Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Partly Weariness, and Partly the Fact That I Seem Not to Care Much About the Endings, How Things Work Out, or Whether They Even Do

That teargas canister could have been delivered during any past president's administration. The issue isn't Obama's culpability for contracts already honored in the past (think how many people have been tortured in Egypt at America's behest), the issue is I bet you any # of pints that Egypt, two years into the Obama administration, is still torturing people at America's behest, and I say that because Obama has moved hard right on expanding Executive Power, not only reinforcing the Bush administration's claims of power but demanding more (and then there's that never-ending droning in Afghanistan and yadda...)

I'm considering starting a new blog that would be serious bleggalgazing all the bleggalgazing time, where I can torture that yodel for the killionth time then the killion-first how the insolubility of the problem of power can be observed watching bloggers (consider this post!) fight for power to define the nature of power.

What to name it? I googled an anagram-maker and typed in blackdogred:

Black Dodger
Garbled Dock
Gladder Bock
Gadder Block
Graded Block
Glad Bedrock
Drag Blocked
Grad Blocked
Cab Geld Dork
Back Geld Rod
Back Red Gold
Black Odd Erg
Black Red Dog
Black Red God
Dab Clerk Dog
Dab Clerk God
Dab Cork Geld
Dab Rock Geld
Bad Clerk Dog
Bad Clerk God
Bad Cork Geld
Bad Rock Geld
Bald Dock Erg
Bald Cord Keg
Brad Deck Log
Brad Dock Gel
Brad Dock Leg
Brad Clod Keg
Brad Cold Keg
Drab Deck Log
Drab Dock Gel
Drab Dock Leg
Drab Clod Keg
Drab Cold Keg
Bard Deck Log
Bard Dock Gel
Bard Dock Leg
Bard Clod Keg
Bard Cold Keg
Gab Deck Lord
Gab Clerk Odd
Bag Deck Lord
Bag Clerk Odd
Brag Deck Old
Brag Dock Led
Garb Deck Old
Garb Dock Led
Grab Deck Old
Grab Dock Led
Bark Doc Geld
Bark Cod Geld
Bar Deck Gold
Bar Dock Geld
Bra Deck Gold
Bra Dock Geld
Cad Kerb Gold
Clad Beg Dork
Clad Kerb Dog
Clad Kerb God
Card Bold Keg
Lack Bred Dog
Lack Bred God
Lack Berg Odd
Calk Bred Dog
Calk Bred God
Calk Berg Odd
Rack Bed Gold
Rack Deb Gold
Rack Bled Dog
Rack Bled God
Rack Bod Geld
Add Block Erg
Add Berg Lock
Add Kerb Clog
Add Bog Clerk
Add Gob Clerk
Dad Block Erg
Dad Berg Lock
Dad Kerb Clog
Dad Bog Clerk
Dad Gob Clerk
Gad Beck Lord
Gad Block Red
Gad Bled Cork
Gad Bled Rock
Gad Bred Lock
Gad Bod Clerk
Gad Kerb Clod
Gad Kerb Cold
Glad Beck Rod
Glad Bock Red
Glad Bed Cork
Glad Bed Rock
Glad Deb Cork
Glad Deb Rock
Glad Kerb Doc
Glad Kerb Cod
Glad Orb Deck
Glad Bro Deck
Glad Rob Deck
Drag Beck Old
Drag Block Ed
Drag Bock Led
Drag Bed Lock
Drag Deb Lock
Drag Lob Deck
Grad Beck Old
Grad Block Ed
Grad Bock Led
Grad Bed Lock
Grad Deb Lock
Grad Lob Deck
Dark Cob Geld
Dark Bed Clog
Dark Deb Clog
Dark Bled Cog
Dark Beg Clod
Dark Beg Cold
Lad Berg Dock
Lard Beck Dog
Lard Beck God
Lard Beg Dock
Lard Bog Deck
Lard Gob Deck
Rad Beck Gold
Rad Bock Geld
Rad Glob Deck
Lag Bred Dock
Gal Bred Dock
Gar Bled Dock
Gar Bold Deck
Rag Bled Dock
Rag Bold Deck

Voting closes on Tuesday. Not that the outcome isn't already determined.


