Monday, June 10, 2013

Stultifying with Its Threats and Tears, Dissembling Always Its Mad Obsession with the Blurred Distinction

I know myself well enough: I can rid myself of obedience to particular obsessions but not rid myself of the need to fill the vacuum of my obsessions. I run at a certain level; the level can rise, it's yet to fall. We went down to East Wing National Gallery yesterday because Earthgirl wanted to see the Albrecht Durer exhibition and realized yesterday was the last day (plus East Wing is closing for three years of renovations this coming January, we're going while we can). When we walked out of Durer, over the entrance to the next gallery over was a sign that read, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929. We what-the-fuck entered.



Howard Moss

It seems to have traveled at night,
Supremely ironic, lighting fires,
Laying golden eggs in the midst of squalor,
Its outer garments, in the latest version,
Sumptuous, its linens more than shoddy,
Drunk, moreover, at a seedy party
The discriminating shunned, and, later, bawdy
In a run-down neighborhood, with whores and sailors
Chosen as companions while the queen went needy.
Now that everything about it is known,
Why does it come up purple or threadbare,
Thrashing all its sunsets in a fit of pique,
Or stripped, in the seamiest hayloft, ready
To repeat dull anecdotes the millionth time,
Its poise unquestionable, its voice unsteady?
It is brilliant, androgynous, and stultifying
With its threats and tears, dissembling always
Its mad obsession with the blurred distinction.
And yet who else
Is so elementary and badly needed
That fifty cultures rise at the merest rumor
Of its presence, and, finally, punctually fall
Whenever it departs, as if on schedule?
Interviewed, Monday, in the city dump,
Which turned, by magic, into a hotel tower,
Shedding poems and paintings for its bath
(It takes ten centuries of running water
To wash it clean), it then emerged, all dirty
Again, in a costume of ferocious splendor,
A hat some milliner in old Vienna
Sweated over, its pumps exchanged for sneakers,
And raced across the city, breaking records,
Just to prove its powers of endurance.
It lies down anywhere, and loves the country,
But is so unassuming it can even flourish
Beneath electric signs and in railroad stations
It goes to for the summer, estivating,
It says, near fountains that escape our notice,
And comes back in the fall, its ribbons flying,
Wheeling through the leaves, singing all the voices
Of every opera in the repertoire
Plus one no one has ever dreamed of writing.
Going about its gigantic business,
It masks itself as any shape or hope,
Appearing as a vicious telephone call,
Or a flat, disturbing message in an envelope.
It praises calmness but adores upheaval,
Is most to be desired when it apes composure,
And much to be distrusted when it boasts it has
The only fingerprint that can be changed at will.


  1. Heh heh, stoner. Have listened to the tunes affiliated with Russkie ballet, but never the visuals much for whatever reason.

  2. Yo, the first and last video are what Landru claims I inflicted upon him in one of his Worst Nights Ever. Needless to say, it was one of ol' Hamster's Most Amazing Artistic Experiences Ever! The Joffrey that night was sublime.

  3. I'm depending on you for my education. Fix me up, please.

  4. Durer and swank costumerie. I wanted to be a ballet dancer as a kid and then realized I had no athletic ability whatsoever. Those costumes and backdrops are amazing. Being in Durer's neighborhood in Nuremberg a few weeks ago was a surreal thing too.

  5. i signed a petition to the president, with my real name and zip code, asking him to pardon edward snowden for his crimes

    1. I like to think I incriminate myself enough here to be ignored by power more individually, attention-slutting bastard that I am, but more than that I worry that after years of finally getting off motherfucking Obama emailing lists and motherfucking Democratic Party mailing lists if I sign up for this list I'll start getting motherfucking Obama and motherfucking Democratic Party emails and phone calls again. There's truth in that joke, as 2012 election cycle proved.

      Good on you. Noise is all we have.

  6. to pru if she looks back , dance about anyways if you are feeling it ,it's good for you , ..said the agile very, to' 'er..g dance' / .. .

  7. the to' for tow , and tower..g ..of my carry, and 'er ..of a filming going on now of my dancing in the night safety lighting on a play ground near with some building going on in ,/added note- in my doing this with others in the last week i have been hearing ,on more than waking ,patti smith's added poem to feels like teen spirit .. .