Wednesday, March 7, 2012
- We're driving to Philly in an hour, going to Philadelphia Museum of Art to see Van Gogh then tonight seeing Magnetic Fields at Union Transfer. Photos tomorrow. Compulsory post today.
- Compulsory mention of motherfucking Emperor Obama.
- Compulsory on the above.
- Compulsory mention of Mic Check and G-8. I had mentioned to a friend who'd mentioned she'd been up at Cunningham Falls this past weekend that I wondered if Obama was the POTUS who used Camp David the least.
- Compulsory on the above.
- Compulsory mention of professional Liberal noting Romney's smarminess.
- Compulsory Limbaugh and crackers mention.
- Compulsory on the above.
- Compulsory Kucinich mention.
- Compulsory poke at libertarians.
- Compulsory on the above.
- Compulsory United mention.
- Compulsory waiting for Wotan, continued.
- New Beach House song!
MERCURY RISING (A VISUALIZATION)
Q. Why is not the air in CITIES so FRESH, as that in the COUNTRY?
A. Because it is impregnated with the breath of its numerous inhabitants…
—from Guide to Science, 1868 by Rev. Dr. Brewer
there will be three parts.
pay attention to your breath.
in through your nose,
out through your mouth.
feel the breath in your belly and hold it,
when you breathe out,
your breath becomes visible,
that you inhale through your nose
and exhale from your mouth
in a circle.
you are surrounded by this mist,
and it becomes denser,
like a fog.
then the fog clears
and you are on the bank of a river.
listen to the sound of the wide river.
look out and see the opposite bank.
there is a sandy beach and a forest beyond the sand.
there is a boat with an old woman and an old man
and without a word
they take you across to the other side.
as they take you, you can see stones,
you can hear the water against the sides of the boat.
when you get to the sandy beach
you get out of the boat
knowing that it will be there
when you return
and you leave the boat, the man and woman, behind.
there will be three parts that lead to others. pay attention to your breath. breathe deeply, in through your nose, out through your mouth. hold it, then release. you are northwest of las vegas. when you breathe out, your breath is a vapor that lifts back up and you inhale it through your nose like a circle. you are 36 million miles from the sun, small and singular. study the explosion clouds of bombs in the height of the cold war. this place is not really a place, just housing. you are on an empty street and the light is bright and hot. no atmosphere to ward off or soften impact. you pass a movie theater, a bowling alley, both now closed. you notice that one side of the street is unbearably hot and the other side has ice in its corners. the eccentric orbit rotates three times for every two revolutions. twenty newspaper boxes. you stop for a moment and listen to the air and it streams around the debris. dust carried by solar wind. hot enough to melt lead. there are voices in the distance and you walk toward them and the fluorescent lights above. a group of VIPs sit on bleachers. they watch the desert floor crater like the moon in the wake of over 900 explosions. where the surface is fractured is called "weird terrain." there are mountains, valleys, ridges. compression folds crisscross the plains. listen to the testing, the houses collapsing under the mushroom vapor, searing the skin of pigs. tidal bulges are raised by the sun. you walk past the shattered structures and mock bridges. on your right is a clearing and you go there. in the clearing is a gun turret once used to measure the atmosphere, now inhabited by birds. you ask the bird a question and it gives you an answer. you walk back into the zone of controlled space. a large iron core provides a magnetic shield against solar storms. there will always be a use for this. you stop at a barrier where you are met by a uniformed guard. there is a gun in his holster. he looks you up and down and then lets you proceed to base camp. the streets are named Buster, Teapot, Crossroad. you walk between the empty office buildings and look up at the sky, then the horizon. you see that the light has changed, and that a little time has passed.
In the solar system, Mercury is the planet closest to the sun. You can see it in the sky only in the morning and at sunset (in the northern hemisphere, its close to the horizon). The Greeks initially thought it was two planets and named the morning one Apollo and the sunset one Hermes. But they eventually determined it was in fact one planet, and the Romans renamed it Mercury. The planet has temperatures that range from a high of 800F to a low of -350F. It was once thought to be "tidally locked," with one side always facing the sun and one side always in darkness. This theory was debunked in the 1960s, when Mercury was proved to have an eccentric orbit. In 1974 the Mariner spaceship did a flyby and mapped almost half of Mercury's surface. In 2008, the Messenger mapped another 30%.
Mercury, Nevada is located near the Nellis Air Force Range and the Nevada Test Site. Nuclear bombs were tested above ground from 1951-1963, after which testing continued underground until 1992. The explosions in the tunnels formed craters on the desert surface. After 1992, some "subcritical" testing continued in order to "protect the safety of the U.S. nuclear stockpile." No one ever officially lived in Mercury—most of the workers commuted from Las Vegas—but sometimes they stayed overnight in the dormitories, bowled in the bowling alley, ate at the steak house. It's unclear what the site is used for now.
you take the trail into the forest,
look up at the trees,
the streams of light coming down through the branches.
you walk on a bed of pine needles.
on your left,
a little ways off the path,
you see a clearing where there's a small animal.
you ask the animal a question and it gives you an answer.
you thank it for that and return to the path.
as you walk along
you see something shiny
and when you get closer
you see it's a key.
you pick it up and put it in your pocket.
further along off to the right,
you see another clearing,
and another small animal awaits you.
you ask it a question.
it gives you an answer, but it's hard to make out.
you can sense a word forming with an 'r':
and you thank it for that.
you return to the trail.
there will be three parts that each split into three parts and those parts will break into others. pay attention to your breath as usual. a circle of vapor moves in through your nose and out through your mouth. a circle of vapor thickens into a fog and for a moment you cannot see. inhale the heavy water. crystal shards of terrigen mist allow you to move so fast, you can double back on your own time line. the line is covered in pine needles that soften the sound of your steps. you look up and the sun threads through the trees. two entwined snakes and a lyre from a tortoise shell to steal and sell for profit. on your left is a small clearing where a sparrow awaits. you approach the sparrow and ask a question. instead of an answer, you're given an assignment. you must carry a dream from the sparrow to a sleeper cell further in the woods. carry on in swift flight and syncretically combine with all the winged others: helmet, staff, sandals and such—the ones who move toward speed force. you have the power to jump time and populate the forest with temporal dupes. back on the path is a sequence of boundaries for crossing over into Arcadia. there's something shiny up ahead, a key, pick it up. you can mark speed with lines, but multiples are better. off to the right is another clearing, another small animal, perhaps a groundhog running back and forth from grass to cairn of stones. you ask it a question. it reveals and interprets. the stones of the cairn are soldered cans of speed. they write a family tree in chalk: grandson of Atlas, son of Zeus, father of Pan, godfather of Barry Allen and all of his ilk. you thank it for that and return to the trail, but the trail begins to split unmarked. you sense someone behind you. but when you turn around, there is only hum, vibration, and spin. pay attention to your breath, don't panic. you look up at the sun and bathe in its chemicals. close your eyes and listen. now open your eyes. see that there are two worlds, gold and silver, and you can run between the two of them on a thread of snow.
Hermes was the Greek god of boundaries, travelers, shepherds, thieves, poets, commerce, etc. He was pretty much the intermediary for any kind of exchange, transition, or crossing over—thus his role as psychopomp, leading Eurydice back to the underworld after Orpheus gave in to his fears and stole a glance. The Romans adapted him as Mercury and kept him in the same outfit: winged hat, winged sandals, winged staff. Julius Caesar remarked that Mercury was a popular god with conquered populations; they often melded his attributes with gods of their own.
