­ties, glued to­gether from a litter of twelve beastly brats born to Terra and Tartarus. Titan’s everyday slovenness vanishes when his secret name is uttered. Then the thing will sit upright, and resume its role as monster, third-class; thin­skinned during and post summer [06.30-11.16 rx:pi].

Multi-headed moon Hydra gets marooned on a spit, May to cross-eyed October, and every time he removes a pair of rose-tinted shades, two will take its place [5.3-10.12 rx:aq.cp]. The amalgamated beast made up of five or seven parts has gone mad, suffers from a chaotic flip every ten hours; hops on slither-claws – harms only itself.

Death-asteroid Medusa was thrown into the pit in 1875; spends first weeks in 2024 undergoing a novel-to-her horrorshow [1.1-1.24 rx:ge]. Her minder is dew-moon Herse, who siphons off the blood of the snake-haired gorgon, giving relief to a demiwoman who produces poison. Herse herself is a demiserpent; spending the last weeks tending to baloney bedside chitchat [10.10-12.31 rx:ge].



-|  July 2024  |-





  BLACK COUNTRY ROCK 

“As revealed in the song Ziggy Stardust, Ziggy was not a spider - he was the fly.”
     -- Steele Savage

Front cover painting - Head of DB aka The Dhead (11 inchesh x 11 inches) acrylic on canvas 1995 by David Bowie
 Beauty and the Beast   1. Outside was released Sep­tem­ber 25 1995, and fea­tures on the cover variant of a self-por­trait. -|-Strong smat­ter­ings of Dia­mond Dogs.







Outside the musical world he inhab­its, David Bowie can usua­lly be found in the com­pa­ny of artists. These ad­ven­tures in the art world found ex­pres­sion in the 1990s when, fool­ing around on his com­pu­ter, Bowie ended up w/ a short piece con­cern­ing blood and art. This, hav­g recent­ly chat­ted w/ Brian Eno on fin-de-siècle malaise and what that might involve. They went on to pro­duce a con­cept album con­cern­ing “this rather dark, satir­i­cal idea of where art could go”. Musi­cians take cues from Eno into which meadow the sound ought to roam in, while Bowie stitches words in­to the result, seek­ing fits or juxta­position until a con­cept coheres. Eno fid­dles w/ the elu­sives and im­bues pro­cee­dings w/ more prop­o­si­tions. Lyrics then sep­a­rate to be­come dis­tinct voices, then charac­ters. A murder victim has been turned into art. An assort­ment of suspects. A detec­tive follow­ing a lead. A minotaur.


Bowie and Eno in publicity photo
 The Bewlay Brothers   Bowie and Brian Eno in a publicity still for their fourth collaboration.


What emerges from the labyrinth is the album 1.Outside, a disjointed and dispirited dystopia featuring violence and death, sex and rock ’n roll.


-|- FIVE YEARS 


The cosmic Chameleon and the chance Corinthian lash themselves together, in the lab – on the slab – and bring forth “… a gothic drama hyper-cycle”.


Bowie photoshoots for album
 Changes  Proto­types of several characters men­tioned in a diary kept by De­tec­tive Nathan Adler.


❝  [Brian and I] had al­ready started a whole set of im­prov­i­sa­tions in the studio around March, 1994. Out of that came dia­logue and land­scape that was tied together, not even ten­u­ously. All the elements were fairly dis­parate. This is a once-in-a-life­time chance, by a narra­tive device, to chron­i­cle the final five years of the mi­llen­nium. The over-ambi­tious inten­tion is to carry this through to the year 2000.


Bowie w/ goatee
 Scary Monsters (Super Creeps)  ... the most portentous chaos-abyss ...


❝ What Brian and I are try­ing to do is devel­op a series of albums. [Out­side] is the first in this cycle of albums. [The diary is] only the sub­ject mat­ter, it’s not the con­tent of the album. The con­tent is very much the atmo­sphere and tex­ture of the music, that strange place that music in­deed puts you which can­not be artic­u­lated. The story itself is semi-linear, so if you want to, follow it in a linear fashion, but it’s not abso­lute­ly nec­es­sary. The pieces them­selves can be auton­o­mous, they are pieces of music on their own.

❝ Well, Brian, very clev­er­ly, be­cause of being what he is, which is basic­al­ly a con­cep­tual­ist, turned every­thing into a series of games once we got into the studio: To al­low the musi­cians to not be who they are for short periods of time.


Bowie artwork
 Ashes to Ashes  “I’m pluralistic by nature.”


❝ As for musicians, it was impor­tant to choose those who were not weighed down with musical cliché, who had ter­rif­ic con­trol over their abil­ities. Yet were a bit loony.

❝  A piece that shows the ex­treme it could get to is “A Small Plot of Land”. That piece in par­tic­u­lar was a first class indi­ca­tion of what hap­pens when you put peo­ple in a strange place like that.

❝ Eno would create little flash cards for them in the mor­nings. He would cre­ate situ­a­tions they would have to put them­selves in men­tal­ly, intel­lec­tual­ly, and then start play­ing from that point of view. On each one, a charac­ter was writ­ten, like (You are the dis­grunt­led mem­ber of a South Afri­can rock band. Play the notes that were sup­pressed). ... Be­cause that set the tone for the day, the music would take on all those ob­scure areas. And it would very rarely lapse into the cliché. So we changed the status of the begin­ning of these pieces and they came in­to them like aliens from an­oth­er place. It opened up a whole area of im­prov­i­sa­tion. ... It’s very hard to ex­plain [laughs], you should have been there.


