Wednesday, June 5, 2013

When We Tell Ourselves That So Many Bells Have Rung Beyond Our Understanding What We Really Mean Is That So Many Ring Counter to the Way We Wish to Understand Them

Lordy I love that song. Richard Butler is fifty-seven today. I really loved The Furs - many of the dozens of the best five nights of my life were at Furs shows, especially one at the Ontario Theater in Columbia Heights with Martha and the Muffins and Simple Minds (before that horrible single), then they aged bad for me (or me for them), now it's love again, they are always on the soundtrack either to or from Ohio when we go to visit Planet or take her there or bring her home.

So, um, I'm book-culling.

  • This is the summer of purging the house of stuff we've collected since moving in twenty-one years ago that we haven't used in years. Most of the books I'm purging are non-fiction I stupidly bought thinking Hey! I'll read non-fiction and never read more than the intro plus novels I've read but will never read again or novels I've never read and will never read. I've a large stash of first editions which I will keep just because I don't want some asshole used book store owner to rip me off or get their fucking hands on them if I donate the books somewhere. Speaking of which, anyone have any suggestions for a good place to donate hundreds of books?
  • No poetry in any of the bags.
  • I found $380 in books. More to come, I'm sure.
  • Sentence first, verdict later.
  • The four plagues of the coming apolcalypse.
  • Fall.
  • The makers of global capitalism.
  • The Rise of Pop Fascism part five.
  • The all-powerful bike lobby.
  • Photography is not a crime.
  • Agamben, for those of you who do.
  • Blood and roots.
  • Sandy Spring! I have a friend who grew up on Brooke Road.
  • TEN MILE CREEK! I've told this story many times before, will again, but as Gauron said to Kid Duras, perhaps, but not today.
  • Imitation of Christ.
  • Anthony's always generous lit links.
  • In the bags: Jim Crace, Tim Winton, Rodney Hall, three novelists I hadn't thought of in ages, all heralded as the next big thing a lifetime or two ago.
  • Hamster flagged this PERE UBU NEWS! too, wondered why I hadn't posted it, I responded, it requires a cascade, there is already a cascade today, and June 14th is a High Egoslavian Holy Day, there will be a massive Pere Ubu/Rocket from Tombs/Two Pale Boys/etc cascade that day.
  • You only think I document the laws and bylaws of this shitty blog onblog.
  • O, OK, have a Pere Ubu song.
  • That Psychedelic Furs/Simple Minds/Martha and the Muffins concert is related to my dismissive disdain for used book store owners, the woman I was with at the time was the weeknight manager for Econdsay Torysay Books, the one in the big white house on Old Georgetown in Bethesda where now a giant condominium sits next to the Hyatt, the owner one of the biggest assholes I've ever met. 
  • Serendipity is sometimes great good, sometimes great bad, always awesome.
  • She also worked the Econdsay Torysay on Greenmount in Waverly, it had four very cool cats, I'd stop by and pick her up, we'd go sit in the upper right deck of Memorial on Three-Buck Nights after we ate dinner at the St Paul Deli.
  • I was young once.
  • Lordy, I love this song:


Timothy Donnelly

When we tell ourselves
       that so many bells
have rung beyond
       our understanding

what we really mean
       is that so many ring
counter to the way
       we wish to understand them.

When I think back
      long ago, almost back
to that barbaric time,
       what I want is to lie

down in a mile-wide
       bafflement of grasses
until there is nothing
       left of me but willingness

to go though it all
       again, because unless
a donut box of dollars
       falls down from the

sky I like beneath admiring,
       it can't be avoided -
only this time, when they talk
       as if I had a choice

in the matter, a way to say
       no and live, I'll ask
if the wouldn't mind kindly
       doing me this favor

of repeating that please
       because I couldn't quite make out
whatever they just said
       through all that privilege.


  1. heh, I liked that horrible single....

    as for the books, if you were inclined to cart 'em to Baltimore, I'd say The Book Thing

  2. That's just down four blocks on Greenmount from where the Econdsay Torysay was (it was directly across the street from the Olympic Grill - whether that's still there or not I've no idea).

    I have exactly five notes in whatever key my singing voice is in that don't sound like a moose vomiting and they are the exact five notes that Butler has. The difference is that Butler made a living out of his while I need to despise a person with soul-burning hate to sing for him, one of life's ironies that as much as I love music and love to sing I have the single worse singing voice in the universe.

  3. I was 13 or 14 and you gave me Midnight to Midnight after determining I needed to listen to good music.

    Any history in your non-fiction?

    If you're just looking to donate the books rather than selling, take them up to Oakton for the next time they call for a pickup. That's where i've been getting rid of old books and clothes for years.

  4. My last major book donation (about 10,000) was to the Stone Ridge book sale folks... They pick up if you have enough.

  5. Looking for the Simple Minds video on youtube that I loved the first time I saw it back in the 20th century and still love today - All the things she said

    I see that youtube has on its front page Taylor Swift doing As Tears Go By with the Rolling Stones in Chicago on Monday

    in the middle of the song (the MIDDLE of the SONG) TS throws out "Love you, Chicago" - while I naturally hope that Taylor will be well, happy, and at peace, I doubt I'll ever pay admission to see her perform - of course the audience there didn't either - I have paid to see the Stones, and doubt that I'll do so again - but unlikely things happen all the time

    Keith is sitting down as he plays the acoustic on this song but presumably he stands for some of the electric numbers

    Charlie was also sitting down, but that is unremarkable, of course

    Mick was slim and lithe-ish - presumably he has someone restore his hair to its natural colour

  6. The Simple Minds single for the tour was Promised You a Miracle.

    I saw the Stone's once on - I think - the *Some Girls* tour. The Stones always remind me of my lack of cocaine gene - I'd tell people that no matter how good the cocaine I could not get high off it. True fact. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dollars of other peoples' money to prove me wrong. Fine metaphors abound. Anyway, the girl who bought me the Stone's ticket wasted her money too.

    Not hate, just never got.

  7. That's because your head was ruined by the Beatles. Too bad the Stones didn't get there first. Much better music.