Monday, March 11, 2013

Milk Belongs to the Mythology of Cats But It Makes Them Sick

I wrote a rant after my encounter with my Obamapologist friend Friday after he accused me of indifference to, among many things, women's rights (I am willing to sacrifice my daughter's rights over her uterus, don't you know) because of my "fixation" with Obama's claims of power and the ever expanding police state. Fixation was his word; I accept it. I chose - and still choose - not to post the rant, though I offer these two thoughts: people of good will can disagree: if I prioritize A over B that does not necessarily mean I would willingly sacrifice women's rights nor does it mean if you prioritize B over A it necessarily means you support the King's imperial claims he can fucking well kill whomever whenever (in which case you're John Yoo, don't you know), and second, a new danger on the horizon:

     It's a herd of feral hamsters, a major herd, thundering across the yellow plains of the southern reaches of the Great Concavity in what used to be Vermont, raising dust that forms a uremic-hued cloud with somatic shapes interpretable from as far away as Boston and Montreal. The herd is descended from two domestic hamsters set free by a Watertown NY boy at the beginning of the Experialist migration in the subsidized Year of the Whopper. The boy now attends college in Champaign IL and has forgotten that his hamsters were named Ward and June.
     The noise of the herd is tornadic, locomotival. The expression on the hamsters' whiskered faces is businesslike and implacable - it's that implacable-herd expression. They thunder eastward across pedalferrous terrain that today is fallow, denuded. To the east, dimmed by the fulvous cloud the hamsters send up, is the vivid verdant ragged outline of the annularly overfertilized forests of what used to be Maine.
     With respect to a herd of this size, please exercise the sort of common sense that come to think of it would keep your thinking man out of the southwest Concavity anyway. Feral hamsters are not pets. They mean business. Wide berth advised. Carry nothing even remotely vegatablish if the path of a feral herd. If in the path of such a herd, move quickly and calmly in a direction perpendicular to their own.


Lyn Hejinian

Reason looks for        Where I woke and was awake, in the
two, then                  room fitting the wall, withdrawn, I
arranges it                had my desk and thus my corner.
from there                While waiting, waltz. The soles of
                               our boots wear thin, but the soles of
                               our feet grow thick. The difference
                               between “he presented his argument”   
and “they had an argument.”   I still respond to the academic
year, the sound of the school bell, the hot Wednesday morn-
ing after Labor Day. Must the physiologist stand apart from
the philosopher. We are not forgetting the patience of the
mad, their love of detail. The sudden brief early morning
breeze, the first indication of a day‘s palpability, stays high in
the trees, while flashing silver and green the leaves flutter, a
bird sweeps from one branch to another, the indistinct
shadows lift off the crumpled weeds, smoke rises from the
gravel quarry——all this is metonymy. The “argument”   is the
plot, proved by the book. Going forward and coming back
later. Even posterity, alas, will know Sears. As for we who
“love to be astonished,” there are fences keeping cyclones.
Might be covered, on the ground, by no distance. She spread
her fingers as she spoke, talking of artifice, which extends
beauty beyond nature. Perhaps it is only a coincidence. For,
as Neitzsche put it, “If a man has character, he will have the
same experience over and over again.” In the morning at eight
I sense the first threat of monotony. Give a penny with a
knife. Candor is the high pitch of scrutiny. I was tired of
ideas, or, rather, the activity of ideas, a kind of exercise, had
first invigorated me and then made me sleepy, so that I felt
just as one does after a long, early morning walk, returning
unable to decide whether to drink more coffee or go back to
sleep. The uncommon run of keeping oneself to oneself. The
piggy-back plant is o.k. Tell anyone who telephones that I’m
not home. I liked doing that, had made rooms for dolls on
trucks that way, looking in on them through windows. It was
a pretense of keeping our distance from anything that ap-
peared pretentious. A sorry mess, but well-framed. As if a
contorted checkerboard formed the portrait of a handsome
woman in a hat of several ochres and umbers. The dog circles
more than a moth before resting. Let the traffic pass. They
were on vacation and therefore bored. Someone wanted to go
away from everywhere forever but jumped into the bay. We
were warned such accidents happen while mothers talk on
phones. A doodled gnarled tree. Milk belongs to the
mythology of cats but it makes them sick. Ours was a stray
with ringworm. One night each year on Boston’s Beacon Hill
the curtains remained undrawn and the public was invited to
peek in. I didn’t wear my dark glasses because I didn’t want a
raccoon tan. Yet this needs shading in. It seemed that I didn’t,
after all, want a birthday empty of sentimentality. It’s on the
compulsive buyer’s rack up front. The real adversary of my
determination was determinism, regulating and limiting the
range and degree of difference between things of one day and
things of the next. I got it from Darwin, Freud, and Marx.
Not fragments but metonymy. Duration. Language makes


  1. Wait . . . I thought you were reading Proust? And poetry? Perhaps they lack rodents.

  2. Yes and yes and yes and no.

    Picked up IJ, knew I'd been resisting it (for the same reason I hadn't been picking up *When We Were Orphans*), three hours later I'm - to mirror his great theme - addicted again.

  3. It's funny, I got the denial of the drone/executive power/general shadiness from both sides of the spectrum this week. I don't know what that says, but I find it depressing.