Bowie artwork
 Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed  “Brian and I are both fans of a form of art known as outsider art.”


❝ The lyric writing itself was fairly hazar­dous. What I did, I took a lot of areas of sub­ject mat­ter I’m inter­ested in and wrote short para­graphs or pieces of poetry around those sub­jects and fed them in­to this Mac­in­tosh compu­ter I have. I have a ran­dom key on it and it will ran­dom­ize what I have writ­ten. So it was basic­al­ly the Mac­in­tosh’s choice that it was New Jer­sey. But it was also a bit of Eng­land, too, with New Ox­ford Town. [Then de­cide] wheth­er I was go­ing to sing, do a dia­logue, or be­come a charac­ter. I would im­pro­vise with the band, real­ly fast on my feet, get­ting from one line to an­oth­er and see­ing what worked.


Bowie w/ fish bra
 Yassassin  ... young Korean artist ...


❝ There’s no in­tent in it, there’s no mean­ing. I’m not a mean­er. I don’t have this great thing that I have to say. It’s a collec­tion of frag­ments of infor­ma­tion, of ideas, that are assem­bled and pro­duce a cer­tain atmo­sphere.

❝ Next year, we’ll devel­op a whole new slew of other charac­ters or may­be re-intro­duce some of these or even negate some of them. May­be we’ll never find Baby Grace. May­be [Detec­tive Nathan] Adler will become the next victim. I don’t know. And that’s what’s kind of inter­es­ting. May­be we’ll just get bored with murder as art and move in­to an­oth­er area of our society. It’s all up for grabs. So I‘m quite inter­ested in the future of this thing.


album artwork
 Saviour Machine  “I think that our religious phi­los­o­phies trail so far be­hind the way that we actually live to­day that we find our­selves in a spiritual void.”


❝ I think [the album is] a con­flu­ence of events. First, we def­i­nite­ly per­ceive mur­der now as enter­tain­ment. It’s used to a mas­sive ex­tent in cinema. And pret­ty much it’s a space fill­er in TV. There’s the whole gladia­torial arena spec­tacle of some­how appeas­ing gods or look­ing at the fears and anxie­ties of the public.

❝ [Brian and I] were both inter­ested in nib­bling at the periph­ery of the main­stream rather than jump­ing in. We sent each other long mani­fes­toes about what was miss­ing in music and what we should be do­ing. We de­ci­ded to real­ly experi­ment and go in­to the studio with not even a gnat of an idea.


artists mentioned by Bowie
 Blackout   -|- Mark Rothko -|- Damien Hirst’s Sheep in the Box 1994 -|- Mark Tansay’s The In­no­cent Eye Test -|- Ron Athey -|- Chris Burden shoot­ing at an air­plane -|- Hermann Nitsch


❝ The momentum gathers as we ap­proach the end of this cycle of 100 years, a huge anguish that every­thing will change. I wanted to make a rec­ord that reflec­ted those anxie­ties, a state of moral, spiri­tual and emo­tional panic. With peo­ple break­ing off into small groups to feel some sense of com­munity.

❝ Plus this growing momen­tum in body art, which has been pre­cip­i­tated over the last 15 years or so with peo­ple like Kiki Smith and Damian Hirst and Ron Athey and Chris Bur­den. The idea of us­ing the body as yet anoth­er medium, like wood or metal or glass or stone – al­most the polit­i­ciz­ing of the body itself. Almost ex­trap­o­la­ting on that in an alle­go­ri­cal fash­ion to have this rather dark, satir­ical idea of where art could go.


Crouch by Bowie - Charcoal and chalk on computer print 1994 - Print Edition of 14 - Minotaur Myths and Legends
 The Width of a Circle  “The content is the spaces in btw. the linear bits. The queasy, strange, textures.”


❝ Dalí ... knew exactly what he was do­ing. He knew what all the objects meant ... The at­ti­tude that says the artist should paint on­ly things the pro­le­ta­rian can under­stand, I think, is the most de­struc­tive thing pos­sible.

❝ About 20 per­cent of what I put in [the al­bum] are fic­tion­al and the rest are real, but it’s very hard to tell the dif­fer­ence. But the most sur­pris­ing one, like the Korean cut­ting off pieces of him­self in the late ’70s in New York, was not apocry­phal. I checked back with Art Forum.


Bowie in red shirt
 Bleed Like a Craze, Dad  “[Brian and I] were both in­ter­ested in nib­bling at the periph­ery of the main­stream.”


❝ I’m sure you know a writ­er, Thom­as de Quin­cy. For those of us who grew up in the ’60s, his Con­fes­sions of an Opium Eater was a kind of bible. At that time, in 1820, he wrote a small piece for Black­woods, a Lon­don maga­zine, called Mur­der Con­sid­ered as a Fine Art which laid down exact­ly that theory.

❝  Sort of that clas­sic idea of tak­ing a life as some­thing sort of ritual­ized. Lots of things came in­to it. It wasn’t a sim­ple, direct jour­ney. Even the sur­real­ists, like André Breton, who said in the ’20s, prob­a­bly one of the great­est acts of art would be to go out into a crowd and shoot a revol­ver into it.


Bowie screenshot
 Time  Asked what was the heart’s filthy lesson: “That you die.”


