Sunday, December 10, 2017

Just a Couple of Drifters on This Planet of Some Odd Billions Customers

  • James Tate's birthday was Friday past. He would have been 74.
  • Normally I would have posted his standard Egoslavian birthday post, but Gass' death.
  • Today is Olivier Messaien's birthday. He was born 109 years ago today.
  • Earthgirl had museum and lunch plans with a friend yesterday, and it was snowing so no disc golf w Dr Z or solo hike for me, so I got to the book and clothes purge I've promised Earthgirl.
  • We be donating shit away - we're downsizing.
  • Found that old Tate up above, the first I owned, bought in the 2nd Story on Old Georgetown back when there was a hardware store at the corner of Wisconsin and Old Georgetown in Bethesda.
  • I don't play My Sillyass Deserted Island Five Game with poets (or novelists) though Tate (and Gass) have permanent seats. 
  • Tate poem below from Viper Jazz, the first Tate poem I read, why I bought the book.
  • The she who made me feel like fungus and died in her room when I died in mine was standing next to me when I first read the poem in the bookstore.
  • Also found $75 in old Barnes & Noble gift cards, so I've preordered the new Richard Powers (and I'll forget, so one day this coming April I'll be pleasantly surprised).
  • Also ordered two used paperback copies of The Tunnel, if you want one, and ask nice, and I like you, I'll send it to you.
  • As always, I don't ask that you finish any book that I send you, only that you give it a fair shot.
  • Also, a replacement of Gass' On Being Blue in the beautiful NYRB edition.
  • Gass's death: not sadness - if offered a lucid run into my 90s right now, I'm buying - but love.
  • Tate's birthday is also the anniversary of Lennon's assassination, so where I was, w this, my favorite Lennon song, at above post.


James Tate

We were just a couple of drifters
on this planet of
some odd billions customers
open all night. She was always
loving and attentive
but made
what I considered
an abnormal number of morbid references,
so that at times I felt like a fungus.
Meanwhile we drank and smoked
and listened to country music.
She died in her room
and I died in mine.


  1. Haven't been a wide reader of Gass, but I'm pissed that he's gone. It may be an outlet for other pissedoffedness; I understand this, but it's all connected: there are true things and false, fucked-up things, and I go with the former. And I miss Lennon.

  2. Annoying as Messiaen is, he's not even cutting-edge any more, so I'm informed by a musician who knows about these things. Whoever is cutting-edge these days must be really seriously irritating.

  3. 1)re the title of tate's book - see

    2)re play with words (and gass's book on being blue would seem to be an epitome of same) i was struck by the name of this company in this morning's financial times -

    Eataly, the Italian food emporium, plans to list shares on the Milan stock exchange as early as next year as it ramps up its US expansion. A mix of high-end supermarket, restaurant and food theme park where customers can see mozzarella being made...Eataly has plans to open sites in Las Vegas, Stockholm, Paris, Toronto, Verona and, in 2020, London. It last month opened a 100,000 sq m food "theme park" outside Bologna.

    there's one in boston:

    3)i never heard lennon's 'bring on the lucie' until it was brought to my attention here

    another lennon song i really like but don't have a copy - but have heard on the radio recently - is 'happy xmas (war is over)'

    and while i'm mentioning christmas songs - annie lennox's unplugged version of 'in the bleak midwinter' - just 2 verses, but it's enough