Friday, July 30, 2021

I Never Said a Word About Maisie Again


The first days in Maine of every vacation here (this our fifth and we're booked for next year, two weeks next year) we daydream of living here, by Tuesday we realize if we lived here we'd need another there and we like here as our there

I've barely read, I've hardly written, last evening the first time since last Friday I've opened a tab of Washington Post, I've done no blogroll fishing much less contemplated aggregating aargh and haven't since a week ago today when I changed linking protocols to improve the look of the grid, fuck me. I've done one tourist post with photos and one BLCKDGRD Holy Day post for Ashbery, I'm not doing one for William Gass today, here's last year's (and the year before's and the year before's), last year's had Garcia's birthday post, Jerry's birthday tomorrow, that takes care of that. I suspect tomorrow night I will load the giant Herman post and set it to publish Sunday morning when we're halfway to Portland on 95 on way home though the reread of The Fucking Whale Novel this past year will be my last, no more tortured whales for me no matter how many shitty humans die


Our catsitter reports seeing Napoleon both morning and late afternoon of every day, Momcat too, and the indoor cats are said to be happy too. Work being respectful and not sending email (much) and I'm not fretting the cascade that will come this Monday (or worrying about the presentation I make on Monday to a campus-wide committee chaired by the provost on streaming media policies that I was to work on here and fuck that). A family of loons live in the lake in the backyard, parents and two chicks, the sunsets at Seal Cove have been subtle with the exception of one spectacular, we drive down at seven after I've disc golfed late afternoon at Habana's in Trenton while Lynn paints on the kayak on the lake, we've discovered gorgeous new hikes outside of Acadia, we're in bed by nine and up by six. This happiness shit sideways me. I like it, hope it never ends, can't wait for it to stop




 

Sixty-three today. Still one of two 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 links, many, probably, dead, here

 


CAMP OF NO RETURN

James Tate

I sat in the old tree swing without swinging. My loafer had fallen off and I left it on the ground. My sister came running out of the house to tell me something. She said, "I'm going to camp tomorrow." I said, "I don't believe you." She said, "I am. It's a fact. Mother told me." We didn't speak for the rest of the day. I was mad at her for getting to do something I didn't. At dinner I asked mother what kind of camp it was. She said, "Oh, just a camp like any other." I didn't really know what that meant. The next day they got her ready to go, and then they drove off, leaving me with the neighbors. When they got back everything was normal, except I missed Maisie. And I missed her more each following day. I didn't know how much she had meant to me before. I asked my parents over and over how much longer it would be. All they said was soon. I told some kids at school how long my sister had been gone. One of them said, "She'll never be back. That's the death camp." When I got home I told my parents what that boy had said. "He doesn't know what he's talking about," my father said. But after a couple of more weeks of her absence I began to wonder. That's when they began to clean out Maisie's room. I said, "What are you doing?" You said Maise will be back soon." My mother said, "Maisie's not coming back. She likes it there better than she does here." "That's not true. I don't believe you," I said. My father gave me a look that let me know I might be next if I didn't mend my ways. I never said a word about Maisie again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

It Remains for Us to Come to Terms with Our Commonality and in Doing So Deprive Time of Further Hostages

HOTEL LAUTREAMONT

John Ashbery

1.
Research has shown that ballads were produced by all of society
working as a team. They didn’t just happen. There was no guesswork.
The people, then, knew what they wanted and how to get it.
We see the results in works as diverse as “Windsor Forest” and “The Wife of Usher’s Well.”   

Working as a team, they didn’t just happen. There was no guesswork.
The horns of elfland swing past, and in a few seconds
we see the results in works as diverse as “Windsor Forest” and “The Wife of Usher’s Well,”
or, on a more modern note, in the finale of the Sibelius violin concerto.

The horns of elfland swing past, and in a few seconds
the world, as we know it, sinks into dementia, proving narrative passé,
or in the finale of the Sibelius violin concerto.
Not to worry, many hands are making work light again.

The world, as we know it, sinks into dementia, proving narrative passé.
In any case the ruling was long overdue.
Not to worry, many hands are making work light again,
so we stay indoors. The quest was only another adventure.


   2.
In any case, the ruling was long overdue.
The people are beside themselves with rapture
so we stay indoors. The quest was only another adventure
and the solution problematic, at any rate far off in the future.

The people are beside themselves with rapture
yet no one thinks to question the source of so much collective euphoria,
and the solution: problematic, at any rate far off in the future.
The saxophone wails, the martini glass is drained.

Yet no one thinks to question the source of so much collective euphoria.
In troubled times one looked to the shaman or priest for comfort and counsel.
The saxophone wails, the martini glass is drained,
and night like black swansdown settles on the city.

In troubled times one looked to the shaman or priest for comfort and counsel.
Now, only the willing are fated to receive death as a reward,
and night like black swansdown settles on the city.
If we tried to leave, would being naked help us?


   3.
Now, only the willing are fated to receive death as a reward.
Children twist hula-hoops, imagining a door to the outside.
If we tried to leave, would being naked help us?
And what of older, lighter concerns? What of the river?

