Friday, August 2, 2013

How Beautifully I Fake!

  • Last night I sat in a house I won't identify at a dinner party with people I won't identify and I participated in conversations whose details I won't reveal here (though I''d like to).
  • Today I'm at work at an institution I don't directly name (though I'd like to). It's in flux, both within the micro but especially the macro, some of it fascinating, the dire speculations about the future, which I won't discuss here (though I'd like to).
  • There's the unfortunate death of a popular blogger I won't name (though I'd like to) who did me an unKind that I won't describe (though I'd like to) (it was years ago, though I remember the incident like a fresh wound, he no doubt promptly forgot if he noticed at all), plus subsequent indulgent bleggalgazing I won't post here (though I'd like to), bleggalgazing just slightly more popular than an unread post full of quotes from the novels and letters of an 18th C American novelist.
  • I've a photo of a dad and his kid I'd love to post here, but I won't, though I don't feel cowardly about this one since the dad asked me not to post it.
  • All won'ts in the prior four bullets were first can'ts. I can. I won't.
  • I will say on twitter yesterday I was reminded - I am such a dope - that tics and allusions I assume others get others don't. Thanks. I need constant reminders to Fuck It. 
  • Yes, I understand the tics and allusions are in service to my won'ts, are proxy Fuck Its.
  • So, have yap about my reading slump. Another review of Gass' Middle C. I started it twice, quit early, recognizing my mind is still too blocked to engage it. I am 3/4s through an unsatisfying reread of Mason & Dixon, I have the new McElroy and see the above comment about Middle C, but I'm surprised I find myself thinking about about Vollmann's Ice Shirts, I'm attempting a reread of all the previously released volumes of his Seven Dreams in anticipation of the Fall release of the next. Fathers & Crows is my favorite. It concerns the first interactions of the group that founded the institution I won't name with Native Americans and the mutual carnage that ensued. I have an extra copy, you have three days to claim it before I send it to one of the two of you who claim most of these.


Karl Shapiro

I am an atheist who says his prayers.

I am an anarchist, and a full professor at that. I take the loyalty oath.

I am a deviate. I fondle and contribute, backscuttle and brown, father of three.

I stand high in the community. My name is in Who’s Who. People argue about my modesty.

I drink my share and yours and never have enough. I free-load officially and unofficially.

A physical coward, I take on all intellectuals, established poets, popes, rabbis, chiefs of staff.

I am a mystic. I will take an oath that I have seen the Virgin. Under the dry pandanus, to the scratching of kangaroo rats, I achieve psychic onanism. My tree of nerves electrocutes itself.

I uphold the image of America and force my luck. I write my own ticket to oblivion.

I am of the race wrecked by success. The audience brings me news of my death. I write out of boredom, despise solemnity. The wrong reason is good enough for me.

I am of the race of the prematurely desperate. In poverty of comfort I lay gunpowder plots. I lapse my insurance.

I am the Babbitt metal of the future. I never read more than half of a book. But that half I read forever.

I love the palimpsest, statues without heads, fertility dolls of the continent of Mu. I dream prehistory, the invention of dye. The palms of the dancers’ hands are vermillion. Their heads oscillate like the cobra. High-caste woman smelling of earth and silk, you can dry my feet with your hair.

I take my place beside the Philistine and unfold my napkin. This afternoon I defend the Marines. I goggle at long cars.

Without compassion I attack the insane. Give them the horsewhip!

The homosexual lectures me brilliantly in the beer booth. I can feel my muscles soften. He smiles at my terror.

Pitchpots flicker in the lemon groves. I gaze down on the plains of Hollywood. My fine tan and my arrogance, my gray hair and my sneakers, O Israel!

Wherever I am I become. The power of entry is with me. In the doctor’s office a patient, calm and humiliated. In the foreign movies a native, shabby enough. In the art gallery a person of authority (there’s a secret way of approaching a picture. Others move off). The high official insults me to my face. I say nothing and accept the job. He offers me whiskey.

