Thursday, February 24, 2011

We Wait In Our Loose Attics For a New Season As If For an Ice-Cream Truck

Another couple of pints with GOB last night. He was ha-HA! with obamapology re: the reversal on DOMA. When you (me) consider now DOMA and DADT both were reversed within the first two years of Obama's presidency, I'm (he) stunned you're (me) so underwhelmed by an achievement you would have considered remarkable if asked the day Obama was inaugurated.

Why today, I asked. Why not last week, last month, last year, why not next week next month, next year? A fat Wisconsin pig might have sent Corporate's plans back to marketing for revisions and motherfucking gasoline is going to be $6 a gallon by July, what possible motives could Obama have sparking a Culture War today? (I know it wasn't deployed because of Walker's fuck-up - that would imply an adeptness and agility Corporate doesn't have - but it isn't an accident it was deployed during the public union crisis in preparation for the impending and inevitable Obama/Democratic response.)

Did you know Washington DC has a professional soccer team, I asked?

It's true, and here's how much schway United has with the District after being, minus three years of Natinals baseball, been the sole tenant since 1996:
The Washington Convention and Sports Authority has scheduled a Howard University football game at RFK Stadium in September, an event that could impact the quality of the playing surface during D.C. United's season.
"Adding economic impact events such as this only enhances our city's vitality as a sports market," Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray said.
United President Kevin Payne said he hopes to meet with stadium officials next week. The biggest concern, Payne said, are the sideline areas where football players gather. A football field is at least 17 yards narrower than a soccer field, placing players not involved in the action on the flanks of the soccer surface.
I don't think this is the District telling United to fuck off - I think it's about revenue - but I don't dismiss the possibility this is the District telling United to fuck off.


James Tate

O sleepy city of reeling wheelchairs
where a mouse can commit suicide if he can

concentrate long enough
on the history book of rodents
in this underground town

of electrical wheelchairs!
The girl who is always pregnant and bruised
like a pear

rides her many-stickered bicycle
backward up the staircase
of the abandoned trolleybarn.

Yesterday was warm. Today a butterfly froze
in midair; and was plucked like a grape
by a child who swore he could take care

of it. O confident city where
the seeds of poppies pass for carfare,

where the ordinary hornets in a human’s heart
may slumber and snore, where bifocals bulge

in an orange garage of daydreams,
we wait in our loose attics for a new season

as if for an ice-cream truck.
An Indian pony crosses the plains

whispering Sanskrit prayers to a crater of fleas.
Honeysuckle says: I thought I could swim.

The Mayor is urinating on the wrong side
of the street! A dandelion sends off sparks:
beware your hair is locked!

Beware the trumpet wants a glass of water!
Beware a velvet tabernacle!

Beware the Warden of Light has married
an old piece of string!


  1. Us library types aren't bankrupting the nation, it's those greedy teachers!

    I'm sure the District can walk & chew gum at the same time. C'mon, DC, once you decide to move, move here. If Jacobs lets Toby Keith concerts tear up the turf he can let footie do the same.

  2. Y'know, I totally facepalmed when I heard that news. Here we had North Africa erupting in turmoil and revolution, dictators falling left and right, and all Obummer could do was mealy-mouth around about it -- and then last night he has this Tourette's outburst about gay marriage, reversing his position just in time to kick off his re-election campaign, no doubt: "There you go, GLBT America; don't say I never did anything for you. Vote Democratic." He hems and haws and bumbles on the really tough stuff, but has no problem speaking up on the easy stuff.

    Even then, his position was couched in yet another wave of doubletalking and mealy-mouthing. He made me want to reach into the TV and smack that pompous, officious look off his goddamn' face.

  3. Did you know that the Best Position on DOMA and DADT has been articulated by Holly Ballou of PRN? She crafted the boilerplate language for everyone to consume and repeat robotically. See here (right margin):

  4. Oh boy, the debate continues.

    I say this with all the love in my heart for whatever asshats care to hera me. Yes, we write our poems with our natural juices, sperm among them--the poems smell and taste better that way, they last longer. But, Moby-Dick is not “about” sperm, or even the spermaceti that fuels light; if you insist on reducing it, if anything, it’s about the blow hole, about breath. That’s not what I say, it’s what Melville says.

