Friday, April 13, 2018

Poem 11: Supersaturation

I continue to invite readers to propose themes for poems.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Poem 09: Ilícito

Mexican typospherian Armando Warner (creator of a new blog, The Mechanical Typewriter Page) opened his own dictionary at random to provide my new poetic challenge.

Translation: All knowledge is illicit. To violate is to know. Opinion without a struggle is mere appearance. — But is there knowledge without love? Is pain required? Caresses also teach us and have their own flavor.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Poem 06: Monster

Fred e-mailed me this topic.

What's next?

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Poem 04: Earworm

Name your topic, I'll write my next poem on it ...

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Poem 03: Spring

Name your topic, I'll write my next poem on it ...

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Poem 02: Haircut

Again, my next poem will be based on suggestions from readers in comments. If there are none, I'll open the dictionary at random.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Poem 01: Gagarin/Noah

What a great set of suggestions from readers! My first poem combines two of them.

(Typed on an IBM Executive and a Facit TP1.)

Again, the rules for this National Poetry Month project are that I must type my next poem based on a theme (or themes) proposed by readers in comments. If there are no suggestions from readers, I'll open the dictionary at random and pick a word.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Secrets of a carbon ribbon

One of the great advantages of a typewriter is that, unlike the device on which you're reading this, it doesn't let people or robots halfway around the world steal your information.

But typewriters that use carbon ribbons, like my Olivetti Editor 2, do retain a record of what was written on them.

The used carbon ribbon can be read ...

... and I couldn't resist the temptation to investigate the old ribbon that came with my Editor. I discovered that this ribbon was used in Arkansas from 1986 to 2002, before sitting around another 16 years until I bought the typewriter for $8.99. The machine was used for business, religion, humor, and more.

Because of the motion of the ribbon and occasional corrections, reading this text is not as easy as just picking up a book. Let's see if you can do it. (Of course, I am not reproducing any personal identifying information.) I'll provide a hint for every snippet.

1. What a nurse!

2. She raps knuckles:

3. You can't go home again:

4. Hand over the mazuma, buster:

5. I really can save lives!

6. Kickin' 'em out:

7. Ever more angels in yellow vehicles:

8. You scratch my soul and I'll scratch yours:

9. Love's luncheon:

10. Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!

11. Swept off to Oz!

12. Pauline lessons:

13. Riddles of omnipotence:

14. Wardrobe malpractice:

15. Model behavior:

16. Loose lips:

17. Marked with a †

18. Preparing to be reunited:

19. Testing, testing:

Olivetti carbon ribbons are long, at least twice as long as ones for the IBM Selectric. This was quite a collection of information, and an intriguing glimpse into moments in the life of this typewriter and its former owners.