Saturday, May 25, 2019

I Keep a Dog and Bark Myself, or: Born One Hundred Eleven Years Ago Today


Theodore Roethke

I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,
All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplicaton of lives and objects.
And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.


Lordy, Roethke. The traditional High Egoslavian Holy Day birthday post, new Siberry (added 2018) addition at end isn't an addition but an unforgivable omission corrected, updated for 2019 with biggerness for blind people like me.

Don't remember when (though I understand the why) I made the Roethke/Swans trill/symbient connection, I could find out but that would be research (and maybe I'll redo everything for 112th, years of copy/paste + additions coding mishaps, don't count on it), important thing is to read the poems OUT LOUD! and listen to the songs LOUD!



Theodore Roethke


When true love broke my heart in half,
I took the whiskey from the shelf,
And told my neighbors when to laugh
I keep a dog, and bark myself.


Ghost cries out to ghost–
But whose afraid of that?
I feel those shadows most
That start from my own feet.



Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch,
Bulbs broke out of boxes hunting for chinks in the dark,
Shoots dangled and drooped,
Lolling obscenely from mildewed crates,
Hung down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes.
And what a congress of stinks!—
Roots ripe as old bait,
Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich,
Leaf-mold, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks.
Nothing would give up life:
Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.



In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,
Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.
-- Or the path narrowing,
Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,
The upland of alder and birchtrees,
Through the swamp alive with quicksand,
The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,
The thickets darkening,
The ravines ugly.

Now as the train bears west,
Its rhythm rocks the earth,
And from my Pullman berth
I stare into the night
While others take their rest.
Bridges of iron lace,
A suddenness of trees,
A lap of mountain mist
All cross my line of sight,
Then a bleak wasted place,
And a lake below my knees.
Full on my neck I feel
The straining at a curve;
My muscles move with steel,
I wake in every nerve.
I watch a beacon swing
From dark to blazing bright;
We thunder through ravines
And gullies washed with light.
Beyond the mountain pass
Mist deepens on the pane;
We rush into a rain
That rattles double glass.
Wheels shake the roadbed stone,
The pistons jerk and shove,
I stay up half the night
To see the land I love.


I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?   
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?   
God bless the Ground!  I shall walk softly there,   
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?   
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do   
To you and me; so take the lively air,   
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.   
What falls away is always. And is near.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I learn by going where I have to go.



Indelicate is he who loathes
The aspect of his fleshy clothes, --
The flying fabric stitched on bone,
The vesture of the skeleton,
The garment neither fur nor hair,
The cloak of evil and despair,
The veil long violated by
Caresses of the hand and eye.
Yet such is my unseemliness:
I hate my epidermal dress,
The savage blood's obscenity,
The rags of my anatomy,
And willingly would I dispense
With false accouterments of sense,
To sleep immodestly, a most
Incarnadine and carnal ghost.

Friday, May 24, 2019

He, in His Shrunken Britches

  • Day two, new daypack, the life-purse daypack, the everyday daypack, not a dayhikepack
  • Daypack of twenty-or-so years obsolete space in size wise pocket wise
  • I broke honor with that daypack of twenty-or-so years I promised would be my daypack until it or me
  • and I'm fine, fuck me, very cool with disloyalty, the new daypack I don't regret, *that's* new
  • The fuck:

  • No. What?
  • A bidenite told my yesterday Pelosi's strategy of goading Trump by calling him names while forbidding impeachment is brilliant, said Trump is going to meltdown sooooo bad on TV that.....
  • I, I said before bidenite cut me off to say, I know what you're gonna say, and yes, this *has* been the long strategy and it's gonna pay off
  • Just kidding, I don't care, I don't have a TV and I won't pay for CBS online if you give me the money
  • Three AM yesterday morning some kind of animal fight in my front yard, two screams weren't cat, screams gone by time I ran out in underwear, neither of us saw Nap or MomCat (saw Frankie) in morning and through late afternoon and evening, should I put up the Alert I think and shazam, so I've not jinxed Alert system, all that matters
  • I finally got in, Is it possible, I said, we can have coffee once and not talk about this shit
  • My Favorite Tweet Ever Since the Last Until the Next
  • Tomorrow is Annual Roethke and Swans for Roethke's Birthday post, here's a song and a poem not in tomorrow's post, please play this and tomorrow's Swans songs LOUD! and please read today's and tomorrow Roethke's poem OUT LOUD!


Theodore Roethke

The fruit rolled by all day.
They prayed the cogs would creep;
They thought about Saturday pay,
And Sunday sleep.

