Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Deaf as Cassandra to Any Note but Warning

The pint bets I won from Dennis and Leona were paid off last night (the original Thursday meeting was set before discovered that was St Patrick's Day). Talk was of Libya (since Japan is so, like, last decade): my cynicism is shocking, I'm told.

I didn't pursue beyond saying that it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best. Is that why you capitalize the word Kind on your blog, asked Leona. Excellent wry and amber three hours.


Amy Clampitt

While you walk the water's edge,
turning over concepts
I can't envision, the honking buoy
serves notice that at any time
the wind may change,
the reef-bell clatters
its treble monotone, deaf as Cassandra
to any note but warning. The ocean,
cumbered by no business more urgent 
than keeping open old accounts
that never balanced,
goes on shuffling its millenniums
of quartz, granite, and basalt.
                    It behaves
toward the permutations of novelty--
driftwood and shipwreck, last night's
beer cans, spilt oil, the coughed-up
residue of plastic--with random
impartiality, playing catch or tag
or touch-last like a terrier,
turning the same thing over and over,
over and over. For the ocean, nothing
is beneath consideration.
                    The houses
of so many mussels and periwinkles
have been abandoned here, it's hopeless
to know which to salvage. Instead
I keep a lookout for beach glass--
amber of Budweiser, chrysoprase
of Almadén and Gallo, lapis
by way of (no getting around it,
I'm afraid) Phillips'
Milk of Magnesia, with now and then a rare
translucent turquoise or blurred amethyst
of no known origin.
                    The process
goes on forever: they came from sand,
they go back to gravel, 
along with treasuries
of Murano, the buttressed
astonishments of Chartres,
which even now are readying
for being turned over and over as gravely
and gradually as an intellect
engaged in the hazardous
redefinition of structures
no one has yet looked at.


  1. Hot damn, this really captures truth:

    "'s not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best."

    Have I remit to quote?

  2. Agalloch. It says something about these days that I wait all week for the death metal sets on Diane's Kamakazi Fun Machine.

    You're only encouraging him!

  3. Excellent Clean Day! Vehicle is one of my all-time favorite albums. And echoing Jim yesterday... also The Bats.

  4. The Clean is another band I just never got around to spending time with but that's good stuff. Curse ye, death metal. & thanks!