Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It Is Good to Be Deaf in a Deafening Time

The blog loaded slowly last night. Motherfucking Comcast wifi the likely problem, but I thought, I haven't culled the blogrolls of the moribund and dead in months. Moving the moribund and dead to Moribund has sped-up the blog's loading in the past; for whatever reason, packing the moribund and dead together in Moribund instead of spread across all the blogrolls seems to speed-up the loading and, more importantly, when a corpse floats to the top of Moribund I am far more likely to notice the resurrection than in the live blogrolls. There are 34 blogs that haven't stirred in at least three months - not counting those in Feedless that don't feed that I didn't check for pulse - on the various blogrolls. I got out notepad to aid the corpse transfers before, thankfully, the Fuck This descended. Olive photos were taken. She's a cat, she's a weasel, she's a dog, she's a pig.

  • >> Affectless stare <<, nice, said my Hillaryite Colleague over a pint earlier in the evening. Sorry about my tone, I said. Fuck you, said HC. Look, I said, I am making an effort to not let things Clinton does that every politician does piss me off more with Clinton than it does with the others. You yourself said you didn't think Clinton should be held to a higher standard than anyone else. Fuck you, said HC.
  • Ten ways the Democratic primary has been rigged from the start.
  • Motherfucking Obama.
  • Democrats and Liberalism of the Rich.
  • Hillary Clinton's email hairball.
  • Hillary Clinton's email hairball.
  • Say, I said, something happens to Clinton's candidacy - a scandal she can't survive (though I can't imagine that) or legal complications (though I can't imagine that) or health issues (she IS 69 and looks fatter and more unhealthy than I ever remember), would YOU vote for Sanders? HC said, when did you become a Sanders' advocate? (Landru, serendipitously, teased me last night of the same in response - I think - to a link I posted wondering why Sanders' overwhelming victories in three western states got so little play.) I'm not, I said, Sanders is a tool too, just answer the question. HC said, it depends on whether Biden entered the race. Me: >> Affectless stare << Fuck you, said HC. 
  • Neither Trump nor Cruz were mentioned in the entire conversation, a sign of something.


Weldon Kees

         Prurient tapirs gamboled on our lawns,   
         But that was quite some time ago.
         Now one is accosted by asthmatic bulldogs,   
         Sluggish in the hedges, ruminant.

         Moving through ivy in the park
         Near drying waterfalls, we open every gate;   
         But that grave, shell-white unicorn is gone.   
         The path is strewn with papers to the street.

         Numbers that once were various
         Regarded us, were thought significant, significant   
         Enough to bring reporters to the scene.
         But now the bell strikes one, strikes one,

         Strikes one—monotonous and tired.

         Or clicks like a sad valise.

    2. Note to Be Left on the Table
    This ghost of yours, padding about the upper halls,   
    Given to fright-wigs Burbage might have worn,   
    Moaning in doorways, jumping out at maids,   
    Has not convinced me even yet. Can this be you?   
    Your life was frightening enough, but this   
    Poor pallid counterpart who fuddles in its role   
    Is inexcusable. Go haunt the houses of the girls   
    You once infected, or the men who bore   
    Your company far oftener than I; annoy the others   
    For a change. Is this, my house, the medieval hell
    You took to at the grave’s edge, years ago,
    After a dozen other hells had burned themselves away,   
    Or are we purgatory here? If not,
    You make it one. I give you until noon.

Ruined travelers in sad trousseaux
Roost on my doorstep, indolent and worn.   
Not one of them fulfills despised Rousseau’s   
Predictions. Perhaps they are waiting to be born.   
If so, the spot’s been badly chosen.
This is a site for posthumous investigations,   
Pillows stuffed with nettles, charnal notions:   
Apoplectic executioners, bungled incisions.   
Indeed, our solitary midwife fondles the hemlock.

We welcomed one poor hackneyed Christ,
Sad bastard, croaking of pestilence. The basement
Holds him now. He has not as yet arisen.
The tickets are ready; the line forms on the right.
Justice and virtue, you will find, have been amazingly preserved.

         As water from a dwindling reservoir
         Uncovers mossy stones, new banks of silt,
         So every minute that I spend with you reveals   
         New flaws, new features, new intangibles.   
         We have been sitting here for hours—
         “I spent that summer in Madrid,
         The winter on the coast of France—
         The Millotsons were there, and Farnsworth.
         My work has perished with the rest
         Of Europe, gone, all gone. We will not see the end.”

         You said goodbye, and your perfume   
         Lingered for hours. At first it seemed
         Like summer dying there, then rank and sharp.

         And yet I did not air the room.

      Among Victorian beadwork and the smell of plush,   
      The owls, stuffed and marvelously sinister,
      Glare from dark corners, waiting for the night.   
      High up, the moose’s passive eyes explore
      Candles, unlit, within cut-glass. A door
      Is opened, and you enter with a look
      You might have saved for Pliny or the Pope.

