Sunday, March 1, 2015

Born Two-Hundred and Five Years Ago, Born Ninety-Four Years Ago

High Egoslavian Holy Day! Chopin, born in 1810 on either February 22nd or March 1st depending on which calendar one uses, I've used both days in the past, arbitrarily chose March 1st this year. I love Chopin, always have, since a kid, my mother playing him on the living room piano.

Richard Wilbur, whose The Writer provides the title of my favorite post past, present, future (it comes and goes as Planet and I need it), and whose poetry reminds me that spirituality need not have denomination or direct object, was born ninety-four years ago today. I've posted so much Wilbur over the years I'm sure I've posted all of these before, and so?


Richard Wilbur

When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,   
Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
In God’s name to have self-pity,

Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,   
The long numbers that rocket the mind;
Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,   
Unable to fear what is too strange.

Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race.   
How should we dream of this place without us?—
The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,   
A stone look on the stone’s face?

Speak of the world’s own change. Though we cannot conceive   
Of an undreamt thing, we know to our cost
How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost,   
How the view alters. We could believe,

If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip   
Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy,
The lark avoid the reaches of our eye,
The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip

On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn
As Xanthus once, its gliding trout
Stunned in a twinkling. What should we be without   
The dolphin’s arc, the dove’s return,

These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken?   
Ask us, prophet, how we shall call
Our natures forth when that live tongue is all
Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken

In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean   
Horse of our courage, in which beheld
The singing locust of the soul unshelled,
And all we mean or wish to mean.

Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose   
Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding   
Whether there shall be lofty or long standing   
When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.



Richard Wilbur
After the last bulletins the windows darken   
And the whole city founders readily and deep,   
Sliding on all its pillows
To the thronged Atlantis of personal sleep,

And the wind rises. The wind rises and bowls   
The day’s litter of news in the alleys. Trash   
Tears itself on the railings,
Soars and falls with a soft crash,

Tumbles and soars again. Unruly flights   
Scamper the park, and taking a statue for dead   
Strike at the positive eyes,
Batter and flap the stolid head

And scratch the noble name. In empty lots   
Our journals spiral in a fierce noyade   
Of all we thought to think,
Or caught in corners cramp and wad

And twist our words. And some from gutters flail   
Their tatters at the tired patrolman’s feet,
Like all that fisted snow
That cried beside his long retreat

Damn you! damn you! to the emperor’s horse’s heels.   
Oh none too soon through the air white and dry   
Will the clear announcer’s voice
Beat like a dove, and you and I

From the heart’s anarch and responsible town   
Return by subway-mouth to life again,   
Bearing the morning papers,
And cross the park where saintlike men,

White and absorbed, with stick and bag remove   
The litter of the night, and footsteps rouse   
With confident morning sound
The songbirds in the public boughs.


Richard Wilbur

A striped blouse in a clearing by Bazille   
Is, you may say, a patroness of boughs   
Too queenly kind toward nature to be kin.   
But ceremony never did conceal,
Save to the silly eye, which all allows,
How much we are the woods we wander in.

Let her be some Sabrina fresh from stream,
Lucent as shallows slowed by wading sun,
Bedded on fern, the flowers’ cynosure:
Then nymph and wood must nod and strive to dream   
That she is airy earth, the trees, undone,
Must ape her languor natural and pure.

Ho-hum. I am for wit and wakefulness,   
And love this feigning lady by Bazille.   
What's lightly hid is deepest understood,   
And when with social smile and formal dress   
She teaches leaves to curtsey and quadrille,   
I think there are most tigers in the wood.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

It Skids Away and Drops into Its Own Skeleton

No, I didn't forget. Click Nemerov tag for many more poems.

Howard Nemerov was lucky enough to be born on February 29th, since March 1 belongs to Chopin and Richard Wilbur, I give today to Nemerov, born 23.75 years ago if you only count February 29ths.


This admirable gadget, when it is
Wound on a string and spun with steady force,   
Maintains its balance on most any smooth
Surface, pleasantly humming as it goes.
It is whirled not on a constant course, but still   
Stands in unshivering integrity
For quite some time, meaning nothing perhaps   
But being something agreeable to watch,   
A silver nearly silence gleaning a still-
ness out of speed, composing unity   
From spin, so that its hollow spaces seem   
Solids of light, until it wobbles and   
Begins to whine, and then with an odd lunge   
Eccentric and reckless, it skids away   
And drops dead into its own skeleton.