The Flash was created for DC Comics in 1940 and he had numerous incarnations. The first—the Golden Age Flash—was Jay Garrick, a college student who after inhaling heavy water vapors, gained incredible speed. In public his body would vibrate so fast that his face was always blurred and no one could ever identify him. The second—the Silver Age Flash—was police scientist Barry Allen, who enjoyed reading comics about the Golden Age Flash. One day in the lab a bolt of lightening hit and he was bathed in chemicals which gave him great speed. In an homage to the first Flash, he donned a similar outfit and purpose. Eventually, he discovered that he could move so fast that he could jump time; his power became temporal. While time-traveling in the past he met the Golden Age Flash and they became fast friends. They used their time-jumping abilities to cross over into their parallel worlds. Neither Flash should be confused with the somewhat more poignant Pietro Django Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver, depressed and addicted to the crystal shards of terrigen mist that jut from his chest.
soon you see that you're coming to the center of the forest
and there's a wide clearing with a house there.
it's your house
and it's exactly the kind of house in which you would most like to live.
you take out the key and open the door.
you can close and lock it behind you if that makes you feel safer.
you know that your favorite room is in the basement.
you find the stairway and begin to go down:
first step, second step, third.
when you get to the bottom,
you know which door opens to your favorite room
and you go in there.
in that room is exactly what you would want in a room:
the kind of light, the temperature, everything is what you want.
in the corner is a comfortable couch.
you lie down on it and ask yourself what are your goals,
what do you hope to accomplish and create.
and you know the answers.
eventually, you get up from the couch, out of the room, and back up the stairs.
first step, second step, third.
you unlock the door, let yourself out, lock the door behind you:
you will be back.
there will be three parts that first appear separate but then form a connection of liquid silver. breathe deeply. in through the nose, out the mouth, release your metal breath into the air. control your emissions within the limits of law. the power plant incinerates coal and gold in particulate mist that is your breath. the volcanoes spike the atmosphere. you've come to a house of exploded debris, an emperor's tomb; he died from the pills of eternal life. your breath is carried by wind and mixes with snow, rain, dust. in your hand is a key and you unlock the door and step down into the depths. there is light streaming, a connective world with multiple paths. your breath alloys with silver, gold and tin—but not iron. so you trade your exhalations in an iron flask for a reduction of mineral cinnabar. the room is exactly as you like it: a comfortable couch in the corner, rotating liquid on a disk that silvers the mirrors, arc rectifiers. the snow, rain, and dust layer the lakes and streams and sink with your aspirations. you think about your goals and take the jump test to check your weight. the fish absorb and swim away from the lure. you measure the temperature with thermometers, barometers, thermostats. a spider bites your silver skin. you ask yourself if you are safe in an inoculation of light. the sparrow eats the spider. listen carefully. you can hear the illegal miners refining gold and silver ore. and their fishing lures: violent poison. cumulative poison. separating the fur from the pelt. the fish return your breath as liquid silver. look at yourself in the mirror. you get up and leave the room, lock the door behind you. first the tremors in the hands, then eyelids, lips, and tongue. you take the path back into the forest and walk toward the river. vivid dreams delivered, restless sleep. you pass the clearing, now on your left, but the animal is no longer there. memory loss. you send your thanks to it anyway. cough. you pass the other clearing, now on your right, and although the animal is no longer there, you send it your thanks. psychotic reactions, delirium, hallucinations. when you emerge from the forest you look up at the sky and you can see that the light has changed and a little bit of time has passed.
The chemical symbol for mercury is Hg, which stands for "hydrargyrum"—the Latinized Greek for "liquid silver." It's named after the Roman god Mercury, perhaps because of its liquid state—it won't stabilize into fixed form unless it's 39 degrees below zero. It runs amok. At 680 degrees, it rises in fumes. The metal was once thought to prolong life: China's first emperor went insane and died from mercury pills that he hoped would make him immortal. Mercury alloys easily with silver, tin and gold, and is often used to extract those metals from mines. But it doesn't amalgamate with iron, so an iron flask is considered safe storage. Although it's incredibly poisonous, mercury is easy to find everywhere. It's used in barometers to ascertain the weight of the atmosphere. It's used in mascara. It's also extensively used in medicine and can be found in antiseptics, antidepressants, and vaccines. When my father was just starting out as a chemist, he and his lab partners would take the mercury jump test. They marked the height of their jumps the way a parent marks the height of a growing child. If in future days you can't make the jump, it means the mercury is weighing you down. It was a heavy metal joke.
