Saturday, December 1, 2012

What About Loving a Man So Much You'll Sleep with Another Man in Order to Finance the First Man's Tuberculosis Treatment?

Todays' Ishigura, from Remains of the Day:

It is my impression that our generation was the first to recognize something which had passed the notice of all previous generations: namely that the great decisions of the world are not, in fact, arrive at simply in the public chambers, or else during a handful of days given over to an international conference under the full gaze of the public and the press. Rather, debates are conducted, and crucial decisions arrived at, in the privacy and calm of the great houses of the country. What occurs under the public gaze with so much pomp and ceremony is often the conclusion, or mere ratification, of what has taken place over weeks or months within the walls of such houses. To us, then, the world was a wheel, revolving with these great houses as the hub, their mighty decisions emanating out to all else, rich and poor, who revolved around them. It was the aspiration of all those of us with professional ambition to work our way as close to this hub and were each of us capable. For we were, as I say, an idealistic generation for whom the question was not simply one of how well one practiced one's skills, but to what end one did so; each of us haboured the desire to make our own small contribution to the creation of a better world, and saw that, as professionals, the surest means of doing so would be to serve the great gentlemen of our times in whose hands civilization had been entrusted.


Leigh Stein

I can’t go to the east village anymore
because it is like going on a tour

of my worst dates. I get older, my heart
leaps at the sight of children

who don’t belong to me, I pronounce
everything like an Italian opera title.

I used to listen to songs and have someone
in mind for the you parts, now I just want

to be where the light is intense, I want
the kind of heat that kills you

if you drive into it unprepared. This
isn’t a metaphor for anything else.

When I speak of the light, I mean the light.
I go to church and sing along and feel

just as moved as if my faith were blind.
When I speak of the blind, I mean

the light. Truly the only things Lindsey Lohan and I
have in common are our preoccupations

with fame and weight loss, and yet I recognize
a kinship there, as if those two things mattered

more than anything. When I speak of
the darkness, I mean this living.

In a restaurant called Caracas,
I once spent fifteen minutes arguing

about an Ayn Rand book because
every time he said Anthem I thought

he meant We the Living and I said
what dystopia, what about the woman,

and he said what about the Home
of the Infants and I said what

Home of the Infants? What about
loving a man so much you’ll sleep

with another man in order to finance
the first man’s tuberculosis treatment?

Welcome to Russia, I said, and we
were looking at each other and then

not. I tried to picture Caracas, tried
to leave him for elsewhere, a fever.


  1. since you go like "meh" on jimi hendrix and you are not so fond of sheryl crow's "all i wanna do" you may not really dig sheryl crow singing "little wing" with eric clapton but what about

    a)sheryl crow and steve earle "time has come today" - chambers brothers cover with paul shaffer adding in just enough cowbell

    although if i could take just one version to a desert island on my thumb drive it would be the original long version

    b)sheryl at the white house - jacksons' "i want you back" - keyboards and additional vocals, greg phillinganes

    to be honest, the music in this latter song leaves me "meh" myself, but as an occasion it's worth seeing once

  2. They're a quick lot. You know they'll be back for another sip of that cool, clear draught named BDR; and more, many more, will come...!

    (Panting for Bob Archambeau's post on Samizadt--Sublime Knowledge: Bertand Russell and the Intellectual as Hero. Damn if he didn't write on his FB that it was for me(!) and some dude named Okla Elliott.)

    Thanks for the Red Horse gorgeousness.

  3. 1) Speaking of our country's political soul, as Greenwald does in the piece about Bradley Manning you link to, reminds me of something I wrote, "Uncle Sam as Zombie"

    2) re Leigh Stein's poem which is apparently quite timely in the reference to Ms Lohan - the title reminds me of "Autobiography in Five Short Chapters" often reprinted shorn of author Portia Nelson's name [the loss of the name is a sincere compliment, of course, since it indicates that one's creation has entered many minds - I wish would happen to my own contribution to the language, the acronym MICFiC]


  4. Can't wait to turn patenting my genetic variations into some vending machine scratch.

  5. There. Are. Five. Comments.

    I'll give the Sheryl Crow a listen to later. It's entirely possible it's that one song that I heard again Thursday in a CVS, not Crow herself, that I never need hear again but probably will by tomorrow.

  6. Greenwald jumped the shark at least 18 months ago. Now he only tries to tell us how much better he is than the rest of us.