Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Can Say Anything About You, O Big Idea, and with Each Epithet Create New Reasons to Believe or Doubt You

The most important thing first: Live Kate Bush from 2014 London shows. Have I ever mentioned I love Kate Bush?

I'm not done barking about trumpsterfuck but I'm not barking today. Below, links to reads worth consideration, points and counterpoints to challenge my inner narrative of events. Wait... I'm at the last Farmers Market of the season in Red Square yesterday buying apples, here comes a Hillaryite Colleague, Trump Trump Trump racists Nazis fascists, HC says. I say BARK! and... o, never the fuck mind. I officially retire Hillaryite Colleagues and Hillaryite Friends from this shitty blog.

  • Built on sand.
  • No easy way to avert the collapse.
  • The poetics of displacement and war: Borzutzky refuses to hide, nuance, or aestheticize the severe trauma caused by global injustice. The Performance of Becoming Human is not merely avant-garde absurdity and play but the real realism that we aren’t usually willing to see: perhaps this present-day phantasmagoria is what CNN, if the goal were to report the whole truth, should present. If you’re looking for hope and silver-linings, this is not the book to read—this is deeply pessimistic and bitter poetry. Still, it’s driven by an enormous love; as the poem “Archive” says, “I am writing a story of love in the time of data fascism.” For all of its despair, the book documents extraordinary compassion and empathy for people and populations that many Americans, including many American poets, have the privilege to ignore.
  • Not a revolution, yet: We should resist the temptation to over-interpret Trump’s election as an American Eighteenth Brumaire or 1933. Progressives who think they’ve woken up in another country should calm down, take a stiff draught, and reflect on the actual election results from the swing states.
  • You are still crying wolf: Well, guess what? The votes are in, and Trump got greater support from minorities than Romney or McCain before him. You can read the Washington Post article, Trump Got More Votes From People Of Color Than Romney Did. Trump made big gains among blacks. He made big gains among Latinos. He made big gains among Asians. The only major racial group where he didn’t get a gain of greater than 5% was white people. I want to repeat that: the group where Trump’s message resonated least over what we would predict from a generic Republican was the white population. [EDIT: see here for contrary perspective].
  • About normalizing things.
  • After the snark, the ruin.
  • Shittiest candidate ever.
  • Biden gives a hand-job.
  • Dear Liberal Pundits: own your shitty candidate.
  • When the shouting stops: When I’ve pointed this out to people on the leftward side of the political spectrum, the usual response has been to insist that, well, yes, maybe Trump did address the issues that matter to people in flyover country, but even so, it was utterly wrong of them to vote for a racist, sexist homophobe! We’ll set aside for the moment the question of how far these labels actually apply to Trump, and how much they’re the product of demonizing rhetoric on the part of his political enemies on both sides of the partisan divide. Even accepting the truth of these accusations, what the line of argument just cited claims is that people in the flyover states should have ignored the issues that affect their own lives, and should have voted instead for the issues that liberals think are important. One caveat: the Left and Liberal are not the same.
  • Smearing for Soros.
  • Living in the truth or dying in the lies.
  • My Liberal Blue State.


Mark Jarman

Dear God, Our Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord,
Mother Love and Maker, Light Divine,
Atomic Fingertip, Cosmic Design,
First Letter of the Alphabet, Last Word,
Mutual Satisfaction, Cash Award,
Auditor Who Approves Our Bottom Line,
Examiner Who Says That We Are Fine,
Oasis That All Sands Are Running Toward.

I can say almost anything about you,
O Big Idea, and with each epithet,
Create new reasons to believe or doubt you,
Black Hole, White Hole, Presidential Jet.
But what’s the anything I must leave out? You
Solve nothing but the problems that I set.


  1. the title of today's blog reminds me of a verse from the todd rundgren/utopia song "shinola" - this verse is not sung, but recited, to emphasize its stark realism

    Everyone's talking
    but few of them know
    The rest are pretending
    they put on a show
    And if there's a lesson
    I guess this is it
    Truth isn't easy
    The easy part's shit

  2. yesterday morning i read jarman's sonnet here

    yesterday evening in choir practice i sang the following:

    1. God, beyond our dreams, you have stirred in us a memory,
    you have placed your powerful spirit in the hearts of humankind.

    Refrain: All around us, we have known you;
    all creation lives to hold you,
    In our living and our dying
    we are bringing you to birth.

    2. God, beyond all names, you have made us in your image,
    we are like you, we reflect you, we are woman, we are man.

    3. God, beyond all words, all creation tells your story,
    you have shaken with our laughter, you have trembled with our tears.

    4. God, beyond all time, you are laboring within us;
    we are moving, we are changing, in your spirit ever new.

    5. God of tender care, you have cradled us in goodness,
    you have mothered us in wholeness, you have loved us into birth.

    Bernadette Farrell