Friday, December 9, 2016

Again the Picking of Small Stones Out of the Rice

My hot take on the Nats' Adam Eaton trade? Every time I hear his name ▼ will play in my head:

What I saw of Giolito he didn't look like the best pitching prospect in Rockville. Lopez' mechanics are mine on a disc golf course - when he gets it right, it's holyfuck, he gets it wrong too often. Both may be great -  I hope so, I watch baseball for pitching. I have no idea who Dunning is. I don't know Eaton beyond what's being said now. Rizzo hasn't been a dope yet. Let me tell you about the 1993 Dogzilla Wafers.

  • Reviewing 2016Ninety-nine years after the Soviet Revolution the stage is set for precipitation into global civil war. While the financial class exacerbates its agenda fueling unemployment and social devastation, the dynamics that led to Nazism are deploying worldwide. Nationalists are repeating what Hitler said to the impoverished workers of Germany: rather than as defeated workers, think of yourself as white warriors so you’ll win. They did not win, but they destroyed Europe. They will not win this time neither, but they are poised to destroy the world.
  • When you cry you cry alone.
  • On trollsThis capacity – this desire – to play both troll and witch-hunter is part of the affective basis for Trumpism.
  • Dystopian Hillaryism.
  • Capitalism: its death and afterlife.
  • The blind side of Liberalism.
  • My precarity meter goes beep.
  • You in Algorithmstan.
  • On Anne Carson's Float: Carson’s admitted to using a random integer generator in her work and embracing accidental formatting changes, explaining “it saves you a lot of worry.” She practices intentional unintentionality.
  • Don't we all. If you want one (and I like you) let me know.
  • Rest in peace Greg Lake. I never got Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, but I do get King Crimson.


Anne Carson


Her father his terrific purple eyebrows.

A historical mistrust felt by people in the West for anything that comes from the East
or by people in the North for what comes from the South and so on.

Again the picking
of small stones
out of the rice.

This streaming of existence within me (she said).

Elijah's prophecy that Jezebel's blood would end up being licked by dogs which it did.

The gold smoke of her Buick at dawn against a frozen sun.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Born 73 Years Ago, Dead 36 Years Ago: The Annual Egoslavian 12/8 Post


James Tate

I am trying to pry open your casket
with this burning snowflake.

I'll give up my sleep for you.
This freezing sleet keeps coming down
and I can barely see.

If this trick works we can rub our hands
together, maybe

start a little fire
with our identification papers.
I don't know but I keep working, working

half hating you,
half eaten by the moon.


James Tate

A bomb had exploded down the street. I got dressed and
walked down to see what happened. The Whalen's house had
been flattened. But Hal and Rebecca were standing in the street,
apparently unscathed. Everyone in the neighborhood was pouring
our of their houses and into the streets. "What the hell happened?"
I said to Hal. "We were in the garden, thank god, when this
plane flew over. The next thing I know, the house explodes to
smithereens," he said. "It must have been some kind of accident,"
I said. "Well, I voted for this president. They shouldn't be
targeting me," he said. "Friendly fire," I said. "What the hell's
that?" he said. "They mistook you for somebody else," I said.
"Well, they shouldn't be bombing in this neighborhood, I don't
care who they thought I was. Children and old people live here,
and dogs," he said. "I'm sure you'll be getting a letter of apology,
and maybe a new house," I said. "It's lucky I didn't have a heart
attack," Rebecca Whalen said. Joe Mizelle walked up. "That
sure was a clean hit. No collateral damage whatsoever," he said.
"How do you know they didn't mean to hit your house and just
accidentally hit mine?" Hal said. "Jesus, I hadn't thought of
that. But I haven't done anything wrong. I voted for him, even
though I think he's a shifty bastard," Joe said. "Everything we
had is gone," Rebecca said, whimpering into her tissue. "When it
cools down, we can sift through the wreckage," Hal said, comforting
her. "I'd be glad to lend a hand," I said. "Maybe your silverware
survived, if it didn't melt in the heat," Joe said. Other neighbors
had gathered around and were whispering amongst themselves. "This
is the price we pay for our protection." "Thank god we live in a
democracy." "I'm sure they know what they were doing." "I'm going
to write my congressman." Hal turned to me and said, "Maybe I
am guilty. Maybe I did do something to deserve this. It's hard to
remember, on a day-to-day basis, everything you've said and every
little thing you've done. I can be kind of a free spirit sometimes.
I probably brought this on myself. And someone filed a report on
me. Oh god, I don't want to think about it, it's awful." "Listen,
Hal, I still think it was a mistake. It happens all the time.
Those reports pass through so many hands, by the time they reach
the top somebody has gotten the wrong address," I said. "All the
photographs and all the precious mementos of the children that can
never be replaced," Rebecca sobbed. "One of your boys works for the
government, doesn't he?" Joe said. "He's just a clerk in Washington,"
Hal said. "Still, I wouldn't rule him out," Joe said. "You're
beginning to irritate me," Hal said. The neighbors were drifting back
to their homes, their curiosities satisfied. Joe, too, turned
and left, but not before adding, "I was just trying to interject a
little humor. Sorry, no offense intended." Hal failed to dignify
this with a reply. The three of us stood there staring at the smouldering
rubble in silence. "Well, you're welcome to stay at my place," I
said finally. Hal looked at me as if to measure my trust. Then he
said, "This wasn't our real home. We have a secret home where we
keep our valuables. Nobody knows its whereabouts, not even our
children. There was nothing in there but junk. I figured they'd come
sooner or later. And they didn't get the car, so we'll be fine.
Rebecca, here, just had to put on a little show for the neighbors.
You can't trust most of them, if you know what I mean." We shook
hands and embraced. Then they got in their car and were gone forever.
I memorized their license plate number - 357 O19 - for good luck.

