Wednesday, October 2, 2013

There Will Never Be an End to the Droning of This Surf, or: Born 134 Years Ago Today


Wallace Stevens

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

He knew that he heard it,
A bird's cry at daylight or before,
In the early March wind.

The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow...
It would have been outside.

It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep's faded papier mache...
The sun was coming from outside.

That scrawny cry - it was
A chorister whose c proceeded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,

Surrounded by it's choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

  • If I did play my Sillyass Deserted Island Five Game with poets Stevens would not be one of the them though he'd have a bust on the wall of the hall in which the game is played.
  • On last month's 90th anniversary of the publication of Harmonium.
  • What to expect now that the US Government is gone.
  • I mentioned this in comments yesterday: I live in Metroland, work in DC, I've friends and family directly affected by the government showdown, I acknowledge what a pain-in-the-ass this is and acknowledge that a prolonged shutdown moves from a pain-in-the-ass to a potentially perilous situation. We've been housing a recent college graduate, a daughter of a friend of a dear friend of my late mother-in-law who scored a job at State (I thought it was the Fed but Earthgirl has corrected me) and stayed with us while she searched for a place to live. She put down a deposit and signed a year lease with fairly steep rent and moved in last night, the first day of her furlough on her new job. Fuck Team Republican, Fuck Team Democrat, Fuck the National Triskelion League and all, I acknowledge there are real repercussions to real people in this motherfucking playoff kabuki.
  • Snap.
  • How we kill.
  • Grey.
  • United won. They've given me until Friday to pony up in full for next season. Every season before this one all we were asked to do is make a $100 deposit on renewal, full payment in January. Verily, Fuck United.
  • UPDATE! United responded to my email asking why this year they need payment in full by early October rather than just a deposit. My ticket agent said that a deposit will be fine, payment in January OK, so verily, Fuck United a little less vigorously.
  • Oy, the new Pynchon. Talked with a friend yesterday, someone who actually works in the tech services area Pynchon details in the novel so he gets the inside jokes, he said, oy. Years ago - at least a decade now, more probably - I held myself to a moral standard that once I start a novel I was obliged to finish it. Fuck that, but I do feel morally obliged to finish the new Pynchon, but oy, I don't feel obligated to finish it before reading something else.
  • Redwood threnody.
  • To which end, I have never read Sebald. We were in Politics and Prose last night, picked up a beautifully packaged Austerlitz, giving it a go.
  • DeLillo, for those of you who do. Or, like me, did once, been a while.
  • I was alerted to the wonderful news that there is a new The Necks album in my future.


Wallace Stevens


A. A violent order is disorder; and
B. A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one. (Pages of illustrations.)


If all the green of spring was blue, and it is;
If the flowers of South Africa were bright
On the tables of Connecticut, and they are;
If Englishmen lived without tea in Ceylon, and they do;
And if it all went on in an orderly way,
And it does; a law of inherent opposites,
Of essential unity, is as pleasant as port,
As pleasant as the brush-strokes of a bough,
An upper, particular bough in, say, Marchand. 


After all the pretty contrast of life and death
Proves that these opposite things partake of one,
At least that was the theory, when bishops' books
Resolved the world. We cannot go back to that.
The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind,
If one may say so. And yet relation appears,
A small relation expanding like the shade
Of a cloud on sand, a shape on the side of a hill. 


A. Well, an old order is a violent one.
This proves nothing. Just one more truth, one more
Element in the immense disorder of truths.
B. It is April as I write. The wind
Is blowing after days of constant rain.
All this, of course, will come to summer soon.
But suppose the disorder of truths should ever come
To an order, most Plantagenet, most fixed…
A great disorder is an order. Now, A
And B are not like statuary, posed
For a vista in the Louvre. They are things chalked
On the sidewalk so that the pensive man may see. 


The pensive man…He sees that eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.


Wallace Stevens

Barque of phoshor
On the palmy beach,

Move outward into heaven,
Into the alabasters
And night blues.

Foam and cloud are one.
Sultry moon-monsters
Are dissolving.

Fill your black hull
With white moonlight.

There will never be an end
To the droning of this surf.


  1. Sam Kriss, brilliantly, on the government shitdown: "Now that there’s no code left, there can be no crime."

    Thanks for posting, BDR.

  2. "obamacare is a powerfully addictive drug - once americans start using it, our collective national character is forever corrupted"

    if you believe that - and some people do - shutting down the gov't is an act of patriotism

    and speaking of patriots and their games, tom clancy has passed away

  3. No one, even the leftist bloggers have yet to pick up on this which I found unusual: the DoD spent $5 billion, with a B, on one day, the day before the government was shut down.

    And they released the statement to say so: