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Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Big Cigars


The Death of Socrates: Jacques-Louis David, 1787 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

It’s both never and always a work day for me
I work every day and never get paid
This and putting my pants on one leg at a time
Are two things I have in common with the great geniuses
Nikola Tesla, Socrates, Rimbaud
The real heavies of the universe, the big cigars

File:Carjat Arthur Rimbaud 1872 n2.jpg

Nikola Tesla, 1896
Arthur Rimbaud, 1872


Nora said...

Tesla was a dream boat.

TC/BTP said...


Yes, it's true. The stories about Tesla being showered with bloomers by the ladies is a bit sad--for the ladies that is, as Tesla made it plain he preferred a certain pigeon, which indeed he couldn't live without. He was also prone to fond remembrances of Macak the Magnificent, a cat companion of his childhood. (All geniuses are pet sitters at heart, as I'm sure you've discovered in your own line of work.)

In comparing myself with Tesla, I refer to the fact that he ended up destitute and mad; this much is known. On less sure ground about the pants, though, because, given his other amazing inventions, and his curious hobby of conducting hundreds of thousands of watts of electricity through his head for hours at a time, it's just possible that he may at some time, in the middle of a brain-charging session, have jumped right out of his electromagnetized head and into his pants BOTH LEGS at a time. Who can deny the possibility after all.

For a closer view of the matter, here's a look
Inside Tesla's Brain

Zephirine said...

That animation is mesmeric...

Perhaps Tesla had invented a pant-putting-on machine, like Wallace.

TC/BTP said...


Certainly you're right. Likely Tesla was both his own Gromit and his own Wallace in this respect. No doubt the spring release action gave his pigeon a start.

Putting Tesla in my poem moreover was but a fortunate afterthought. Originally that position in the composition had belonged to Einstein, but Madame B, acutely aware of such matters, pointed out that indeed Einstein DID get paid, so wouldn't properly qualify.

"Gromit, Socrates, Rimbaud" has a certain ring to it, undeniably.

Altogether I suppose there is a lesson for all of us in here somewhere: "put your thinking caps on and who knows, you could become a famous inventor like me" in

A World of Cracking Ideas