Friday, February 28, 2014

This Admirable Gadget, When It Is Wound on a Strong and Spun with Steady Force, Maintains Its Balance on Most Any Smooth Surface, Pleasantly Humming as it Goes

My brother Elric is 53 today, Happy Birthday! He reads occasionally, not as often as he once did before we fell out over Chelsea Manning but I'm told more often than I thought.

Howard Nemerov was lucky enough to be born on February 29th, since March 1 belongs to Chopin and Richard Wilbur and Robert Lowell, I give today to Nemerov, born 23.5 years ago if you only count February 29ths.


This admirable gadget, when it is
Wound on a string and spun with steady force,   
Maintains its balance on most any smooth
Surface, pleasantly humming as it goes.
It is whirled not on a constant course, but still   
Stands in unshivering integrity
For quite some time, meaning nothing perhaps   
But being something agreeable to watch,   
A silver nearly silence gleaning a still-
ness out of speed, composing unity   
From spin, so that its hollow spaces seem   
Solids of light, until it wobbles and   
Begins to whine, and then with an odd lunge   
Eccentric and reckless, it skids away   
And drops dead into its own skeleton.

  • I'll be honest, with someone who I've posted as often as Nemerov I don't go back to make sure I'm not repeating posting poems. I'm certain I'm repeating poems. Click the tag for more, you'll probably see these but many others too.
  • I've probably done that Dismemberment Plan gag before too.
  • I discovered that if I put gifs in the blog header they worked, they never had before. Unfortunately, none of the gifs I have is large enough to fill the header's dimension. I put the UFO Ride into the header, it was the size it is as background now. I thought.... so. Not permanent (probably), gifs is general not just this one in particular, though now and then and for today. I don't think it's the cause of today's slow loading (I think it's the statcounter widget and/or one of the youtubes and/or one or more of the sites on the blogrolls has broken its feed); I took the gif down and the load was just as slow.
  • And the statcounter widget's skeeviness has ceased, at least temporarily, and moving the youtube-heavy George posts off the front page seems to have stopped the slow-load issue. 
  • UPDATE! GIF down. Blooger skeevy.  
  • UPDATE! Here's the weird. Blog is down in my house - and any place where internet is via Comcast because eNom, who provides my domain name, has crashed with Comcast. So GIF will be back. Or not.
  • Which 90s Indie Band are you? I got Neutral Milk Hotel which is funny cause if I've nothing personal against any member of Neutral Milk Hotel I nonetheless really dislike the music, I guarantee you can search the ten years of this shitty blog, you won't find any Neutral Milk Hotel anywhere. 
  • Rilke, for those of you who do, his 5th Duino. 
  • Storm Light from Ocean View.
  • Silliman's always generous litlinks.
  • Sunn O)))!
  • Prunella's latest playlist
  • UPDATE! Richard just told me Swans are playing Black Cat this May 14th. I might be picking up Planet from college then but just bought a ticket. Hurry, buy yours soon! If it's announced that St Vincent is on the tour (she's gonna be on the new album) it will sell out as soon as news hits.
  • I was supposed to see Swans w/Mr Alarum last year, couldn't make it, I forget now why, been kicking myself ever since. This guarantees that I'll be in Ohio this May 14th.
  • Fell asleep listening to/woke up with The Necks in my head, you can hear more by clicking on that tag.


Howard Nemerov

The cursive crawl, the squared-off characters   
these by themselves delight, even without   
a meaning, in a foreign language, in
Chinese, for instance, or when skaters curve   
all day across the lake, scoring their white   
records in ice. Being intelligible,
these winding ways with their audacities   
and delicate hesitations, they become   
miraculous, so intimately, out there
at the pen’s point or brush’s tip, do world   
and spirit wed. The small bones of the wrist   
balance against great skeletons of stars   
exactly; the blind bat surveys his way   
by echo alone. Still, the point of style   
is character. The universe induces
a different tremor in every hand, from the   
check-forger’s to that of the Emperor
Hui Tsung, who called his own calligraphy   
the ‘Slender Gold.’ A nervous man
writes nervously of a nervous world, and so on.

Miraculous. It is as though the world
were a great writing. Having said so much,   
let us allow there is more to the world   
than writing: continental faults are not   
bare convoluted fissures in the brain.   
Not only must the skaters soon go home;   
also the hard inscription of their skates
is scored across the open water, which long   
remembers nothing, neither wind nor wake.


Howard Nemerov

It is true, that even in the best-run state   
Such things will happen; it is true,
What’s done is done. The law, whereby we hate   
Our hatred, sees no fire in the flue
But by the smoke, and not for thought alone   
It punishes, but for the thing that’s done.

And yet there is the horror of the fact,   
Though we knew not the man. To die in jail,   
To be beaten to death, to know the act   
Of personal fury before the eyes can fail   
And the man die against the cold last wall   
Of the lonely world—and neither is that all:

There is the terror too of each man’s thought,   
That knows not, but must quietly suspect   
His neighbor, friend, or self of being taught   
To take an attitude merely correct;   
Being frightened of his own cold image in   
The glass of government, and his own sin,

Frightened lest senate house and prison wall
Be quarried of one stone, lest righteous and high   
Look faintly smiling down and seem to call   
A crime the welcome chance of liberty,   
And any man an outlaw who aggrieves   
The patriotism of a pair of thieves.


  1. I got Belle & Sebastian. I HATE BELLE AND SEBASTIAN! I'm assuming Fugazi wasn't an option.

  2. Prunella, I'm as shocked as you are. I got B & S too. I don't hate them, but meh! I wanted American Analog Set or the Boo Radleys or Catherine Wheel or even The Connells or LUNA, for pete's sake. But no...


    We're trying to get away from the Riddled tradition of Rebel Angels blogging. Also.