Half of the mercury in our atmosphere comes from volcanic eruptions (when Krakatoa blew its top in 1883, there was a giant spike in atmospheric mercury levels around the globe). The other half of the mercury in our air is produced primarily by power plants (particularly those that combust coal), hazardous waste incineration, and gold mining. Once the element enters the air, it falls down eventually, coating the leaves of trees and mixing with our water sources. Spiders and small fish absorb the metal easily, and these feeder creatures are then eaten by birds and larger fish. Mercury doesn't dissipate in its toxicity; rather it accumulates greater power as it works its way up the food chain. It goes in through the nose and out the mouth in a circle. When you get back to the river bank, the old woman and old man are waiting for you in their boat and they take you back across. You can see the fish in the water, and gold-colored stones. When you reach the other side you get out of the boat. You close your eyes and take a deep silver breath. You very slowly open your eyes and you are here, in this room, with the light as it is.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
- Biblioklept reminded me of the above.
- The anti-war industry. Perhaps I'm crediting OWS with too much, but I think that if HR347 was going to pass anyway, OWS made fuckers like my own Democratic representative Chris Van Hollen even more eagerly joyous to vote for a law criminalizing peaceful dissent.
- Police state we can believe in.
- Attorney General says murder is legal.
- On the AG's monumental piece of crap.
- Holder: Obama counting to three before ordering murder constitutes due process.
- Justifying murder.
- Squelching dissent.
- Shit Democrats say.
- Voters slowly realize Frothy believes what he says.
- Crackers and sluts.
- The Conservative Comeback, part whatever.
- And the winner is....
- First as tragedy, then as more tragedy.
- Non-pacifists need consider.
- I don't think Obama went to Rush Limbaugh early last week and said, this coming Monday we're gonna be racing through Congress a bill which makes peaceful dissent illegal anyplace we decide to dispatch one secret service agent PLUS - and giddyup! - my AG is going to pronounce my "legal" right to murder anyone anywhere at anytime, so we need you to be especially piggy and outrageous and obnoxious this week - can you call a woman a slut or something? - so that stupidass liberals go orgasmic hating you so there's ZERO PUSHBACK when I ram through legislation quashing peaceful protests and claim my rightful god-like powers over life and death, OK? In a perverse way, I almost wish he had.
- Planet's home for Spring Break. Had dinner last night with Hamster, Ilse, Landru (who ordered the above bacon lollypops), and SeatSix at MOCOs trendiest restaurant, Founding Frauders. Trace the Waiter was deeply disappointed in me. Ilse ordered the chili and Trace said, Excellent. Landru ordered the chicken something and Trace said, Good choice. Planet ordered the chicken w/waffles and Trace said, Very Nice. Both Earthgirl and Hamster ordered the spatchcock chicken, Earthgirl with one type of glaze, Hamster another, Trace was delighted with both their choices. SeatSix ordered the rockfish and Trace said, Well chosen! I ordered the fish and chips and Trace frowned. Dessert: Ilse ordered the caramel and peanut butter pie and Trace said, Excellent. Landru ordered the carrot cake and Trace said, Good choice. Planet ordered the pistachio ice cream and Trace said, Very nice. Earthgirl ordered the bourbon and something ice cream, Hamster the berry sorbet, Trace was delighted by both their choices. SeatSix ordered the house cappuccino and Trace said, Well chosen! I ordered a decaf coffee and Trace frowned.
- Carbon democracy.
- Cato v Caesar.
- The Precariat.
- Jeebus, some bot in Las Vegas is pinging the crap out of this blog. Creepy.
