In which are explored the matrices of text, textile, and exile through metaphor, networks, poetics, etymologies, etc., with an occasional subplot relating these elements to Iggy and the Stooges.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


type of Hindu religious book, 1799, from Skt. tantram, lit. "loom, warp," hence "groundwork, system, doctrine," from tan "to stretch, extend," from PIE base *ten- "to stretch, extend" (see tenet).
1905, from tantra + -ic; used loosely in the West to denote erotic spiritualism.

"series of aphorisms," 1801, from Skt. sutram "rule," lit. "string, thread" (as a measure of straightness), from sivyati "sew;" cognate with L. suere "to sew" (see sew). Applied to rules of grammar, law, philosophy, etc., along with their commentaries.

As in suture.

thread (n.)
O.E. þræd "fine cord, especially when twisted" (related to þrawan "to twist"), from P.Gmc. *thrædus (cf. M.Du. draet, Du. draad, O.H.G. drat, Ger. Draht, O.N. þraðr), from suffixed form of base *thræ- "twist" (see throw). Meaning "spiral ridge of a screw" is from 1670s. The verb meaning "to put thread through a needle" is recorded from mid-14c.; in reference to film cameras from 1913. The dancing move called thread the needle is attested from 1844. Threads, slang for "clothes" is 1926, Amer.Eng.

early 13c., "spider," agent noun from spin. Meaning "person who spins textile thread" is from late 14c.

purl (v.)
"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "to embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), from M.E. pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but this is not certain.

1590s, phonetic variant of clew "a ball of thread or yarn," with reference to the one Theseus used as a guide out of the Labyrinth. The purely figurative sense of "that which points the way" is from 1620s. The verb meaning "to inform someone of the important facts" is attested by 1934.

1887, coined from Gk. mitos "warp thread" (see mitre) + Mod.L. -osis "act, process." Term introduced by German anatomist Walther Fleming (1843-1905) in 1882. So called because chromatin of the cell nucleus appears as long threads in the first stages.

Found in the Debris

Cleaning the debris–books, papers, paper clips, cds, etc.–off the floor in my study has had its share of delightful revelations, if not the two cross-stitches I seem to have permanently mislaid and was hoping to unearth. I found some notes I took a couple of years ago, some of which overlap with material i've posted earlier on the blog, and thematically of a piece. Forgive the redundancies; I'll try to prune.

History/Weaving Terminology
(See Derrida, Dissemination…)

"study of organic tissues," 1847, from Gk. histos "warp, web," lit. "that which causes to stand," from histasthai "to stand," from PIE *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Taken by 19c. medical writers as the best Gk. root from which to form terminology for "tissue."

1390, "relation of incidents" (true or false), from O.Fr. historie, from L. historia "narrative, account, tale, story," from Gk. historia "a learning or knowing by inquiry, history, record, narrative," from historein "inquire," from histor "wise man, judge," from PIE *wid-tor-, from base *weid- "to know," lit. "to see" (see vision). Related to Gk. idein "to see," and to eidenai "to know." In M.E., not differentiated from story; sense of "record of past events" probably first attested 1485. Sense of "systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena" (1567) is now obs. except in natural history. What is historic (1669) is noted or celebrated in history; what is historical (1561) deals with history. Historian "writer of history in the higher sense," distinguished from a mere annalist or chronicler, is from 1531. The O.E. word was þeod-wita.

ME lome, AS loma/geloma/gelome, “often-used thing” –(that old familiar thing) orig. used for a plow or a loom, etc. from “frequent”…”tool.”
Loom as a verb, LG lome, loam, SW loma, to come slowly…orig nautical? Or is it possible, as some etymologists propose, that it’s a reference to the slow becoming of the cloth on a loom as it’s loomed, or woven…?

Text/ile: from “texere,” to weave. A very basic connection that’s built into the language. In fact, like the word “texture,” these words have the connotation of a “basic structure,” as in “the texture of society.”
What does it mean to be “basic” in a field where ornamentation and baroque extrapolation on the one hand (i.e. the “riff”), and ever greater deconstructive depth on the other (i.e. deep analysis) hold sway? To be basic is to be thick, stumpy and low; to be at the ground floor, in the abasement, just barely hanging on but also holding the structure for everything else: it’s a sine qua non, what’s essential.

