Monday, April 22, 2019

Rustling in the Azaleas



Last photo from this trip to Chicago (because there will be more trips to Chicago, and soon) from the end of the Navy Pier, I had three hours to walk Chicago Sunday morning by myself, lordy.





Iggy born 72 years ago yesterday, April 21, Robert Smith born 60 years ago yesterday, I didn't forget, I sat in the Breakfast Lounge of the Comfort Inn in Chelsea Michigan yesterday morning - I am typing this sentence Sunday morning, April 21, in the Breakfast Lounge of the Comfort Inn in Chelsea Michigan, the TV tuned to CNN reporting on the Sri Lankan attack while hyping Monday night's Democratic debate - and quickly decided I wanted (want, not wanted, since I am typing this sentence Sunday morning) to leave the Chicago post at top.





Because the world continued while I was ignoring it:
First photo from home last night, I got out of my car and called for Napoleon, he came running and screaming from the backyard, and while we were away our azaleas go kaboom:





FIELD OF SKULLS

Mary Karr
    
Stare hard enough at the fabric of night,   
and if you're predisposed to dark—let’s say   
the window you’ve picked is a black
postage stamp you spend hours at,
sleepless, drinking gin after the I Love   
Lucy reruns have gone off—stare
    
like your eyes have force, and behind
any night’s taut scrim will come the forms   
you expect pressing from the other side.   
For you: a field of skulls, angled jaws
and eye-sockets, a zillion scooped-out crania.   
They’re plain once you think to look.
    
You know such fields exist, for criminals
roam your very block, and even history lists   
monsters like Adolf and Uncle Joe
who stalk the earth’s orb, plus minor baby-eaters   
unidentified, probably in your very midst. Perhaps   
that disgruntled mail clerk from your job
    
has already scratched your name on a bullet—that’s him   
rustling in the azaleas. You caress the thought,
for it proves there’s no better spot for you
than here, your square-yard of chintz sofa, hearing   
the bad news piped steady from your head. The night   
is black. You stare and furious stare,
    
confident there are no gods out there. In this way,   
you’re blind to your own eye’s intricate machine   
and to the light it sees by, to the luck of birth and all   
your remembered loves. If the skulls are there—
let’s say they do press toward you
against night’s scrim—could they not stare
with slack jawed envy at the fine flesh
that covers your scalp, the numbered hairs,   
at the force your hands hold?

Saturday, April 20, 2019

I Am Just the Decanter, You the Just Destroyer



The last time I was in Chicago was 1990. Hamster, his friend Rusty, and I traveled to see a three game series between the Orioles and White Sox for the last season of Comiskey. It will not be 29 years before I come back.

I did not know Mondrian made paintings like this:




until I visited the Chicago Institute of Art yesterday. There too, this Gerhard Richter:




  • If you follow me on twitter I sent you lots more yesterday
  • Wonderful museum, tremendous contemporary section, made me finally acknowledge that high modern is now as mummy to me as the impressionists
  • I am typing in the breakfast lounge of a Holiday Inn Express, formerly the Hotel Russ, on Wabash at Ontario three blocks from the Magnificent Mile, it's 6:30, my body thinks it's 7:30,
  • one last painting, someone new to me, Alma Thomas, her Starry Night with the Astronauts, my favorite colors, then some links while everyone else still sleeps:









AN AUTO-DA-FÉ

Kevin McFadden

I have nothing to recant, I am just
the decanter. You, the just destroyer,
have in faith become the role, recalling
for those gathered the noble fallen
with a prayer to his-grace-above-fire,
(“Turn me, I’m burnt on that side”)
St. Lawrence. Well done, I applaud.
And you: Well executed.
                                        
This is it. Not much else to await
when our fates touch: I’ve nowhere to be
but eternity, you’ve nothing to catch
but the thatch. Dry on dry,
we keep our wits about us . . .
no one to meet but our match.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

come down jiffy by shake



  • If two years in a row on April 18th make an Egoslavian tradition, new Egoslavian tradition
  • I had written something gratuitously snippy about the NYT's article on Neera Tanden
  • I had written something gratuitously snippy about the people giving money to the Catholic Church to fix Notre Dame who flip off beggars at traffic lights on 355
  • This is the snippy sentence I write right now about the shitty Mueller kabuki
  • 31 miles from my house to Frederick, 52 miles from Frederick to Pennsylvania border, 180 mile from Maryland-Pennsylvania border to Pennsylvania-Ohio border, 185 miles from Pennsylvania-Ohio border to Ohio-Michigan border, 55 miles from Ohio-Michigan border to Chelsea Michigan, so 503 miles from my stoop where Napoleon knew we were abandoning him to the Jiffy Factory on Michigan 52 in downtown Chelsea. 