- How many people can fit on Manhattan?
- DC as coaching graveyard.
- Fuck Chel$ki.
- Peter Gabriel appalled his shittiest song used on Limbaugh.
- WFMU reached it's goal. Go watch the dog's tail wag.
- New Paul Weller songs?
- Preteen weaponry part one, part two, part three.
- Obsessing Oneida the past few days. It's a good thing.
CONTINUOUS BULLETS OVER FLATTENED EARTH
Like horizontal couriers of a vertical fate,
Like troop rotations at a service station,
Like English lessons at Guantanamo,
Like draping towels onto a bronze head,
Like spraying love onto the sand.
I went as one and came back as two.
I went as one and came back as zero.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Holyfuck, I can't wait.
I've been running this 2012 ad for the last two stupidass overnight posts, but fuck it, I can't wait, and fuck it, Blegsylvania be dying anyway - this isn't about this shitty blog, or rather it is but not for the reason you think, it's about our geriatric Stringtown, our Ford Fairlains, blue handicap parking pass dangling from rear mirror, parked in front of the... Hey ! Look! Rush Limbaugh is fat!
Mark E Smith. Favorite The Fall songs solicited.
Via friends (heh! since this is lifted from last year's, I should add, via ex-friends too):
Via friends (heh! since this is lifted from last year's, I should add, via ex-friends too):
Sunday, March 4, 2012
- Lots of Robyn Hitchcock, who was 59 yesterday.
- What is there to say about Limbaugh's inevitable apology? No one will be happy, not his detractors, especially not his devotees, and all will be forgotten within weeks if not days, replaced with the next fury over the next distraction on the path to Obama's reelection.
- Please note that in this YFWP article on Iran supplying weaponry and logistical help to Syrian government for crackdown on Syrian citizen uprising there is not a single mention of the US supplying weaponry and logistical guidance to Bahrain during its crackdown on citizen uprising. Hey look! Rush Limbaugh!
- Which is not my denying the odiousness of the motherfucking cracker assaults on women's rights nor the just and deserved outrage against them. What pisses me off is being forced into an either/or dead-end binary that only exists as a corralling accusation: either sanction Obama's assaults on civil liberties or sacrifice women's reproductive rights. Reject the false equation.
- Along those lines.
- Koch v Cato.
- Counting your blessings.
- Yes, old news, but here, some words for your twitter feed to amuse DHS fuckers.
- Lindsay Graham, R-Israel.
- Whirled peas.
- Animal crackers.
- What is each cities most sacred uniform number? Here? Sonny's 9.
- The Present.
- Hitchcock covers Roxy Music.
- Balloon Man has inside baseball.
- Yes, I know he's performed with The Dotherfucking Mecembrists - I once went on a date with Vanice Jetter. We clowns all seek and need forgiveness.
- This is now BLCKDGRD - Official Theme Song 7:
EVERYONE IN THE ROOM IS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE WORLD AT LARGE
Things mean, and I can’t tell them not to.
Things they moralize, to meet
my expectation, because I want advice
on how to live. The seaweed says:
This is a river; I am river-weed.
Which of these/my clumps do you want me to be (say)?
The closest one. That more animated brown one
rolls and unrolls its lengths of hair
and makes me feel unwell.
You quieter green clump, why don’t you speak.
A most beautiful bright blue bird
knifed down the stream
and veered left at the oak,
where the stream bends. A
male bird. He says: I am the
a blue muscle that centers past
a blue muscle roping future in
as past behind me cedes
blue muscle flying future into past
blue muscle flashes future
instantaneous wingbeat pasts.
Under the bird, forest and water. Above
the bird, forest and cloud.
The twig trails in the water.
Twig-end disappears, twig resurrects
in reflection and continues down,
leads back to the tree, the undertree
that lives on the top of the water.