Loom/book: a sort of basic resonance in the gutteral simplicity of the words. But “book” comes from beech tree, a fully organic entity, whereas loom is a tool for changing and ordering an aggregate of things (yarns or threads) into something else: cloth that can be used for a covering.

Warp (to throw).
weft or woof (wefan, to weave), web, and weave all share a root.

from scratch, engrave, tear, wound… like “writhe,” from IE wer- to bend, twist, tear, wound…to cause to twist or contort… wreath too comes from this.

Shuttle shares a root with “shot” –AS scytel (missile) and sceotan, to shoot), which led me to wonder if weapon and web/weaving were related, but not so, or not directly.

Heddle, like needle. From hebban, to raise (heave, heft, heaven???, have, heavy, etc). OHG habig

It appears that if we look deeply enough and broadly enough, every word is related to every other word (though not always directly) every thing is related to all other things, and as Wallace Stevens said, everything is like everything else. There are no two things that cannot be placed into relationship, and that relationship is not random, in fact we are not doing the placing; we are simply uncovering a relationship that has been implicit. Language offers historical evidence for the connection between these different tools, activities, ideas, tendencies; language is, as others have pointed out, an archaeological system but it’s not static, and it’s subject to imaginative interventions. Literary language is suited to this kind of uncovering, though all language does it.

What am I hoping to gain from an experiential stint with textiles in this exploration of the historical linguistic and also heavily metaphoric relationship? The sensory immersion in the smell of unprocessed sheepswool (IE base wel, hair, wool, grass), the sound of the loom clacking and the treadles and beater (batten) thumping, the rhythm required, the necessary listening (music or NPR), the body’s involvement (backbreaking back-threading), is of an hypnotic condition far removed from the alertness required of textual production. In fact until this project swam to the surface of my professional life the two activities–writing and weaving–had complementary but opposing roles in my life; the weaving was a break from the writing, a place to go where creativity was mindless, automatic, untroubled by intellect or the seductive madness of words.

What I had been calling metaphoric, i.e. the obsessive recurrence of textile metaphors in literary criticism and writing about texts, is not really metaphoric after all, because of the etymologically overdetermined connection between the two realms. But in terms of experience, most text workers don’t really use their textile knowledge, being knitting, sewing or other (weaving, embroidering, shopping, wearing clothes, decorating a house, etc) to really lead them in their textual thinking, though they often use a textilic vocabulary as a resource for figurative language to describe this thinking–not only weaving, webs and networking, but knotting, interlacing, etc. So, if there is such profound overlap, why are the modes of textual scholarship so different, and keyed to such a different regime, not to say hierarchy, of knowledge (somewhat like Patricia Smith’s topic of the scientization of craftsmanship; the craftsmen were trying to close a gap that had developed btw Enlightenment style of knowledge –science v art– and the previous understanding of science/art)? But there are many such examples of estrangement from etymological kinship; perhaps one glaring one is the word “labor,” childbirth and industrial factory work; we can see the relationship but the two have such different resonances that women in the early days of second wave feminism claimed a desire for reformed childbirth as the ultimate unalienated experience and a site of deep personal and gender empowerment, etc., blah blah blah. This terrain makes me a bit uncomfortable because of the clear limitations of these kinds of grandiose and utopian desires for proximity with a presumed natural state, and the ways in which this type of feminism, which also turned to crafts like weaving etc., strike us as intellectually dated. Metaphor, too, has gotten a bad name for good reasons (it’s a mystification of relationships rather than a clarification, as is metonymy, etc.), and there is certainly a way in which the use of textile imagery by feminist criticism in the 1970s and 80s displayed what Renato Rosaldo has in a very different context termed “imperialist nostalgia,” so I’m not especially trying to revive an earnest but sentimentally corrupt critical idiom. In fact, I find myself rather defensively trying to define my project against that idiom, to what end I’m not sure, since it’s not an issue in the profession anymore.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's in the mail...

The (Asemic) Raw Power/Kill City scarf is in the mail to Bury, England, UK. Whew.

