Tuesday, September 30, 2014

There Was an Italian Pharmacist Who Lived in an Expensive Apartment in the Best Part of Town; We Plotted to Overthrow a Tottering Dynasty

My friend Flowerville posted a The Apartments' song yesterday, reminding me. If I'd been paying attention a week ago Sunday or had a chance to listen to archives since friend Dave Mandl would have reminded me then. I'm just glad to be reminded.

My eyes are old, contribute to reading slumps because I can no longer read in bed, they start to ache after an hour, I'm old, dose with Timolol because of genetics, but my ears and the chimes in my brain have never worked better, no doubt in some indeterminable part to compensate for my dying eyes.

  • Living.
  • The slow-motion train-wreck of industrial civilization: Technical fixes only act as bandaids to the inherent flaws of global techno-capitalism. Time lags and feedbacks set in motion by industrial civilization’s rampant consumption of natural resources will extend over centuries and into deep geologic time. Ignoring the various environmental and social warnings at our own peril, we neither fully understand nor comprehend the consequences of our unsustainable way of life.
  • The pathology of Capital.
  • Overrated insect parables: I am more or less convinced that it is the only way to resolve the economic redundancy of humans after Total Automation (assuming we actually get over the upcoming scarcity humps without a massive, violent population reduction): abolish the wage work system.
  • The White Martyrdom Industrial Complex.
  • Why I am as horrible a fucking human as anyone: I want to smash this motherfucker's head open like a melon with a shovel. The motherfucker doesn't get it: As for Mr. Robinson, who faces up to a year in jail, he seemed a little befuddled as to why what he had done had drawn so much negative attention. “People see me in the streets, they frown their face up and everyone’s like I’m this menace person,” Mr. Robinson said. The motherfucker turns me into Gallagher. Fuck everyone, me most.
  • The Waffle House Index. (h/t)
  • Ideology #2: with Respect.
  • Cabin.
  • Overhearing, eavesdroppingI have long thought that these are severely neglected topics in the philosophy of language and literary criticism.
  • Ninety-Fifth Street.

i wanted to overthrow the government but all i brought down was somebody's wife

Charles Bukowski

30 dogs, 20 men on 20 horses and one fox
and look here, they write,
you are a dupe for the state, the church,
you are in the ego-dream,
read your history, study the monetary system,
note that the racial war is 23,000 years old.

well, I remember 20 years ago, sitting with an old Jewish tailor,
his nose in the lamplight like a cannon sighted on the enemy; and
there was an Italian pharmacist who lived in an expensive apartment
in the best part of town; we plotted to overthrow
a tottering dynasty, the tailor sewing buttons on a vest,
the Italian poking his cigar in my eye, lighting me up,
a tottering dynasty myself, always drunk as possible,
well-read, starving, depressed, but actually
a good young piece of ass would have solved all my rancor,
but I didn’t know this; I listened to my Italian and my Jew
and I went out down dark alleys smoking borrowed cigarettes
and watching the backs of houses come down in flames,
but somewhere we missed: we were not men enough,
       large or small enough,
or we only wanted to talk or we were bored, so the anarchy
       fell through,
and the Jew died and the Italian grew angry because I stayed
       with his
wife when he went down to the pharmacy; he did not care to have
his personal government overthrown, and she overthrew easy, and
I had some guilt: the children were asleep in the other bedroom
but later I won $200 in a crap game and took a bus to New Orleans
and I stood on the corner listening to the music coming from bars
and then I went inside to the bars,
and I sat there thinking about the dead Jew,
how all he did was sew on buttons and talk,
and how he gave way although he was stronger than any of us
he gave way because his bladder would not go on,
and maybe that saved Wall Street and Manhattan
and the Church and Central Park West and Rome and the
Left Bank, but the pharmacist’s wife, she was nice,
she was tired of bombs under the pillow and hissing the Pope,
and she had a very nice figure, very good legs,
but I guess she felt as I: that the weakness was not Government
but Man, one at a time, that men were never as strong as
       their ideas
and that ideas were governments turned into men;
and so it began on a couch with a spilled martini
and it ended in the bedroom: desire, revolution,
nonsense ended, and the shades rattled in the wind,
rattled like sabers, cracked like cannon,
and 30 dogs, 20 men on 20 horses chased one fox
across the fields under the sun,
and I got out of bed and yawned and scratched my belly
and knew that soon      very soon      I would have to get
very drunk      again.

1 comment:

  1. i read the poem you linked to by c.d. wright - 'living' - and wanting to know more about her i read the wikipedia entry on her and then went on to read about 'elliptical poetry' and here is a quote from that wikipedia entry

    "C. D. Wright, a poet termed elliptical by Burt, states her nervousness about the label in an interview with Kent Johnson in Jacket Magazine: "Regarding the elliptical business, I’m less enthusiastic. But I do think it is a stab at authentication of poets who don’t belong to a team and whose work is reluctant to be either excluded or subsumed by one or the other, yet has sympathetic concerns to certain strains and not to others."

    In a 2009 essay, also in Boston Review, Burt proposed that a poetic movement he called "The New Thing" has succeeded ellipticism."

    at first glance i found myself amused that an essay published in boston review would propose that a perceived new poetic movement would be called something so unspecific as 'the new thing' - but on second thought, why not? hablar hablar hablar

    and why don't the dictionaries recognize that this spanish repetitive use of the word "to speak" - meaning it is talk and too much talk and nothing but talk - is the origin of the english phrase 'blah blah blah' ? it is perfectly obvious, at least to me - instead all the authorities assert it is onomatopoeic and echoic

    wright's echoic use in 'living' of the phrase 'if this is wednesday' reminded me of a high point of my activities yesterday - i recently received a new day and date digital watch - a replacement for my previous watch of the same model, casio f-91w - i lack the skills to make it part of a dangerous assemblage of electromechanicochemical parts, but i have read that this model is a particular favorite of those who have such skills - yesterday i set the month, the day, the date, the time - with some trial and error, i managed to do that without having to look at the extremely small print instructions

    i started reading the other poem you linked to, anne waters' 'cabin', but found my concentration flagging - the title had reminded me of a film by joss whedon, whose tv series 'firefly' spouse and self had watched over the weekend, and enjoyed - however, his film 'the cabin in the woods' does not sound like something we want to see - instead i asked the montgomery county public libraries to bring me a copy of whedon's production of shakespeare's 'much ado about nothing', featuring the actor portraying the spaceship captain in 'firefly', nathan fillion