Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Packing for a Transatlantic Box, or Paper for Essays on Schadenfreude, or Timber for Dollhouse Dressers, or a Twenty Baht Note for the Thai Rubber Trade

What, reaction? I am small, it still pleases me too much that 70% of motherfuckng Oklahomans are pissed this morning, I'm so small I'm still going to enjoy too much the schadenfreude over Rush Limbaugh's listeners' anguish, the anger of the asshole cracker four doors down from me who's a dick to my ferals and steals Obama signs from front lawns and is stupid and/or arrogant enough to leave them uncovered in the back of his pick-up. I'm small, it pleases me someone - either - won and won clear cut, that a concession speech was made by one of the fuckers, that this isn't going to recounts and courts. I'm small, it pleases me that loved ones are pleased even if I still maintain that for advancing oligarchy's interest Obama is the best salesman, that the country will be farther right in 2016 for Obama's election than had Romney won on matters economic and imperialistic and police state. I'm small, this was my first election cycle in which I didn't vote my tribal heritage, it gives me no joy they won except for the disappointment of the arch-rivals they beat. I like my side less than once; I still hate the other side the same as always.


Seth Abramson

Come see the woodpile behind the cannery.
Come through the wall
            to where the wood was chopped
and the difficult wood was hewed.
There is a short history of commotion here,
where a sudden bonfire spat its surprise
            at the sky—

a hundred feet or more the shavings swept
through disturbed air, and made their own
music, the music hands make, such a yellow
crackle and such a thrashing

in the morning.
Come wait for the heavy trucks to arrive,
            the men in dusters cutting the twine,
loading the long ghostly planks like ballast
            into iron barges.

This will be packing for a transatlantic box,
or paper for essays on schadenfreude, or timber
for dollhouse dressers, or a twenty baht note
for the Thai rubber trade. These matchsticks

will burn whenever you strike them, and this,
hack at it however you like, is nothing more
than deadwood for the fire. Come see—now
even the men are doing only
                        what they were made to do.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No Use Standing There Like a Gray Stone Toga as the Whole Wheel of Recorded History Flashes Past, Struck Dumb, Unable to Utter an Intelligent Comment on the Most Thought-Provoking Element in Its Train

OK, I voted. HEY! no photos! so just the above. I can vouch that Jill Stein has two votes in Maryland. Silly and safe and upside-down and futile and self-serving, sure, maybe her getting 5% of the national vote is a daydream, but it'd be nice for Greens to get federal funding in 2016. George Gluck has two votes too. Yes on Four and Six and I held my nose and yessed Seven if for no other reason than the jobs might as well stay in state since people are going to gamble one way or the other. I'd like to thank the Romney electioneer standing between a pro-Romney sign and an anti-Seven sign, his vest festooned with anti-Seven buttons, who was quietly (so Obama electioneers twenty yards away couldn't hear) telling an elderly black lady she needed photo ID to vote - she'd misplaced her drivers license, couldn't find it in her purse. I told her to follow me, she voted in front of me, I probably would have yessed Seven without the Romney assclown, but he clinched the deal. The woman waited at the door to thank me. I had the pleasure of hearing her tell the fucking cracker to fuck off on the way out. He was unmoved, proud even, the motherfucker.

Now, important matters: more Elliott Carter. He wrote a number of pieces based on poems by American poets. Here's a piece based on John Ashbery's poem Syringa:


I've got requests from friend Ethan I'll post tomorrow, I'm still waiting to hear from Randal, I'm having our much postponed dinner with Hamster in a couple of hours, I hope to get requests from him, requests gladly accepted.

The Perfect Voter Has a Smile but No Eyes

Elliott Carter died yesterday. He changed the way I listen to music. There will be much here the next few days. As for POTUS and today and tomorrow, I found it tremendously funny and charming that when I went searching for Carter works last night the youtube you might like this too algorithm came up with Mazzy Star which I love love love too, look, here's a screen shot to prove it.


Denise Duhamel

The perfect voter has a smile but no eyes,
maybe not even a nose or hair on his or her toes,
maybe not even a single sperm cell, ovum, little paramecium.
Politics is a slug copulating in a Poughkeepsie garden.
Politics is a grain of rice stuck in the mouth
of a king. I voted for a clump of cells,
anything to believe in, true as rain, sure as red wheat.
I carried my ballots around like smokes, pondered big questions,
resources and need, stars and planets, prehistoric
languages. I sat on Alice's mushroom in Central Park,
smoked longingly in the direction of the mayor's mansion.
Someday I won't politic anymore, my big heart will stop
loving America and I'll leave her as easy as a marriage,
splitting our assets, hoping to get the advantage
before the other side yells: Wow! America,
Vespucci's first name and home of free and brave, Te amo.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Elliott Carter


I Guess What I'm Saying Is Don't Be More Passive Aggressive or Purposely Vague that You Have to to Clinch the Argument