I asked my colleague Michael Hancher to scan in a piece I'd made for him back when he was the chair of my department. He did a great job of being fair, even-handed, non-defensive and intellectually engaged. I called it, obviously, SOS. He salvaged the department. It looks a little psychedelic, with a central mandala and smaller "bubbles" around it, and it looks to me as if it were floating past on a river of linen drifting off to the viewer's right. I made the Iggy piece, "Open Up and Bleed," after this one, and I can see the resonance: the big circle (O) in the center and the other letters swirling around it. I've read that the shape of the letter O comes from the eye; some ancient alphabets have a dot in the center for the pupil. That works for TV Eye in Stooge-speak.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

IAS Psychotic Reaction: Not What It Sounds Like

And here's the other piece I did in my IAS residency. It has that flamboyant name because there's a great protopunk, garage song, "Psychotic Reaction" that bristles with energy and was inspirational for a lot of rock writers (esp. Lester Bangs) and later musicians. I was also thinking of the pun on "I" as...psychotic reaction, because of the formation of the "lyric I" as a (sort of sane, or at least understandable if somewhat misguided) response in the history of poetry to industrialization.

The weaving really has nothing to do with that, though. It's just meant to be a fun title. Also, Susannah L. Smith of the IAS aided and abetted my punk enjoyment during that spring by talking about her pogo-ing and Ramoning days. She gave me the dark green yarn that appears in the piece, so I thought I should at least obliquely acknowledge her influence and our garage-rock bond. She is also the cousin of guitarist Nathaniel Braddock.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Psychedelic White: Bollywood Ringtone Suicide –Not What it Sounds Like.

Here're a couple of photos of one of the two pieces I wove for the Institute of Advanced Study here at the U of MN during my residency there in Spring 2008. I called the piece Psychedelic White: Bollywood Ringtone Suicide, after the projects of my fellow Fellows. Arun Saldanha had written a book called Psychedelic White: Goa Trance and the Viscosity of Race; Jigna Desai works on Bollywood beyond Bollywood; Sumanth Gopinath is writing a book on ringtones and globalization; and Hoon Song was working on teen suicide clubs in Korea (the link, though, is to his book on miners and unemployed pigeons, I mean the other way around). One of the patterns I used (again from Marguerite Davidson's pattern book) was Blooming Leaf, because Rachel Slocum works on farmer's markets and race, and is an ace gardener.

I like the fluffiness and magical properties of the fleece mixed with the gold metallic; I'd like to be enveloped in such a cloud without earthly substance but lots of sensation. And there's a textual dimension to the patterning as well, reminding me of sheet music to be sung, a score made of tactility. And that group of IAS residents also had magical and fluffy properties. They were a great posse. I had hoped to make my weaving projects somewhat more communal: have my office door open, invite people in, have them weave bits of the pieces themselves, because community is one of the things I really enjoyed about the IAS, and it's one of the key elements for me in poetry scholarship and practice. In fact it didn't really happen in exactly that way, because everyone was busy, and i wanted to blast Stooges music while I wove, which inhibited my open door policy. But we did other stuff together, like going out for a drink/nosh after the Thursday talks, and now Arun and Rachel are neighbors. I felt enveloped in a cloud of creativity, intelligence and expansiveness that spring, after a few weeks of initial awkwardness that apparently accompanies every new cohort's semester-long course of togetherness.

Monday, March 21, 2011

(Asemic) Raw Power/Kill City

Here're a few more shots of that scarf I made for James Williamson to acknowledge his rejoining the Stooges after a 30-year hiatus. I'm sending it off to one of the exhibits connected to the Text Festival in Bury, England, UK from May to July–overlapping with the time the Stooges will be touring the UK and Europe. I won't be seeing them, as they're doing the festival thing and that's just too many people for me, but I will be at their Ann Arbor benefit for the Ron Asheton Foundation in April. Very happy, not only to be seeing Iggy and the Stooges, but to meet some of my Facebook friends in the Stooges fan community.

The "asemic" element in the title refers to the reverse-side shots, the back view of x-stitching. You can sort of tell what it says but it's not fully clear. Sure enough, that's what those hotshots at the Text Festival were interested in when they contacted me. It was through the shots I posted on Facebook. How do you like that.

For the patterned part of the white scarf, I used the Undulating Twill pattern from The Handweaver's Pattern Book, by the great Marguerite P. Davis, which is a sort of bible for weavers of my generation who learned to weave in the 1960s and 1970s. This is my third copy, and it's already getting torn and frayed. The pattern is one of my favorites, because it has a slightly hallucinogenic, swoopy wave effect, resonating well with the swoopy, slightly hallucinogenic 60s and 70s. The patterns all work for a four-harness floor loom, which is what I've got.

