Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Great Complacency of Summer Pressing Down

  1. As I type this sentence on Monday August 8, 2022 at 7:10pm EDT my twitter feed is lit with news that Trump just announced the FBI is raiding Trump's palace in Florida
  2. My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents, he fumed in an official statement, followed exactly by the version of history and his persecution that he absolutely believes to be true that you would expect, plus with some wonderful one-liners such as, They Even Broke Into My Safe!
  3. The magameltdown will be epic, but if you think Liberal hippie punching was bad before....
  4. I wonder if Roe stood Trump's warrant would be served, culture wars are good for rent extractions but corporate underestimated corporate's control over its rabid dog Crackers? (or is this a biscuit for it's rabid dog Crackers) (death to the either/or)
  5. Earlier yesterday before the FBI broke into Trump's safe the Post broke a story that Trump wanted his generals to be as loyal as Hitlers and one of Trump's generals told Trump Hitler's generals tried to kill Hitler three times
  6. Do I keep jeffhead or switch to jeffflag, latest below (I will keep jeffhead and separate tag flag and regret I did not think of jeffflag first, I would have once but I'm old, at least nobody with a warrant broke into the safe I do not own)
  7. Meanwhile, round and round, up and down, in the streets of my town: Regretfully, I email today to make the community aware of hateful and dangerous flyers that were posted in St. Paul Park overnight: Two fliers, with a hateful, racist message, were found in St. Paul Park, one affixed to the communications box near Oberon Street and one affixed to the front of the fire truck apparatus in the playground. Both were found this morning around 7:30am and removed. However, this brings another note of awful caution. Both of these fliers were affixed with razor blades attached to the corners, under the flyer, in an attempt to harm whomever may go to remove them. Fortunately, there were no injuries to the community members who removed the fliers.
  8. My chromebook updated and now twitter and evernote and gmail toggle to black screen white type at 8PM EDT, in other tech news I now have free access to acrobat and its many menus but to use as I'd want I'd need a real PC with more oomph and then I'd have to teach myself how to use programs I'll never use, I can toggle myself between black and white on this chromebook to do what I what the fuck I fuck the what
  9. Fuck it, jeffflags it is on *this* shitsite

When domestic unity is built on foreign enemies
Neofeudalism, Batman, White Saviourism
The apocalyptic fearThe internet is not what you think it is
The controversial plan to unleash the Mississippi
The river below Cairo Illinois should be called the Ohio, yo, it's the bigger river when it's tributary, the Mississippi, merges with it
Earth is spinning faster than 50 years ago
The consciousness of bees
FRESH HELLscroll through for the last three weekly links I didn't post cause vacation
Maggie's weekly linksscroll through for the last three weekly links I didn't post cause vacation
scroll through for the last three weekly links I didn't post cause vacation{ feuilleton }'s weekly links
Call Your Mother is OK, Zingerman's overrated
The fairy tales school of English-language poetry
On Renee Gladman's *Plans for Sentences,* my copy in backpack, just starting so can't vouch yet but will be surprised if I don't (I do vouch for her *Ravicka* novella trilogy)
Will Oldham interviewKate Bush confronting nuclear war
Blog dayziest blog days of summer ever, at this not-pace I'll need open a new moribund mortuary by the end of August (this supposes a damn to weed and transplant I do not at the moment have)


Jana Prikryl

Out of the sheath dress
gently hopping, sparrow in the lot below
in the great complacency of summer
pressing down, waves of it
what can the plants do but endure this closeness
the trees, their varieties, and ivy, nameless shrubs
and hedges, no one speaks their names
only flowers get that nod and certain grasses
so that when a day of cooler breath in July
airs out the neighborhood you feel
for a moment the rustling in lindens, oaks, sycamores
as they sense what's been withheld
for months, that's when the mature ones
rustle it off, slip almost
sexily out of that dress, unbearable
to feel such potential against one's skin

Friday, August 5, 2022

The Flag Snaps in the Glare and Silence of the Unbroken Ice

Latest flag, I got Doctor Servin ears, people vouch
I want to talk baseball I want to paint I want to write in tablet, what year is this?

