Thursday, November 7, 2013

If I Could Cajole You to Come Back for an Evening, Down from Your Compulsive Orbiting, I Would Touch You

  • That's on my current drive home from work air guitar playlist. It's my favorite Furs song ever, nothing else comes close. I had a Britten piece in mind, but I didn't want to make it two days in a row in advance of his centenary so I've started another gag based on compulsion. Lurched from compulsion to compulsion. Please use last sentence as my epitaph.
  • Usually used for the Sillyass Star Trek allusion gag, the below is also related to the above, free digital pint if you get it:


James Tate

Your face did not rot
like the others—the co-pilot,   
for example, I saw him

yesterday. His face is corn-
mush: his wife and daughter,   
the poor ignorant people, stare

as if he will compose soon.
He was more wronged than Job.   
But your face did not rot

like the others—it grew dark,
and hard like ebony;
the features progressed in their

distinction. If I could cajole
you to come back for an evening,   
down from your compulsive

orbiting, I would touch you,   
read your face as Dallas,   
your hoodlum gunner, now,

with the blistered eyes, reads   
his braille editions. I would
touch your face as a disinterested

scholar touches an original page.   
However frightening, I would   
discover you, and I would not

turn you in; I would not make   
you face your wife, or Dallas,   
or the co-pilot, Jim. You

could return to your crazy   
orbiting, and I would not try   
to fully understand what

it means to you. All I know   
is this: when I see you,   
as I have seen you at least

once every year of my life,   
spin across the wilds of the sky   
like a tiny, African god,

I feel dead. I feel as if I were   
the residue of a stranger’s life,   
that I should pursue you.

My head cocked toward the sky,   
I cannot get off the ground,   
and, you, passing over again,

fast, perfect, and unwilling   
to tell me that you are doing   
well, or that it was mistake

that placed you in that world,
and me in this; or that misfortune   
placed these worlds in us.


A.F. Moritz

I wish we could control this revolting
want of control: these people
with their spongy eyes, their mouths
of trembling shoehorns, billhooks for penises
and bear traps for vulvas.
One taste of sunlight and at once
they can’t do without it. Water,
the same, and food, and air,
and a dozen other squalid habits.
Some—like their copulation,
a rusting carnation in a cut-glass neck—
are not physically compulsive but
the partners can’t stop wanting them to be:
so we desire to be raped
by love, who would fill us, they say,
with an oil from the lit braziers of stars.
What if, doing it every day,
we resemble pistons, and the slow poison
cuts our lives off at 70:
it’s the grim determination
of our passion. And beyond this, even I—
defended in childhood by my strong father
the piano and my mother the virtuoso
from knuckles among warehouses—even I
am addicted to the mild light of words.

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