Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Shrieking of Nothing Is Killing

Re: Bowie's 65th tomorrow.

Sultry Moon-Monsters Are Dissolving

Finished Murakami's 1Q84 and will be thinking about it for months if not until I reread it in two or three years - it's now in the reread rotation. I urge you to read it - it is an astonishing feat of imagination on multiple levels, some which I'm sure haven't dawned on me yet, some which I'm sure will kaboom me out of nowhere in the years to come, some which I'm sure will never dawn on me even after rereadings. My initial takeaway: in a book about a parallel world with two moons in which Little People march out of a dead ogre's mouth, the redemptive power of love that saves the world is what seems most far-fetched, and that's not an accident.


Wallace Stevens

Barque of phosphor
On the palmy beach,

Move outward into heaven,
Into the alabasters
And night blues.

Foam and cloud are one.
Sultry moon-monsters
Are dissolving.

Fill your black hull
With white moonlight.

There will never be an end
To this droning of the surf.

Friday, January 6, 2012

And in Moon's Eyes I See the Moon


William Jay Smith

I have a white cat whose name is Moon;
He eats catfish from a wooden spoon
And sleeps till five each afternoon.

Moon goes out when the moon is bright
And sycamore trees are spotted white
To sit and stare in the dead of night.

Beyond still water cries a loon,
Through mulberry leaves peers a wild baboon
And in Moon's eyes I see the moon.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

As We Go Up, We Go Down

Irwin generously responded to my email to him:

Just doing my part to clean up the airwaves. Now to get to work on banishing those 1-877-KARS4KIDS spots. The T&C hour will not be my premium CD, as I feel it has too limited appeal, but I will definitely give away a few as prizes during the fundraising mayhem.

But wait, there's more, a second email appeared two hours later!

I've put away the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner. Ten minutes ago I heard the original spot on a local AM station. I have heard another, completely different SQ spot, but it's been circulating for at least six months and rarely airs in these parts.

I wrote him back and told him it'd be OK w/me if he keeps wearing the jet pilot flight suit. Speaking of old men defiantly not aging gracefully:

Hey! Did you know Washington DC has a professional soccer team?

After a Couple of Faint Knocks at the Door, He Slowly Opens the Book of Blank Pages

Was driving around, heard a new Select Quote commercial, just a week after Irwin's magnificent Tullis and Clark Expedition (if you haven't listened, please try), dashed off this email to Irwin (who doesn't know me from bip on the ping chart Ken the Station Manager shows him, or doesn't):

Tullis and Clark are dead. Heard tonight on Washington DC radio a new Select Quote ad, an earnestly concerned mid-thirty timbered voiceover over bedded synth-harp concern muzak. I'm guessing it's cause they can't do the $21 a month shit anymore, but I'll give you credit if you give you credit for destroying Tullis, crushing Clark. Hope the hour is your premium this coming marathon. Thanks!

Also, sorry for the bad post last night - it was the start of this one and I'm a klutz. Also, busy, no time to read last night so three songs one poem but no links here today (a few @BLCKDGRD), maybe some later, more likely tomorrow.


Franz Wright

Morning arrives
by limousine: the tall
emaciated chairman

of sleeplessness in person
steps out on the sidewalk
and donning black glasses, ascends
the stairs to your building

guided by a German shepherd.
After a couple of faint knocks
at the door, he slowly opens
the book of blank pages

pointing out
with a pale manicured finger
particular clauses,
proof of your guilt.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fifty-Five Today

That is either the most or second most air-guitared song of my life. Bernard (The Good) Sumner is fifty-five today. There is always a New Order song in my head.

The Goat of the Universe Believed What People Told Him About Universes and Came into Existence

Last night, when I was writing about something I won't write about here, the above song was suddenly, loudly, in my head. Furies and Serendipity, yo.

O, Ron Paul. He's yesterday's Occupy, the media-fueled rube's pumice that lets us kayfabe our dirty hands. He's the biggest sideshow ever in American political discourse since the last until the next! Oof! our presumptions have been challenged, we will vote the way we always vote but be more aware we wish there was a third alternative. Who wasn't a homeless schizophrenic sleeping in a city park or a crotchedy old koot who rants about the UN invading Texas and has a documented history of racism*, that is. Ten dreadful months and countless biggest sideshows since and until from now until the start of POTUS16.


Aaron Fogel

If you are a goat, do you believe
What people tell you about
Goats, and eat
Tin cans?
There's no goat that foolish.
Or is there?
The goat of the universe believed
What people told him about universes
And came into existence.
Bang! How naive can you get?
Even the scapegoat is not as naive
As (God help him) the universe that
Agreed to exist.
A word to the wise: Don't eat tin cans.
Don't listen. Don't exist.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Forgot the song for New Years, forgot this video, I remember it from long ago but I've no idea why I never found it while looking for George songs like I always am. Also: I can simultaneously believe Obama is the worse malevolent fuckstick in American presidential history and believe he's the best malevolent fuckstick America will vote for in Pwoggles v Crackers, Corporate's reality game show, and believe Corporate will never break kayfabe though every move is made for the day Corporate can break kayfabe because it can. Also, it occurs to me that in the two recently written novels that haunt me the most, Littell's The Kindly Ones and Murakami's 1Q84, the protagonists are all pursued by Furies, it can't be an accident (that the authors employ Furies, that these are the two novels that haunt me). Also, what I can't write here, nothing to do w/here. I'm wrung. Regular programming resumes soon enough.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Strength of Your Hand Will Give the Stroke Its Bone

As someone who bleggalgazes in each and every post, I believe I have credibility when I say that if anything can define bleggalgazing as an embarrassingly odious exercise in self-congratulation, this is it:

In one largish ballroom, a different sort of panel was happening. It featured the Dish’s Andrew Sullivan and two other men who looked like Andrew Sullivan — pleasant, bearded, round-faced men, which is a chic sub-style among many of the attendees here, optionally accessorized with square glasses and male-pattern baldness. The panel was called “From Philosophical Training to Professional Blogging.”