❝ ... the other things that went into [Outside], Brian and I are both fans of a form of art known as Out­sider Art. I, for the last 15 years, have lived next to the holy shrine of out­sider art, an art museum in Swit­zer­land called Le Brut, set up by Dubuffet. He set it up be­cause he felt he was ter­ribly in­flu­enced by the kinds of art that were made by peo­ple who lived an un­struc­tured life – in insti­tu­tions, or her­mits, or were os­tra­cized by society for one rea­son or another. He col­lec­ted the art that they made and to­ward the late years of his life opened this museum and put their work in it. That actual­ly was a source of inspi­ration when we went in for our last three albums in the late 70s. ... The les­son to learn from out­sider art was that the artist should be primal. Tech­nique or virtu­osity didn’t matter; that which was un­formed and scream­ing inside of you, wait­ing to be released, was the real essence of the crea­tiv­ity. ... The idea of work­ing with­out knowl­edge or judge­ment, either self-judge­ment or of how the out­side world per­ceives what you’re doing.


Bowie backstage
 Panic In Detroit  “It’s quite amaz­ing what is hap­pen­ing as we ap­proach the end of this par­tic­u­lar pas­sage of time.”


❝ I’ll tell you some­thing which hap­pened sub­se­quent­ly to record­ing the album which was dis­tur­bing in it­self. There’s a Dutch artist, Rob Scholte, who’s pret­ty well-known in Europe. One day, in Decem­ber 1994, he came down from his apart­ment and got in his car w/ his wife and he heard a tick­ing sound. Need­less to say, his car seat blew up and he was left with­out legs. With­in a week fol­low­ing that, one of his con­tem­po­ra­ries had been down to the attemp­ted as­sas­si­na­tion spot and filmed the wreck­age, the crash area, and was using it as a per­for­mance piece in a gallery in Am­ster­dam. That’s not a hair’s breadth away from what was satir­ical. And of course now Rob Scholte is doing per­for­mance shows where he makes great play over the fact that he no long­er has a pair of legs. They still haven’t found out who blew him up, but there are all kind of theories rang­ing from a drug con­nec­tion to a jealous artist.


Bowie in red sweater
 Art Decade   “The attitude that says the artist should paint only things the prole­tarian can under­stand, I think, is the most des­truc­tive thing possible.” (1976)


❝ The morality of any society is quite strange. In the final­i­ty, it’s deci­ded by law what hap­pens. Peo­ple change their net­work of com­fort by chang­ing laws to make things accept­able or un­accept­able.

❝ I think that our religious philos­o­phies trail so far be­hind the way that we actual­ly live today that we find our­selves in a spiritual void, and I think it affects the young very much indeed. ... We con­tin­ual­ly try and find ritual, but we have no religious order to con­nect that ritual to. ... So we have to re­invent God, I think, in our own new way of life to give our­selves anoth­er form of spir­itual sus­tenance.


Bowie w/ painted face
  Quicksand  “I’m sure you know a writer, Thomas de Quincy.”


❝ Oh, I’ve got the fond­est hopes for the fin de siècle. I see it as a sym­bolic sacri­ficial rite. I see it as a deviance, a pagan wish to appease gods, so we can move on. There’s a real spiritual starva­tion out there being filled by these muta­tions of what are barely remem­bered rites and rituals. To take the place of the void left by a non-author­i­ta­tive church. We have this panic button tell­ing us it’s gon­na be a colossal mad­ness at the end of this century.


Bowie's face covered by flies
 All the Madmen  “The lesson to learn from outsider art was that the artist should be primal.”


❝ I think the idea of becom­ing com­for­table with the idea of chaos is how we are pro­gress­ing – that life and the uni­verse are ex­treme­ly untidy. Any­thing that pulls back the veil on that chaos is a step near­er a more realis­tic under­stand­ing of what our state is – so I em­brace chaos. I’m a child of the ’70s, re­mem­ber. I’m plural­istic by nature. I always had the un­for­tu­nate facility of being able to see both sides of every pic­ture. It wasn’t a ques­tion of not being able to deter­mine which side I was on, but see­ing that things didn’t have sides. It wasn’t as sim­ple as that. ❞




    EXTRAS footnote heading

▶ [1] William Burroughs The concept album Outside is based, in part, on Bowie learning on his new computer. Coming across an app à la The Cut-up Method, the cosmic chameleon stitched together digital words, becoming “virtually the entire genesis” of his nineteenth album and fourth collaboration w/ Brian Eno. Bowie had just stepped away from finishing the soundtrack to 1993’s Buddha of Suburbia mini-series for BBC Televsion. -|-


▶ [2] Contamination Outside was just one of several albums, a set, that Bowie started to work on w/ Brian Eno. The next one was to be Contamination, peopled w/ “17th century characters”. The day after Bowie’s death, Eno recalled: “About a year ago [David and I] started talking about Outside – the last album we worked on together. We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that.” -|-


▶ [3] Album -|- Producers: David Bowie, Brian Eno -|- David Richards (co-producer) -|- Mixing and additional treatments: David Richards, David Bowie -|- Mastering: David Richards, Kevin Metcalfe -|- Assistant Engineers: Ben Fenner, Andy Grassi, Jon Goldberger, Domonik Tarqua -|- Album Design & Image Manipulation: Denovo -|- Photography: John Scarisbrick -|- Stylist: Jennifer Elster -|- Recorded at Mountain Studios, Switzerland. -|- Mixed and additional treatments by David Ricahrds, assisted by David Bowie. -|- Mastered by David Ricahrds and Kevin Metcalfe at The TownHouse Digital Mastering Studios, London. -|-


