Friday, January 24, 2020

Loudspeakers Disappearing into a Hidden Gulag

  • Everybody carpet-bombing Sanders helping Sanders, I said last night at not Thursday Night Pints, Thursday Night Pints is dead though last night was Thursday and I had a pint at a table where three others had pints 
  • It's pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring training for carpet-bombing Sanders season to re-gag a metaphor I bump relentlessly, I said
  • Consider the noise if Sanders wins Iowa then New Hampshire then South Carolina Hoowee!
  • if you don't want that noise you're no fun (two of three are no fun)
  • Confession: I don't hate Radiohead though don't post Radiohead here, it's Radiohead imitators, like Ashbery's, that fart

  • and someone I'd never met wearing a Radiohead hoodie sitting opposite of me at a Tombs table said huh and I said I am learning not to explain, and the two people I knew before the pints who are gleefully embracing their motherfucking Democrats apostasies (if one of them not crazy sandering) grateful I explained
  • I am witnessing apostasies, I said, wait for the BIG OBAMAPOSTASY after Sanders wins Iowa then New Hampshire then South Carolina (or even as early as post-Iowa, pre-New Hampshire (or even as early as pre-Iowa as motherfucking Obama's motherfucking surrogates already shouting Obama hates Bernie)) (nobody at the table but me old enough to have got a Bridget Loves Bernie allusion so I kept it to myself)
  • Sanders wom't win Iowa then New Hampshire then South Carolina, I said, it's against DNC rules, but shazam, if
  • Insubordination on Capitalism's flagship, not permitted, mutiny not permitted, peasant revolution, ofay opscay rapid militarized against, I said
  • I'm not pro-Sanders, I said, I'm crazy for pissing off crazy anti-Bernies
  • Crazy Bernie, I said, I for one will attend his grand opening of the first gulag for mnuchins, bells on


Amanda Calderon

It was a party
Built for the minuscule elite
Lost amid acres of scuffed marble, wanderers
Newspapers & schoolwork
People knew
To speak in surreal, mechanical hyperbole
Government, of course
Monuments, behemoths
Of relative luxury
I know what you want to ask
I want you to take the truth to the world
Down in the city, loudspeakers
Disappearing into a hidden gulag
Centuries ago
The monks appeared
Every morning in the lobbies of our hotels
A minder was beside them
The monks followed us out into the parking lot

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

I Write at Last of the One Forbidden Topic We, by a Truce, Have Never Touched Upon: Resentment, Malice, Hatred So Inwrought with Moral Inhibitions, So at Odds with the Home-Movie of Yourself as Patience, Kindness and Charlton Heston Playing Socrates, that Almost All of Us Were Taken In, Yourself Not Least, as to a Giant Roxy, Where the Lights Dimmed and the Famous Allegory Of Good and Evil, Clearly Identified by the Unshaven Surliness of the Bad Guys, the Virginal Meekness of the Ingenue, Seduced Us Straight into that Perfect World of Justice Under God

I forgot Hecht's birthday, born 97 years and six days ago, the fuck is wrong with me beyond fine metaphors abounding, many, more poems and Hecht stories here


Anthony Hecht

I write at last of the one forbidden topic
We, by a truce, have never touched upon:
Resentment, malice, hatred so inwrought
With moral inhibitions, so at odds with
The home-movie of yourself as patience, kindness
And Charlton Heston playing Socrates,
That almost all of us were taken in,
Yourself not least, as to a giant Roxy,
Where the lights dimmed and the famous allegory
Of Good and Evil, clearly identified
By the unshaven surliness of the Bad Guys,
The virginal meekness of the ingenue,
Seduced us straight into that perfect world
Of Justice under God. Art for the sake
Of money, glamour, ego, self-deceit.
When we emerged into the assaulting sunlight,
We had a yen, like bad philosophers,
To go back and stay forever, there in the dark
With the trumpets, horses, and ancient Certitudes
On which, as we know, this great nation was founded,
Washington crossing the Delaware, and so forth.
And all of us, for an hour or so after,
Were Humphrey Bogart dating Ingrid Bergman,
Walking together but incommunicado
Till subway and homework knocked us out of it.
Yet even then, whatever we returned to
Was not, although we thought it was, the world.