Peter Hammill is sixty-four today. I remember Bavid Dogosian, when we'd park my car or more often his yellow bug in a cornfield off 355 where now the mcmansionist monstrosity called Millstone exists, would play Van der Graaf Generator and Hammill solo, it's been love for Hammill's music since. If you see Bavid, tell him give me a call, he moved to NYC, we fell out of touch. His uncle was Captain Ross on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, the facial resemblance is uncanny. I was asked last night by a professor I coffee with what I thought about Tuesday, I said it's extraordinary to not know what I think about Tuesday, to have a head pinging with competing ideas I understand and to some degree agree and disagree with and being unable to make them cohere and to not be upset with that, I've been trained to believe, I've always believed, I should be upset with that.

  • Against voting.
  • On voting.
  • The S&M election.
  • Vote or don't.
  • Here's good friend Sasha in comments to the last post in response to my question of what percentage of people are voting against versus voting for: IMO there is no such thing as voting for v voting against unless one is a moronic ideologue. Every vote with some thought is mixed, nuanced, balances good and evil. I love some stuff Obama does, am sort of crabbily accepting about some, and loathing about some. And while I don't want a drone to kill a baby in my name, my and your daughter's need for unrestricted urgent medical care matters more. For example. Repeat for every issue I can think of. As for the notion that no vote is likely to be decisive. True. But misses the point. A very small popular vote plurality encourages/increases the likelihood that the Supremes will decide the election. I don't think that is a good thing for us now and for the future of the nation.
  • Living in lesser times.
  • 90 in 90.
  • The politics of fear.
  • Useless liberal intellectuals
  • Yes, but POTUS 16 starts Wednesday (unless POTUS 12 isn't over by Wednesday).
  • Frostbitten!
  • The next Republican candidate.
  • Yes, they're motherfucking crackers, but: While I do hold the Republicans I know responsible for their hysteria -- I was forthrightly mean to the guy I knew vaguely in high school who posted the above photo to Facebook, especially since it wasn't the first time he's posted such garbage* -- I also hold Democrats responsible for matching the Republicans' frothing.  If they were as rational as they like to think they are, the Intertoobz wouldn't be full of cute-Obama pictures, Ryan-as-Eddie-Munster caricatures, Romney binders-full-of jokes, and worse.  Gary Younge has a not-crazy piece at the Guardian in which he argues that a Romney victory would merely reward the Republicans for bad behavior.  I agree, but an Obama victory would merely reward the Democrats for their bad behavior.  (As I've argued before, an Obama defeat will not convince the Democrats that they should have been more liberal; it will convince them that they should have been more like the Republicans.  But an Obama victory will also convince them that being more like the Republicans was wise politically.)
  • Two political worlds.
  • The fall of liberal gods.


John Ashbery

I guess what I’m saying is
don’t be more passive aggressive
or purposefully vague than you have to
to clinch the argument.  Once that
happens you can forget the context
and try some new bathos, some severity
not seen in you till now.  Did they
send the news of you?  Were you forthcoming
in your replies?  It’s so long ago
now, yet some of it makes sense, like
why were we screwing around in the first place? 
Cannily you looked on from the wings,
finger raised to lips, as the old actor
slogged through the lines he’s reeled off
so many times, not even thinking
if they are tangential to the way we
slouch now.  So many were so wrong
about practically everything, it scarcely seems
to matter, yet something does,
otherwise everything would be death. 
Up in the clouds they were singing
O Promise Me to the birches, who replied in kind. 
Rivers kind of poured over where
we had been sitting, and the breeze made as though
not to notice any unkindness, the light too
pretended nothing was wrong, or that
it was all going to be OK some day. 
And yes, we were drunk on love. 
That sure was some summer. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

You Can Cut Your Feet on the Proverbial and Be Too Close to Hear It, the Other Music, The Suffocation of Things that Can't Fly, or: United 1, Metros 1

Good times, crap result, United 1, Metros 1. I'm going to let this guy do the full recap. I'm of mixed feelings: I'm surprised United' season, especially after DeRossario's injury, ended so well, they are better than the sum of their parts, their lack of imagination (a result of the inadequacy of their parts) drives me nuts. Here's the offensive game plan: kick the ball over the top for Pajoy to run onto and dribble ball ineffectually out of bounds three out of four times. And here's my rant: I hate, with every ounce of gratuitous hate I save for these games, hate when keepers punt 50-50 balls out of the box rather than play the ball to defender who begins building through the midfield. Hate it.

Having said that, I unreasonably think United can go to New Jersey and steal a win - Metros suck too, especially in midfield - but United need score first and then survive Benny's bus-parking. As for MLS rindydinkness, why would MLS assign the same referee to consecutive games of the same team, especially when the first was controversial and contentious? United tied Metros last night all by themselves, but why introduce that variable into the result? Here's Shatzer, here's Webb, here's Galarcep. Oh, ran into Big C, here's his new daughter Greta!

