Bring me a bowl of burning mold?!

Posted on November 11, 2009


I don't think this is what Blake had in mind.

Okay. I know that many people who visit this site do so because they were looking for something unrelated and, thanks to the democratic anarchy of Google, end up here instead. Searching the Internet can sometimes be like rooting through your kitchen cupboards for a can of beans and running across the entire cast of Gilligan’s Island.

Years ago, my old clippings and resume site received the greatest bulk of its traffic from people looking for “chicken art.”

I never knew whether they were looking for art created by chickens, or art with chickens as its subject matter. Either way, anyone doing the search would find my site within the first five hits.

Of course, the reason was fairly straightforward. One of my clippings was an article I’d written about Ottawa artist Rob Thompson’s performance art in which he caged two people for a week to protest the living conditions faced by commercially raised chickens. I was completely unbiased and respectful in my analysis, and even compared his work to that of such post-modern artists as Abbot and Costello.

This, apparently, was good enough for Google to give my site a high standing in the search order. After all, it involved chickens, and it involved art.

Those days are long gone, however, and while I’m sure a search for “chicken art” will still turn up that particular piece, it’s buried somewhere deep inside 99,000 hits.

More recently, I’ve had visitors looking for “bookcase hidden connectors,” “sexual perversion + golden shower,” “horror movie disembodied arms head,” and even “who wrote the book of love.”

A funny thing about that last one. I wrote a post a while ago in which I answered various questions posed in love songs, including “who wrote the book of love.” In it, I made up the history of a Jeremy Sichmore, a county clerk who wrote a book about the rules of love. Pure fiction. Never meant to be taken seriously. But yesterday I discovered that someone had come to my site through a Google search for  “jeremy sichmore” and “book of love jeremy sichmore.”

What the hell?

Well, I did the search myself and discovered that in a forum on Canadian Track and Field, someone named “trackspike” had posted a list of “totally disconnected comments/questions:”

1. Where is Megan Brown?
2. What does “leg taped up” mean for Tamara – will she finish the season in good form?
3. Moscow Idaho is at 2600′ elevation, Kingston is 200′
4. Where is Paula Findlay? (I agree with Ron that of course TRI runners can’t really run, but she is at least as bad a tri runner for the women as Whitfield is as a man (-;
5. Who wrote the Book of Love?

I presume the last question was purely facetious. Nevertheless, another member of the forum, “roseyrunner,” answered it with the complete text of my made-up story.


But if I thought that was strange, today I learned that someone had found me through a search for “bring me my bowl of burning mold.”

Bring me. My Bowl. Of burning mold.

Now what…I mean, how would you…that is to say…huh?

Why would you burn mold in a bowl? If you did burn mold in a bowl, why would you want it brought to you?

I can see burning a house with mold (or mould). In fact, this past summer, Ann Arbor firefighters (apparently having read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 a few too many times) were scheduled to set fire to a house for just that purpose.

Firefighters will burn mold-infested house in Ypsilanti Township
by Cindy Heflin
July 22, 2009

Ypsilanti Township firefighters will burn a vacant house on Verna Avenue because it is infested with mold and would be unsafe to demolish by tearing it down, a township official said.

“We’ve been advised by the experts that the only safe way to abate the mold is to burn it,” said Mike Radzik, head of the township’s Office of Community Standards.

You see? A house, yes. A bowl, no.

But I think I’ve puzzled out the mystery. In William Blake’s “Jerusalem,” after the poet wonders if Jesus had ever walked “England’s mountains green,” he goes on to say:

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.

I suspect someone has badly misremembered the words to this poem and was trying to look it up.

Of course, I have no way of knowing who this person was — but I have a hunch.

I think it was Jeremy Sichmore.