I write at last on the topic because I am safe
Here in the grubby border town
With its one cheap hotel. No one has my address.
The food is bad, the wine too expensive,
And the local cathedral marred by restorations.
But from my balcony I view the east
For miles and, if I lean, the local sunsets
That bathe a marble duke with what must be
Surely the saddest light I have ever seen.
The air is thin and cool at this elevation,
And my desk wobbles unless propped with matchbooks.

It began, I suppose, as a color, yellow-green,
The tincture of spring willows, not so much color
As the sensation of color, haze that took shape
As a light scum, a doily of minutiae
On the smooth pool and surfaces of your mind.
A founding colony, Pilgrim amoebas
Descended from the gaseous flux when Zeus
Tossed down his great original thunderbolt
That flashed in darkness like an electric tree
Or the lit-up veins in an old arthritic hand.

Here is the microscope one had as a child,
The Christmas gift of some forgotten uncle.
Here is the slide with a drop of cider vinegar
As clear as gin, clear as your early mind.
Look down, being most careful not to see
Your own eye in the mirror underneath,
Which will appear, unless your view is right,
As a darkness on the face of the first waters.
When all is silvery and brilliant, look:
The long, thin, darting shapes, the flagellates,
Rat-tailed, ambitious, lash themselves along -
Those humble, floating ones, those simple cells
Content to be borne on whatever tide,
Trustful, the very image of consent -
These are the frail, unlikely origins,
Scarcely perceived, of all your shall become.
Scarcely perceived? But at this early age
(What are you, one or two?) you have no knowledge
Nor do your folks, not could the gravest doctors
Suspect that anything was really wrong.
Nor see the pale beginnings, lace endeavors
That with advancing ages shall mature
Into sea lettuce, beard the rocky shore
With a light green of soft and tidal hair.

Whole eras, seemingly without event,
Now scud the glassy pool processionally
Until one day, misty, uncalendared,
As mild and unemphatic as a schwa,
Vascular tissue, conduit filaments
Learn how to feel the outposts of that small
Emerald principate. Now there are roots,
The filmy gills of toadstools, crested fern,
Quillworts, and foxtail mosses, and at last
Snapweed, loment, trillium, grass, herb Robert.
How soundlessly, shyly this came about,
One thinks today. But that is not the truth.
It was, from the first, an everlasting war
conducted, as always, at gigantic cost.
Think of the droughts, the shifts of wind and weather,
The many seeds washed to some salt conclusion
Or brought to rest at last on barren ground.
Think of some inching tendrils worming down
In hope of water, blind and white as death.
Think of the strange mutations life requires.
Only the toughest endured, themselves much altered,
Trained in the cripple's careful sciences
Of mute accommodation. The survivors
Were all, one way or another, amputees
Who learned to live with their stumps, like Brueghel's beggars.

Yet, for all that, it clearly was a triumph,
Considering, as one must, what was to come
And, even by themselves, those fields of clover,
Cattails, marsh bracken, water-lily pads
Stirred by the lightest airs, pliant, submissive -
Who could have called their slow creation rage?

Consider, as one must, what was to come.
Great towering conifers, deciduous,
Rib-vaulted elms, the banyan, oak, and palm,
Sequoia forests of vindictiveness
That also would go down on the death list
And, buried deep beneath the alluvial shifts,
Would slowly darken into lakes of coal
And then under exquisite pressure turn
Into the tiny diamonds of pure hate.
The delicate fingers of the clematis
Feeling their way along a face of shale
With all the ingenuity of spite.
The indigestible thistle of revenge.
And your most late accomplishment, the rose.
Until at last, what we might designate
As your Third Day, behold a world of green:
Color of hope, of the Church's springtide vestments,
The primal wash, heraldic hue of envy.
But in what pre-lapsarian disguise!
Strangers and those who do not know you well
(Yourself not least) are quickly taken in
By a summary prospect, shades of innocence.
Like that young girl, a sort of chance acquaintance,
Seven or eight she was, on the New York Central,
Who, with a blue-eyed, beatific smile,
Shouted with joy, "Look, Mommy, quick, Look. Daisies!"