  • I was not sitting the in the breakfast lounge of the Comfort Inn in Chelsea Michigan when I wrote last year's April 18 post
  • I am sitting alone in the corner of a breakfast lounge with fourteen tables, mine the remotest, in walk a family with three screaming kids, they choose the table closest to me, fine metaphors abound
  • Today's plan: Hudson Mills MetroPark with a world class disc golf course and multiple bridges gardens places for Earthgirl to paint and draw, today's weather forecast: Hard Rain All Day
  • Tomorrow's plan: drive to Chicago with Earthgirl and Planet and Air and walk to cool places, tomorrow's weather forecast: Hard Rain All Day.
  • Saturday's plan: walk to all the cool places in Chicago we couldn't get to Friday, Saturday's weather forecast: Hard Rain All Day.
  • Sunday's plan: drive home so we can go to work Monday, Sunday's weather forecast: Sunny, pleasant, mid-60s, fine metaphors abound.
  • Here is this April 18th's photo of Olive, light, mirror, taken Tuesday night before I knew there was a tradition April 18th Egoslavian blogpost:




  • We crossed the Ohio - Michigan border and shazam, dozens upon dozens of dead woodchucks, raccoons, possum, fox, the animals of Michigan are not stupider or more suicidal, Michigan doesn't remove the car-slaughtered corpses from their roads
  • Michigan won't provide clean water to the biped animals of Flint
  • The family leaves, I am alone in the breakfast lounge for two minutes, an arguing couple come take the table next to me
  • Blegsylvanian rhythms - look at the blogrolls, I know I focus everything through the lens that is me, but Blegsylvanian rhythms are real
  • I am telling you three times we train and retrain ourselves
  • and can't quit





SONGS OF WEIGHTS AND MEASUREMENTS

Martha Silano

For there is a dram.
For there is a farthing.
A bushel for your thoughts.
A hand for your withered heights.
               
For I have jouled along attempting
to quire and wisp.
           
For I have sized up a mountain’s meters,
come down jiffy by shake to the tune
of leagues and stones.
           
For once I was your peckish darling.
                 
For once there was the measure
of what an ox could plow
in a single morning.
                
For once the fother, the reed, the palm.
          
For one megalithic year I fixed my gaze
on the smiling meniscus, against the gray wall
of graduated cylinder.
                
For once I measured ten out of ten
on the scale of pain.
         
For I knew that soon I’d kiss good-bye
the bovate, the hide and hundredweight.
                   
For in each pinch of salt, a whisper of doubt,
for in each medieval moment, emotion,
                 
like an unruly cough syrup bottle,
uncapped. For though I dutifully swallowed

my banana doses, ascended, from welcome
to lanthorn, three barleycorns at a time,
                       
I could not tackle the trudging, trenchant cart.
                        
For now I am forty rods from your chain and bolt.
For now I am my six-sacked self.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

What Will Survive Us Has Already Begun

Today - soon - I walk from my house on Saul to Franklin to Beach to across Rockville Pike to Grosvenor to Old Georgetown to (Flipping Pizza for as decent a slice as Moco can) to Democracy (for cheap irony) to Fernwood to Westlake Terrace behind Montgomery Mall to Motor City Drive to pick up the rental car Earthgirl and me drive to Michigan tomorrow to visit Planet and Air through Sunday, there may be posts from the breakfast lounge of the Comfort Inn per Egoslavian tradition on trips to visit Planet. Today is also Ian Mackaye's 57th birthday.











ADVICE FROM ROCK CREEK PARK

Stephanie Burt

What will survive us
has already begun
Oak galls
Two termites’ curious
self-perpetuating bodies
Letting the light through the gaps
They lay out their allegiances
under the roots
of an overturned tree
Almost always better
to build than to wreck
You can build in a wreck
Under the roots
of an overturned tree
Consider the martin that hefts
herself over traffic cones
Consider her shadow
misaligned
over parking-lot cement
Saran Wrap scrap in her beak
Nothing lasts
forever not even
the future we want
The President has never
owned the rain

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Charges Across the Desert Cognizant of the Futility

I received decent news on my eyes and a decent performance evaluation at work on Wednesday and since have been in my foulest mood in months, the foulest since the last time I got double decent news on a day. Was wonderful yesterday, spleening on Democrats, but, foul mood vented if not satisfied, I wave the Egoslavian Flag of Futility








SHAMANISM 101

Dean Young

Like everyone, I wanted my animal
to be the hawk.
 
I thought I wanted the strength
to eat the eyes first then tear
into the fuse box of the chest
and soar away.
 
