Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Balding Month, the Grey Week, the Blue Morning, The Hour's Routine, the Minute's Passing Glance

The photo of the gargoyle from Salisbury Cathedral that was yesterday's header is no longer header. I may or not employ headers, but a header that big is annoying to me when I check in to see of I've posted anything new. Six, seven times yesterday, ping-in, scroll down, nothing new, fuck that shit.

New blogfriend Dusty, Hell most vocal Bitch has generously offered to build me a new template, adding "You know my site, so you know what I am capable of."

Sincere thanks. As we become old blogfriends you'll understand the impossibility of my accepting your generous and Kind offer for base and selfish reasons: I like the blegangst. I need the bleg to suck at fluctuating levels day by day for reasons blegometric that I understand and am constantly warned against writing about; I couldn't constantly write about them as much as I do if I didn't control the suck. It's fun! I might avail myself of you for some basic css to c/p now and then, please.


Thomas Lynch

It came to him that he could nearly count
How many Octobers he had left to him
In increments of ten or, say, eleven
Thus: sixty-three, seventy-four, eighty-five.
He couldn't see himself at ninety-six—
Humanity's advances notwithstanding
In health-care, self-help, or new-age regimens—
What with his habits and family history,
The end he thought is nearer than you think.

The future, thus confined to its contingencies,
The present moment opens like a gift:
The balding month, the grey week, the blue morning,
The hour's routine, the minute's passing glance—
All seem like godsends now.  And what to make of this?
At the end the word that comes to him is Thanks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All Peoples Are at Times Cat in Water with This Language but It Does Promote International Bird on Shoulder

There are two (non-crisis, one sweet, one bad) real life news items dominating my thinking but I can't talk about them onblog no matter how much I dang, which is as it should be. Have three questions for a Wednesday after a three day holiday weekend during the Blog Days of Summer in Rustbelt, Blegsylvania:

  • Like the new header? I was bored thinking of something to write about besides what I want to write about (or rather, what I've written, what I'm writing about but I won't publish here). I'm not sure I do like this header, whether I like any header at all, and if I do decide to use a header should I pick a permanent one or rotate them? If I rotate them, how often? Does anyone know how to set up headers so that a designated set of headers come up randomly each time the blog loads? Onandonandonandon.
  • I've asked this before: is Windows 7 getting sketchier re: everything, but especially the internet regardless Firefox, IE, Google Fuhrer, whatever?
  • Reading Age of Greed reminds me there are reasons Cassandras are ignored: there's always another clusterfuck, the worst since the last one and the worst until the next one, which isn't a question as much as to note the human need to believe in the exceptional nature of one's lifespan (in as loud or quiet or greedy or generous or proud or humble or any either/or you choose). Clusterfuck as prime mover, the catalyst of the necessary processes of what daily grinds.


Les Murray

In the World language, sometimes called
Airport Road, a thinks balloon with a gondola
under it is a symbol for speculation.

Thumbs down to ear and tongue:
World can be written and read, even painted
but not spoken. People use their own words.

Latin letters are in it for names, for e.g.
OK and H2SO4, for musical notes,
but mostly it's diagrams: skirt-figure, trousered figure

have escaped their toilet doors. I (that is, saya,
ego, watashi wa) am two eyes without pupils;
those aren't seen when you look out through them.

You has both pupils, we has one, and one blank.
Good is thumbs up, thumb and finger zipping lips
is confidential. Evil is three-cornered snake eyes.

The effort is always to make the symbols obvious: 
the bolt of electricity, winged stethoscope of course
for flying doctor. Pram under fire? Soviet film industry.

Pictographs also shouldn't be too culture-bound: 
a heart circled and crossed out surely isn't.
For red, betel spit lost out to ace of diamonds.

Black is the ace of spades. The king of spades
reads Union boss, the two is feeble effort.
If is the shorthand Libra sign, the scales.

Spare literal pictures render most nouns and verbs
and computers can draw them faster than Pharough's scribes.
A bordello prospectus is as explicit as the action,

but everywhere there's sunflower talk, i.e.
metaphor, as we've seen. A figure riding a skyhook
bearing food in one hand is the pictograph for grace,

two animals in a book read Nature, two books
inside an animal, instinct. Rice in bowl with chopsticks
denotes food. Figure 1 lying prone equals other.

