Friday, June 17, 2011

Soundlessly Among the Thunderheads and Passenger Jets as They Make Their Nightlong Journeys Across the Oceans and Steppes

The taxi picks us up at 4:00 PM, we fly out at 8:00, land in Reykjavik around midnight for an hour layover, land in London 3:00 AM body time, 8:00 local time Saturday morning. My druthers for Saturday is to ride the red buses around while in jet-lagged daze and try to get to sleep early. We'll see.

We've survived our first crisis. The twins (two of Planet's friends are identical twins who I can tell apart when they're together and almost always when they're apart) were going to end their trip in London by meeting their grandmother and chunneling to Paris, but Wednesday the grandmother fell and broke her ankle and can't meet them. I called Icelandic Air and got all the return information and forwarded it via Planet via the twins to the twins' parents, and they are booked on our plane from London to Reykjavik but must take two different planes, first to New York, then to Dulles. I have no idea how much Icelandic Air gouged them, but it must have been a mighty gouging. If this is the worst crisis of the trip, please and thank you.

I will be posting photos and comments about the trip, though how much and how often depends on both time and internet access. I'm assuming the hotels we'll be in will be happy to gouge me for wifi - I remember the first night in London when we went in 2009 I was shocked to find I needed to pay for wifi in the hotel and rice and water at the Indian restaurant, what a motherfucking American I was. I'm hoping there's too much to do to blog more than hurriedly - certainly, below is your last blogwhoring link-farming until I get back. If I hear music I've never heard before that I like and can find I'll post it, though regular musical programming won't return until I do. I've posted the poem as a link I would have posted Sunday if home below; it's truer than I wish it was. I'll not blog the two United games, on the road Saturday in Salt Lake and at home the following Saturday versus Houston. This guy will see that my ticket goes to good use. Bleggalgazing will continue.


August Kleinzahler

The markets never rest
Always they are somewhere in agitation
Pork bellies, titanium, winter wheat
Electromagnetic ether peppered with photons
Treasure spewing from Unisys A-15 J mainframes
Across the firmament
Soundlessly among the thunderheads and passenger jets
As they make their nightlong journeys
Across the oceans and steppes

Nebulae, incandescent frog spawn of information
Trembling in the claw of Scorpio
Not an instant, then shooting away
Like an enormous cloud of starlings

Garbage scows move slowly down the estuary
The lights of the airport pulse in morning darkness
Food trucks, propane, tortured hearts
The reticent epistemologist parks
Gets out, checks the curb, reparks
Thunder of jets
Peristalsis of great capitals

How pretty in her tartan scarf
Her ruminative frown
Ambiguity and Reason
Locked in a slow, ferocious tango
Of if not, why not


  1. A personal message to those who are fatally wounded by language they consider foul: fuck you, you fucking retards. You shouldn't be allowed to vote. Or reproduce. Or compete with me for resources, you can just have my leavings. Words are words. If you have to run from some of them, that's a poverty for you. Aesthetics are what they are, and yours are yours. Fine. But a disqualifier? Fuck you, you don't have a thought in your head worth paying attention to anyway.

    On another matter, the difference between us, BFF? On your itinerary, I'm not sure I'd bother to leave Reykjavik. Drunk suicidal Norse chix living in a bankrupt country? Some mathematical chance at boinking Bjork? Sign me up. Ilse's gotta give me a pass for that, right? Uhm...right?

  2. The John Cole link goes to a story about using goats to eradicate invasive weeds. Works for me!

  3. If I can get through a 2-hour period without saying "fuck" I've truly accomplished greatness in my life. So I'm with you there. Either one of us could take comfort in being less coarse than my HS friend Rick Reed, who used the word "fuck" and its variants no less often than every 3d word.

  4. Heh, the goat link stays as is! Wish I could say I did it on purpose.

    I've a friend at work who's Polish who tells me English is a crappy language for swearing compared to Polish - if you'd spent the past 500 years being conquered by Germans and Russians, your language would be richer too.

  5. Just wait until the empire collapses and it's our turn to be conquered by, say, rioting Canucks, vulgarity aplenty.

    Heh, gotta second Landru. As long as you got purty pictures of Europa when you get back to support our vicarious traveling.

  6. It takes a great deal of restraint to go the many hours I must go during the day without cursing.

    "Ms. Ilse, I didn't do my homework. Can I have another night to do it?"
    "Fuck no."

    That's the dialogue that occurs in my head. My students note how I often take a deep breath and let it out before answering their queries.

    Oh, and Landru: No fucking way, dood.

  7. Enjoy yourself and take lots of pictures.

    You can always put the blog posts together when you get back.

  8. As for that swearing thing? I don't actually believe it. Folks what troll the intertubz anyplace beyond a Focus on the Family or Regent University site see swearing everywhere. Why would your site be selected to be a swear-free zone? I'm convinced there is more to this than meets the eye.

    Ilse? You have my immense admiration. You said no instead of laughing until you wet yourself. As far as I know. Good on you.

  9. Oh yeah, Mr. Proprietor, have a great time.

  10. Hey, why haven't you posted yet? You're in the middle of a mad dash about England and Scotland, and you don't understand that your first duty is to entertain us?

    Sorry, I've been waiting weeks to post that comment.

  11. Overnights kick my ass and no matter how much you prepare for how expensive London is KABOOM! is it motherfucking expensive.

    Free but slow broadband at the hotel though. That's it for today!