Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Born One Hundred and Two Years Ago Today


John Berryman

I put those things there.—See them burn.
The emerald the azure and the gold
Hiss and crack, the blues & greens of the world
As if I were tired. Someone interferes
Everywhere with me. The clouds, the clouds are torn
In ways I do not understand or love.

Licking my long lips, I looked upon God
And he flamed and he was friendlier
Than you were, and he was small. Showing me
Serpents and thin flowers; these were cold.
Dominion waved & glittered like the flare
From ice under a small sun. I wonder.

Afterward the violent and formal dancers
Came out, shaking their pithless heads.
I would instruct them but I cannot now,—
Because of the elements. They rise and move,
I nod a dance and they dance in the rain
In my red coat. I am the king of the dead.




  1. Took a moment or two to figure out what happened with the "More" link. I had two apparently identical windows open, Berryman both, and what the fuck? Free platform glitch again? Then, in one, I saw Kirk (The Creator), felt stupid; world righted itself; okay then.

    Good to remember Berryman. A preview of the inaugural address.

  2. you are fond of this piece by berryman and have posted it more than once

    here's something i found years ago - author unknown, but published in the
    moscow times - which i have reposted here and there over the years - it poignantly expresses the bittersweet nature of life, love, and loss - i am not in a position to say whether it is an accurate report of actual events, but it has an atmosphere of truthiness to it

    i have, just this morning, found a followup report on this incident which i had missed before

    'Depressed' Ferret Flees Siberian Circus

    14 July 2011
    The Moscow Times

    A ferret has escaped a circus in the East Siberian city of Chita along with a monkey and a red-breasted parakeet — apparently because they all were feeling down due to bad weather.

    "We believe the creatures have fled because of their depression — the rain in Chita just doesn't stop," the circus' art director, Zhanna Lazerson, told Interfax on Thursday.

    "We found the monkey in a doghouse in the morning, and the two animals were cuddling in their sleep," she said. "But the search for the ferret and the parakeet goes on."

    She said the escape has added to the animals' depression in the circus because the male parakeet was partnered on stage with a female parakeet who is now missing him.

    The ferret is less missed, with Lazerson calling him a "terrible glutton, idle to the core."

    Nevertheless, the troupe hopes that the animals will return to their circus home once they get really hungry.

    Weather forecasts say the rain won't let up in Chita this week.


    'Depressed' Ferret Still on Run After Fleeing Siberian Circus

    Jul. 18 2011

    The hunt continued Sunday for a "depressed" ferret who escaped Disney-style from a Chita circus along with a monkey and a red-breasted parakeet last week.

    Hopes were raised Friday that the ferret had been found when Chita resident Ivan Burtsev found a ferret on a city street near the Zabaikalye hotel the night before and brought it to the local zoo.

    "He is absolutely tame. He understands how to open doors, and he comes when you tap your leg," Burtsev told news site Chita.ru, adding that he had been aware of the runaway ferret from news reports.

    But circus art director Zhanna Lazerson rejected the ferret after examining it at the zoo.

    "It's not our ferret," she said, according to Interfax.

    Lazerson said earlier that the circus wasn't exactly missing its ferret, calling the animal a "terrible glutton, idle to the core."

    She said the ferret, monkey and parakeet fled because they suffered from depression caused by days of nonstop rain in Chita.

    The news about the escape has gone viral on the Russian Internet, with many top Russian bloggers posting it and offering sometimes biting commentary on why the animals actually fled. Others have suggested that the escape be made into a Disney or Pixar animated film.

    The monkey was found shortly after the escape in a circus doghouse, cuddling with a dog. Both were sound asleep. The parakeet is still on the run.

    Twitter blogs have been opened in the names of the two missing animals. In a weekend post, FerretFeelsDown complained, "Look here, even the parakeet is ignoring me :( ."

    Weather forecasts indicate that Chita will enjoy only one sunny day this week — Tuesday.

    The ferret mistaken for the missing one, however, will keep dry. The zoo has decided to adopt it.


  3. and speaking of inaugural addresses, as mongo does, supra, reminds me of something i wrote about our current president whose era will soon end, and which i posted earlier at one of the same venues where i put the story of the circus in siberia


    Recently I wrote, at another blog, "Obama has always been in the pocket of the banksters and the war party". I was immediately and angrily denounced as a "firebagger." But another commenter, an idealistic and hopeful fan of our president, wrote to ask me, "Is it an illusion that Obama is an honest man? That's a huge part of his value, to me. I believe he is. I've never heard anything substantial to the contrary. Do you think he is bought? Any specifics?"

    My reply:

    "Do you think he is bought?" Maybe you've read Catch-22, by Joseph Heller. Ostensibly a World War II novel of the black comedy genre, it is more accurate history than they teach schoolchildren (according to what I've heard - I wasn't there - before my time). Yossarian tells the shrink, "Doc, they're trying to kill me." The shrink says, "No, no, my friend. They aren't trying to kill you. They're trying to kill EVERYBODY." Somehow, Yossarian is not reassured.

    Similarly, I doubt you will be encouraged to learn that I don't think Obama in particular is bought - I think they're ALL bought.

    But you ask for specifics. First of all, "you can observe a lot just by watching." In other words, behavior counts more than promises, expressed intentions, sympathies, common values, etc. etc. etc. So let's look at the behavior.

    How is he doing on the civil liberties front, and the openness/transparency of government front? Read Glenn Greenwald at Salon.

    How is he doing on the killing of foreigners front? Read antiwar.com.

    How is he doing on prosecuting all the con men at the finest banks and investment firms, who enriched themselves during the great fraudulent mortgage boom? Read Yves Smith at nakedcapitalism.com.

    How is handling our current economic situation? Here I can recommend going to very establishment figures - Paul Krugman, Robert Reich - as well as less mainstream figures such as Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson.

    How can such a handsome, friendly, well-educated, articulate man be a war criminal and a central cog in the machinery of the military industrial congressional financial corporate media complex, a conspiracy to use, abuse, and confuse the people, to "milk, shear, and slaughter the sheeple", metaphorically speaking? [Except that the metaphorical sheeple are, in fact, literally slaughtered.]

    'Tis a puzzlement.

    [originally posted in 2011]