These days, with most of us at a safe distance,
You scarcely know yourself. Whole weeks go by
Without your remembering that enormous effort,
Ages of disappointment, the long ache
Of motives twisted out of recognition,
The doubt and hesitation all submerged
In those first clear waters, that untroubled pool.
Who could have hope for this eventual peace?
Moreover, there are moments almost of bliss,
A sort of recompense, in which your mood
Sorts with the peach endowments of late sunlight
On a snowfield or on the breaker's froth
Or the white steeple of the local church.
Or, like a sunbather, whose lids retain
A greenish, gemmed impression of the sun
In lively, fluctuant geometries,
You sometimes contemplate a single image,
Utterly silent, utterly at rest.
It is of someone, a stranger, quite unknown,
Sitting alone in a foreign-looking room,
Gravely intent at a table propped with matchbooks,
Writing this poem - about me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

will be nice, will say some kind word, the cool front yard before us and the dogs in the backyard shitting on everything

Me 6:15 this morning waking up after three days hiking w Earthgirl

Me at 8AM smelling the World's Shittiest Human's latest self-serving turd


Matthew Dickman

My mother and I are on the front porch lighting each other's cigarettes
as if we were on a ten-minute break from our jobs
at being a mother and son, just ten minutes
to steal a moment of freedom before clocking back in, before
putting the aprons back on, the paper hats,
washing our hands twice and then standing
behind the counter again,
hoping for tips, hoping the customers
will be nice, will say some kind word, the cool
front yard before us and the dogs 
in the backyard shitting on everything.
We are hunched over, two extras on the set of The Night of the Hunter.
I am pulling a second cigarette out of the pack, a swimmer
rising from a pool of other swimmers. Soon we will go back
inside and sit in the yellow kitchen and drink
the rest of the coffee 
and what is coming to kill us will pour milk
into mine and sugar into hers.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Count Your Broken Bones

Star Trek, the original but especially Next Generation, my primary indoctrination text on American exceptionalism and capitalist imperialism, we are good and kind and generous conquerors, yo, leaving galaxies of planets better for our conquering

I tried watching an original episode - the one with Nazis when Mike Pence played John Gill - a few months back, was awful and interminable, but today the centennial of Bones' birth, and since once upon a time I did watch it, day after day on reruns:

  • I've never, can't, read or watch any other science fiction, I've tried, and I sure as fuck don't want to watch Bones argue with Spock ever again (or Picard on CBS now)
  • The NYT editorial board and Bernie Sanders: These are broken people. They are influential, they have a tiny bit of power, but they are broken. The system has shaped them (no one gets near the top of the NYTimes without having kissed ass all their life) into the perfect servants to power. Their judgment is pure aesthetics; pure feel. It is nearly void of content. Yes, they oppose Sanders policies, but if they became the elite consensus, these people would adapt and defend them as fiercely as they do centrist politics
  • Always decorum, never policy
  • Who's the racist?
  • Hostile environment (related to above)
  • Blundering into war
  • Reminder: obamapostasy
  • Crackers and guns
  • Deep Space Nine at least admits the possibility that we *aren't* good and kind and generous conquerors before determining that yes we are 
  • City Status
  • Voyager just sucks
  • The chosen pig
  • On listening to King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King


C.D. Wright

     If you will grant me that most of us have an equivocal nature,and that when we waken we have not made up our minds which direction we're headed; so that—you might see a man driving to work in a perfume- and dye-free shirt, and a woman with an overdone tan hold up an orange flag in one hand, a Virginia Slim in the other—as if this were their predestination. Grant me that both of them were likely contemplating a different scheme of things. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO SPEND ETERNITY the church marquee demands on the way to my boy's school, SMOKING OR NON-SMOKING. I admit I had not thought of where or which direction in exactly those terms. The radio ministry says g-o-d has a wrong-answer button and we are all waiting for it to go off...
                                          Count your grey hairs
                                          Count your chigger bites
                                          Count your pills
                                          Count the times the phone rings
                                          Count your T cells
                                          Count your mosquito bites
                                          Count the days since your last menses
                                          Count the chickens you've eaten
                                          Count your cankers
                                          Count the storm candles
                                          Count your stitches
                                          Count your broken bones
                                          Count the flies you killed before noon