James Tate born 73 years ago today. Charter member, My Sillyass Deserted Island 5 Game. Lots of poems HERE!

Also too: I write some version of this every year: 36 years ago tonight I was lying in bed, tripping, blissed, happy, with Audrey, listening to WGTB, the announcer broke in mid-song to say John Lennon had been shot and killed. Seems silly to say now, but it was the biggest KABOOM! of my life up to that time, I can still remember what it felt like, and if listening to The Beatles in general and Lennon's solo music in particular no longer are items on the menu of what any given minute I hold holy, no KABOOM! since has bone-gonged the same. My favorite Lennon song ▼. Lots of Lennon songs HERE!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Scrimmage of Appetite, or: Born 103 Years Ago Tomorrow


Delmore Schwartz

“the withness of the body”

The heavy bear who goes with me,   
A manifold honey to smear his face,   
Clumsy and lumbering here and there,   
The central ton of every place,   
The hungry beating brutish one   
In love with candy, anger, and sleep,   
Crazy factotum, dishevelling all,   
Climbs the building, kicks the football,   
Boxes his brother in the hate-ridden city.

Breathing at my side, that heavy animal,   
That heavy bear who sleeps with me,   
Howls in his sleep for a world of sugar,   
A sweetness intimate as the water’s clasp,   
Howls in his sleep because the tight-rope   
Trembles and shows the darkness beneath.   
—The strutting show-off is terrified,   
Dressed in his dress-suit, bulging his pants,   
Trembles to think that his quivering meat   
Must finally wince to nothing at all.

That inescapable animal walks with me,
Has followed me since the black womb held,   
Moves where I move, distorting my gesture,   
A caricature, a swollen shadow,
A stupid clown of the spirit’s motive,   
Perplexes and affronts with his own darkness,   
The secret life of belly and bone,
Opaque, too near, my private, yet unknown,   
Stretches to embrace the very dear
With whom I would walk without him near,   
Touches her grossly, although a word
Would bare my heart and make me clear,   
Stumbles, flounders, and strives to be fed   
Dragging me with him in his mouthing care,   
Amid the hundred million of his kind,   
The scrimmage of appetite everywhere.


"I have been one acquainted with the night" - Robert Frost

Rode in the train all night, in the sick light. A bird
Flew parallel with a singular will. In daydream's moods and attitudes
The other passengers slumped, dozed, slept, read,
Waiting, and waiting for place to be displaced
On the exact track of safety or the rack of accident.

Looked out at the night, unable to distinguish
Lights in the towns of passage from the yellow lights
Numb on the ceiling. And the bird flew parallel and still
As the train shot forth the straight line of its whistle,
Forward on the taut tracks, piercing empty, familiar --

The bored center of this vision and condition looked and looked
Down through the slick pages of the magazine (seeking
The seen and the unseen) and his gaze fell down the well
Of the great darkness under the slick glitter,
And he was only one among eight million riders and readers.

And all the while under his empty smile the shaking drum
Of the long determined passage passed through him
By his body mimicked and echoed. And then the train
Like a suddenly storming rain, began to rush and thresh--
The silent or passive night, pressing and impressing
The patients' foreheads with a tightening-like image
Of the rushing engine proceeded by a shaft of light
Piercing the dark, changing and transforming the silence
Into a violence of foam, sound, smoke and succession.

