Saturday, April 25, 2015

We Welcomed Our Poor Hackneyed Christ, Sad Bastard, Croaking of Pestilence - the Basement Holds Him Now










EIGHT VARIATIONS

Weldon Kees

1.
         Prurient tapirs gamboled on our lawns,   
         But that was quite some time ago.
         Now one is accosted by asthmatic bulldogs,   
         Sluggish in the hedges, ruminant.

         Moving through ivy in the park
         Near drying waterfalls, we open every gate;   
         But that grave, shell-white unicorn is gone.   
         The path is strewn with papers to the street.

         Numbers that once were various
         Regarded us, were thought significant, significant   
         Enough to bring reporters to the scene.
         But now the bell strikes one, strikes one,

         Strikes one—monotonous and tired.

         Or clicks like a sad valise.

    2. Note to Be Left on the Table
    This ghost of yours, padding about the upper halls,   
    Given to fright-wigs Burbage might have worn,   
    Moaning in doorways, jumping out at maids,   
    Has not convinced me even yet. Can this be you?   
    Your life was frightening enough, but this   
    Poor pallid counterpart who fuddles in its role   
    Is inexcusable. Go haunt the houses of the girls   
    You once infected, or the men who bore   
    Your company far oftener than I; annoy the others   
    For a change. Is this, my house, the medieval hell
    You took to at the grave’s edge, years ago,
    After a dozen other hells had burned themselves away,   
    Or are we purgatory here? If not,
    You make it one. I give you until noon.

3.
Ruined travelers in sad trousseaux
Roost on my doorstep, indolent and worn.   
Not one of them fulfills despised Rousseau’s   
Predictions. Perhaps they are waiting to be born.   
If so, the spot’s been badly chosen.
This is a site for posthumous investigations,   
Pillows stuffed with nettles, charnal notions:   
Apoplectic executioners, bungled incisions.   
Indeed, our solitary midwife fondles the hemlock.

We welcomed one poor hackneyed Christ,
Sad bastard, croaking of pestilence. The basement
Holds him now. He has not as yet arisen.
The tickets are ready; the line forms on the right.
Justice and virtue, you will find, have been amazingly preserved.

         4.
         As water from a dwindling reservoir
         Uncovers mossy stones, new banks of silt,
         So every minute that I spend with you reveals   
         New flaws, new features, new intangibles.   
         We have been sitting here for hours—
         “I spent that summer in Madrid,
         The winter on the coast of France—
         The Millotsons were there, and Farnsworth.
         My work has perished with the rest
         Of Europe, gone, all gone. We will not see the end.”

         You said goodbye, and your perfume   
         Lingered for hours. At first it seemed
         Like summer dying there, then rank and sharp.

         And yet I did not air the room.

      5.
      Among Victorian beadwork and the smell of plush,   
      The owls, stuffed and marvelously sinister,
      Glare from dark corners, waiting for the night.   
      High up, the moose’s passive eyes explore
      Candles, unlit, within cut-glass. A door
      Is opened, and you enter with a look
      You might have saved for Pliny or the Pope.

      The furniture has shrunk now thirty years
      Have passed (with talent thinning out, and words   
      Gone dead), and mouths of friends in photographs   
      Display their hopeful and outmoded smiles.   
      You counted on at least a sputter of nostalgia,   
      However fretful. That was a mistake. Even the moose   
      Regards you with a tired, uncomprehending stare.

         6.
         Signboards commemorate their resting place.   
         The graveless of another century
         Came and were conquered; now their bones   
         Are dust where idiot highways run.
         Land in their eyes, unquiet ancestors
         (On fences yellow signs clang in the wind)
         Unstirred by suns drying the brown weeds   
         Above them now in parched and caking land.

         But when they speak of you, they feel the need   
         Of voices polished and revised by history,   
         The martial note, words framed in capitals.

         It is good to be deaf in a deafening time   
         With the sky gone colorless, while the dead   
         Thunder breaks, a cracked dish, out of the mind.

      7.
      The eye no longer single: where the bowl,
      Dead in the thickened darkness, swelled with light,   
      Transformed the images and moved the artist’s hand,   
      Becomes a framework for our mania.

      And haunts the stairway. Friends depart,   
      Taking their last look from the roof,   
      Saying goodnight and carrying their view   
      Of grapes the model ate in Paris years ago.

      Blue in the morning, green some afternoons;   
      The night, ambiguous, forgets the signature.

      The dust in attics settled and his stove
      Grew cold. About the model nothing much is known.