I needed help because I still
cowered under the shadow of my father,
a man who inspected picture tubes
five out of seven nights,
 
who woke to breakfast on burnt roast
except the two weeks he’d sleep
on a Jersey beach and throw me
into the gasoline-sheened waves.
I loved him dying indebted
not knowing to what,
 
thinking his pension would be enough,
released not knowing from what,
gumming at something I was afraid
to get close enough to hear, afraid
of what I was co-signing. So maybe
the elephant. The elephant knows
when one of its own is suffering
up to six miles away. Charges across
the desert cognizant of the futility.
How can I be forgiven when I don’t know
what I need forgiving for? Sometimes
 
the urges are too extreme: to slap
on the brakes and scream, to bite the haunch
of some passing perfume, so maybe my animal
is the tiger. Or shark.
 
Or centipede.
 
But I know I’m smaller than that,
filling notebooks with clumsy versions
of one plaint, one pheromonal call,
 
clamoring over a crumb that I think
is the world, baffled by the splotch
of one of my own crushed kind,
almost sweet, a sort of tar,
following a trail of one or two molecules,
 
leaving a trail
of one or two molecules.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

From Any Point on the Periphery, Advancing Always Toward the Body

Photo from a stool 7:15 yesterday morning, the periphery test, chin on pad, forehead on bar, one eye covered with a pirate's patch, green box dead center, jeopardy clicker, bright lights not seen, worse score each time




  • Aargh, I said when I saw they were going to make me do this and make me wear a pirate patch but before the kid gave me the pirate patch, don't think the kid got it
  • Good news: meds are working, eye pressure under control, no medical reason to at least laser surgery now, your constant loss of sight has slowed significantly says eyedoc
  • Bad news: meds are working, eye pressure under control, but the side-effects of meds working too, weakening the muscles  holding the     eyeball   in place
  • Do you know Odo from Deep Space Nine, eyedoc asked, yes I said
  • eyedoc said, one, two more years of these meds and you're eyes will sink into your head like Odo's and you're getting the surgery in three years one way or the other at the latest and *might* avoid a knife (and certainly as deep a knife if knife necessary) if you laser now so anyway think about it
  • Will it keep my eyes from getting more and more tired faster and faster when I try to read? I asked
  • No, he said
  • Do I get to have shapeshifter sex with Kira Nerys, I asked
  • No, he said






SIX FURTHER STUDIES

Keith Waldrop

I
     
In heaven there is no more sea, and houses no longer need a widow’s
walk. And no more widows, there being neither marriage nor giving
in marriage. How the air hangs lower and lower on this—I hope
—hottest day of summer. A faintly rotten scent the ground gives off
brings to mind lilacs that have budded and blossomed. There are no
more blossoms, perfume and purple gone for a year, as if forever. In
heaven there are no tears, salt water wiped away entirely. One moment
I breathe contentment. And then unreasoning sorrow pulses through
me, an imperfect tension, as if unending. I have time on my hands. In
heaven there is no more dusk, dark, dawn, meridian. And what I know
now and for certain: neither the day nor the hour.
     
    
II
    
It seems clear enough that there is in the brain a particular pain-center,
where sensations of every variety check in, to emerge as anguish and
hurt. Thus there is not, as we might suppose, a multiplicity of pains,
like an arsenal deployed against us, but one pain which puts on, as in a
ritual theater, different masks.
         It need not, even, be a great number of masks, some few faces
peopling an endless repertory. From one fairy tale to another, is not
the witch the same witch, whether poisoning an apple or fattening the
children?
     
     
III
   
The doctrine changes, blows here and there, hot, cold. One more
notion sweeps across the state in gusts, fiercely at first, settling then
into a mild rotation. It puts things in motion. It dies down, while
pressure somewhere else is building.
         Called to, across a chasm of thin air, I shape the air to answer. My
moments force themselves apart.
         Breathe out. Breathe in. But as long as you are alive, there is a dead
space in your lungs, never emptied, never needing to be filled. The spirit
there, stale and sustaining, holds open every possibility, urging none. Ghost
money: money to burn.
     
   
IV
   
On the earliest known sundial, the finger of shadow moves through
symbols of the cosmos, but there are no lines drawn to mark off the hours.
It does not, in the modern sense, “keep” time, but celebrates its flight, its
recurrence, its brightness.
   
    
V
    
Hermaphrodite, sleeping. Predominance, in the visible, of the right hand
—but the eyes now closed. What could there be to dream about, for one
already complete? A perfect asymmetrical stability. No need to see or even
to look.
         To know, without having to ask. From any point on the periphery,
advancing always towards the body. Both sexes. And both asleep.
     
   
VI
    
A scream from outside broke our argument and I ran to the door, rushed
out onto the sidewalk almost, I thought, before the scream had ended. The
night sky, above the street lamp, had a sheen of some dark metal.
         Sirens—which seemed this evening more frequent than usual, and
more strident—state the theme, you have said, of our instant: the howl
of a machine hurrying to disaster. And all day, in the violence of delivery,
ordinary trucks rattle our sashes.
         The street lay empty, mercury lit, silence giving us no indication of
which way to turn.