Whatever he smelled was good:
The fruit and flesh smells mixed.
There beside him she stood, - 
And he, perplexed;

He, in his shrunken britches,
Eyes, rimmed with pickle dust,
Prickling with all the itches
Of sixteen year old lust.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Crows With Lethargic Dispositions

  • >> Deferred (double) bleggalgaze, deferred (triple) tabletgaze, deferred (quadruple) pengaze
  • Orientalism, then and now
  • Read this and remember Democrats never campaign on Judiciary and conservatives doing this shit though of course they know and ask yourself why
  • Magnetized by despair
  • My congressperson - since I'm sloppy and tolerate no greys but more sloppy when I hate motherfucking professional Democrats and Raskin has been one sometimes, some credit here where due (though I'm tempted to call FAKE!)
  • Deep Space Nine, Season Four, Episode Nine, first of the Bashir, Julian Bashir, episodes, saved by Sisco as Drax for Drax's name alone
  • Hejinian! Just bought
  • Made a change (see if you see) at PoJ (plus new post)
  • Comparative Poetry
  • Occurred to me yesterday I haven't listened to Polly Jean in forever, the fuck is wrong with me


Mary Ruefle

It is said that many have been cured of madness by drinking
of the spring in the orchard of this convent, but I
doubt it, for it is a very pleasant place and a surfeit
of pleasantries often leads directly to madness.
I do not have much experience of madness (once
a sister ran naked down the hall) but I have tasted
the water and it is clear and fresh, there is nothing
unpleasant about it. The Abbess said of a certain man
he is a drink of water—meaning he was a bore—
but I want to meet that man, he would be as welcome
in my life as Jesus in the orchard here, though the fat
old Abbess might shoo him away.  I would be so glad
to have him drink, to serve him with a round of little glasses
on a painted tray, like the ‘cocktail parties’
in the secular world, and I the hostess, turning her cheek
to be kissed in the fray. I would wear white clothes and
my headdress, and he might carry a scythe and cut
the morning glories, or simply sit and sun his nose.
But they have taken my Lord away, lodged Him in the earth
somewhere, call Him leaves, vines, breeze, bird.
It cannot be true. Looking for Him in these things
condemns us to a lifetime of imbecile activity.
He has a face, arms, legs, a navel. He is a man,
for He is everything I am not. How can it be
otherwise? Before I leave the spring, I lean
over it and weep. I spit upon the flowers. I stumble
up the hill. We are somewhere below the Tserna Gota—
meaning the Black Mountain—and when I reach the top
I count the villages—there are two—where we
are the last on earth to think of Him as having a head.
Here, too, is the source of the spring, and crows
with lethargic dispositions circle and circle the spot.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Of right Of wrong Of up Of down Of who Of how Of when Of one Of then Of if Of in Of out Of feel Of friend Of it Of now


Robert Creeley

He wants to be
a brutal old man,
an aggressive old man,
as dull, as brutal
as the emptiness around him.

He doesn't want compromise,
nor ever to be nice
to anyone. Just mean,
and final in his brutal,
his total, rejection of it all.

He tried the sweet,
the gentle, the "oh,
let's hold hands together"
and it was awful,
dull, brutally inconsequential.

Now he'll stand on
his own dwindling legs.
His arms, his skin,
shrink daily. And
he loves, but hates equally.


Born 93 years ago today.
High Egoslavian Holy Day. 
Creeley interviewed.
Selected letters of Creeley.
91 poems here.
Six more poems below the fold:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Clearing a Place for a Mailbox

  • Joey born 68 years ago
  • True
  • Maryland's governor wants to build Lexus Lanes on Beltway and 270 because a twelve-lane highway through Beltway roller-coaster already with daily wrecks at eight lanes destroying Rock Creek Park where I walk all the time, including yesterday


Frank Stanford

What if the moon was essence of quinine
And high heels were a time of day
When certain birds bled
The chauffeur is telling the cook
The antler would pry into ice floes
Swim with a lamp
And we’d be shivering in a ditch
Biting through a black wing
There would be boats
There would be a dream country
The great quiet humming of the soul at night
The only sound is a shovel
Clearing a place for a mailbox

Friday, May 17, 2019

Expressions, Editorials, Expugnations, Exclamations, Enfadulations

  • Yesterday was Fripp's 73rd birthday didn't forget didn't didn't get a chance
  • I just tested red fountain pen's red ink and yellow fountain pen's cobalt in beige lighthouse
  • The traditional Egoslavian Fripp story: My Fripp story, posted every Fripp birthday, today being his 71st: Fripp had a touring workshop called Guitar Craft and a performing ensemble, The League of Crafty Guitarists. A bunch of us (Elric, you were there, yes?) got in Phavid Dillips lime-green VW van and drove to an old yellow mansion in West Virginia, not far, past Harpers Ferry, up near Shepardstown. Phavid, who we thought an excellent guitarist - or at least the best guitarist we smoked dope with regularly - had been invited to sit in a circle of other guitarists with Robert Fripp leading the workshop. Incredibly cool actually. Guests were invited to sit in the circle; guess who refused. Afterward, going out for a smoke, I ran into Fripp on a porch and apologized. He asked me why I didn't sit in the circle. I said I didn't want to. He said, then you've nothing to apologize for, and shook my hand.
  • neither bleed through beige lighthouse's paper like both bleed through red lighthouse's paper
  • thought Lighthouse Inc's invoices insist model numbers correspond
  • I know the live Crimson belew I always post, I love it, so fucking tight, hey, belewless, Crimson playing Warner in September, who doesn't want to join me?
  • Red lighthouse's binding than blue's doesn't st
  • retch far enough left, I can't find penstart, look, I rulered this cobalt
  • I'll post Adrienne Rich poems this weekend for her birthday yesterday
  • line (ifyouwanttoseeaskincomments) for left penstart fuck me I like
  • fuck me I need recalculate the rules of freedom again