Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where Dogs Purr of Elastic

Leos Janacek was not born 110 ten years ago today like one of the birthday lists I use suggested, but seeing his name prompted this post's gag which was then written before I remembered to double-check the birthday list's accuracy, so here we are. A friend is reading Murakami's 1Q84, he knows why I typed this sentence. I read 1Q84 roughly a year ago, I still think about it daily when my eyes have drifted over a page and a half of Proust or Knausgaard or Melville or Pynchon or Gaddis or McElroy or Elkin as I futilely try to engage a novel, one I've never read, one I've read before and loved. The short story experiment I mentioned a couple of weeks ago was a failure. I did devour again Ishiguro's Remains of the Day a few months back, consider pushing ahead of schedule rereadings of When We Were Orphans and Never Let Me Go, I'm sure they would work, but I say no, strangely fearful they would work. It's odd, this disparagement of my rules in service of enforcement of my broken and disparaged rules.

Billy Zoom born 65 years ago today. Let me repeat that. Billy Zoom, born 65 years ago today. When I walk into the living room and Earthgirl is watching MSNBC I grab whatever novel I'm about to fail and keep my mouth shut as I head to another room. It's an outrageWhat the one-percent heard. Royal bodies and the firestorm1988. Rather an attack on one's convictions. Scenes of life at the capital. Rally in Missouri! Struggling to survive: Puerto Rico once, twice. The Purple Line will never be built. Damascus! Towne Crest! My favorite dealer lived in Towne Crest! Boatloads of Blanchot, for those of you who do. Debord, for those of you who do. After abundance. Head in the clouds. Too brilliant to bathe. Lispector short story. New McElroy this summer. James McNew on Yo La Tengo as house band of The American Conservative. Prunella's latest playlist includes Fugazi (YAY!) and Jawbox (YAY!) and Soundgarden (GAAAAAH!). Quick! Poison Ivy was born 65 years ago today.

As for the bleggalgazing that must be farted before I can do anything else, if only build up new bleggalgas for another bleggalfart: no, no announcement of radical format change or impending hiatus: I like what I do (though I might do more of some stuff, less of other stuff depending on the weather), I don't know that I'm an irredeemable attention slut because I've never tried to not be an attention slut, but I need to write about stuff I can't-won't-don't write about here which I can't do in fair measure if I'm collating and aggregating here, so I might less here, at least for a bit. It doesn't mean I don't love you. Or most of you. If I'm collating and aggregating here I cannot fail more and more often at reading novels, I feel a need to either break through or fail utterly, fail successfully all the way to peace. It doesn't mean I don't love you. Or most of you. Joel Hodgson, one of only a few people younger than me whose birthdays I note, is 53 today.


Roddy Lumsden

With refreshments and some modesty and home-drawn maps,
the ladies of the parish are marshaling the plans in hand,
devising the occasions, in softest pencil: the Day of Hearsay,
Leeway Week, the Maybe Pageant, a hustings on the word   
nearby. Half-promised rain roosts in some clouds a mile out,
gradual weather making gradual notes on the green, the well,
the monument, the mayor's yard where dogs purr on elastic.

Everything taken by the smooth handle then, or about to be,
hiatus sharp in humble fashion. A small boy spins one wheel
of an upturned bike, the pond rises, full of skimmed stones
on somehow days, not Spring, not Summer yet. Engagements
are announced in the Chronicle, a nine-yard putt falls short.
Dark cattle amble on the angles of Flat Field. The ladies close
their plotting books and fill pink teacups, there or thereabouts.


  1. If it wasn't for my deep love of their 90's output ("Superunknown" was a revelation for my 15-year-old-angry-teen-self), I'd have excised Cornell & Co. for the grievous crime of pretzeldential shilling.

    That being said, it makes me sad that I came of age too late to see Jawbox and Fugazi live.

    I do like your blog immensely, so it'll make me sad if there's less of your swank on the Interwebs.

  2. If you've never read James Salter's Light Years or have unsuccessfully, I suggest you give it a turn. Enjoyed a book called Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones as well. Zadie Smith's new NW has my attention now. Also the nf The Ego Tunnel von Thomas Metzinger. What about Ada? Nabokov not for you?

    1. Jim, I want to know what you think of NW, I just finished it...

  3. I've read Salter and liked well enough but never got the adulation. I've never dug - I've actively disliked when trying - Nabokov no matter how many times I've tried. I accepted the blame on both. Problem now is not who I'm reading it's how I'm reading. Actually fascinating in a frightening way.