How beautifully I fake! I convince myself with men’s room jokes and epigrams. I paint myself into a corner and escape on pulleys of the unknown. Whatever I think at the moment is true. Turn me around in my tracks; I will take your side.

For the rest, I improvise and am not spiteful and water the plants on the cocktail table.


  1. Relax, the NSA knows what all of your tics and allusions mean.

    Execution drugs? Who knew Texas was nothin' but a buncha fuckin' candyass pansies.

  2. last night i watched a movie which i will not name on dvd with missus charley, m.d.

    we had obtained the movie from a public library "interim" branch location branch in a shopping mall - the construction on the replacement permanent building is far enough advanced that the electric lights are now on inside

    this movie is recently enough that the male lead (who plays a young man who graduates from college in the film) is still only 24 - but old enough that roger ebert reviewed it (and identified both leads as future stars)

    i was quite dissatisfied with this movie because the first word of praise quoted on the cover was "funny" - and in my view the movie was NOT funny, but rather sad

    but the worst mismatch between film and film container description i have yet to encounter for an alleged comedy is from "an awfully big adventure" -

    "Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman star in director Mike Newell's (Four Weddings And A Funeral) engaging comedy about a star-struck young girl lured into the grown-up world of the theater. From a crush on the company's heartless director to her first sexual encounter with the show's biggest star, young Stella Bradshaw quickly discovers what it takes to make it in the theater.

    An intriguing blend of comedy and passion this provocative story is a hilarious look at what really goes on when the lights go down."

    no, it is NOT hilarious - it is tragic

  3. i was surprised when i first heard how hard it was for u.s. states to get execution drugs - on another blog i suggested all that was really necessary was a big enough overdose of an opiate to stop respiration - a medical professional explained that the "air hunger" that would ensue could be seen as "cruel and unusual punishment"

  4. sinister things at disney world - i was going to suggest the hall of robot presidents, but wikipedia explains that there have been significant modifications since i was last there, some of them possibly improvements - so let me turn the floor over to Joe I. of Fort Wayne, who wrote on 7/23/13

    "Visited Disney last Thanksgiving, and this is the ONE place that my wife insisted we go into during our visit.

    It was great. Air-conditioned, comfy chairs, the lights go down, and then the show starts.

    I wish I could remember more than that, but I fell asleep. My wife and kids all said that it was interesting. They were studying US Presidents in school as well, so it was a natural fit for them.

    I woke up when the lights were coming back on, and felt refreshed and ready to make it to midnight.

    I considered it a WIN WIN. My wife just sort of frowned at me."

  5. Un-Manning? What? The Giants are cutting Peyton's little brother loose?

    Okay, I'll play:

    House: Friend's. People: Usual Thurs. nite pints' suspects. Subject Matter: Hilltop + Obama + Blogging + your sillyass .06% +/- joke = All Suckitude.

    ¶2: Hilltop + Gays + Pope = Suckitude (even if Frank is a Jeshuite ©®)

    ¶3: Dawghaus; De-listed BDR (or refused a mutual listing)

    ¶4: L'andru et fil. I'd love to see it. His story of courage and caring in raising young Bams always touches.

    Then you start repeating yourself, one of the aforementioned 'tics and allusions'. Teh kidz call 'em 'selfies' when they do it with their smartfonez. And, of course, the first of my comments also alludes to aforementioned t's & a's; to wit: other than a summary headline down in the status line of my browser, I have no fucking clue what your links refer to many times without clicking through which unfortunately I don't really have time to always do.

    btw: the chiasmus in the notebook gets a bit too private, self-involved. but that's just me. i don't really get much modern poetry.

    p.s. I did enjoy the Melville. Thx. What about my pun? I thought it was damn good.

    1. No, wasn't TNP, I write that. Was family, not blood.

      No, not Pope, yes, ponzi's coming collapse.

      No, that's not it.