Monday, May 22, 2017

And All of Us Who Knew Our Place and Prayers

  • Fleabus, living room window from front yard, Saturday, photo by Planet.
  • For I, William the Blind....
  • From Vollmann's Dying Grass, which is flaying me.
  • There are 1213 pages, one for each mile the Nez Perce traveled with the US Army in pursuit.
  • I am telling you three times: read Vollmann, this one. 
  • All Five of the Dreams: power, it's inexorable inevitafuckingbility.
  • A Nez Perce, chief or not, killed his own lame horse. 
  • US Army officers detailed privates to kill theirs, by regulation.
  • Guess who won. My flaw, my flay.
  • It's more complicated times infinity than good versus bad. All the Dreams are. 
  • If I like you and you promise to try - I never demand you finish, just try - let me send you a copy.
  • As long as he writes the last two of seven Dreams, I can wait. I want to know what, where, when (as when past, not when future), each, now.
  • Next is Atticus Lish's Preparation for the Next Life, which I'm told will flay me.
  • Sick of myself, or: we are being reprogrammed, yo.
  • Gaslighting is reprogramming's first tool.
  • Helpful hints for skeptics.
  • Maggie's weekly links.
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links.
  • Experimental Fiction Now.
  • I haven't thought about Maryanne Amacher in too long.


Les Murray

It began at dawn with fighter planes:
they came in off the sea and didn’t rise,
they leaped the sandbar one and one and one
coming so fast the crockery they shook down
off my kitchen shelves was spinning in the air
when they were gone.
They came in off the sea and drew a wave
of lagging cannon-shells across our roofs.
Windows spat glass, a truck took sudden fire,
out leaped the driver, but the truck ran on,
growing enormous, shambling by our street-doors,
coming and coming …
By every right in town, by every average
we knew of in the world, it had to stop,
fetch up against a building, fall to rubble
from pure force of burning, for its whole
body and substance were consumed with heat
but it would not stop.
And all of us who knew our place and prayers
clutched our verandah-rails and window-sills,
begging that truck between our teeth to halt,
keep going, vanish, strike … but set us free.
And then we saw the wild boys of the street
go running after it.
And as they followed, cheering, on it crept,
windshield melting now, canopy-frame a cage
torn by gorillas of flame, and it kept on
over the tramlines, past the church, on past
the last lit windows, and then out of the world
with its disciples.


  1. 0)

    i admire the photo of fleabus -
    the beautiful cat framed by the window,
    the abundance of vegetation in the foreground


    the 'person of interest in the white house close to the president' might also possibly be his lawyer, morning joe told me on tv today -
    joe also prophesied that the president* may hang on until nancy pelosi is elected speaker of the house again, if such a thing comes to pass, which is vaguely possible in his opinion -

    the appointment of the special counsel will slow down the accession of pence to the powers of the presidency, it is predicted - maybe so - who knows if it is good or bad?

    2)[art & literature]

    my local library has available copies of atticus lish's latest, of which i have requested one -

    his first work, "life is with people" - not a novel, but drawings with text - also looks quite interesting, but is not held by mcpl, m_________ c______, or arlington county (the three library cards i have that might pertain) -

    intriguingly, thriftbooks offers a used copy for $75.04, barnes and noble for even more, whereas through amazon i can get a new copy of the second printing for ten dollars - and free shipping if i buy more stuff - should i pony up for the first printing, which might become a collector's item? no, i shouldn't - but there may well be those for whom that is the better choice

    3)[art & literature]

    among those items which i could add to my order to get free shipping, amazon - taking into account the pattern of my past purchases, of which they carefully keep track - offers me the dover edition of "favorite poems of children" - list price $3.00, for me ten percent off -

    about this book "Mary Stewart" (if that is her real name) writes "Charming in the simplicity and innocence of the poems. Reading it with worldly fourth-graders who are poorer readers is an interesting experience, but we all are enjoying it."

    4) [art & literature]

    "mary stewart" the amazon reviewer also recommends "the unlikely disciple: a sinner's semester at america's holiest university" - by which the author means liberty university - mcpl DOES have that

    "mary stewart", the british author of the merlin series who spanned genres, really was "mary stewart" by marriage, but her birth name was "mary florence eleanor rainbow" - according to our friends at wikipedia - due to an ectopic pregnancy she could never have children - she lived to the age of 97

  2. Planet is such a freaking awesome photographer. The She-Nurse asked me last night during weekly tagup what kind of artist Planet is. I replied, "Freaking awesome, Mom."

  3. about the title of atticus lish's "preparation for the next life"

    1) in madison smartt bell's october 2014 review in 'the nation' the last lines are

     The title (derived from a sign on a mosque that Zou Lei briefly visits) remains inscrutable. Skinner’s only connection to a worldview permitting reincarnation is his tattoo in Chinese characters, translating as “No Pain, No Gain.” Zhou Lei has just a few fragments of folklore remembered from her Uighur mother—that and her fierce determination to survive and to live in freedom. This wrenching story seems to conclude that there is no life but this one.

    2)i was reading a discussion about reincarnation yesterday - on a podcast called "buddha at the gas pump", rick archer was interviewing culadasa, author of The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

    culadasa has concluded that there is no entity which goes from life to life, no "reincarnation" per se - and rick archer points out that some of culadasa's teachers are said to be "tulkus", reborn masters - how can these two views - no entity which recurs vs "reborn masters" - be reconciled? culadasa explains that, in his view, there ARE past lives, information from which can be accessed - but it is not YOUR past life in particular, just A past life - that could be tuned into by various later people, not just one particular "reincarnation"

    the monks who go out looking for the baby that will be raised as the next dalai lama, for example, are looking for "a child that they can sense with the right training can be brought to tap into that"

  4. I believe that's what Tom Sutpen calls "Frame within a Frame". Fleabus & Planet Photog frame really well.