Children twist hula-hoops, imagining a door to the outside,
when all we think of is how much we can carry with us.
And what of older, lighter concerns? What of the river?
All the behemoths have filed through the maze of time.

When all we think of is how much we can carry with us
small wonder that those at home sit, nervous, by the unlit grate.
All the behemoths have filed through the maze of time.
It remains for us to come to terms with our commonality.

Small wonder that those at home sit nervous by the unlit grate.
It was their choice, after all, that spurred us to feats of the imagination.
It remains for us to come to terms with our commonality
and in so doing deprive time of further hostages.


   4.
It was their choice, after all, that spurred us to feats of the imagination.
Now, silently as one mounts a stair we emerge into the open
and in so doing deprive time of further hostages,
to end the standoff that history long ago began.

Now, silently as one mounts a stair we emerge into the open
but it is shrouded, veiled: We must have made some ghastly error.
To end the standoff that history long ago began
must we thrust ever onward, into perversity?

But it is shrouded, veiled: We must have made some ghastly error.
You mop your forehead with a rose, recommending its thorns.
Must we thrust ever onward, into perversity?
Only night knows for sure; the secret is safe with her.

You mop your forehead with a rose, recommending its thorns.
Research has shown that ballads were produced by all of society;
only night knows for sure. The secret is safe with her:
The people, then, knew what they wanted and how to get it.




The traditional BLCKDGRD Holy Day post

Ashbery born 94 years ago today, I have read - and posted - Vaucanson more than any other poem by anybody ever. The first sentence in the fourth stanza? Exactly.


2019:  My next tattoo, again cobalt blue, that first sentence fourth stanza, facing me from inner right wrist to inner right elbow, I H T W T G A D T L W L I P T D 

2020: No tattoo yet, negotiations with Earthgirl, who said I could get another tattoo anywhere on my body normally covered by clothes but please not another on my forearm and please not on my calves, had stalled when plague hit 

2020: I can tell by how I'm writing here and in and on tablets I've been reading Ashbery, a poem a day, working my way through Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems, more than one a day in Maine, reading the ones that talk to me, not worrying the few that don't, that is all that's to it

2020: Ashbery's birthday post never a second thought but the remainder of the run of Holy Days I had a second thought for all but Gass who I've never, this recent bloom of sudden done rampant, I can hear it and read it in my head, I don't want to hear it or read it with my ears and eyes, I started the rereading of *Notes from the Air* just to see if Ashbery too, and no 

2020: All that got a second thought (and Gass, who never) will be birthdayed with all proper copy/pasting (if not (as m)any new 2020: bullets)

2020: adding this to the birthday post

2021: Read *Flow Chart* for a second time past February, I admit I started it out of duty (I'd reread everything else at least twice and in most cases more and in some cases *lots* more, and enjoyed it more than I remember the liking the first time

2021: Still no tattoo, I could blame the plague but it's me, I still love the poem, don't need the tattoo

2021: View from the deck of the house in Seal Cove Maine where I'm typing this sentence at six in the morning



 
LATE ECHO

Alone with our madness and favorite flower
We see that there really is nothing left to write about.
Or rather, it is necessary to write about the same old things
In the same way, repeating the same things over and over
For love to continue and be gradually different.
   
Beehives and ants have to be re-examined eternally
And the color of the day put in

Hundreds of times and varied from summer to winter
For it to get slowed down to the pace of an authentic
Saraband and huddle there, alive and resting.
  
Only then can the chronic inattention
Of our lives drape itself around us, conciliatory
And with one eye on those long tan plush shadows
That speak so deeply into our unprepared knowledge
Of ourselves, the talking engines of our day.


Click ASHBERY for lots of poems. I say this every year: 40-so years ago someone gave me a copy of Ashbery's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror and changed my life.


VAUCANSON

John Ashbery

It was snowing as he wrote.
In the gray room he felt relaxed and singular,
But no one, of course, ever trusts these moods.

There had to be understanding to it.
Why, though? That always happens anyway,
And who gets the credit for it? Not what is understood,
Presumably, and it diminishes us
In our getting to know it.

As trees come to know a storm
Until it passes and light falls anew
Unevenly, on all the muttering kinship:
Things with things, persons with objects,
Ideas with people or ideas.

It hurts, this wanting to give a dimension
To life when life is precisely that dimension.
We are creatures, therefore we walk and talk
And people come up to us, or listen
And then move away.

Music fills the spaces
Where figures are pulled to the edges,
And it can only say something.

Sinews are loosened then,
The mind begins to think good thoughts.
Ah, this sun must be good:
Doing a number, completing its trilogy.
Life must be back there. You hid it
So no one could find it
And now you can't remember where.