▶ [4] Musicians -|- David Bowie: vocals, saxophone, guitar, keyboards -|- Brian Eno: synthesizers, treatments, oblique strategies -|- Reeves Gabrels: guitar -|- Erdal Kızılçay: bass, keyboards -|- Mike Garson: grand piano -|- Sterling Campbell: drums -|- Carlos Alomar: rhythm guitar -|- Joey Baron: drums -|- Yossi Fine: bass -|- Tom Frish: additional guitar on “Strangers When We Meet” -|- Kevin Armstrong: additional guitar on “Thru’ These Architects Eyes” -|- Bryony, Lola, Josey and Ruby Edwards: background vocals on “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson” and “I Am With Name” -|-


▶ [5] Outtakes Includes: “Enemy is Fragile” – “I’d Rather Be Chrome” – “Dead Men Don’t Talk” – “Inside the Motel” – “Baby Fingers” – – “Hide Me We Creep Together Part 1” – “Hide Me We Creep Together Part 2 – “The First Time” – “Hello Leon” – “OK Riot”. -|-


▶ [6] Tour On the Outside tour, Bowie and his band would come onstage while opening act Nine Inch Nails was finishing, and both bands performed “Subterraneans”, “Hallo Spaceboy” and “Scary Monsters”, followed by 2 NIN songs (“Reptile” and “Hurt”), after which NIN decamped and Bowie’s set played on. -|-


▶ [7 Lyrics] Leon Takes Us Outside: Leon Blank Valentines Day - 25 - June - 16th - Wednesday - July 6th - 20 - 0 - 20 - 15 - Martin Luther King Day - June 18th - June 6th - Wednesday - August 18th - 9th - 1999 - 12 - Nicholas - August - Wednesday - 13th - Sunday - 5th - March - October - January - October 13th - Wednesday - Martin Luther King Day - Afternoon - In view of nothing - 20 - 0 - 1 - Late winter - Martin Luther King Day - 12 - 16 - August - Wednesday - 13th - Friday - 7 - June. -|-


▶ [8 Lyrics] Outside: Prologue Now. Not tomorrow. Yesterday, not tomorrow. It happens today, the damage today. They fall on today - they beat on the outside, and I'll stand by you. - Now. Not tomorrow. It's happening now, not tomorrow. It’s happening now. The crazed in the hot-zone. The mental and diva’s hands. The fisting of life to the music outside, to the music outside. It happens outside, the music is outside. It’s happening outside, the music is outside. It’s happening now, not tomorrow. Yesterday. Not tomorrow. The music is outside. It’s happening outside. The music is outside. Outside. -|-


▶ [9 Lyrics] The Heart’s Filthy Lesson: Detective Nathan Adler (Heart’s filthy lesson) There’s always the Diamond friendly, sitting in the Laugh Motel. The Heart’s filthy lesson, with her hundred miles to hell. Oh, Ramona, if there was only something between us, other than our clothes. Something in our skies. Something in our blood. Paddy, Paddy, who’s been wearing Miranda’s clothes? It's the Heart’s filthy lesson - falls upon deaf ears. (Heart’s filthy lesson) Falls upon deaf ears. (Heart’s filthy lesson) Oh Ramona, if there was only some kind of future. And these cerulean skies: Something in our skies - something in our blood. Paddy, Paddy? Paddy, oh Paddy, I think I’ve lost my way. (Heart’s filthy lesson) I’m already five years older I’m already in my grave. (Heart’s filthy lesson) Will you carry me? Oh Paddy, I think I’ve lost my way. Paddy, what a fantastic death abyss. (Heart’s filthy lesson) It’s the Heart’s filthy lesson. Tell the others. -|-


▶ [10 Lyrics] A Small Plot of Land: Citizens of Oxford Town Poor soul. Spit upon that. Poor soul, he never knew what hit him - and it hit him so. Poor dunce. He pushed back the pigmen. The Barbs laughed - the fool is dead. Poor dunce. He’s less than within us. The brains talk but the will to live is dead. And prayer can’t travel so far these days. The talk of your life, standing so near - to innocent eyes. Poor dunce. Swings thru the tunnels and claws his way. Is small life so manic? Are these really the days. Poor dunce, poor soul. -|-


▶ [11 Lyrics] (Segue) Baby Grace (a Horrid Cassette): Baby Grace Blue Test, testing, testing - This, hmmm, Grace is my name - And and I was...um... - It was that photo... a fading photograph of a patch..., a patchwork quilt. - And they’ve put me on these ... - Ramona put me on these interest drugs - So I’m thinking very too bit too fast like a brain hatch - And ah they won’t let me see anybody - If I want to sometimes ... and I ask - I can still hear some pop...popular musics and aftershocks. (Ahhh-choo) See I’ve been watching a television of um... in the homelands - That’s the new homelands and um that’s all I can remember - And now they just want me to be quiet - And I think something is going to be horrid. -|-


▶ [12 Lyrics] Hallo Spceboy: Paddy (Hallo) Spaceboy - you’re sleepy now - Your silhouette is so stationary - You’re released but your custody calls - And I want to be free - Don’t you want to be free - Do you like girls or boys - It’s confusing these days - But Moondust will cover you - Cover you - This chaos is killing me - So bye bye love - Yeah bye bye love - Bye bye love - Yeah bye bye love - This chaos is killing me - And the chaos is calling me - Yeah bye bye love - Yeah bye bye love - Bye bye love - Good time love - Be sweet sweet dove - Bye bye spaceboy - Bye bye love. -|-