      It ends the wall and complements the view   
      Of chimneys. And it hides a stain.

         8.
         And when your beauty, washed away   
         In impure streams with my desire,
         Is only topic for ill-mannered minds,
         Gifted and glassy with exact recall,
         Gossip and rancid footnotes, or remote despair,   
         Let ruined weather perish in the streets   
         And let the world’s black lying flag come down.

         Only in calendars that mark no Spring
         Can there be weather in the mind
         That moves to you again as you are now:
         Tired after love and silent in this house,
         Your back turned to me, quite alone,
         Standing with one hand raised to smooth your hair,   
         At a small window, green with rain.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Last Winning People Told Me to Sit on the Urinal




It was my first time in Dietles in two years this past Monday night, they've now a red-eye urinal, fuck me. There were as many people not there as were not there the last time I was there. Cold Yuengling from a fresh keg on tap, motherfuckers, is not nectar but doesn't suck.

All my metaphors are political. Learning to come I knew only bones and cards and pastel phallic Parcheesi pieces. My concept of victory crushes or is smashed. Hexagons. Laminated cardboard armies.

I'm told what to do regarding me, you telling me what to do as result of my telling you what to do, is protected speech, you telling me what to do, me telling you no not.

This past Friday, I said to my friend, we drove past an Islamic Center is Ann Arbor just at the call for midday prayers and at the entrance two assholes and their imaginary friend Jesus waived placards that read Mohammed Is Dead! at the arriving Muslims and my right hand flew out the window, all fingers but the middle clenched and... I pulled my arm into the window. Why give the fuckers the satisfaction of my hate? That's very unlike you, he said. Yup, I said, and got up to piss, and pissed out the Yuengling and, red-eyed by the urinal, needn't flush.















BLUEPRINTS AND OTHERS

John Ashbery

The man across the street seems happy,
or pleased. Sometimes a porter evades the grounds.
After you play a lot with the military
you are my own best customer.

I’ve done five of that.
Make my halloween. Ask me not to say it.
The old man wants to see you — now.
That’s all right, but find your own.
Do you want to stop using these?

Last winning people told me to sit on the urinal.
Do not put on others what you can put on yourself.
How to be in the city my loved one.
Men in underwear    ...    A biography field
like where we live in the mountains,

a falling. Yes I know you have.
Troves of merchandise, you know, “boomer buzz.”
Hillbilly sculptures of the outside.
(They won’t see anybody.)



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Born Ninety-Three Years Ago Today





No, I didn't forget, and my apologies, the large collection of Mingus youtubes I've archived on the blog to be posted on his birthday - those I've found, those suggested by Hamster and Greyhoos and others - are all dead, removed by demand of some right's holder. Send me working Mingus youtubes and I'll add them.

The traditional Egoslavian Mingus birthday paragraphs:

I don't know as much about jazz as I wish - there are only so many hours and I've only two ears - but I was turned onto Mingus by an English professor at Anne Arundel Community College (there's a story) when Earthgirl and I first lived together in 1987 in a marina house in Deale MD (google map 6064 Drumpoint Road, Deale MD and you can see it), and while true that Mingus' music strikes pleasure tines in my brain most jazz hasn't had the chance, I also associate Mingus with wonderful times sitting in the backyard listening to Mingus, watching the sailboats come and go while steaming the blue crabs we pulled from our pots we threw off the docks and BBQing fresh bluefish friendly fisherman gave us, and awful times too, sitting in the backyard listening to Mingus with my friend Henry, a black man, and his white wife Donna, and being called over in private by two boat owners who demanded I get the fucking nigger and his white whore off the property, waking up in the morning after I told them to fuck off to find my car tires slashed. The local cops taking the police report thought it was funny.
There was a big gun control vote in Maryland during POTUS 88 when we were living in Deale, I had a bumpersticker on my car advocating whatever the liberal position was (I don't remember the details), I woke up one morning to find my tires slashed and my car encased in pro-gun bumperstickers. The local cops taking the police report thought it was funny. 
We never intended to live for long in Deale - the marina house belonged to a family friend from Earthgirl's side, he rented it to us to give us a place to see if we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, but we both worked in DC/MOCO, the commute was hell, we would have moved back sooner or later, the incidents with the locals just made it sooner. 

I'd suggest you click the Mingus tab but most of the youtubes there are dead. Adding I still don't kow jazz one-thousandth as well as I want to, but I do know a Mingus piece two bars into hearing it. Click Deale for more Deale if you're interested.