Tuesday, July 22, 2014

surpassing things we've known before passing on its effect

       There had been other troubles, with a chief called Big Head wounded while on a friendly visit to Fort Kearny. The Cheyenne felt especial put upon, for by their lights they had always been amiable to white men. Even after all these bad things, they sent a delegation to see the Government Indian agent and apologized. They also returned a woman they had captured. but you see the complication was this: Indians wasn't ever organized. Them that come in to apologize wasn't the same as what killed the whites. And them that the soldiers usually punished was never the ones who had committed the outrages. The white people on who the Indians took revenge had no connection with the soldiers.
     It was pretty early on that I come to realize that most serious situations in life, or my life anyway, were like that time I rubbed out the Crow: he spared me because I was white, and I killed him because I was Cheyenne. There wasn't nothing else either of us could have done, and it would have been ridiculous except it was mortal.

Thomas Berger, Little Big Man

Yesterday two blogfriends discussed Berger on Twooter, I didn't stop to think why, adding to the conversation that when I read Little Big Man when I was nineteen it was KABOOM! Today I discovered why he might have been being discussed: he died this past July 13th.

It has been years since I read Berger. I liked the Reinhart Tetrology, especially when read against Updike's Rabbit Tetrology for comparison and contrast in style, tone, themes, I liked his second historical novel, Arthur Rex, I liked some of his genre-examining novels like Who Is Teddy Villanova and Nowhere, but all failed when measured against Little Big Man. I didn't know it when I read it, but it engaged many of the concerns I encountered in Theory in grad school, especially but not limited to its examination of passing: see the excerpt above. I am about to find out if it's KABOOM! still.

[constant change figures]

Lyn Hejinian

constant change figures
the time we sense
passing on its effect
surpassing things we've known before
since memory
of many things is called
but what of what
we call nature's picture
surpassing things we call
since memory
we call nature's picture
surpassing things we've known before
constant change figures
passing on its effect
but what of what
constant change figures
since memory
of many things is called
the time we sense
called nature's picture
but what of what
in the time we sense
surpassing things we've known before
passing on its effect
is experience

Monday, July 21, 2014

and every finger is a toe

That's my left big toe - it looks worse than it feels unless I kick a wall with it. Was crossing a creek on Saturday's hike, slipped on a wet rock, jammed the toe against a second. I'd rather take off my shoe and kick a wall with that toe than clusterfuck today. Friday my swag package for donating to WFMU last Winter arrived, I asked for nothing but music, thirteen discs in all. Each is prepared by one of the DJs just to be Marathon swag (and many DJ discs - from both current and former DJs - are still available, it's fun to pick). I'll post a song from each, most below the fold, and in no particular order other than how they were shuffled when I took them out of the mailing package. This is from Jeffrey Davidson's CD, Small Wonder:

[as freedom is a breakfastfood]

E.E. Cummings

as freedom is a breakfastfood
or truth can live with right and wrong
or molehills are from mountains made
—long enough and just so long
will being pay the rent of seem
and genius please the talentgang
and water most encourage flame

as hatracks into peachtrees grow
or hopes dance best on bald mens hair
and every finger is a toe
and any courage is a fear
—long enough and just so long
will the impure think all things pure
and hornets wail by children stung

or as the seeing are the blind
and robins never welcome spring
nor flatfolk prove their world is round
nor dingsters die at break of dong
and common’s rare and millstones float
—long enough and just so long
tomorrow will not be too late

worms are the words but joy’s the voice
down shall go which and up come who
breasts will be breasts thighs will be thighs
deeds cannot dream what dreams can do
—time is a tree(this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ink-Black, but Moving Independently Across the Black and White Parquet of Print, the Ant Cancels the Author Out

High Holy Day in Egoslavia. Diana Rigg, first, still best crush ever, is 76 today. The Avengers, the Honor Blackman/Katherine Gale years in b/w, the Diana Rigg/Emma Peel years, but especially the first Emma year, in b/w, first, best crush ever. Two years ago I was able to post some episodes, last year some motherfuckers claimed rights and blocked them. Last year I was able to post the black & white opening theme song, this year some motherfuckers claimed rights and blocked that, here, have the vastly inferior color opening to the second Emma Peel season (which, fine metaphors abounding, was vastly inferior - though still better than almost everything else then, since, forever - to the first season in black and white):

That doesn't give me the toe-curling waves of nostalgic pleasure like the black & white opening still does. I haven't mentioned this here in a while: I remember seeing the Flintstones in color, the first time I'd see a color TV, I was five? six? I don't remember whose house, a relative's presumably, I know it was in western Pennsylvania, but I am convinced that seminal event, followed by a decade of TV repeats after school, home when sick or faking sick, color then B/W then B/W then color then less and less B/W as the old shows fell out of syndication, and especially the shows in syndication like Avengers and Get Smart and Bewitched whose first years were in B/W then toggled to color, influence, for good and bad, how I apprehend and interpret the world still.

Yes, I post a version of that paragraph every year on July 20. Here's the only black & white scene I can find:

Hey, then there's this email:

Your Google Apps domain name, blckdgrd.com, was successfully renewed with enom for one year. You can now continue using Google Apps through July 18, 2015 and your account will soon be charged for the purchase.
Please do not reply to this email; replies are not monitored.
The Google Apps Team

I'll believe it if this shitty blog is still here the morning of the 26th.


Mary Barnard

Ink-black, but moving independently   
across the black and white parquet of print,   
the ant cancels the author out. The page,   
translated to itself, bears hair-like legs   
disturbing the fine hairs of its fiber.
These are the feet of summer, pillaging meaning,   
destroying Alexandria. Sunlight is silence   
laying waste all languages, until, thinly,   
the fictional dialogue begins again:   
the page goes on telling another story.