Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do These While Holding Your Arm Out Above the Paper Like the Outstretched Leg of a Crane

  • Activating the Hamster Emergency Alert System! Dude, check your email. Also, need you to confirm you're in for Yo La Tengo/Lambchop. Earthgirl is inviting a friend, a woman. THIS IS NOT A SET-UP! Repeaten sie: THIS IS NOT A SET-UP! Also, let's have dinner this Friday or Sunday.
  • Post-nihilism? I believe the task of conscious observers (and not just intellectuals) today is to begin to indulge rather than mask the nihilistic forces of contemporary life – forces that manifest and register existentially, environmentally, and poltically in a variety of objective ways. We must partake instead of continuing to deny the dark revelations of current crises in order to push each other towards more earthly, or creaturely, that is to say ecological modes of thinking and doing. Realizing and coping-with the transcorporeal facticity of life entails communicating and making explicit our intimate connections with the planet and its beings, but it also requires us to explore and engage the inherent precarity and ontological vulnerability with-in the natural world through association, design and infrastructure.
  • Mind, my subject<object<object<subject is weak, but this line of thinking I find myself seeking both inside and outside my head.
  • Triskelions.
  • The Paris Review just tweeted out a link to a 1977 interview with William GassGetting even is one great reason for writing. The precise statement of the motive is tricky, but the clearest expression of my unwholesome nature and my mean motives (apart from trying to write well) appears in a line I like in “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.” The character says, “I want to rise so high that when I shit I won’t miss anybody.” But maybe I say it’s a motive because I like the line. Anyway, my work proceeds almost always from a sense of aggression. And usually I am in my best working mood when I am, on the page, very combative, very hostile. That’s true even when I write to praise, as is often the case. If I write about Colette, as I am now, my appreciation will be shaped by the sap-tongued idiots who don’t perceive her excellence. I also take considerable pleasure in giving obnoxious ideas the best expression I can. But getting even isn’t necessarily vicious. There are two ways of getting even: one is destructive and the other is restorative. It depends on how the scales are weighted. Justice, I think, is the word I want.
  • The right to remain silent: Anne Carson on poetry and silence.
  • Sophocles for modernity.
  • Zbigniew Herbert, for those of you who do.
  • Re: blogrolls - maintenance tonight or tomorrow or next time I have the energy and will, moribund will be moved to Moribund, the dead will be culled. I have added a few new places, please check them out as they rise to top of rolls.
  • Bartok, for those of you who do.


Dick Allen

Make your strokes thus: the horizontal:
as a cloud that slowly drifts across the horizon;
the vertical: as an ancient but strong vine stem;
the dot: a falling rock;
and learn to master the sheep leg, the tiger’s claw,
an apricot kernel, a dewdrop, the new moon,
the wave rising and falling. Do these
while holding your arm out above the paper
like the outstretched leg of a crane.
The strength of your hand
will give the stroke its bone.
But for real accomplishment, it would be well
if you would go to live solitary in a forest silence,
or beside a river flowing serenely.
It might also be useful
to look down a lonesome road,
and for the future
to stare into the gray static of a television screen,
or when lost in a video game
to accept you may never reach the final level,
where the dragon awaits, guarding the pot of gold,
and that you’ve left no footprints, not a single one,
despite all your adventures,
anyone following you could ever follow.


  1. facticity is one of those low-frequency words in my own reading experience

    wikipedia asserts

    In the mid-20th Century works of French existentialists Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, facticity signifies all of the concrete details against the background of which human freedom exists and is limited. For example, these may include the time and place of birth, a language, an environment, an individual's previous choices, as well as the inevitable prospect of their death. For example: currently, the situation of a person who is born without legs precludes their freedom to walk on the beach; if future medicine were to develop a method of growing new legs for that person, their facticity might no longer exclude this activity.

    although growing new legs remains an unrealized dream, in the news this morning is a recently developed method using cells from the nose to reconnect spinal neurons after a knife cut, restoring leg use to one who was paralyzed


    if such things don't move one to engage with inherent precarity and ontological vulnerability, what will?

    or, as todd rundgren put it in his anthem "just one victory" -

    We may feel about to fall but we go down fighting
    You will hear the call if you only listen
    Underneath it all we are here together


  2. Sorry, I apologize for my suckitude. You had me at Herbert, Sophocles, Bartok and Carson. I should say the Berryman, too. I will send a missive post haste.