The animal worlds that lie beyond our perceptions
They take the cracker in Cracker Barrel literally as a promise (and considering Cracker Barrel's cracker history, a broken promise)
No one, of course, will pass a law requiring crackers to stop eating dead animals and eat Beyond Meat, the issue is that *you* can eat Beyond Meat, this is the cracker moral algorithm
Climate change muting nature's symphony
The boss will see you now: surveilling workers
Surveilling home: Amazon and igspay
How capitalism destroyed the internet
I stopped painting on gridded notebook paper and started painting on watercolor paper and gridding it of sorts myself, and I have officially benched fountain pens and inks, both until I remember everything I forgot about watercolor and wash and color, I wrote first in tablet when I could have typed it here first, both were open
A united labor movement can stop the Far Right?
The Democratic Party exists to stop a united labor movement, yo
The US Military Was Just Used To Help A Dementia Patient Try To Start WW3
The provoking and the provokedCrabby pedants
Both can be true: I've witnessed what ruthless assholes the Lerners are, Mocos, tell them about White Flint if they need a vouch, and no doubt 9/10ths of the $443M in the "contract offer" due in 2045 dollars AND the Lerners could have offered Juan Soto $443M in TODAY'S dollars in all good faith and Juan Soto was never going to sign a long-term contract
Red posted for the first time since 2019, this is why I keep cemetery blogrolls!
UnknowableWhy we need to study nothing
I do not understand mixing blue and never have, gotta fix, my theory I see more blues than all other colors combined and if I had a kit it'd be indigo shirt, palest blue shots, indigo socks, AND I'D NEVER MIX THE ONE I WANT (L says I can't in watercolor, stop trying) I'm useless with blue, gonna work on that, something in Soto's trade and Vin Scully dying (Jon Miller doing Vin Scully on hometown Os radio) and remembering years I spent nights in Memorial Stadium's upper right deck knocked some Baltimore baseball memories loose, I wrote this table and typed and edited here and it didn't kill me, Jeff
Poets complaining about writing poetry
Elizabeth Hardwich in (Machias) Maine
Brief literary conversation with two dead friends
Rukeyser: raging for the world that is
New EnoSemiotics of DogsSorokin's Telluria


Randall Jarrell

At home, in my flannel gown, like a bear to its floe,
I clambered to bed; up the globe's impossible sides
I sailed all night—till at last, with my black beard,
My furs and my dogs, I stood at the northern pole.

There in the childish night my companions lay frozen,
The stiff furs knocked at my starveling throat,
And I gave my great sigh: the flakes came huddling,
Were they really my end? In the darkness I turned to my rest.

—Here, the flag snaps in the glare and silence
Of the unbroken ice. I stand here,
The dogs bark, my beard is black, and I stare
At the North Pole . . .
                                        And now what? Why, go back.

Turn as I please, my step is to the south.
The world—my world spins on this final point
Of cold and wretchedness: all lines, all winds
End in this whirlpool I at last discover.

And it is meaningless. In the child's bed
After the night's voyage, in that warm world
Where people work and suffer for the end
That crowns the pain—in that Cloud-Cuckoo-Land

I reached my North and it had meaning.
Here at the actual pole of my existence,
Where all that I have done is meaningless,
Where I die or live by accident alone—

Where, living or dying, I am still alone;
Here where North, the night, the berg of death
Crowd me out of the ignorant darkness,
I see at last that all the knowledge
I wrung from the darkness—that the darkness flung me—
Is worthless as ignorance: nothing comes from nothing,
The darkness from the darkness. Pain comes from the darkness 
And we call it wisdom. It is pain.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

What I Had Discovered Is That Every Space Contains More Space Than the Space It Contains

Now back where I sit and type I sit and type my confession I bought one day before the end of vacation two dozen of the pens I currently adore, a 0.4 MM Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica, black ink, fully aware that I won't have two hours a day every day in Maine to write in tablet while L paints wherever she wants in the middle of a hike for fifty-one weeks. If I'd wrote that sentence in tablet I would have had to type it here anyway, it made sense in Maine woods, not where I sit and type this, fuck me

Two weeks in a not-our house too much for the two of us who were not too much for the two of us for the two weeks it was just the two of us, Momcat welcomed us home, screaming her silent meow