If I penetrate (look beneath) the water, the twig end
dangles and the forest
The bird was a flying fist
It smashed up nothing
I pursued it round the corner,
a blue punch
my violence goes on out along the stream.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
- Do I think Obama believed what he said yesterday about Limbaugh's slut and whore declarations? Sure. Do I think he'd have said it if it wasn't in his political interest? No, of course he wouldn't. His statements are vetted by professional political actuaries who, this time, probably didn't need to calculate the weight of each response to carefully crafted focus group questions before releasing Obama to speak the words they put in his mouth.
- Obama interviewed by former Israeli prison guard. Yes, Obama practiced his canned responses beforehand, and yes, he's bright and lithe enough to riff and stay in key. Do you have ANY doubt he's going to win reelection?
- Obama doesn't bluff.
- Do I think Quicken Loan just noticed Rush is a vile sack of shit just yesterday?
- The point of this post being that I've lost my indian drum and need to either enjoy rubying the kayfabe or stop kayfabing the ruby and re-embrace my emancipation from the either/or.
- (BTW, Hoya Jack's statement? I wrote exactly as many words in it as Jack did, yo)
- Thumbsuckers. Speaking of motherfucking NPR, I was driving last night and caught ten minutes of Diane Rehm's Villager Circlejerk, they were talking about Limbaugh, one of the guests - I have no idea who the fucker was - hummed and hahhed for ten torturous seconds before finally spitting out the words "slut" and 'prostitute." WOE! the tribulations of the sensibilities of the motherfucking Villager.
- Do I think the motherfucking Villagers just noticed yesterday that Rush is a vile sack of shit?
- Ask yourself, whose ass is Fred Hiatt covering in that editorial.
- Corruption and the citizen, American-style.
- Remember when Andrew Breitbart died a few dozen hours ago and everybody rushed to get their piece of flesh? Good times.
- Rooting for Frothy.
- See essay's title, note Garry Wills utter lack of self-irony.
- BBBB's Rush post can represent everybody else's appropriate disdain for the fat fuck that is Rush.
- You will never die.
- What is the difference between giving bonuses for kill shots in NFL and giving bonuses to bankers for kill shots?
- Help Silber if you can.
- A problem w/bllogger.
- Boatload of links on intellectual property in a digital age.
- Bernhard, for those of you who do.
- The Cat's Dream.
- This is not a complaint, but I have no idea why I woke up with Steve Hillage in my head:
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PRESENT
when rivers are intoxicated with dioxide you gather lotus shoots to pick their pockets is the clock of the age when the last songbird shivers with undue cold like wires overhead to handle harsh metals is the clock of the age when your keyboard dissolves in the pit of nations to write in echoes is the clock of the age when you forge transparencies in the foundries upstream the bridges are blocked by karaoke their digital sand is the clock of the age the cell phone's face is always time-dependent on fingers somewhere today opens to the nearby delta and tomorrow is the clock of the age
Friday, March 2, 2012
I have a friend who was standing ten yards from Breitbart when he screamed at Occupiers to "stop raping people," I said last night at Thursday Night Pints. L said, he was as big an asshole as Limbaugh, have you heard what he's been saying about that Hilltop student? Yeah, I said, the boycott-Limbaugh's-sponsors posts in Left Blogosphere and facebook and twitter and stuff are up and outraged. K said, I noticed the corpse of Breitbart is the new chew toy for left/right tug-of-war. Sure, I said, the same people who are dancing on Breitbart's grave would be outraged when the right danced on, say, Glenn Greenwald's grave and the same people who would dance on Greenwald's grave are outraged at those people dancing on Breitbart's grave. You're not comparing Greenwald to Breitbart and Limbaugh are you, K, aghast, said. And by extension you and a Limbaugh fan, I asked. No, I continued, I mean yes too, I'm just saying do you want another drink.
- Dancing on Breitbart's grave.
- Dancing on Breitbart's grave.
- Dancing on Breitbart's grave.
- Breitbart and the problem with Liberals.
- On the Y-Chromosome. Last two sentences sum up Obama perfectly.