But if one were to invent being a child again
It might just come close enough to being a living relic
To save this thing, save it from embarrassment
By ringing down the curtain,

And for a few seconds no one would notice.
The ending would seem perfect.
No feelings to dismay,
No tragic sleep to wake from in a fit
Of passionate guilt, only the warm sunlight
That slides easily down shoulders
To the soft, melting heart.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Schoodic 800


 
Schoodic yesterday. Maryland 72 miles, Pennsylvania, 220 miles, New York 71 miles, Connecticut 99 miles, Massachusetts 97 miles, New Hampshire 17 miles, Maine 224 miles, 800 miles, fifteen hours (because of three hours to get through emmeffing Massachusetts), view, in color, last night from the canoe launch in the back yard, worth the drive by itself, more later, probably, or not

Friday, July 23, 2021

Wagging Against My Knuckles



We leave early tomorrow morning at five for Maine and will again do the 495 to 95 to 695 to 83 to 81 to 84 to 90 to 290 to 495 to 95 to US1A in Bangor, the 1A to Maine 3 in Ellsworth then as soon as on Mount Desert Island right on unmarked Maine 102 to Seal Cove, should be there in time for sunset if all goes well. We will hike up The Gorge to Cadillac and will Great Wass again (Hi drip! I hope you are well and reading this somewhere, the rock eggs are gems), the rest we'll figure out, we're fluctuating on Isle au Haut, try something(s) new. Napoleon last night on our walk joined us out of a yard seven blocks and two streets away from our house, he heard our voices and waited until the last second to meow Surprise! and got a free ride home, over-under on day/time I post the Alert Monday 26th 7:oo pm EDT. We still have not bought the pies, sweet or savory, at the Somesville Family Meeting House on Wednesday afternoons, our landlords urge us, especially for the savory, note to self, and we will buy our produce from the University of the Atlantic's organic farm and collective. Reminded this week not to trust my bosses who tip their hands to me they do not trust their bosses who they thought they had fooled whereas I knew my bosses never think about me at all unless they must. Big birthdays during this trip, I won't pray to the wifi gods, revolution, the heavy-weightiest days a week ahead. The more I vow not to bark at my shitlords' algorithmically generated stimuli the more I gaze into their delivery devices' eyes. Cohen's first person chatty Netanyahus recommended by trustworthies, I have it to fail a second time. Believe I have successfully downloaded my Bandcamp purchases for an entirely new 495 to 95 to 895 to 83 to 81 to 84 to 90 to 290 to 495 to 95 to US1A in Bangor, the 1A to Maine 3 in Ellsworth then as soon as on Mount Desert Island right on unmarked Maine 102 to Seal Cove soundtrack, songs from two of the albums bracketing this meander. Yes I'm reading Proust, the only thing that sustainably works fuck my gnawing awareness I'm reading Proust in English so missing 80%, dude's now in the barracks with Saint Loup, dude's weird horniness for Saint Loup's aunt aflame We are not going to climb Champlain this year not for the up but for the down, I'm taking sticks this year




What is the experiment, again?
An immigrant living through American decline
The propaganda war (and how to fight it)
The single worse government in the world
Why neoliberals need neofascists
The anarchist in the network
Man in the box575Poison ivy
Ed Ward gets himself into one last sticky situation
The mournfulness of cities
As the human village prepares for its fate
Don't take it personally
Anne Boyer on watercolors
New Steve Gunn song!




MOVIE

Eileen Myles

You’re like
a little fruit
you’re like
a moon I want
to hold
I said lemon slope
about your
hip
because it’s one
of my words
about you
I whispered
in bed
this smoothing
the fruit &
then alone
with my book
but writing
in it the pages
wagging
against my knuckles
in the
light like a
sail.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The World Is at Least Fifty Percent Terrible



Brian May's 74th birthday yesterday, that's the second best Queen song ever, it's a Brian May song though Freddie sings lead, and personal touchstone, one person can vouch
My domain name renewed for another year
Happy 89th birthday yesterday to my dad, if he had written and sung the best Queen song ever he'd have got top billing because of my stupidass blaagerdesign rules
Talk of course turned to covid with the chorus of three singing Make People Get Vaccinated or Ban Them from Entrance into Any Public Space and Private Business. What I'm saying, I said, is that a person can simultaneously hold as true both that Covid exists as a dangerous risk to public health and will only get worse unless mitigated now *and* that our shitlords are exploiting the crisis not only for monetary profit but more importantly are using the crisis to manipulate important narratives of power - think about the achievement of more than half the people in the world wearing masks in conjunction with daily catastrophe roulette to keep us constantly disoriented and anxious and obedient.
No.IammediaochreBarkyouwhy
The propaganda war and how to fix it
Coming Soon! Resource wars for water!
Masters degrees are the 2nd biggest scam in academia
I did not say, for all I know this past week's Delta Awooga that triggered yesterday's massive selloff in the very stocks most affected by threats of another shutdown entirely legitimate from a medical crisis perspective and simultaneously think said perspective was known to shitlords two weeks ago when they short sold the stocks. For all I know lessons learned in the first attempt at worldwide behavioral modification as more than half the people put on masks saved countless lives while simultaneously taught the shitlords' peasantologists exciting new avenues towards optimum peasant herding tactics such as pace of OMFG releases depending on level of basic animal fear instincts wanted presently at any given moment, yadda, and always rent extraction, I've a penny in my left big toe, they will want it sooner or later
(late) { feuilleton }'s weekly links
Brian May, 74 yesterday, wrote and sang this, the best Queen song ever and my personal obsession for thirty plus years, I vouch






GOOD BONES

Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.