Tuesday, August 23, 2016

White-Orange, White-Pink

  • Olive is walking around the house screaming, her human is gone. Not Ohio, not Michigan, closer, 40 miles, Baltimore, but gone. The human's parents miss her too.
  • The human parents are sad that Olive misses her human but are glad Olive's human's partner is deeply allergic to cats so Olive is still with us.
  • Olive likes Fleabus. Fleabus likes Olive when Olive is asleep.
  • Not in our news.
  • Needing to believe in goodness in a world of assholes.
  • It's all fun until someone loses an eye.
  • How Bill Clinton killed welfare.
  • Some have emailed that this shitty blog is acting shitty, not loading, the Egoslavian Flag not shrinking into its correct column width, blogrolls not expanding. I know. It's possibly if not probably related to all the youtubes, but who knows, and who knows how to fix or if fixing is an option. Goddamn my free blogging platform. (These bugs usually clear-up.)
  • First great epic of modern sloth.
  • Square WaveWhereas Naipauline scenes of abuse and erotic degradation bespeak a deeper misanthropy and resignation, Square Wave is ultimately a novel about the possibility of intellectual uplift in a self-consciously global context. Its social dystopianism, for De Silva, seems almost like window-dressing for a rare and moving faith in the power of the trained mind. In this way, De Silva emerges as a rare voice committed to mapping the many tones of a hostile world. Maybe.
  • Re: ▼ any talk of American football puts the James Wright poem below in my head.
  • This Pitchfork article on new American Football (emo? shoegaze? math rock?) put this old American Football in my head:


James Wright

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home,
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cows, for Example, Find Each Part of Themselves Traveling at a Different Rate of Speed

Earthgirl's cows ▲ at a show in Glen Echo yesterday (it was a group show, she didn't make a big deal of it, didn't promote). She purposely priced it silly so she either made a lot of money or could give it to Planet to hang in her new apartment in Baltimore. It's going to hang in Planet's new apartment in Baltimore.

Hey! Joe Strummer was born 64 years ago today:

The tradition Egoslavian Joe Strummer birthday monologue:
Holyfuck, I love that song. One of my Clash stories: in 1982 Pete Townsend asked Strummer if The Clash wanted to open for The Who for stadium shows in support of the Who's It's Hard tour, and in September Blondie and me and Evinkay Kinnersay got in my green Ford Valiant and drove to JFK Stadium in Philly for the show. Good blotter was involved, just a quarter tab for me (I was driving after all), two full for Blondie, who knows how many for Evinkay, he was the provider, that and beer comprising his gas money. Blondie promptly disappeared into the stadium crowd after seeing one of the hundreds of thousands of best friends she had - this was her act; what charmed me was the once in a while she ditched others to be with me - and Kinner ran into a friend w/blow and disappeared (I was invited, but this is true, loved ones can vouch - blow never worked on me. Zip, zero. I'd tell people this and they would lay out $$$'s worth of lines and I'd say, you're wasting your money, and they'd dare me: they wasted their money) and I didn't see Blondie for two weeks or Kinner for three. I had a good jangle, my car keys, I didn't freak out, I got down near the front on the infield. I'd seen The Clash before, had seen them when they were on and into the show; they were neither on or into the show. Who fans booed them. Joe said, leaving the stage, Fuck You, Philadelphia.  
About Strummer: youngsters, The Clash were not the only band that mattered, but they did matter, and they were on the daily soundtrack once.

Here's Terre's tribute show from 2002 just after Strummer died.

Here's Diane's tribute show from 2002, just after Strummer died.

Lots of Clash at those two. When I put Strummer on the iPod now, it's the Mescalaros.

  • I realize, I said to a Hillaryite Colleague, we're in the traditional post-convention /  pre-Labor Day POTUS lull, but the recent episodes of POTUS 16 suck. HC said, I don't know, the Trump statue generated heat. I didn't want to talk about the Trump statue with HC, at least until I knew whether HC gleefully approved of the statue and giggled at its mockery. I don't want to talk about the Trump statue period. HC continued, I found it interesting he made his apology speech the day after the statue's news broke. I said, you think they're related? Yes, HC said, to maximize his false new humility via his humiliation. So you're saying, I said, he alluded to his humiliation deliberately to drive up his poll numbers? Yes, HC said. I think, I said, maybe everyone's overthinking this fucking election.
  • Some thoughts on the Trump statue.
  • The Summer of the Shill.
  • Emptiness and narcissism.
  • Maggie's weekly links.
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links.
  • Durutti Column.
  • A poem about your university's new institute.
  • City without a Name.