- Motherfucking Obama tells former Israeli prison guard Motherfucking Obama don't bluff, yo.
- The Saudis? What's the lowest gas price per gallon since 911? When has the U.S. military presence in the Middle East ever been greater, the Saudi monarchy more protected?
- On the above.
- On stupidity as philosophical keystone.
- Begging to be hunted by a mob.
- DHS monitoring the above (and more) terms.
- Purple Line.
- Mostly redneck.
- Beckett, for those of you who do.
- Karen Carpenter was born 62 years ago today.
to have been, instead
instead, insulted. to look, in green light. redact. can you read... the oracular, such indifference. failing in the halls of an unknown.
to have powered down. mission. some sort of calvacade, plane flight caucus to indifference. a mission, museum, the night in the unknown. a city.
raked forest leaves, consorted with compost fires, down in steam, walked an incline, slipped to fall. the clatter of bones on buried stones, on those leaves fallen, but not as fast as I fell.
in Turrell's dim light, I realized the failure of the art official. an artificial stance, an impossibility: to speak and listen simultaneously.
the train bed, we call them tracks, where two ties swim beneath. a gossip, these gadgets, soaked in white scrimmed preamble. I made the mistake of coming closer, again.
ihe rejection, a mastication of the brain, those thoughts that fuel the day. I can't, besides, canning involves brine and fish we simply don't have.
in the sea farm, large carp. in the lake, a new cat finds our resources, our swims, those precious summer waters, where the between marks space.
the train from platform; here, everything in an elevated series of windows, lighted, in yellow mirrored fashion. large tower rests on the ground. the pavement gives way, the grinding of breaks.
came across a few seats, edits, and large empty doors. there were paintings, an elderly man. a slipped space to look aside guards and walls. I can't think of how many steps it takes to escape.
platformed, clasped, we waited to circulate, encased, dined within curator's task, lips sown in a silence of those emeriti.
caustic, in bold approach, pallid lips, rouged face, nearly quaffed and ensconced. I edged the red, a rage lost in the linen weave, a time.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Another Holyday of Egoslavia, Chopin born 202 years ago today (depending on which calendar one uses), Richard Wilbur born 91 years ago today. My mother is a pianist whose love of Mozart drove me fucking crazy, whose love of Chopin taught me love of Chopin. And, as in the case of Frost and Auden and Marianne Moore, it was Hecht who showed me the wonders of Wilbur.
A BARRED OWL
The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”
Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.
- Planet is home for Spring Break tomorrow night. Yay! I'll badger her for new Fleabus (& Stanley & Rose & Nap & Sara) photos.
- Have these while they're fresh:
- The dead have no victories and the hangman is a fraud.
- The Dead.
- Grid, not goal, part three.
- Where is the line between us?
- Social Darwinism.
- Your civil liberties.
- Obama faith.
- DoD on Jenny Craig (w/side of fries).
- Remember this? Dozens and dozens of ordinary days ago.
- Chain of fools.
- No time for time w/Iran.
- Not free, expensive.
- I saw neither the US-Italy game or United-Battery game, though Fullback did. The new USMNT road blues - this drives me nuts: pick a fucking template (this is as good as any) and fucking stick with it.
- Here's the Albanian Hammer's second goal for United.
- And United's road kit should ALWAYS be white/black/white. And it's a good thing United got rid of that MOTHERFUCKING HIDEOUS RED THIRD KIT, yes? No.
- Effects are born of agreement.
- The badness of bad faith.
- Double-dose of Mieville.
- You've bookmarked and/or rssd Our God Is Speed, yes?
- Also too The Quietus?
- Josipovici for those of you who do.
- I have an extra copy of Wilbur's collected somewhere in my shelves. I can dig it out and mail it to you if you want it. First come first served.
- The Dead. One of the best nights of my life, that.
- This is the Chopin my mother plays the most:
ADVICE TO A PROPHET
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.