Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Bald Cranium Shines Blind as the Moon

I've only thirty pages left in Ishiguro's Remains of the Day (it's done it's job: I am unlocked, at least for the next five minutes), so this is probably the next to last excerpt:

     Getting out, I went to the gate, and as soon as I did so, a furious chorus of barking erupted in one of the barns near by, so that it was with some relief that I rejoined Dr Carlisle again the front of his rover.
     We exchanged a few pleasantries as we climbed a narrow road between tall trees, he inquiring after how I had slept at the Taylors and so forth. Then he said quite abruptly:
     'I say, I hope you don't think me very rude. But aren't a manservant of some sort, are you?'
     I must confess, my overwhelming feeling on hearing this one one of relief.
     'I am indeed, sir. In fact, I am the butler of Darlington Hall, near Oxford.'
     'Thought so. All that about having met Winston Churchill and so on. I thought to myself, well, either the chap's been lying his head off, or - then it occurred to me, there's one simple explanation.'
     Dr Carlisle turned to me with a smile as he continued to steer the car up the steep winding road. I said:
     'It wasn't my intention to deceive anyone, sir. However...'
     'Oh, no need to explain, old fellow. I can see quite how it happened. I mean to say, you are a pretty impressive specimen. The likes of the people here, they're bound to take you for at least a duke.' The doctor gave a hearty laugh. 'It must do one good to be mistaken for a lord every now and then.'

Ishiguro's great theme is self-deception and the lengths one goes to write one's autobiography in the service of that self-deception (and visa versa): it is not an accident all his novels are in the first person. Besides being intimately familiar with the process, I of course adore the concept and adorn everyone in the world with it. In any case, after Mutis' Maqroll and then ???, A Pale View of the Hills, Ishiguro's first, is next in line for it's every-other year rereading.

  • What the fuck? And, as in all things, fuck blaager.
  • The end is nigh. Start blogging.
  • The Ballad of English Literature.
  • It's been a few years since the last great Henry Green revival and abandonment. One every ten years or so.
  • Seidel's Flame.
  • Too many poets.
  • Attempt number whateverteen trying James, failure again.
  • Don't get me any of these for Giftmas. Fuck Giftmas.
  • Against bituminous tints!
  • Obscure Sound's Best of November, with noise.
  • Zappadan Is Nigh.
  • UPDATE! New autobiography of former British Foreign Secretary just out on new book cart makes this song play in my head. It (the song, not the former British Foreign Secretary) is a good thing.
  • Zappadan. I suppose I should mention for newbies here since last year's Zappadan, I like much, deeply respect, and always welcome hearing Zappa's music, but I am neither devout nor an acolyte. You'll hear more about this (or not) when I go full-Beefheart on you (and I can go full-Beefheart on you, if you haven't witnessed before, trust me) for his Holydays in a month or so.
  • Because (we're fucking OLD!)  El Serracho put this song (is too a better cover than Camper van)  in my head:


Pattiann Rogers

Those are my bones rifted
and curled, knees to chin,
among the rocks on the beach,
my hands splayed beneath by skull
in the mud. Those are my rib
bones resting like white sticks
wracked on the bank, laid down,
delivered, rubbed clean
by river and snow.

Ethereal as seedless weeds
in dim sun and frost, I see
my own bones translucent as locust
husks, light as spider bones,
as filled with light as lantern
bones when the candle flames.
And I see my bones, facile,
willing, rolling and clacking,
reveling like broken shells
among themselves in a tumbling surf.

I recognize them, not other's,
raggedly patterned and wrought,
peeled as a skeleton of sycamore
against gray skies, stiff as a fallen
spruce. I watch them floating
at night, identical lake slivers
flush against the same star bones
drifting in the scattered pieces above.

Everything I assemble, all
the constructions I have rendered
are the metal and dust of my locked
and storied bones. My bald cranium
shines blind as the moon.


  1. I can't help it, I've got Redskins virus since being a kid.

    That game was AWESOME!

  2. It's impossible to live here and not hear about the Racist Slurs, especially when the buzz is positive, and when I see those gorgeous home burgundy and gold uniforms I'm fourteen again for about ten minutes (eight of them motherfucking commercials) before thinking Little Danny Snyder, fuck helmetball, but the clown on ESPN last night (Landru says it's Somebody Gruden, either an ex-jock or ex-coach, no doubt) was such an assclown I only lasted five (four of which were commercials).

  3. Thanks for the linkage. Mark Hoback at Fried Green Al-Qaedas has a great story about when he bought Trout Mask Replica back in '69-70. Maybe we can get him to come out of the cloister and tell the story for TNOTLVV festival.

  4. There. Are. Five. Comments.

    OK, that's it for that gag, but yes, Smut, that's why I generally wear hats in the dark.

  5. Speaking of "changing the subject in hopes the subject will change you" - Todd Rundgren, "Change Myself"


  6. Expand your knowledge of popular kultchur here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Gruden