But the three men on the panel have done so, and splendidly, with varying degrees of national recognition for their thoughtful punditry on political and cultural issues. Besides Sullivan, who has a PhD in political philosophy and is known for his writings on conservatism and gay marriage, the other participants included Slate blogger Matthew Yglesias, who majored in philosophy at Harvard, and Grist magazine writer/blogger David Roberts, who has a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Montana.

Male pattern baldness and glasses. Gah. I have two regular readers in Missoula, one at the University of Montana, if it's you, David, Hi!


Dick Allen

Make your strokes thus: the horizontal:
as a cloud that slowly drifts across the horizon;
the vertical: as an ancient but strong vine stem;
the dot: a falling rock;
and learn to master the sheep leg, the tiger’s claw,

an apricot kernel, a dewdrop, the new moon,

the wave rising and falling. Do these
while holding your arm out above the paper
like the outstretched leg of a crane.
The strength of your hand
will give the stroke its bone.
But for real accomplishment, it would be well
if you would go to live solitary in a forest silence,
or beside a river flowing serenely.
It might also be useful
to look down a lonesome road,
and for the future
to stare into the gray static of a television screen,
or when lost in a video game
to accept you may never reach the final level,
where the dragon awaits, guarding the pot of gold,
and that you’ve left no footprints, not a single one,
despite all your adventures,
anyone following you could ever follow.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

This Heavy Carcass I Derive from Yours Is Tutelage of Love, and Yet Each Year Though Older Another Notch I Still Cannot Stand to Reach You, or to Emigrate from the Monolithic Shadow You Left


Philip Appleman

(the way bed is in winter, like an aproned lap,   
    like furry mittens,
    like childhood crouching under tables)
The Ninth Day of Xmas, in the morning black   
outside our window: clattering cans, the whir   
of a hopper, shouts, a whistle, move on ...   
I see them in my warm imagination
the way I’ll see them later in the cold,
heaving the huge cans and running
(running!) to the next house on the street.

My vestiges of muscle stir
uneasily in their percale cocoon:
what moves those men out there, what
drives them running to the next house and the next?   
Halfway back to dream, I speculate:
The Social Weal? “Let’s make good old
    Bloomington a cleaner place
    to live in—right, men? Hup, tha!
Healthy Competition? “Come on, boys,
    let’s burn up that route today and beat those dudes   
    on truck thirteen!”
Enlightened Self-Interest? “Another can,
    another dollar—don’t slow down, Mac, I’m puttin’
    three kids through Princeton?”
Or something else?

A half hour later, dawn comes edging over   
Clark Street: layers of color, laid out like
a flattened rainbow—red, then yellow, green,
and over that the black-and-blue of night   
still hanging on. Clark Street maples wave   
their silhouettes against the red, and through   
the twiggy trees, I see a solid chunk   
of garbage truck, and stick-figures of men,   
like windup toys, tossing little cans—
and running.

All day they’ll go like that, till dark again,   
and all day, people fussing at their desks,   
at hot stoves, at machines, will jettison
tin cans, bare evergreens, damp Kleenex, all   
things that are Caesar’s.

O garbage men,
the New Year greets you like the Old;   
after this first run you too may rest
in beds like great warm aproned laps
and know that people everywhere have faith:   
putting from them all things of this world,   
they confidently bide your second coming.


Kim Addonizio

The rain this morning falls   
on the last of the snow

and will wash it away. I can smell   
the grass again, and the torn leaves

being eased down into the mud.   
The few loves I’ve been allowed

to keep are still sleeping
on the West Coast. Here in Virginia

I walk across the fields with only   
a few young cows for company.

Big-boned and shy,
they are like girls I remember

from junior high, who never   
spoke, who kept their heads

lowered and their arms crossed against   
their new breasts. Those girls

are nearly forty now. Like me,   
they must sometimes stand

at a window late at night, looking out   
on a silent backyard, at one

rusting lawn chair and the sheer walls   
of other people’s houses.

They must lie down some afternoons   
and cry hard for whoever used

to make them happiest,   
and wonder how their lives

have carried them
this far without ever once

explaining anything. I don’t know   
why I’m walking out here

with my coat darkening
and my boots sinking in, coming up

with a mild sucking sound   
I like to hear. I don’t care

where those girls are now.   
Whatever they’ve made of it

they can have. Today I want   
to resolve nothing.

I only want to walk
a little longer in the cold

blessing of the rain,   
and lift my face to it.


W.S. Merwin

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible


Mary Karr

On this first dark day of the year
      my daddy was born lo
these eighty-six years ago who now
      has not drawn breath or held
bodily mass for some ten years and still   
      I have not got used to it.
My mind can still form to that chair him   
      whom no chair holds.
Each year on this night on the brink
      of new circumference I stand and gaze
towards him, while roads careen with drunks,   
      and my dad who drank himself
away cannot be found. Daddy, I’m halfway   
      to death myself. The millenium
hurtles towards me, and the boy I bore   
      who bears your fire in his limbs
follows in my wake. Why can you not be   
      reborn all tall to me? If I raise my arms
here in the blind dark, why can you not   
      reach down now to hoist me up?
This heavy carcass I derive from yours is   
      tutelage of love, and yet each year
though older another notch I still cannot stand   
      to reach you, or to emigrate
from the monolithic shadow you left.