Susan Stewart

1. Is it true that they dream?
      It is true, for the spaces of night surround them with shape and purpose, like a warm hollow below the shoulders, or between the curve of thigh and belly.
      The land itself can lie like this. Hence our understanding of giants.
      The wind and the grass cry out to the arms of their sleep as the shore cries out, and buries its face in the bruised sea.
      We all have heard barns and fences splintering against the dark with a weight that is more than wood.
      The stars, too, bear witness. We can read their tails and claws as we would read the signs of our own dreams; a knot of sheets, scratches defining the edges of the body, the position of the legs upon waking.
      The cage and the forest are as helpless in the night as a pair of open hands holding rain.

2. Do they dream of the past or of the future?

      Think of the way a woman who wanders the roads could step into an empty farmhouse one afternoon and find a basket of eggs, some unopened letters, the pillowcases embroidered with initials that once were hers.
      Think of her happiness as she sleeps in the daylilies; the air is always heaviest at the start of dusk.
      Cows, for example, find each part of themselves traveling at a different rate of speed. Their bells call back to their burdened hearts the way a sparrow taunts an old hawk.
      As far as the badger and the owl are concerned, the past is a silver trout circling in the ice. Each night he swims through their waking and makes his way back to the moon.
    Clouds file through the dark like prisoners through an endless yard. Deer are made visible by their hunger.
    I could also mention the hopes of common spiders: green thread sailing from an infinite spool, a web, a thin nest, a child dragging a white rope slowly through the sand.

3. Do they dream of this world or of another?

    The prairie lies open like a vacant eye, blind to everything but the wind. From the tall grass the sky is an industrious map that bursts with rivers and cities. A black hawk waltzes against his clumsy wings, the buzzards grow bored with the dead.
    A screendoor flapping idly on an August afternoon or a woman fanning herself in church; this is how the tails of snakes and cats keep time even in sleep.
    There are sudden flashes of light to account for. Alligators, tormented by knots and vines, take these as a sign of grace. Eagles find solace in the far glow of towns, in the small yellow bulb a child keeps by his bed. The lightning that scars the horizon of the meadow is carried in the desperate gaze of foxes.
    Have other skies fallen into this sky? All the evidence seems to say so.
    Conspiracy of air, conspiracy of ice, the silver trout is thirsty for morning, the prairie dog shivers with sweat. Skeletons of gulls lie scattered on the dunes, their beaks still parted by whispering. These are the languages that fall beyond our hearing.
    Imagine the way rain falls around a house at night, invisible to its sleepers. They do not dream of us.

4. How can we learn more?
    This is all we will ever know.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

This Trace, If It Exists, Is Alms for Delusion

  • All the colors of the Dark.
  • A friend asked if I'd received any response, even a thank you but fuck you you suck, from either of the the publications I submitted my poems, and no, of course not. And yes, ▲ from 2013.
  • Inside the burn area.
  • The contemporary crisis of the American ideology. It's been a bit since I said this, but a supreme irony is that capitalism, which holds sacred the idea of competition - that competition rewards the consumer by driving makers to construct better products in order to succeed - has sucked since it lost its primary competitor.
  • Jonathan Chait's worldview: The Clinton Foundation is a stand-in for the Clintons’ sloppy ethics in general. In the eyes of their enemies, the Clintons are criminals on a world-historic scale; in the eyes of their supporters, innocent victims of a massive smear campaign. The reality is that their venality is rather ordinary. There’s a reason the term politician is synonymous with lying, calculation, and ambition — these are common qualities for politicians. The Clintons are common politicians, motivated in general by a desire to implement policy changes they think will make the world a better place, but not immune to trimming and getting rich in the process. None of their behavior is disqualifying, given the number of elected officials, presidents included, who have done the same. Neither does it justify it. It is unfair for Hillary Clinton that her skeptics, many of them sexist, imagine her as a figure of unique malevolence and corruption. But politicians have to deal with unfair circumstances rather than wish them away. So it's lack of response to the perception that she's - what's the word I'm looking for: pleonectic! - and that instead of directly addressing the issues she employs - what's the word I'm looking for - tergiversation! - that's the problem, so yes, all this for to set up that joke. And fuck me, I read Jonathan Chait, I deserve the bowl of shit I eat. 
  • One was Painted Bride Quarterly. I don't remember the other. The friend was L - my professor and friend, of the late Thursday Night Pints, who I had pints with this past Thursday - who was the friend who badgered me to submit in the first place. Much love, L, thanks for encouraging me, I won't say I won't again but I won't again soon.


Ann Lauterbach

This trace, if it exists, is alms for delusion.
An arch uncurls from the floor
scented with the scent of a tapestry, housed here.
I recall the hour but not its passage
unless dream captures and ties it to sleep:
a fat bellhop smiles, shows me to the tower
where I can watch the departure.
But some days settle so that nothing
crosses the horizon; stare as I will, no star
needles the air. Now I am left
on the outskirts of a forest hemmed in by wheat
where plump trees hide the image, its symmetry
shot up and blown across the ground like feathers.
The unicorn, the grail, blue and red wings
of kneeling musicians, these are embroidered
elsewhere. Perseverance was crowned.
Hope and Pity prayed for success.
How fast is this camera? Can it record a trace?
There was a voyage. Four mounted horses
strain against centuries.
To each is allotted: dust kicked up, smoke, plumage.

