Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Now the Summer Air Exerts Its Syrupy Drag and the Half-Dark City Under the Strict Surveillance of Quotation Marks


Joshua Clover

Now the summer air exerts its syrupy drag on the half-dark
City under the strict surveillance of quotation marks.
The citizens with their cockades and free will drift off
From the magnet of work to the terrible magnet of love.
In the far suburbs crenellated of Cartesian yards and gin
The tribe of mothers calls the tribe of children in
Across the bluing evening. It’s the hour things get
To be excellently pointless, like describing the alphabet.
Yikes. It’s fine to be here with you watching the great events
Without taking part, clinking our ice as they advance
Yet remain distant. Like the baker always about to understand
Idly sweeping up that he is the recurrence of Napoleon
In a baker’s life, always interrupted by the familiar notes
Of a childish song, “no more sleepy dreaming,” we float
Casually on the surface of the day, staring at the bottom,

Jotting in our daybooks, how beautiful, the armies of autumn. 


  1. a letter to the editor sent this morning:

    Sir, while I agree with Gideon Rachman ("In Snowden's privacy fight, the spies are likely to win", June 11, Financial Times) that essential systems in our society are vulnerable to hacking attacks, I cannot agree with him that such a danger justifies the NSA's destruction of the private sphere, as revealed by Edward Snowden's act of civil disobedience.

    While both activities take place in cyberspace, they have very little in common otherwise.

    To give a historical analogy, making the world into a 21st century East Germany is like responding to the 9/11 attack by invading Iraq - superficially plausible when advocated by politicians and press as part of a massive disinformation campaign, but in practice much worse than useless.

  2. my suggested heading was

    Rachman is wrong about cyberspying