Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dormant Listening Posts Activate

  • Working on other projects (and diverting bleggalgazing, of a sort, there). Links for you.
  • Four reasons this list will kill you.
  • Understanding landscape.
  • Another post about hashtags.
  • The rhetoric of violence.
  • The definitive oral history of a TV classic, or: No Elton John, no MST3K? Universes hurl into oblivion.
  • Food links.
  • davidly's Kate Bush's London concert misadventure, an update.
  • UPDATE! Just got two emails from blooger saying two folks had blogged anonymously on today's post (or one person twice) but neither comment appeared on blooger to approve or delete. I'd post them but I don't know who to attribute them to, so if you care please comment again and sign a name. I'm guessing that I get so much anonymous spambot comments that blooger now just sends to oblivion all anonymous comments. 
  • You.
  • You.
  • UPDATE! Old Dirty Bama, I don't use that email anymore and only check it sporadically, sorry for late response to your email of a fortnight ago. Check your email!
  • A riff on birthday boy William Shakespeare.
  • Of course I want praise (diverted bleggalgazing). And yes, K, I reserve the right to edit until I abandon, since you again called it cheating.
  • In praise of Joyce Carol Oates. It's the freaking italics of interior dialogue that drive me nuts.
  • So, guess what I was listening to when falling asleep last night.


Vijay Seshardri

The omni-directional mike and the video camera, both tiny,
hidden in the bonsai cypress
are picking up my sunrise self-help talk show,
in the makeshift kitchen studio, in a bathrobe and bunny slippers.
First the opening monologue,
then the body banters with the mind, then queue up the callers.
Caller X is unhappy with the latest dream interpretation.
Caller X is cut off with a flick of the wrist.
Caller Y wants to share that my fearless candor has given her permission
to become utterly transparent herself.
Thank you, Caller Y. Your inner light can be seen from here.
Night-visiting revenants, clerks of the underworld,
gnawing the half-buried roots of being,
spirits of the burning trees, kiss me goodbye.
The tape shows me checking my chronometer and exiting for work.
Observers posted along my morning commute observe the usual detours,
the purchase of potables and comestibles.
Flash forward the digital feed.
At ten hundred hours, the current workplace asset texts,
“Subject agitated. Begging colleagues,
‘Please have the courtesy not to be conscious of me.’ ”
Of the three or four scenarios employed
to predict my next location, during the interminable lunch hour,
when the terrible questions of where to go and what to eat
among choices once enticing but now exposed in all their bitter banality
assault even the most cheerful of our targets,
today, which is a Tuesday, is burning-house-scenario day.
Cloud after cloud of smoke and flames
sweep through and over the turrets,
the widow’s walk, the pergolas, the port-cochere.
Fire boiling through the leaded windowpanes immolates the gillyflowers.
Though I haven’t been located, for reasons I don’t understand,
in the crowd shots pirated from the Eyewitness News feed,
what the crowd feels I would feel if I were there to feel it.
But I’m not there to feel it,
I’m not there at all, there at the next disaster,
the last disaster but one but one but one . . .
The dormant listening posts activate.
Windowless vans crammed with information technology
park on the corners of all the streets.
Oh, the wailing in the control room, the recriminations,
the pointing of fingers, the blame game, the pleas
of the pragmatic to move forward, not backward, and solve this problem,
find me and put me back on the grid.
Where will I be scanned for first? Maybe I’m in the trashed, padlocked
public restroom in the park. The pipes are hissing.
The concrete floor is littered with syringes and treacherous
with pools of chill and fetid standing water.
The mirrors are shattered, and the sinks and urinals are shattered.
This is the restroom nobody ever visits
in the park abandoned by humankind,
the dead zone where the transducer and the infrared lens quail,
where all the signals ricochet.
Or, alternatively, I could be on a beach somewhere.