Most emotions are mini-faces, and the speech
balloon is ubiquitous. A bull inside one is dialect
for placards inside one. Sun and moon together

inside one is poetry. Sun and moon over palette,
over shoes etc. are all art forms--but above
a cracked heart and champagne glass? Riddle that

and you're starting to think in World, whose grammar
is Chinese-terse and fluid. Who needs the square-
equals-diamond book, the dictionary, to know figures

led by strings to their genitals mean fashion?
just as a skirt beneath a circle means demure
or a similar circle shouldering two arrows is macho.

All peoples are at times cat in water with this language
but it does promote international bird on shoulder.
This foretaste now lays its knife and fork parallel.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And Through a Major Error in Pattern Recognition or a Significant Cognitive Fault, the Bullfrog's Brain Has Selected a Two-Pound Rock as the Object of His Rampant Affection

This guy sunning himself on a rock reminds me I don't know the difference between a toad and a frog, though if I had to guess I'd guess toad since we were at least twenty-five yards from the Potomac and at least a hundred yards from a creek when he posed. Do you know about Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail? We did a five mile back-and-forth today, plan on more, though probably not south of Teddy Island because I don't think of the tidal Potomac as the same river as Mather Gorge and up river. This is related to why I never vacation at the beach unless made to.

All this a follow-up to yesterday's post: I've always held motherfucking pigs like Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher and her pet dog Ronnie as .06% shittier because they want to ratfuck the peasants as principle while the Democrats, and this is an improbable best case scenario, ratfuck the peasants as pragmatism: we don't want to ratfuck you, but in these days of Corporate power, we have no choice! This is the root of my roob, as I mention every post. Hey! Did you ever wonder what the bottom of The American Legion Bridge looks like from the Virginia side?


Jim Dodge

Amalgam of electric jelly, 
constellated neural knots 
in the briny binary soup, 
as surely as stimulus prods response 
brains are made to choose. 
And through a major error in pattern recognition 
or a significant cognitive fault, 
the bullfrogs brain has selected 
a two-pound rock
as the object of his rampant affection, 
a rock (to my admittedly mammalian eye) 
that neither resembles
nor even vaguely suggests 
the female of his species.

He does seem to be enjoying himself 
in a blunted sort of way, 
but since the rock so obviously remains unmoved
one suspects it's not the blending of sweet oblivions 
that fuels his persistence, 
but a serious kink in a feedback loop-- 
or perhaps just kinkiness in general. 
The less compassionate might even call him 
the quintessentially insensitive male.

Assuming a pan-species gender bond 
and a common fret, 
I advise my amphibious pal, 
"Hey, I don't think she's playing hard to get.
That's the literal case you're up against, Jack--
true story, buddy; stone fact.
And I'd be fraternally remiss if I didn't share 
my deep and eminently reasonable doubt 
that she'll be worn down
however long and spectacular the ardor."

Ignoring my counsel
as completely as he has my presence,
the bullfrog continues his fruitless assault 
with that brain-locked commitment to folly
which invariably accompanies 
dumb, bug-eyed lust.

But, in fairness, 
whose brain hasn't shorted out in a slosh of hormones
or, igniting like a shattered jug of gas,
fireballed into a howling maelstrom 
where a rock indeed might seem a port? 
One can only conclude
that such impelling concupiscence
serves as a species' life-insurance, 
sort of a procreative override 
of any decision requiring thought, 
thought being notoriously prey to thinking, 
and the more one thinks about thinking 
the thinkier it gets.
Therefore, though the brain is made to choose, 
its very existence ultimately depends 
on the generative supremacy of brainless desire--
for with all respect to Monsieur Descartes 
you am before you can think you are. 
Dirt-drive compulsions riding powerful desires
render any choice moot, along with 
reason, morality, taste, manners, 
and all those other jars of glitter 
we pour on the sticky and raw.

The hard truth is we never chose to choose:
not the brains we use to pick
between competing explanations for our sexual mess
nor these hearts we've burdened with our blunders 
in the name of love.
Do whatever we decide we will, 
the choice isn't free;
we live at the mercy of more pressing needs.

Thus, urges urgently surging, 
we mount a few rocks by mistake.
A bit more embarrassing than most of our foolishness, true--
but so what?
The power of the imperative 
coupled with the law of averages 
virtually guarantees enough will get it right 
to make more brains to be made up 
about exactly what steps to take 
toward what we think we need to do 
on this stony journey between delusion and mirage--
when to move, where to hide our dreams-- 
a journey where we finally learn 
freedom is not a choice 
a brain is free to choose.

