Monday, October 17, 2011

Knelt Before the Philco to Coax the Detonation from the Static

The highlight of trip to visit Planet in Bamgier was a four hour car ride we took Saturday afternoon. I drove on roads I've never driven, Planet got away from from a loved but isolated campus for a few hours, Earthgirl shot photos for potential paintings, we talked a lot. From Bamgier we took Ohio 229 east to US 36 east through Nellie and Warsaw for forty miles through the beautiful Walhonding River valley until it reaches Cochocton. Here's the Walhonding River watershed:

I'm still thinking about the drive, I actually wrote out the entire thing but will spare you and me the bother, but this: we oohed and aahed the physical beauty of rural east-central Ohio, but then we drove into Coschoton, we drove into Newark, me and Earthgirl stayed, ate and drove through Zanesville, and what percentage of those still living in these dilapidated and deteriorating and abandoned by Corporate's inexorable hunger cities sympathize with Occupy much less doesn't loathe Occupy?

And my apologies, after reflecting, I won't post the dinner stories as promised last post, too bad, there are two good angles, if you ask me in person I'll tell you them both. Meanwhile, from the soundtrack of the trip:


Lynn Emanuel

Outside the window the McGill smelter
sent a red dust down on the smoking yards of copper,   
on the railroad tracks’ frayed ends disappeared   
into the congestion of the afternoon. Ely lay dull

and scuffed: a miner’s boot toe worn away and dim,   
while my mother knelt before the Philco to coax   
the detonation from the static. From the Las Vegas   
Tonapah Artillery and Gunnery Range the sound

of the atom bomb came biting like a swarm
of bees. We sat in the hot Nevada dark, delighted,   
when the switch was tripped and the bomb hoisted   
up its silky, hooded, glittering, uncoiling length;

it hissed and spit, it sizzled like a poker in a toddy.   
The bomb was no mind and all body; it sent a fire
of static down the spine. In the dark it glowed like the coils   
of an electric stove. It stripped every leaf from every

branch until a willow by a creek was a bouquet   
of switches resinous, naked, flexible, and fine.   
Bathed in the light of KDWN, Las Vegas,
my crouched mother looked radioactive, swampy,

glaucous, like something from the Planet Krypton.   
In the suave, brilliant wattage of the bomb, we were
not poor. In the atom’s fizz and pop we heard possibility   
uncorked. Taffeta wraps whispered on davenports.

A new planet bloomed above us; in its light
the stumps of cut pine gleamed like dinner plates.
The world was beginning all over again, fresh and hot;   
we could have anything we wanted.


  1. Obligatory 'kneel before Zod' reference. There's pretty in Ohiostan? Boy, I really need to get out of Callahooga County.

    Occupado seems to have fizzled but a few youthful grizzlies were still toting signage around on Saturday last. Idealists.

  2. Thanks for the link!

    I've not made it to the Walhonding River, meself. Will have to try it.

  3. Earthgirl made a slide show of the photos she took, if I can figure out how to post it I will. It's nothing spectacular, just beautiful rolling hills and great two lane roads.

    The Walhonding's not worth a special trip, though if it's within a reasonable radius of where you're going anyway it's worth a diversion.

    I'm going downtown this coming Sunday to see Occupy - I need go at least once before I'm utterly convinced it will fail.

  4. Am I to understand that somebody posted an obnoxious comment about Planet's video? The fuck?

  5. Two of them. Worse than obnoxious, toxic. No idea who - I'd never seen the IP address before, some asshole in Nebraska. I think it was a hit and run - he's not been back.

  6. Loved Distance. Wistful. Confident. (Was she texting on the red thread like we used to use telephone cans and string for pretend telephones? If so, BRAVA! If not, why not?)

    Agree re: Cornie West. But...without the Abbie Hoffman's and Jerry Rubin's, you know what I mean? Attention whoring can be a positive, especially for these kids who are assembling only to be defined, used, dismissed as irrelevant. I'm a fan. I want them to stay put. I want more att'n whoring, more people to try to define them and what they want, more people to use them for their own cynical (or not) purposes (yes, you a-a-a-and Corporate, too!), more serious and important people to dismiss them. And, through it all and beyond it all, I want them to stay put.

    There was this thing back in these old Woolworth lunch counters in NC in the Sixties, sit-ins they called them. They, like Rosa Parks, just sat. This is Rosa's grandkids—and a buttload of them.

    And here we've been lamenting this generation's lack of commitment, lack of paying att'n to what's happening, lack of concern. That'll show us.

    Jim H.

  7. BDR, have you yet begun (or finished) Mrs Unguentine?

  8. Jim, thanks for Kind words plus inspiration - your comment prompts tomorrow's response.

    Brad, it was in my backpack this past weekend's trip but never made it out (both time and reading something else plus not reading fiction well right now). Starting Tuesday (with luck), will say yay or nay (if not why beyond a sentence or two or not) when done.

  9. I don't care if West or anybody else is a whore if they get the thing on the teevee because otherwise Murdoch gets to control the conversation. It can be George Clooney or Lady Gaga for all I care. Jim H. said it better. But this all has to be on the Twitter and iPhone and teevee or it will "fail."

    Also. Re "before I'm utterly convinced it will fail." What would failure or success look like? If it pushes Obama to the left, even a little it succeeds. Also BofA discovered a substantial sum of money that it had been cheating me out of last Friday (at my insistence). I think that is success.

  10. And. So sorry about the comment thing. She is lovely. The film is lovely. I dream of somebody inventing a way to electrocute people through the internet. I would gladly share.