I've never packed up anything for an exhibit before: I've let mIEKAL handle that if it needs handling, or just sent snapshots or scans to be exhibited in lieu of the real thing, which has often already been given to its intended recipient by the time an exhibit opportunity comes up, so I need to get some "tissue paper" which, I assume, is not the same tissue paper as Kleenex, then some bubblewrap (how I wish I hadn't so virtuously thrown all mine out a few months ago), etc. All the little steps of this new medium are annoying and exciting at the same time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fluxus/Kaunas Biennial

Here is the image I am mailing to the Textile-themed Fluxus Exhibit at the Kaunas (Kovno) Biennial in honor of George Maciunas.

For the occasion, I'm calling it FLAX/FLUX.

Here's the CFW, in case anyone else is interested:

A message to all members of OPEN Fluxus


In conjunction with the Kaunas Biennial, I have been asked to curate an exhibition relating to the history and current activities of FLUXUS artists and affiliates. As part of the exhibition, I am putting out a call for work to the mail art community. As the Biennial is Fiber / Textile oriented, keep this in mind when you are creating work to send ... The concept for the show is as broad as you can make it. Postcards, Artist stamps, Visual Poetry,Boxes, Objects, Zine Work, Stickers, Anything ......

The show’s title “GEORGE MACIUNAS AND BEYOND : FLUXUS NEVER STOPS” relates in part to an homage of George in his hometown, Kaunas, and a celebration of his “local hero” status, as well as an exposure of continuity in the FLUXUS community . Pease include your Name and contact info on back. Documentation to all .

c/o Keith A. Buchholz / curator
3449 Hartford
St. Louis, Mo. 63118
Visit OPEN Fluxus at:

Madness and Sewing in the Village...

Beautiful sentences from Elizabeth Bishop's "In the Village," sent to me by new media writer J.R. Carpenter.

"The dressmaker was crawling around and around on her knees eating pins as Nebuchadnezzar had crawled eating grass." Bishop, Elizabeth, "In the Village," The Collected Prose, NY: FSG, 1984, p. 252.

"Her house is littered with scraps of cloth and tissue-paper patterns, yellow, pinked, with holes in the shapes of A, B, C, and D in them, and numbers; and threads everywhere like a fine vegetation. She has a bosom full of needles with threads ready to pull out and make nests with. She sleeps in her thimble." Bishop, Elizabeth, "In the Village," The Collected Prose, NY: FSG, 1984, p. 258.

Reminds me of a talk I heard by the marvelous poet/singer/activist Julie Ezelle Patton in November at Pratt Institute (thanks to Rachel Levitzky and Ira Livingston) in which she spoke of her engagement with poetry rising from her love of paper; her mother, an artist, taught her to sew her own clothes at an early age, and she would indeed be crawling around on the floor surrounded by the thin, filmy paper of patternmaking. "Pinked" in "In the Village" means not the color pink but zigzag-edged, as in "pinking shears."

Need I even mention the "holes in the shapes of A,B,C and D"? Stencils, like lace, or like photography, and art-form of negativity, just as women are considered "negative space." Holes in the shape of be filled by the spirit of letters. Reminding me that I must post Adeena Karasick's commentary framing her video "Lingual Ladies."

The connection to madness and the animal abjection of crawling around eating grass, pins, etc. is a haunting one related to the madness of Bishop's mother, who was permanently institutionalized when EB was very young. Indeed, as I recall, that is the (muted) theme of "In the Village." I think also of the bestiality of descriptions of the "madwoman" in Jane Eyre, who is compared to an animal in the only scene in which she is fully revealed...

Something about "looking ridiculous" (a phrase that arises in pornography and Harlequin romances: "O knew she must look ridiculous...etc.") in the process of losing oneself in the creative act, be it sewing, writing, dancing, or sex. But cross-stitchers and knitters don't look ridiculous; it's such a contained, serene "habit." Maybe that's why we do it in public.

Thank you, JR, for these haunting, violent images.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Scroll/Scrawl? or Crawl/Scrawl?

Curiously enough, scroll and scrawl are not related but have become so through modern semantic marriage, which makes inlaws of many other words related to writing and undignified physical activity.