Fortunately, my warty friend,
the soul is built to cruise.

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Built a Ferris Wheel in My Mind, Bolt by Bolt, Then It Broke Just as It Spun Me to the Top

    I'm a third of the way though Jeff Madrick's Age of Greed. I read that review then saw the book on the new book shelf, picked it up. So far it's a who's who of motherfucking pigs who've devoted their lives to revoking all laws that keep world class assholes from ratfucking their way to unlimited wealth, starting with motherfucking Hayek. You and me worry about freedom from. World class assholes worry about freedom to.

    My friend L of Thursday Night Pints is a generation older than me, she's seventy-four now. I've written before how the Progressive apostasy towards Team Democrat in general and Obamadick in particular radiates out in ripples from the younger to the older. L remembers the fights for Civil Rights and Women's Rights, she remembers when all the safety nets and consumer protections the assholes in Madrick's book want to eliminate didn't exist or had only just been won.

    The top two and below photos are from yesterday's hike, a sweet little three mile loop just over the American Legion, Scott's Run Park immediately off the beltway on VA 193. I can't go into details but Earthgirl and I have had another week of a child-free home as we prepare for this Fall, so we're taking to the woods again, getting our hiking legs back under us so we can occupy our weekends with long circuits and decent day through-hikes. We also both assume there's no way we'll be able to retire when we hoped, that the pensions we've paid into will be lost, the money we've contributed into 401Ks each paycheck the past twenty years doesn't really exist, and that health insurance as we now know it won't exist by the time we get old and start to die, so dropping some pounds each seems a prudent step for our future in first British then Serbian America.

    Sue us, we're maudlin. Unlike you youngsters we remember when it was stupid and roobish but wasn't motherfucking quaint to think incremental ticks on a progressive ratchet were not only possible but inevitable by dint of reality in negotiations between assholes and their herds. We were young, dopes.


    Bill Hicok

    It was a misunderstanding.
    I got into bed, made love
    with the woman I found there,
    called her honey, mowed the lawn,
    had three children, painted
    the house twice, fixed the furnace,
    overcame an addiction to blue pills,
    read Spinoza every night
    without once meeting his God,
    buried one child, ate my share
    of Jell-o and meatloaf,
    went away for nine hours a day
    and came home hoarding my silence,
    built a ferris wheel in my mind,
    bolt by bolt, then it broke
    just as it spun me to the top.
    Turns out I live next door.

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    United 2, Phunion 2

    Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace. Fuck you United. The red kits suck. Wearing them at home is a disgrace.

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Thanks to Operation Memory, Each of Us Woke Up in a Different Bed or Coffin

    I was noodling a follow-up to yesterday's post regarding a lively conversation Thursday night about Obamadick (tm), but I serendipitously just found this new translation of a Kafka short story which says what I would have said better and is apt for a 4th of July weekend:

    A Message from the Emperor

    The emperor—it is said—sent to you, the one apart, the wretched subject, the tiny shadow that fled far, far from the imperial sun, precisely to you he sent a message from his deathbed. He bade the messenger kneel by his bed, and whispered the message in his ear. So greatly did he cherish it that he had him repeat it into his ear. With a nod of his head he confirmed the accuracy of the messenger’s words. And before the entire spectatorship of his death—all obstructing walls have been torn down and the great figures of the empire stand in a ring upon the broad, soaring exterior stairways—before all these he dispatched the messenger. The messenger set out at once; a strong, an indefatigable man; thrusting forward now this arm, now the other, he cleared a path though the crowd; every time he meets resistance he points to his breast, which bears the sign of the sun; and he moves forward easily, like no other. But the crowds are so vast; their dwellings know no bounds. If open country stretched before him, how he would fly, and indeed you might soon hear the magnificent knocking of his fists on your door. But instead, how uselessly he toils; he is still forcing his way through the chambers of the innermost palace; never will he overcome them; and were he to succeed at this, nothing would be gained: he would have to fight his way down the steps; and were he to succeed at this, nothing would be gained: he would have to cross the courtyard and, after the courtyard, the second enclosing outer palace, and again stairways and courtyards, and again a palace, and so on through thousands of years; and if he were to burst out at last through the outermost gate—but it can never, never happen—before him still lies the royal capital, the middle of the world, piled high in its sediment. Nobody reaches through here, least of all with a message from one who is dead. –You, however, sit at your window and dream of the message when evening comes.


