Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Accounting Beyond the Account

What I can't talk about:
  1. Chastised yesterday by Bookkeeper for not being dick enough badgering underlings.
  2. It always works for me, said Bookkeeper, badgering me for not badgering underlings.
  3. Bookkeeper's souls.


A.R. Ammons

I went for a walk over the dunes again this morning
to the sea,
then turned right along
   the surf
                         rounded a naked headland
                         and returned

   along the inlet shore:

it was muggy sunny, the wind from the sea steady and high,   
crisp in the running sand,
       some breakthroughs of sun
   but after a bit

continuous overcast:

the walk liberating, I was released from forms,   
from the perpendiculars,
      straight lines, blocks, boxes, binds
of thought
into the hues, shadings, rises, flowing bends and blends   
               of sight:

                         I allow myself eddies of meaning:   
yield to a direction of significance
like a stream through the geography of my work:   
   you can find
in my sayings
                         swerves of action
                         like the inlet’s cutting edge:
               there are dunes of motion,
organizations of grass, white sandy paths of remembrance   
in the overall wandering of mirroring mind:
but Overall is beyond me: is the sum of these events
I cannot draw, the ledger I cannot keep, the accounting
beyond the account:

in nature there are few sharp lines: there are areas of   
       more or less dispersed;
disorderly orders of bayberry; between the rows
of dunes,
irregular swamps of reeds,
though not reeds alone, but grass, bayberry, yarrow, all ...
predominantly reeds:

I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries,   
shutting out and shutting in, separating inside
          from outside: I have
          drawn no lines:

manifold events of sand
change the dune’s shape that will not be the same shape   

so I am willing to go along, to accept   
the becoming
thought, to stake off no beginnings or ends, establish   
         no walls:

by transitions the land falls from grassy dunes to creek   
to undercreek: but there are no lines, though
       change in that transition is clear
       as any sharpness: but “sharpness” spread out,   
allowed to occur over a wider range
than mental lines can keep:

the moon was full last night: today, low tide was low:   
black shoals of mussels exposed to the risk
of air
and, earlier, of sun,
waved in and out with the waterline, waterline inexact,   
caught always in the event of change:   
       a young mottled gull stood free on the shoals
       and ate
to vomiting: another gull, squawking possession, cracked a crab,   
picked out the entrails, swallowed the soft-shelled legs, a ruddy
turnstone running in to snatch leftover bits:

risk is full: every living thing in
siege: the demand is life, to keep life: the small
white blacklegged egret, how beautiful, quietly stalks and spears
               the shallows, darts to shore
                            to stab—what? I couldn’t
       see against the black mudflats—a frightened
       fiddler crab?

               the news to my left over the dunes and
reeds and bayberry clumps was
               fall: thousands of tree swallows
               gathering for flight:
               an order held
               in constant change: a congregation
rich with entropy: nevertheless, separable, noticeable
          as one event,
                      not chaos: preparations for
flight from winter,
cheet, cheet, cheet, cheet, wings rifling the green clumps,
at the bayberries
    a perception full of wind, flight, curve,
    the possibility of rule as the sum of rulelessness:
the “field” of action
with moving, incalculable center:

in the smaller view, order tight with shape:
blue tiny flowers on a leafless weed: carapace of crab:
snail shell:
            pulsations of order
            in the bellies of minnows: orders swallowed,   
broken down, transferred through membranes
to strengthen larger orders: but in the large view, no
lines or changeless shapes: the working in and out, together   
            and against, of millions of events: this,
                         so that I make
                         no form of

orders as summaries, as outcomes of actions override   
or in some way result, not predictably (seeing me gain   
the top of a dune,
the swallows
could take flight—some other fields of bayberry   
            could enter fall
            berryless) and there is serenity:

            no arranged terror: no forcing of image, plan,
or thought:
no propaganda, no humbling of reality to precept:

terror pervades but is not arranged, all possibilities   
of escape open: no route shut, except in   
   the sudden loss of all routes:

            I see narrow orders, limited tightness, but will   
not run to that easy victory:
            still around the looser, wider forces work:
            I will try
       to fasten into order enlarging grasps of disorder, widening   
scope, but enjoying the freedom that
Scope eludes my grasp, that there is no finality of vision,   
that I have perceived nothing completely,
that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.


  1. For Herr von D.: Wo der 'Hochkultur' ist, Kulturschande nicht weit dahinter.

    Aber das wichtiges, brennen Zeitfragen: Was wird aus der berühmten Tisch?

    1. Naja, ich meine, für mich persönlich war die Schande nächtlich im PBS ausgestrahlt. (Sag das bitte den Opfern nicht, sie haben meine Kühnheit nicht verdient). Apropos der — sagen wir mal, nun — „berüchtigter Tisch”, an welchem seine öffentliche Opfer saß: falls man wissen möchte, woran mein persönliches Problem mit Chuckles liegt, als Muster dafür dient ein Interview mit Madeline Kahn, worin er ihr ausführlich "badgered", ob sie denn bereut, bekannt ausschließlich als Komödiendarstellerin zu sein. Impliziert wurde, wurde nicht ernst genommen. Es hat sie, meiner Meinung nach, offenbar sehr genervt. Und der Arschloch hat am Abend ihres Todes diese Folge wiederholt. Also, was den Tisch betrifft: Brennholz!

    2. It occurs to me that my having given such a lengthy answer in a language not used by most natives to BLCKDGRD that I have moved from your brief quip into an area of rudeness (not to mention that I missed your pun, burning question indeed;-) I therefore herewith translate and amend & supplement as necessary:

      Well, I mean for me personally the cultural shame was broadcast nightly on PBS. (Don't tell that to his victims; they don't deserve such temerity). Apropos the, let us say, infamous table, at which his public victims sat: in case anyone wanted to know, where my issue with Chuckles lies, a particular interview with Madeline Kahn might serve as a typical example. He badgered her in his rosey manner (not atypical of the wannabe journalist who thinks interrupting and steering the agenda of getting at something personal that would not otherwise be revealed). Basically he wanted to know if she regretted being known exclusively as a comedic actor. His redirected projections interrogated a disappointment at not being considered a serious actor. She was clearly, in my opinion, annoyed by the insinuation. And the a-hole rebroadcast the interview on the night of her death. So, as for the table: firewood!

  2. Best wishes for Thanksgiving! Hope EG got some good ideas for planning?! Thanks, as always for reading. I'll probably be laying low for a few days.

  3. 1)speaking of an attitude of gratitude, or at least one of acceptance, one could read this article

    and think of stuart smalley's self-affirmation -

    "i'm good enough, i'm smart enough, and darn it, people like me!" -

    to which senator franken may now be adding another phrase - "and i CAN stop grabbing women's buttocks"

    2)like me, miley cyrus had tofurkey for the holiday - i find myself feeling less reflexively hostile to her - earlier this week, in fact, i listened to "party in the u.s.a." with active enjoyment