  • Just to clarify: I care that people read, just care not to care so much that people read that I write what I don't want to write.
  • The Cincinati Kid, good friend of Landru and friend of this blog, in response to K's remark about how much it sucks to be in Ohio before the election, Kindly sent me an email: The truth is, we're about to commit ritual seppuku.  I imagine Planet must be experiencing some of the unavoidable incoming that we have. And oh how I've tried to avoid it. I've long given up radio for my ipod in the car. Even NPR is becoming cacophonous.  I don't watch TV, but even watching shows on the internet has become painful.  Sports, the Daily Show, even YouTube videos are now peppered mercilessly with political ads.  And not even tolerable ones that might be informative, but mostly the "elect US so THEY don't eat your children" variety. What your favorite Ohio denizen might not be getting, though, are the unceasing phone calls.  We have unlisted numbers, and we're still getting about 20/day on our land line and 10 on each of our cells, almost all robocalls.  We have caller ID, so we don't answer anything that our phones don't recognize.  Doesn't matter.  If the voicemail isn't turned off, the robo-caller bulldozes through the answer-recording and bloviates on all of its talking points.  I'm estimating about 70% are from NRA-tied groups who warn us that THIS ELECTION is the absolute MOST CRITICAL (well, to use your words, since the last and until the next) in protecting YOUR 2nd AMENDMENT rights (which, as I understand it, aren't even at issue in this election, but whatever), so you better get out and VOTE or else those liberals and Obama will EAT YOUR CHILDREN.  No idea on how we got on any of these call lists.  We have to answer and hang up or the message will keep recording for several minutes.  When we come home from work, we have an inbox full of recordings to delete.
  • Why is the Left defending Obama? Honest question: what percentage of everyone who votes for POTUS on Tuesday if voting for versus voting against?
  • On the above.
  • What is the use?
  • What's your reason for voting for Obama
  • Is Paul Ryan still the Republican VPOTUS nominee?
  • Voting as prisoner's dilemma.
  • On third parties.
  • No, you didn't build that.
  • X-tr3m3 weather conditions.
  • The cause of cancer. Holyfuck, look how old we are.
  • He is his generation's greatest academic fraud. I say that admiringly.
  • One squashed toe.
  • For love.
  • The Weird Fiction Review.
  • Found my The Clean stash!


Richard Tagett

Hung up on body parts in the particulate daylight, you step out of a Beckett play to find yourself in a memory resisting itself, as meat hits the fan so to speak against the white blanket of the grainy void. You never know where it’s going, the body, the boy swathed in bullets with those black eyes pissing a letter-opener in the desert mud near a disabled Mercedes. When things enter the room you think bazooka and check your hat. A puddle of warm ice-cream in anticipation. Here’s where Coney Island drops like a discarded napkin and you can’t go home again. Mucous brimming the banks, a cake of dust in the shape of a rocking chair ticking away. But soon it will snow as exquisite dogs languish from inside a sandwich tied to a parachute. No time for ballads, the table is set.
Light solidifies in cells, the keeper of lost keys. They don’t belong to anyone, the keys. Playing the game backwards reveals nothing a blind child could not guess by the hairs on his arm. The lips on old men are lockboxes in the terminal of no-knowing without gratitude for the despair of angels. You have to suffer, you have to fill up in order to implode, to be recognized for the necessities of commerce. They unhinge, finally, the doors you walk through into phantom stairwells in telephonic hum smelling of wet coal and doll’s hair. Precipitous adjectives gush from a cracked faucet in the chancellery restroom. Someone is stifling laughter from underneath a card table where an electric utility had fallen from his sleeve. They say that trussed birds derive no pleasure from the music of mangled wagons and that gas seeps like a well-kept secret imperiling dust mites in the spleens of hooded maidens locked away from the light. Everything is descending, even the scholarship of the ancient adverbs. Mouths twist into almonds and you wonder how the noise can drown itself out with nothing but nouns and dinner plates and gallows, with history a hiccup waiting to happen.

The music is an absence of colliding masses. You can cut your feet on the proverbial and be too close to hear it, the other music, the suffocation of things that can’t fly. A beautiful cacophony flutters in the brightness of dead calm as true objects lost in the politeness of daylight fill the grail of a new primitive. You choke on little candles and all through the night your legs cramp in the sweat of the moonlight. For no good reason a tenderness of geese is billowing in the curtains, as holes in the face open and close and paper scorches sky with futile encryption. Those armchairs foundering in the scum of the surf. Deafness craving disaster green in the spine, knowing the cocktail party’s over. Now it’s all red and your lips are trembling in believability, but it’s only a flickering image in the dark quadrant of your eye bending the light as they mow the daisies under the stars, for no good reason.