    David Lehman

    We were smoking some of this knockout weed when
    Operation Memory was announced. To his separate bed
    Each soldier went, counting backwards from a hundred
    With a needle in his arm. And there I was, in the middle
    Of a recession, in the middle of a strange city, between jobs
    And apartments and wives. Nobody told me the gun was loaded.

    We'd been drinking since early afternoon. I was loaded.
    The doctor made me recite my name, rank, and serial number when
    I woke up, sweating, in my civvies. All my friends had jobs
    As professional liars, and most had partners who were good in bed.
    What did I have? Just this feeling of always being in the middle
    Of things, and the luck of looking younger than fifty.

    At dawn I returned to draft headquarters. I was eighteen
    And counting backwards. The interviewer asked one loaded
    Question after another, such as why I often read the middle
    Of novels, ignoring their beginnings and their ends. when
    Had I decided to volunteer for intelligence work? "In bed
    With a broad," I answered, with locker-room bravado. The truth was, jobs

    Were scarce, and working on Operation Memory was better than no job
    At all. Unamused, the judge looked at his watch. It was 1970
    By the time he spoke. Recommending clemency, he ordered me to go to bed
    At noon and practice my disappearing act. Someone must have loaded
    The harmless gun on the wall in Act I when
    I was asleep. And there I was, without an alibi, in the middle

    Of a journey down nameless, snow-covered streets, in the middle
    Of a mystery--or a muddle. These were the jobs
    That saved men's souls, or so I was told, but when
    The orphans assembled for their annual reunion, ten
    Years later, on the playing fields of Eton, each unloaded
    A kit bag full of troubles, and smiled bravely, and went to bed.

    Thanks to Operation Memory, each of us woke up in a different bed
    Or coffin, with a different partner beside him, in the middle
    Of a war that had never been declared. No one had time to load
    His weapon or see to any of the dozen essential jobs
    Preceding combat duty. And there I was, dodging bullets, merely one
    In a million whose lucky number had come up. When

    It happened, I was asleep in bed, and when I woke up,
    It was over: I was 38, on the brink of middle age,
    A succession of stupid jobs behind me, a loaded gun on my lap.

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    I Am Becoming Weather and I Don't Plan on Doing It Alone

    Four for Thursday Night Pints, the regulars and now promoted to semi-regular, K.

    The first half hour was mine as the UK trip was discussed. All pitched in their thoughts and memories of their trips to Britain. D is from Newcastle; he stays with family when he visits, radiating out to the rest of Britain from there by train or rented car, mostly north to Scotland. Our bus drove around but not through Newcastle but we saw enough of the terraced housing to get a taste of its grittier contrast from the sections of London we saw. D confirmed Newcastle's grittiness saying he got out of Newcastle as soon as he could. (We also saw the Angel of the North on top of the hill before the descent to the River Tyne.)

    Strike today in UK, teachers and other public workers, said K. You'd never see that here, said L, a country of rednecks cheering on their own dispossession. I said, I wrote at least three times in tablet while there about ugly couples, lots of them, holding hands to quaintly cuddling to making out in public, I rarely see that in America, at least the not-America I live and work in. The utter lack of self-consciousness or the utter awareness of self-consciousness, I wasn't sure which. The British are the ugliest people on the planet, said D, fully embracing the irony as he smiled his British teeth smile, and they fuck like starving rat terriers fighting over giblets, which won him a ridiculously priced scotch. What does that have to do with their striking, asked L. I just think, I said, America will have to be Britain first on America's descent to becoming Serbia.



    Chris Martin

    I was out interviewing clouds         amassing
                        the notes of a sky pornographer    while patches

                                                 of the city subnormalized
    by fear of fear            like a reef bleaching closed

                        I took to the streets
                                  looking for a human velocity

                  feeling                 disequilibrium

                                             heavy in the abundance
                                 of summer light
                                                           the silent apathy
                  of stars     which is neither
                                                  silent nor apathetic
    I             am       becoming                 weather
                  I don't
                                   plan on doing
                                                                          it alone