Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Firmament, as I See It, Was Never This Impartial

We fly to Maine tomorrow for nine days of hiking, Acadia National Park.
We've identified four hikes from last year we must do again.
Three hikes we didn't get to last year. We'll do them first, starting Friday in Schoodic.
Reminder: all but two posts a year not tagged My Complicity.
Tomorrow is also one of Egoslavia's Highest Holy Days and the post is already in the tube.
I won't pretend to any intention of disconnecting from the clusterfuck on vacation.




John Ashbery

After only a week of taking your pills
I confess I am seized with boundless energy:
My plate fills up even as I scarf vegetable fragments
from the lucent blue around us. My firmament,

as I see it, was never this impartial.
The body's discomfiture, bodies of moonlight beggars,
sex in all its strangeness: Everything conspires
to hide the mess of inner living, raze
the skyscraper of inching desire.

Kill the grandchildren, leave a trail
of paper over the long interesting paths in the wood.
Transgress. In a word, be other than yourself
in turning into your love-soaked opposite. Plant
his parterre with antlers, burping
status of when-was-the-last-time-you-saw Eros;

go get a job in the monument industry.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

All That They Killed Were the Song They Couldn't Sing

Old story: I got kicked out of the Boy Scouts, Troop 1097. I was in Pink Panther Patrol before graduating to Senior Patrol. I made it to Life. I would never have made it to Eagle - Lifesaving is a gold Merit Badge, required, and I am a weak swimmer. Which isn't why I was kicked out.

1097 wasn't political or paramilitary. One adult wanted it to be, but he was mocked by us and ignored by the other adults. I probably would have discovered how much I love hiking, love deep woods, without the Boy Scouts, but I discovered I love hiking, love deep woods, while in the Boy Scouts.

Most fun Trump has had as POTUS, nuremberging Boy Scouts yesterday. What he imagines a Boy Scouts to be is the citizen authoritarians want you to be.

Les Murray


Sunday, July 23, 2017

But the Spider Trying to Build Where It Is Written Vibrates Tentative

Spider crawled up bookshelf and onto and over a cardboard shoebox of casettes and then across dead laptop asking only for music as I type this sentence. Walked completely around the headphone-jack, would stick a leg in then back off. Spider stayed there until I went to sleep, is gone, now, in morning. Fine metaphors abound.

Why did I post that photo at this but not this there?


Clark Coolidge

In edges, in barriers the tonal light of t
the one thing removed overemphasizes tonally
and you could hurry it, and it vanish and plan
You go out on an avenue, but may be taken in despite
your chordal list of hates, overcomings banished ready
receiving you from a darkened cone, the one a beat
behind the one you there are
Then the I not part of the you equation, but the
spider trying to build where it is written
vibrates tentative
I don’t want to talk to you about it anymore
crystal region in its light, there are failures and
there are failures
But it’s imperative, abrupt catch, that you sink the
final catch, trounced morning
this is awful but none other available, words reach
and visually fail to tie audibly retire
the pieces of the opening collision, and the reaches of
turning aside remind
I am hopefully
this is position
of the world overcome by
and by the wind takes our voice
the collateral one voice

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Renewal Project Is Doomed

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Albert Goldbarth

The renewal project is doomed: because
its funding board’s vice-president resigned: because
the acids of divorce were eating day-long
at her stomach, at her thoughts: because
her husband was neglecting her, in favor of his daughter,
who was dying: because her husband,
bi and edgy, bore an AIDS sore that was ripe
enough with fear and woe to throw this whole
thick network of connections off its balance
and down a hole of human misery. Haven’t we seen it happen?
—when a crowded room at a party was tilted
perilously askew by the weight of two
wept tears that weren’t as large as a housefly’s wings,
that couldn’t have filled a pistachio shell.


It’s like this: because because because,
Sawyer was drunk when he delivered his opening remarks
onstage at Stardome Planetarium. He
stood below a slide show of “The Emptiness of Outer Space”
—stars and planets, scattered like the scantest
motes of dust in unimaginable void—and was about
to make the leap to what percent of us,
our dearly thumping bodies, is a corresponding emptiness . . .
when one foot met a wire that had strayed
outside the curtain, and a wild arc of hand undid
the podium, which canted off its casters sidelong
into the 3-D galaxy props, and you could say whatever
thimble or pustule or hackle of grief was his,
it had toppled the whole damn universe.


Was she a ghost? Sometimes she thought she was
a ghost, transparent, stealing through the lives of people
untouched and untouching. And so she carried a bucket
of burning coals (we’ll call it that for now) against
her breasts; and then she knew she was alive. And
he. . . ?—was just the rusty foxing that an antique book
exhales into dim air, wasn’t that what he was,
oh it was, yes it was, and so one afternoon he strapped
a meteorite to his back, and now he walks the streets
like anybody else. An ageless tribal saying:
If you aren’t given a burden, you must carve own.
An eye will do, if it’s ill. One word, if it’s cruel.
And don’t be fooled by breath: the throat holds up
some old-time blues the way a hod holds bricks.


But she didn’t die of full-blown AIDS
—Sawyer’s daughter. Even so, her twisted legs and limp
are enough to sometimes send him a little
over the blotto line. Tonight, though, after show time,
he’s just soused enough to wander through the mock-up
stage-set milky ways agog with child-wonder:
all those luminescent islands! all that vacuum!
Look: a planet floats, there’s that much cosmos
all around it. A planet! While we . . . we couldn’t
squint and levitate a half inch, not the guru-most
among us. Well, we could: if the laws of the universe changed.
It’s only the Earth that makes us so heavy.
It’s only our lives that keep our lives
from floating off into the nothing.