Wednesday, August 23, 2017

There Is a Certain Challenge in Being Humane to Hornets But Not Much

We did our will before vacation. We signed nothing - the lawyer gathered information. The drafting, the signing, the notarizing, takes weeks. The lawyer called yesterday: What happens to the money if I die, Earthgirl dies, Planet dies simultaneously. Who gets the money?

Two choices occurred to me, and I proposed them to Earthgirl: the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Humane Society of America. She chose HSA, so I googled HSA to get the donation info.

Every other internet ad I see now I see now I see now I see now a desperately hungry, mangy dog asking if I'll save him. Of many conscious reasons I don't watch television is Fear One I'll see a HSA donation commercial. I reach for clicker, click anywhere as fast as can, but....

I give money to the Humane Society. Humane Society donation commercials catapult me into Dark faster than anything but photos of fucks smirking over animals they've killed. So yay me,  every couple of minutes online, fine metaphor abounding myself with sharp stabs of Dark.











BURIED AT SPRINGS

James Schuyler

There is a hornet in the room   
and one of us will have to go   
out the window into the late   
August midafternoon sun. I
won. There is a certain challenge   
in being humane to hornets   
but not much. A launch draws   
two lines of wake behind it   
on the bay like a delta
with a melted base. Sandy   
billows, or so they look,
of feathery ripe heads of grass,   
an acid-yellow kind of
goldenrod glowing or glowering   
in shade. Rocks with rags   
of shadow, washed dust clouts   
that will never bleach.
It is not like this at all.   
The rapid running of the   
lapping water a hollow knock
of someone shipping oars:   
it’s eleven years since   
Frank sat at this desk and   
saw and heard it all   
the incessant water the   
immutable crickets only   
not the same: new needles   
on the spruce, new seaweed   
on the low-tide rocks   
other grass and other water   
even the great gold lichen   
on a granite boulder   
even the boulder quite   
literally is not the same

      II
A day subtle and suppressed   
in mounds of juniper enfolding   
scratchy pockets of shadow
while bigness—rocks, trees, a stump—
stands shadowless in an overcast   
of ripe grass. There is nothing   
but shade, like the boggy depths   
of a stand of spruce, its resonance   
just the thin scream
of mosquitoes ascending.
Boats are light lumps on the bay   
stretching past erased islands   
to ocean and the terrible tumble   
and London (“rain persisting”)   
and Paris (“changing to rain”).   
Delicate day, setting the bright
of a young spruce against the cold
of an old one hung with unripe cones   
each exuding at its tip
gum, pungent, clear as a tear,   
a day tarnished and fractured   
as the quartz in the rocks
of a dulled and distant point,   
a day like a gull passing
with a slow flapping of wings   
in a kind of lope, without
breeze enough to shake loose   
the last of the fireweed flowers,
a faintly clammy day, like wet silk   
stained by one dead branch   
the harsh russet of dried blood.



Monday, August 21, 2017

Even the Last Few, Weeks Off Yet, Misshapen as Toes





The tradition Egoslavian Joe Strummer, born 65 years ago today, 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.











THE BROAD-BEAN SERMON

Les Murray

Beanstalks, in any breeze, are a slack church parade
without belief, saying trespass against us in unison,
recruits in mint Air Force dacron, with unbuttoned leaves.
  
Upright with water like men, square in stem-section
they grow to great lengths, drink rain, keel over all ways,
kink down and grow up afresh, with proffered new greenstuff.
  
Above the cat-and-mouse floor of a thin bean forest
snails hang rapt in their food, ants hurry through several dimensions:
spiders tense and sag like little black flags in their cordage.
  
Going out to pick beans with the sun high as fence-tops, you find
plenty, and fetch them. An hour or a cloud later
you find shirtfulls more. At every hour of daylight
  
appear more than you missed: ripe, knobbly ones, freshy-sided,
thin-straight, thin-crescent, frown-shaped, bird-shouldered, boat-keeled ones,
beans knuckled and single-bulged, minute green dolphins at suck,
  
beans upright like lecturing, outstretched like blessing fingers
in the incident light, and more still, oblique to your notice
that the noon glare or cloud-light or afternoon slants will uncover
  
till you ask yourself Could I have overlooked so many, or
do they form in an hour? unfolding into reality
like templates for subtly broad grins, like unique caught expressions,
  
like edible meanings, each sealed around with a string
and affixed to its moment, an unceasing colloquial assembly,
the portly, the stiff, and those lolling in pointed green slippers ...
  
Wondering who’ll take the spare bagfulls, you grin with happiness
– it is your health – you vow to pick them all
even the last few, weeks off yet, misshapen as toes.



Saturday, August 19, 2017

Eating My Own Words By Which I Will Grow Thin





I didn't know Deux Filles dropped their third album, their first since 1983, in 2016 until two, three weeks ago, I have it now, it's the best thing my ears ate since the last best thing until the next.

Please put on your best headphones, turn volume tilt. Their loud quiet brackets everything.

Also too, official new Pere Ubu:












FORMULAS FOR OBLIVION

Mark Strand

 1.  Casting the first stone after which the hands cast
themselves and the arms and so on until you feel
you have cast yourself after the first stone
into oblivion.
   
2.  Eating your own words by which you will grow thin,
depleted, finally, of even a mouth to care for
the orphaned tongue or the tired foot.
    
3.  Turning yourself inside out so the features you are
known by become obvious secrets and the hidden
parts of yourself become a mask of honesty.
Thus you will never know who you are; oblivion
has begun to tell you who you are
    
4.  Lending the helping hand and keeping the other one
to yourself. The helping hand will feed your
friend, the other one will feel abandoned.
What happens is clear: you lose your friend
and die alone, a victim of the helping hand’s
selfish refusal to aid the other one.
    
5.  Cutting off your nose to spite your face. For the
beauty of absence is catching and the face will
want to spite the nose by having it back and then
will beg to be cut off from it. This will go on.
    
6.  Taking everything to heart and allowing yourself no
rest but what is impossible to take, which is
oblivion.
    
7.  Killing the thing you love and spending each night
with its ghost. Forcing your passion into an
absence is a common approach to oblivion.
    
8.  Sticking your head in the lion’s mouth and seeing
the remnants of your past: the tongue of your
father, the teeth of your mother, your own head
grinning back.
    
9.  Saving the best for last while consuming the worst
at the start. For the worst tastes better when
you know the best is to come. Doubts will arise.
After a while you may not believe the best will
be last and oblivion will take you for better
or worse.
   
10.  Giving yourself the benefit of the doubt which is the
 
surest and truest formula for oblivion.