Thursday, July 31, 2014

His Picket Teeth, These Left Their Mark but Never Did Explain the Joke That So Amused Him

United won. I didn't go. I've been to one game this year. I can't imagine going again. I'm glad United is having a wildly successful year so that I know it's not suckful soccer that's killed United for me. That was the main reason I bought season tickets this year, so suckful was the soccer last year I couldn't be sure my damnlessness wasn't tainted by the suck. I had a pang of failure last night when someone tweeted that United had scored. It quickly passed. I'll not buy season tickets next year. Beyond all the nitpicky complaints I have against DC United the business - and FUCK YOU UNITED FOR CHANGING THE GAME TIME TO 7:00 FROM 7:30!, I want that half hour before the game, it's useless to me after - here is the sentence that needs typing so I don't need to keep thinking about typing it: I don't want to dress in uniform and stand and chant and scream for mercenaries as ludicrous mimicry and reinforcement of tribal patriotic loyalty any more. Evoking two mainstay gags: (1) No one asks me how I separate my soccer and politics anymore, and (2) fine metaphors abound.


Howard Nemerov

On the long shore, lit by the moon   
To show them properly alone,   
Two lovers suddenly embraced   
So that their shadows were as one.   
The ordinary night was graced
For them by the swift tide of blood   
That silently they took at flood,   
And for a little time they prized
   Themselves emparadised.

Then, as if shaken by stage-fright   
Beneath the hard moon’s bony light,   
They stood together on the sand   
Embarrassed in each other’s sight   
But still conspiring hand in hand,   
Until they saw, there underfoot,
As though the world had found them out,   
The goose fish turning up, though dead,
   His hugely grinning head.

There in the china light he lay,   
Most ancient and corrupt and grey.   
They hesitated at his smile,
Wondering what it seemed to say
To lovers who a little while
Before had thought to understand,   
By violence upon the sand,
The only way that could be known   
   To make a world their own.

It was a wide and moony grin
Together peaceful and obscene;
They knew not what he would express,   
So finished a comedian
He might mean failure or success,   
But took it for an emblem of
Their sudden, new and guilty love
To be observed by, when they kissed,   
   That rigid optimist.

So he became their patriarch,
Dreadfully mild in the half-dark.
His throat that the sand seemed to choke,   
His picket teeth, these left their mark   
But never did explain the joke
That so amused him, lying there
While the moon went down to disappear   
Along the still and tilted track
   That bears the zodiac.


  1. His picket teeth, these left their mark
    But never did explain the joke
    That so amused him

    at his blog chris sheridan has a couple of pictures of goose fish, but it is a different animal-named fish of which he says

    I try to be very polite around Wolf Fish – and refrain from telling them jokes they don’t understand. Cause these things don’t know if you’re laughing with them or at them!

    the first part of the poem reminds me of wes anderson's movie 'moonrise kingdom', which i would like to see again soon

  2. Nyah, nyah, Hamster, you missed me. The correct answer was "Rolling the Ball." No amplified and affected outrage for you, dearie.

    Proprietor: I cannot for the life of me remember the name of that card-sharp guy's sister. Amy? Ruth? Bathsheba? Miriam?

    Alsotoo: agreed entirely on United, which did not make watching them pwn3ng Cancer Boy, The Foe, and all those other annoying high-profile Toronto twits any less fun. Also fun was CSN dedicating two thirds of its Capitals broadcast team to a United game. It involves putting things into a goal? Sure, Beninati can do it. Awesome sauce.

    1. Amy was the kid sister, Leigh was the sister a year younger who once told me she would fuck me if I wasn't so stupid as to be friends with her brother. Lordy, she was cute. By the time I *did* hate her brother it was too late, she'd hooked up with someone else.

    2. Leigh is the one I couldn't remember. And we were all just fucking adorable back then.

  3. speaking of current events, billmon explains why the israeli cabinet can regard kerry as a traitor

  4. Persian Parables by Alexander Wat

    By great, swift waters
    on a stony bank
    a human skull lay shouting:
    Allah la ilah

    And in that shout such horror
    and such supplication
    so great was its despair
    that I asked the helmsman:

    What is there left to cry for? Why is it still afraid?
    What divine judgement could strike it again?

    Suddenly a rising wave
    took hold of the skull
    and tossing it about
    smashed it against the bank

    Nothing is ever over
    - the helmsman's voice was hollow -
    and there is no bottom to evil.

    (trans. Milosz and Nathan)
    saw it at Zeitgeist Spam

  5. of last day ,of kate bushh , i was going to say as i looked in last .. pudding and plums for mistah, /and ..the clips will not play in this country where i live ..of your posts of clips there , .. where is your vinyl now blac' j. ? ,someth. off putting/pudding about all of these ways of clipping for other s to some how mis use ,/ i had her vinyl from/at the beginning of kate ., of brontes and ca broadcasting of how found out about ,early teens , i had a lot of unique vinyl,more than other girls , because of the bed sitting , then up dancing ways of my life , but in all the moving here long gone , a few tapes some where still , north ,near trees , under not an ivy but willow near , /thoughts of vinyl with the killing joke , and of the poem thoughts of a different shore and moon and grey of the lovely clouds at sun going down last night , such billowing layering grey lovely , oddly as i went out to talk with a neighbour lina about something of the orient .. . a different shoring of corrupt

  6. hi, anne

    persian parables, supra, reminds me of bruce cockburn's 'you've never seen everything'