Thursday, December 4, 2014

And There, from Inside Me, Where They’d Been Lost in Shame and Sophistry All These Years Now, Every Last One of My Childhood’s Heartwormed Puppydogs Found Its Natural Voice

  • There, written last night, a very short and hugely incomplete list of things I write about that I don't self-publish.
  • Rage and shame. Thank you very much.
  • The American justice system is not broken. I tweeted this last night: Lordy, the point of all this is too kick the give-a-shit out of you ahead of *their* not giving a shit about you with more baton than now.
  • Notes on Eric Garner.
  • Ladies and Gentleman, Rand Paul explains the causes of Eric Garner's deathWell you know I think it’s hard not to watch that video of him saying ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and not be horrified by it. But I think there’s something bigger than the individual circumstances. Obviously, the individual circumstances are important. But I think it is also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes so that driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But then some politician also had to direct the police to say, ‘hey we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.’ And for someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it. But I do blame the politicians. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws.
  • An exhaustive list of elected Democrats calling out Rand Paul for his comments on Eric Garner's death:  
  • The essence of police power.
  • Breaking the Law.
  • Can Climate Change Cure Capitalism?
  • The fragmentation of technology.
  • Devolution.
  • Ipecac.
  • Hanging by a thread.
  • The Dark Mountain Project.
  • Four new Armantrout poems.
  • So, loving the Agota Kristof trilogy, staying up through the night and eating 500 pages for the first time in what might have been a decade, naturally threw me into a ficition-reading slump. Trying something new: when reading in bed I am reading Krasznahorkai's Satantango, when I'm in the living room I am reading Helen DeWitt's Lightening Rods, when I'm at my desk at work I am reading Henry James' Portrait of a Lady, when I'm in the staff lounge or reading on the 5th floor I'm rereading Ishiguro's The Unconsoled. Working so far. Especially Ishiguro. Of course.
  • Oh man, I love love love, MSADI5G-love, Fucked Up:


Albert Goldbarth

The light has traveled unthinkable thousands of miles to be   
condensed, recharged, and poured off the white white pages
of an open Bible the country parson holds in front of this couple   
in a field, in July, in the sap and the flyswirl of July
in upper Wisconsin, where their vows buzz in a ring in the air
like the flies, and are as sweet as the sap, in these rich and ritual minutes.   
Is it sentimental? Oops. And out of that Bible the light continues   
to rush as if from a faucet. There will be a piecrust cooling   
out of its own few x’ed-out cuts. And will it make us run   
for the picklier taste of irony rolled around protectively on our tongues   
like a grab of Greek olives? My students and I discuss this   
slippery phenomenon. Does “context” matter? Does
“earned” count? If a balled-up fidget of snakes
in the underbrush dies in a freeze is it sentimental? No,   
yes, maybe. What if a litter of cocker spaniels? What
if we called them “puppydogs” in the same poem in that same hard,   
hammering winter? When my father was buried,
the gray snow in the cemetery was sheet tin. If I said
that? Yes, no, what does “tone” or “history” do
to the Hollywood hack violinists who patiently wait to play   
the taut nerves of the closest human body until from that   
lush cue alone, the eyes swell moistly, and the griefs
we warehouse daily take advantage of this thinning
of our systems, then the first sloppy gushes begin . . .
Is that “wrong”? Did I tell you the breaths
of the gravediggers puffed out like factorysmoke
as they bent and straightened, bent and straightened,
mechanically? Are wise old (toothless) Black blues singers   
sentimental?—“gran’ma”? “country cookin’”? But
they have their validity, don't they, yes? their
sweat-in-the-creases, picking up the lighting
in a fine-lined mesh of what it means to have gone through time   
alive a little bit on this planet. Hands shoot up . . . opinions . . .
questions . . . What if the sun wept? the moon? Why, in the face
of those open faces, are we so squeamish? Call out
the crippled girl and her only friend the up-for-sale foal,   
and let her tootle her woeful pennywhistle musics.
What if some chichi streetwise junkass from the demimonde
gave forth with the story of orphans forced through howling storm   
to the workhouse, letting it swing between the icy-blue   
quotation marks of cynicism—then? What if   
I wept? What if I simply put the page down,   
rocked my head in my own folded elbows, forgot   
the rest of it all, and wept? What if I stepped into   
the light of that page, a burnished and uncompromising   
light, and walked back up to his stone a final time,   
just that, no drama, and it was so cold,
and the air was so brittle, metal buckled
out song like a bandsaw, and there, from inside me,   
where they’d been lost in shame and sophistry
all these years now, every last one of my childhood’s
heartwormed puppydogs found its natural voice. 


  1. Hey! Thanks for the link! (as always)

    I feel I owe it to Ishiguro to retake up that book. Also too I hope your boss (assuming you have one) doesn't read this post, esp. the part re: James.


  2. The light has traveled unthinkable thousands of miles

    something i have learned only recently is how long it takes the light to get out from where it is first generated, in the sun's center, to the surface, from which it has a easy flight - it moves at the speed of light through a vacuum, but transit time in the dense plasma is surprisingly long - according to the department of physics at gettysburg college

    In the Sun, it takes several hundred thousand years for a photon released in the core to reach the surface.