Anthony Hecht

I'm mighty glad to see you, Mrs. Curtis,
And thank you very kindly for this visit--
Especially now when all the others here
Are having holiday visitors, and I feel
A little conspicuous and in the way.
It's mainly because of Thanksgiving.  All these mothers
And wives and husbands gaze at me soulfully
And feel they should break up their box of chocolates
For a donation, or hand me a chunk of fruitcake.  
What they don't understand and never guess
Is that it's better for me without a family;
It's a great blessing.  Though I mean no harm.
And as for visitors, why, I have you,
All cheerful, brisk and punctual every Sunday,
Like church, even if the aisles smell of phenol.
And you always bring even better gifts than any 
On your book-trolley. Though they mean only good,
Families can become a sort of burden.
I've only got my father, and he won't come,
Poor man, because it would be too much for him.
And for me, too, so it's best the way it is. 
He knows, you see, that I will predecease him,
Which is hard enough.  It would take a callous man
To come and stand around and watch me failing.
(Now don't you fuss; we both know the plain facts.)
But for him it's even harder.  He loved my mother.
They say she looked like me; I suppose she may have.
Or rather, as I grew older I came to look
More and more like she must one time have looked,
And so the prospect for my father now
Of losing me is like having to lose her twice.
I know he frets about me.  Dr. Frazer
Tells me he phones in every single day,
Hoping that things will take a turn for the better.
But with leukemia things don't improve.
It's like a sort of blizzard in the bloodstream,
A deep, severe, unseasonable winter,
Burying everything.  The white blood cells
Multiply crazily and storm around,
Out of control.  The chemotherapy
Hasn't helped much, and it makes my hair fall out.
I know I look a sight, but I don't care.
I care about fewer things; I'm more selective.
It's got so I can't even bring myself
To read through any of your books these days.
It's partly weariness, and partly the fact
That I seem not to care much about the endings,
How things work out, or whether they even do.
What I do instead is sit here by this window
And look out at the trees across the way.
You wouldn't think that was much, but let me tell you,
It keeps me quite intent and occupied.
Now all the leaves are down, you can see the spare,
Delicate structures of the sycamores,
The fine articulation of the beeches.
I have sat here for days studying them,
And I have only just begun to see
What it is that they resemble.  One by one,
They stand there like magnificent enlargements
Of the vascular system of the human brain.
I see them there like huge discarnate minds,
Lost in their meditative silences.
The trunks, branches and twigs compose the vessels
That feed and nourish vast immortal thoughts.
So I've assigned them names.  There, near the path,
Is the great brain of Beethoven, and Kepler
Haunts the wide spaces of that mountain ash.
This view, you see, has become my Hall of Fame,
It came to me one day when I remembered 
Mary Beth Finley who used to play with me
When we were girls.  One year her parents gave her
A birthday toy called "The Transparent Man."
It was made of plastic, with different colored organs,
And the circulatory system all mapped out
In rivers of red and blue.  She'd ask me over
And the two of us would sit and study him
Together, and do a powerful lot of giggling.
I figure he's most likely the only man
Either of us would ever get to know
Intimately, because Mary Beth became
A Sister of Mercy when she was old enough.
She must be thirty-one; she was a year 
Older than I, and about four inches taller.
I used to envy both those advantages
Back in those days.  Anyway, I was struck
Right from the start by the sea-weed intricacy,
The fine-haired, silken-threaded filiations
That wove, like Belgian lace, throughout the head.
But this last week it seems I have found myself
Looking beyond, or through, individual trees
At the dense, clustered woodland just behind them,
Where those great, nameless crowds patiently stand.
It's become a sort of complex, ultimate puzzle
And keeps me fascinated.  My eyes are twenty-twenty,
Or used to be, but of course I can't unravel
The tousled snarl of intersecting limbs,
That mackled, cinder grayness.  It's a riddle
Beyond the eye's solution.  Impenetrable.
If there is order in all that anarchy
Of granite mezzotint, that wilderness,
It takes a better eye than mine to see it.
It set me on to wondering how to deal
With such a thickness of particulars,
Deal with it faithfully, you understand,
Without blurring the issue. Of course I know
That within a month the sleeving snows will come
With cold, selective emphases, with massings
And arbitrary contrasts, rendering things
Deceptively simple, thickening the twigs
To frosty veins, bestowing epaulets
And decorations on every birch and aspen.
And the eye, self-satisfied, will be misled,
Thinking the puzzle solved, supposing at last
It can look forth and comprehend the world.
That's when you have to really watch yourself.
So I hope that you won't think me plain ungrateful
For not selecting one of your fine books,
And I take it very kindly that you came
And sat here and let me rattle on this way.


  1. I rather like the simplicity of DR GooD KCLuB

  2. Dad: Bog Clerk would get my vote. I've added the other to my google reader, get it active and I'll happily blogroll. So there.

  3. "Don't Eff With The Turtle!"

    Good band or blog name?

  4. That's been University of Garyland's slogan for a decade or more.

  5. No chance that you'll try and buy our vote, huh.