Sunday, January 19, 2020

No Recollect of the Beauty We Destroy Today

Below, a tree, yesterday on Ten Mile Creek Trail in sleet, gorgeous, the second found art we've discovered on a Moco trail in past three months, very cool

  • Friday morning encounter with a Warrenite colleague, Saturday afternoon encounter with a Sandernista colleague 
  • (I know no Biden colleague (or any of the other motherfucking Democratic candidates colleagues))
  • Regardless, I said to my Warrenite colleague, whether Sanders said what she said he said two years ago, if he *did* say what she said he said two years ago she waited two years to say it for basest political gain, and that's fucking OK, anyone who wants to be POTUS, including Bernie Sanders, is a psychopath and asshole
  • Parked on Ten Mike Creek Road, the hundred yards of it to the gate, after crossing the foot bridge over Ten Mile Creek what remains of Ten Mile Creek Road continues ahead a quarter mile to the banks of the flooded valley (after Ten Mile Creek Trail branches uphill to the right), I probably wished it so but I told myself the slight uphill and curve to the left then downhill until disappearing into the lake looked familiar
  • What, I said to my Sandernista colleague, that little poke? you're apoplectic over that little poke? wait until the Comcast propagandists at motherfucking MSNBC run fat frauds analyzing Bernie's body language (and enjoyed the pop I got)
  • Below (bigger, better, here) another self-portrait, started earlier this week, finished last night after finding the above tree



sometimes I strain
                                         to hear one
            when gender blurs in a
         poem my world sets a
              tooth in the gear
               if god is in me
       when will I ask for
     my needs to be met
    every god is qualified
       it is not such a secret
       when I was afraid of the
            road I learned to drive
               map says name of
            your city in ocean
            line drawn to it
          towing behind
          the big party
   history of life on
      earth might be
      interesting to a
        visitor one day
 chewing parsley and
cilantro together is for
           me where forest
               meets meadow
                    in a future life
                   would we like to
                 fall in love with the
                    world as it is with
                       no recollection
                       of the beauty
                       we destroy

Thursday, January 16, 2020

To Be Sure I Cheeped a Lot But Didn't Try to Fly

  • Lull, not dark, grey. Since I consider myself Cassandra, canary, weathervane, fool (and of course metaphor) I claim this a feature not a bug of - hey remember when some rich fuck with access to the rich and powerful sold teenage girls to the rich and powerful, got caught, was murdered in his jail cell by the rich and powerful 27 light years ago? - incessantly increasingly overloads of deliberately disorienting overlord noise, I think you are lulled, not dark, grey too
  • documenting the noise back soon since I am Cassandra, canary, weathervane, fool (and of course metaphor) as are you
  • Also, I got Doctor Sevrin ears


Jim Harrison

I envied the dog lying in the yard
so I did it. But there was a pebble
under my flank so I got up and looked
for the pebble, brushed it away
and lay back down. My dog thus far
overlooked the pebble. I guess it's her thick
Lab fur. With my head downhill the blood gorged
me with ideas. Not good. Got up. Turned around. Now I
see hundreds of infinitesimal ants. I'm on an
ant home. I get up and move five feet.
The dog hasn't moved from her serene place.
Now I'm rather too near a thicket where
I saw a big black snake last week that might decide
to join me. I moved near the actual dog this time
but she got up and went under the porch. She doesn't like
it when I'm acting weird. I'm failing as a dog
when my own kind rejects me, but doing better
than when I envied birds, the creature the least
like us, therefore utterly enviable. To be sure
I cheeped a lot but didn't try to fly.
We humans can take off but are no good at landing.