Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Freighter, in Whose Hold the Oily Links of the Anchor's Chain, Like Snakes, Are Coiled

Thirty years ago I was twenty-one, and from what I've learned over the past thirty years I was one dumb motherfucker in 1980. If Wikileaks serves one purpose it's to remind me of the dopey idealism I had as a dumb motherfucker thirty years ago.

If it serves another, it's to remind me of my mortgage, my car payment, my credit card bills, the college tuition for my daughter I'm about to owe. My season tickets for United. This past weekend the internet went out and within seconds I was on the phone with Comcast begging them to please re-assimilate me asap.

A brother I love and a friend I respect call each other clowns, tell the other to fuck-off re: Bradley Manning and Wikileaks, and this is the major blessing of Wikileaks, that everyone is reminded of - and forced to examine - their contractual status with everyfuckingthing - is reminded of  - and forced to examine - the complexities (and duplicities) of their contractual status with everyfuckingthing - and everyfuckingbody.


Lynn Emanuel

Dear Noose, Dear Necktie, Dear Cravat,
Salutations, big ship, toiling the dark waters
Of death. Dear Freighter, in whose hold the oily links
Of the anchor's chain, like snakes, are coiled. Dear Oily
Waters, salve and balm, black disk of ocean across which,
Dark Craft, you creak, loom, until your black gobbles
The horizon up. Dear black firmament and earth,
Ditch of the kicked in. World shut and over,
Mingy and dim. Dear Line, Dear Sinker,
Noose and hook,


  1. You'll probably pish-pah, but wise you are.

  2. Thanks for the link to my "new" place.

  3. Also, _The Franchiser,_ (you where just talking about that, right?) is next on the stack for me, thanks.

  4. Thanks, Jack. And re: your latest - I often wonder whether the youngens are lucky or unlucky (it's both, of course) to have skipped the idealism (and its lusciously bathetic disillusionment).

    Yup! re: Franchiser. I just got to the part where Ben Flesh meets Colonel Sanders.

    There used to be a blogger who always threatened to lead a group reading of Elkin in chronological order. Don't worry, I won't, but Dick Gibson Show is next.

  5. BDR,

    I got the worst sun burn of my life (the second, ever) a couple years back, sitting on the beach for hours with my youngest brother, talking right past each other. I wasn't home for most of his childhood (I was gone by the time he was five or six). When we get together always beat the other two brothers at cards (I because I cannot trust, he because he trusts himself completely), but this was the first time we'd ever really talked.

    He's successful, highly educated, confident, self-involved, motivated. I'm an ugly, disproportionate gnome sporting the public flaw of a wounded, disillusioned heroism that sits a faithless vigil alongside the decaying corpse of failed insurrection on the backmost shelf of my brain, and which positively stinks up the joint.

    He could not understand why I lacked a faith in faith, or self-confidence, how I could have such a bleak view of human existence. I could not understand how he could bicycle the streets of Boston on his way to the natural foods boutique and not see all that is wrong with the world.

    And that's when I realized what was different - that disconnect that makes them so lucky and unlucky, and us so failed-heroic.

    I could feel wronged because of sympathy, and because the world I rejected was a heinous but visually simple, viscerally awful, mesmerizing tarantella at the edge of nuclear oblivion. Someone who didn't deserve it had the ability to reduce my existence to eighteen minutes of waiting for death.

    When that condition ended (we both know it didn't, but the younguns can't be blamed for believing otherwise) I was left with a thousand poles of wrong, all vying for primacy. Too many petty fiefs, and all of them better funded. A hydra headed banality.

    He grew up with that - with nothing right, and nobody wrong. His selfhood reflects that materiality. Mine, the oblivion we were forced to admit.

    Respect to you,


  6. John Kerry, whatever happened to that little scamp.

    I can't say I was ever an idealist (though I *was* a card-carrying dum as a wee-er lad, almost as bad, heh). In some fucked up way, the best thing to happen was to have a kid so young. I had to spend my grey matter capital on the day-to-day. So, for my uber-cynicism, I have you, my children, to thank.

  7. Hey Jack,

    On top of that, we lived under the threat of being hauled off against our will to some crappy, leechy sultry jungle as target practice for people we really had no quarrel with. It scary hurt.

    Jim H.

  8. Yay! Jim's older than me and bDr!

    I have no idea why that bit of schadenfreude worked so well for me at the moment, Jim. I'm sorry.

    Shee-it, Watkins Mill only had the cops called 27 times in a quarter? That was a week's worth at old G-burg. These kids think they're baaaaad...

    Further: "It started with a dirty look in the hallway."

    Uhm...duh? What's with the Gazette's commemoration of days ending in "Y"? It's not like our old schoolmate (and former Dampsellean) is still running that crappy paper.

  9. Ehh? Sonny. What was that you said? Let me get my ear trumpet so's I can hear you better.

  10. Dear BDR,

    Please join me in wishing for a special place in Hell for the Douchebags who continue to support the Douchebaggery of Preznit Douchebag by saying this shit-sandwich is the most bestest and progressive there evah wuz!And I thought the hardcore Bushies were repellent...

    Unca Dirty

  11. What's odd to me is I never felt (much) nuclear annihilation angst - I had too much faith in human survival instinct. My gloom is much more loss of faith in the misguided belief in incremental progress towards a more just world. Call the waambulance!

    My favorite GHS police action was the Ida Adams sparked race riot over a quarter-pound deal go bad in the parking lot back of auto-body.

    Jay Paleo Unca Arra 101 Dirty, miss you, Man. Arctic up there yet?

  12. Wow. You come up with the oddest names of people I inexplicably never felt up. I don't have a favorite of our monthly scheduled race riots back then, but there's one I remember best, and that ain't it. It really is remarkable that we didn't grow up to be complete fucking vegetables.

    Dittos to Vermont. Love you, Dirty. Punch a hippie for me. Or a centrist. Or Auburn. Whatever.

  13. 'And if you ever put a Michael McDonald Doobie Brothers song in my head again I will be forced to retaliate.'

    But it comes with free installation...!


  14. Word up MD Peeps!

    Ice Station Zebra came early this year. I have been digging out the porch for 4 days now. I am the Sisyphus of Snow. On a lighter note, we accidently elected a Dimmycrat for Govenor up here (by like 200 votes)and we may get single-payer healthcare. I'll let you know when people start dying in the streets...just like Canadia. Meanwhile, root for Bernie: the best damned Senator I have ever had!

    Unca Dirty

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