Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Glass Eye That Stares at Me in Amazement from the Bronze Mantel

L found five must paint sites in Allegeny and Garrett Counties for her week-long plein air competition: the overlook top of Town Hill on Scenic 40 near Flintstone, an abandoned silk factory in Lonaconing, an abandoned paper mill in Luke, along the Savage River near Avinton and, because I made a wrong turn and accidentally turned around there, at the ridge line of Big Savage Mountain, windmills, giant, up close. 

West Augusta be beautiful. Cumberland is shriekingly ghost town gorgeous. Freaking goth gorgeous. Effing Depression gorgeous. The house L will stay in, amazing, we could buy two and a half of them there selling our Cape Cod here, lordy. Sunday's blaze, Long Pond Trail, Green Ridge State Forest:

No report from the breakfast lounge of the Frostburg Quality Inn, I'd forgot how much I hate staying in hotels, we Maine and Michigan in houses, today in my complicity. Besides the orange blazed trail, we hiked trails blazed sky blue, blue blue, white, and red. I fill with as much spiritual wonder over tree blazes as I do over road route signage, old-timers here can vouch. Hey, I seem to be able to write again but all I want to write about is my painting, so no surprise that I paint blazes, I just typed the abridged version why

All you need to know about climate change
Misogyny and Violence in Michigan, my future residence
Targeting Revolutionaries: The Birth of the Carceral Warfare Project, 1970–78
America’s Becoming a Suicide Pact
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Fake kindness, Caring and Symbolic Violence
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Maggie's weeklyFRESH HELL
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The Secret History And Strange Future Of Charisma
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Blaze I made above the head of a foolbody self-portrait
{ feuilleton }'s weeklySonnet machine


John Ashbery

Fifty years have passed
since I started living in these dark towns
I was telling you about.
Well, not much has changed. I still can't figure out
how to get from the post office to the swings in the park.
Apple trees blossom in the cold, not from conviction,
and my hair is the color of dandelion fluff.

Suppose this poem were about you - would you
put in the things I've carefully left out:
descriptions of pain, and sex, and how shiftily
people behave toward each other? Naw, that's
all in some book it seems. For you
I've saved the descriptions of chicken sandwiches,
and the glass eye that stares at me in amazement
from the bronze mantel, and will never be appeased.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Ridiculous How the Space Between 3 Violins Can Threaten Our Poetry

Monday past I wondered what will kill me first: nuclear incineration, death by cracker, death by cop/military (who is just a cracker in an official uniform (as compared to vigilante crackers cosplaying as cops in camo)), death by a schizophrenic's AR-15, or death by natural (and human-aided) disaster, and again reminded myself it's me who makes myself sideways, as kneejerk and spastic as when I sing out loud the famous "But you blew my mind" line everytime I hear Roxy's *In Every Dreamhome, A Heartache:* my devout faith in metaphors based solely on my owning the single worst singing voice in human history, L can vouch I both sing the line and that my voice horrifies

We drive to Allegheny and Garrett counties tomorrow. the two most western counties of Augusta, the cracker counties that want to secede from Maryland, whose economic driver are the multiple Maryland state prisons filled with inmates from Baltimore City and Baltimore County (inner suburbs), northern Anne Arundel and Prince Georges and Montgomery (east of Georgia Avenue and south of Randolph Road), the feeder counties *not* joining Augusta. L is one of 30 people out of 2500 that applied for big plein air event based in Cumberland that got invited, she's thrilled.We will be driving through Westernport and Luke, Oakland and Accident and Friendsville and Frostburg and Grantsville and Cumberland - Cumberland is freaking beautiful. We're taking the long weekend to scout out where and what she wants to paint and hike new trails. There may be a report (with photos) of what we saw posted from the breakfast lounge of a mid-range hotel for the first time in a long while

After Monday's what-will-kill-me meditation I bought concentric metal cookee cutters so I can paint circles from inside as well as outside, best anti-sideways plan since he last until the next needed sniper nest, so yes, no links today and yes, my ferris wheel's gondola almost topping where boys' just-dropping balls squeal delicious uh-oh, wait, this is odd, there's a new Guided by Voices song?


Jack Spicer

How the space between three violins
Can threaten all of our poetry.
We bunch together like Cub
Scouts at a picnic. There is a high scream.
Rain threatens. That moment of terror.
Strange how all our beliefs

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Until One of Our Daughters Shouted: "It Was Right in Front of You, Right in Front of Your Eyes, and You Didn't See

That's my right eye. My congressman in Maryland, who cosplays as a progressive, yesterday tweeted out, playing his role in this shitlord kabuki, in support of Biden invoking the 14th Amendment to defeat maga efforts to gut social programs via extorting concessions from Biden re: debt ceiling, and I retweeted, adding, "primary Biden or shut the fuck up, poseur," which advice I'm sure he'll take and declare tomorrow just after voting to send another trillion dollars to war profiteers via Laundromat Ukraine (which he digs - to be fair, all Maryland elected officials, by coincidence and consequence of location, never turn a military dime down). 