      The furniture has shrunk now thirty years
      Have passed (with talent thinning out, and words   
      Gone dead), and mouths of friends in photographs   
      Display their hopeful and outmoded smiles.   
      You counted on at least a sputter of nostalgia,   
      However fretful. That was a mistake. Even the moose   
      Regards you with a tired, uncomprehending stare.

         Signboards commemorate their resting place.   
         The graveless of another century
         Came and were conquered; now their bones   
         Are dust where idiot highways run.
         Land in their eyes, unquiet ancestors
         (On fences yellow signs clang in the wind)
         Unstirred by suns drying the brown weeds   
         Above them now in parched and caking land.

         But when they speak of you, they feel the need   
         Of voices polished and revised by history,   
         The martial note, words framed in capitals.

         It is good to be deaf in a deafening time   
         With the sky gone colorless, while the dead   
         Thunder breaks, a cracked dish, out of the mind.

      The eye no longer single: where the bowl,
      Dead in the thickened darkness, swelled with light,   
      Transformed the images and moved the artist’s hand,   
      Becomes a framework for our mania.

      And haunts the stairway. Friends depart,   
      Taking their last look from the roof,   
      Saying goodnight and carrying their view   
      Of grapes the model ate in Paris years ago.

      Blue in the morning, green some afternoons;   
      The night, ambiguous, forgets the signature.

      The dust in attics settled and his stove
      Grew cold. About the model nothing much is known.

      It ends the wall and complements the view   
      Of chimneys. And it hides a stain.

         And when your beauty, washed away   
         In impure streams with my desire,
         Is only topic for ill-mannered minds,
         Gifted and glassy with exact recall,
         Gossip and rancid footnotes, or remote despair,   
         Let ruined weather perish in the streets   
         And let the world’s black lying flag come down.

         Only in calendars that mark no Spring
         Can there be weather in the mind
         That moves to you again as you are now:
         Tired after love and silent in this house,
         Your back turned to me, quite alone,
         Standing with one hand raised to smooth your hair,   
         At a small window, green with rain.


  1. 0) as buddha's five contemplations point out, we all are subject to aging, illness, death, separation from those persons and things we love, and confronting the consequences of our good and evil actions

    1)the surnames millotson and farnsworth, mentioned in the fourth variation of kees's poem, supra, appear together in only one other document findable by web search - the 1890 "Portrait biographical album of Fulton Co., Illinois ... together with portraits and biographies of all the presidents of the United States and governors of the state" - the txt version of which is very garbled by erroneous optical character recognition

    2)the pdf is 54 megabytes, and if i actually wanted to read the document - and look at the portraits, of course - i would have to bite that bulky bullet - in the old days of dial-up a file of such a size would be a real hardship, but now it is of negligible importance

    3) will there in future be a second round of book digitalization, with artificial-intelligence-enhanced ocr, so that the riches of world literature which are now theoretically available become practicably available? only if things go very very well, i think - but as yogi berra could have said, you never know when something surprising will happen

    4)and speaking of more intelligent intellectual robots - i note that a search for "millotson" does not turn up instances of "millotsons" - i thought it would have, but no

    5)the poet, kees, either threw himself off the golden gate bridge, or wished to give that impression - but some trace of him persists, literarily speaking - as our friends at wikipedia inform us,

    On October 23, 2012, Kathleen Rooney's novel-in-poems Robinson Alone was released, of which Donna Seaman from Booklist wrote:

    In an extraordinary act of identification, poet and essayist Rooney improvises on Kees’ most haunting poems, a quartet featuring an alter ego named Robinson. Her loosely biographical, knowledgeably imaginative, and gorgeously atmospheric story in verse portrays Robinson as a dapper, talented, and bedeviled man who conceals his sorrows behind insouciance. Rooney weaves lines from Kees’ writings into her bluesy, funny, and scorching lyrics as she follows Robinson from elation to desolation as his wife succumbs to alcoholism and his dreams fade. Rooney’s syncopated wordplay, supple musicality, and cinematic descriptions subtly embody Kees’ artistic pursuits as well as Robinson’s sardonic grace under pressure. An intricate, psychologically luminous homage, tale of American loneliness, and enthralling testament to poetry’s resonance.

    6)and speaking of deafness, coincidentally yesterday i checked out of the public library The hearing-loss guide : useful information and advice for patients and families / John M. Burkey

  2. Weldon Kees is always much appreciated in the hamster cage.

  3. I'm pretty sure it most likely wasn't 'affectless'; probably more like 'disdainful'. We are all our own worst judges when we try to assess how we come across to other minds. Just sayin'

  4. I took your advice and put some pictures of paintings on the blog. Oh what a torture to be human and have to know how poorly adapted you are to this life. Cheers!