white uranic sky: Uranium was discovered in 1789 by Martin Klaproth. "Taking his clue from the alchemists who had named elements after planets, Klaproth named this metal for Uranus (as the existence of this planet had been recently discovered)." (Asimov,1962) Uranium ore, white before it oxidizes, is crushed, ground, and chemically processed into "yellowcake," the color of this sky.
on his side: Uranus spins on its side with reference to the sun.
clear-cut: White Sands Missile Park was established in 1955 to exhibit examples of missiles and rockets that have been tested on the range.
a pilgrim: Juan Maria Agostini (his name varies in different accounts) was born in Italy. For unknown reasons, he began a pilgrimage, first in Europe, then Latin America, walking with a cane and a bell. In 1863 he appeared in Las Vegas, NM, taking up residence on a mountain top now named Hermit Peak. After a stay of about five years, he journeyed south to a cave in the Organ Mountains where, on April l7, 1869, he was found stabbed to death.
surprising harmonies: "The music of the spheres is not as sweet and seductive as the Greeks believed, yet it is full of surprising harmonies, strange rhythms and disturbing dissonances. Is this how the angels sing--or how the damned cry?" (Jungk,1954. Written at the top of St. Augustine Pass in the Organ Mountains.)
Pan's pipes: "Add a box or chest on which to plant these pipes, and sliders or other devices to control the supply of wind to each pipe, and we have the germ of the organ." (Sumner,1973). Though his lineage is unclear, most scholars suggest that Pan was abandoned by his mother. Hermes, his father, wrapped the infant in the skin of a hare. As the hare is sacred to Aphrodite, she is most likely Pan's missing mother, the child's blanket supplementing the warmth of her presence. Unlike Eve/Mary, Aphrodite/Venus refuses to submit to the male mission of "civilization." As a consequence, however, the abandoned child grows into a half man/half ram, personifying the capricious violence against women into which such men are goaded.
Paiakyamu clowns: From payetemu, Keresan for "youth." These are Koshare, or Kossa, of the Tewa. "The clown's mystical liberation from ultimate cosmic fears brings with it a liberation from conventional notions of what is dangerous or sacred in the religious ceremonies of men." (Tedlock,1975)
bodies of contradiction: The dress of the fool (clown) "contains chaotic and disproportionate elements but sometimes brings them together within a balanced and harmonious pattern." (Willeford,1969). Cheyenne "visionary clowns" are called "Contraries," doing everything backwards.
gluttonous: The clown will eat "everything soft enough or small enough to be forced down his throat, including wood, ashes and pebbles." (Ibid.). "The encounter of man with the world, which takes place inside the open, biting, rending, chewing mouth, is one of the most ancient, and most important objects of human thought and imagery." (Bakhtin,1968)
unmasked: "Originally, no doubt, all Kachina dances were masked... but wherever the Catholic Church has attained power, they are performed secretly, or without masks." (Fergusson,1942)
soft horns: "clowns used their horns in order to tunnel upwards to the earth's surface so that the people could come out" into the light of knowledge. (Tedlock,1975)