▶ [13 Lyrics] The Motel: Leon Blank For we’re living in a safety zone don’t be holding back from me. We’re living from hour to hour down here and we’ll take it when we can. It’s a kind of living which recognises the death of the odourless man. When nothing is vanity nothing’s too slow. It’s not Eden but it’s no sham. There is no hell there is no shame. There is no hell like an old hell. There is no hell and it’s lights up, boys. Lights up boys. Explosion falls upon deaf ears while we’re swimming in a sea of sham. Living in the shadow of vanity - a complex fashion for a simple man. And there is no hell and there is no shame and there is no hell like an old hell. There is no hell and the silence flies on its brief flight. A razor sharp crap shoot affair and we light up our lives. And there’s no more of me exploding you. Re-exposing you. Like everybody do. Re-exploding you. I don’t know what to use. Make somebody move. Me exploding. Me exploding you. -|-


▶ [14 Lyrics] I Have Not Been to Oxford Town: Leon Blank Baby Grace is the victim, she was 14 years of age. And the wheels are turning, turning, for the finger points at me. All's well but I have not been to Oxford Town - all’s well no I have not been to Oxford Town. Toll the bell pay the private eye. All’s well - 20th century dies. And the prison priests are decent, my attorney seems sincere. I fear my days are numbered - Lord get me out of here. All’s well but I have not been to Oxford Town - all’s well but I have not been to Oxford Town. This is your shadow on my wall. This is my flesh and blood. This is what I could’ve been. And the wheels are turning and turning, as the 20th century dies. If I had not ripped the fabric, if time had not stood still, if I had not met Ramona, if I’d only paid my bill. All’s well but I have not been to Oxford Town - all’s well but I have not been to Oxford Town. This is my bunk with two sheets, this is my food though foul, this is what I could have been. -|-


▶ [15 Lyrics] No Control: Detective Nathan Adler  Stay away from the future, back away from the light, it’s all deranged - no control. Sit tight in your corner, don’t tell God your plans, it’s all deranged - no control. If I could control tomorrow’s haze, the darkened shore wouldn’t bother me. If I can’t control the web we weave, my life will be lost in the fallen leaves. Every single move’s uncertain, don’t tell God your plans, it’s all deranged - no control. I should live my life on bended knee if I can’t control my destiny. You’ve gotta have a scheme, you’ve gotta have a plan, in the world of today, for tomorrow’s man. No control. Stay away from the future, don’t tell God your plans, it’s all deranged - no control. Forbidden words, deafen me in memory - no control. See how far a sinful man burns his tracks, his bloody robes. -|-


▶ [16 Lyrics] (Segue) Algeria Touchshriek: Algeria Touchshriek My name is Mr. Touchshriek, of Touchshriek, with mail over and fantasy. My shop sells egg shells off the shesores and empty females. I’m thinking of leasing the room above my shop to a Mr. Walloff Domburg - a reject from the world wide Internet. He’s a broken man; I’m also a broken man. It would be nice to have company. We could have great conversations. Looking through windows for demons, and watching the young advance in - all electric. Some of the houses around here still have inhabitants in them. I’m not sure if they’re from this country or not. I don’t get to speak much to anyone or that sort of thing. If I had another broken name - oh, I dream of something like that. -|-


▶ [17 Lyrics] The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (as Beauty): Artist / Minotaur I shake - at the mother’s brutal vermin. I shake - and stare at the watery moon. With the same desire, as the sober Philistine. And I shake (turn and turn again) worm, the pain and blade - turn and turn again. The screw is a tightening atrocity - I shake. For the reeking flesh is as romantic as hell. The need to have seen it all: the voyeur of utter destruction - as beauty. I shake - turn and turn again - I shake - turn and turn again - I shake. Research has pierced all extremes of my sex. Call it a day - call it a day. Needle point life blinds the will to be next - call it a day. Today. -|-


▶ [18 Lyrics] (Segue) Ramona A. Stone / I Am With Name: Ramona A. Stone + her Acolytes I was Ramona A. Stone. I started with no enemies of my own. I was an artiste in a tunnel. But I’ve been having a mid-life crisis, and I’ve been dreaming in a sleep. And ape men with metal parts, I’ve spat upon deeply felt age. I’ve hid my hearts in, and I hate the funny colored english. We’ll creep together you and I, for I know who the small friends are. I am with name, I am with name, I am Ramona A Stone. A night fear female. Good timing drone. I am with name, I am with name, I am Ramona A Stone. (She should say: twitch & stream - it’ll end in chrome - night of the female - good time drone.) A person who loses a name, feels anxiety descending. Left at the crossroads, between the centuries - a millenium fetish. (Give it to me one more time!) Anxiety descending. -|-


▶ [19 Lyrics] Wishful Beginnings: Artist / Minotaur Cruising around me - the flames burn my body. Wishful beginnings - does this remind them again and again? You’re a sorry little girl. You’re a sorry little girl. Please hide - for the pain must feel like snow. You’re a sorry little girl. Sorry, little girl. Please hide from the kiss and the bite - shame burns. Breathing in, breathing out. Breathing in only doubt - the pain must feel like snow. I’m no longer your golden boy. Sorry little girl, I’m sorry little girl. The pain must feel like snow, there you go. Cover me, cover me. We flew on the wings. We were deep in the dead air, and this one will never go down. We had such wishful beginnings, but we lived unbearable lives. I’m sorry little girl. Sorry, little girl. So so sorry little girl. The pain must feel like snow. There you go, there you go. -|-


▶ [20 Lyrics] We Prick You: Members of the Court of Justice White boys falling on the fires of night (I wish you’d tell). Flesh punks burning in their glue. Revolution comes in the strangest way (I wish you’d tell). I’d rather be inside you. Tell the truth - we prick you. (You show respect even if you disagree - you show respect.) Mama can I kiss you daddy can I ***you (We wish you well). Innocence passed me by. Wanna be screwing when the nightmare comes (I wish you well). Wanna come quick and die. All the little rose-kissed foxy girls - shoes, shoes, little white shoes; where have all the flowers gone? All the little fragile champion boys - toys, toys, little black toys; dripping on the end of a gun (Even if you disagree). -|-