Going on vacation my third favorite thing, being on vacation my favorite thing, getting home from vacation my second favorite thing
A useful and thoughtful duh on why Conservatives have always and will always hate public education, posted on behalf of my wife and daughter who are public school teachers, my mother and father and the aunts and uncles who were public school teachers, my friends who are public school teachers, you if you're a public school teacher, and all public school teachers
Maine hiking: hot, as in heat and humidity, especially on bald granite, harder for that, but my eyes - every post but two a year tagged My Blindness for real not just metaphorical gagging - steep rocky downhill scrambles now scare the fuck out of me and are no fun, I have lost vision yes in both eyes' lower periphery, but it's fucked with my balance enough to scare the fuck out of me on steep rocky downhill scrambles. L helped, sticks didn't
We spent Saturday in New Hampshire at L's friends house on a pond sorta halfway between Corcord and Keene, I had three hours by myself to drive by myself roads I'd never driven, swoon, while they had three hours together, for those following, New Hampshire - at least where we were and where I've been in the past - not Maine, I'd like to spend two weeks just the two of us in not-our house in Sally's house for a fair comparison, Maine light better, New Hampshire's vibe major better, I vote light usually but
Tried audio books, including Gaddis' *JR,* on long drive to and from and no, it's me, not Audible, not because Audible's Amazon, mind, my complicity is documented every post but two a year, but because it'd be a waste of my money, even more than all the books I buy I don't read (not Amazon when possible, I virtue-signal)
Bud-wise? Michigan > Maine > DC, though Michigan and Maine competitive, DC dead fucking last
I skipped middle age in my head and went straight to old, I was young before the plague and rusted during, the fuck


William Gass

The other large carton unpacked in the same way - box into box - but the feeling it gave me was the opposite of that suggested b the endless nest of Russians dollies it otherwise resembled, for what I was opening was a den of spaces which now covered the floor near my feet. It was plain that every ten-by-ten-by eight container contained cubes which were nine by nine by seven, and eight by eight by six, and seven by seven by five, and so on down to three by three by two, as well as many smaller, thinly sided one at every interval in between, so that out of one box a million more might multiply, confirming Zeno's view, although at that age, with an unfurnished mind, I couldn't have known of his paradoxes let alone have been able to describe one with any succinctness. What I had discovered is that every space contains more space than the space it contains.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Cannibally Carving Each Other's Live Meat

Born 203 years ago today.

From Moby Dick:
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues- every stately or lovely emblazoning- the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtle deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge- pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored and coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?

(Added 2015: read that outloud. I dare you. I double-dog dare you.)

Via Brad:
"Poor Hoffman — I remember the shock I had when I first saw the mention of his madness. — But he was just the man to go mad — imaginative, voluptuously inclined, poor, unemployed, in the race of life distanced by his inferiors, unmarried, — without a port of haven in the universe to make. . . . This going mad of a friend or acquaintance comes straight home to every man who feels his soul in him, — which but few men do.  For in all of us lodges the same fuel to light the same fire.  And he who has never felt, momentarily, what madness is has but a mouthful of brains." (Correspondence)

"[I]t is often to be observed, that as in digging for precious metals in the mines, much earthy rubbish has first to be troublesomely handled and thrown out; so, in digging in one's soul for the fine gold of genius, much dullness and common-place is first brought to light.  Happy would it be, if the man possessed in himself some receptacle for his own rubbish of this sort: but . . . [n]o common-place is ever effectually got rid of, except by essentially emptying one's self of it into a book; for once trapped in a book, then the book can be put into the fire, and all will be well." (Pierre)

"I forgot to mention, that last night about 9 1/2 P.M. Adler & Taylor came into my room, & it was proposed to have whiskey punches, which we did have, accordingly.  Adler drank about three table spoons full — Taylor 4 or five tumblers &c.  We had an extraordinary time & did not break up till after two in the morning.  We talked metaphysics continually, & Hegel, Schlegel, Kant &c. were discussed under the influence of the whiskey." (Correspondence)

"We incline to think that God cannot explain His own secrets, and that He would like a little information upon certain points Himself. We mortals astonish Him as much as He us. But it is this Being of the matter; there lies the knot with which we choke ourselves. As soon as you say Me, a God, a Nature, so soon you jump off from your stool and hang from the beam. Yes, that word is the hangman. Take God out of the dictionary, and you would have Him in the street." (Correspondence)

""Dolt & ass that I am I have lived more than 29 years, & until a few days ago, never made close acquaintance with the divine William [Shakespeare]." (Correspondence)

From: The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade
"I am pleased to believe that beauty is at bottom incompatible with ill, and therefore am so eccentric as to have confidence in the latent benignity of that beautiful creature, the rattle-snake, whose lithe neck and burnished maze of tawny gold, as he sleekly curls aloft in the sun, who on the prairie can behold without wonder?" As he breathed these words, he seemed so to enter into their spirit — as some earnest descriptive speakers will — as unconsciously to wreathe his form and sidelong crest his head, till he all but seemed the creature described. Meantime, the stranger regarded him with little surprise, apparently, though with much contemplativeness of a mystical sort, and presently said: "When charmed by the beauty of that viper, did it never occur to you to change personalities with him? to feel what it was to be a snake? to glide unsuspected in grass? to sting, to kill at a touch; your whole beautiful body one iridescent scabbard of death? In short, did the wish never occur to you to feel yourself exempt from knowledge, and conscience, and revel for a while in the care-free, joyous life of a perfectly instinctive, unscrupulous, and irresponsible creature?

