Tuesday, July 19, 2016

You Know What I Think? I Think If We're Lost, You Should Know Exactly Where, by Now; I've Watched You Stare Long and Hard Enough at the Map Already....


Carl Phillips

               Somewhere between what it feels like, to be at
one with the sea, and to understand the sea as
mere context for the boat whose engine refuses
finally to turn over: yeah, I know the place—
stumbled into it myself, once; twice, almost.  All
around and in between the two trees that
grow there, tree of compassion and—much taller—
tree of pity, its bark more bronze, the snow
              settled as if an openness of any kind meant, as well,
a woundedness that, by filling it, the snow
might heal…You know what I think? I think if we’re
lost, you should know exactly where, by now; I’ve
watched you stare long and hard enough at the map
already…I’m beginning to think I may never
not be undecided, about all sorts of things: whether
snow really does resemble the broken laughter
              of the long-abandoned when what left comes back
big-time; whether gratitude’s just a haunted
space like any other.  This place sounds daily
more like a theater of war, each time I listen to it—
loss, surprise, victory, being only three of the countless
fates, if you want to call them that, that we don’t
so much live with, it seems, as live for now among.  If as
close as we’re ever likely to get, you and I, is this—this close—


  1. My tweets re Melania's speechwriters' 'borrowing' & her 'rick roll' have been tinged with bemusement. This campaign is laughable. But you correctly note the Rohrschach nature of the tRump candidacy. Said it before, said it plenty.

    Not so sure about 2020. And I have data: 2000—> 55-43% Hillary win; 2006—> 67-31% Hillary win (tho', admittedly, with lower turnout). Sample size: ~15-17 million (population, not registered voters). Upstate NY is quite conservative & has its share of yahoos; downstate is of course a liberal haven. She's, as we know, a shitty campaigner; but she's shown that once in elective office, she can actually increase her approvals (at least by percentage)—or at least the tolerance levels of her constituents. That's hard data that's hard to deny/ignore. (And you know me, I've been feeling the Bern since years ago).

    1. I dunno. I don't see the clusterfuck abating until humans kill world. What's hideous now, outrage-wise will be as normal as what was hideous just last year is normal now. Tipping points have passed, bubbles will burst, economies will collapse, resource wars will begin, tribes will turn to end times, false messiahs will appear, assholes will reign....

    2. Then our generation will die out & our kids' will take the helm. And then, who knows?

    3. 1) after studying the map for quite a while, the lost hiker finally says to their companion, "you see that mountain over there? we're on top of it"

      2) to paraphrase yogi berra, you never know when something surprising might happen

    4. When American Presidents devolve into a series of ineffectual, empty-suit leaders whose job is to pander to our basest instincts; when waging war is its own goal; when the public good is provided for only *after* the Rich take their two-thirds off the top; and when Sunshine Biscuits is purchased by Keebler and they discontinue making Toy Cookies™ -- we are all profoundly, utterly and irredeemably fucked.

      Uh... wait a minute...