▶ [21 Lyrics] (Segue) Nathan Adler: Detective Nathan Adler Old Touchschriek was the main nameserver. Suspected of being a shoulder surfer, but he didn’t know from shit about challenge response systems. Now Ramona A Stone we know was selling interest drugs. She got males all hung up on her mind filters. She was if you don't mind me saying so an update demon. Now Leon, he couldn’t wait for 12 o’clock midnight. He jumps up on the stage with a criss criss machete and slashes around cutting a zero on everything. I mean a zero - in the fabric of time itself. Was this a suspect? I says to myself - Woa! “Quelle courage!” - Oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back to when it all began– -|-


▶ [22 Lyrics] I’m Deranged: Artist / Minotaur Funny how secrets travel, I’d start to believe - if I were to bleed. Thin skies, the man chains his hands held high. Cruise me blond cruise me babe. A blond belief beyond beyond beyond. No return no return. I’m deranged. Deranged, my love. I’m deranged down down down. So cruise me babe cruise me baby. And the rain sets in, it’s the angel-man - I’m deranged. Cruise me cruise me cruise me babe. The clutch of life and the fist of love - over your head - big deal Salaam. Be real deranged Salaam, before we reel. I’m deranged. -|-


▶ [23 Lyrics] Thru These Architect’s Eyes: Leon Blank Stomping along on this big Phillip Johnson, is delay just wasting my time? Looking across at Richard Rogers, scheming dreams to blow both their minds. It’s difficult you see, to give up baby, to leave a job, when you know you know the money’s from day to day. All the majesty of a city landscape. All the soaring days in our lives. All the concrete dreams in my mind’s eye. All the joy I see thru these architect’s eyes. Cold winter bleeds on the girders of Babel. This stone boy watching the crawling land. Rings of flesh and the towers of iron. The steaming caves and the rocks and the sand. Stomping along on this big Phillip Johnson, is delay just wasting my time? It’s difficult you see to give up baby, these summer scumholes, this goddamned starving life. -|-


▶ [24 Lyrics] (Segue) Nathan Adler: Detective Nathan Adler


▶ [25 Lyrics] Strangers When We Meet: Leon Blank
All our friends now seem so thin and frail. Slinky secrets - hotter than the sun. No peachy prayers, no trendy rechauffé. I’m with you, so I can’t go on. All my violence raining tears upon the sheet. I’m bewildered for we’re strangers when we meet. Blank screen TV, preening ourselves in the snow. Forget my name, but I’m over you. Blended sunrise, and it’s a dying world. Humming Rheingold, we scavenge up our clothes. All my violence raining tears upon the sheet. I’m resentful for we’re strangers when we meet. Cold tired fingers, tapping out your memories. Halfway sadness, dazzled by the new. Your embrace was all that I feared. That whirling room, we trade by vendue. Steely resolve is falling from me. My poor soul, all bruised passivity. All your regrets ride rough-shod over me. I’m so glad that we’re strangers when we meet. I’m so thankful that we’re strangers when we meet. I’m in clover for we’re strangers when we meet. Heel head over, but we’re strangers when we meet. -|-


▶ [26 Credits]
Based on re­ports from, among oth­ers, Nick DeRiso, David Fricke, Kev Geoghe­gan, Paul Gor­man, Edna Gun­der­sen, Larry Katz, Peter–R. Koe­nig, George A. Paul, Chris Rob­erts, Emma Saun­ders, Steele Savage,. And In­ter­net searches, thank yous to: bowie­songs; The National; Jason Lund­berg; One Half of the Bow­lettes; lo-fi noise makers; wn; john b; Mauro B. C.; sonya­kossta; Time­takes­a­fag; Sense­Of­Doubt1; bowie­chick; Beco­2103; the­Music­of­my­Life1; BOWIE­lover; Jorge Gago Lopez; Matt Cham­ber­lain; joy­marr; KyOdar; BlueM2012; Hal­lo­ween­jack84; An­na Den­nis; david bow­ie tin ma­chine.



▶ [28] The Diary of Nathan Adler         -|- The Annotated Diary of Nathan Adler

aka   THE
ART-RITUAL
MURDER
OF
BABY
GRACE
BLUE

A
non-linear
Gothic
Drama
Hyper-cycle
          |- -|  It was at precisely 5:47am on the morning of Friday 31 of December 1999 that a dark spirited pluralist began the dissection of 14-year-old “Baby Grace.” The arms of the victim were pin-cushioned w/ 16 hypodermic needles, pumping in four major preservatives, colouring agents, memory information transport fluids and some kind of green stuff. From the last and 17th, all blood and liquid was extracted. The stomach area was carefully flapped open and the intestines removed, disentangled and re-knitted as it were, into a small net or web and hung btw. the pillars of the murder-location, the grand damp doorway of Oxford Town Museum of Modern Parts, New Jersey. |- -|  The limbs of Baby were then severed from the torso. Each limb was implanted w/ a small, highly sophisticated, binary-code translator which in turn was connected to small speakers attached to far ends of each limb. The self-contained mini amplifiers were then activated, amplifying the decoded memory info-transport substances, revealing themselves as little clue haikus, small verses detailing memories of other brutal acts, well documented by the ROMbloids. |- -|  The limbs and their components were then hung upon the splayed web, slug-like prey of some unimaginable creature. The torso, by means of its bottom-most orifice, had been placed on a small support fastened to a marble base. It was shown to varying degrees of success depending upon where one stood from behind the web but in front of the museum door itself, acting as both signifier and guardian to the act. It was definitely murder – but was it art? |- -|  All this was to be the lead-up to the most provocative event in the whole sequence of serial-events that had started around November of tha same year, plunging me into the most portentous chaos-abyss that a quiet lone-hacker like myself could comprehend.