Via Ed (lots of Melville there):
But not yet have we solved the incantation of this whiteness, and learned why it appeals with such power to the soul; and more strange and far more portentous—why, as we have seen, it is at once the most meaning symbol of spiritual things, nay, the very veil of the Christian’s Deity; and yet should be as it is, the intensifying agent in things the most appalling to mankind.
(from Moby Dick).

Via Flowerville, from Pierre, or The Ambiguities.
From these random slips, it would seem, that Pierre is quite conscious of much that is so anomalously hard and bitter in his lot, of much that is so black and terrific in his soul. Yet that knowing his fatal condition does not one whit enable him to change or better his condition. Conclusive proof that he has on power over his condition. For in tremendous extremities human souls are like drowning men; well enough they know they are in peril; well enough they know the causes of that peril; -- nevertheless, the sea is the sea, and these drowning men do drown.

But is life, indeed, a thing for all infidel levities, and we, its misdeemed beneficiaries, so utterly fools and infatuate, that what we take to be our strongest tower of delight, only stands at the caprice of the minutest event—the falling of a leaf, the hearing of a voice, or the receipt of one little bit of paper scratched over with a few small characters by a sharpened feather? Are we so entirely insecure, that that casket, wherein we have placed our holiest and most final joy, and which we have secured by a lock of infinite deftness; can that casket be picked and desecrated at the merest stranger's touch, when we think that we alone hold the only and chosen key? 

From Moby Dick:
Though amid all the smoking horror and diabolism of a sea-fight, sharks will be seen longingly gazing up to the ship's decks, like hungry dogs round a table where red meat is being carved, ready to bolt down every killed man that is tossed to them; and though, while the valiant butchers over the deck-table are thus cannibally carving each other's live meat with carving-knives all gilded and tassled, the sharks, also, with the jewel-hilted mouths, are quarrelsomely carving away under the table at the dead meat; and though, were you to turn the whole affair upside-down, it would still be pretty much the same thing, that is to say, a shocking sharkish business enough for all parties; and though sharks also are the invariable outriders of slave ships crossing the Atlantic, systematically trotting alongside, to be handy in case a parcel is to be carried anywhere, or a dead slave to be decently buried; and though one or two other like instances might be set down, touching the set terms, places, and occasions, when sharks do socially congregate, and most hilariously feast; yet there is no conceivable time or occasion when you will find them in such countless numbers, and in gayer or more jovial spirits, than around a dead sperm whale, moored by night to a whale-ship at sea. If you have never seen that sight, then suspend your decision about the propriety of devil-worship, and the expediency of conciliating the devil.

From Moby Dick (and for Savid Dampselle and that other guy who was in Dampselle's Gaithersburg High School English class up on D-Wing above the Auto-Shop classroom/garage):

“Squeeze! Squeeze! Squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till I myself almost melted into it; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me, and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-labourers' hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking up into their eyes sentimentally, as much as to say,—Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill humour or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.”   

Oh, you read Melville's traditional High Egoslavian Holy Day post this far? Thank you!

2019: I wrote earlier this year I can't imagine reading Moby Dick again because of whaling, I can imagine reading again, maybe, but not soon.

2019: Someone else with my qualms and reason to read it again soon 


2020: Read Benito Cereno in March, and, re: Moby Dick, I am in negotiations with myself whether if I skip the slaughters is it reading the novel

2021: I read the torturing, murdering, and rendering of whales and I will never do it again

2022: Laugh, I was going to below the fold this post but my goddamn free blogging platform seems to have eliminated that option! I have very vague intentions to reread *Confidence Man* before Melville's 204th birthday

Have I ever mentioned that I love Melville? Oh, the condensed Moby Dick? Was NINE YEARS AGO'S Giftmas present from my daughter C. Have I ever told you I love my daughter?

Saturday, July 30, 2022

I Was Born, You Must Lose Me

Sixty-four today. Still one of two charter and permanent seats on MSADI5G, I listen to her now as much as I listen to the other which is to say on birthdays only now, the debts we owe our gods are not a burden. LOTS of songs, many, probably, dead,