    The first words: “Call me Ishmael.” Vocalizing sound on an extended breath. Just say the word “call.” See what it takes in your body to produce that awe sound.

    The last words (prior to the epilogue): “Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.”

    The “yet yawning gulf” --the ability, no, capacity, to perform that exaggerated intake of breath is the gulf, is what divides the living from the dead.

  5. Frances, mostly people are fishing, though I'd also point out that that sentence before the epilogue is of course alluded to in the first sentence of Gravity's Rainbow.

    And I agree with you. Read out loud.

  6. When you (me) consider now DOMA and DADT both were reversed within the first two years of Obama's presidency, I'm (he) stunned you're (me) so underwhelmed by an achievement you would have considered remarkable if asked the day Obama was inaugurated.

    Not overwhelmed yet? I've heard that the White House is about to issue a statement strongly condemning apartheid.

  7. Here's the Pynchon GR sentence for thems that care to read:

    "A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now."

    And I agree with Pynchon and I agree with you--Melville's incomparable, despite the fact there's actually very little fishing in terms of page count in Moby-Dick. But almost every few pages the reader will encounter a lunging passage like this one about the hempen bond of the monkey rope (Chap. 72):

    "So strongly and metaphysically did I conceive of my situation then, that while earnestly watching his motions, I seemed distinctly to perceive that my own individuality was now merged in a joint stock company of two; that my free will had received a mortal wound; and that another's mistake or misfortune might plunge innocent me into unmerited disaster and death. Therefore, I saw that here was a sort of interregnum in Providence; for its even-handed equity never could have so gross an injustice. And yet still further pondering- while I jerked him now and then from between the whale and ship, which would threaten to jam him- still further pondering, I say, I saw that this situation of mine was the precise situation of every mortal that breathes; only, in most cases, he, one way or other, has this Siamese connexion with a plurality of other mortals. If your banker breaks, you snap; if your apothecary by mistake sends you poison in your pills, you die. True, you may say that, by exceeding caution, you may possibly escape these and the multitudinous other evil chances of life. But handle Queequeg's monkey-rope heedfully as I would, sometimes he jerked it so, that I came very near sliding overboard. Nor could I possibly forget that, do what I would, I only had the management of one end of it."

    (I'll be slip sliding away now.)

  8. Some jokes are so far inside that they don't know that there is an outside. I know that may not be particularly fair when people are having what they view as a serious conversation. On the other hand, electrons are relatively free here on the toobz, your mileage may vary, and my lack of endorsement may well be perceptible as a compliment. As Ms. Madeson correctly alludes, every asshat's sacred.

    Thanks very kindly to those who clicked on BFF's link, and to himself for the link itself. The bait actually wasn't even for him this time, let alone any of the commentariat who kindly, though unintentionally, inspired the rant. Hard to believe, even though we're totally not competitive except for that being a lie and we totally are. But true, this once.

    Oh, and thanks for the shout over there, CFO. I wish I could glisten that much. Hmm.

  9. Yes, the net was cast for other fish. And it worked! Landru and I were in the same 11th grade English class 35 years ago when Moby was taught by arguably the best teacher either of us has had, before or since, Duane Ellison included. As for Sasha, it'd be more entertaining if I could even pretend to like Hemingway or Dickens, but alas, I can only fish with my Melville-love to bait her.

  10. Call me Fishmeal. (Just don't call me Santorum, Heh!)

    I love WFMU & have since moving to NYC in '85, but how Meghan could've missed this or this or even this or this for fuck's sake I don't know. I mean damn. I tried to call you, Satellite.

    Bonus tracks:

    Yet more:

    I could go on:

    I'm done.

  11. I was the fish.


    A character who uses the word "metaphysically" self-referentially? Seriously?

    Love to all.