I was being sarcastic, of course: there would be not change at the top if Raskin was potus. and Raskin's is too far up the colon of the Democratic Party's ladder match (he wants to be Speaker, it's the deal he made with MFDMHQ (who will never make him Speaker), bet you a digital pint he doesn't run for Cardin's senate seat) to be anything but a House shitlord tick. This is my left eye

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Fade to black in Ukraine"After two-plus years of “Joe Biden” — well, our country is bypassing the banana republic stage of dissolution and depravity and steaming quickly into a Hieronymus Bosch dystopia of financial, social, psychological and moral ruin. Every official utterance is a lie. Everything’s broken or breaking. And seemingly, on-purpose. The nagging question, of course, is on whose purposes?"
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Today in mthrfckng helmetball and crckrs
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37 albums in 40 years and 38th drops in July


Marie Howe

What we did to the earth, we did to our daughters
one after the other.

What we did to the trees, we did to our elders
stacked in their wheelchairs by the lunchroom door.

What we did to our daughters, we did to our sons
calling out for their mothers.

What we did to the trees, what we did to the earth,
we did to our sons, to our daughters.

What we did to the cow, to the pig, to the lamb,
we did to the earth, butchered and milked it.

Few of us knew what the bird calls meant
or what the fires were saying.

We took of earth and took and took, and the earth
seemed not to mind

until one of our daughters shouted: it was right
in front of you, right in front of your eyes

and you didn’t see.
The air turned red.    The ocean grew teeth.

Friday, May 19, 2023

The Rhyme Between Lost and Most

And just like that, the day after the book of poetry I bought that I thought magical yesterday not working today, I promise myself to NEVER BUY BOOKS YOU WORK IN A UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, FUMBDUCK, and then buy a book and love it unconditionally Day One out of guilt at breaking my promise

Momcat and Ozzy now join us on our late evening neighborhood loops. Ozzy's declared himself our cat, lives in our yard, never goes home to our neighbor on the right. He's funny, doesn't shut up, chases my discs like a dog, tries but can't pick up even after he flips them over and tries to lift the disc by its rim with his teeth to play fetch. Will he come with us when we move to Michigan? I don't want to move to Michigan though the Maryland I want to live in will be Texased once the 2024 coup installs a Cracker King as emperor

Seething. I told a friend I feel stupid when I seethe (above) and guilty when I don't (below). The hexjeff below, one of only a very very few non-seething hexjeffs in existence, painted in the glow of committing to my NOT entering art competitions despite the encouragement of L and C and R, I expect that promise to go the way of my ban on buying books sooner rather than later but certainly

Admittedly it's not not-seething but it's not seething as much as most
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"Yet much of the left is lost to Trump Derangement Syndrome and can’t see this. Leftists criticize the Democrats at dinner parties and feel themselves to be in opposition. But in reality, they practice total fealty to the Democrats for fear that every new election “could be the last.” Most of the left has some commitment to democratic procedure, a more equitable distribution of wealth, and a more pacific foreign policy. Yet as soon as Trump is paraded out, progressives run to the imagined shelter of the Democratic Party that then proceeds to betray them"
Watch this, and remember when that Michigan state rep made that elegant and damning speach against crckrstanis in general and a crckr running against her who lied about her in particular and people were like finally, standing up to crckrs? Me neither until I watched this, and this will get less traction and disappear - disappear, it never happened - even faster
The Fed is more corrupt than SCOTUS and is going to steal your pension, your IRAs, and any and all property you own in service of our shitlords
YFWP hires and publishes the fat pig thiessen
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Yes, but shitlords will kill all of us trying to stop it
If I was a novelist looking for ideas I'd explore a first person narrative of George Santos by George Santos
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of or forThe post-linguistic turn
Alright, I will fail Henry James again
BirdsongIra (not my son-in-law) to throw out first pitch


Carl Phillips

When he asked if I still loved him, I didn’t answer;

but of course, I loved him.

He’d become, by then, like the rhyme between lost

          and most

Monday, May 15, 2023

Huzza Then, This Is the Mazurka of the Hollow Log!

Blog Days of Summer be here. No, pings aren't down significantly because of the paintings (or my writing about them), and seething ups bumps - no posts are read less than happy, seetheless posts. Dead Blegsylvania significantly deader than before melon-twatter and dying faster than ever for other reasons that have nothing to do with me or this shitty blog. Thank you to yinz that sent me Kind words

Last Friday In My Complicity L and I saw the Ellsworth Kelly show at Glenstone, a local billionaire's fabulous philanthropic tax write-off museum in poshiest of Potomac (said billionaire a partner in the group buying the local helmetball team from the turdiest of shitlords). L could not get me out of Kelly's gallery. Feels like my toggle complete: I'm not ellsworthy, but when my brain burns and my spirit screams and whispers I paint about the world better now than I can write it

Stanley Elkin born 93 years ago four days ago. I wrote my masters thesis on his novels and once upon a time read and reread all of his novels constantly. His birthday post used to appear like clockwork on every May 11th. Nothing appeared last year, not a conscious decision. I haven't read any in X years now, I tried A Bad Man a few months ago and no, it's me, not him. I am a hot mess. Here's the traditional post. I haven't looked at much less gardened My Sillyass Deserted Island Five Game for novelists (or poets or musicians) since I last typed I don't think about MSADI5G any more, the fuck is wrong with me

The traditional BLCKDGRD Holy Day Elkin birthday post, 2023 edition (now updated in 2019 by link to another Elkin birthday post, h/t Dan)

Stanley Elkin, born 93 years ago yesterday, one of my Deserted Island Five even though my Deserted Island Five (any island, any time) has dozens and simultaneously none.

