Tuesday, November 12, 2013

praying for a nerve cell with all the soul of my chemical reactions and going right on down where the eye sees only traces

Found that last night. I'd completely forgot about Dara until Biblioklept wrote about The Lost Scrapbook a few weeks ago. I went to find my copy and couldn't, was afraid it might have been accidentally scooped up in a bookshelves purge some months ago. The above is a first edition, I bought it immediately after reading the glowing review excerpted on the back by Richard Powers. Book arrived, I left it on the floor, and Katie

(the one on the right) chewed and slobbered on it. I put it on a bookshelf to dry out and there it remained, buried behind others, until discovered last night when looking for something else. Read twenty pages, I know myself too well enough to not express a judgment to myself yet*, but... the hold-up scene early is promising. What else I want to note is Richard Powers: He hasn't a novel since 2009's Generosity. His 2006 Echo Maker I've called the best 911 novel I've read. Mention of possible future Nobel for Powers used to circulate. I haven't thought of or heard anything about a new Powers in two, three years. Wiki suggests there's a 2014 novel on tap.


A.R. Ammons

I know if I find you I will have to leave the earth
and go on out
     over the sea marshes and the brant in bays
and over the hills of tall hickory
and over the crater lakes and canyons
and on up through the spheres of diminishing air
past the blackset noctilucent clouds
           where one wants to stop and look
way past all the light diffusions and bombardments
up farther than the loss of sight
    into the unseasonal undifferentiated empty stark
And I know if I find you I will have to stay with the earth
inspecting with thin tools and ground eyes
trusting the microvilli sporangia and simplest
and praying for a nerve cell
with all the soul of my chemical reactions
and going right on down where the eye sees only traces
You are everywhere partial and entire
You are on the inside of everything and on the outside
I walk down the path down the hill where the sweetgum
has begun to ooze spring sap at the cut
and I see how the bark cracks and winds like no other bark
chasmal to my ant-soul running up and down
and if I find you I must go out deep into your
    far resolutions

and if I find you I must stay here with the separate leaves


  1. a) book cover - speaking of nobelist novelists, yesterday i was reading gore vidal's review of doris lessing's shikasta, in the new york review of books issue of december 20, 1979, and wondered what book he was referring to in the last sentence of his opening paragraph:

    "Currently, there are two kinds of serious-novel. The first deals with the Human Condition (often confused, in Manhattan, with marriage) while the second is a word-structure that deals only with itself. Although the Human Condition novel can be read—if not fully appreciated—by any moderately competent reader of the late Dame Agatha Christie, the second cannot be read at all. The word-structure novel is intended to be taught, rather like a gnostic text whose secrets may only be revealed by tenured adepts in sunless campus chapels. Last month, a perfect example of the genre was extravagantly praised on the ground that here, at last, was a 'book' that could not, very simply, be read at all by anyone, ever."

    b) song cover - speaking of kate bush songs, one memorable cover is "wuthering heights" by wolfmother


    c) "Joyless nihilism and the latest Star Trek movie" - in my comment there i quote from huston smith's book beyond the postmodern mind

  2. Did I say "best"?

    If so, I meant it in the mostly deeply subjective sense possible -- i.e., my personal favorites. Something where a group takes the boldest of liberties with the tune at hand, and comes up with something golden. Or better yet, something that I much prefer to the original. (See the Minutemen's version of "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," for example. And Burning Sensation's cover of Jon Richman's "Pablo Picasso" would probably be another.)

    1. Gah, sorry. I was just sitting in a meeting and remembered sometime in the past something like this and thought, I better go chance that "best" to "favorites." Didn't mean to put words in your mouth, and thanks for putting songs in my head.

    2. No traumas. Wasn't getting accusatory or anything, just thought I might've misphrased.

      Way to stay focused when you're in a meeting, bdr. :D

    3. I know, I just had a vague memory of doing that to you (or someone) before and having promised myself I wouldn't again.

      Focus? I worked out in my mind days three and four of our planned trip to desert Southwest this coming Spring. Very productive meeting.

  3. Goldman’s Blankfein: The ice has thawed between banks and the government

    Aren't we all happier now?

  4. Dara looks interesting. Must put on to-be-read list. Met Powers. Went to a reading and a master class in fiction writing. Bit dickish. Cool kinda' like his prose.

    Don't want to get into the covers game (of course I do), but may I play please?

    Neverending Math Equation, Sun Kil Moon?

    Communication Breakdown, The Dickies


    Little Mascara by Evelyn Forever

    (I've Got) Levitation by The Martinets (if you can find it!)

    You Movin' by Mayflies USA

    The World Turns All Around Her by Bill Lloyd

    You Like Me Too Much by Chris Richards

    Little Black Egg by The Primitives

    Crimson & Clover by Joan Jett

    Indian Summer by Luna

    Most fun you can have with your clothes on...