Friday, May 30, 2014

Wisteria, Extreme

The penultimate day of the birthdayiest month in Egoslavia. Pauline Oliveros is eighty-two today.

Saturday is a High Egoslavian Holy Day, I said at Thursday Night Pints, certainly the last Thursday Night Pints for the summer, probably the last forever though we promised ourselves at least one more. We've already lost D, rest in peace. K has offers in Ann Arbor and Palo Alto, will take one or the other, will be out of town much of the summer. L has grandchildren in Atlanta, stupidly lucrative house-flipper offers for her house in Arlington, will be out of town much of the summer. I'd take the Palo Alto offer, I said to K. I said to L, I'd take the stupidly lucrative money and buy a single floor condo near your grandchildren instead of living alone with two bad hips in a 1940s Cape Cod with three floors and narrow and steep stairs. I was agreeing with the choices they've already made. I can't imagine going to Atlanta for any reason, I can totally imagine going to Northern California, I'll have places to stay in either case.

That's the Thursday Night Pints bleggal pre-eulogy, eulogy, and post-eulogy. Combined with else and tomorrow's High Egoslavian Holy Day fine metaphors abound, or could or might or will.



Lucie Brock-Broido

On abandon, uncalled for but called forth.
                                                                              The hydrangea
Of   her crushed each year a little more into the attar of   herself.
Pallid. Injured, wildly capable.
A throat to come home to, tupelo.
                                                Lemurs in parlors, inconsolable.
Parlors of burgundy and sleigh. Unseverable fear.
Wistful, woke most every afternoon
                                In the green rooms of the Abandonarium.
                                                Beautiful cage, asylum in.
Reckless urges to climb celestial trellises that may or may not
                                 Have been there.
So few wild raspberries, they were countable,
                                 Triaged out by hand.
Ten-thousand-count Egyptian cotton sheets. Intimacy with others,
                                 Sateen. Extreme hyacinth as evidence.
Her single subject the idea that every single thing she loves
                                 Will (perhaps tomorrow) die.
High editorial illusion of   “Control.” Early childhood: measles,
                                                                              Scarlet fevers;
Cleopatra for most masquerades, gold sandals, broken home.
Convinced Gould’s late last recording of the Goldberg Variations
Was put down just for her. Unusual coalition of early deaths.
Early middle deaths as well. Believed, despite all evidence,
In afterlife, looked hopelessly for corroborating evidence of   such.
                                                                                          Wisteria, extreme.
There was always the murmur, you remember, about going home.


Cole Swensen

If a garden is the world counted
                                                           and found analogue in nature
One does not become two by ever ending
                                                                           so the stairs must be uneven in number
and not exceed
thirteen without a pause
of two paces’ width, which
                                                 for instance, the golden section
                            mitigates between abandon
and an orchestra just behind those trees,
gradations of green that take a stethoscope: we risk:
Length over width
                                  to make the horizon run straight
            to make the pond an oval:
                                                            over length minus the width
                              in which descending circles curl
into animals exact as a remainder.
                              Which means excess. The meaning of the real
always exceeds that of the ideal, said someone.
                                                                                      He was speaking of Vaux-le-Vicomte,
but it’s equally true of parking, or hunting, or wishing you could take it back. He
                              who is Allen Weiss, actually said, “The meaning
of a plastic or pictorial construct always surpasses the ideal meaning of that work.”
Which is something else entirely. Said
the axonometric
divided by
the anamorphic.
                               There is nothing that controls our thoughts
more than what we think we see,
which we label “we.”


  1. L has grandchildren in Atlanta

    The best discussion of the issue of where one lives in one's later years which I have seen is in a book by Simmons and MacBean - I have the 2000 edition, Thriving After 55, and have just ordered a copy of the 2006 edition, Thriving Beyond Midlife. Here is a breezy summary from

    >>MacBean and Simmons propose five answers to the “Where Will You Live” question.

    Home Sweet Home is the plan that keeps you in your current residence forever. You will be dragged kicking and screaming into the nursing home or carried out with your boots on. Come hell or high water you are not leaving your home.

    The Family Plan has you moving in with the “kids”, whether they know it or not. The assumption here is that son & daughter-in-law or daughter and son-in-law will willingly give up one of their bedrooms and their lifestyle to take in mom and/or dad when they can no longer fend for themselves. No one usually talks about this since everything is assumed, and you know what that means.

    The LifeStyle Resort has you moving into a community of folks just like yourself. The amenities, like clubhouse, trips and community restaurant are included in the buy-in fee and monthly dues. With the resort style you move along with your cohort from activity, to nursing care section, to dementia wing. Bring your money.

    The New Frontier is a community of like-minded friends and/or family who join together to build a community from scratch: buy the land, build the houses, and live together as one big happy family. Everyone contributes to the New Frontier. Bring your clogs, tie-dyed shirts and guitar.

    Progressive Retreat is the thinking person’s approach to the future. There is a recognition of the inevitable and a strategy to deal with it. You plan for the time to leave home-sweet-home for assisted living and know what it will take to get you into the nursing home where you can await the grim reaper. Moving in with the kids is never an option.<<

    [end of quote from]

    MacBean and Simmons give a thorough discussion of the pluses and minuses of each housing option. They embed this in their model of the stages of living past 55 (although one could enter these stages earlier through accident or illness) -

    "extended middle age";

    "the new me" - in which one carries on, but in a significantly different way, adapting to one's limitations;

    and "the rest of one's life" - pun on "rest" is intended - from this point on one is homebound, and physical activities are much fewer.

    The transitions between these stages can be gradual, or dramatic. Maybe you will not go through all these stages before dying - but maybe you will.

  2. odd , of wonder ,wander , of this silly of roses crushed woman that lucie speaks of , of her not knowing that glenn was not able to vary ,of variations for anyone , of what his being high functioning aut. meant , odd, because i am unschooling some students/of uoft , this summer in a cafe near , of last after noon , no pints , but talk of wine how trellised , , ital. ,fr., and piano .. .