Two excerpts I always use for his birthday, read then out loud, please, do it for you. The first captures one of Elkins's major themes, the second is simply the most beautiful, heartbreaking, paragraph, as stand alone but especially within the context of the novel, I've ever read:

Ben, everything there is is against your being here! Think of get-togethers, family stuff, golden anniversaries in rented halls, fire regulation celebrated more in the breach than the observance, the baked Alaska up in flames, everybody wiped out - all the cousins in from coasts, wiped out. Rare, yes - who says not - certainly rare, but it could happen, has happened. And once is enough if you've been invited. All the people picked off by plagues and folks eaten by earthquakes and drowned in the tidal waves, all the people already dead that you might have been or who might have begat the girl who married the guy who fathered the fellow who might have been your ancestor - all the showers of sperm that dried on his Kleenex or spilled on his sheets or fell on the ground or dirtied his hands when he jerked off or came in his p.j.'s or no, maybe he was actually screwing and the spermatozoon had your number written on it and it was lost at sea because that's what happens, you see - there's low motility and torn tails - that's what happens to all but a handful out of all the googols and gallons of come, more sperm finally than even the grains of sand I was talking about, more even than the degrees. Well - am I making the picture for you? Am I connecting the dots? Ben, Ben, Nick the Greek wouldn't lay a fart against a trillion bucks that you'd ever make it to this planet!
- The Franchiser
And it was wondrous in the negligible humidity how they gawked across the perfect air, how, stunned by the helices and all the parabolas of grace, they gasped, they sighed, these short-timers who even at their age could not buy insurance at any price, not even if the premiums were paid in the rare rich elements, in pearls clustered as grapes, in buckets of bullion, in trellises of diamonds, how, glad to be alive, they stared at each other and caught their breath.
 - Magic Kingdom


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{ feuilleton }'s weeklySperm whale talk


William Carlos Williams

     Why go further? One might conceivably rectify the rhythm, study all out and arrive at the perfection of a tiger lily or a china doorknob. One might lift all out of the ruck, be a worthy successor to—the man in the moon. Instead of breaking the back of a willing phrase why not  try to follow the wheel through—approach death at a walk, take in all the scenery. There’s as much reason one way as the other and then—one never knows—perhaps we’ll bring back Eurydice—this time!


     Between two contending forces there may at all times arrive that moment when the stress is equal on both sides so that with a great pushing a great stability results giving a picture of perfect rest. And so it may be that once upon the way the end drives back upon the beginning and a stoppage will occur. At such a time the poet shrinks from the doom that is calling him forgetting the delicate rhythms of perfect beauty, preferring in his mind the gross buffetings of good and evil fortune.


     Ay dio! I would say so much were it not for the tunes changing, changing, darting so many ways. One step and the cart’s left you sprawling. Here’s the way! and—you’re hip bogged. And there’s blame of the light too: when eyes are humming birds who’ll tie them with a lead string? But it’s the tunes they want most,—send them skipping out at the tree tops. Whistle then! who’d stop the leaves swarming; curving down the east in their braided jackets? Well enough—but there’s small comfort in naked branches when the heart’s not set that way.


     A man’s desire is to win his way to some hilltop. But against him seem to swarm a hundred jumping devils. These are his constant companions, these are the friendly images which he has invented out of his mind and which are inviting him to rest and to disport himself according to hidden reasons. The man being half a poet is cast down and longs to rid himself of his torment and his tormentors.


     When you hang your clothes on the line you do not expect to see the line broken and them trailing in the mud. Nor would you expect to keep your hands clean by putting them in a dirty pocket. However and of course if you are a market man, fish, cheeses and the like going under your fingers every minute in the hour you would not leave off the business and expect to handle a basket of fine laces without at least mopping yourself on a towel, soiled as it may be. Then how will you expect a fine trickle of words to follow you through the intimacies of this dance without—oh, come let us walk together into the air awhile first. One must be watchman to much secret arrogance before his ways are tuned to these measures. You see there is a dip of the ground between us. You think you can leap up from your gross caresses of these creatures and at a gesture fling it all off and step out in silver to my finger tips. Ah, it is not that I do not wait for you, always! But my sweet fellow—you have broken yourself without purpose, you are—Hark! it is the music! Whence does it come? What! Out of the ground? Is it this that you have been preparing for me? Ha, goodbye, I have a rendezvous in the tips of three birch sisters. Encouragez vos musiciens! Ask them to play faster. I will return—later. Ah you are kind.—and I? must dance with the wind, make my own snow flakes, whistle a contrapuntal melody to my own fugue! Huzza then, this is the dance of the blue moss bank! Huzza then, this is the mazurka of the hollow log! Huzza then, this is the dance of rain in the cold trees.