|- -|  My name is NATHAN ADLER, or Detective Professor Adler in my circuit. I’m attached to the division of Art-Crime Inc., the recently instigated corporation funded by an endowment from the Arts Protectorate of London, it being felt that the investigation of art-crimes was in itself inseparable from other forms of expression and therefore worthy of support from this significant body. |- -|  Nicolas Serota himself had deemed us, the small-fry of the division, worthy of an exhibit at last year’s Biennale in Venice, three rooms of evidence and comparative study work which conclusively proved that the cow in Mark Tansey’s “The Innocent Eye Test” could not differentiate btw. Paulus Potter’s “The Young Bull” of 1647 (exactly 300 years before I was born, incidentally) and one of Monet’s grain stack paintings of the 1890s. The traditional art press deemed this extrapolation “bullshit” and removed itself to study the more formal ideas contained in Damien Hirst’s “Sheep In a Box.” Art’s a farmyard. It’s my job to pick thru the manure heap looking for pepper­corns.

Friday - 12-31-99 – 10:15a |- -|  As in any crime, my first position is to peruse the motive-gag. The recent spate, thru ’98-’99, of concept-muggings pretty much had me pulling breath for an art-murder. It was a crime whose time was now. The precedents were all there. It had probably its beginnings in the ’70s w/ the Viennese castrationists and the blood-rituals of Nitsch. Public revultion put the lid on that episode, but you can’t keep a good ghoul down. |- -|  Spurred on by Chris Burden’s having himself shot by his collaborator in a gallery, tied up in a bag, thrown on a highway and then crucified upon the top of a Volkswage, stories circulated thru the nasty-neon of NY night that a young Korean artist was the self-declared patient of wee-hours surgery in cut and run operations at not-so-secret locations in the city. If you found out about it, you could go and watch this guy having bits and pieces removed under anaesthetic. |- -|  A finger-joint one night, a limb another. By the dawning of the ’80s, rumour had it that he was down to a torso and one arm. He’d asked to be left in a cave in the Catskills, fed every so often by his acolytes. He didn’t do much after that, I guess he read a lot. Maybe wrote a whole bunch. I suppose you can never tell what an artist will do once he’s peaked. |- -|  Round this same time, Bowie the singer remarked on a coupla goons who frequented the Berlin bars wearing full surgery regalia: caps, aprons, rubber gloves and masks. The cutting edge. |- -|  Then came Damien Hirst w/ the Shark-Cow-Sheep thing. No humans, palatable ritual for the worldwide public. The acceptable face of gore. Meanwhile in the US, 1994, I was in town on the night of the Athey scarifications.

Thursday - 10.27.94 – 122 E. Village, Manhattan |- -|  Ron Athey, performance artist not for the squeamish - former heroin addict-HIV positive, pushes what looks like a knitting needle re­peat­ed­ly into his forehead, a crown of blood, must hurt like hell. Stream red dribble-dribble. No screams. Face moves in pain. Carried upstage and scrubbed down in his own blood. Then water. Now dresses in nice suit and tie. Now in the black T-shirt and jeans, carving, w/ a disposable salpel, patterns, into the back of Daryl Carlton, a black man. Bloody blotted paper towels then hung on a washing line suspended over the heads of the audience. Blood-prints from life. An extremely limited edition. When it was first performed back in March, “Four Scenes in a Harsh Life” exploded contro­versy shrapnel through-out the National Endow­ment for the Arts. “We have taken every precaution w/ our disposal systems,” An Athey spokes-person said. “The towels containing the blood are im­me­di­a­te­ly depos­ited in hazar­dous-waste bags. Each evening, the material will be driven to a hospital for final disposal.” Athey says he is dealing w/ issues of self-loathing, suffer­ing, healing and redemption.

Friday – 12-31-99 – 10:30a – Museum of Modern Parts |- -|  I’m drinking up the Oxford Town. New Jersey fume. Salty and acid. Maybe I can get a handle on this thing back in Soho at the bureau. It used to be Rothko’s studio, now the playground for all us Art-Crime folk, AC’s or “the daubers” as we’re dubbed. Rothko himself, in a deep-dark-drunk one night, carefully removed his clothes, folded them up neatly, placing them upon a chair, lay upon the floor in a crucified position and after several attempts, found the soft blue pump of his wrists and checked out He’d held the razor blades btw. wads of tissue paper so that he wouldn’t cut his fingers. Deep thinker. Always was.

