Yes, it's that time of year again - when all of the headless scientists roam the streets, in search of hypotheses and...candy corn.
(Don't ask me how they eat the candy corn, I just take the photo).
Yes, just like last year (and here) and the year before - Halloween is a special time for these charming and erudite headless wonders. Yes, yes - the thirteen days of Halloween - has arrived, in all it's splendor!
As for me - I'm off for a lazy and long weekend - friends flew in from Montana last night, my brother arrives this evening - and we've got a house on Sullivan's Island rented and we are going to immerse ourselves in the Bermuda Triangle, roam the beach, eat too many fish tacos, host a festive gathering that might just involve a Tiki Bar and stay up too late and walk dogs too early on the beach (before the restrictions set in)...and of course, we will haunt places that E.A. Poe haunted:
Tiny Sullivan's Island would become the setting for The Gold Bug, published in 1843, some 15 years after Poe's assignment at Ft. Moultrie. In the early 19th century Sullivan's Island was a wild, exotic place, supporting only the few primitive cottages of summer residents and a number of scattered ramshackle huts built by social misfits and recluses who, for various reasons, sought the sanctuary and solitude of an isolated location such as Sullivan's Island. Poe made one of these huts the abode of the treasure hunter, Legrand, the main character of The Gold Bug. In this story, he goes to some length to describe the dwelling and its surroundings, all lifted from Sullivan's Island.
It has already been fun. We have found the perfect house for what Bill would like to turn into the OSHIT: an Old Scientists Home for International Travelers. All scientists would be welcome as they roam the globe (even the headless ones, no, especially the headless ones).
As for you - I'll leave you all with a fitting poem for this season, one that Katherine read to us yesterday at the lab's weekly meeting. (She always picks out such perfect poems for us - and it can be found here).
SEARCHING FOR POE’S GRAVE ON HALLOWEEN,
(Wild Poetry Forum)
The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends and the other begins?
-- Edgar Allan Poe
Not here on Fayette Street
where the dull faces of commuters
stare back at us in their pilgrimage
to nowhere. Not on the sidewalk
where a dingy robin lies
like a broken doll, its missing eye
peering into the next world.
Not in the greasy smoke that braids
the air above Hardees with animal scents,
drifts into the blue haze of power plants.
Not in the used hypodermic needles
that gleam through a sewer grate,
or crushed cans of Colt 45 rusting by the curb.
Not in the red scrawl of graffiti on brick
row houses where home-boys lean
against the wall, peddle baggies of rock or weed
to walk-ups and drive-bys. Not in the purple
and black billboard advertising play by play
for the Ravens’ games. “Perversity,” Poe wrote,
“is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart.”
In the end, he lay face-down in the gutter,
delirious with fever, poisoned by madness
and tainted alcohol, bribed to vote
under the names of dead men for shot after shot.
Now, his features carved in garish granite
come alive in stone. Sunlight reflects
off stained glass windows. Roots strain
to topple markers in their slow crawl through soil.
The path we’ve walked from his Amity Street
garret traces Poe’s own footsteps
as he strolled with his pubescent cousin-wife
and her mother on their way to worship.
We read from Tales of Mystery and Imagination
into the sunset’s orange glow, wait for his spirit
to rise through clay to accept our offerings--
this bottle of cognac, and a black rose.