Friday, February 27, 2015

He Was Not Herbert

ready to receive remains built for death, ready to receive the flatly desolate superficial deeply commissioned intellectual offer of suggestive actions, for the hunger assassin to fall back on and become forceful psychological damage, bottled for drinkable agitation

I dreamed last night of Frank the Assassin. Sorry, typepad ate the photo, I've no archive of the photo on the computer at my fingers, I'm sure it's on an external drive on a shelf so fuck it. Jeebus, look at that blog. Look at that blog, all the dead blogs on all the blogrolls. The shits and giggles on the blogrolls. Look at that soccer blogroll on the right. Last night United lost 5-2 in Alajuela Costa Rica. Other than noting the new second kits are shit, fuck it. As soon as I started dreaming about Frank the Assassin the above Bowie song started playing in my head, and then I woke and realized it should have been the below Bowie song (yes, I know, it's Turkish for long life), but fuck it, that's how my head worked.

[ready to receive remains...]

Kari Edwards

 ready to receive remains built for death, ready to receive the flatly desolate superficial deeply commissioned intellectual offer of suggestive actions, for the hunger assassin to fall back on and become forceful psychological damage, bottled for drinkable agitation

   riding a back seat writing construction, contesting the oncoming molten universe, immersed in villagers, city dwellers, trembling, laughing, (white teeth redone for the perfect test of time), to inhale flesh and stone from long ago, forgetting the horrors of holy oil infusion clocks and gritty body galleries, leaving behind the mourning river’s crimson fragrance smoldering from the previous unbearable fever.

   in a posture of myself on a speeding body, without hands and feet, I am ready to receive the vomit of consciousness and proceed down the avenues of suggestion to become a limited option.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Perhaps Emily's Datebook Holds the Clue to the Mystery of the Seven Swans Under the Upas Tree

  • Just bought ticket for Swans, March 25, 2015, Soundstage, Baltimore. General Admission, get yours, I can be the taxi from DC.
  • UPDATE! I bought a ticket for Earthgirl which I figured she wouldn't use, here was the conversation: I bought tickets for Swans in Baltimore in March, they're the band you always scream at me to turn off when they come on in the car and the show is standing only, wanna go? to which she said - and this is a direct quote - "no fucking way." Ticket now belongs to Richard! and since the show falls on his birthday, the ticket is a birthday present! So, Mr Alarem, Hamster, anyone else, get yours!
  • Parable of the Swans.
  • OK, I need type out this DUH to be rid of it: Notice how the Washington Post and New York Times, just to name two, in both reportage and op-eds, have not only just discovered how batshit nuts the American Right is but begun to troll the batshit nuts American Right? Post-midterms, lame-duck president, POTUS 16 gearing up, coincidence? Who do you think Triskelions want managing the next four years of incrementally increasing shittiness, a loyal Democrat or a batshit crazy Republican? Here's what batshit crazy Republicans are good for: getting Triskelion tools like Hillary Inevitability elected.
  • Yeah, well.....
  • Almost time now.
  • A conversation about Evan Dara's Flee. I've never read any Dan Chaon. Worth it? 
  • Denton Welch? Library has one copy of Maiden Voyage in Special Collections, which means fuck that, and none of the consortium schools has it. Interlibrary Loan it is. Spinal tuberculosis?
  • Knausgaard's North American travels part one. I don't get the fuss over Knausgaard (and after trying to read this piece of cliches and self-absorption I don't get the fuss more than ever), many smart people do, so I blame me.
  • John Ashbery and the poetics of the Art World.
  • Yes, I've posted the Ashbery below, I like it, plus it has the word Swans in it which gives this post it's title.
  • the laws of night and honey....
  • Arvo Part.
  • Sun Kil Moon's "Possum."
  • Robyn Hitchcock!


John Ashbery

A hears by chance a familiar name, and the name involves a riddle of the past.
B, in love with A, receives an unsigned letter in which the writer states that she is the mistress of A and begs B not to take him away from her.
B, compelled by circumstances to be a companion of A in an isolated place, alters her rosy views of love and marriage when she discovers, through A, the selfishness of men.
A, an intruder in a strange house, is discovered; he flees through the nearest door into a windowless closet and is trapped by a spring lock.
A is so content with what he has that any impulse toward enterprise is throttled.
A solves an important mystery when falling plaster reveals the place where some old love letters are concealed.
A-4, missing food from his larder, half believes it was taken by a “ghost.”
A, a crook, seeks unlawful gain by selling A-8 an object, X, which A-8 already owns.
A sees a stranger, A-5, stealthily remove papers, X, from the pocket
of another stranger, A-8, who is asleep. A follows A-5.
A sends an infernal machine, X, to his enemy, A-3, and it falls into
the hands of A’s friend, A-2.
Angela tells Philip of her husband’s enlarged prostate, and asks for money.
Philip, ignorant of her request, has the money placed in an escrow account.
A discovers that his pal, W, is a girl masquerading as a boy.
A, discovering that W is a girl masquerading as a boy, keeps the knowledge to himself and does his utmost to save the masquerader from annoying experiences.
A, giving ten years of his life to a miserly uncle, U, in exchange for a college education, loses his ambition and enterprise.

