Sunday, June 8, 2014

I’ll Get a Library Card at Last and I Won’t Pay $100 for It Feeling Tired but Only as Tired as One Would Normally Feel at Sea Level After, Say, a Five Hour Hike

Earthgirl's leg is (a) better (b) worse (c) we have no fucking idea. (Background here for those who don't know/are curious why Earthgirl's knees are on the blog - short version, she took a bad spill on the trail last Sunday - and there were updates during the week.) The bruise migrates. She wouldn't have been able to hike today regardless because of a school project with the 5th graders but she wouldn't have be able to hike today because of her leg. She hopes she can hike next weekend. I'm out the door in ten minutes to do a seven mile circuit on Sugarloaf. I wish Earthgirl could join me. I love hiking by myself.

Have I been talking about electric cigarettes on this blog? I don't recall talking about electric cigarettes on this blog, but in the past week I've sixteen comments complimenting me on this blog's design and content and offering me links to discount pricing on top of the line electric cigarettes. I guess the bots have concluded they've solved my discount Viagra problem for me. It occurred to me that it was about this time last year that I enabled moderation in comments (and not for the comments the spam filter doesn't block) and looking back in archives it is. I was right to enable moderation, though I apologize for the delays that sometimes occur between when a comment is made and the comment is posted. Thanks to all who still play.

Meanwhile, in New Mexico:

  • :-p's Life Lessons.
  • I've yodeled about this before, have a long yodel written and in the digital freezer, but Thunder's comment yesterday on the Death of Liberalism draws these sentences out of me: I know honorable Liberals who, while not putting it this way themselves, feel that Liberalism went further in America then could have been dreamed of a hundred years ago, that Liberalism's retreat is inevitable, that advancing a Liberal economic agenda is impossible, and that the most achievable goal for current Liberals is to preserve as much of the economic gains vis a vis Robber Barons as possible. My opinion is, how should I put it, incoherent.
  • Maggie's weekly links.
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links.
  • The Baffler's week that was.
  • It's crap like moving a game to motherfucking FedEx field that's killing my United damn.
  • On the difficulty of reading poetry in translation.
  • Faye reminded me last night of Bogshed:


Lyn Hejinian

Home whose names are produced by motion   
is where people go (one following
the next as she hums to herself or he hums to himself   
at some risk to all) to stay in a family plot   
the tales of which are spinning like blades   
on a pinwheel wafted by my desire to talk to you. Fate   
and desire, chance and intention, from time to time   
converge. Most people want things to be good   
but taking a programmatic approach to getting it
would be despicable and none of it would ever get to you   
except via a raucous garage sale. The owner of the pharmacy
at this very moment is screaming in jubilation   
at a silver toaster, I want it
even if it doesn’t work! Two firemen have broken down   
mid-sentence and gone out to look, you know   
the ones. The purport comes all at once   
at the end in such a way that one is thrown back
to the poem again to carry out the ”again“ that the poem is
about. I’ll get a library card at last and I won’t pay $100 for it
feeling tired but only as tired as one would normally feel at sea level   
after, say, a five hour hike, and it was the same
when it was just getting light—a murky gray
that never brightened. I don’t know you well enough to break   
away from my conversations in order to barge in   
on yours and give the illusion that I often know   
where I’m going or where I want to go with certainty   
of motive to propel the prose
or some version of certainty of my own, not knowing   
where one is going but going anyway. Perhaps the trip
will be purposeless. Destiny is simply a good excuse for experience.   
There are birds chirping, smoke is rising
from kerosene-splattered barbecue briquettes, it is summer   
and now, humiliated (I am so damned naive
sometimes), swinging the hips to the right to avoid the edge   
of the worktable, then to the left to avoid toppling the cactus   
I shout, “Things! Things! Get out of my way!”   
I’ve never lost my capacity for being angry. I feel   
that it is justified, even necessary, though I admit that   
after the first hour my improvisations contribute nothing   
but motion to the composition.


  1. I don't have moderation. Those comments (not that I'm getting e-cigarettes...l.v. bags seems to be the most prevalent) go straight to the spam folder. I would put it on if had to, but blooger catches almost all of them. (I do have moderation for posts older than 3 weeks.)

  2. bog shed, step on it , ..sit up straight davidly , .. . foot (s) ?

  3. Man oh man, that bruise is ugly. Hope EG is not having concomitant pain.

    Ran into a kid Wesdom has known since Cub Scouts who just finished his freshman year at Ohenyon or whatever slightly coded word you're using for it. May or may not know Planet since it's a small school. Besides I didn't have her name at the tip of my tongue and I can't remember his (Morgan's) last name.

    Problem is: no one knows what we're talking about when we talk about liberalism. Myself, I'm not even sure I know what it means to be a liberal in this day and age. Seems like it starts with opposition to Royalism or nobilism and has to do with egalitarianism and the social contract. I know in law it has to do with Rawlsian 'justice as fairness' and the original position in legislation. Well, we don't have kings or hereditary nobles in America. We have social security and medicare/medicaid/obamacare and even welfare, food assistance, etc; we have police and military that ostensibly protect us [granted the latter projects influence/power/empire around the world]: feels like substantial recompense for agreeing to be a part of the society. Lobbyists and ideologues seems to have the upper hand in state and fed legislatures, however, crafting laws that benefit their interests to the disadvantage of other societal interests. Yet, at the bar, we certainly have public defenders—which is a damn sight better than non-liberal criminal systems—and anyone who can hire counsel can be heard in civil matters.

    Does that mean that liberalism is winning (historically), but still has a ways to go?

    But, on re-reading the last two posts and the article, we seem to be talking about economic liberalism. What does that even mean? Collective ownership of the means of production? Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome? Progressive taxation? All I'm saying is: it doesn't make any sense to talk about the death of liberalism unless we know precisely what we mean when we say liberal.

  4. earlier this week a stranger and i exchanged angry words about snowden

    i was at the military retirement community in dc where my father the late colonel charley resided, and where his widow still resides

    in a public area i was speaking to a resident i've known for years when she brought up the recent snowden kerfuffle, and i said that, when offered the choice of pardoning him or giving him a trial, i preferred the third option - he should receive a medal

    at this point a stranger nearby, overhearing me, spoke up to denounce snowden - the fellow was a white male, seventy-something years old, and evidently a retired officer

    in the course of our conversation he had occasion to invite me to leave the country if i didn't like it here - now that i think of it this very retro rhetorical device is kind of comical

    i gave no ground - maybe he's used to bullying people, but i persisted in proclaiming the truth as i see it - i summed up the entire discussion in a very fair and objective way - "i'm right and you're wrong" -

    i had run into my acquaintance while i was on the way out - she assured me she agreed with me, by the way - there's a few of the old ladies there who know what's going down - several years ago some of them invited helen thomas to speak there, to the delight of some residents and the dismay of others - i have the autographed book to prove it - Watchdogs of Democracy? The waning Washington press corps and how it has failed the public "to mistah and missus charley - my warmest best wishes - Helen Thomas, July 21, 2006" -

    as i left i told the desk clerk, who had heard the whole thing, that i hated the militarization of our society, and that the last justified war the u.s. had fought was world war ii