Monday, October 27, 2014

The Six Berio Berryman Gubaidulina Birthday Posts Merged into One Because Me, or: It's Not a Hiatus Bluff, but See New Tag




John Berryman

Nothin very bad happen to me lately.
How you explain that? —I explain that, Mr Bones,
terms o' your bafflin odd sobriety.
Sober as man can get, no girls, no telephones,
what could happen bad to Mr Bones?
—If life is a handkerchief sandwich,

in a modesty of death I join my father
who dared so long agone leave me.
A bullet on a concrete stoop
close by a smothering southern sea
spreadeagled on an island, by my knee.
—You is from hunger, Mr Bones,

I offers you this handkerchief, now set
your left foot by my right foot,
shoulder to shoulder, all that jazz,
arm in arm, by the beautiful sea,
hum a little, Mr Bones.
—I saw nobody coming, so I went instead.



John Berryman
As he grew famous - ah, but what is fame? -
he lost his old obsession with his name,
things seemed to matter less,
including the fame - a television team came
from another country to make a film of him
which did not him distress:

he enjoyed the hard work & he was good at that,
so they all said - the charming Englishmen
among the camera & the lights
mathematically wandered in his pub & livingroom
doing their duty, as too he did it,
but where are the delights

of long-for fame, unless fame makes him feel easy?
I am cold & weary, said Henry, fame makes me feel lazy,
yet I must do my best.
It doesn't matter, truly. It doesn't matter truly.
It seems to be solely a matter of continuing Henry
voicing & obsessed.


As a kid I believed in democracy: I
'saw no alternative' - teaching at Big Place I ah
put it in practice:
we'd time for one long novel: to a vote -
Gone With the Wind they voted: I crunched 'No"
and we sat down with War & Peace.

As a man I believed in democracy (nobody
ever learns anything): only one lazy day
my assistant, called James Dow,
& I were chatting, in a failure of meeting of minds,
and I said curious, 'What are your real politics?'
'Oh, I'm a monarchist.'

Finishing his dissertation, in Political Science.
I resign. The universal contempt for Mr. Nixon,
whom I never liked but who
alert & gutsy served us years under a dope,
since dynasty K swarmed in. Let's have a King
maybe, before a few mindless votes.

The required Egoslavian litany of Berryman's birthday:

John Berryman was born 100 years ago today. I was 21 when Pary Gittenger, an English teacher at Montgomery College, Rockville, loaned me his copy of Dream Songs and changed my life. Thank you, Pary.


John Berryman

There sat down, once, a thing on Henry’s heart   
só heavy, if he had a hundred years
& more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time   
Henry could not make good.
Starts again always in Henry’s ears
the little cough somewhere, an odor, a chime.

And there is another thing he has in mind   
like a grave Sienese face a thousand years
would fail to blur the still profiled reproach of. Ghastly,   
with open eyes, he attends, blind.
All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears;   

But never did Henry, as he thought he did,
end anyone and hacks her body up
and hide the pieces, where they may be found.
He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody’s missing.   
Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
Nobody is ever missing.





Luciano Berio. I loved his music before one of his pieces became an integral part of Egoslavian history. Click his tag if you're curious. Don't worry, you're not. Sofia Gubaidulina's birthday post later today, Berryman's centennial tomorrow, otherwise fuck it fuck me fuck this, because of fuck it fuck me fuck this.


Not only is tomorrow Luciano Berio's eighty-ninth birthday, it is Sofia Gubaidulina's eighty-third, double High Egoslavian Holy Day Eve. Yes, I post this piece all the time, that's how MSADI5G works.


Berio's birthday, a High Egoslavian Holy Day, is tomorrow, and, as will be seen in the standard Egoslavian Berio birthday post, always sparks major bleggalgazing, much of which I will spare you. Yes, that sentence, while true, written as much for the gag as content. So I haven't spared you bleggalgazing at all, nor the history of this shitty blog.


John Berryman

A frail vague man, in whom our sense ached
With nothing, began to whisper with himself
At line-up, from the rear, -
We trembled for him, - shook the scald that caked
His skull, totting up phantoms none could solve,
Fag-end of a career.

(Shadowless in a cairn, four lights. Farewell,
The legacy trots off,
A swimming moment of the stiff's desire
Such decades since. Or nothing trots to tell
Intestate once with love
Pain brain stood up a bit out of time's mire.)
He scrambled one night out
And dodged between the lights far to the wire,
Where he lodged. I suppose he crisped, dying in fire;
A shot or so, a shout;
But certainly, lifting our scalps, well beyond fear,
He suddenly sang, sang, hanging on the wire.