A bored child went to get a cup of water,
And crushed the cup because the water too was
Boring and merely boredom's struggle.
The child, returning, looked over the shoulder
Of a man reading until he annoyed the shoulder.
A fat woman yawned and felt the liquid drops
Drip down the fleece of many dinners.

And the bird flew parallel and parallel flew
The black pencil lines of telephone posts, crucified,
At regular intervals, post after post
Of thrice crossed, blue-belled, anonymous trees.

And then the bird cried as if to all of us:

0 your life, your lonely life
What have you ever done with it,
And done with the great gift of consciousness?
What will you ever do with your life before death's knife
Provides the answer ultimate and appropriate?

As I for my part felt in my heart as one who falls,
Falls in a parachute, falls endlessly, and feel the vast
Draft of the abyss sucking him down and down,
An endlessly helplessly falling and appalled clown:

This is the way that night passes by, this
Is the overnight endless trip to the famous unfathomable abyss.


Dogs are Shakespearean, children are strangers.
Let Freud and Wordsworth discuss the child,
Angels and Platonists shall judge the dog,
The running dog, who paused, distending nostrils,
Then barked and wailed; the boy who pinched his sister,   
The little girl who sang the song from Twelfth Night,   
As if she understood the wind and rain,
The dog who moaned, hearing the violins in concert.   
—O I am sad when I see dogs or children!
For they are strangers, they are Shakespearean.

Tell us, Freud, can it be that lovely children   
Have merely ugly dreams of natural functions?   
And you, too, Wordsworth, are children truly   
Clouded with glory, learned in dark Nature?   
The dog in humble inquiry along the ground,   
The child who credits dreams and fears the dark,   
Know more and less than you: they know full well   
Nor dream nor childhood answer questions well:   
You too are strangers, children are Shakespearean.

Regard the child, regard the animal,   
Welcome strangers, but study daily things,   
Knowing that heaven and hell surround us,   
But this, this which we say before we’re sorry,   
This which we live behind our unseen faces,   
Is neither dream, nor childhood, neither   
Myth, nor landscape, final, nor finished,   
For we are incomplete and know no future,   
And we are howling or dancing out our souls   
In beating syllables before the curtain:   
We are Shakespearean, we are strangers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I Live in a Body That Does Not Have Enough Light in It

  • Deag Blodgog, I stopped myself monkeying with this shitty blogs wallpaper last night. What the fuck is wrong with me - or what is more wrong with me - that I wanted to or that I stopped myself.
  • Reminder: Death to the Either/Or. And to me.
  • Doing battle with the black snake.
  • Comet Ping Pong is three door down from Politics and Prose. While we don't go to Politics and Prose like we used to (I figured out two Aprils ago I work in a university library and can get books - psst - for free), we've eaten at Comet Ping Pong exactly once for all the dozens times cubed we've been on that block: the pizza failed, was artisan mediocre and artisan expensive, and the kids screaming in the ping pong room (that is their gimmick) reminded me of tripping at the fucking Montgomery County Fair.
  • Nothing but artisan mediocre pizza and overpriced draft beer was offered me for sale.
  • Heaven forever.
  • If you can't read fiction right now (like me!), Brad has poets for you.
  • If you can't read fiction right now (like me!) get off the fucking internet, you fucking idiot.
  • The Mafia State: Systems of governance that are seized by a tiny cabal become mafia states. The early years—Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in the United States—are marked by promises that the pillage will benefit everyone. The later years—George W. Bush and Barack Obama—are marked by declarations that things are getting better even though they are getting worse. The final years—Donald Trump—see the lunatic trolls, hedge fund parasites, con artists, conspiracy theorists and criminals drop all pretense and carry out an orgy of looting and corruption. Duh, but true.
  • We all did. Just not in 2016 - I had 2020.
  • Borzutzky interview: "The Performance of Becoming Human" is the third in a series of books (or perhaps a lifetime project) about how humans survive amid the worst types of state and social violence. Performance, unlike the others, is more directly thinking about borders, about the United States' relationship to Latin America, and our treatment of immigrants and foreigners. Perhaps the book's approach to thinking about war, racism and xenophobia, and the exploitation of the working class by banks and governments, seems particularly poignant right now. It's an angry book. I guess readers relate to its anger. I think it's hopeful to make art about how awful the world is. I guess I'm not alone.
  • Trump and the Present Crisis.
  • Garrison America the Threat of Global War.
  • Hillary Clinton throwing party to thank millionaire donors
  • Barring death - and maybe not even death will stop her - she's running in 2020, yo.
  • On the exhaustion of something or another.
  • What's happening to bees and butterflies? Humans, in case you couldn't guess.
  • One reason assholes love capitalism.
  • New Moon Duo!

Daniel Borzutzky