Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Latitudinal Desires Scatter His Seed, and in Political Climates Sprout New Freedom

  • Gil Scott Heron born 65 years ago today. Here's a link to his RIP post from 2011 with lots of info and music. 
  • A message from the zeitgeist: Mr. Carl Kandutsch, a business lawyer down Plano way (and, it turns out, a fellow CounterPunch contributor), writes in to take issue with a recent post I put up here in these run-down precincts. I had written what I thought was a straightforward piece asking readers to consider giving some support to a writer I admire -- Arthur Silber -- who is going through a serious medical crisis. I must say I was a bit taken aback by some of the responses, which seemed to come from the Paul Ryan school of social compassion: "Losers who are sick and low on money don't deserve any help because they want to be sick and low on money. They're just ungrateful malingerers, fakers, takers, they like to beg." And so on. Pretty depressing stuff. But as I noted in the comments, this is just the zeitgeist of the age: a hard, mean spirit blowing through our times, where compassion has curdled and vulnerability is considered a cause for scorn and suspicion.
  • UPDATE: Do read the comments at the above for more zeitgeist.
  • You stinking traitor: on the moral obligation to borrow money at 17%.
  • A mudslide foretoldYes, but who wants to listen to warnings by pesky scientists, to pay heed to predictions by environmental nags, or allow an intrusive government to limit private property rights? That’s how these issues get cast. And that’s why reports like the ones done on the Stillaguamish get shelved. The people living near Oso say nobody ever informed them of the past predictions.
  • Object Lesson #1.
  • Lifespan of an English football kit.
  • Palindromic poems.
  • Some might think it laziness, but I've reached a point where some days the links say everything I was going to say anyway.
  • Iowa City: Early April.
  • Well, fuck. I didn't know about this.
  • April inventory.
  • Four Minutemen songs.


Thomas McGrath

All cities are open in the hot season.
Northward or southward the summer gives out
Few telephone numbers but no one in our house sleeps.

Southward that river carries its flood
The dying winter, the spring’s nostalgia:
Wisconsin’s dead grass beached at Baton Rouge.
Carries the vegetable loves of the young blonde
Going for water by the dikes of Winnetka or Louisville,
Carries its obscure music and its strange humour,
Its own disturbing life, its peculiar ideas of movement.
Two thousand miles, moving from the secret north
It crowds the country apart: at last reaching
The lynch-dreaming, the demon-haunted, the murderous virgin South
Makes its own bargains and says change in its own fashion.
And where the Gulf choirs out its blue hosannas
Carries the drowned men’s bones and its buried life:
It is an enormous bell, rung through the country’s midnight.

                  *    *    *

Beyond the corrosive ironies of prairies,
Midnight savannas, open vowels of the flat country,
The moonstruck waters of the Kansas bays
Where the Dakotas bell and nuzzle at the north coast,
The nay-saying desolation where the mind is lost
In the mean acres and the wind comes down for a thousand miles
Smelling of the stars’ high pastures, and speaking a strange language—
There is the direct action of mountains, a revolution,
A revelation in stone, the solid decrees of past history,
A soviet of language not yet cooled nor understood clearly:
The voices from underground, the granite vocables.
There shall that voice crying for justice be heard,
But the local colorist, broken on cliffs of laughter,
At the late dew point of pity collect only the irony of serene stars.

                  *    *    *

Here all questions are mooted. All battles joined.
                  No one in our house sleeps.
And the Idealist hunting in the high latitudes of unreason,
By mummy rivers, on the open minds of curst lakes
Mirrors his permanent address; yet suffers from visions
Of spring break-up, the open river of history.
On this the Dreamer sweats in his sound-proof tower:
All towns are taken in the hot season.

How shall that Sentimentalist love the Mississippi?
His love is a trick of mirrors, his spit’s abstraction,
Whose blood and guts are filing system for
A single index of the head or heart’s statistics.
Living in one time, he shall have no history.
How shall he love change who lives in a static world?
His love is lost tomorrow between Memphis and
                  the narrows of Vicksburg.

But kissed unconscious between Medicine Bow and Tombstone
He shall love at the precipice brink who would love these mountains.
Whom this land loves shall be a holy wanderer,
The eyes burned slick with distances between
Kennebunkport and Denver, minted of transcience.
For him shall that river run in circles and
The Tetons seismically skipping to their ancient compelling music
Send embassies of young sierras to nibble from his hand.
His leaves familiar with the constant wind,
Give, then, the soils and waters to command.
Latitudinal desires scatter his seed,
And in political climates sprout new freedom.
But curst is the water-wingless foreigner from Boston,
Stumping the country as others no better have done,
Frightened of earthquake, aware of the rising waters,
Calling out “O Love, Love,” but finding none.


  1. and it was my first introduction to Black Flag and the Melvins and the Chills and Squirrel Bait and Husker Du and other bands that had their heyday while I was somewhere between in utero and starting kindergarten.

    Thank you for that little dose of "I am so old."

  2. an update for mister grid/ j. , davidly and i went to talking at some length after the kate post ..using kate twines to talk about her and some other, started with him sending a note on seeing ..saying what he liked of her unreleased .. and went on through the days since , where is pen k when you need him, please put up the ..her greatest unreleased .. of what i always assumed was photos taken by her older brother of her , i need a kind ,

  3. of why here ,why now , in part . of what will not be tel... , on line ..in seeing gil, and of ..who i do not know as all of you do ,of arthur, i've read a little of his writing over the past two or three years . - a note came to me in those past few years from /through justin , you'll remember him from the from io z,of jacob, a note by mail was sent out to several of the regulars there ,of io z , making some compare , not unkind , of arthur and i , justin/high tec' said that he did not send it that someone had taken over his mail address ..when i responded saying that i was not like arthur in how i've lived my life , /i am physically disabled born of what was missing of my belly . in this working from my sit up hosp. bed for each morning of my life , i review books for schools ,while my writing is odd, my insight on /in reading and how sharing is unique, by after noon i able to go across to a coffee house and sit with a co worker ,of edit., to take my brev,odd poetic , to help make my reviews more readable ,/i also from my bed sit up make usable art , some ..of clothing ,pieces that friends that are drs with out borders/nomads wear ,i only feel comfortable with selling my art to those that i respect ,of what they are doing with their lives ,/i've done many odd jobs from this setting over the years , / back to gil, of those odd also of..in song , and dance , i've gone up on stage with those that know that i have a voice , and of how it carries and of how i move , but as gil says .. will not be tel... , only live ./ more..

  4. cont., i mention pen k above , because he may be annoying to some here , but knows law . , i have not looked on the arthur links , no time, because i am losing my home here ,losing in only being up standing ,of honest.. in dealing with the land owners of these tenement flats ,it still rains in the walls as mentioned on my one pg,attached to my name,and image,