A, undergoing a strange experience among a people weirdly deluded, discovers the secret of the delusion from Herschel, one of the victims who has died. By means of information obtained from the notebook, A succeeds in rescuing the other victims of the delusion.
A dies of psychic shock.
Albert has a dream, or an unusual experience, psychic or otherwise, which enables him to conquer a serious character weakness and become successful in his new narrative, “Boris Karloff.”

Silver coins from the Mojave Desert turn up in the possession of a sinister jeweler.
Three musicians wager that one will win the affections of the local kapellmeister’s wife; the losers must drown themselves in a nearby stream.
Ardis, caught in a trap and held powerless under a huge burning glass, is saved by an eclipse of the sun.
Kent has a dream so vivid that it seems a part of his waking experience.   
A and A-2 meet with a tragic adventure, and A-2 is killed.
Elvira, seeking to unravel the mystery of a strange house in the hills, is caught in an electrical storm. During the storm the house vanishes and the site on which it stood becomes a lake.
Alphonse has a wound, a terrible psychic wound, an invisible psychic wound, which causes pain in flesh and tissue which, otherwise, are perfectly healthy and normal.
A has a dream which he conceives to be an actual experience.   
Jenny, homeward bound, drives and drives, and is still driving, no nearer to her home than she was when she first started.
Petronius B. Furlong’s friend, Morgan Windhover, receives a wound from which he dies.
Thirteen guests, unknown to one another, gather in a spooky house to hear Toe reading Buster’s will.
Buster has left everything to Lydia, a beautiful Siamese girl poet of whom no one has heard.
Lassie and Rex tussle together politely; Lassie, wounded, is forced to limp home.
In the Mexican gold rush a city planner is found imprisoned by outlaws in a crude cage of sticks.
More people flow over the dam and more is learned about the missing electric cactus.
Too many passengers have piled onto a cable car in San Francisco; the conductor is obliged to push some of them off.
Maddalena, because of certain revelations she has received, firmly resolves that she will not carry out an enterprise that had formerly been dear to her heart.

Fog enters into the shaft of a coal mine in Wales.
A violent wind blows the fog around.
Two miners, Shawn and Hillary, are pursued by fumes.
Perhaps Emily’s datebook holds the clue to the mystery of the seven swans under the upas tree.
Jarvis seeks to manage Emily’s dress shop and place it on a paying basis. Jarvis’s bibulous friend, Emily, influences Jarvis to take to drink, scoffing at the doctor who has forbidden Jarvis to indulge in spirituous liquors.
Jarvis, because of a disturbing experience, is compelled to turn against his friend, Emily.
A ham has his double, “Donnie,” take his place in an important enterprise.
Jarvis loses his small fortune in trying to help a friend.
Lodovico’s friend, Ambrosius, goes insane from eating the berries of a strange plant, and makes a murderous attack on Lodovico.
“New narrative” is judged seditious. Hogs from all over go squealing down the street.
Ambrosius, suffering misfortune, seeks happiness in the companionship of Joe, and in playing golf.
Arthur, in a city street, has a glimpse of Cathy, a strange woman who has caused him to become involved in a puzzling mystery.   
Cathy, walking in the street, sees Arthur, a stranger, weeping.
Cathy abandons Arthur after he loses his money and is injured and sent to a hospital.
Arthur, married to Beatrice, is haunted by memories of a former sweetheart, Cornelia, a heartless coquette whom Alvin loves.

Sauntering in a park on a fine day in spring, Tricia and Plotinus encounter a little girl grabbing a rabbit by its ears. As they remonstrate with her, the girl is transformed into a mature woman who regrets her feverish act.
Running up to the girl, Alvin stumbles and loses his coins.
In a nearby dell, two murderers are plotting to execute a third.   
Beatrice loved Alvin before he married.
B, second wife of A, discovers that B-3, A’s first wife, was unfaithful.   
B, wife of A, dons the mask and costume of B-3, A’s paramour, and meets A as B-3; his memory returns and he forgets B-3, and goes back to B.
A discovers the “Hortensius,” a lost dialogue of Cicero, and returns it to the crevice where it lay.
Ambrose marries Phyllis, a nice girl from another town.
Donnie and Charlene are among the guests invited to the window.   
No one remembers old Everett, who is left to shrivel in a tower.   
Pellegrino, a rough frontiersman in a rough frontier camp, undertakes to care for an orphan.
Ildebrando constructs a concealed trap, and a person near to him, Gwen, falls into the trap and cannot escape.