Saturday, November 29, 2008

Best of: You Want It? Explanation of Kilorats and Kilobunnies

From 8/11/06:

OK, people, one in particular, keep pestering me because they don't understand the mood scale that you and I have discovered on our travels together. But for the sake of the uninitiated, here is the full scale, and remember that the scale is linear, although properly at the extremes it ought to be more logarithmic. Rats or rabbits, that's the question.

Normal mood = 0, or rodent neutral.

Kilobunnies measure relative mania.

Kilorats measure relative depression.

Kilobunnies +10 down to +1.

+10) You are Jesus and you had it all planned that the police would put you in handcuffs and strap you face down on a hospital gurney, here comes the shot of Haldol. But you're in total control, it's all part of the plan, even your royal humiliation. (You're madder than a March hare on hashish!)

+9) You suspect you're Jesus. You use your secret powers secretly up to the appointed time. Hawks follow you and perch on the lamp post above the driveway at all hours. You carve your hedge into an oriental dragon. You cash out your retirement to start a sure-fire business you know nothing about. You sleep less than four hours a night.


+2) Begins two projects at once. Needs one less hour of sleep. Driving a little faster on the freeways.

+1) More talkative than usual.

Kilobunnies (+)

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$**rodent neutral**$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Kilorats (-)

-1) Don't really feel like going to work today. Everything looks kind of gray. Feel better after you start working.

-2) Sleep disturbance. Fitful dreams. Decrease in energy. Less time spent out, more at home.


-9) Responding to the questions of the man playing doctor is so much work, so much work to open my mouth. I will curl here, on the floor, to shield my body from the critical faces that look down on me with scorn, and deservedly so. They are far too easy on me. I should be executed. That would be just.

-10) Catatonia or complete withdrawal from the world into one's impersonal personal black hole; in rare cases waxy flexibility may occur where one can move a patient's limbs about like a mannekin.

This scale was derived from an astute analysis by Dr. Chaffin of the Petaluma Rat Man's case, one Roger Dier. If you're listening, Roger, we love you!


Now for today's selection, a poem at about 5-7? kilobunnies (it's hard for me to measure my work).

It (II)

Does it blister your eyes to read it?

Does it sink like a dental filling into your marrow,
touched by a spray of cold air?

Would you trade it for enlightenment? For gold?

Will it sing you to sleep like your mother did,
who was too shy to sing with the lights on?

Would you love it if it didn’t look like you,
if it had gills and fur?

Is it better than drugs, would you snort, inject,
rub it into the capillaries of your lip?

Would you recognize its sound,
whether a night bird screaming in the jungle

or the distant, ironic chill of a train whistle
beside the Iowa silos bent like toothpaste tubes

above the too-green, knee-high cornfields
while Judy Garland waves good-bye?

You want it? Go get it.


I don't know what this poem means, but I know where it's taking me--toward Sehnsucht, a heartache for Kansas, that Romantic longing for perfection associated with the bliss of early childhood--your one true love, the shiny bicycle of your dreams that arrived on Christmas, your ultimate hope, salvation, whatever calls you on toward that which cannot be achieved in this world except by the imagination.


Still at 0.5 kilorats.

"Better than Roger, at least,"
I can say with intimate irony.

Chasing the blues away,


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