11:00am - “Dauber” HQ, Soho |- -|  The only names the Data bank can associate w/ Baby Grace are Leon Blank, Ramona A. Stone and Algeria Touchshriek. The rundowns are brief but not to the point:
|- -|  RAMONA A. STONE: Female. Caucasian. Mid-40s. Assertive maintenance interest-drug dealer and Tyrannical Futurist. No convictions. Contacts: Leon Blank, Baby Grace Blue, Algeria Touchshriek.
|- -|  LEON BLANK: Male. Mixed race. 22 years. Outsider. Three convictions for petty theft, appropriation w/ plagiarism w/out license. Contacts: Baby Grace Blue, Algeria Touchshriek.
|- -|  ALGERIA TOUCHSHRIEK : Male. Caucasian. 78 years. Owner of small establishment on Rail Yard. Oxford Town, NJ. Deals in art-drugs and DNA prints. Fence for all apparitions of any medium. Harmless, lonely.

|- -|  Small cog, no wheels. Not much to go on but R.A. Stone weighs heavy on my memory. No problem, it’ll come back. Best thing to do now is feed all relevant pieces into the Mack-Verbasiser, the Metarandom programme that re-strings real life facts as im-probable virtual-fact. I may get a lead or two from that. ... 11:15a |- -|  Jesus Who. I hate typing. Anyhow, we’ve got some real inter­es­ting solvents from Mack-random. How about this! Verbasiser down-load, first block: No convictions of assertive saints believed Caucasian way-out tyrannical evoked no images described – Christian saints questions no female cristian machine believed no work is caucasian assertive saints believed female described christian tyrannical questions – R. A. Stone convictions martyrs and tyrannicals are evoked Female described sado-masochist questions – I am suicide described the fabric machine – Slashing way out saints and martyrs and thrown downstairs.

|- -|  Now the swirl begins. Now the image stack backs up and takes center stage. Ramona A. Stone, I remember this thickness, this treacly liquid thought. But wait, I’m ahead of myself. 6-15-77 – Kreutz­burg, Berlin |- -|  It’s two in the morning. I can’t sleep for the screaming of some poor ostracised Turkish immigrant screaming his guts out from over the street. His hawking shriek sounds semi-stifled like he’s got a pillow over his mouth. But the desperation comes through the spongy rubber like a knife. It cuts the breeze and bangs my eardrums. I take a walk past the fabric machine, turn left onto a street w/ no name. The caucasian suicide center, naked and grimy, silhouetted by fungus yellow street lamps female slashing way-out saints for a dollar a time thrown downstairs if you can’t take any more. Pure joy of retreat into death, led by the shepherdess. Anti mixed-race posters pasted upon their altar of pop-death icons party people. |- -|  A zero w/ no name looks dull-eyed to Ms. Stone, the drone that says “in the future, everything was up to itself.” Yea. |- -|  I remember Ramona. She set herself up as the no-future priestess of the Caucasian Suicide Temple, vomiting out her doctrine of death-as-eternal-party into the empty vessels of Berlin youth. The top floor rooms were the gateways to giving up to the holy ghost. She must have overseen more than 30 or 40 check-outs before the local squad twigged what was going down.

10-28-94 |- -|  New Yorker magazine, advance copy celebrating fashion. It’s a first of its kind since Tina Brown took over as editor. One look is all it took. It took the look and wrote a new book on what sophi-staplites would take and bake. Guy Bourdin featured heavily in this new eDISHion. Since the advent of AIDS and the new morality, and, of course his death, his dark sexy fatal style had fallen out of Vogue. |- -|  An uncompromising photographer, he had found a twisty avenue through desire and death. A white female leg sticking gloomily out of a bath of black liquid enamel. Two glued up babes covered in tiny pearls. The glue prevented their skins from breathing and they pass out. “Oh it would be beautiful,” he is to have said, “to photograph them dead in bed.” |- -|  He was a French Guy. He had known Man Ray. Loved Lewis Carroll. His first gig was doing hats for Vogue. He’d place dead flies or bees on the faces of the models, or, female head wears hat crushed btw. three skinned calves heads, tongues lolling. What was this? Fine Arts? The surrealists might even think his work passé. Well, it was the ’50s, that's what it was. The tight-collar ’50s seen through unspeakable hostility. He wanted but he couldn’t paint. So he threw globs of revengeful hatred at his nubile subjects. He would systematically pull the phone cord out of the wall. He was never to be distrubed. Distrubed. Never. Everything and everyone died round him. |- -|  One shoot focusing upon a woman lying in bed was said to be a reconstruction of his estranged wife’s death. Another picture has woman in a phone booth making some frantic call. Her hand is pressed whitely against the glass. Behind her and outside are two female bodies partially covered by the autumn leaves. His dream, so he told friends, was to do shoots in the morgue, w/ the stiffs as mannequins. I don’t know. I just read this stuff. Now his spirit was being resurrected. We’re mystified by blood. It’s our enemy now. We don’t understand it. Can’t live w/ it. Can’t, well ... y’know?

Friday - 12-31-99 - 11:30a |- -|  After surgery and investment in a bullet-proof mask, Ramona turned up in London, Canada as owner of a string of body-parts jewellery stores. Lamb penis neck­laces, goat-scrotum purses, nipple earrings, that sort of thing. The word on the street, how­ever, suggested that it was not in the best of interests to become one of her clients as occas­sion­ally, a custo­mer would step into her shop and not come out again. |- -|  The whistle blew after a much-loved and highly respected celebrity, known for being known, failed to show for a gallery-hang­ing of her mirrors. Other celebrities, equally known for being known, some only to each other, thought it the most profound exhibit in years and couldn’t take their eyes off the works. All the pieces sold within an hour, many for record prices. |- -|  When the critic for Tate maga­zine asked for an inter­view w/ the celebrity-artist, the gallery owner re­called that he hadn't seen her since earlier that day. She’d men­tioned that she would be going shop­ping for a diamond-en­crus­ted un­bilical cord as a celebra­tory thing to announce her pregnancy. She would be back in an hour. Just a quick stop at the “Gall­stone.” |- -|  1986. That preg­nan­cy would have been produced a being that would be around 14 years of age. If it was still alive.
|- -| 
To be continued...