Monday, July 18, 2011

But I Will Turn My Face Away from This Ruin of Summer, Collapse of Fur and Bone

Ken Beatrice (he doesn't eat the curly-fries, he's been told they're very good) always said that more games are lost than won. Crediting the USWNT with losing the game doesn't deny the Japanese their victory any more than crediting the Brazilians with losing the game didn't deny the USWNT a place in the semifinals (the symmetry of the two games is remarkable, actually). I point this out because once this bullshit kabuki plays out exactly like you think it will, the debate will be more about who lost the fight than who won. It's started already.

Also, this post exists because I've a bunch of good links with rapidly approaching expiration dates (if they haven't already passed), plus, guess what band's cassette tapes I found last night while looking for something else:


James Wright

Nightfall, that saw the morning-glories float
Tendril and string against the crumbling wall,
Nurses him now, his skeleton for grief,
His locks for comfort curled among the leaf.
Shuttles of moonlight weave his shadow tall,
Milkweed and dew flow upward to his throat.
Now catbird feathers plume the apple mound,
And starlings drowse to winter up the ground.
thickened away from speech by fear, I move 
Around the body.  Over his forepaws, steep
Declivities darken down the moonlight now,
And the long throat that bayed a year ago
Declines from summer.  Flies would love to leap
Between his eyes and hum away the space
Between the ears, the hollow where a hare
Could hide; another jealous dog would tumble
The bones apart, angry, the shining crumble
Of a great body gleaming in the air;
Quivering pigeons foul his broken face.
I can imagine men who search the earth
For handy resurrections, overturn
The body of a beetle in its grave;
Whispering men digging for gods might delve
A pocket for these bones, then slowly burn
Twigs in the leaves, pray for another birth.
But I will turn my face away from this
Ruin of summer, collapse of fur and bone.
For once a white hare huddled up the grass,
The sparrows flocked away to see the race.
I stood on darkness, clinging to a stone,
I saw the two leaping alive on ice,
On earth, on leaf, humus and withered vine:
The rabbit splendid in a shroud of shade,
The dog carved on the sunlight, on the air,
Fierce and magnificent his rippled hair,
The cockleburs shaking around his head.
Then, suddenly, the hare leaped beyond pain
Out of the open meadow, and the hound
Followed the voiceless dancer to the moon,
To dark, to death, to other meadows where
Singing young women dance around a fire,
Where love reveres the living.

    I alone
Scatter this hulk about the dampened ground;
And while the moon rises beyond me, throw
The ribs and spine out of their perfect shape.
For a last charm to the dead, I lift the skull
And toss it over the maples like a ball.
Strewn to the woods, now may that spirit sleep
That flamed over the ground a year ago.
I know the mole will heave a shinbone over,
The earthworm snuggle for a nap on paws,
The honest bees build honey in the head;
The earth knows how to handle the great dead
Who lived the body out, and broke its laws,
Knocked down a fence, tore up a field of clover.


  1. Building honey, building honey in the head. Oh, baby, that's so crazy beautiful! He died so young, cancer of the tongue, no less.

  2. You make me want to re-reread Recognitions. One of the greats. So great, in fact, that Pynchon was early on thought to be Gaddis's cut-out.

    You don't often think of the Japanese as "wanting it" more; but that about sizes it up. I thought, despite the result, that I'd watched a magnificent soccer match Sunday afternoon. The first US goal + pass = breathtaking. The second masterful. So much confusion on the US back line allowed the equalizers. Penalty kicks: EPIC FAIL!

    Thanks for the linkage. Any ideas?

  3. He's one of my earliest and still loves. I know A Blessing is overplayed but it still moves me every time. So does this and this and this and especially this....

    Jim, have a blast. I'm envious.

  4. Ro Laren was a space lesbian on Battlestar Galactica, in case you didn't know. It wasn't enough to make that show good, but did result in this hilarious Quiznos ad.

  5. I always like the Ro episodes, though her unexplained coming and going (until the excellent last episode when she stayed with the Bejoran underground) I thought sloppy.

    Her walk away from Riker at the end of the amnesia episode was as good as a Federation uniform ever looked.

  6. Next Generation? Sloppy? Never. And yeah, love Ro--wish she had ended up on DS9, much as I'm fond of one-note Nana.

  7. Second the DS9 gig. Completely underutilized on TNG.