Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Wanton Name That Nightly I Rehearsed

Barack Obama, Friday March 11, 2011:

“With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference. “They assure me that they are.” 

Barack Obama, Saturday, March 12, 2011:

Like, the one about how before Rahm Emanuel joined him, his approval ratings were above 60 percent and unemployment was below 8 percent, so "good luck, people Chicago!" And how he's grateful for Haley Barbour's support of the first lady's anti-obesity campaign, but "Haley, when Michelle said you should run, she didn't mean for president!" (Because he's fat -- get it?) As for Jon Huntsman, his former ambassador to China who's now pondering his own 2012 Republican bid, "I love that guy." If Huntsman runs, Obama said he'd be the guy holding "honk if you love Huntsman" signs on the side of the road; if he has an Iowa fish fry, Obama said he'd be there to cook. "He is truly the yang to my yin, and I'm going to make sure every primary voter knows it."

Hahahaha shut the fuck up. I'm going outside to play. Links, song, poem, song.

  • On Obama's statement re: Manning.
  • Other nations won't dismantle our empire for us.
  • One reason.
  • On the face of it.
  • Is the Imperial Presidency inevitable?
  • Silencing the messenger.
  • Auto-Environments, I.
  • I did think there'd be more of this than there has been.
  • Lisa Robertson.
  • Anthologies: What has happened to Miles Coverdale, Barnabe Googe, Arthur Golding, John Marston, Fulke Greville, Francis Quarles, Thomas Traherne, Charles Wesley, William Shenstone, Charles Churchill, William Barnes, Edward FitzGerald, Ivor Gurney, F. T. Prince, C. H. Sisson, Christopher Middleton and others, who are simply not mentioned? The following get no more than passing references: George Gascoigne (the author of that sturdy but poignant confession “Gascoigne’s Woodmanship” puts in an appearance as a “literary theorist”), Thomas Sackville, Sir Walter Raleigh, George Chapman, Mary Sidney, John Dowland (or whoever wrote the best of his glorious lyrics), Thomas Randolph, Richard Lovelace, Edmund Waller, the Earl of Rochester, Isaac Watts, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, William Morris, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edmund Blunden, William Empson, R. S. Thomas, John Heath-Stubbs, Charles Tomlinson and – consigned to a short paragraph in the chapter on Philip Larkin – Thom Gunn
  • Sonic Youth.


Thom Gunn

Nothing remained: Nothing, the wanton name
That nightly I rehearsed till led away
To a dark sleep, or sleep that held one dream.

In this a huge contagious absence lay,
More space than space, over the cloud and slime,
Defined but by the encroachments of its sway.

Stripped to indifference at the turns of time,
Whose end I knew, I woke without desire,
And welcomed zero as a paradigm.

But now it breaks—images burst with fire
Into the quiet sphere where I have bided,
Showing the landscape holding yet entire:

The power that I envisaged, that presided
Ultimate in its abstract devastations,
Is merely change, the atoms it divided

Complete, in ignorance, new combinations.
Only an infinite finitude I see
In those peculiar lovely variations.

It is despair that nothing cannot be
Flares in the mind and leaves a smoky mark
Of dread.
               Look upward. Neither firm nor free,

Purposeless matter hovers in the dark.


  1. "I've asked Lieutenant William Calley whether or not the procedures that were taken at My Lai were appropriate and met our basic standards," Mr. Obama said at a news conference. "He assure me that this was the case."

  2. Gracias for linkage!

    ...thunder..., that's pitch-perfect. Obama passed that test because there's a lot of Americans who don't remember My Lai-Calley-Powell, and others who do remember but maybe don't know Powell's role... and still others who can't see the parallel. Guess we still got some ed-yoo-katin' to do.

  3. "I've asked General McKrystal whether or not the procedures that were taken in the Tillman case were appropriate and met our basic standards," Mr. Obama said at a news conference. "He assured me that this was the case."

    This is a bit of fun that you can play even if you're too young to remember Vietnam or Iraq I.