Scrawl is possibly related to crawl and sprawl; the former is a form of abject movement associated with "lower" life forms or human misery, the latter, with undignified posture, whether the body is at leisure and unguarded or cut down unexpectedly as from a bullet. But note the possible relationship to "scribble" through "scribble-scrabble," and note also the childlike nature of these words in relation to the childlikeness of the names of weaving and textile implements discussed earlier.

If you read to the end of the etymological entry below, you will find a reference to women's genitalia.

scrawl (v.)
1610s, perhaps from M.E. scrawlen "spread out the limbs, sprawl" (late 14c.), which possibly is an alteration of sprawlen (see sprawl) or crawl. Related: Scrawled; scrawling. The noun is recorded from 1690s.
1530s, "to scrawl, scribble," from Du. schrabbelen, frequentative of schrabben "to scratch," from the same root as scrape (q.v.). Meaning "to struggle, scramble" first recorded 1630s. The game Scrabble is from 1950, proprietary name (reg. U.S.), probably from scribble-scrabble "hasty writing" (1580s), a reduplication of scribble.
doodle (v.)
"scrawl aimlessly," 1935, from dial. doodle, dudle "fritter away time, trifle," or associated with dawdle. It was a noun meaning "simple fellow" from 1620s.
LONGFELLOW: That's a name we made up back home for people who make foolish designs on paper when they're thinking. It's called doodling. Almost everybody's a doodler. Did you ever see a scratch pad in a telephone booth? People draw the most idiotic pictures when they're thinking. Dr. Von Holler, here, could probably think up a long name for it, because he doodles all the time. ["Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," screenplay by Robert Riskin, 1936; based on "Opera Hat," serialized in "American Magazine" beginning May 1935, by Clarence Aldington Kelland]
Related: Doodled; Doodling.
Doodle Sack. A bagpipe. Dutch. -- Also the private parts of a woman. ["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]

time balls

Keeping track of ones life thru winding a ball of yarn...a Yakama custom among women. At significant moments (the birth of a child, a move to another home, a marriage, etc, the winder/memoirist would insert a knot, bead or other way of indicating "eventhood" in a thread of life. These "time balls" were called ititamats, and at the end of the yarn-winder's life the ball would be interred with her. When I googled "ititimat" (as I initially thought the word was spelled), almost all sites listed were mangled spellings of "intimate," which was quite amusing.
I came across the word at the website of Canadian writer and textile artist Susan Allen Grace, and specifically here.

The word "yarn" itself hearkens back to one that mean "animal guts," which were used for divination purposes as well as serving as the earliest form of thread to tie animal skins or sheets of bark together for garments or shelter. So from the start of human endeavor, imaginative storytelling, whether an account of the past (memoir) or the future (divination), was inextricably joined to the crafting of clothing and shelter, and acknowledges the human debt to the non-human animal (and eventually vegetable) world. Moreover, the root word is one signifying "enclosure" or binding, bringing us back to the Beit, Tiny Ark-hive in which the second letter of the alphabet, figured as a dwelling-place, is also the holy spirit, Shekinah, breath, word, life, in the beginning:

spun thread, the thread of a rope. (E.) M. E. yarn, ȝarn; 'Ȝarne, threde, Filum;' Prompt. Parv., p. 536.—A. S. gearn, yarn, Wright's Voc. i. 59, col. 2; spelt gern, id. 282, l. 2. + Du. garen. + Icel., Dan., and Swed. garn. + G. garn. β. All from the Teut. type GARNA, yarn, string, Fick, iii. 101. Further allied to Gk. χορδή, a string, orig. a string of gut; cf. Icel. görn, or garnir, guts (i.e. strings or cords). From ✔GHAR, to seize, hence to enclose, bind; see Yard (1) and Cord. From the same root are cor-d, chor-d, as well as cour-t, yard, garden, &c.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

scroll, skull, shawl, scrotum

These words are not etymologically but sonically related, and resonate auratically with themes explored here.

Here's the etymological logroll/blogroll/roll-call/google search results for "scroll."

scroll (n.)
c.1400, "roll of parchment or paper," altered (by association with rolle "roll") from scrowe (early 13c.), from Anglo-Fr. escrowe, O.Fr. escroe "scrap, roll of parchment," from Frank. *skroda "shred" (cf. M.Du. schroode "shred," O.H.G. scrot "piece cut off," Ger. Schrot "log, block, small shot"), from P.Gmc. *skrautha "something cut." The verb meaning "to write down in a scroll" is recorded from c.1600; sense of "show a few lines at a time" (on a computer or TV screen) first recorded 1981. Related: Scrolled; scrolling.

