Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Who Hasn't Been Tempted by the Sharp Edge of a Knife?

I yodeled Reagan was going to kill us, then George the First. I yodeled Clinton was going to save us, but he dynamited the pillars of the New Deal more than any Republican could. I yodeled George the Second would pillage as much of the plunder that Clinton opened as Bush could (and Bush did), and after 9/11 I yodeled Bush was going to kill us. I never thought Obama would save us, I yodeled...

Cassandra, Canary, Weathervane, Fool, remember this blog's subtitle from years ago? I yodel: the resource wars are on and can't be stopped - the US military doesn't have an army across the belt of Africa for humanitarian reasons, yo. We - the humans who still have half or more their lives to live - are fucked. There are too many humans, there is not enough stuff. We will kill each other over the limited stuff if we all aren't killed first by our killing the planet in resource wars for limited stuff. Pick your order. Species of assholes.

On freaking out today: I'm just saying we're a year out of the general election, Donald Trump is not going to Potus, and when Hillary reveals him as her running mate we'll all have a good laugh.

  • Penderecki turned 82 yesterday.
  • Which is to say, if it wasn't Trump it would be someone else. Ted Cruz is waiting to take Trump's place when Trump falls, someone else Cruz' place.
  • I have a friend who thinks the great angry Christian white conservative paroxysm will peak, disturbingly violent, disgustingly ugly, yes, unto its death throes, and then the peaceful world of sharing resources across religious, racial, ethnic, class, etc will emerge, and I say, Doom, silly.
  • I say, I am always angry. We are being conditioned for anger. We are recruits in the resource wars whether we choose or not, indoctrination ongoing every time I turn on this fucking computer and click the Chrome icon.
  • I say, there is a reason I yodel almost exclusively in calligraphy now.
  • (Five people were shot and wounded Monday night near a police precinct in Minneapolis where demonstrators have been protesting the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man, the police said.... The police said on Twitter that they were looking for three white male suspects. There had been no arrests early Tuesday. Officials said investigators were still collecting evidence and seeking and interviewing witnesses... Some witnesses said on Twitter that they had been sprayed with Mace by the police following the shooting, including an organizer who was trying to film the aftermath, Ms. Noor said). 
  • Blooming.
  • Unspeakable.
  • Love to war, baby.
  • The sword is the axis of the world.
  • Learning to disintegrate.
  • Feeling yourself disintegrate. I still like early Lips.
  • Yodel for Jesus.
  • A study in perspective.
  • This week in water.
  • New book on Tony Hecht's poetry.


Chris Abani

Who hasn't been tempted by the sharp edge of a knife?
An ordinary knife cutting ordinary tomatoes on
an ordinary slab of wood on an ordinary Wednesday.
The knife nicks, like a bite to the soul. A reminder
that what is contemplated is as real as the blood
sprouting from a finger. As real as a bruised eye.
Instead turn back to the meat stewing on the stove.
Scrape pulpy red flesh into the heat and turn.
Say: even this is a prayer. Even this.


  1. I am slowly opining, as is my proclivity. It is, it seems to me, a race. A race between depletion and development. And by the latter I mean development of technological efficiencies—making more & better uses of increasingly less. The stakes are not that high, really. Only extinction.

    Prophecies of DOOM!: I don't know if they help motivate or render helplessly hopeless.

  2. in abani's poem, the mistyping of "tot he" was easy to deal with, but i looked up what "finer" was - it was a g that had been inadvertently omitted

    yesterday i was reading joan chittister's book the gift of years (the title of which begins with g) and decided i wanted to know more about the author - i was impressed

    and speaking of thanksgiving (may yours be merry and bright) gustav fechner once wrote, "of all miracles, the greatest is that anything exists at all"

    who knows if it is good or bad?

  3. I demand Thanksgiving turkey for all cats, feral and non-. From or on the table.

    Best, J

    Thanks, btw, for the link yesterday!


  4. today i received the following passage, filled with animal imagery, in an email:

    In a vision I, Daniel, saw during the night,
    the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea,
    from which emerged four immense beasts,
    each different from the others.
    The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings.
    While I watched, the wings were plucked;
    it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet
    like a man, and given a human mind.
    The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side,
    and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks.
    It was given the order, “Up, devour much flesh.”
    After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard;
    on its back were four wings like those of a bird,
    and it had four heads.
    To this beast dominion was given.
    After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast,
    different from all the others,
    terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength;
    it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed,
    and what was left it trampled with its feet.

    I was considering the ten horns it had,
    when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst,
    and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it.
    This horn had eyes like a man,
    and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.

    As I watched,

    Thrones were set up
    and the Ancient One took his throne.
    His clothing was snow bright,
    and the hair on his head as white as wool;
    His throne was flames of fire,
    with wheels of burning fire.
    A surging stream of fire
    flowed out from where he sat;
    Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
    and myriads upon myriads attended him.

    The court was convened, and the books were opened.
    I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words
    which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain
    and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up.
    The other beasts, which also lost their dominion,
    were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season.
    As the visions during the night continued, I saw

    One like a son of man coming,
    on the clouds of heaven;
    When he reached the Ancient One
    and was presented before him,
    He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
    nations and peoples of every language serve him.
    His dominion is an everlasting dominion
    that shall not be taken away,
    his kingship shall not be destroyed.

  5. http://www.chicagonow.com/magic-writing/2015/11/chris-abani-on-humanity/

    links to an 18 minute 2008 TED talk

    "...the world is never saved in grand, messianic gestures but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion; everyday acts of compassion..."