Sunday, February 1, 2015

I'm Sorry. I Mistook Your Weather Balloon for a Saucer

It's the year's Holiest Day in America! Rex Ryan will hit you in the balls with a penalty flag for not eating your pizza crust. Fuck fucking helmetball and fuck fucking celebrations of commercials for crap. It's also Blogroll Amnesty Day. Nobody remembers. (UPDATE! People remember!) No one has ever proposed a Twitter Follower Amnesty Day, there's a long-form here, a comprehensive Blegsylvanian history to be written, fuck that. Still, be Kind to your fellow motherfuckers, please. As always, if you are Kinding me and me not you please let me know.


Albert Goldbarth

I'm sorry. I mistook your weather balloon
for a "saucer" sent to Earth through interstellar space,
and now that it's crashed in a desert waste
I like to think of as Smithereens, New Mexico, I can tell
by the scattered fragments that, if reassembled
and set afloat, a weather balloon is what they'd be
to sane, objective eyes. And please accept
my apologies: I thought your lover was
my lover, and any unfortunate sets of intertanglement
that took place every Thursday night last spring
had more to do with a similarity of colognes
and cheap endearments than with anything
of substance; plus the light at that motel,
as you know, is so dim. Let me grovel right now:
I mistook your far-off country for a real country,
that matters—although I'm sure your little festivals
and exports have their charm. I beg your pardon,
your butt is not a political party. How right
you are in that! Mea culpa, in grabbing your breast
I believed I was climbing Mr. Everest. I thought that explained
the flags and the photographers. Forgive me,
it was the cherished hope of your entire life, and not
a fly that I swatted. But—there it was! Oh let me issue
a formal retraction, cells of my body:
you don't have immortality written
into your very nuclei, although you'll never believe that.
And it wasn't "moonlight," there's no such thing,
there's only the light of the sun relayed as a rumor.
And it wasn't particles, it was waves.
(It wasn't waves, it was particles.)
And I'm sorry, but ... I'm just not sorry, I did
my best, I tried my hardest, some days simply
getting out of bed in the morning was heroism
in action, and if there are nights when I think the other planets
are really things of Earth, I mean it
as a tribute to the fullness of the universe
that's "this" but at the same time "that,"
and is always the one and only truth,
and the one and only opposite truth.


  1. thinking of chris elliot's cinematic career, it seems the spotlight shines most brightly on something about mary [also notable for jonathan richman's appearance as the greek chorus]

    but i'd argue that his best performance is as the cameraman in groundhog day - the range of feeling he shows there, the brief flash of ennoblement - followed by the return to humiliation - embodying why his fans so identify with him

    1. I really liked Get A Life even though I am sure I should not've.

  2. goldbarth's "i'm sorry, i mistook" reminds me of the best thing about lewis carroll's sylvie and bruno - it is sprinkled through the novel one verse at a time, but here it is all assembled

    The Mad Gardener’s Song

    He thought he saw an Elephant,
    That practised on a fife:
    He looked again, and found it was
    A letter from his wife.
    “At length I realize,” he said,
    “The bitterness of Life!”

    He thought he saw a Buffalo
    Upon the chimney-piece:
    He looked again, and found it was
    His Sister’s Husband’s Niece.
    “Unless you leave this house,” he said,
    “I’ll send for the Police!”

    He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
    That questioned him in Greek:
    He looked again, and found it was
    The Middle of Next Week.
    “The one thing I regret,” he said,
    “Is that it cannot speak!”

    He thought he saw a Banker’s Clerk
    Descending from the bus:
    He looked again, and found it was
    A Hippopotamus.
    “If this should stay to dine,” he said,
    “There won’t be much for us!”

    He thought he saw a Kangaroo
    That worked a coffee-mill:
    He looked again, and found it was
    A Vegetable-Pill.
    “Were I to swallow this,” he said,
    “I should be very ill!”

    He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
    That stood beside his bed:
    He looked again, and found it was
    A Bear without a Head.
    “Poor thing,” he said, “poor silly thing!
    It’s waiting to be fed!”

    He thought he saw an Albatross
    That fluttered round the lamp:
    He looked again, and found it was
    A Penny-Postage Stamp.
    “You’d best be getting home,” he said:
    “The nights are very damp!”

    He thought he saw a Garden-Door
    That opened with a key:
    He looked again, and found it was
    A Double Rule of Three:
    “And all its mystery,” he said,
    “Is clear as day to me!”

    He thought he saw a Argument
    That proved he was the Pope:
    He looked again, and found it was
    A Bar of Mottled Soap.
    “A fact so dread,” he faintly said,
    “Extinguishes all hope!”

    – Lewis Carroll

    note how the worldwide financial crisis of 2008 is presaged in the “banker’s clerk” stanza – instead of its proper role as a facilitator of the real economy, expressed by the character of the clerk riding the bus, the financial sector became so overgrown that it was eating everyone’s dinner

    in that same time period, autumn 2008, i wrote a stanza inspired by barack obama

    He thought he saw a Candidate
    Who’d put an End to War:
    He looked again, and found it was
    The Same Game as Before.
    “If that’s the way it goes, ” he said,
    “Then what is voting for?”

  3. What? You're not ready for some football?

    Oh, and what Doc Charley says about Bob's boy.

  4. I remember being charmed by the first season of Get a Life and then liking season two much less. I suppose they couldn't Season One Redux but I didn't really like Brian Doyle Murray's character and the tenor of the show got darker. Will find both seasons and revisit.

    You're welcome, Skippy, and thank you. You've always been Kind.