Friday, September 13, 2013

Wrap Your Fingers Around Your Neck and Feel the Stony Glands

There will be a Glands cascade tomorrow, I said at Thursday Night Pints. Have I ever mentioned I love The Glands, I said I'd say here. I then told the story of the waitress at the restaurant we ate at before Pere Ubu who was wearing a Glands teeshirt, it'd been a while, she said, since anyone knew who the Glands were. Then I said, the irony of my love for The Glands is that they directly channel both The Kinks and The Rolling Stones, the first a band I never got, the second a band I dislike almost to the point of typing a Fucking between The and Rolling. L said, I knew you hated the Stones, have we ever talked about The Kinks? Exactly, I said.

  • Can you go though the weekend not posting clusterfucktacious motherfuckery, K asked, earning a ridiculously priced thimble of Nyquil. Do next weeks drinks depend on it, I asked? Having worked both L and D to 2-1 odds I let drop that Earthgirl and me are gonna Kensington to Frederick to Hagerstown to Hancock to Cumberland to Morgantown to Washington to Wheeling to Zanesville to Planet and back his weekend. L said, I still bet against you.
  • On MBA degrees in particular; on the scam of graduate degrees in general. Lordy, I wish I was face-to-face with you so I could talk about Illtophay, which was discussed face-to-face at length last night with L & K.
  • The anti-intellectualism of the intellectuals.
  • The dispensability of coaches.
  • The Riddled Ktistec Machine.
  • Happy Friday the 13th from the Scarfolk Council.
  • Glenmont!
  • Ten Mile Creek!
  • Gregory Orr, for those of you who do.
  • Philip Levine's poetry never sang to me though I don't begrudge his general renown nor his winning a lifetime achievement stipend named after Wallace Stevens, but I do need note I can't think of an American poet of Levine's renown who reminds me less of Wallace Stevens than Philip Levine.
  • UPDATE! My apologies, my cut&paste crisis continues, this is the song that was supposed to be here:


Mary Karr

In the valley of your art history book,   
the corpses stack in the back of a cart
drawn by an ox whose rolling shoulder muscles   
show its considerable weight.

He does this often. His velvet nostrils   
flare to indicate the stench.

It’s the smell you catch after class
while descending a urine-soaked
subway stair on a summer night
in a neighborhood where cabs won’t drive:   
the odor of dead flowers, fear
multiplied a thousand times.

The train door’s hiss
seals you inside with a frail boy   
swaying from a silver hoop.
He coughs in your direction, his eyes   
are burn holes in his face.

Back in the fourteenth-century print   
lying in your lap, a hand
white as an orchid has sprouted   
from the pyramid of flesh.
It claws the smoky air.

Were it not for that,
the cart might carry green cordwood   
(the human body knobby and unplaned).

Wrap your fingers around your neck   
and feel the stony glands.   
Count the holes in your belt loop
for lost weight.

In the black unfurling glass,
study the hard planes of your face.

Compare it to the prom picture   
in your wallet, the orchid
pinned to your chest like a spider.

Think of the flames
at your high school bonfire
licking the black sky, ashes rising,
innumerable stars. The fingers that wove   
with your fingers
have somehow turned to bone.

The subway shudders between dark and light.   
The ox plods across the page.

Think of everyone
you ever loved: the boy   
who gets off at your stop
is a faint ideogram for each.

Offer him your hand.   
Help him climb the stair.


  1. "glenmont metrocentre" - i agree with ben, who commented

    Forget about the design elements. My real question is why it has to be called "Metrocentre". Reversing the e and r isn't going to turn this into a piece of jolly old England. It doesn't make it sound more prestigious - it makes it sound more ridiculous. It reminds me of a place in my home town that was called "Ye Olde Video Shoppe". I mean, really.

    1. Hell, the section of Gaithersburg I grew up in was labeled "Olde Towne" by city shills years ago.

  2. Poseur. You grew up in Deere Parke, not Olde Towne. Good thing there's still a few old farts like me around to keep you honest, after that fat guy in the green Dart drowned so many of us in what used to be Ten Mile Creek. Fucking angel of death, that dood.

    I saw the Clarksburg article. Yawn. Funny how that part of the Agricultural Reserve didn't get reserved, making the Agricultural Reserve look like a fucking North Carolina congressional district.

    And finally: I really, really like Dan Reed. He's a very nice and thoughtful and smart guy. But if he keeps writing for those hippie douchenozzles at GGW, I'm either gonna run him down in my Escalade or stake him down in the middle of a BRT lane. While twirling my moustache.

    1. Millie Albright would scold your second mother to call the neighborhood Deer Park, not Olde Towne, insisting that Olde Towne's border was Woodland Road. Liz would bait her. Olde Towne it is. (And the builders actually called the new tract housing development "Woodgate," which thankfully didn't stick).

      And yes, the section of Ten Mile Creek which is our history has been underwater for at least two decades anyway.

    2. My dad still complains about sitting three feet from Millie at every single fucking band concert from sixth grade on. Although I think my brother had a thing for the Albright daughter.

  3. Glenmont? All those rednecks surely are dying to have a walking community. They're trying to turn all of MoCo into Bethesda. Even Bethesda isn't Bethesda. And to screw up the traffic while complaining that not enough people use the stupidly placed Metro station.

    1. West Moco has always been at war with East Moco.

      Didn't Ike just win County Exec of the Year just because of this visionary walkability thingee?

      Drunk duck pin bowling in Glenmont (after drinking at Stained Glass Pub): an unwise good time every time.

    2. There's nothing wrong with walkability in and of itself. There is plenty wrong with walkability as envisioned in MoCo, where the agenda is to make private vehicle ownership as uncomfortable as possible. That's unacceptable, and it's why I rant at Dan Reed, who seems sometimes to undulate between recognizing that that can't be the agenda, and leg-humping that agenda.

      Up, down, East, West: you're a Downcounty geo-traitor anyway. Besides, Upcounty has always been at war with Downcounty. East County has never been at war with West County.