Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Rails That Take Us to Her Pass Boxcar After Boxcar Like the Successive Selves We Are, or: Sixty-Five Today, Sixty-Three Today

Bill Nelson is sixty-five today. I listen to his solo music often, much more than Be Bop Deluxe, though I spent last night split equally.

Martha Johnson is sixty-three today. I still listen to This Is the Ice Age many times a year, usually once each trip to and from Ohio to see Planet. The night they opened for The Furs at the Ontario Theater on Columbia is one of dozens of the best five nights of my life. We saw Martha and the Muffins the next night at 930, the original on F St, I shared a joint with Martha out on the street, one of dozens of the best five nights of my life.

  • Holyfuck, I'm old.
  • I heard from three people who told me they would prefer that I either describe what I link to explicitly in the link itself and/or explain what they might find behind a cryptic link title. I make no promises for long-term sustainability, but I'll try since I wouldn't put these here if I didn't want you to go read them.
  • We are now a police state.
  • A nation of patsies. Kennedy, assassination, 50 years on.
  • Anyone reacting with outrage to the Santa is White foodfight, you do know you're being trolled, yes?
  • Food links.
  • Eddie Johnson deal done. I understand why United made the move, I hope it works, I'm not anti-taunting Baal when I say I don't think it will.
  • USMNT has third hardest draw at WC14.
  • an old stain deeply set. Poem by Brad.
  • My Bonnie Prince Billy concert post from last month translated into Czech. According to my stats, that post has been translated into Romanian, German, Lithuanian, and Armenian, which is all about Bonnie Prince Billy, nothing about me.
  • Roaring City. Edwin Denby poem and James Jowers photographs.
  • Coetzee, for those of you who do.
  • Knocking of Nothing. Szybist poem.
  • Paper Cuts. Paper's decline before digital and ramifications for poetry.
  • Boy about Town. Song you haven't heard since last time you heard it, plus stuff.
  • Scale. Song you haven't heard since last time you heard it.
  • Black Intention III. Gorgeous piano piece I'd never heard, with scrolling score. Lordy, I love the scrolling scores.


Tom Sleigh

What she is waiting for never arrives
or arrives so slowly she can't see it:
         Like the river
         bluing silver

and wearing minutely deeper into its channel,
the flow hardens to carved stone as she fidgets
         beneath the whirling fan
         impatient for the train

that rocks us above the water to arrive:
Her sisters and brothers gone, she ventures alone
         through sunlight
         and moonlight

weaving shadowy faces across the peeling walls...
—Speeding toward her, is it you and me she spies
         in the trembling train
         windows while the engine

hauls us down rails that swerve under wheels
rolling through her brain? Faces burn
         through dirty glass,
         smears of lips and eyes

dissolve to spots of darkness swarming between
her eyes so that swaying apartment towers
         crumble as her nostrils
         prickle from the landfill's

ammonia that hangs above the stacked, crushed cars.
The rails that take us to her pass boxcar after boxcar
         like the successive selves we are
         as she dreams us coming closer,

switching track to track: Now the super unbolts
her door as she calls: “Oh is it really you?”
         —the wheel's rolling
         through her head bringing

us face to face with raveled bandages, crutches
leaned in dusty corners, terraced mountains of
         yellowing newspaper.
         Framed above her chair

a picture of a prairie sprawls round a covered wagon
and the horse she rode as a girl, her eyes
         fading points of light...
         Again she calls out

above the train's approaching rumble: “Is it you at last?”
My eyes have got so bad peoples’ faces
         are all blurry...Now
         tell me, is it really you?”

But already the rails are switching, bearing
our waving hands away at the speed of thought
         over the stony waters that
         ceaselessly pour out.


  1. Song you haven't heard since last time you heard it, plus stuff.

    Well, that's pretty hard to dispute. Thanks for the linkies.

  2. I tend to agree with the Commenters. I hover over the link and look at the status bar at the bottom of my Safari window which alerts me to where the link points. That helps somewhat with the screening. Unfortunately, I'm a much slower reader than you and can't find time to read everything you aggregate—tho' whenever I do I'm usually enlightened or entertained or, as likely as you, enraged.

  3. speaking of links and of a nation of patsies, jonathan schwarz's blog a tiny revolution has a great piece on how cbs has apparently forgotten that the government always lies to them, even though they still employ morley safer, who wrote the story straight from the horse's mouth back in the day - rich in historical detail, it is worth savoring if you enjoy the humorous side of lies about mass murder

  4. I like the wildcard element of not always knowing what I'll find when I click. Though I suspect I'm in the minority.