Friday, August 19, 2016

We Shall Very Soon Have the Pleasure of Recording a Period of Unanimous Tergiversation in This Respect and to Make That Pleasure the Greater, It Is Worth While at the Risk of Tedious Iteration, to Put First Upon Record a Final Protest

Reminder: Fleabus.

  • Tergiversation = evasion of straightforward answer
  • Clabbered = food produced by allowing unpasteurized milk to turn sour at a specific humidity and temperature. Over time, the milk thickens or curdles into a yogurt-like substance with a strong, sour flavor.
  • Spumous = foam or froth on a liquid.
  • Pleonectic = morbidly greedy or covetous

From one paragraph of Jack Cox's Dodge Rose, one of two novels I'm currently reading (de la Pava's A Naked Singularity the other). I'd guessed the first and third, never heard of the second and fourth, can't believe I never heard of the fourth. Dodge Rose whispers, Naked Singularity screams, I'm alternating days. Working so far. Now that I've just jinxed myself. Fuck me.

But yes, this to get to the Ashbery poem I thought of when I saw the word tergiversation in a novel. Oh, and the Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer which I bought as my birthday present (it's sometime this month) last night (not yesterday, not today). Also too, get the self-portrait (one person said s/he saw me) off the top.


John Ashbery

Impatient as we were for all of them to join us,
The land had not yet risen into view: gulls had swept the gray steel towers away
So that it profited less to go searching, away over the humming earth
Than to stay in immediate relation to these other things—boxes, store parts, whatever you wanted to call them—
Whose installedness was the price of further revolutions, so you knew this combat was the last.
And still the relationship waxed, billowed like scenery on the breeze.

They are the same aren’t they,
The presumed landscape and the dream of home
Because the people are all homesick today or desperately sleeping,   
Trying to remember how those rectangular shapes
Became so extraneous and so near
To create a foreground of quiet knowledge
In which youth had grown old, chanting and singing wise hymns that   
Will sign for old age
And so lift up the past to be persuaded, and be put down again.

The warning is nothing more than an aspirate “h”;
The problem is sketched completely, like fireworks mounted on poles:   
Complexion of evening, the accurate voices of the others.
During Coca-Cola lessons it becomes patent
Of noise on the left, and we had so skipped a stage that   
The great wave of the past, compounded in derision,   
Submerged idea and non-dreamer alike   
In falsetto starlight like “purity”
Of design that had been the first danger sign
To wash the sticky, icky stuff down the drain—pfui!

How does it feel to be outside and inside at the same time,
The delicious feeling of the air contradicting and secretly abetting
The interior warmth? But the land curdles the dismay in which it’s written   
Bearing to a final point of folly and doom
The wisdom of these generations.
Look at what you’ve done to the landscape—
The ice cube, the olive—
There is a perfect tri-city mesh of things
Extending all the way along the river on both sides
With the end left for thoughts on construction
That are always turning to alps and thresholds
Above the tide of others, feeding a European moss rose without glory.

We shall very soon have the pleasure of recording
A period of unanimous tergiversation in this respect
And to make that pleasure the greater, it is worth while
At the risk of tedious iteration, to put first upon record a final protest:   
Rather decaying art, genius, inspiration to hold to
An impossible “calque” of reality, than
“The new school of the trivial, rising up on the field of battle,   
Something of sludge and leaf-mold,” and life
Goes trickling out through the holes, like water through a sieve,   
All in one direction.

You who were directionless, and thought it would solve everything if you found one,
What do you make of this? Just because a thing is immortal
Is that any reason to worship it? Death, after all, is immortal.   
But you have gone into your houses and shut the doors, meaning   
There can be no further discussion.
And the river pursues its lonely course
With the sky and the trees cast up from the landscape
For green brings unhappiness—le vert Porte malheur.
“The chartreuse mountain on the absinthe plain
Makes the strong man’s tears tumble down like rain.”

All this came to pass eons ago.
Your program worked out perfectly. You even avoided
The monotony of perfection by leaving in certain flaws:
A backward way of becoming, a forced handshake,
An absent-minded smile, though in fact nothing was left to chance.
Each detail was startlingly clear, as though seen through a magnifying glass,   
Or would have been to an ideal observer, namely yourself—
For only you could watch yourself so patiently from afar
The way God watches a sinner on the path to redemption,
Sometimes disappearing into valleys, but always on the way,
For it all builds up into something, meaningless or meaningful
As architecture, because planned and then abandoned when completed,   
To live afterwards, in sunlight and shadow, a certain amount of years.   
Who cares about what was there before? There is no going back,   
For standing still means death, and life is moving on,
Moving on towards death. But sometimes standing still is also life.