Friday, January 31, 2014

Up the Facades, His Shadow Dragging Like a Photographer's Cloth Behind Him, He Climbs Fearfully, Thinking That This Time He Will Manage to Push His Small Head Through That Round Clean Opening and Be Forced Through, as from a Tube, in Black Scrolls on the Light

The Story of The Clean, part one.

The Story of the Clean, part two.

  • I am getting my car serviced today, estimated wait time two hours, I will be live blogging parts if not the whole of the waiting room experience between ten and whenever. No I won't. Maybe some.
  • This Week in Water. We in DCstan laugh at Atlantans and snow like Ninglanders laugh at DCstanners and snow.
  • Famous last words.
  • American Ninja Warriors.
  • My future hell.
  • SeatSix's future hell.
  • Hamster sends along this 1963 Irving Howe piece on Robert Frost written after Frost died. As he said in his email, fuck the front of The New Republic, the back of The New Republic was once tremendous.
  • Arvo Pärt, for those of you who do. No, this wasn't posted there because Arvo Pärt is two posts down here.
  • One moment
  • Richard's 2013 in music and bleggalgaze.
  • Hey, Schubert was born 217 years ago today. I have a vague memory that Hamster once gave me a post full of Lieder but I can't find it and am probably wrong anyway. I like the piano pieces better in any case.


Elizabeth Bishop

Man-Moth: Newspaper misprint for “mammoth.”
Here, above,
cracks in the buildings are filled with battered moonlight.
The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.
It lies at his feet like a circle for a doll to stand on,
and he makes an inverted pin, the point magnetized to the moon.
He does not see the moon; he observes only her vast properties,
feeling the queer light on his hands, neither warm nor cold,
of a temperature impossible to record in thermometers.

                     But when the Man-Moth
pays his rare, although occasional, visits to the surface,
the moon looks rather different to him. He emerges
from an opening under the edge of one of the sidewalks
and nervously begins to scale the faces of the buildings.
He thinks the moon is a small hole at the top of the sky,
proving the sky quite useless for protection.
He trembles, but must investigate as high as he can climb.

                     Up the façades,
his shadow dragging like a photographer’s cloth behind him
he climbs fearfully, thinking that this time he will manage
to push his small head through that round clean opening
and be forced through, as from a tube, in black scrolls on the light.
(Man, standing below him, has no such illusions.)
But what the Man-Moth fears most he must do, although
he fails, of course, and falls back scared but quite unhurt.

                     Then he returns
to the pale subways of cement he calls his home. He flits,
he flutters, and cannot get aboard the silent trains
fast enough to suit him. The doors close swiftly.
The Man-Moth always seats himself facing the wrong way
and the train starts at once at its full, terrible speed,
without a shift in gears or a gradation of any sort.
He cannot tell the rate at which he travels backwards.

                     Each night he must
be carried through artificial tunnels and dream recurrent dreams.
Just as the ties recur beneath his train, these underlie
his rushing brain. He does not dare look out the window,
for the third rail, the unbroken draught of poison,
runs there beside him. He regards it as a disease
he has inherited the susceptibility to. He has to keep
his hands in his pockets, as others must wear mufflers.

                     If you catch him,
hold up a flashlight to his eye. It’s all dark pupil,
an entire night itself, whose haired horizon tightens
as he stares back, and closes up the eye. Then from the lids
one tear, his only possession, like the bee’s sting, slips.
Slyly he palms it, and if you’re not paying attention
he’ll swallow it. However, if you watch, he’ll hand it over,
cool as from underground springs and pure enough to drink.


  1. man-moth reminds me of batboy, from the humor publication weekly world news

    one of their driest jokes ever was a feature they did on billy graham's view of heaven - they played it completely straight

    searching the web, i couldn't find it - but here is another of my favorites from them:


    A RABBI, priest and a minister walked into a bar in a small Iowa town -- but nothing funny happened.

    "When I saw the three of them walk in," bartender Joe Blobonski says, "I thought to myself, 'This is gonna be good.

    I mean, this is the setup for thousands of jokes, so I figured something hilarious is about to happen."

    But the results were disappointing.

    "They sat down at a table, and didn't say much."

    Blobonski says he expected to burst out laughing when he took their order.

    "The priest said, 'I'll have a Virgin Mary.' Then the minister said, 'I'll have a Bloody Mary,' Blobonski says. "I could barely contain myself, waiting for the rabbi's punch line.

    "But then he says, 'I'd like a Diet Coke,' A Diet Coke?

    THAT'S not funny. I couldn't believe it."

    At another point the rabbi asked, "Do you get many rabbis in here?"

    Blobonski says, "I said 'No,' waiting for the rabbi's hysterical comeback.

    "But all he said was 'too bad.' "

    The three religious wise men quietly drank up, paid the bill, and left.

    "It was really pretty boring, to be honest," Blobonski added.

    Published on: 09/05/2004

  2. Uhm...yeah, not like I live anywhere near SeatSix. You are so Number 12.

    I really doubt that SeatSix is among those expecting CCT riders to cross the highway to catch the freaking Hans-bus. He tends toward reasonable thinking on these matters.

  3. Yeah, Atlanta's gov't is laughable. How could they not have spread what little sand and salt they had B4 the shit hit? How could they have not called off school? I mean, c'mon! Hell, even last night's The Daily Show took 'em to task. Me? I was holed up here in my jammies with Sasha & Lily. Wisdoc hiked the 1/2 mile to the VA where there are still wounded warriors needing tending & she's "essential" personnel.

    Thanks for the linkage. Love the Clean! & Part!

    Hey, mistah charley! I used to look forward to going to the supermkt every week just so I could peruse the World Weekly News. It was a hoot! Bill Kelly, the Sunday afternoon DJ on WFMU and now also on Little Steven's Underground Garage on Sirius FM used to read from it (straight) between songs on his show. Remember the joke in the first Men In Black where Tommy Lee Jones says it's the only paper that tells the world what's really going on with all the aliens on the planet. I never took it to be humor, though it was hilarious. I never took it to be parody, though it was seriously the greatest. I never took it to be cynical either, though it was clearly pandering to the low-information audience. Ahh. It's like being so lucky to remember things like "The Goon Show" (on radio) & "Monty Python's Flying Circus" & the early days of "SNL" & now "The Daily Show" & "The Colbert Report". HUMOR! A golden age of it IMHO.

    Oh yeah, go here: