Friday, May 04, 2007

Edison's dandruff

In light of the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb and due to May Day poet Regan Taylor's re-iteration of the National Post's write-a-limerick-about-light-bulbs contest, I've been reading through the various fonts of information on Thomas Alva Edison on-line.

I came up with a found poem that attempted to parse the silences and sound of Morse Code, particularly knowing that Edison was mostly deaf, but have been compelled to learn more about Edison generally.

Part of what's catching and keeping my attention is how very odd Edison seems to have been...and so, I had to share this bit on the connection between literature and the body, from Edison's diary:
Menlo Park, N.J.
Sunday July 12 1885

Awakened at 8:15 am. Powerful itching of the head, lots of white dry dandruff – what is this d—mnable material. Perhaps it is the dust from the dry literary matter I’ve crowded into my noddle lately. It’s nomadic, gets all over my coat, must read about it in the Encyclopedia.

Smoking too much makes me nervous – much lasso my natural tendency to acquire such habits – holding heavy cigar constantly in my mouth has deformed my upper lip, it has a sort of Havanna curl.

Arose at 9 o’clock came down stairs expecting twas too late for breakfast – twasn’t. Couldn’t eat much, nerves of stomach too nicotinny.

The roots of tobacco plants must go clear through to hell. Satan’s principal agent Dysepepsia must have charge of this branch of the vegetable kingdom.

-It has just occurred to me that the brain may digest certain portions of food, say the ethereal part, as well as the stomach – perhaps dandruff is the excreta of the mind – the quantity of this material being directly proportional to the amount of reading one indulges in.

A book on German metaphysics would thus easily ruin a dress suit.


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