"long, tedious, complicated story," 1957, from Yiddish (e.g. a gantse Megillah "a whole megillah"), lit. "roll, scroll," name of the five O.T. books appointed to be read on certain feast days. The slang use is in ref. to the length of the text.

"one with a head as hollow as a fiddle," 1854 (fiddleheaded), from fiddle + head. As a name for young fern fronds, from 1882, from resemblance to a violin’s scroll.

1590s, from Anglo-Fr. escrowe, from O.Fr. escroue "scrap, roll of parchment," from a Germanic source akin to O.H.G. scrot "scrap, shred" (see scroll (n.)). Originally "a deed delivered to a third person until a future condition is satisfied;" sense of "deposit held in trust or security" is from 1888.

nave (2)
"hub of a wheel," O.E. nafu, from P.Gmc. *nabo-, perhaps connected with the root of navel (q.v.) on notion of centrality (cf. L. umbilicus "navel," also "the end of a roller of a scroll," Gk. omphalos "navel," also "the boss of a shield").

1690s, "spiral ornament on an Ionic capital," from Fr. volute, from It. voluta, from L. voluta "a spiral scroll," originally fem. pp. of volvere "to turn around, roll" (see vulva). Extended 1756 to any spiral thing or part. As a type of spiral seashell, it is attested from 1753.

page (1)
"sheet of paper," 1580s (earlier pagne, 12c., directly from O.Fr.), from M.Fr. page, from O.Fr. pagine, from L. pagina "page, strip of papyrus fastened to others," related to pagella "small page," from pangere "to fasten," from PIE base *pag- "to fix" (see pact). Usually said to be from the notion of individual sheets of paper "fastened" into a book. Ayto offers an alternative theory: vines fastened by stakes and formed into a trellis, which led to sense of "columns of writing on a scroll." When books replaced scrolls, the word continued to be used. Page-turner "book that one can't put down" is from 1974.

early 14c., from Anglo-L. biblia, from M.L./L.L. biblia (neuter plural interpreted as fem. singular), in phrase biblia sacra "holy books," a translation of Gk. ta biblia to hagia "the holy books," from Gk. biblion "paper, scroll," the ordinary word for "book," originally a dim. of byblos "Egyptian papyrus," possibly so called from Byblos (modern Jebeil, Lebanon), the name of the Phoenician port from which Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece (cf. parchment). Or the place name might be from the Gk. word, which would then probably be of Egyptian origin. The Christian scripture was refered to in Gk. as Ta Biblia as early as c.223. Bible replaced O.E. biblioðece (see bibliothek) as the ordinary word for "the Scriptures." Figurative sense of "any authoritative book" is from 1804.

For SKULL, I found this piquant and useful medical etymology:
gr SKALLEIN TO DIG and leads to
hx> SKOAL or to TOAST BY
med> biol> CRANIUM or CALVARIUM or

SHAWL is the least interesting. The online etymologies only take it back to a place-name in India; I'm a bit surprised by the lack of curiosity displayed by these etymologists. What does the place-name mean???:

1662, originally of a type of scarf worn in Asia, from Urdu and other Indian languages, from Pers. shal, sometimes said to be named for Shaliat, town in India where it was first manufactured. Cf. Fr. châle, Sp. chal, It. scialle, Ger. Shawl (from Eng.), Rus. shal, all ult. from the same source. As the name of an article of clothing worn by Western women, it is recorded from 1767.

A short google-search for Shaliat + India simply revealed more of the same brief etymology, but also this charming response to a question about the word "shawl" being of Asian origin:

"Most thing orininate from Asia. Like Cuntney, Jungle, Bungalow,. Shawl is condense from the town it originated sometimes said to be named after Shaliat, town in Indiawhere it was first manufactured sometimes said to be named after Shaliat, town in Indiawhere it was first manufactured in India Shaliat"

But on a hunch, I hit paydirt with scrotum; it's related to shroud, which must absolutely be related to shred and hence scroll:

1590s, from L. scrotum, cognate with O.E. scrud "garment" (source of shroud).
"Isn't the sea what Algy calls it: a grey sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotum-tightening sea. Epi oinopa ponton." [Joyce, "Ulysses"]