Thursday, August 11, 2016

I Think the Pain for Him Will End in May or January, Though the Weather Is Far Too Clear to Me to Think of Anything but August Comedy

We'd climbed all the major mountains of Acadia National Park proper, hiked all the major trails, so yesterday we decided to go on an adventure. Isle au Haut, an outpost of Acadia in Penobscot Bay, a hundred mile round-trip from the house in Tremont, our destination, we got up early, we drove, we missed the morning ferry by ten minutes because I misjudged the time it would take to get to Stonington where the ferry launches and returns. We ate breakfast at

walked around town, clouds rushed in, temperature dropped twenty, rained poured, we - in nothing but t-shirts and short pants - lucked out, weren't stranded wet and cold on slick hiking trails of wet granite bedrock on an island without shelter with six hours to wait for a boat. Will try again next year, the island.

It's foggy right now as I type this, rained all night. The sun will burn the fog (▲, just now from my porch),  not supposed to rain again until tonight, I assume the wet will evaporate from the bedrock, there will be a hike today, how ambitious I don't know, wet-wise: descents here in slippery conditions are not worth the chance. My knees needed yesterday off, my body - and my Dark, which is aching if no longer panging - need be beaten to exhaustion today. Will resume googling non-Acadia alternatives as soon as I plunge publish. This plant - what is it? - across the road from Oddfellows:

  • A bleggal suicide note. Best wishes to Steerforth.
  • John Negroponte endorses Clinton to Clinton's delight.
  • Why is Hillary bragging about this endorsement?
  • This to ▲ & ▲. Saves me the yodeling.
  • Something - among many - MOST! -things Trump and Clinton have in common.
  • Trump employing Clintonian rhetoric to coopt SCOTUS.
  • A review of Lucia Berlin's excellent short story collection.
  • Allegro non troposphere.
  • Bulgarian Bee.
  • I finished - I felt obligated to finish since I publicly started - Whitehead's Underground Railroad. It's - perhaps it's my permacynicism & my autocynicism, the taint of the Oprah Bookclub tag, the feeling it was written to be discussed over coffee and scones - fuckawful. It told me nothing new and, worse, it told me nothing new in the oldest of cliches. Truly shitty.
  • Quick - suggest a novel I've never heard of I can download and read on my iPad, a novel I will love even if I hate reading it on the iPad.
  • Poetry is #trending?
  • K now in A-Z title scroll on drive-around soundtrack:


James Tate

He has no past and he certainly
has no future. All the important
events were ending shortly before
they began. He says he told mama

earth what he would not accept: and I
keep thinking it has something to do
with her world. Nights expanding into
enormous parachutes of fire, his

eyes were little more than mercury.
Or sky-diving in the rain where there
was obvious no land beneath,
half-dead fish surfacing all over

his body. He knew all this too well.
And she who might at anytime be
saying the word that would embrace all
he had let go, he let go of course.

I think the pain for him will end in
May or January, though the weather
is far too clear for me to think of
anything but august comedy.


  1. Those fruit are beach rosehips (i.e. ex-roses). More industrious and adventurous individuals than myself will make jelly or butter out of them:
    Not a fan.

  2. Have you ever heard of The Horned Man by James Lasdun (Brit. poet)? Worth a read.

    Don't forget to visit the mothership while down east—L.L. Bean!

  3. nature regarded by a formerly famous new england poet


    By William Cullen Bryant

    To him who in the love of Nature holds
    Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
    A various language; for his gayer hours
    She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
    And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
    Into his darker musings, with a mild
    And healing sympathy, that steals away
    Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
    Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
    Over thy spirit, and sad images
    Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
    And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
    Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;—
    Go forth, under the open sky, and list
    To Nature’s teachings, while from all around—
    Earth and her waters, and the depths of air—
    Comes a still voice—
    Yet a few days, and thee
    The all-beholding sun shall see no more
    In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
    Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
    Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
    Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
    Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
    And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
    Thine individual being, shalt thou go
    To mix for ever with the elements,
    To be a brother to the insensible rock
    And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
    Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
    Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
    Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
    Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
    Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
    With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
    The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good,
    Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
    All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
    Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales
    Stretching in pensive quietness between;
    The venerable woods—rivers that move
    In majesty, and the complaining brooks
    That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
    Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,—
    Are but the solemn decorations all
    Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
    The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
    Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
    Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
    The globe are but a handful to the tribes
    That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings
    Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
    Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
    Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
    Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there:
    And millions in those solitudes, since first
    The flight of years began, have laid them down
    In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone.
    So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
    In silence from the living, and no friend
    Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
    Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
    When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
    Plod on, and each one as before will chase
    His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
    Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
    And make their bed with thee. As the long train
    Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
    The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes
    In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
    The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man—
    Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
    By those, who in their turn shall follow them.
    So live, that when thy summons comes to join
    The innumerable caravan, which moves
    To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
    His chamber in the silent halls of death,
    Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
    Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
    By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
    Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
    About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

  4. the poetry foundation tells us:

    William Cullen Bryant


    No line of his poetry survives in the consciousness of his nation, and none of his editorial pronouncements still resonates from his five decades with the New-York Evening Post, yet William Cullen Bryant stood among the most celebrated figures in the frieze of nineteenth-century America. The fame he won as a poet while in his youth remained with him as he entered his eighties; only Longfellow and Emerson were his rivals in popularity over the course of his life. “Thanatopsis,” if not the best-known American poem abroad before the mid nineteenth century, certainly ranked near the top of the list, and at home school children were commonly required to recite it from memory. At his death, all New York City went into mourning for its most respected citizen, and eulogies poured forth as they had for no man of letters since Washington Irving, its native son, had died a generation earlier. The similarity was appropriate: Irving brought international legitimacy to American fiction; Bryant alerted the English-speaking world to an American voice in poetry.

    The shaping of Bryant’s mind and personality owed much to his family circumstances in Cummington, Massachusetts, a small village in the Berkshire hills carved from the forest scantly a generation before his birth....