Thursday, October 23, 2014

Born Eighty-Three Years Ago Tomorrow

Not only is tomorrow Luciano Berio's eighty-ninth birthday, it is Sofia Gubaidulina's eighty-third, double High Egoslavian Holy Day Eve. Yes, I post this piece all the time, that's how MSADI5G works.

A Frail Vague Man, in Whom Our Sense Ached with Nothing, Began to Whisper with Himself

Berio's birthday, a High Egoslavian Holy Day, is tomorrow, and, as will be seen in the standard Egoslavian Berio birthday post, always sparks major bleggalgazing, much of which I will spare you. Yes, that sentence, while true, written as much for the gag as content. So I haven't spared you bleggalgazing at all, nor the history of this shitty blog.


John Berryman

A frail vague man, in whom our sense ached
With nothing, began to whisper with himself
At line-up, from the rear, -
We trembled for him, - shook the scald that caked
His skull, totting up phantoms none could solve,
Fag-end of a career.

(Shadowless in a cairn, four lights. Farewell,
The legacy trots off,
A swimming moment of the stiff's desire
Such decades since. Or nothing trots to tell
Intestate once with love
Pain brain stood up a bit out of time's mire.)
He scrambled one night out
And dodged between the lights far to the wire,
Where he lodged. I suppose he crisped, dying in fire;
A shot or so, a shout;
But certainly, lifting our scalps, well beyond fear,
He suddenly sang, sang, hanging on the wire.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nothing Is Blunt, but Phantoming Uneases I Find

Liszt, whose piano pieces I love, born two-hundred and three years ago today. The piano player explains himself.

The Hamster Emergency Alert System worked.

So, me: the recent Booker Prize winner, Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North, was on a new book cart at the library I work in, doopty-doo, I'm at that section of Gravity's Rainbow, deep in the zone, when Pynchon tests his theories of entropy out on the reader, I can take a minute to check out the Flanagan, who knows, it might work, be a welcome sherbet break in the middle of Gravity's heavy gravy. And it was working! And may still work, but.... the main character, in an encounter in a used book store, meets a magnetically mysterious woman, they engage in an enigmatic conversation laden with electric flirtation but then go their separate ways. Meanwhile, the main character's not-blood uncle, who he has never met, owns a hotel on a beach near where the main character is in training for deployment for the Australian army, invites his nephew to visit. The main character walks into the hotel's bar, the woman behind the bar turns to greet him, it's the uncle's wife, the mysterious woman from the bookstore, and goddamn it, long-timers here know of my awe and love of Serendipity, but goddamn it.... this is a minor bitch in the litany of reasons for my past few year's struggles with reading novels, but don't hit me with plot-sticks, goddamn it, though it is illustrative of my growing impatience if not yet rejection of contructs and the unconsciously accepted right-angled laws of construction.


John Berryman

It kissed us, soft, to cut our throats, this coast,
like a malice of the lazy King. I hunt,
& hunt! but find here what to kill?—nothing is blunt,
but phantoming uneases I find. Ghost
on ghost precedes of all most scared us, most
we fled. Howls fail upon this secret, far air: grunt,
shaming for food; you must. I love the King
& it was not I who strangled at the toast
but a flux of a free & dying adjutant:
God be with him. He & God be with us all,
for we are not to live, I cannot wring,
like laundry, blue my soul—indecisive thing . .
From undergrowth & over odd birds call
and who would starv'd so survive? God save the King.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do These While Holding Your Arm Out Above the Paper Like the Outstretched Leg of a Crane

  • Activating the Hamster Emergency Alert System! Dude, check your email. Also, need you to confirm you're in for Yo La Tengo/Lambchop. Earthgirl is inviting a friend, a woman. THIS IS NOT A SET-UP! Repeaten sie: THIS IS NOT A SET-UP! Also, let's have dinner this Friday or Sunday.
  • Post-nihilism? I believe the task of conscious observers (and not just intellectuals) today is to begin to indulge rather than mask the nihilistic forces of contemporary life – forces that manifest and register existentially, environmentally, and poltically in a variety of objective ways. We must partake instead of continuing to deny the dark revelations of current crises in order to push each other towards more earthly, or creaturely, that is to say ecological modes of thinking and doing. Realizing and coping-with the transcorporeal facticity of life entails communicating and making explicit our intimate connections with the planet and its beings, but it also requires us to explore and engage the inherent precarity and ontological vulnerability with-in the natural world through association, design and infrastructure.
  • Mind, my subject<object<object<subject is weak, but this line of thinking I find myself seeking both inside and outside my head.
  • Triskelions.
  • The Paris Review just tweeted out a link to a 1977 interview with William GassGetting even is one great reason for writing. The precise statement of the motive is tricky, but the clearest expression of my unwholesome nature and my mean motives (apart from trying to write well) appears in a line I like in “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.” The character says, “I want to rise so high that when I shit I won’t miss anybody.” But maybe I say it’s a motive because I like the line. Anyway, my work proceeds almost always from a sense of aggression. And usually I am in my best working mood when I am, on the page, very combative, very hostile. That’s true even when I write to praise, as is often the case. If I write about Colette, as I am now, my appreciation will be shaped by the sap-tongued idiots who don’t perceive her excellence. I also take considerable pleasure in giving obnoxious ideas the best expression I can. But getting even isn’t necessarily vicious. There are two ways of getting even: one is destructive and the other is restorative. It depends on how the scales are weighted. Justice, I think, is the word I want.
  • The right to remain silent: Anne Carson on poetry and silence.
  • Sophocles for modernity.
  • Zbigniew Herbert, for those of you who do.
  • Re: blogrolls - maintenance tonight or tomorrow or next time I have the energy and will, moribund will be moved to Moribund, the dead will be culled. I have added a few new places, please check them out as they rise to top of rolls.
  • Bartok, for those of you who do.


Dick Allen

Make your strokes thus: the horizontal:
as a cloud that slowly drifts across the horizon;
the vertical: as an ancient but strong vine stem;
the dot: a falling rock;
and learn to master the sheep leg, the tiger’s claw,
an apricot kernel, a dewdrop, the new moon,
the wave rising and falling. Do these
while holding your arm out above the paper
like the outstretched leg of a crane.
The strength of your hand
will give the stroke its bone.
But for real accomplishment, it would be well
if you would go to live solitary in a forest silence,
or beside a river flowing serenely.
It might also be useful
to look down a lonesome road,
and for the future
to stare into the gray static of a television screen,
or when lost in a video game
to accept you may never reach the final level,
where the dragon awaits, guarding the pot of gold,
and that you’ve left no footprints, not a single one,
despite all your adventures,
anyone following you could ever follow.